Raising Jane Journal

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

Look at the variety of color in this week's box! Red, yellow, green, white. We are really hitting the summer produce now. Look at that garlic, basil and tomato this week. 
In this week's box:
White bunching onions

My favorite this week. Oh, so much to choose from, but I would have to say that if I had to pick one it would be the purslane. I've been wanting to try this for years and was very excited to see it in my box.  I'm thinking a simple lamb chop topped with purslane sounds really good.
On the farm this week things were quiet. Coming from such a large crew last week, there were only two of us this week, but never a shortage of work. As usual, there was weeding to do, but I didn't mind since the weeding was in the basil beds. I just love the smell of fresh herbs. It was also time to put in some of the fall plants. Rows of lettuce, onions and turnips. I find it interesting the way things are planted on the farm versus my backyard raised bed garden. Functional for it's purpose and yet so different. The rows are planted and measured by the flats and offset to the row next to it. Planting goes pretty fast, but I must say that I lack really good speed at this and so much of my day was spent planting. The flats were first soaked in a tray of fish fertilized water, so they started out with a good soaking and feeding. Need to use that trick at home. It was great to work right next to the chickens, I just love the sound of chickens in the morning. It was a nice morning to work quietly, we have finally been getting some decent rain and so the ground was nice and soft, but the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the 90's, which this summer actual is beginning to feel quite cool. Until next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

In this week's box:
Salad Turnips
Swiss Chard

This week's favorite has to be the cucumbers. My daughter loves her cucumbers and it is so hard to wait until they make their appearance in July. The timing for the carrots and onions was perfect and I was very excited to see their appearance in the box since I had picked up a chicken the week before and was ready for roasting.
Using this amazing recipe as a base, I added the onions and an orange to the cavity and then sprinkled with oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. I chose not to add any liquid to the pan and this had to be one of the most flavorful chickens I have ever had. The skin had that perfect crispness that just melts in your mouth and the meat was moist and tender. 
Some of the carrots and the rest of the onions were then used to make a nice rich stock.
It was an exciting week on the farm this week as we had a full crew. There are usually only two to three of us out in the fields on a given week, but this week we totaled six. With all those extra hands we were able to accomplish so much more and so I had the wonderful opportunity to do some planting this week. The celery, winter squash and melon transplants were ready for planting and so in efficient assembly line fashion we placed and planted several rows of new produce. I then got my real work out pulling the row covers off of the summer squash and placing them over the new crops. This allows the new transplants time to grow without the distraction of bugs and mildews in the air. Then back to weeding in the cabbage and potato beds.  It was a very busy day filled with mud from the much needed rain the night before and there was not much opportunity for pictures in the field this week. One speedy toad refused to have his picture taken so I decided to share a picture of the potato plants this week.
There is something about the shape of the leaves that I found rather beautiful, although this picture does not do them justice.
Some recipes I would like to try this week are this carrot top pesto and this fresh fennel salad.

This post can also be found at Fresh Foods Wednesday.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

In this week's box:

Red Bunching Onions
Summer Squash
Nero Tondo Radishes

My favorite in this week's box has to be a toss up between the kale and beets. They are both just so flavorful, but I am excited to try this new spicy radish. The greens on these radishes are supposed to be pretty tasty.
The last few week's on the farm have been a variation on a theme, weed & harvest. Last week it was weeding the tomatoes for caging. To change things up I got to learn how to harvest swiss chard. It actually takes a bit of getting use to. As we harvest and bunch they are set aside in the shade of the other plants to be boxed at the end of the day. The bunches will actually begin to shrink right away and need to be soaked to clean them and perk them up before setting in the cooler for the next day's market.
Today upon arrival I learned my new tidbit of the week. When seeding a new bed, there is a small window of time between the fast germinating weeds and the germination of the seed that was planted when you can go in and torch the weeds without hurting the newly planted seeds in an effort at weed control. We spent the day fully in the Swiss Chard beds. "Harweeding". Yes, weeding and harvesting as we went along.
This little nest was found among the rows of chard. What an interesting place to build a nest. 
After weeks of nice weather on Saturday mornings, I finally caught my first hot one. At 8am it was already 88 degrees and humid. We took more frequent breaks and hit the shade for a bit. 
The Ruby Red Chard was going to seed and interestingly enough, it actually has a really wonderful smell. Similar to honeysuckle. It was a nice treat to work in.
I also found today that I have a fellow blogger on the farm who posts recipes from our box, so if you have been looking for some ways to use your CSA produce you can take a peak here, In other farm news, I brought home a nice free-range chicken to roast this week and get some stock going. It's been so long since I've done this and I'm looking forward to I good solid stock to add some flavor to all our produce. I've also taken the plunge and ordered our Thanksgiving dinner. In full mode of working for my food this year I will have an amazing opportunity to help with processing in exchange for my turkey. I am both excited and terrified but look forward to really knowing my food. 
This post can also be found at Fresh Food Wednesdays.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

You can tell that summer is underway in this weeks CSA share. While there are still plenty of greens, it is beginning to get a little more colorful. In this weeks box:
Red lettuce
Salad turnips
swiss chard
garlic scapes

My favorite of the week is arugula. It is extremely versatile. Going from steamed greens to salad addition. I love the peppery flavor.  I was also extremely excited for the bountiful harvest of garlic scapes this week. Such a rare treat. I think I finally have enough to try these recipes I've been wanting to try for quite some time.

I have finally fallen into a steady rhythm on the farm. The weather has been holding pretty steady thus far. I am still waiting for that scorching heat or raining day work. My body is also adjusting to the work. I no longer feel sore after four hours in the fields. Weeding seems to take up much of the time along with some harvesting each week. This weeks harvest was the beets and turnips. It was a nice change. Much of the packaging is done right on the spot in the field. Picking, cleaning, bunching and packaging is mostly done as you go. I am also enjoying the company of the other worksharers and am really getting to know some amazing people.

Back in the kitchen I have finally reached that point where we are bringing in more than we can  possibly eat in a week, which was my goal. My preservation method of choice has been the dehydrator and it has been running full force this past week. This year will be our first year putting food away for winter use and I am both excited and daunted at the task. I'm sure there will be much trail and error.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


It has been awhile since I've had the time to hit the local thrift stores, and so in a much needed moment of thrifting, I headed out the door last week in search of good find. The funny thing about me is that I tend to thrift for similar items. My collection of ice cream makers, yogurt makers, and pasta makers could make a person laugh. Okay, it's not that bad but it's pretty close. My latest craze is pots and pans. I actually was in need of a set last fall and found a great copper bottom set for $12 at a yard sale. But I was struggling with sizing issues. When I found these beauties I couldn't resist. All told $22 for the set. I little higher that I usually spend. Taking one look at them and I knew I had hit the jackpot. The sizing is perfect for my needs, and with handles like those I can go from stove top to oven. Yeah! (My ceramic stove top was not fairing to well with my cast iron pans). When I brought them home, my first thought was that they just don't make them like they used to. But I have a question to pose. I don't really have a good background in what things were made from. These look almost tarnished on the inside like silverware. Can anyone tell me what these might have been made from and how to care for them?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Just had to share last night's dinner. Sauteed red & golden beets with greens and canned salmon. Absolutely delicious!

Friday, June 22, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

This week began the summer share of my CSA. For me this mean double the produce. In this weeks share:
Bagged mixed lettuce
Red lettuce
Collard greens (Yum!)
Red Onions

I have to admit that each week, when I open my box, I get so excited. The anticipation of what I will be eating this week is part of the fun of the CSA. I notice each week that there is always a favorite to choose from. This weeks favorite..Collard greens! They are so versatile. They can go from steamed greens as a side, to a wrap of the main course. They can be added to just about any dish. I also have to admit that the strawberries were a nice treat. When I looked at the strawberries several desert ideas ran through my head, but I decided the best way to serve them was as themselves, with a little whipped cream on top that is. Perfection in a bowl.

On the farm this week it was more of the same. Lots of weeding. The carrot beds this week. Things took a slightly different twist because while we weeded along we also had to thin out the thickly planted carrots. I have to say that the day was far from boring though. This week I got a history lesson. You see, back in the day, this area was covered in farm land. But like so many other areas, the farmland is disappearing at a rapid pace, being bought out by developers who build subdivisions and strip malls. It seems that the originally farmers of this land and put in place some sort of stipulation that this land was to remain farmland and so the Liberty Prairie Foundation was formed. The land is farmed by approximately 8 different farms ranging from 1 acre to 20 acres. Of these, about 5 farms make their main living from the land. What I found the most interesting is that each of these farms will not remain here. The land is used strictly for those as a start-up location , to begin there journey in farming, with the hopes that in a few years, they will have made their name and will be able to move out on their own. There is also an learning farm on the land with hands on activities for little ones through high schoolers. It is actually a pretty amazing system covering all aspects of connection the farm to the consumer. Several local bee keepers will keep their hives on the land and most of the farms keep chickens. So along with the produce, I can pick up my eggs and honey here. As we finished up the day, we headed over to weed out the cauliflower & brussels sprouts. I never knew that as the cauliflower head starts to really get going that it needs to be shaded, and so we snapped the larger leaves over to make a sort of tent of protection as they continue to grow. While the day was fairly humid, it was an overcast day and we watched as a huge storm cloud make it's way in our direction. Unfotunately for this farm land, which was in need of a good rain, the storm headed slightly north. Until next week.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm Thursday

Well, this week ends the spring share of the CSA. The produce is beginning to change as the weather warms up. In this weeks box:
Red and green lettuce
Baby beets and greens
Napa cabbage
red and green kohlrabi
garlic scapes

I look forward to that rare treat every year when the garlic scapes come in. It's like a Christmas in June. The Napa cabbage made for great salad wraps last night and I am excited for that first small taste of roasted beets. There is nothing better (except for maybe sweet potatoes in the fall). The wonderful thing about local foods is that it is every changing through the seasons and I look forward to something new each week. I have to be honest, I was really stuck on the fennel bulb from last week until I came across this fresh fennel salad recipe. I have not had the opportunity to try it yet, but the simplicity of it is perfect.

On the farm this week it was all about washing and weeding. I began my day in the washing station. In a covered shady area a stood at the big wash tub filled with mixed salad greens. It is amazing how much work is actually done right in the fields as it is being harvested. It comes in pretty clean and only needs a quick wash to pick out the few stray weeds and crisp it up a bit before packaging. An old clothes dryer stands by for a quick spin dry and then straight to weighing and bagging and it's ready for market the next day. Then off to the fields for a day full of weeding. We hit the lettuce and chive beds. The rest of the day was just pulling weeds along the beds to make harvesting easy. Even with the temperatures hitting close to 90, it is amazing that being out in the open, the breeze really takes care of being uncomfortable.

As I worked away at the weeds, I started to realize a few things. The sound of birds and breeze filled my ears and not that of any machinery. The farm I work on is part of a group of farms that covers a decent quantity of land and here we were hand picking weeds. The weeds are left in the fields to be tilled back into the soil. The next thing I noticed was the large quantity of ladybugs, big and small. Organic pest control at it's best.

There are usually just a few of us working away at a time, but it is extremely efficient. You notice rather quickly what is a weed and what is not and then you just fall into a rhythm and move along pretty quickly. I noticed that last week during harvesting. You just know what to do and move along at a steady pace.

When I stop to compare it to my back yard garden, all neat and boxed and weeded, I have to notice that real food production is not about how it looks in the field so much as how it looks and tastes on your plate. There is a lot of work involved, but I think it's more about the system that allows it to all come together.

After about three hours I have a tendency to start to feel the work, but I think after a time I will get used to it. It's my favorite workout of the week.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

I love the sight of all those greens! Every week when my CSA box arrives, I plan on posting a picture and a list of the goodies that come inside and yet I have not had the time to stop and post. The unique thing about my CSA this year is the fact that I am receiving it by workshare. So this past Saturday I spent four hours down on the farm working the fields. Again, planning to post my activities, but time got away from me. So here goes. I think it's time to make Thursday's "In the Box and On the Farm" day. I will dedicate one day each week to all the activities involved in my CSA. So this week....
Red and Green Lettuce
Bagged mixed lettuce
Bagged spinach
Rainbow swiss chard
Salad Turnips (I love these!)
Green onions

Saturday morning I woke up to beautiful weather. The sun shining and the temps. in the 70's. I could not have asked for better weather to start my first day working on the farm. I headed off to the farm to start work at 8am. Each week will be filled with different duties as needed, so on this day it was work in the fields. It was interesting to learn that the farmland there is actually split into several different small farms. With spring coming to a close, it was time to harvest the spring greens. We tackled the spinach beds first, Cutting along the ground line allows each individual leaf to be ready for washing and packaging. Then off to harvest the salad greens for bagging. Again, cutting along the ground line allows for a quick wash and bag. The nice thing about the salad beds was that cutting them this way will allow the plant to send up one more batch of lettuce for cutting. And to think all this time I just picked individual leaves. Then off to the radishes. Unfortunately, radishes are pretty touchy, and so most of them had already bolted. No more radishes in my CSA box to fall. I quick break and a shady spot for the harvested crops and then it was off to the hoop houses. There we harvested the full heads of lettuce. With a full truck load of produce we headed back to the farm to the washing station where we dropped everything to be washed. My field work was done and it was time to head on out. While I know that in the middle of summer when the sun is pounding or in the middle of a rainy day this may not prove to be so enjoyable, I did actually relish this time. There is nothing like the sound of birds and breeze. Working in the fresh air, listening to the nearby chickens and great conversation with like minded individuals was just what this momma needed. Learning the aspects of what it takes to run a farm is also rather interesting. Even though I only keep a small backyard garden, I'm sure some of the tips will carry over. It also made opening my CSA box this week all the more meaningful. When I opened my box I saw things that I had worked to harvest.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Warm Weather Days

Warm weather has finally arrived here and the plants are all in full bloom. I've actually been taking pictures of the sage in the front for the past week in the hopes of posting my story with sage, but life is full these days and I just can't seem to find as much computer time as I would like. Ah well, I'm enjoying the time outdoors. That sage is three years old now and this will be it's first year in bloom. The first year I picked it up as a little plant at my local farmers market. Right before the frost hit that year I chopped the whole thing down to the root. Who knew it was not an annual. It was fun though to dry all the leaves and have a cupboard full of sage. I have to admit here that as much as I dream of producing all my own fruits and veggies and herbs, I don't exactly have a green thumb. So imagine my suprise the following summer when new leaves appeared at the base of the plant. Lesson learned! So this past fall I just let it go and was amazed out quickly it moved into action this spring. Yet again I was very surprised to see the flower buds appearing a few weeks ago. While I am aware that you need to pick your herbs before they flower, I decided to just let it go this year. She is such a beauty in the yard right now. I sometimes thing I should do some reading up on sage, but it has actually been kind of fun just finding things out about this plant as I go along.

And my beauties. Planted right out along the front of the house. In full bloom right now, the smell is absolutely amazing. I can smell them as a come up the drive.

Moses here is almost 6 months now and had decided he's an outdoor cat. I don't mind though. He stays in the yard and keeps me company while I take care of the outside work. He has such a personality I can't help but laugh at him most days.
I'm finally settling in to my roll as single, working, homeschooling mom managing an auto-immune disease. It has it's ups and downs but I think we are doing fairly well. I posted about the new CSA season over here and look forward to what the season has to offer. I hope to start posting regularly now that we are settling into our new lives at home.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Last Few Days

Twice a month my local library holds "Knitter's Night". I don't always make it, but I try to get there as much as possible. I've been teaching my neighbor to crochet and she has been working diligently to just get the stitches down. So on Tuesday night, we both headed on over to the library. The project above got stitched up and made into a pretty bag to carry her supplies in. The edges are uneven so the bag was a perfect idea. I am so proud of her first project. Now for the handle.

In other news, this little (or not so little) guy had decided to build his home in the bush out in front of where I work. Everyday as I come in and out, I find him wondering around the yard. Yesterday, he decided to have his lunch right outside of the front door. It was pretty cute to watch him munching on dandelion flowers. It's pretty nice when the office building backs up to a forest and is across the street from a farm field.

Well another semester at the local college is over. I spent the rest of the day finalizing papers. It will be nice to have a break for a few weeks until the summer semester starts. Now off to the garden to get the sorely neglected garden beds ready for planting next week.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Excitement is in the air

So many things have been going on the past few months, that there has been barely time to post here. Over the next few days things will be winding down. The spring semester at school will finish up next week and my participation in the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge will end on Monday. I still have many other projects on my plate, but it seems that we may finally be finding our rhythm here at home. With that done, we have many things to be excited about these days. This package arrived on Thursday. Of course we had to dive in right away and look through every single book in this box. Next years homeschool package. It will be her first official year at home and she can't wait to dive in.

After looking through everything, she begged to be able to read one book. What's a mom to do. I let her, and she ended up awake until 2am trying to finish the book. She didn't quite make it. That's okay, we have a whole year ahead of us.

She also found this little guy at dad's new place and has become very attached to taking care of him. I never new that toads "chirped" until I met this little guy. It's has been fun seen the excitement of learning come back to her since she's been home.
My older daughter loves school and so we have set about getting her registered and ready to move on to junior high next year. They have such opposite personalities.
I hope to be back and blogging regularly here. I've missed sharing our adventures.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring is Here!

"The flowers of the apple are perhaps the most beautiful of any tree so copious and so delicious to both sight and scent." - Henry David Thoreau

This blog has been left idle with so many projects going on these days, but as I was walking through the yard today I couldn't help but smile. My favorite part of spring is seen the crab apple in bloom. So I had to share the view.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


After last week's snow you would be amazed to know that the temperature here today reached 65 degrees. In the window my orchid is blooming and it feels like spring is in the air. I love the way this orchid comes back every year at this time and blooms for a few months before it quiets down again until next year. It is something I look forward to every year. Amazingly I got lazy last year and did not cut down the dead flower stalk and low and behold the tip of that stalk bloomed this year along with the new one.
In other news. I found this pair of binoculars in the local thrift store recently and picked them up. Perfect for spring time bird watching. With my daughter homeschooling this year we are considering adding Project FeederWatch to our list this spring. They have been getting a lot of use in the last few days with the warm and sunny days.
I also found these beautiful hot pads. I was drawn to the design and had to pick them up. Does anyone know what this pattern is? I would love to replicate these but I'm not sure how these were even created. In any case, these will be getting a lot of love and use around here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Time for a Break

It started about an hour ago. They are calling for about 8 inches by 9pm. The kids are off to friends for the night. Now at only 4:30 in the afternoon I sit alone. Total silence. I am not sure what to do with myself. Oh sure, I have plenty I could be doing. But there is something about the silence and the snow falling outside that makes me want to toss the to do list out the window. So with several hours of freedom I am thinking it might be time to curl up with a good book.
These two are new to my shelves. One came in from Paper Back Swap and the other was an amazing find from the local thrift store. Yes, I think it's a good night for reading.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Little Farmgirl

We are slowly finding our groove in our homeschooling day, and things are going amazingly well. One thing I felt was missing in our day was hands on work.  As a farmgirl sister over at Mary Janes Farm, we have been slowly working on the young cultivators certificates. So why not make it an official part of our homeschool day. So today I put together a simple folder.
The eight tabs break down the 7 sections of certificates that she can choose from, and the 8th tab displays the certificates she has already earned. This will give her a visual aid on what she would like to work on that day. As we work our way through we date our completed work.  I feel good that she is learning good old-fashioned "farmgirl" skills.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Natural Skin Care Development

I am one of those people always on the search for a better way to take care of my family. Usually, I come across a tidbit here and there that I can incorporate into our own system, but recently I found this company, and something about them just hit home. I decided as a Christmas present to myself to sign-up for one of their courses. Have you every had that moment where you read something and said, "That's exactly how I feel?". That is why I would like to share with you that now through Valentine's Day they are giving away one copy of their brand new Natural Skin Care Development course. Just head over to this site and leave a comment for your chance to win. If you have ever been interested in creating all your own natural skin care products, I would encourage you to check them out. Good Luck.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some Days You Just Have to Laugh

Life is never dull, that is for sure. I spent this evening sitting at our local middle school, getting my oldest daughter prepared to start 7th grade in the fall. A year filled with switching rooms for classes. Extra activities that you have to try out for, gym uniforms and on it goes. She is so excited, and I am excited for her. My social butterfly will be coming into her own. At the same time we withdrew our youngest daughter from elementary school yesterday to bring her home to homeschool. Two different children with two different lives.  It's on days like this that I just have to laugh at how interesting life can be. So the journey begins for both of them, each on their own path. I wonder what the coming days will bring.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cat or Dog?

I just had to share this quick picture of the dog sleeping in the kitten's bed. Does he really think he can fit?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Meet the Family

I thought it might be time to introduce you to my four legged crew. We are a family of animal lovers, and we have had many come and go through our doors over the years. All though we cannot have "farm" animals where we live it is still nice to have company.
This is Heidi our Doberman and Blazer our Rotwieler/Shepard mix. They are both 5 years old. We have raised Heidi from a baby, but Blazer just came to us in the fall when our old dog passed away and we were worried about Heidi being along. The following week we found that Blazer was looking for a new home. It's been a perfect fit. They are both the biggest babies.
This is Kee-Kee. He is about 15 now. We found him roaming our neighborhood as a baby with no mom. He was named from the children who spent days chasing him. I finally was able to catch him and the name stuck. He is pretty skittish around people but loves most dogs.
Next in line is Oreo. This cutie came to us from my neice. She needed to find a home for her when she got some new pets.

And last but not least, this is Moses. Our newest little baby. My littlest has been with this one since he was two days old. He was the only survivor of his litter. I just couldn't let grandma give him to anybody else. He is now the responsibility of my 8 year old. I think it will be good for her. Most of our original pets were grown when my babies came along. I am a firm believer that all children who can have pets, should have pets. It was nice for them to have the opportunity to have one puppy and now one kitten to raise as there own. Not to mention the joy having animals around brings to everyone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time for Tea

I must say that things are still in full swing around here. I have not had much time for posting, but I did want to stop and share this picture of the wonderful package I received last week. I recently participated in a tea cup swap. This package came in the mail last week and the timing could not have been better. With the whirlwind of activity going on at home, what I nice way to be able to relax and enjoy a break with a cup of tea.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What a Week

I can't believe it's been a week since I've been here. What a week it has been. The little one spent the first part of the week sick and when I finally got her back to school the older one decide to fall on her elbow. X-rays showed that everything is okay, but she is in so much pain. In other news, I have spent time this week starting a new semester at the local college while finishing up a year long online program. Needless to say it has been absolutely crazy hear.
In between all the activity, I made these. Have you every started out with an idea in your head and come up with something completely off track that you were tempted to just toss it all. Well that was almost happened to these. In an attempt to recreate my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to sourdough, I ended up with something I wasn't expecting. I debated on tossing it but then decided to wing it and see what would happen. In the end we did a taste test, was it a cookie or a biscuit? It is a hybrid. 6 dozen were gone in two day. Huge success, but probably not worth the hassle of making. It was fun to play around in the kitchen though.
As if there was not enough excitement this week, a also received this package in the mail. My plate is pretty full but this course was just to good to pass up. I am taking the Family Herbalist Course from Vintage Remedies. It has always been an interest of mine to learn more about herbal and natural remedies. I have been working my granny a day through it all and hope to post some more pictures soon. I also received my tea cup from the tea cup exchange today.
This also came today. I have wonderful neighbors. They no longer needed this desk and I was in need of one to build my home office. It will be a perfect fit. All in all, it's been an exhausting but wonderful week.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Very Productive Day

It 's been  a very busy weekend here. My oldest turned 12 this week and so this weekend was filled with 14 girls do what girls that age do and celebrating the last birthday before the teen years set in.  I hid myself away to work on connecting my granny-a-day squares. Here is how it is progressing so far...
Originally I was going to wait and get a good stack of assorted colors going before I started connecting, but I decided to connect as I go instead. I really would like this project to take on a life of it's own and see what the outcome will be.
In other news, I decided it was about time to try out the buttermilk sourdough this morning with some chocolate chip cookies. Again, huge success.
1 cup sourdough
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/4 cup white spelt flour
1 1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients together. Drop by tablespoonful on to parchment paper covered cookie trays. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. These make a nice soft cookie. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.
Now my cookie jar is full. Something that has been missing from my kitchen for a while.
I also made up a huge batch of laundry detergent. Something I have been wanting to experiment with for a while. It felt good to be working my arms grating the soap. It reminded me how much we rely on convenience items that not so long ago were not available.
All in all I felt it was a very productive day. I hope your day was just as satisfying.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finding a new home

A few days ago, I whipped up these very quick and easy friendship sourdough biscuits for breakfast. My sourdough jar has taken to overflowing lately and I was trying to use up some of the starter. These were a huge success. As much as I have tried to contain my very happy starter, it is still in overflow mode in my half gallon canning jar and so today...
It has moved into it's new home. I had picked up the bean crock at a yard sale for a few dollars a while back with the intent to use it for my sourdough starter. I think this will make a perfect roomy new home. As you can see from the picture it is very active. I have been so busy with this guy that I have been neglecting my other starters, so today I took them out and gave them a good feeding. I see major baking projects in my near future.

Surviving Off Off-Grid

If you are looking for a good read for the weekend, Surviving Off Off-Grid is currently available at Amazon for $0.99 on kindle. I'm not sure how long this will last so if you are interested in this I'd head over soon. I have heard so many wonderful things about this book. I can't wait to start reading it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Settling In

Well I have spent the last week doing some self check to make sure that all of the things on my plate are serving me. It been a refreshing week of weeding out some old items and ideas and planning some new projects. I have a lot to look forward to in the next few months but for now I am settling in to my days. The friendship starter is really going strong. I feed it every fifth day with 1 cup of milk, sugar and spelt flour. It is bubbling like crazy these days and is getting a lot of use. Today we made a batch of friendship cornbread....
It smells absolutely amazing. What I like about the friendship starter is that the recipes require no additional sugar. In other news I will be shipping out this special package tomorrow...
I joined a tea cup exchange this month and have spent the last few weeks searching through thrift shops for the perfect combination. I fell in love with this design and I hope the recipient will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed searching for it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Granny a Day Update

So after much research and several failed attempts, I think I finally have this granny square thing down. Nothing like a you tube video to get you up and going. I spent the rest of the afternoon whipping up these 6 squares so that I would be caught up from the first of the year. I decided to use yarn that I had in stock. I love the colors of this yarn. Not sure I love them in a granny square. With 360 days left to go, I am going to let this one flow and see what comes of it. You never know what unexpected beauty might be on the horizon. To get in on the fun just click on the Granny a Day button in the sidebar.