Hilde, Hildie or Hildy….

Hilde the Family Milk Cow

As I said earlier, during my absence from Cultured Palate, a lot has happened. So, I would like to introduce you to our new family milk cow. She is 1/2 Brown Swiss and 1/2 Jersey. The problem is the spelling of her name!

How would you spell it? Hilde, Hildie or Hildy?

My preferred spelling is “Hilde”!

So, while our family disagrees (playfully of course) about the spelling, everyone agrees that Hilde is possibly the best family milk cow we have ever had!

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Easy Shepherd’s Pie

easy shepherd's pie

When we were first married, being the new bride and wanting to impress my husband with my culinary skills, I tried making a Shepherd’s Pie recipe from a vegetarian cookbook, Laurel’s Kitchen. It was a success – he was duly impressed! So, it was added to my arsenal of recipes.

Recipes, for me anyway, are a work in progress – ever changing. This Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe is now quite a bit different from that original recipe. The major difference is the introduction of ground beef. Thanks to the GAPS diet, I am now able to eat meat – and, it is delicious. If, however, you are a vegetarian, simply leave out the ground beef and you will still have a delicious meal!

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Pellenc Wire Raiser

Pellenc wire raiserIf you remember, a couple of years ago we bought a Pellenc 4560 multi-function vineyard machine (i.e. grape harvester) which you can see in action here in this harvest video. Not only can the Pellenc harvest grapes, but with other vineyard attachments, it can be used as a pre-pruner and now, a VSP wire raiser.

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Eggplant Lasagna

Easy Eggplant Lasagna

I love lasagna!

And, do you what is better than plain lasagna?

Eggplant Lasagna.

I am confidant that  the following Easy Eggplant Lasagna Recipe is sure to become your new family favorite – it is ours!

Why? Well, number one – it tastes great! And, number two, like the name says, it is easy!

Really, who doesn’t like lasagna?

Think Garfield and his great admiration for Lasagna. Plus, Easy Eggplant Lasagna is gluten free!

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From Texas to Maine

Gateway ArchAs I mentioned last week in Oswald Vineyard May/June, a lot has happened in the past few months, one of which is a family vacation. As you might guess, we take very few getaway trips and when we do, we normally visit family in Georgia. Which, by the way Mom, we are planning to do later this summer!

Not that we need an excuse for a vacation, but if we did, the wedding of a niece in Maine was the perfect one. Years ago, when John had a “real” job, he had a 6 week business trip to the Boston area. Having only 5 children at the time, ages 8 mths – 7 yrs, we all went. The children and I did a lot of site seeing. We visited places like the Boston Children’s Museum of Arts and Science, Plymouth Plantation, and probably the highlight of the trip, the Armor Museum in Worcester, MA. Needless to say, we had a blast and made a lot of great memories which I wanted to relive now with the children still at home.

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Oswald Vineyard May/June 2014

Oswald Vineyard June 2014

When I last posted in March, Change is Good, I had no intention of continuing Cultured Palate. What you might ask, has changed?

Well, I am still very much enjoying being more concentrated on and more  accessible for my family. But, I have been touched by the emails, comments and questions about what is going on with us now. So, I thought I would revisit those of you who have taken the time to get to know our family with periodic updates.

A lot has happened in these few months – we have a new milk cow, took a 5000+ mile trip to Maine (in our 15 passenger van) and have a new vineyard toy imported from France – but, I will tell you more about all that later!

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Change is Good

Some of you may remember a saying about how God works with doors, windows and such. Well, I have a variation for you: When God closes a door, sometimes there isn’t a window to open.

That’s where I found myself over Christmas. I had gotten it into my head to move my blog to a bigger, better, faster server so as to accommodate the growing traffic I was experiencing. Well, the supposedly seamless transfer hit a glitch and my blog disappeared from the internet for about a week. As it started coming back, the pictures wouldn’t load right, the layout was squirreled up and some past posts were lost.

During this period in which I had absolutely no control over the circumstances, three proverbial light bulbs came on in my head. 1. To my humbling surprise, no one wrote or called saying their lives also went on the blink while my blog was down! ( a few people did subsequently write and I appreciate the encouragement – thank you!). 2. Many members of my family expressed their appreciation to have their wife and mother back full time. 3. My unrecognized elevated stress level dramatically dropped and I began sleeping soundly once again.

So…. It is not that I don’t care about positively impacting your lives – I do. But right now I see a tremendous value in re-simplifying my life and focusing more intently on my family. I plan to leave the blog up for a year (it’s already paid for) and for those who want to follow our family’s vineyard adventure, my husband started a facebook page, Oswald Vineyard.

A New Beginning!

happy new year 2014


Photo credit: Depositphoto/JoKolar01

From Our Home to Yours

Merry Christmas

Week in Review

bamix immersion blender

Can you believe it is only four days until Christmas? I have already planned my menu which is the same from year to year so, there is really nothing to plan. How about you, do you have a traditional menu?

Smoked Turkey takes front and center on our table along with stuffing, Broccoli Nut Casserole, Sweet Potato Souffle, mashed potatoes, creamed onions and Pumpkin Pies. We do have a Christmas birthday boy so birthday cake (Lazy Woman’s Cake) is also on the menu.

I am an early shopper and like to begin my shopping in the spring. I know it is early but this allows me to take advantage of sales throughout the year. Wrapping, though, is another subject. Often, I am up most of Christmas Eve wrapping – coffee works wonders!

Our second oldest son and daughter-in-law arrive for the festivities this afternoon and my mother and sister will arrive Christmas Eve. Are you staying home or travelling for the holidays?

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