Thursday, March 24, 2011

I've Been Falling Down On The Job

   Yup, I've been falling down on the job of posting things on here. The only excuse I have is I've been sick. I'm really tired of it, too. It's been 2 weeks now. I went to the Dr. last Friday and she said it was just a virus and if it continued into this week, go back and get some antibiotics. Well, I'm still sick, but I'm not going back to get antibiotics. I'm one of those weird people who are allergic to many, many antibiotics, so me on them is a last resort. Besides that, who wants to go to the Dr. when they don't feel good? I am feeling better anyway. Unfortunately, I shared with Tim and he isn't feeling better. Ah, the joys of married life.
   So, since I've been lazier than usual, I've had plenty of time for the endless crocheting and staring out the window. The other day, Rufus, a dog who lives behind us, came through the yard carrying a back deer leg. I hope it wasn't from one of our 3 usual visiting deer. Rufus was so happy with his leg.
   The robins are out and about finding worms. Our metal pecker is back and pecking at the vents on the roof. Today, I've noticed the bluebirds are coming back. Tim made me a bluebird house, but it's not outside yet.
   Today, I have to start playing catch up and do what I haven't done because I was sick. Just what I wanted to do. I'm sure this weekend, I'll be back to baking and life will be pretty much back to normal. Normal is so boring here, but I suppose boring is good.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mud Season

Our front yard
    One of the seasons we have up here is mud season, and we're in that season now. The snow has pretty much melted and we have been having rain just about every day. We also made it up to 60 degrees yesterday. People were out in shorts. Spring is definitely on the way.
   We've also had some pretty strong winds along with the rain. A couple of our trees have snapped because of the wind. We are seriously thinking about cutting down a tree at the end of our house. If it should fall, depending on the direction, we could have it in our living room, and we'd rather not have it there.
   Jake and Chip go out and sniff the air. I wonder what catches their interest? Jake is not impressed at all with mud season. He hates his feet getting yet and icky. We need to plant more grass this year to help control the mud and give Jake a bigger area to walk.
   Chip, on the other hand, isn't fazed by mud. He tromps through anything and doesn't seem to mind. Of course, once he's in the house again, he has to jump on something before I wipe his feet off. The last thing Chip jumped on after his excursion out was the Christening afghan I was working on. I was using #10 thread. Anyway, the Christening afghan is no longer. Besides getting little muddy Chip prints all over it, Chip got tangled in it. I had a lot of hours into that afghan.  Good thing I like Chip. Chip is also getting a haircut because the mud really stays in his curly poodle leg hair. I figure by the time I finish clipping him, it will be time to clip what I have already finished. On day, I have to get some electric dog clippers instead of the Scaredy Cuts I use now, only because they will be much quicker.
   The mud is slippery and you sink and slide in it when you walk in it. Tim is really going to have a fun time fixing the driveway when the mud dries. Good thing he has his tractor. The driveway is such a mess. We have a 4x4 truck and it has trouble going up and down the driveway. One day, when we win that elusive lottery that we seldom play, we'll get gravel for the driveway, among many other things.
   If all this isn't bad enough, Saturday I came down with a cold or something. I was just sick not too long ago. What's with this? I break bones, I don't get sick. I would be happy with out the broken bones or being sick, though. I guess I'll just have to sit around and crochet a new Christening afghan and read.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Made Butter Yesterday

   I made butter yesterday. It was pretty easy to do. I would never have thought of doing it, if I didn't see how in an Organic Gardening magazine I got last year. Making butter is cheaper than buying butter.
   I used a quart of heavy whipping cream and my handy, dandy Kitchen Aid mixer. I poured the cream in the mixer bowl and turned it on medium  until the cream started to thicken, then I turned it on high. I stopped the mixer a few times and scraped the bowl. It took about 10 minutes before the cream/butter looked like fine scrambled eggs. I never would have guessed the white cream would turn, well, butter yellow. I always thought some coloring was added. I learn something everyday.
   Next, I poured out the buttermilk and got exactly 2 cups and 1 pound of butter. I rinsed the butter under the faucet using cold water, and our tap water is very cold. Then I put about 1/2 a cup of ice water in the bowl and squished the butter on the side of the bowl and poured off that water. I did this until the water ran clear. I used my hands, (yest, they were clean), to do this, since the butter was already hard.
   I have been looking for a butter bell to keep the butter in since butter turns into a brick, but since I don't have one, I looked on the internet to see how to make spreadable butter. A lot of the recipes called for oil and water mixed in. I didn't want to add water, so I just added Canola oil until it was the consistency I wanted. I mixed it up with the mixer and put the spreadable butter in a covered Rubbermaid container. I figure the butter is a tad bit healthier adding Canola oil to it. I would have used Olive Oil if I had any. I also didn't salt the butter.
   I made a loaf of bread with 1 cup of the homemade buttermilk. The other cup will go towards baking, too. I know, I could drink it. I wonder how chocolate butter milk is? I think I'll pass.
   Last night for supper we had homemade bread made with homemade buttermilk and homemade butter, homegrown corn, mashed potatoes made from homegrown potatoes, homemade gravy for our store bought eye of round roast. It was a very good meal. We had ice cream for dessert. It wasn't homemade, but I'm going to work on that. It's leftovers tonight. Hmm, I wonder why I'm not loosing any weight?
   I haven't decided if I'm going to make butter from now on for everything, like baking and such, or just for the non-baking uses.
   Between the baking, butter making, gardening, spinning, sewing, crocheting, wanna-be weaving, natural dyeing, canning, and all the other household chores I do, I should be busy. I used to be called Betty Crocker, now, I think it should be Polly Pioneer.