Friday, December 23, 2011

Fruits of My Labor

Today, I had a lot to get done and I managed to succeed.  :)  I made 3 loaves of sourdough bread.  I am still using the San Francisco starter, but this bread has part wheat in it.  I am slowly going to change it over to whole grains and see if I can keep it going.  I also made butter and a round of cheddar cheese.  Here is a picture of everything but today's butter.  
The cheese is in the press, draining.  The jar holds my starter, there is homemade butter in the blue butter dish.  The jar beside the raw honey is a tea blend I made from my garden this summer.  The bread is cooling on the rack.  
Click Here for Heirloom Variety Sourdough Starters

Great Deal on Batteries


Amazon is having a great deal on batteries right now.  You can get a 28 pack of AA for $10.29 shipped.  Go to the link below and scroll down a little bit and you will see a $0.75 coupon.  Clip the coupon, then choose the subscribe and save option.  There will be no shipping and they will ship the batteries right to you.  You can choose to have them ship them every 6 months if you want.  Once the first shipment arrives, you can cancel your subscription at any time without any penalty.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This and That on the Farm!!

This will be just one of those "This and That" type posts.  Many of you prayed for us about getting a truck.  We shared that the Lord provided us with one.  Here is a picture of it.  :)  We are very grateful for it.  
There is still some grass for the animals, but we are feeding hay as well.  Last year we started feeding hay in late summer.  This year it was not until December!!!


Skye sees the camera and she goes into playful escape or hide mode.  :)  I kept trying to get her and she would leave.   I caught her as she came around the chair. 

This is what we woke up to one day last week. It only lasted until the sun came out.
We wanted to get a truck cap since we did not have an extended cab.  Most of the ones I found that were cheap were red.  ;)  Michael kept teasing that we would have a Christmas truck.  We found a really nice one for a great price.  It matches nicely too. 
Here I was pretending to come after her with the camera. She was barking at me. I will have to say I am so grateful we have her since we lost Star.


These are the socks I am working on.  I need to get on the ball and get them finished.  They have been sitting on the needles way too long!!
It was foggy yesterday morning. I love how things look in the fog.




She kept running in circles and coming back to this spot.  I focused on this spot and when she got back there, I took her picture as she started to run again.  :) 
We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Day!!  Make sure you spend time with family and friends and take time to remember Who the day is really about!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Count Your Blessings Monday!!





Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

I am grateful for the most important gift I was ever given.  It is also the most important gift you were ever given.  I am thankful to the Lord for sending His only Son to earth to live as a man.  I am thankful for His willingness to come in such a humble form.  I think of the God of the universe who has all of the angels in His command to do His bidding, coming to Earth as a tiny infant that had to have His diapers changed and be burped and be fed.  He came in a helpless form.  And the whole reason He came was to die.  He came to live that perfect life so that He could give His life as a sacrifice and take my penalty of death for my sins.  I am thankful that He offered that gift of eternal life to each of us.  I am thankful He drew me to Himself and made me one of His own.  That is certainly the most important gift I will ever receive....   the right to be a joint heir with Jesus and  to be adopted into God's family.  The right to spend eternity with Him.  Thank you Lord!!!


What are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

White San Francisco Sourdough Bread!!

My San Francisco Sourdough starter is abundantly alive.  It is much more active than the whole grain one I am feeding.  This is not unusual though.  I fed the starter this morning and when it was at its peak, I made bread with it.   I am going to be using up the rest of my white flour I bought, but then hope to switch this starter to whole grains as well.  The loaf of bread came out of the oven all light and fluffy.  We cut into it while it was still warm and added fresh butter.  We were both mmmmm-ing and ooohing and aaaahing.  This bread is delicious.  I am really enjoying working with sourdough.  I want to keep experimenting!!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Need Advice

A long time ago, I used to collect pigs.  I had a HOUSE FULL of them.  When we moved from Florida, I got rid of many if not most of the pigs.  I did keep some that were special to me.  My mother gave me this pig planter.
It is hollow inside to put a plant in.  It hangs in my kitchen and I have never put a plant in it before.  I would love to make it into a string holder like this one.
They would hang on the wall and you would put a ball of string in them and stick the end out of their mouth.  When you needed string you just pulled on the string until it was as long as you needed and cut it off.  

Most of the vintage string holders were made of chalkware.  This pig of mine is ceramic.  What would I use to drill a hole in its mouth and not cause it to break? 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Impossible Taco Pie

I told you in this post that I am working with sourdough starters.  It was time to discard some of my newer San Francisco starter.  I could give it to the chickens so it wouldn't be wasted, but I decided to try a recipe that I got from GNOWFGLINS.  I did tweak it a little bit, but it came out wonderfully.  The recipe they gave was for Impossible Cheese Pie.  Here is the starter I used.  See how bubbly it is? 

I browned some of our farm raised hamburger with onion (from our CSA) and garlic that we grew.  Then I seasoned it with chili powder and cumin and other things to make taco meat.  I grated some of my homemade raw haba├▒ero cheddar.  I left the meat in the iron skillet and spread it out.  I put a layer of the cheese over the meat.  Then I mixed a cup of my starter with 3 farm fresh eggs, raw milk, salt & pepper.  I had the oven heating to 425°.  I then put 1/2 tsp. of baking soda in with the starter and other items.  I mixed it in well and poured over my meat and cheese.  I put it in the oven and baked it for 30 mins. That was actually a bit too long.  Next time I will probably try around 25 mins.  Then I pulled it out and sprinkled more cheese on top.  I stuck it back into the oven until that cheese melted.  Then you get it out of the oven and cut it.  Place your slice on your plate.  We topped ours with homemade salsa from our garden and raw plain yogurt in place of sour cream.  It was DELICIOUS!!! 
   

How Much Is Too Much?

I want to state up front that I am not passing judgement or pushing an agenda.  :)  I remember one time I went to a Bible study.  The teacher/preacher asked this question...  "Is it wrong for a Christian to live in a million dollar home and own an airplane?"  Back then a million dollar home was much more than what a million dollars will buy you today.  Anyway, it was very interesting to hear the comments and discussion.  Some said it was wrong because others in the world lived in the streets or in cardboard boxes.  That they shouldn't spend that type of money on a home, etc.  Others said it was not wrong as long as their heart was right.  Still others thought that it depended on other things.

I have been hearing a lot about Christmas and Christmas shopping.  This is for those of you who celebrate and give gifts to your families.  How much money should be spent on each child and should it always be equal or should older children maybe have more spent on them?  Is it wrong to go into debt to provide "a nice Christmas" for your children?  There is NO right or wrong answer here.  I just want to hear what you think.  :)  Are you brave enough to answer? 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sourdough Baking

In the past I have tried to keep a sourdough starter going and have successfully killed them all.  I want my sourdough to be whole grain and from freshly ground wheat or spelt or rye.  I have been attending free webinars put on by GNOWFGLINS and learned a lot.  There is actually another free webinar tomorrow.   I am not sure if it is too late to sign up or not.   I think you can.  Check out the link I gave and sign up there if you are interested.  You can make a starter just by catching wild yeasts out of the air.  I wanted a sure fire thing so I ordered 2 sourdough starter cultures at Cultures For Health.  They carry many different starters each with their own unique flavor and attributes.  They sell starter cultures for whole grain sourdoughs.  One of the cultures I bought was the Spelt Sourdough Starter.  It was the first one that I got going.   Once you get the starter going well, then you can switch to other flours.  You just need to get it started with its own specific flour.  The other starter I bought was the San Francisco Sourdough Starter.  Whenever I think of sourdough bread, this is the "flavor" of sour I think of.  It needs to be started with white flour.   I have just started it and not made anything with it yet.  You need to keep different starters at least 5 to 10 feet away from each other so they don't cross contaminate.  Most people would probably just keep one going, but I wanted to try both.  I hope to switch the San Francisco one to spelt or wheat flour.  Here is a picture of my 2 starters.  They say to scrape the sides down and I do, but they still look messy.  :)



This one is my spelt sourdough.  I have made bread with it and it turned out really well.  I also took a free webinar on doing things quick and easy with sourdough starter.  I have made pancakes so far.  They turn out absolutely delicious.  You can make breads, rolls, english muffins, cracker, cakes and all sorts of things with sourdough starter.  



This one is my San Francisco starter.  It has an entirely different sour smell when you open the lid.  I can't wait to make something out of it.    I will make the first few things with white flour to use up the bag that I bought.  Then I hope to switch it to white wheat. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dog Vs. Lamb

I bought this plastic nativity set when Joshua was little. He is now 27 years old.   I wanted him to be able to play with one and set it up like he wanted. It survived him. It has survived many children over the years.   One of the lambs disappeared one year and we found it about 5 years later in the pocket of a snowsuit that a friend's child had borrowed. The Shepherd's staff got broken another time, but it was glued back on and has held fast.   Now move forward to this year. Skye never touches anything on any of the tables. I had set the nativity up on the coffee table so little ones could reach it. She took one of the lambs while I was watching and I told her NO very sternly and put it back. She did not touch it again for days. Today, she took the other lamb when I was not around and chewed its head off. The head is all chewed up and in 2 pieces.   Goofy dog.  

Count Your Blessings Monday!!




Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

Today, I am thankful for answered prayer.  We have been praying for several years about getting a truck.  We finally got one this past weekend.  We are grateful to God for providing for our needs.

What are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We Lost Our Friend

We lost our beloved friend on Saturday.  She was the best dog ever.  We have had Star as long as we have had a farm.  She was Joshua's best buddy and companion for many years.  He got her when he was 13 years old.  We have some puppy pictures of her, but none on the computer, so you won't see those.  Joshua got her when she was just 6 weeks old.  She loved to be with us and would go out faithfully and help with chores.  

She was a true Momma.  She raised 2 litters of pups, but would mother any baby animal.  She helped us raise 4 different pups.  She put up with a lot with each puppy.  We tried to shield her some with Skye as she was getting older.  We had baby kittens one time and the mother cat was not around.  Star laid on her side in the yard for a long time and let those kittens pretend to nurse.  She loved when we got baby chicks.  She would tremble with excitement.  If you put one down or held it up to her, she was so gentle and would just lick them.  She was sweet with baby calves, goats, and sheep as well.  

Her favorite game was playing with a tennis ball.  When we still lived in Florida, Josh would throw the ball and she would go after it.  Then he would take off in the other direction and hide.  She always found him and knew all his best spots.   

She was obedient and would come even if you called her while she was chasing a rabbit.  She stayed in her own yard and did not cause problems.  She loved children and was always gentle with them.  

She will be missed greatly and the hole in our lives is a big one.  We are grateful for the 14 good years we had with her.  Thank you Lord for the blessing of Star.  Here are some pictures of her.  

Star with Skye

With Skye





Playing with Skye

She was gentle even in the tug of wars she had with Skye

We taught her to "Bow to the Queen" and she would bow down.  Here she is covered in snow.


She loved her tennis ball.  When Michael would bring home a new canister of them, she was in hog heaven!



Star is on the left.  Her daughter Belle is in the middle and Dixie is on the right.


Here she is sleeping with Dixie.  Now, they are both sleeping side by side up on the hill.


She was gentle with kittens.


She was so expressive.

This was her boy.  They loved each other.
















Here she is looking down at baby chicks and trembling.  She loved to just watch them. 

This is Rebel.  He was the first pup she raised and then she had her 2 litter of pups by him.

She loved to look out the window.