Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friends of a feather, flock together...

Recently my beloved horse , Legend, suffered a serious tendon injury and has had to be confined to a stall for weeks on end. Horses really dislike this sort of thing and I was worried about him becoming anxious or depressed while being kept away from the herd. I even considered purchasing a goat or a miniature donkey to keep in the barn with him until his recovery was complete.

Meanwhile, during the coarse of the previous summer and fall, the flock of ducks that reside at the barn has slowly dwindled down to one lonely duck. Since I was at the barn everyday taking care of Legend, I decided to make it my mission to try to keep this duck alive until spring. I feed the duck when I arrive at the barn, and she comes running when she sees my car!

A couple weeks ago, my brother-in-law and I agreed to try to keep her close to the barn in a better effort to ensure her survival through winter. I tried my best to keep all of the doors closed, but noticed that whenever a door was left open, she would only leave for a few moments and then quickly return. The duck, named Philadelphia, would always fly back into the barn and stand closely to my horse.

At first I thought maybe she liked not being out in the cold, maybe she is sticking close to the food, but in the end, discovered that where Legend went, Philadephia went. I was so worried about Legend needing a buddy that I overlooked the fact that he already had one. Philadephia stays the night every night in Legend's stall, of her own free will, keeping him company. His attitude is great, he is not distressed at being kept away from his herd at all.

My animals teach me new things all the time, and today I was reminded that it is possible to make friends in the most unlikely of circumstances. And to realize that sometimes while you search for something, it could be right in front of your face!!

Chuck Wagon

Suburban Cowgirl Chili Recipe

2 lbs ground beef
1 packet chili seasoning, original
1 packet chili seasoning, hot
1 serrano pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 whole white onion
2 cans tomato sauce (same size cans as beans)
2 cans mexican chili beans
2 cans kidney beans
1 cup dry red wine (pinot noir preferred)
black pepper
garlic powder
sea salt
cayenne pepper

Cook ground beef in a large skillet with original chili seasoning and chopped up onion.
While meat mixture is cooking, dice serrano pepper, and bell pepper.
Pour tomato sauce, beans (drain kidney beans), and diced serrano and bell peppers into large crock pot.
Add hot chili seasoning packet to crock pot. add black pepper, garlic powder, small pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of sea salt to crock pot.
When meat is cooked, pour meat mixture into drainer to drain grease. put mixture into crock pot, stir all ingredients together well.
Add one cup dry red wine to crock pot. stir well.
Simmer in crock pot as desired, for best results allow to simmer atleast 4 hours.

Top with chopped fresh onion and shredded cheese, serve saltine crackers on the side.