Thursday, March 31, 2011

Planting Onions

I planted the last of the onion sets that we're planning to put in today.

Last year we planted about 108 onions, purple, white and yellow. This year I planted about 165.  (The square foot approach I use in the raised beds makes this kind of math and record keeping very easy!)

The white ones did not do well at all, rotting in the ground and going bad quickly in storage, so this year we're only doing purple and yellow.

We shared some and ate quite a few small and as green onion, and we ran out of the ones we had stored in Jan. We're confident that if these do well, we'll have plenty to last till next spring and still share with our family and neighbors as well.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mayo-Free Egg Salad

I do not like mayo. I never have. From time to time I check to see if this has changed and try some. It has not changed. I can taste it even when people try to hide it in something and it super grosses me out.

Yet, that keeps me from the whole world of "blank"-salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, potato salad, etc.  I've tried once or twice to make egg salad without mayo, but haven't been able to. Until now, that is.

This time, I threw the kitchen sink at it, and it worked so well!

Using the hand mixer I blended neufchatel, low fat cottage cheese, light sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, and about half of the yolks.

Into this, I folded the chopped whites, minced onion and celery, and finely cut chives.  I didn't salt it, since the cottage cheese and sour cream already have salt enough already.

The rest of the yolks went back out to the chickens. I'm not a huge fan of boiled yolks.

Anyway, I really glad with the way it turned out. With a little tweaking, I think it'll make a nice mayo substitute in lots of situations.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Homemade Blueberry Apple Fruit Leather

Blapple? BluApple? Appleberry?

Whatever I call them, Ben loves them for snacking at work, so I set about replenishing our stash of fruit rollups yesterday.

This time, I blended together a pint of blueberries canned in very light syrup and a quart of my homemade applesauce.

Applesauce is a good choice when making fruit leather, because the natural pectin in apples help make a stretchier more pliable finished product.

I spread the mixture out on parchment paper squares and dehydrated at 135 degrees.  I probably should have taken them out after 8-10 hours, but I forgot them over night. But even being extra dried, only a few of the edges got brittle.

I think I'm going to invest in some of the reuasble non-stick sheets that excalibur carries to fit my dehydrator.  It seems wasteful to be throwing so much parchment paper away every time I make fruit leather.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Pint Jars

They're just so darn cute!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

How Things Are

Find the hidden kitty!

It's a gray and rainy day. I have the chickens free ranging, which they love, but considering that they're favorite places to scratch and dig and dust bath are the garden beds, and I have to get the onions and peas in asap, it's going to be back to the rotating pasture pen soon.

I made a batch of laundry soap today, and realized that it doesn't even take me all of fifteen minutes to do, if I've already grated the soap.  I might have to put Ben to work grating while we watch a movie sometime!

I've found that Meatless Fridays for Lent are less challenging every year, it seems. We have lots of meatless days anyway, and there are so many eggs with 14 laying hens, that we eat eggs several times a week.  Tonight's plan for dinner is crepes, French Canadian style.  (Maple syrup instead of fillings.)

There's not a whole lot else going on today.  I've managed to finish my whole to do list already, so I think I'm going to settle in with my knitting until Ben gets home and the weekend officially begins.

We have big weekend plans of rearranging the living room furniture.  We're such party animals.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a photo of this year's soda bread. I finally remembered to cut the recipe in half, so there's only one.  I really should just write in on the recipe: "two 9 inch loaves is too much soda bread for Ben to eat before it's stale!" Lol.

I've got the corned beef started in the slowcooker, and am planning my attack on the cabbage and root vegetables. This year, Ben bought parsnips, rutabega, beets, and turnips. Add the potato and the carrots, and that'll make a pretty varied hash on Saturday morning.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Could I BE more behind with blogging?

There cute little llamas were at the Quincy, IL Farm and Home Supply this past weekend.  They were having a display with demonstrations from the Adams County Olde Tyme Association.  The owner of the llamas was spinning on a beautiful upright wheel.  I was delighted by the pretty llamas and a tad bit covetous of the wheel.

Things have been very Spring-like here.  Which means happy chickens and beautiful sun, with muck all over and a mud pit yard.  I've been sticking to my paths as much as possible to keep from churning up any more of the yard.

The garlic I planted last fall in the raised beds has been poking it's shoots up.  I'm so glad to see it, since I love garlic and can't wait to have our own!

I was looking back to last year, and saw that I had cabbages and onions, carrots and radishes planted by the 25th of March last year.  I've been making my plans to do the same this year, and I'm hoping to finally have some luck with snap peas.  This time I'm planning to put them at the end of the raised bed to climb trellises.  It'll be good to have put them there since I'll be able to get them planted in the raised bed sooner than the main garden.  I'll take pics when I get it all set up.  Fourth time's the charm, right?

I've been knitting a log cabin style blanket from bulky cotton blend yarn I found in the back of my stash.  It's nothing to write home about, really, because it's all one color, so a little dull looking.  But it's a good use for a lot of yarn that I got very cheaply (Craftmart going out of business by the bag sale back in AZ) but I wouldn't want to wear as a sweater.  And I can knit it without looking, since it's garter stitch, which makes it perfect tv and reading knitting.

I'm working on revising my schedule and internet priortities and really hope to be back with more bloggable fun soon.  Take care everyone!

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