What's Goin On

We've been busy around here between school, baby. and trying to get a bit healthier in the kitchen. Last Saturday, before leaving for my in-laws 50th anniversary party, Sierra and I made 2 gallons of lacto-fermented pickles. The old fashioned kind, preserved with whey instead of vinegar and heat. It's a process that makes food even more nourishing and digestible.

See those little valves on 2 of the jars? This is the first time I have used them, but they seem pretty cool. The let the fermenting air out while keeping out the bacteria. I forgot to fill them with water the first couple of days, so I got a little mold. But you can just scrape it off, because it's totally harmless.

I also made a really yummy no-grain breakfast cereal. It's
  • 2/3c buckwheat groats
  • 1/3c hempseed
  • 1/2c chia
  • 1c dehydrated peaches
  • 1c chopped pecans
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4TBS sucanat
  • 1TBS cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla powder
  • You can use any kind of dried fruit and any kind of nuts. Vanilla powder is optional.
I put 4 TBS in a bowl with some milk and I really enjoy it.

I have sourdough starter fermenting on my counter and I'm also trying a method where you keep a large amount of starter in the fridge and pull chunks off to bake with. I have a loaf of bread baking in the oven right now using that method. We'll see how it turns out.

On Monday I made sourdough english muffins and they were great. Even the kids thought so.

The bread is out of the oven and the kids cut it up before I could take a picture :-) The verdict: It's amazing? Hailey says it's the best bread ever and Sierra wants it for her birthday. And it was sooo fast and easy.

I have peaches coming this weekend and lots of plans for those, and more cucumbers too, because I'd like to try a few different recipes. I'm anxious to see if these are crispy, I put oak leaves from our very sad oak trees in the jars. That's supposed to be the trick. I'll let you know.

Updated to add: Mom, Hailey says the bread is only slightly better than the lemon cake :-)


Just a Quick Update

Well, summer finally arrived and now we can't remember ever having been cold. Because we're fickle like that.

So, what have we been doing? Well, we finally got a bit of a garden in. Yep, after years of intentions (you know where those lead) we finally put something in the ground. Or, the box rather. We made a raised square foot bed where we planted tomatoes, bell peppers, watermelon, cucumbers and bush beans. 16 in all, and they seem to be doing wonderfully so far. Which means that the birds and bugs will likely enjoy a lovely feast the day before we intend to pick them. Hailey and I trellised the tall things a couple of days ago. Note to self: do it a lot earlier next year. But this is our LEARNING GARDEN, as we keep reminding ourselves. We didn't plant much and we are trying to keep it alive. We netted the berries to keep birds out, since they ate ALL the berries last year. Hopefully we get a few this year. Oh yeah, we have 2 strawberry plants too. After a dismal start they are looking good. We also have a few raspberry and blackberry vines. The peaches and plums bloomed too early and that June snow killed the buds, so they won't fruit this year.

Learning to make compost too. Seems like it should be so easy. I think I'm thinking about it too much. I think...

The big girls worked a vendor booth during the 3 day Independence Day celebration as a fund raiser for Bible Bee. Good reports on their work ethic and skill, so that's encouraging. They had a good time, but it was HOT.

Audreyanna is growing like a weed, time to pack up those 0-3 months clothes and buy some more 3-6, because she's about 14 pounds now.

We're mostly just hanging out, enjoying each other and laughing at the littles. School is in session after a break for baby and that takes a fair amount of time. Planning for next year, ordering books, marveling at how fast the money goes and how big the kids are all getting. You know, the regular stuff.

I think my adrenals are getting serious about their warning signals and we are trying to get back into fermenting veggies and such. Going to teach Sierra to make yogurt this afternoon, and ordering another kombucha mushroom tomorrow. I really want to try coconut keifer, but I had such horrible luck with dairy keifer and I love coconut water so much that I am having a hard time convincing myself to do it. Wish I could try it first.


Annaleise as Art