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Posts tagged ‘christmas tree’

The Time I Was Hypnotized by a Goat (plus, Herb Bread)

This past week was a dangerous time to live in Alabama.  Anyone who hadn’t already gotten tased or pepper sprayed at the local Wal-Mart probably got punched in the face at a bar yesterday, when Alabama played Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Not us.  We spent the day at a Christmas tree farm across the Tennessee River.

This was not without its own set of hazards.

Scott says the sign should include the risk of murdering me with a hand saw in broad daylight for vetoing nineteen trees and then disappearing for the duration of the tree-cutting process.

But that would be misleading.  What actually happened was Scott had to cut the tree down with what was essentially a refurbished ladies’ ice skate.

It looked like this was going to take approximately 15 hours, so I went in search of apple cider.

And what should I find next to the apple cider but this baby goat named Hash Brown, who was either hammered or just learning to go down stairs.

I was clearly going to sit there all day and try to pet Hash Brown through the fence, so a nice farmhand offered to take me to a barn where there were more baby goats.

While I was in a weakened state from all the cuteness, this Festive Christmas Yard Goat rolled up and immediately placed me under a deep hypnosis.

He came out of nowhere.  And he was close enough to eat my pants.  As I said to Scott later, you try moving when a full-grown Festive Christmas Yard Goat is staring up at you from both sides of its head.

At some point, Scott finished cutting the tree.

He found me in the barn, eventually.  While I was explaining what had happened, he held a two-day-old goat that we named Tater Tot.

And all was forgiven.

Except maybe the part where I asked if I could borrow Tater Tot for our Christmas party and they laughed and I said um, I’m not kidding and they said um, the answer is no and then they forcibly removed him from my purse, where he had been quietly eating Tic-Tacs. 

Back at home, Scott set up the tree and I made our favorite bread.

It only takes an hour and a half to rise.  Not to alienate anyone here, but I hear that if you’re Auburn, that’s how long it should take you to get four first downs.

Some waited more patiently for it to rise than others.

But it rose.

Then it baked.

I used one of my favorite bread recipes, created by a lady named Ann Barr.  I only added some additional herbs.  I’ve tried it with both fresh and dried herbs, and it is delicious either way.

Herb Bread {makes 2 loaves}


1/2 oz. active dry yeast (Not instant.  This is 2 envelopes’ worth.)

2 cups warm water

2 tbsp. sugar

1/4 c. olive oil

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. dried basil

1 tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

6 c. flour (Not self-rising.)

1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water in a medium-sized bowl.  Let rest 5 minutes until it foams up.

Add the olive oil, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme), cheese and 3 cups of the flour.  Stir to combine.

Gradually mix in the last 3 cups of flour.  The dough will be really stiff and it will be hard to get that last cup of flour incorporated, but it will work out once you start kneading it.

Knead the dough for five minutes or more, until it is smooth.

Oil a bowl and place the dough in it.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down.  Shape it into two loves and place them on an oiled cookie sheet or in two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.

Let the dough rise again until it has doubled in size– about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  The loaves won’t be much darker than a little bit golden when they’re done.  Remove loaves from pans and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

The bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.

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