Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independance Day!

We didn't do much for the 4th of July this year. Seven more of our alpacas are due to arrive around July 15th from California and South Carolina so we have lots of work to do before they get here. Neil had the day off from work today so we took advantage of that to start cleaning out the barn. We didn't have room in the house for the last trailer load of boxes from our move from SC to NC this spring. That whole trailer load has been sitting in the middle the barn. I have walked around that pile many times a day in the past two months, but today we finally moved it! Some of the boxes got put in our temporary work shop but most of the boxes needed to come into the house. Sigh... we now have boxes stacked in the kitchen again, and in the living room, and in the hall to the bedroom and even out on the porch! Neil looked at the bright side and said, "Hey, at least when this is all put away we are done with boxes!". But I think it will be months before I can find homes for all this stuff!

Anyway, with the barn floor cleared we plan to set the rest of the gate posts inside the barn this weekend. Then Neil will get as much of the barn framed up and closed in as he can. We need to do a little rearrangingof the animals to make room for the new alpacas. We should be busy this weekend!

By the time Neil was done moving boxes it was near 8pm and he was hot and tired. We opted not to go into town to see fireworks and just spend the evening relaxing. I had planned a dinner to help make it feel like a holiday and it sure turned out great! We had marinated steaks on the grill, grilled corn on the cob (in the husks) with a spicy horseradish butter spread and baked onions with rosemary and cream. The baked onions were a new recipe I tried and they were oh so good! So easy to make and so tasty... you have to try these!

Onions Baked with Rosemary and Cream

6 medium yellow onions, with peel
2 cups chicken stock
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped (I used dried)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Slice about 1/4 inch off of the tops and bottoms of the onions. Cut in half crosswise leaving the skin on, and arrange cut side up in a shallow baking dish. Pour the chicken stock over and around the onion halves, then drizzle with olive oil. Season liberally with salt, pepper and rosemary.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until onion is easily pierced with a knife and liquid has reduced by 1/2. Remove the dish from the oven, and pour the cream over the onions. Return to the oven, and continue to bake uncovered until the pan juices have thickened slightly and onions are browned, up to 30 minutes.

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