Friday, December 12, 2014

Vegan Spring Rolls

I, Fenway Bartholomule, am a vegan: of course I only eat plants, not people! My human is too, so I'm sharing my blog with her today so that she can participate in the 2014 Virtual Vegan Potluck! When you're done perusing the recipe for these delicious spring rolls, click "back" or "forward" for the entire potluck experience!

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Spring Roll Appetizers

Beautiful? Check. Healthy? Check. Delicious? Check. Easy? Check. Fancy? Check. Quick to clean up after? Check. Vegan? OF COURSE! If you're looking for something portable, colorful, and crowd-pleasing for your next potluck, look no further than these simple vegan spring rolls! The best part? You can substitute ANYTHING. I never make these the same way twice, so play around with cilantro, kale, cabbage, scallions, or whatever you think sounds good!


  • Veggie mix:
    • 2 carrots (grated)
    • 4 oz mung bean sprouts
    • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts (raw, or roasted and salted) or other nuts
    • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
    • the juice from half a lime
    • 3 tbsp mae ploy sauce (sweet chili sauce), or sub 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp hot sauce
    • 1 tsp organic sugar
    • 1 tbsp ume plum vinegar (or substitute soy sauce)
  • 10 spring roll skins
  • 3 oz. thin rice noodles or glass noodles
  • 2/3 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 oz. fresh basil, removed from stems


Prepare veggie mix, cucumbers, and avocado while bringing 2 quarts of water to a bowl in a medium saucepan and an inch of water to a boil separately, in a large iron skillet. 

When water boils, turn it off and prepare noodles according to package instructions—usually, by soaking them in hot water for just a few minutes. Rinse with cool water, and drain.

Allow a spring roll wrapper to soak in the skillet, with heat off, until pliable. 

Gently spread wrapper on a cutting board, then place the next wrapper in the skillet to soak.

Layer ingredients, about 2 tbsp. of each, in this order: basil leaves, then noodles, then veggie mix, then cucumber and avocado.  

Close the spring roll wrapper by tucking in the sides, then folding up the bottom and rolling it into a tidy package. 

Serve with peanut sauce or sweet and sour sauce. 

I recommend this dipping sauce: 
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • enough water to make consistency dippable, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger; all ingredients whisked over a low flame until warm. 
  • Cilantro or crushed peanuts for garnish.

For more great recipes, continue on! Go back for Edamame-Coconut Trifle with Spelt Crumble by Juicy Dishes, or forward for Walnut Falafel sliders with pickled beetroot and a lemon mayo by VegHotPot!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ears to you all!

My beloved friends—hello! It has been some time since you've heard from me. I've passed these months in relative contentment, watching the progress of my barn (coming along, coming along!) and learning the ins and outs of our new neighborhood (bray-borhood?).

There are a number of beautiful brown deer with whom I share my home, and I hardly lift my head when they hop in and out of my paddock on their daily meanderings. There is one white and brown pinto deer who scares the shish kebabs out of me. I spook, bolt, stare, and snort when he passes by. My humans can't understand why he strikes me through with abject terror, but I say it's simple: whoever attacked that poor deer with a bucket of bleach is coming after me next! 

There are 30 tons of fine gravel, 700 square feet of geotextile fabric, and a beautiful 2 story barn with a 320 square foot footprint, in a state of partial completion, at the top of my little hill right now. I have not yet been permitted to set foot therein, but I am assured that all will be most gloriously comfortable for me as soon as preparations are complete. In the meantime, Miss Arrietty and I are slogging about in some muddy mud while we wait for that day to come, but we're being well fed! It could be worse.

Grandpa comes every weekend with his little white tractor, moving manure hither and thither, moving gravel hither and thither, moving dirt hither and thither. FarmWife says she could get used to having all her chores done by machine! 

This weekend, FarmWife is going to share a vegan spring roll recipe here on my blog as part of the annual Virtual Vegan Potluck. Check it out! It is going to be AWESOME. In exchange for letting her borrow my blog for the purpose, I've pulled from her a promise to help me blog more often, myself. I'm bursting with ideas, but until someone invents a hoof-sensitive touchpad I'm going to need her continued transcription services! 

We have three more family members—Lily, Tippy, and Marion, the rats—and I'm due to report on Missy, who enjoying her golden years in the paddock beside my own. 

Life is good—hay is sweet—time for me to go and eat! 

Brayfully yours, 

Fenway Bartholomule

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Woodland discoveries

Well, we've determined that what we initially took to be the nests of nice little hobbitses are actually the nests of some even nicer neighbors—the white tailed deer! These majestic ungulates help around the house by keeping the Japanese maple trimmed back, fertilizing the lawn with their little raisinettes, and removing the bark from tiresome imported ginko trees and ornamental maples lest the plant life grow up and threaten the view. I retract all earlier criticism, which was based on incorrect assumptions and my natural predisposition toward fits of unchecked terror.

Based on this information and the mulling over of things that naturally occurs during the settling in time at any new home, we've decided that Bag End is not the best name for our new home. In a change of direction, but one no less literary, we've come to the decision to call this place Mossflower Wood, with Casa de Bartholomule-Teaspoon being the 1/2 acre therein that is currently fenced.

FarmWife loves these dear deer. She really thinks they're grand. In fact, she enjoys them so much that she dreams of opening a deer rehabilitation center here in Greenbank for the treatment of orphans and accident victims! (Those of you who are my friends on Facebook will recall that FarmWife and her father and children went on a daring ride to the nearest available wildlife rescue center earlier this summer, about 3 hours away, with an injured fawn. 'Twas then this dream was born.)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

First day, new home!

Casa de Bartholomule-Teaspoon is officially OCCUPIED! Welcome home, me!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Somewhere over yonder

This is FarmWife's view from her new bed, before lifting her head from the pillow. 

Usually there is a dog face or two blocking her line of sight, but never mind that. The dogs will move when asked to. 

There, over yonder, where the young green alders grow, there shall be constructed by FarmHusband a shed of the most glorious design. Its Dutch doors shall look out upon these French doors, providing the most beneficial intercultural collaboration of portal design known to man or mule. Without lifting her head from her pillow, FarmWife shall look upon my splendor and glory and know that I am hungry for breakfast. She will see, because of the way I stare with goggly eyes in the direction of her bedchamber. 

Behind the shed, through the woods, a swath of clear space shall be made to let me meander up the hill and into the glory of the upper pasture, that being at present a series of clearings which need only weed whacking and fencing in order to be made ready for my arrival. They are roughly situated behind the glowy, sunlit bit of forest in this photo. 

It will be perfect. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gruncle Rick and the Red Coat

You may recall that my Granny Joan and her partner Rick bought Missy a nice new coat to help deflect the cooling seaside breezes at Moonstone Farm. Here's the coat being worn during the celebratory last head butt of the day, with Gruncle Rick*, our own personal St. Francis figure!

And here's the coat being worn with dignity and grace, as it deserves. 

*Gruncle because he is all the goodness of a Grandpa and an Uncle in one.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 44 of my vacation

Day 44 of island living, and still no umbrella in my drink! 

Maybe I'll get one next week, when we move to Greenbank? 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I love my Granny

Most mothers will take you in when you need a place to stay.

Great mothers will also take your animals in when they need a place to stay.

Phenomenal, transcendent mothers will take you, your husband, your daughters, your mules, your dogs, your cats, your rabbits, and your goat in when you all need a place to stay—and then buy your goat a snappy outfit.

It's great having the whole family together again now that our humans have joined us at Granny's farm! You may recall that we beasts of hoof and claw came here over a month ago, and the humans went on a series of housesitting adventures.

We get one week together here in Oak Harbor, then close on the house we're buying. Maybe we can name it Fenway Farm?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fenway Bartholomule, National Treasure

Just so you know, my safety is being taken very seriously at my new temporary home in Oak Harbor, Washington! In fact, I am such a national treasure that the U.S. Navy has deployed fighter jets to keep me safe! The runway is about a half mile from my paddock. They fly about overhead most days, patrolling for signs of mulenappers or ne'er-do-wells.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Last nap in Wickersham

Before we came to Whidbey Island, FarmWife caught us having one last nap in our Wickersham paddock. As you can see, Arrietty was more interested in showing off for the camera than I was! That's OK . . . I know I'm beautiful in repose, and I don't have to jump up and gesticulate to prove it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day10 of my vacation

Well, FarmWife visited this weekend with happy news: we may be into our new home, together at last, in as little as four weeks! In the meantime, I am being lovingly tended by my Uncle Rick, who brings me delectable edibles thrice daily and fills my chalice with fresh cool well water each morning. Missy, being elderly, has a thick straw bed and a new pair of red pajamas from Granny Joan for nighttime use. Being newly arrived on this splendiferous island, we are not yet used to the chill sea breezes.

Bent Barrow Farm is now in the loving care of new owners, while our former neighbors are left with the promise of new friendships and the memory of my angel voice ringing through the valley.

FarmWife reports that we are buying four acres with a house and a promising spot for my future barn. Our neighbors will include two miniature donkeys and a miniature horse.

All's well!

Signing out from Whidbey Island,

Fenway Bartholomule

My final frolic at Bent Barrow Farm, last week. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Adventure awaits!

I, Fenway Bartholomule, am about to undertake a genuine, certified, 100% pure grade A adventure! It begins on June 20. I will tell you everything, as it unfolds!

I don't want to jinx our current developments by boasting in too much detail, but let me just say this: we are abandoning Bent Barrow Farm for the promise of an island life! Our new home, on 4 acres, is beautiful. Our old home, this beloved green acre, will be fondly and forever remembered . . . and will be in very good hands.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Some updates for my friends and loved ones

First, let me say that I've heard from New England and other corners of the world that there are fans of the Muleness who worry what will happen to the many animals of Bent Barrow Farm during our transition. Fear not! We are all going to Coupeville together, even if it means we have to caravan. (Human Granny Joan . . . your trailer is being requisitioned. Fair warning.)

There has been a transition in our family: Kevin, the darling and adored Chief Cockatiel of Bent Barrow Farm, has moved to Sumas to live with a family where he gets more love, more attention, more time, more energy, and more lovin' (from two cockatiel wives)! He was simply too lonely being here in our home while the humans were away.

I am selling all of my things, but it's for a good cause: since I am a Pasture Sound Mule, an esteemed status to be sure, I can do without the accoutrements of a sporting life! The proceeds from the sale of my things will go toward transitional boarding costs, should they arise. An ideal solution would be a farm on the outskirts of Coupeville, with room for all, but I am willing to live in a hired facility for some time if the need arises. FarmWife says she will ALWAYS be mine, whether we live together or apart.

Arrietty is coming. Russell Wilson is coming. Missy, should she live to see the day, is coming.* Beyonce and Harriet are coming. Clover is coming. Townes and Desmond are coming.≠ The humans are coming. Like pioneers, we shall journey forth together and, together, seize the best of what the future has to offer.

* Missy is getting pretty darned old. Her arthritis has become nearly debilitating, bute and all, but as long as she eats well and indulges in the occasional frolic, FarmWife feels she values life. Time will tell.

≠Townes has succumbed to the terrors of Urinary Crystals, which basically means that he pees rocks and is in something ranging from mild to extreme discomfort at all times. The humans are doing their best to help their housetiger along through these travails. Prescription diets and pain meds are the name of the game. Litterbox aversion has become a primary issue, and his indoor-only-on-account-of-the-songbirds life has been shifted to mostly-outdoors-on-account-of-the-stench life. Also, the vet feels he'll be better hydrated outdoors. Your wisdom on this difficult topic, should you choose to share it, is welcome.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I'm moving to the big city!

FarmWife tells me we're moving to Coupeville, Washington. It's a big city by my standards. 400 kids in the elementary school!

FarmWife and the humans are busy as all get-out getting this beautiful, highly-desirable little farm ready to list. (If ever you wanted a starter farm in the country, by golly, this is your chance!)

I've caught the adventuring bug, and have been exploiting FarmWife's distracted condition by leaning on fences, testing boundaries, and overleaping small barriers. She is torn: make expensive improvements to the fencing, when other projects appear to take priority, or lock me in my sacrifice paddock until we sell and go? I feel I walk a dangerous line, but the green grass of spring compels me not to take heed.

Until I am barred from it, the sweet grass will be my solace.


Coupeville, Washington (photographed by FarmWife during her commute)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, Spa Day

We started today with a bit of mule beautification, thanks to FarmWife. "Arrietty is such a good little girl," she thought. "Arrietty doesn't need to be tied up for grooming," she thought. "Arrietty wouldn't dare role in the middle of such an enjoyable routine," she thought. 

Here is me, Fenway Bartholomule, Before, During, and After my beautification: 

And here's Arrietty before, during, and after her beautification: 

Happy new year! Roll in peace and health, my friends!