Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

It happened in the butler’s pantry.

 A hall-way space, and once upon a time when our house was first built, it was the kitchen.

Now a brown cow supervises my every move.

On a snowy day, I faced down that cow and got to making.








































I got up around 4 am, took the dogs and That Cat out for bathroom breaks, and settled in with my first cup of coffee.  Sleep is just so elusive these days.  I’m no longer fighting it.

  In the darkness of early morning, the snow blew in and started swirling around in a mad beautiful dance.   It continued to fall throughout the day, covering everything in a blanket of white magic.

A few days ago, I took down the multi-colored holiday lights on the front porch and replaced them with white twinkle lights.  Somehow they seem extra twinkly in the snow.


In the pantry.

The chippy white table I purchased at auction many years ago, I’ve lugged to several different shows and events.  I used it as a display table when I was selling at antique and then later, art shows.

It did a stint in my art studio, holding my sheet glass.   In recent years I used it to hold my sewing machine.

  After taking down the holiday decorations, I rearrange some things in the house.

The chippy table is now in the pantry area surrounded by our collection of antique crocks and kitchen utensils and vintage cookbooks.  The table provides a place for my mixer and my food processor, no longer taking up counter space or inconveniently in a lower cabinet that makes me groan and whine when I have to retrieve it.

On the lower shelf, a basket holds potatoes and a brown-ware bowl that belonged to my grandmother is full of onions.

The walls are wrapped in decorative plates from Germany, miscellaneous brick-a-brack all in soothing tones of blue, greens and browns.  A clay cow, that watches everything.  A vintage print of an old English scene, a recent five dollar purchase from the thrift store.

Beautiful prized paintings from artist Debra Smith of Monnie Bean Folk Art.

The metal pig I made years ago, from the rusty metal roof of a pole barn that collapsed on our property, after a winter storm, probably back in 1993 or ’94.

The bottle of wine is for sipping while I cook dinner.

  On the wall across from the chippy table are cabinets that used to be in the kitchen addition that was added to the house in the 1960’s.  Here you’ll find my flour, sugar and other baking supplies.  Glass ware, decanters, and high on the top of the cabinet, Cassie Cow a plastic pull toy – another vintage item, my favorite childhood toy.

It is here, in this cozy, utilitarian space, surrounded by our kitchen collections and comforting warm colors, and one knowing clay cow,  and one plastic cow, that I faced down, that fear of mine.

Making a pie crust from scratch.

Yes, it all seems rather silly now that I have accomplished what I set out to do.  I have no idea why I was even intimidated in the first place, it’s not like I ever even tried.  Maybe someone told me pie crust are hard to make, don’t bother.  Maybe I just came up with that on my own.  Who knows?

So there, I’ve made my first pie crust from scratch.  It isn’t pretty and certainly not photo worthy.

But it has my pride.

It tastes good too.

The pie filling came from a copy of Magnolia Magazine, here are the recipes.  The pie crust recipe from another source – I don’t remember.

I am total gah over Our Delicious Food.  The incredible beauty and artistry in each and every pie.  Oh no, I’ll never make pretty like that, I don’t have the patience.  I’m too hurry and get to the eating point.  But oh the inspiration…


So here I am, Lusty Lavender, pie crust maker of the ordinary kind, until next time.




11 thoughts on “white magic and a brown cow in the pantry

  1. Mrs. N in Japan says:

    Gosh….all the lovely photos! Did my heart good. I was raised in rural Wisconsin where I lived until I was 18. I have to admit-I miss that kind of “country”. The kind in your photographs…the kind you’ve described in your post. Loved it!


    1. Aww, it makes me feel good to think my photos evoked good memories for you. Ours is a simple life, but we love it and feel blessed in many ways. We aren’t fancy people, we are country folks. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mrs. N in Japan says:

        That’s what I love… You are simple… Like me!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. says:

    Knew you wouldn’t have any trouble at all with that pie crust from scratch but I know the intimidation you felt. My first Thanksgiving turkey intimidated me. Pussy willows with lights! Thought that was neat but the snake? Really Kimmie. I like that your glasses match your purple highlights. Check out this gal who went all purple:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miss Linda- silly the things we think we can’t conquer before we even try.
      Well now Pussy Willow you say, which I love I didn’t see that before. I thought they were just cool sticks with lights on them. Now I like them even more. Thx for video, she is a purple pixie too cute. Xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Stamper Meyer says:

    I can smell the apples and cinnamon in the cozy cottage. The snow looks lovely and makes the house seem even more cozy and warm. The gardens here just look brown and tired and they sleep through the colder weather.

    BTW, I’ve found that magnesium really helps with sleeping. It has been a godsend. Sleep makes me a much nicer person during the day 🙂


    1. Hey Lisa, the snow is all but gone now and I’m ok with that . Pretty and does give a cozy aura for a bit, but I’m glad to see it gone. Our gardens are brown too, so looking forward to green…

      Thx for magenesium suggestion. I’m B12 deficient and must give myself regular injections, as I can’t absorb it naturally. Magnesium deficiency often goes with that, but last check I was ok. Don’t know if additional supplements would help. B12 deficiency has me whaccky in many ways including sleep issues and severe tiredness. Still kicking though… xo kim


  4. Debra says:

    Love the hairdo! It really looks pretty and so are you! I am yearning for a pantry with open shelves. Don’t see that happening here, so I make do. I don’t think pie crust fear is unusual-it can be very tricky. My problem is I have made it so often I don’t use a recipe-THAT’S why it comes out different every time. I have found though that lots of butter to flour ratio makes an excellent crust-also, my grandma made it with lard, and it really does taste better.


    1. Hi Debra – that’s the way I cook – without recipes. I don’t know why I collect cookbooks, I don’t use them – Mr. Cottage says I think a recipe is a suggestion. I think that is why pie crust intimidated me, I think baking is harder and until you get really good at it and understand how it works, winging it isn’t always good. The pie crust that came with apple filling recipe called for lard, but since I didn’t have any, I used the butter recipe. I’m going to try lard next time, although I really loved the butter crust. xo kim


  5. D.A. Squires says:

    …yours is a storybook pantry, Kim…I love that stories abound in the contents. I once had a pantry… a long galley with a window and amazing storage. But it was 100% utilitarian (i.e. no brown cow watching over, no twinkling lights, and definitely no snake : ) Why I overlooked the obvious need to add at least some white lights, I cannot fathom!

    And I have a piecrust story, too : ) I was in college and dating my then boyfriend (to become husband, which he said had a lot to do with the pie story). One day, his grandfather asked if I could make an apple pie (the household being three generations of men, as his mother had passed away). My dilemma: I had never made a pie. I called my mother (on a rotary phone) and she sent me a typed letter (on her Royal typewriter) mailed USPS to my dormitory: How to Make an Apple Pie, STEP BY STEP. I found (and still have) his mother’s wooden rolling pin, but finding no ‘pastry cloth,’ I decided a clean pillow case would work. It was many moons ago, but I can still remember the stomach-twisting feeling that it would take MAGIC to make a piecrust. There must have been some fairy dust sprinkled around, because on that first attempt, I managed to make a good tasting (but definitely not attractive) apple pie. And somewhere, tucked into a recipe box or cookbook, I still have that letter.

    And– you are the most chic mother-of-the-flock in your lavender hues : )


  6. Oh D.A. I love the pie crust story, thank you for sharing that. Also, what a good laugh, thinking of all those slow methods we all somehow managed to live with. Rotary phones, typewriters and good grief, snail-mail.

    My mother-in-law used her husband’s handkerchief one time when she didn’t have pastry cloth – these are the things that great stories (and pie crust) are made from.

    I’m a fake and a fraud, my pantry also serves as my laundry room, it isn’t too attractive. I managed to crop that out of the photos – also the pee pads that my old dog uses. Now my secret is out. Maybe I just think if you use enough twinkle lights no one will notice that bad stuff. HA HA! Thanks for visiting and sharing. xo kim


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