Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Independence Days Challenge - Week 15


Plant something: I have started onions, broccoli, kale (1st time growing), cauliflower, peppers, lupines (from saved seeds), red & green cabbage. As soon as I complete this post I am off to plant more.

Harvest something: Cilantro & dill will be harvested by the end of the week. Sap is flowing from the maple trees.

Store Something: barley, spices, really nothing to speak of. Today I plan to make up some pizza dough and freeze several batches.


Manage Reserves: Consolidated everything into one freezer. A couple times a week I go "freezer shopping". Sure beats going to the grocery store but we are still very dependent on that.

Cook something new: Nothing nutritious but fun to make. Last night Luke & I made Stickjaw For Talkative Parents from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He brought the recipe home from school yesterday.


Here is the recipe if anyone wants to do with your kids or grandchildren.


Supplies: piping bag with nozzle

baking sheet lined with baking parchment

2 egg whites

a pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 pkg. toffee or carmel candy

food coloring (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees

2. Whisk the egg whites and salt together

3. Gradually whisk in the sugar until the meringue mixture is very stiff and shiny.

4. Spoon the meringue mixture into the piping bag (with nozzle in place)

5. Pipe a little meringue onto the lined sheet. Rest a candy on top and cover completely with more meringue. (method is to pipe like you were putting soft serve ice cream onto a cone... that circular motion)

6. Bake for 1 hour or until dry and crisp. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

*We added green food coloring to spice things up for St. Patty's day.

This week I also made a new blueberry muffin recipe that was very tasty. It called for lemon yogurt and I only had plain so I added a dash of lemon extract.


I am interested in hearing from others on how they cook with barley. This grain is something I have not used much except in soups.

Reduce Wastes: I dropped my old square Nokia cell phone in the dish water a few days ago and I was sure it was ruined. I placed it in a bag of rice (MM's idea, he's such a smarty pants) and 2 days later my phone was fully functioning. We also recycled a cell phone given to me by my buddy Mary. MM now has a phone that works all the time and it holds a charge longer that 5 minutes. I could not tell you the last time I renewed my cell phone plan. It drives Mary nuts that I do not renew and get new phones. For me it is not all about the money although I try to be a conscious spender. It is more about using things up until there nonfunctional.

Learn a new skill: Not sure if this is a skill but we learned how to tap Maple trees. This weekend we will boil it all down and learn to make sap. Here is one of the websites I used as a reference it anyone is interested. I am keeping a tally of the sap we gather on the side bar under my harvest keeper. We will see how much syrup we get in the end. Hopefully enough for a pancake breakfast. The ratio is something like 40 gallons of sap = 1 gallon of syrup. We are obviously not doing this for the quantity but for the experience.

I also have bought the supplies (camouflage fabric) to make these blinds for Luke's room. I found the link posted at Like Merchant Ships. If you are interested in frugal living & creative ideas this is a blog you must visit.

Work on community food security: I am planting, planting...running out of space. Very excited for this years garden. I just signed up to be a part of a forum based out of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association called Eat Maine Foods.

Regenerate what is lost: There is very little food waste in the house between rabbits, chickens, pigs, and dogs. I do not even have scraps for my compost pile anymore :(

Not sure which category this may fall under but recently a made a window cleaner that I finally like.

1 cup water

1 cup rubbing alcohol

dash orange essetial oil, dash orange coloring

15 comments:

YD said...

Great post. Looks like you are doing great on this challenge.
I haven't started the rest of my seeds yet. Had to redo some jalapeno and pepperoncini last night.

Just Me said...

Wonderful Job! I don't have the space that you have but I have my yearly vegetable gardening and this year my goal is to learn to can so I can make maximum use of the food. I have also bought blueberry bushes and strawberry plants so that by next year I have a lot of fruit as well! Thanks for all the tips!

fullfreezer said...

I think tapping maple trees is a skill! It certainly isn't something the average person does.
As for barley, I use it mostly in soups as well. I also like to make it into a pilaf. Sometimes mixed with brown or wild rice and maybe mushrooms, but always with carrots, peas and sauteed onions. Even the kids like it.
Judy

Jennifer said...

Looks like your doing great with the challenge. Thank you for sharing the recipes and links.I'll have to try that blueberry muffin recipe as that's one of my son's favorites. I'm excited to see how the syrup experience turns out.

livinginalocalzone said...

Good week! And yes, I think the tapping of trees counts - I was at a maple farm last weekend and seeing all the skill that goes into knowing how to tap, how many taps the tree can/should take, the boiling down/evaporating.... its a lot!
Barley - I don't get it in my zone, but my parents often have it cooked straight up as a breakfast cereal. Alternatively, they use it as a base for desserts, for things like cobbler or sweet carrot bars, just as one would use oats.

Jennifer said...

Great Post! You are doing great with the challenge!

You had asked about breeding a Boer buck to Nigerian Dwarf does on my blog and I thought I would copy my answer here in case you missed it on my blog.

--------------------------
Hi Country Girl, that is a good question and I know some people that swear they have bred pygmy does to Boer bucks with no problems but I would never recommend it. There is a greater risk of kidding problems. The first year I had goats kidding here I had bought a small pygmy doe, she was accidentally bred by a Boer buck. She had twins and both came out in the correct position and she still had a difficult birth and I did have to help. It would have been disastrous if she had only had a larger single or the kids had been in a wrong position because there just wasn't any room. She certainly acted like she experienced more pain than any of my Boer does ever have and I believe it was from giving birth to larger kids than she would have if she had been bred to a Pygmy buck. Both mom and kids came through it fine in the end but it is always a risk IMO. If you want Nigerian Dwarf/Boer cross kids you can get them safely by breeding a Nigerian Dwarf buck with Boer does. As for eating older bucks, I have never done that so I can only go with what others have told me. Some have told me that older bucks will have a bucky, off flavor to the meat and others have said they don't. I imagine how they are processed plays a big part in that.

Country Girl said...

THANKS YD. IT IS A GREAT WAY TO COMPARE WHERE WE ARE YEAR TO YEAR AND A MOTIVATOR.

JM, THANKS FOR COMMENTING. I LIKE YOUR NEW PROFILE PIC SAME WITH THE ONE YOU HAVE ON FB. I WILL EXPERIMENT WITH A PRESSURE CANNER WHEN I GET ONE. LAST YEAR I CANNED USING A OPEN WATER BATH WITH HIGH ACIDIC STUFF. FREEZING IS GOOD TOO! BERRIES, YUM. MY GOAL IS TO PLANT LOTS OF FRUIT THIS YEAR. OH YEAH TALKING ABOUT SPACE CHECK OUT PATH TO FREEDOM SITE. THEY LIVE ON 1/10 ACRE I THINK IN CALAFORNIA AND GROW EVERYTHING THEY EAT. INSPIRING BLOG!

Country Girl said...

FF, THANKS FOR THE SUGGESTIONS. SOUNDS GOOD!

JENNIFER, YOUR WELCOME. MY BOY DEVOURED THEM UP!

LIALZ,
NEVER THOUGHT TO USE IT IS A DESSERT.

WOW JENNIFER, THANKS FOR THE RESPONSE. I PLANNED ON RETURNING TO YOUR SITE TODAY TO SEE WHAT YOU HAD FOR A RESPONSE. THANKS FOR THE ADVICE. I WAS THINKING DUE TO THE SIZE IT WOULD NOT BE A GOOD IDEA.

warren said...

We eat barley in a fantastic lentil barley soup...it's the only way we eat it but we eat the heck out of the stuff! You prob have a similar recipe already...holler if you want ours

Country Girl said...

Warren I'd love it, never had it. If not I could try and google it to find a recipe.

Patrice Farmer said...

What beautiful birds!!

VisionaryRN said...

Kim....you amaze me! Do you ever slow down? I admire how diligently you entertain the kids, feed the animals, muck the stalls...well, kinda, cook, clean, make cleaning supplies first, of course, bake, drag kids to the doctors, drag animals to the vets, take pix, post blogs and did I mention work as a nurse and still have time to talk almost daily...whew, I'm tired! Anyway, thanks for the great friendship and positive influence. Also, that comment about carrying a child for me, if I had ever needed you to...that was so, so sweet and the epitomy of why I love you so much!

Country Girl said...

Ok Warren where is that recipe you mentioned?

Thanks Patrice!

Awww Melissa, that was a real sweet comment. LOVE YOU TOO!!!!

Lynnie said...

What an excellent post! Wow, your life is full! I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I am super-impressed by that rice/cell phone trick! I know, what a weird thing to stay in my brain after a post so full of other amazing things!

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