Tuesday, October 30, 2012

King of the TTs

Michael and Sherpa
Sherpa, Champion Deep Acres Autumn Splendor,  felt like King of the TTs when he took Best of Breed last weekend at the Albany Kennel Club Show.  And he really is!   It was a big win too.  A 5-point major!  That means that there were lots of dogs in the ring and Sherpa prevailed.   Only 4 more points and he will be crowned a Grand Champion.  What's next?  King of the TTs?

Sherpa and his dad, Michael, are championship farmers too.  They live with a brood of hens and grow all sorts of tasty produce.  Just check out their sweet potatoes.   Fresh eggs and sweet potato hash browns!  What could be better?  I'm sure our invitation is in the mail.

The blessing of the sweet potatoes

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Annie's Search for Sandy

We know what we will be watching this weekend. Check you local TV listings for details.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Halloween from Gibbs

Roxie's 15-week-old pup Gibbs is dressing up as the Travelocity Gnome this Halloween.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fields of Flowers

Lola in the Nasturtium Field

Did you know that my formal name is Compo de Fiori?  Fields of Flowers in Italian.  And that's what we have here at Deep Acres Farms.  Fields of Flowers.

Last March we ordered tiny paks of Mexican Sage, Japanese Anenomes, and Flowering Tabacco from a seller on ebay.  Later we planted Nasturtium seeds.   The Mexican Sage is now 5 feet tall and in just coming in flower.  They are late bloomers and grown as annuals in cold climates like ours in Iowa.   We took some cuttings which are already rooting and we hope to take them through the winter indoors.

Mexican Sage

Japanese Anemone

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Roscoe Sends His Love

My boy Roscoe, who turned three-years-old this month, wrote from Maine to send his love.

"I'm quite the young man around town, although I'm often mistaken for a Portuguese Water Dog (thanks mostly to Bo, the White House pup).  I always politely explain that, 'No, I'm a Tibetan Terrier…thank you!'"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Corn and Heirloom Tomato Tart

We like to make this savory tart at this time of year.  With its traditional pastry shell and custard-like filling, the tart is similar to a quiche. The corn filling, a combination of pureed and whole kernels, is pure American, while the compote of cherry tomatoes on top lends a Provençal air. Think Martha's Vineyard meets Saint-Tropez.

The crust, a classic pâte brisée, couldn't be easier to make, and the fluted edge adds a touch of refinement to this rustic dish. I bake it in a tart pan with a removable bottom. Of course you can also use a store-bought 9-inch pie shell (look for one made without sugar, otherwise the tart will be too sweet). For the tomato mélange, feel free to combine red, yellow, orange, or purple heirloom tomatoes — whatever looks fresh and ripe at your farm stand or market. It's worth seeking out smoked paprika, which is a little more pungent than regular paprika; it provides the dish with a smokiness that hints of bacon and balances the corn's natural sweetness. The bread crumbs serve to absorb the tomato juices and will lightly toast as the tart bakes, giving the topping a little crunch, almost like that of a crumble.

The tart shell is fantastic.  We use white whole wheat  flour and we also use this as a crust recipe for our pumpkin pie.

The Tart Shell
  • 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1⁄8 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups dried beans or rice, for baking shell                                    Combine flour, butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Add egg and pulse until the mixture resembles moist curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and knead once or twice to pull dough together. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (At this point, the dough can be kept refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to a month.)
    Center a rack in the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Cut a 10" dia. round of waxed or parchment paper. Place a fluted 9" tart pan with a removable bottom on a baking sheet. Lightly dust a work surface and the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough out into a round that is approximately 10" dia. and 1⁄8" thick. Fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim excess dough even with the pan's rim and, with the tines of a fork, poke a few holes on the bottom. Line the shell with the paper round and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully remove the paper and beans, then bake the shell for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool in pan on a rack. (The shell can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 8 hours.)

    The Filling
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 11⁄2cups uncooked corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs: 3 whole eggs, plus yolk from 1 egg
  • 3⁄4 cup sliced scallions
  • Dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1⁄2 lb. heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 to 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut in thin wedges
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1⁄3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper                                                                                                             Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt 1 T of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the corn, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the corn mixture in a medium bowl. Add the cream to the saucepan, bring to a simmer, and then transfer to a blender. Puree until smooth and transfer to the bowl with the reserved corn. Whisk in whole eggs, egg yolk, 1⁄2 cup scallions, Tabasco, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart shell, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the custard is set.
    Meanwhile, melt remaining butter, transfer to a medium bowl, and toss with the remaining scallions, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Once custard is set, remove tart from oven, and arrange tomato mixture on top. Return tart to the oven and continue baking for 15 more minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and bread crumbs are golden. Let tart rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Dog's Grace

We were moved by this article in the New York Times today.

 A Dog’s Grace

I was standing on a ladder in the closet, cleaning out the shelves, when I noticed Gracie, our standard poodle puppy, throwing up in the corner.

“Ethan, could you please help?” I asked my husband.

He wiped up the mess with a few paper towels, but she threw up again, and then again.

“I’m taking her to the vet,” he said, grabbing her, practically carrying her limp, dehydrated body out the door.

He came back empty-handed. They wanted to hold her for observation.

Four hours later, the only things left in my beloved 600-square-foot Upper West Side apartment were dust balls and a broom. I couldn’t believe I was moving away after 15 years; it was longer than I’d ever lived anywhere else. The place had history. I didn’t want to leave, but Ethan and I had just gotten married, and I was almost 40 years old, pregnant with our first child. The apartment was clearly too small for our growing family. But I still had to get out fast before I started crying.
I called to check up on Gracie as we drove over the Queensboro Bridge to Long Island City, where our new, bigger apartment awaited us.

“We think she might have an obstruction is her small intestines. We’re going to have to keep her overnight,” the vet said.

I caught my breath.

“It’s going to be O.K.,” Ethan said, rubbing the top of my hand.

After the movers had gone, and the “couch doctors” had successfully broken our couch to get it inside, Ethan and I sat in our new kitchen, eating pizza, missing Gracie at our knees.

The next morning, the streets were covered in snow, inches and inches of white snow, the kind that creates an unusual hush for New York City. The phone rang. It was the vet. “You need to bring Gracie to the emergency clinic on 55th. She needs an operation and we don’t have anyone here who can do it. You have to pick her up within the hour.”

My body started to shake and I held my stomach protectively. I was only nine weeks along, but we’d heard the heartbeat, and I didn’t want the baby to know how upset I was. “If we still lived on the Upper West Side we could just cross the street and get her,” I said to Ethan, wishing we could have afforded a two-bedroom in my old building. Now we had to walk seven blocks to the E train and transfer to the 2.

When we arrived, Gracie hobbled over to us with a catheter taped to her front right leg. Her tail was wagging, but she didn’t have the energy to jump up on us. We rushed her outside and tried to hail a cab. The first driver took one look at her and kept driving. The second one didn’t see her until we had all slid into the back seat.

“Get out,” he screamed. “No dogs!”

“But she needs surgery!” I screamed back.

“No dogs!”

Then I lost it. I started crying, cursing, my eyeballs bulging, yelling at this man with no heart.

Ethan carried Gracie out of the car and stood on the corner, waiting for someone who would take us. I kept crying even after a taxi picked us up, was still sobbing by the time we met with the new vet.

“We can’t be sure that there is something in her small intestines,” he told us. “But if you look here, you’ll see this dark shadow is not normal.” He pointed at the scan on the screen. “It’s your call, though.”

“If there is something, could she get sepsis and die?” I asked, finally calm enough to speak.

“Yes,” he said.

Ethan and I went off to discuss what we should do. It was the first real decision we’d ever had to make as a married couple. To spend $4,000 we didn’t have. And to put our dog through something that she might not need.

“This is why it’s scary to love anything,” Ethan said.

I hugged him, and then we decided yes, we would do it.

We left Gracie and took the two trains back to our box-filled apartment with a washer and dryer, two bedrooms and no dog.

A few hours later, the doctor called to tell us there was nothing in there.

Over the next five days I had to ice Gracie’s belly, lined with 30 staples, every four hours, give her painkillers and antibiotics, and make sure she wasn’t developing a post-op infection. Teaching online classes from home made it easy for me to take care of her. Ethan’s work had gotten crazy and he wasn’t getting home until 2 a.m. It was just me and Gracie, lying on the floor, out of place in this new space, both feeling our bodies change.

Two weeks after the move, I tied Gracie’s plastic cone to her neck and left her in the crate so I could go to my 11-week doctor visit.

“Is spotting normal?” I asked.

“Let’s take a look,” the gynecologist said.

Our faces both turned to the monitor, seeing the same thing at the same time: a dark blob, no flickering, no life. I had lost the baby.

“You did nothing wrong,” she said.

But I had. I had moved. I had yelled at that cabdriver. We had given our puppy unnecessary surgery.
Ethan left work to meet me. We held each other on the couch, cried and called our parents, taking back our good news.

I wanted to shut my eyes and go back home, to my real home, on West 72nd Street, back to the refuge that had gotten me through 15 years of breakups and bouts of depression and changes I couldn’t control.

That night, Gracie put her chin in my lap and looked up at me. She couldn’t give me medicine or make my night sweats go away, but she wagged her tail and forced me outside to explore our new streets of Long Island City.

When the weather got warmer, Ethan and I took her to the dog park two blocks away and watched her jump high in the air trying to catch the ball. She was O.K. Turning to Ethan, I was starting to feel O.K. too. This was my family, and it helped to know that whenever Gracie bounded up the stairs after playing, she had no clue why the back bedroom, the reason we moved in the first place, was empty.

Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin is the author of the memoir “The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot.”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Sister Mary

The Miss Mary Brood in Sheryl's Cherry Grove.
You may remember my sister Mary lives with her brood in the middle of the prettiest cherry grove you ever did see.    Well, she got together with my friend Beamer who lives with the famous James Beard finalist Bunkycooks.   Now that's what The Housewives would call friend hopping, but we are quite happy with the result... a sublime cherry pie whipped up by Ms. Bunky using Miss Sheryl's (Mary's mom) cherries. 

Now, get to Bunky's blog and bake a cherry pie.  bunkycooks.com

And, if you'd like, check out our visit with Miss Mary in Montana.   We call it Heaven.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Our friends at BumperPet sent us a dry erase decal in the shape of a dog bone.  It's pretty nifty.  You can apply it to any surface and it peels off easily when you have had your fill of it or want to stick it somewhere else.  In addition to the dog bone, BumperPet's dry erase decals also come in in the shapes of many popular dog breeds.  But, alas, no Tibetan Terrier silhouette at the moment.

Grace decided the perfect place for our dog bone decal was above little Lola's crate and she began to decorate it right away.  As a matter of fact, she has erased and re-designed it several times since!

You might remember we wrote about BumperPet's removeable stickers that you can create with your favorite photos just about a year ago.  We really liked the photo we created using a picture of Angus.  You can see how we used it if you click here. BumperPet has so many cool pet inspired projects.  You can check them out at bumperpet.com.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oskar (aka Henry) Sends His Regards

12-week-old Oskar Henry

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration

Our friend Marjorie Post so loved her dogs that she created a memorial pet cemetery at her Washington, DC home, Hillwood. Once a year, for two very special hours, she invites you to bring your “best friend” to Hillwood for Halloween fun and a parade of costumed canines and their owners. Stroll the wooded trails opened specially for this event, and enjoy the brilliant fall color. Compete in the costume contest. Play “tricks for treats.” Enjoy refreshments for the spooky pooches. Saturday 27 October 2:00pm - 4:00pm — Tickets available. $15 per dog with 1-2 owners; suggested donation applies to additional guests. $10 for dogs of Hillwood members.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lucky Dog?

A runaway poodle in Massachusetts will have quite the tale to tell when she's reunited with her owners: The fluffy white dog was struck by a car and became wedged in the vehicle's grille -- where it remained for the duration of an 11-mile drive at speeds of up to 50 mph. The dog survived the ordeal with a few injuries, including a possible concussion and what is being described as a "minor bladder rupture" but is otherwise fine, according to supervisor William Muggle of the East Providence, R.I., Animal Control department. The dog's unexpected car ride took her across the border between the two states last month. Muggle has since reached out to the Taunton, Mass., police department in an effort to find the dog's owner. "She's actually doing fine, crazy enough," Muggle told the Taunton Gazette. "She's a good dog," he added. Muggle said the dog, actually a poodle mix, ran in front of a car in Taunton, Mass., on Sept. 20. The driver hit the brakes to avoid the dog, and then continued driving, unaware that the small dog had actually been struck. Muggle told the newspaper that it wasn't until the driver crossed the border into East Providence, R.I., that someone flagged the motorist to the dog stuck in the vehicle's grille. The driver proceeded to a local police station, where animal control officials freed the animal and then took it to an emergency clinic, Muggle said. "We've been searching for the owner since," Muggle told the newspaper. The dog was wearing a collar, but Muggle said he was withholding additional information about the collar to help identify the animal's true owner. ALSO:

Monday, October 1, 2012