Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

Well hello, 2020 – are y’all ready for the new roaring ’20s?

We didn’t roar, we quietly ushered in the new decade, Mr. Red Dirt and I.  We worked together to create a lovely, not so little dinner for the two of us which consisted of steak, lobster, shrimp, baked potato and salad.  The fancy dishware from a friend which is used once a year was brought out and decorated our humble farm table. I guess I should be ashamed to admit I didn’t even polish the silver.  We ate by candle and twinkle light and That Cat sat on the table and Boo dog at my feet, supervising it all. So busy was I eating all the fabulous food, not a photo was taken.

Some time ago, we went out with a group of friends to an Indian restaurant in the big city, where we had this delicious drink called a snake charmer, which is fresh lime, muddled fresh ginger, simple syrup, and tequila.  I made my version for us, it was delightful also, although a bit different since I had lemon, not lime.  In keeping with our usual non-party going selves, we were in bed long before midnight.

First things first, I’m putting it out there that I continue to have problems with WP, commenting on other blogs, replying to comments on my own blog.  No, I have not contacted WP to try and figure it all out, I’ve just remained frustrated by the entire thing.  Also, the day after the last post I unexpectantly had surgery and then I came down with an awful cold and have been late responding to your comments, my apologies, as your comments to me mean everything.


On with the show.



I recently watched the original version of Gaslight, – a film noir, the term gaslight means to employ mind games on one to try and drive them crazy, in the movie the husband was trying to drive the wife insane.  The wife kept hearing noises at night above her room, thinking she was going crazy but in actuality, it was the husband up in the attic making noise.  So there I am in the middle of all this suspense, and the husband is making noise and her eyes are wide with terror and I start hearing noises above me and I’m home alone and I thought wow those sound effects are very realistic.  The noises got louder and louder I realized those were real noises not on the movie.  Now scared, I got up and went to the bottom of the steps and called out whos there?  I know right – I’m calling out to the ax murderer – sheesh.  Then I hear movement coming down one step at a time.  What the heck?  Down to the first landing and who should appear but little Miss Bee.  I had no idea she was in the house, she scared the crap out of me.  Yep, I was scared to death by my chicken.  She promptly hopped over the banister and on top of the china cabinet where she surveyed her kingdom until she was good and ready to get down.  I’m pretty sure she was up there laughing at me.

We have been experiencing wonderfully mild weather.  It is so wrong to be warm and balmy in December and early January I love it, although I know in my head we need a good cold freezing period for all the life cycles to be as they should.  Our weather should change this week and there is a chance of snow tomorrow.

Gracie, a California white hen that was a spring hatch, went broody on December 20th.  I let her have four eggs, two white and two brown, though I don’t know from which hens.  Last week when I candled the eggs one of the white eggs look to be infertile and one of the brown eggs was missing. I have no idea where it went.  If things continue to develop she should be a mom to two little chicks by the end of this week.







I was all kinds of apprehensive this summer when I opened an Instagram account and started posting there.  I heard negative things, being inclined to disklike social media that just kind of fed my fears a bit.  However, it has been a positive experience overall.  I get a wee bit off-put by those that feel the need to present a perfect everything.  So I keep most of my interest focused on what I feel are authentic people that I can relate to.  One such account I follow is M.K.Pickles54, who posted a recipe for Au Gratin Rutabagas.  Now mind you I’ve only had rutabagas one time –  probably close to 30 years ago.  I’ve been looking for some lower carb recipes and so I thought I would give this a try, though with all the cream and cheese in it one can’t necessarily call it healthy. I made a special trip to the store to purchase rutabaga.  I was so proud of my big round orb and trying something new and following a recipe, which is something I just can’t seem to do.

Last night I whipped up this wonderful recipe, my pork wasn’t quite ready so I pulled the rutabaga casserole dish out and set it on top of the stove to rest while the pork finished and I cooked the vegetables. I sampled a small portion and it was beyond wonderful.  I turned the burner on to cook the vegetables and sat down with a glass of wine to wait.  Mr. Red Dirt and I sat there talking enjoying the peace and calm.


That Cat shot out of the cat bed and took off in one direction, Mr. and I took off into the kitchen with Boo Dog hot on our heels.  The explosion was so loud we thought something had crashed through the skylight in the kitchen.  We heard the loud explosion and then the raining of glass.  Oh no!  I  had turned the burner on under the pyrex casserole dish and not the vegetables – (before you think it, I did not have too much wine to drink).  The dish had exploded sending rutabaga and cheese and cream laced with glass everywhere.  The cheese immediately started burning on the hot burner and in the blink of an eye the kitchen and great room filled with thick smoke.  Afraid Boo would cut his feet on all the glass I quickly ran to the front door calling him propping open the door for air circulation and to get him out of harm’s way.  That Cat dashed out the door in utter terror.

When we got outside, there was complete chaos taking place out there too. Being the last day of hunting season there was a crazy rush of hunters and their dogs going in every direction.  There I was in the dark with Boo dog confused and scared to death and the hounds of Baskerville were barking and running amuck.  Though the chickens and roosters were up in the coop for the night they were completely terrorized and were sounding the end of the world alarm.  Boo takes off and That Cat takes off.  I’m worried they are going to get eaten by the hunting hounds, so I’m calling them at the top of my lungs because if you scream loudly your pets will know there is extreme danger.

 I’m in the dark screaming like a madwoman, the chickens are clucking the roosters are crowing, the Mr. is in the kitchen frantically trying to scrape the burning gunk off the stove without getting burned or cut.  Then I hear a man’s voice calling out to me Mrs. Critzer, Mrs. Critzer I’m at your farm stand my dogs are loose I’m trying to catch them we don’t mean you any harm. He thinks I’m screaming at him.  I am so overwhelmed  I can’t even respond to him.  Out of the darkness, a man comes running towards me, trying to reassure me, I’m standing there like a nut case, blathering about my half-blind half-deaf dog and the cat with only three legs and the exploding rutabagas.  I’m pretty sure that man could not get his dogs and himself off my property fast enough.

Sadly, the wonderful rutabaga au gratin was not to be, but I will attempt to try it again.  Did you know around the world what we call rutabagas are also known as, neeps, swedes, or snaggers.

Quite fascinating little tidbid.


Rutabagas Au Gratin go something like this in a perfect world.

1 baga thinly sliced.  1 onion sauted in butter.  Deglaze pan with sherry, and season with S&P and garlic powder, add a big dose of heavy whipping cream.

Pour that mixture over the rutabagas and place in a casserole dish.  Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

  Bake 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.






Here is hoping that we all go into 2020 with peace and happy hearts and all good things.


Until next time,

xo Kim

13 thoughts on “Snagger, Swede and Neep The great exploding Rutabaga

  1. pennross says:

    Wow! Crazy pandemonium! Hope you’re ok after all that! Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Penny – it was complete pandemonium, and yes we are all okay so we can laugh about it! A new year, a new decade – all the best to you. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. KT Workman says:

    I know it was a horrible experience, but how you told it had me laughing out loud…I could picture it all! It’s good to see you posting again. And by the way, more than once I have turned on the wrong burner, have messed up a couple of pans, but nothing glass—yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, we can all laugh about it now…. I have to admit this isn’t the first time I’ve turned on the wrong burner, but never did I have such disastrous results. Every time I do it I mutter something about having turned into my mother! xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lindasschaub says:

    Hmm – I always leave with a smile and I fear it is at your expense! My mom loved her rutabagas and we called them turnips in Canada. Here, in the U.S. turnips are smaller. When I was a kid, one year I took my quarter allowance and bought her one at the store as a present. Funny as I’ve not thought of that story in years, (make that decades). I guess I may have walked to the grocery store. Mom would just cube up that waxy orb, then mash it with some sugar. She would eat most of it, putting a little pile on my father and my plates but we both did not care for it. She’d have liked this recipe I’m sure. I am sorry surgery and a cold made your year-end miserable, as well as broody hens and stove mishaps. I hope 2020 is a better year, and a better decade Kim!


    1. Linda – what a seriously kind generous and loving thing, buying your mom a turnip/rutabaga. I love that memory – thank you for sharing. Here’s to a better year for all. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lindasschaub says:

        Well Kim, I’ll have to share that at Christmas time in a blog post for smiles and when I was even younger than that, I got her a Spanish onion one year. My father must have taken me to the grocery store instead of the mall when we went Christmas shopping for my mom and that was all my own allowance could buy. It was a grocery store that had strictly groceries – in those days, there was none of the one-stop-shopping you can find in the grocery store today. That is a hopeful blessing and I hope it happens.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra says:

    I’m sorry about your catastrophe but I have to say it was wonderful to read! I have missed blogging, so I’m back at it. Love to you all

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra – so good to hear from you and I do think of you often, wonder how you are doing and dream about your lovely art. I have not seen a post in my box from you – I’ll search for it directly. xo kim


  5. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Year, Kim… your story was perfectly told : ) It is the kind of thing anyone can do, with sometimes disastrous results. So glad all ended with you and the rest of the family unharmed. (And sensing there was not a serious calamity coming at the end of the story, it was very funny to read about the ensuing frazzle : ) Adore your photos–always–love the mix of nature, pets, interiors–everything! Look forward to hearing more from Red Dirt Farm in 2020!!
    PS I hope you may have finished Fantastic Tails, or read ‘Cooped Up’ chapter…. this chapter was inspired by the critters at Red Dirt Farm : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie says:

      This is from Debbie…for some reason it posted before I had filled in the contact info…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Debbie – Grr I have on going problems with WP – apparently you did too. Happy New Year, no I haven’t finished reading, it will happen. 🙂 Thank you for reading your support is appreciated and makes my heart smile. xo kim


  6. ruthsoaper says:

    Hi Kim. I’m happy to see you posting again since it’s been a while since I’ve seen any in reader. I feel bad laughing about your disaster but since no one was hurt I guess it’s best to learn from it and laugh about it. “don’t cry over exploding rutabaga?!” I might have blamed it on too much wine though. LOL! Wishing you all the best in 2020.


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