Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bread in a Jar

As I have mentioned before, in order to stay within our grocery budget and make sure everything we eat is organic, we often buy in bulk. Currently, this means that I place an order with Hillcrest Foods and then pick it up from the driver in the parking lot of Our Daily Bread, a local bakery and restaurant.

This is fantastic. The flour is double bagged in a paper bag of 50 lbs. I can recycle the paper. When I get the flour home, I used to put the flour into half gallon mason jars for storage. This last time though, I got lazy and we ended up with a big bag of flour rolled closed on the floor of our kitchen. Easily accessible but not very functional as every time I needed to get into a bottom drawer cabinet, I had to move the bag.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Snow in April!

Yesterday, during a rather warm, sunny morning, I hung laundry on the clothes line (just as I have been doing every morning). Alas, as soon as I finished, it started to sprinkle. Then it started raining in earnest. A check of showed that it shouldn't be raining - sorry, wrong again - so I left the laundry out in hopes that this too would pass. It didn't and I didn't go get it.

Last night we got about an inch of snow. The kids were, of course, thrilled. My oldest even tried to use the sled this morning but quickly gave up and came inside as he was cold. Who can blame him? We have had 60 to 70 degree weather for almost two weeks. To wake up this morning to snow is definitely a good reminder that it is still spring, still April and anything is possible.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Once Upon a Flock

I read a lot of great reviews for Once Upon a Flock by Lauren Scheuer and decided that I had to read it. I have been waiting for months on the list and last week it arrived. It took me over a week to get down to the library to pick it up. In fact, I had 24 books waiting for me, much to my husband's dismay. I believe his words were "you can't take just two books out like a normal person, can you?" In my defense, I only make a trip every other week and I am on the wait list for a number of new releases. Plus, it's spring and websites and blogs are reviewing books like crazy. With all the great reviews, I have to check the book out to, right? Right?? Ok, I admit, my name is Elizabeth and I am addicted to books. I digress.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014 Homesteading Update One

Last week I shared all my homesteading goals for this year and this week, I thought I would share a few updates on my list.

Expand my weedless garden beds.
While I haven't expanded yet, we installed the new support system in three of the existing beds. Last week we planted peas in these beds (after soaking them in water overnight) and knew that they would need something to climb. I am planning no putting similar supports up in the new beds for the tomatoes. This way, we can easily plant peas or beans or whatever crops we rotate in the beds each year.

Grow corn for our chickens this winter.
Learn to forage and use forage items.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Homemade Pizza

How often can you say that you made a meal from scratch? We do all the time. One of the things we eat a lot of is pizza. I can't help it, I could eat pizza six times a week. I used to think that once I grew up, I wouldn't love pizza as much as I do but it hasn't happened yet. So I am either a big kid who does all kinds of grown up things like file taxes and think about life insurance or grown ups love pizza just as much as kids do and lie about it because as a parent you want your kids to eat a variety of foods.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sheepish by Catherine Friend

Last week I finished Hit By A Farm and quickly dived into Sheepish by Catherine Friend. I know that I mentioned that I had taken a free mini-class on Craftsy called Know Your Wool and loved it. (For those of you who want the condensed version: wool is very cool with a lot of different types.) Thee course offered so much information on wool. I don't knit or do anything with wool presently so a lot of the information flew out of my head pretty quickly. I do however crochet and after reading Sheepish, I am determined to make some fantastic Christmas presents this year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 Homesteading Goals

I rarely make a New Year's resolution. This could be because I haven't seen the ball drop in the last decade and while it is the start of a new calendar year, it really doesn't affect my life. I do however make gardening goals right before spring starts. I make small goals for harvesting. I make goals all winter long and keep a little notebook specifically for jotting down improvements and ideas that require further research. Despite Old Man Winter's desperate hold on us, I am dreaming of spring.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peanut Butter Honey Bread

Lately it is still too cold to go outside, except to give the chickens water and check for eggs. So we have been baking a lot. On one of the blog hop sites that I often visit, I found an intriguing recipe for Peanut Butter Bread. I hadn't gotten around to making it yet but then today, I started cleaning out some of my clothes and suddenly it was 11 am. What did I want to make for lunch? I was thinking about bread because I haven't made any this week and I remembered the Peanut Butter Bread. To be honest, my son has been obsessed with peanut butter and honey sandwiches. If I have made bread, he tried to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dessert. So as I thought about my lunch options,I thought: Hey! If I make this bread I can just give it to him, no sandwich making required! I know, lazy mummy but some days, that's just how we roll.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend

I read the first chapter of Hit by a Farm a few years back but never got around to reading it.When I recently stumbled across the author's book Sheepish, I promptly put them both on my wishlist at PBS and Amazon. I got neither for any of the holidays over the last six months and forgot about them.

Then I was introduced to Craftsy, who has some amazing free mini-classes. Perfect for those of us who like to learn but also have limited funds. On Craftsy I found the Know Your Wool free class. (For those of you who want the condensed version: wool is very cool with a lot of different types.) The class was very informative and sparked my interest in wool and sheep. And I came back to Catherine Friend's books. I decided they were going to take a priority on my reading list.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

For those of you who are looking for mouth water recipes, you should visit The Smitten Kitchen. If her recipes don't make you wish you had all day free just to bake then her photographs and beautiful prose will make you wish you were friends who frequented her kitchen.

Recently she posted a recipe for Double Chocolate Banana Bread and I read her post longingly. The next day my mother drop off two overripe bananas. Can you say fate? This morning I looked the recipe right up. I planned to make it with the kids for their afternoon snack. Then suddenly the sky grew dark and it was bedtime, my favorite... I mean the quietest time of day. While my incredibly awesome husband tucked the kids into bed with stories, I whipped up the recipe.