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Friday, January 31, 2014

This weather is like winter time

Our weather has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride as of late. First we have temps below zero, then like tomorrow it is suppose to be near 60. No wonder we all are sick. A body just cant adjust to temperature swings like that as we get older. Not that I am old. Ahem! We all complain but in reality it is just winter time as usual. We are suppose to have nice weather tomorrow with some sunshine so I hope to talk Rodger into going with me to the orchard an trying to get our trees pruned. They are big enough now to need to start being shaped like we want them to be when they get mature. I just hope the deer have not damaged any more of them. It has been so wet it has been impossible to get in the field an hang the bags of soap scraps to deter the deer. It seemed to have worked last time we used it. I have a stash of Irish Spring soap that no one here likes so I cut the bars in quarters and put a piece in a piece of empty onion bag, tie the top, and suspend it from a nearby tree. The smell seems to keep deer at bay. At least as long as the soap last. I also have a lot of grapevines to get pruned as well. The ones in the big vineyard near our orchard will be big enough to require pruning this year. I also will take more cuttings to root for my friend Anna. I tried a few last year and they made roots and I got them re potted but overlooked them in watering during the hot dry part of summer and they died on me. Shame on me. I hope to get a bunch started this year so I can ship them off to her this fall to transplant in her garden. We try to get vines and trees pruned in February on a nice day when its not so cold we freeze to death but not so warm that the plants bleed. Although I did prune grape vines last year after they had leaves on them and it didn't even slow them down. Still had a huge grape harvest. I am going to be making another raspberry patch this spring too with shoot from the older plants I already have near the orchard. I just need to get the place plowed up and manure on it to set them in after they break dormancy this spring. They are very easy to propagate. All you need to do is dig up the small off shoots near the mother plant and simply replant it in a new location. Big plans I have. Now to see if the body can keep up.

I have sat here at the computer this evening pondering ordering chickens to get here around march 1st. Not sure what kind I will order just yet. I like all the hens I have now, just not sure how to go about ordering more like them. I surely don't want to buy 50 standard heavy breeds to raise and cull to keep a laying flock. Thas a lot of lil birds to feed an deal with. And did I mention how expensive they have gotten? Dang I got sticker shock. But that happens to me real often. Guess I lead a sheltered life or something. I have a young rooster with my hens now. I am thinking I might need to butcher off my old rooster and let the young guy take over the hens and see if I get more fertile eggs and just hatch some of my own. It for sure would be more economical AND I would get to pick the ones I wanted to keep for layers. AND I would still have what ever roosters I raise to butcher for making good stock to can. I am really low on canned chicken stock in the cellar. I guess because it has been a while since I raised standard breeds to use for stock. I have hens that I know will set this summer and I also have an incubator I can use to hatch some eggs. Surely from hens and incubator I can manage to get enough pullets to replace my laying flock by mid summer. So I can have new hens laying come early fall. It just don't seem right to not have laying hens on the farm for eggs and meat. Not to mention bug control in the yard. They will also keep snakes at bay too. Maybe between the chickens, Luna and the cats I wont have snakes come in the yard this year. I hate a damn snake. They always manage to scare the whiz out of me.

Not long now till time for the greenhouse to be put up. Time flys when ya try to take a break and hibernate in winter. I am just glad I can be home to keep things half azz going here. We surely are praying we have a good garden this coming summer. I still have a good bit of stuff canned from years past but I am not sure we can go another year without canning a lot. Last summer was a total bust on the garden. Its time for a good one this year. I am actually looking forward to being able to  work in the garden some this summer. Gosh the past few years my health was so bad I could not get out in the sun and heat to do much of anything. Thank God I could eliminate some meds and end up feeling much better. Still cant do the lifting like I once did but at least maybe I can adjust to the heat a lil better and be able to help Rodger some in the gardens. IF the weather is as good as they say it will be then maybe we can get a few things done here this weekend to keep us ahead of the game. Some crazy weather man is calling for some crazy amount of snow next week so I will be house bound again I reckon. Maybe that's a good time to plan the garden, where to plant what, what to plant, how much of each to plant. Just silly things like that so I don't end up with tons of one things I don't really need a lot of. For sure need to start and plant more herbs this spring too. I somehow let my tarragon get chocked out by weeds or other herbs. Need more parsley, more chives, marjoram and savory for sure. Love the smell of marjoram. But if it snow I can make snow cream and contemplate gardens.

Jennifer ask in comments for a recipe for snow cream. Jennifer like more of my recipes its more a method than really a recipe. It all depends on how much you need to make or how many hungry people who like snow cream you are feeding.  I usually just take maybe 2 cups of whole milk, add a lil sugar to taste, not too sweet, a lil vanilla to taste. Just mix it in and taste it till it is slightly sweet an you can taste the vanilla. Then stir in clean "white" snow" till it is the consistency of soft ice cream. And dish it up and enjoy. Just a nice treat for the kids or the kid in all of us. Like the saying, "we are all adults till someone brings out the bubble wrap". Or in this case snow cream.

If you are home, nice and warm and dry, thank God for your blessings. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, January 24, 2014

House bound and loving it

I like being able to stay home and stay in when the weather is crappy outside. That is when I get things done inside. Things like painting, cleaning, you know the things most people choose to do in spring. I had gotten the paint to re-paint out kitchen a few months ago and just had not got started on it. So with it being cold outside and nasty and me with no real need to be out there I decided it was a prime time to get the kitchen painted. So that is exactly what I did yesterday. Actually, OVER- did it. I should have known better than to tackle a job that big in one day. But in my mind, just a lil bit more wont hurt me. Well those lil bits added up and dang it I hurt last night. Not to mention how sore I was this morning. But mission accomplished and I like the fresh coat of paint. Makes me feel better anyway.

It actually is the same color only a different finish. The paint color is Apple-a-day in satin finish over candy apple red in semi gloss. I do know one things for sure, if you have slight imperfections in your walls it is best to use a satin finish. A gloss with show every lil tiny bump in the wall board no matter what you do.  But things always look better with a fresh coat of paint. OK, OK, I know the pictures are not straight. Damn, was not even noticeable till I took a photo. I might change them, or not. Still have half a gallon of paint left so maybe I will paint the dining room below the chair rail this weekend if we get snowed in. Which IF the weather man is right we will get between 3 and 5 inches more of snow tonight. This time of year is when I can get lots done in the house without having to run in and out doing stuff outside too. I really want to repaint the whole house this winter before I get busy with greenhouse and garden stuff outside. Not sure yet about colors for the rest of the house tho. Probably close to the honey color I already have. Hopefully sometime soon we can get our kitchen floors done. I am so looking forward to something besides this linoleum in the kitchen. And as of right now we have carpet in the dining room. It has lasted well and still doesn't look too bad but will be a welcome change. Too cold out to mess with cutting flooring and such right now so that might wait till the weather is a lil more cooperative in early spring.

I did venture outside today long enough to take care of the chickens and let them out for a bit. They are perfectly happy to stay inside the building and be warm. They have plenty of feed and corn, its just a matter of making sure they can have water. No matter what kind of waterer you use in this weather it will freeze. I have been just putting a bucket of fresh water in to the chickens morning an night and putting out a bucket of water for Luna and the cats as well. I went to get the water bucket to refill with fresh water this morning for the chickens and they had come out of the building and were eating snow. They really were thirsty even as cold as it was. But they went right back in as soon as I put new water in the house for them. They hardly eat any laying pellets in winter but eat lots of corn. Nothing outside in the yard for them to eat with all  the cold and snow we have had. Although they do get out long enough to venture to places in the yard where the snow has melted off and will get plenty of grit to help grind up the corn they eat. And most of my lil hens are still laying in this bitter cold. So all in all I guess they are warm enough in their house. Rodger picked up a couple more bales of straw from the feed store and put another bale in their building so they have plenty of warm bedding. Warm happy hens = eggs all winter. I really hate to butcher off this flock and start over but they are getting older and should be replaced. It is time to start thinking about getting my order in for chicks soon so they can arrive and be big enough to not be a big problem for the house sitters when we leave to go to Nevada this spring. And I do want to have some Cornish in the freezer before we leave as well. I am running really low on canned chicken and chicken stock in the cellar. I really noticed this today when I went to get some chicken and stock to make chicken and dumpling for supper. Talk about good country comfort food. Chicken and dumplings with green beans and dutch apple pie for dessert.

All from home grown and canned food. I did add a little bit of dried carrot and dried onion to the chicken stock when I made the dumplings. Not sure if I was just hungry or if they were that good but I think I ate too much. Now to dig into the apple pie a lil later. I don't have ice cream but I think snow cream would work just as well. Might wait till tomorrow to see if we have fresh snow to make snow cream with. We will wait an see.

When I stopped to see my friend Rosie this week on my way home she was telling me that someone close to her town that she knew had lost all their potatoes in their root cellar. She said they had froze with this bitterly cold weather. Kinda had me concerned about how ours had faired with the cold here. I went and got some taters from the cellar to use on the green beans for supper and they were fine as can be. They got lil green sprouts on them from it being warm in the cellar. And we still have our vent open too. Rodger keeps wanting to take the soil off ours and add a layer of Styrofoam insulation and put the dirt back to help keep it warmer. I think that would be useless work as it is working fine as it is. Thankful for our cellar and that it stays warm and keeps things from freezing.

Not much else happening here on the farm right now. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is it over yet?

I can only wish winter was over already. I do think I am tired of being cold now. So ready to get my lil paws in the dirt and be outside an not freeze my ass off. I just got home from west Ky today, actually this afternoon. When I left west Ky yesterday it was 22 degrees and sunny. Rodger had called to tell me the roads here were crappy and said I should stop and spend the night with my friend Rosie in central Ky. So I made my way from Murray to Rosie's house with no problem. But dang it was colder there. I really enjoyed my visit with Rosie an her family. Such nice folks. You can always count on good wholesome food and wonderful company. We didn't spend much time out side as it was bitter cold and I sure didn't think I needed to be out much in that kind of weather after just getting over being sick with flu and sinus infections. Rosie cooks on a wood cook stove in winter time. Talk about nice and toasty. Not many places you can go, feel at home, eat good home cooked food cooked on a wood cook stove, sleep under a real down comforter as snug as a bug in a rug. When I go visit there I usually make a trip to the Amish salvage store and pick up a few things that are a lil hard to find in our area. I can get coconut oil to cook with for around $10 a gallon. I usually stock up and get about 3 gallon a year from there. I guess maybe I don't fry much stuff anymore as that will last me well over a year. I like using coconut oil as it is healthier than even olive oil. Not to mention it does not add any flavor of its own to the food you cook. Anyway, I left there and headed on home this morning and hit snow about half way between E-town and Lexington and there was lots of snow all the way home. The roads were clear but a good deal of snow on the grass and road sides. Our lil county road here at home is snow covered an rather slick but I had no problem getting in. My H-3 hummer did a fine job. I like it!! Actually that is probably the first time I have driven in snow in a good many years. But damn, a feller has to get home. And I did. Ain't no place like home tho. I fixed some chili for supper so we had a hot meal and now to just relax and get back in home mode. Tomorrow will be a different day.

I really want to get my kitchen painted this week. I bought paint a couple months ago and still have not even started on the kitchen. I will feel better when the kitchen has a fresh coat of paint and might do some redecorating in there. Maybe, just maybe, if I can get the kitchen painted Rodger can get my laminate floors put in soon. Wouldn't that be nice? And I know it will look so much better too. Our flooring is looking pretty tired and worn at this point. Not that it was really expensive to start with but after all its about 15 years old. This is what my mind wants to do this week. Now if my body don't laugh at me tomorrow maybe I can get started. Everyone else I know paints in warm weather. But heck no not me, I want to do that stuff when I am stuck inside and cant get OUT side to do other things. Just makes more sense to me. But I usually do things ass backwards anyway.

I guess it is time to dig out garden seeds an double check to make sure we have everything we need to get the garden started this year. I already know I have my sweet corn seed and green beans ready. Just have to make sure I still have plenty of carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli and the other small seeds we usually plant. I know its only about 3 weeks till it will be time to actually plant peas. We normally try to have those planted on Valentines day. I cant imagine it being dry enough to plant peas or even get in the garden for that matter in 3 weeks. But we shall see.

Not much else happening here on the farm right now, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Comments, questions, and answers

I have had several sweet comments on my last several blog post. It is nice to know people still read the nonsense.
Jennifer has posed a few questions on my soap making post asking about molds and such. I use really just what ever looks like it will hold the amount of soap I am making at the time. It may be a Velveeta cheese box or a soup box I have cut an taped to reshape into the size I want at the moment. A nice wooden mold would certainly be nice. Maybe I can ask hubby to make me one when he gets in the shop this winter to finish Liam's toy box. I am gonna plunder around some yard sales and such too and try to find a cheap miter box with a back saw to cut soap. I know at some hardware stores you can buy the cheap inaccurate ones that are not good for precision wood work and that is kinda what I am lookin for. It would make for cutting nice even slices of soap. Not that I mind if my soap is funky shaped. Also in soap making I do not keep an extra set or special set of pans dedicated just to soap making. After all it is just soap and most of us use soap of some sort to wash our dishes so does it matter that you have had soap in your pan. Although to make soap you do need to steer clear of anything aluminum. I use stainless steel stock pots to make soap. I think my small one holds about 3 or 4 quarts. Just need enough room to hold all the soap volume when it is mixed together. I need to buy another stick blender for soap and lotion makin tho. I gave Amoy my other one to use to make food for lil Liam at home. That lil man is growing way too fast. Cant wait to see him again in April for his birthday. And yes Jenny we think that lil fellow is pretty special too. I sure have missed you as well and all our long fone calls till the fone battery dies. I will call you someday when I can get time to stay home for more than a few busy days at a time. Geez, I ain't even home right now. House sitting again.
Deja I am glad the pina colada jam turned out good for ya. I am not sure about cutting the sugar in jam and jelly recipes. It has something to do with the pectin/sugar ratio that makes it set nicely without being tough and rubbery. Also when buying sugar for jam and jelly making, make sure it is "cane" sugar. You can get both cane and beet sugar. They differ in molecular structure and beet sugar will not set in jams and jellies. I know at one time I noticed 25 lb bags of sugar at a Kroger store and thought about getting it as the price was much cheaper. But after I got to looking closely, no where on the bag did it say cane sugar so I was suspicious that it was beet sugar and decided it was not worth the money not to mention a product that would be for the most part useless to me. So be aware when purchasing sugar.

Here it is winter time. Not to mention near the end of January already. Its about time to get started pruning grape vines and fruit trees. Maybe we can manage to get those chores behind us in a couple weeks. Weather permitting of course. This chick don't do well in really cold weather. I know what happened to me last time I got cold. I got this damn flu, sinus infection and bronchitis. I am better but no where near well from it. It seems this congestion just keeps hanging on. I don't sleep really well anyway and sure as heck don't when I wake myself up coughing. My ribs feel like someone took a ball bat to them. But trees and vines need pruned. I am not by any means a pro at tree pruning but will take advice from someone who has cared for fruit trees successfully. Our buddy Butch in west KY has many wonderful trees and his advice it to make sure there is good air circulation inside the trees. He highly recommends taking the center out of most fruit trees as that allows sunlight and air to get into the foliage and keeps down diseases. So when I prune ours that is my goal. Hopefully when we get this process started I can post some pictures. OK I know you are laughing because I always forget the camera when we do these kind of things. Maybe I can remember this time. Just maybe. When I prune grape vines I intend to start more cuttings from the Concords. I have a friend in Virginia that wants some starts and hopefully I can manage to get them going for her. Grape vines are pretty easy to start from cutting in spring. As soon as the cuts are in soil and in a warmer place they will start making leaves and thus make roots. Its winter time and I am getting itchy to get in dirt. Might be while getting in dirt tho as the weather forecast is for extreme cold and more snow for us in East Ky. I think Rodger said they have about 2 inches at home right now. In west Ky it is cold, not unbearable, just cold but no snow. I should be hibernating by now. Such is life..

Not much else happening around here. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

A new plan

I think I need to come up with a new plan to get my ducks in a row or at least in the same pond. OK here's the scoop. I have been doing a blog for a few years now. I enjoy it, not good at it, but like it none the less. It gets tricky trying to share your life and methods with others (the world) and not give out every detail of your life and your goings and comings to be used to some criminals advantage. I have had lots of long absences in my post over the past year and with good reason. It was a very busy year with seems like lots of traveling. Early in the year, April a road trip to Nevada for the birth of our lil man Liam and not really wanting to "advertise" that we were away from home, I feel like I short change my readers sometimes when I hesitate to post pics and sights from these type adventures but its to try to have some peace of mind about things back home. I know you all can understand that. Then later in the year several extended trips to west KY when my sweet aunt Ann was sick. Then starting in September with working at the hunting lodge for Snipe Creek Outfitters cooking for the hunters. Then the time away when my aunt passed away. Gone again in October for 3 weeks to house sit, gone most of November for another hunting season, back in December for yet another and home for a while. When I posted last date on here I had comments waiting moderation, comments go to my email box and I then post them to the blog. I had readers that had ask questions and dammit I cant find em now. I did locate one and posted my answer in the comments for my sweet reader. I feel bad when I don't get back to someone who has ask something because it is usually someone who is making a recipe and has a question. Makes ya kinda feel like ya sittin in a room an someone ask you a question an ya ignore em. Well I didn't, I promise. So if someone has posed a question on here in the past few months, please post it again and tell me which post of mine it pertains too and from now on one day per week I will do a post with nothing but answers to readers questions. Maybe I will call it "questions and answers day". Real creative don't ya think.  I think I can do that even if I am not at home. I am so grateful for all the sweet folks who read and comment both here and on facebook, Thank you so much for taking time to read about my life of organized chaos.

Now if I can just get over this stinkin flu, it will be time to be off and running again. I had been trying hard to think where the heck I caught such a nasty bug. And ya know when the old folks use to say, "don't get out in the cold, you will get sick". Well they are right and here is my take on why. I felt bad, just tired, sluggish, like I had a bug or something going on in my body for a week or more. Even when the kids were home. But I never got really sick, I kept going. Then on Tuesday when I got outside and got cold, really cold, I think it lowered my body temp and let the bug attack full force. That is when I knew I was in trouble. Within hours of getting cold I had the fever and chills, aches and all the things flu like. Folks I have not been this sick in many years. I actually do feel somewhat human today. So I guess maybe my immune system is stronger than I thought. I feel hopeful today that I just might survive this thing. So many folks have had the flu and the strain that is going around is keeping people sick for a month to 6 weeks. I have no complaints if I can function after less than a week of it. Our Rob had the flu about 2 or 3 weeks before they came home and he probably had it long before that till it really knocked him down. Down to the point where they did a spinal tap because he had symptoms of meningitis. Thank God that was negative but scary as hell for his momma 2000 miles away from him. Just glad he had a wife that made him get seen at the doctor and taken care of. 

As for how I have treated this bug here at home. And don't laugh. I have antibiotics. I got them at the farm store. Yeas its the same ones ya give animals. And its the same stuff you get at the drug store only not in the neat tidy lil capsules. I have tetracycline and 1/4 teaspoon is about 500 mg of medicine. I mix with a lil juice and down it. I have kicked the sinus infection with it, do don't knock it. I do have prednisone that I take as needed when I have an arthritis flare up so I have taken that for about 4 days now. We also keep Sambucol which is made from elderberries and it works great for the runny nose, burning eyes deal. All natural. Just wish I could beat the dang birds to the wild elderberries here on the farm in fall and save a chunk of change. And lots of chicken noodle soup. I also take extra zinc supplements too because it helps block viruses from multiplying. I had a lot of deep congestion in my lungs yesterday that was not breaking up so last night I made a cup of plantain tea sweetened with honey. My friend Rosie told me long leaf plantain is good for deep congestion and after the tea later in the night I did finally feel the junk breaking up and am not nearly as congested as I was yesterday. I have had a more productive cough today and that sure helps the breathing.  Lots of fluids and rest keeps the body hydrated and is critical in a speedy recovery. This may not work for everyone but it has worked for me thus far.

Do you remember my post from a good many months back on water Kefir? Way back on February 5th, 2013. That is some tough Kefir right there. Mine has been neglected and went unfed for long long periods of time. Until today. After taking antibiotics for this sinus infection I think my belly is gonna be in need of some kefir. My jar of kefir grains were sitting on the counter where they had been for well over a month unattended. My first thought was, I bet its dead! I picked the jar up and it still has lil bubbles rising out of the water. It's alive!!! I strained it and gave it some sugar and molasses and put the grains back in to get then rejuvenated and making kefir water again. I really need to keep these things going for my own well being and in case anyone else here has to take meds and make a mess of their gut flora like I have this past week. So yep, so far, its been a good day.

Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Holidays, family time, now the flu

Once again it has been a while since I posted here and let you all know I am still kickin. Damn time has a way of getting away from me somehow. We had a relaxing family holiday with the kids all here. Rob and Amoy got here with lil man Liam on the 27th of December and stayed till January 4th when they had to fly home. We sure enjoyed having them here and getting time to see Liam grow. They learn things so fast at this young age it still amazes me. He decided he does not like a sippy cup but will drink all you will let him have from a bottle or regular glass. Of course he got his Ale8 fix by buttering up his daddy.

 Don't panic, its not beer, its just a regional drink here in Ky. Soft drink that is.  Rob and Amoy try to get their fill while they are here visiting because they wont get any Ale8 till we visit in April and take some to them in Nevada. But lil man sure did like it too. They had a busy week trying to see as many family members and friends as possible in a short time.  Liam got to spend lots of quality time with papaw too. Papaw is the one who takes lil humans outside barefoot to look at chickens.

As you can tell, papaw thinks this lil boy is pretty special. As do I. He is trying to get his nerve up to stand alone and let go but mostly loses his nerve and sits down really quick before his bottom hits the floor. Such a precious age. I look at this lil boy and wonder what things he will do in his life. He has wonderful parents to guide him so I see him doing great things.

We took Rob and Amoy and Liam to the airport on Saturday and had dinner out with them before they left. They made it home to their house on Sunday safe and sound. Their flight took them to Salt Lake and they stayed the night as opposed to driving 3 more hours on home and getting there very late and too tired.

Sunday the weather here was so nice and Rodger and I decided it was time to clean out the chicken house before the sub-zero temps set in the first part of this past week. We did not get to take the manure to the garden as it was far to wet to get in there with the tractor or it may still be there. So it is piled out at the edge of the woods to break down over winter and we can spread the compost later. I cleaned out the cob webs and next boxes in the house while Rodger shoveled manure. Got them all bedded down well for the cold snap. Then we took some plywood and made a dog house under the front porch for Luna. She did not stay on her bed on the porch that I had fixed for her. But I knew the weather was pose to be windy and very cold. I put a pallet down and we put up plywood sides on each end of the pallet for wind breaks an put her blanket and pillows in there and she is a happy camper. At least she will stay in there out of the weather and off the ground. She comes out in the mornings all shiny and new, dry and happy. In all this process and having the outbuildings open, somehow our big cat Possum decided he was gonna hide out in the building. By Monday the cold had hit and it was bitter cold. By Wednesday I ask Rodger if he had seen Possum and he had not. On Thursday morning he just happened to think that just maybe he was in the outbuilding. And sure enough he was. He had been closed up in there since probably Sunday. Poor guy was hungry and seemed kinda weak when he came to the porch to eat later that day. He stayed warm but he sure didn't have any food or water in there unless he happened upon a mouse or 3.

On Tuesday I went to help Jason at his house for a bit. He was thawing out some of his water lines that had froze because his heater under the house had malfunctioned and didn't keep it warm enough. I was not outside for more than 10 minutes, tops. I got back in the house and started chilling. Then I spiked a fever. For the ones of you that know me well enough know the meds I take for the arthritis suppresses the immune system and I don't get symptoms of being sick till I am deathly ill. Well folks, I am deathly ill. I went to bed by 6 that evening an didn't get up till 9 the next morning. My head hurt, my whole body hurt. I had an awful sinus infection. I started taking antibiotics for the sinus and chest congestion with high hopes that's all it was. I am now thinkin it is likely the flu. I still hurt and from time to time still spike a fever. I am just a miserable pup. I must get better to die. Not really much can be done for the flu other than keep hydrated and treat the symptoms. I can do that will chicken soup and teas we have here.

Sometime during all this chaos I found a recipe for cinnamon rolls made in the bread machine. I had to try them as they sounded almost too good to be true. Well folks, lemme tell ya, they are damn good. And really easy to make. No work to em really. So here is the recipe that I used.

For Dough:
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 ½ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup white sugar
2 ½ teaspoons bread machine yeast

For Filling:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

For Frosting:
1 (3 ounce) pkg. of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt

1) Place all roll ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Then select the dough setting and press start.
2) Let the dough double in size, then turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meantime, grab a small bowl and combine butter, brown sugar,  and cinnamon.
3) Roll dough into a large rectangle (16×21). Spread the dough with the butter/brown sugar/ cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in two lightly greased round pie pans. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.4) Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, make the frosting. Beat together cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread the frosting on as soon as the rolls come out of the oven.

I actually don't think the rolls needed to bake this long. At this length of time they get pretty brown. I think they are better when they are very light brown and still soft. But I tell ya, these are the bestest. I actually used a lasagna pan to put my rolls in, it was dark, and they did get a lil browner than I wanted on the bottom and top. Next time I will put maybe 5 rolls in an 8 inch cake pan and see how they do in that. They do rise really nice too.

Not much else happening here on the homestead right now. Not long till garden time tho. Just a couple months till we start up the greenhouse for cabbage and such. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.