Freshly Minted Neighbors

An action packed 24 hours it’s been. Life on the farm marches forward. I met another neighbor from down the road who came with Carmen and her wheel barrow to pick up the bed in the guest room. I know we have given her an entire house worth of furniture, but still, I baked Spanamerican chocolate chip cookies to say ‘Thank You’, because Camen supplies me with endless vegetables from her garden.

I say Spanamerican because instead of using butter I used olive oil. That way they’re officially healthy and can be eaten in the double digits in one sitting. (And psst…I didn’t have butter because we only eat olive oil now.) I also included my secret ingredient that sets them apart and makes these beauties winners at county fairs. I have a yellowing photo of my 10 yr old county -fair-cookie-champion self in the local newspaper paper back home to prove it. I found it in all my filing and organizing this week. But the olive oil is a new twist on a classic recipe.

La Leña arrived this morning. No, that’s not the name of a hurricane or warming seas in the Pacific Ocean. It’s firewood. We awoke to a tractor driving across the front lawn towing a gigantic trailer towards the wood shed. Wasn’t that gate closed when we went to bed? 🤔 I think we might require another load, but this time it will definitely be easier to arrange.

Now that we have wood – or a first batch – Jeff sent me out to find an axe and a wheel barrow. The rusty ones that came with the house have not inspired trust. I had a bunch of other stuff on my list to pick up so I drove into Santiago to the Bricomart. It’s Home Depot. Even the signs are the same. And I needed some stuff at the Leroy Merlin right next door. It’s like Lowes. They have a killer axe and hatchet selection. No joke.

I sent this photo to Jeff. Which one?

But, I was barely out of the gate when something stopped me in my tracks. The horse in the neighboring field had just given birth. And her foal was walking on toddling legs. Bricomart errands promptly forgotten, I pulled the car over and got out. Me and 20 Pilgrims stood at the fence and watched in silence. All of us willing this amazing creature to stay up. And then it did. A cheer went up. What a miracle. Funny how the birth of little animals can make you smile and tear up, at the same time. We all were grinning at each other like we had something to do with it.

All legs.

I called Jeff on my way to Santiago and he went out a little later and took some photos and video of it actually running. They grow up so fast. He said the mother brought the baby up close to him at the fence. He was surprised.

Something new I have noticed recently is that people open our gate now. When we first moved in, delivery guys, repairmen (and its always men), anyone with business at our home would stop outside the gate and honk, waiting for us to open up. Now they come in unannounced. The Amazon and Seur guys just leave packages on the front porch. No signature or NIE required. The other day, the Amazon guy came through the gate. ‘Kelli?’. I said yes, and he handed me the package. But when I looked at the box it was addressed to Jeff. All Amazon orders are through Jeff’s Prime account. How this guy knows my name, I have no idea. Maybe from the firewood guy or the tractor guy, or the plumber, or …

It seems, both man and beast are used to our foreign presence in the neighborhood now. Fences are no longer the barrier they once were. Everyone is comfortable having us here, greeting us by name. Even our equine neighbors trust us. And I suppose that’s just how we want it.

4 thoughts on “Freshly Minted Neighbors

  • Awwww….it’s wonderful isn’t it…baby animals. I walk a few miles everyday and on one of the paths, I’ve been watching a heavily pregnant mare. She finally gave birth to a beautiful colt. I wish that I could post the pic.
    The cookies look delicious but, I like butter in baking. It might be unhealthy but it tastes sooooo good. 😁

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    • I saw the pics you sent me. Sooo cute. P.S. I prefer butter too😉 but I didn’t have any on hand and I thought I’d give it a try. Not too bad. But I had to wrap them up with a piece of bread after they cooled down to get the soft like Jeff likes them.

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  • Great post! You two are sooooo home ❤️. I’m intrigued about the olive oil in the cookies. I struggled for decades to get my chocolate chip cookies just perfectly how I want them – a bit fluffy (not flat), a bit crispy on the edges. I finally achieved it after reading in Cook’s magazine to use 1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco. Perfection. Just add lots of nuts and raisins, roll into balls, freeze them, then bag them. Hubby and I cook a few periodically so they last awhile. But olive oil? Oh, my, what a good idea – but what will it do to my cookies of perfection? I’ll have to do some research to see how I could still achieve what I love!

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    • As you know, different olive oils have have different flavors. Some are more tangy. Some smooth without a harsh finish. I would use a smooth one for cookies. I’ve also heard avocado oil works too.

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