Monday, December 31, 2007
So, I got some Playtex rubber gloves and tried again. This time success! It really is easy to make if you have good gloves and use enough rennet to get the curds to form. I used whey in the pizza dough and wow! is that a great addition. I'm going to make some bread with the rest of the whey.
Here is my totally handmade, local pizza before going into the oven. I was even able to grate the mozarella to put on the pizza, I don't like big chunks of cheese on pizza. Here it is cooked, it was delicious!
I'm so excited to have finally accomplished this!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Things I learned in 2007:
Changes I made in 2007 to live friendlier to the Earth:
Tomatoes - my garden
Basil - my garden
Onions - my garden
Spicy red peppers - my garden
garlic - West Grove, PA - 20 miles
Noodles - Harrisburg, PA - 110 miles
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Here is a close up of our animal area. Notice the animals are all very friendly and come right up to us. We added Logan to the farm and hope to add Mark at a future date. Maybe he will bring us a tractor?
Here is the barn my mother in law gave me for Christmas, it is the perfect addition to the farm. And we have our vegetable garden right in front of it.
Here is our wildlife area with a pond and some woodlands.
All that is missing is our orchard. I'll have to find some trees to add.
Monday, December 24, 2007
If I find the time, I'll post pictures of some of the decorations around the house.
If I don't find time, have a wonderful Christmas!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
This amaryllis has 9 flowers on it! I've never had one get so many flowers.
The hybiscus spends the summer outside and comes in for the winter. It always seems to like being in the house and will bloom all winter. It currently has 3 flowers on it.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
I've split the items up between 2 bags with one being much heavier than the other. I figured I'd carry the heavy one and Logan would carry the light one if Mark wasn't around, or if Mark was around he'd carry the heavy one, I'd carry the light one and Logan would be off the hook. The idea is we have to be prepared for some serious walking for 3 days time if an evacuation should become necessary. While natural disasters rarely occur in Delaware, I figure it can't hurt to be prepared and I feel better having the bags packed and ready to go should we need them.
Here are the things in our bags:
Water, 4 liters total
Peanut butter crackers
First aid kit
Space blankets (1 for each)
Hand crank flashlight/radio/emergency siren
Waterproof matches and lighter
Map of area, including walking trails
Now I need to get to work on amassing the 90 days of essential supplies that the CDC is recommending in case of a flu pandemic. They say to be prepared to not leave your house for 30-60 days if an outbreak occurs.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
This week we had a vegetable stir-fry.
Carrots, parsnips, green peppers - CSA, Calvert Farms, 15 miles
Brocolli - John's Farm Stand - 3 miles, frozen in September
Corn - Lockbriar Farm, frozen in August, 46 miles
Soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic powder - not local
I did eat this over rice left over from a meal earlier in the week. It wasn't local, but since it was left over from another night I don't think it should count against me ;)
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
The USDA has open comments right now through December 3 on this proposal. You can go here: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main to make your comments. The comments can be made online, it is quick and easy to do. Click on the 3rd docket from the top.
If anyone knows anything about the top one concerning dairy products I'd be interested in hearing about it.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Turkey - Locust Point Farm, 7 miles
Carrots, rutabaga, parsnip, celery - Calvert Farm CSA, 15 miles
Noodles - not local
Sweet Potato - Calvert Farm CSA
Butter - Lancaster, PA, 50 miles
Yeast - Not local
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Here they are prior to felting, you can tell they are a loose knit and pretty big, this is on purpose since felting shrinks things up.
And boy does felting shrink things up!! This was my first time felting and I over did it. The socks are now tiny! But felting is so cool, I loved watching the process.
So I learned making socks on the Knifty Knitter, pretty easy. Felting socks, maybe not the best idea. I'm now working on a purse I will felt and I'll make socks again with a thicker yarn and not felt them.
I'm loving this Knifty Knitter thing so much! I made another hat that I donated to a hat drive at my work and I have plans for a number of other projects.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
We started with butternut squash soup for lunch. The butternut and bacon were local. The onion and thyme weren't. I haven't been able to find local onions anywhere, the drought really knocked them out. This soup was glorious, even Mark who claims to not like butternut squash soup loved it!
For dinner, we had a local turkey from Locust Point Farm. We had to wait in line for over 30 minutes to pick it up. I was thrilled to see so many people eating a local turkey this year!
Everything on this plate is local. The corn was frozen back in August. The sweet potatoes were given to us by the CSA. And we already talked about the turkey. Not local is all the herbs and spices except the rosemary, which came from my backyard.
I also made whole wheat rolls using Farm mom's recipe using local Daisy flour and a local egg. The yeast and sugar were not local.
For dessert we had blackberry crisp with blackberries Logan and I picked and froze in July. The flour in the crisp was local, but the sugar and oats were not. I failed to get a picture of this, it was gone too fast!
I would put this meal at 75% local, maybe higher depending on if you do it by volume of the ingredients or just number of ingredients. We had quite a few non-local ingredients but they were all the spices, herbs and back up stuff, all used in small amounts. All the main ingredients were local.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
This week we had salad, barbeque chicken breast, and roasted winter veggies.
Salad Mix, red cabbage - CSA, Calvert Farm, 15 miles
Chicken Breast - Locust Point Farm, 7 miles
Roasted Winter Veggies - Rutabaga, Carrots, Eggplant - CSA, Calvert Farm
Herbs on veggies
Thursday, November 15, 2007
After cleaning it up some I decided to grind some wheat berries I got at the health food store. Here is the mill with some wheat berries in it and some that have been ground.
Unfortunately, I ran into some problems. The ground wheat was way too big! I turned the plates as close together as I could and still be able to turn the handle. And I was barely able to turn the handle, like it took 2 hands and I could do half a turn at a time before losing momentum. Anyway, even at the tightest I could get it, my "flour" looked like this.
The grains are still way too big! I put it through a second time but it still pretty much looked like this. So, I decided to try making muffins with it. I was really excited about these muffins. They were going to have flour I ground myself. Pumpkin I picked and cooked myself. And applesauce I made myself from apples I picked myself. I was feeling all self-sufficient and proud.
But the muffins were unedible. They never cooked all the way through and tasted funny. My guess is the "flour" didn't absorb the moisture since it was such a coarse ground so the muffins never cooked.
So, I'm not sure what to do. Should I get another grain mill? Just try putting the berries through many times? Give up completely and stick with commercial flour?
If anyone with grain mill experience has any advice I'd love to hear it! I'm at a loss right now.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This week we had oven fried chicken, sauteed swiss chard and steamed brocolli.
Chicken - Locust Point Farm
Flour - Daisy Flour
Swiss Chard - CSA
Pinenuts - Not local
Brocolli - CSA
Spices - Not Local
The brocolli was getting old, but it still tasted pretty good. I liked the sauteed swiss chard but Mark did not.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I started my sweet potatoes by growing slips from an organic sweet potato I bought at the store. I got many slips.
However, only 1 slip actually survived planting, here it is shortly after being planted.
It grew quickly and made beautiful flowers. At one point it was overflowing the pot and trying to take over the deck! This is what it looked like the day I harvested. You can see a sweet potato coming up out of the dirt.
My harvest from 1 slip. I have no idea if this is a good harvest from 1 plant but I was happy with it.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
The CSA thing has been interesting. Overall, I've enjoyed it. It is fun to see what we are going to get every week and we've gotten a lot of new things (for us). I have felt a lot of pressure to figure out what to do with everything we get. Some of the things I've really been stuck on. I've discovered that Mark is pretty picky on how he will eat veggies, they can't be soft at all!
When I read the description for this fall CSA they said it would be things like potatoes, brocolli, sweet potatoes, califlower, your traditional fall veggies. Of those things, brocolli is the only one we've gotten. I will admit to be disappointed by that because we really like all those fall veggies here, much more than the traditional summer ones. We are getting so many greens and I didn't expect that from a fall CSA, but I should have now that I know greens love the fall.
I'm not sure if I would do a CSA again, we really are just too limited in what we like. I think we are better off growing it ourselves or visiting the farmers market and getting exactly what we want and will eat. I hate to admit some things have ended up in the compost because it took me too long to figure out what to do with them.