Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Deed Is Done

     Finally, the sheep made it to the top of the priority list. The little woolly bears have been relieved of their coats.  Shearing sheep is a project that could be hired out to someone, but that would take away the challenge of being self-sufficient.
     This job should have been done in April or May. What took so long?  Aside from the fact that many higher priority projects kept getting bumped to the top of the list, several obstacles had to be overcome physically and mentally.  First, the electric shears needed  new combs and blades after being dropped last year.  One would think that this would be as easy as match the name of the shears with a catalog description, but one would be wrong.  Finally, after a few tries, a company named Premier 1 was able to easily identify what was needed and they could be ordered from them.  Problem 1 solved.
     Next, get out the book and class notes and study the positions and shearing strokes needed to effectively shear these sheep.  For those who think a sheep is a sheep take a closer look.  Southdown Babydoll sheep are woolly from the tip of their nose, down the legs to the toes (hooves, but it doesn't rhyme).  Many larger sheep have clean faces and not much wool down far on the legs. Studying done, ready to take the test.

     Finally, keep a positive attitude when working with an electric tool and place the comb and blade on the shears by reading directions that were no larger than 1/16 inch. Locate the bevel on the comb and bring the blade back from the beval 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch no  more, no less. Then simply turn it over and tighten the screws. Find the two holes for lubricating oil and remember to oil every ten minutes or so during shearing.  Do it this year because clearly those words were missed last year.

     All that was needed were willing sheep and the right frame of mind to picture success.  "You'll like this, really you will."  - Well, no, not one did, but they gave up against pure determination to get them sheared. Only two hours each, and two days to get the sheep in shape.

     When all was said and done with the new haircuts, it can only be said that, well, the sheep looked and acted  sheepish.  In the human world their haircut would be equivalent to the old days when a mom would put a bowl over her son's head to evenly cut his hair. But the job is done - until next year.

An tasty and easy dish for all the zucchini ripening now.

Zucchini Pie
 3 cups grated zucchini                            /4 cup vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped                            4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1 cup all-purpose flour                            2 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 cup grated provolone cheese                 1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, beaten                                      1 tsp salt
 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper oven 350
Combine all the ingredientsl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan.
Spray a 10-round glass or metal pie dish with cooking spray.  Spoon in zucchini mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with 1 T Parmesan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Adapted from Real Simple

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