Saturday, February 27, 2010

making sauerkraut

We eat sauerkraut every night with dinner. Everyone eats it- with the exception of Mason (obviously) and it was getting pretty expensive to buy when a jar costs almost $6. I've decided to try and make some of my own and see if that will save us some money while still giving us the benefits of the fermented vegetable.

I took the recipe from the Nourishing Traditions Book and adapted it a little.

First, I cored and chopped my cabbage. I started with one head because I was unsure of how much sauerkraut it would make. My one head weighed 1lb 5oz.

Next, I put it into a bowl and added 2 Tbsp of sea salt. Do not use iodized salt because it does something weird in the process.

Then I started mashing. NT said to mash for 10 minutes. I didn't have exactly the right tools to do the job. I always prefer to use wood over stainless steel but my big wood spoon was not cutting it for this job so I turned to the potato masher.

I mashed and mashed and mashed- that was the longest 10 minutes of my life. I then put it into a quart sized, wide mouth mason jar and used a wooden spoon to press it down.

You want all of the cabbage to be pressed down firmly and all of the brine to have risen to the top. Your brine should cover the cabbage in order to keep the cabbage from rotting.

If your brine does not adequately cover the cabbage you can add a mixture of 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp sea salt. After I snapped this photo I thought I'd better add a little water so I used 1/2c water to 1/2 Tbsp salt- just to make sure everything was covered. The more salt you use though, the longer it takes to ferment.
I'll go back and check the cabbage in a day or two and check on it's progress!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

another finished quilt

I finished Mason's quilt yesterday and it turned out so cute! I love the flannel, it is super soft! And look at this cuteness? I so love that boy!
Lunch today was so good. While I was taking meat out of the freezer last night, I saw a pack of hot dogs in there that I had totally forgotten about. It made me think of Cindy's comment about having them with sauerkraut for lunch. I then knew what we were having for lunch today! On warm, homemade tortillas. Yum!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good reads

I don't read as much as I'd like to. Mostly just due to time constraints! But I do pick up a book every now and then and try to read as much of it as possible in the evening after the kids are to bed!

First, Chemical Free Kids:

I've had this book for a while now but I refer to it all the time. If you have kids, it is a "must have" book to have in your library. I try and re-read it every 6 months or so just to refresh my memory on everything. There is a follow up to this book that I am very interested to read as well.

Second, Nourishing Traditions:

This book is a fabulous wealth of knowledge. If you never once used a recipe from this book it would still be worth owning just for all the added information on each and every page!

Last, The Encyclopedia of Country Living:

All around great information written by a woman who was a great homesteader. This book is also one I often refer back to.

Hope that you enjoy these as much as I do!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

how do ya do it?

I'm listening to this right now. It's a personal favorite, not only because it's a great song but also because it's Gavin and my wedding song.
I'm also cooking dinner for us and another family at our church. I've been in the kitchen all afternoon and it got me do you do it?
Between keeping the house and the kids and the baking bread, making all our meals from scratch, culturing/fermenting foods for us, gardening and all the other million things I do in a day, I wonder how anyone else does this? I often feel like I'm behind in everything! The thought of adding homeschooling in 2 years has me slightly worried. Although by then, I won't be nursing any babies or changing many diapers.
How do you make it work?
Any tips are appreciated!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Lunch today consisted of leftover stew from last night and homemade tortillas! I got the recipe from Cindy's blog. If you're not already following her blog then what are you waiting for? It's fantastic!
These are great tortillas and I'm so happy to have found the recipe because 1. I'm always looking for more things to use my sourdough starter on and 2. tortillas were the only kind of bread we were still buying instead of making......until now.

Tortilla Dough

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp sourdough starter

Bring this together into a nice dough. A dough hook works well with this. This dough needs to rest for at least 30 minutes. It is just about perfect at 8-12 hours.

Friday, February 19, 2010

afternoon snack

Trying to incorporate more cultured foods into our diet has been really fun! When the kids got up from their naps this afternoon they were less than happy. Actually, Timber was fine, it was Layton that was a grump. As he was lying on the couch he said, "Mommy, I need a milkshake." My first thought was, "Um, no you don't. The last thing you need is ice cream." and then I thought, "Sure, why not? I'll make one- just a different kind." And so the buttermilk shake was born:
Since I didn't measure anything, all of this is a round about estimate of what I used (you could totally improvise!)
2 cups organic frozen blueberries
1/4 cup raw honey
and I added a little whole raw milk just because it was a little on the thick side.

I was anxious to see what my kids thought of it since it isn't your traditional sweet milkshake. It's slightly like Kefir- a tad sour. The honey helps though. And I guess they liked it! Which is great, otherwise I would have had an entire blender full of shake for me to eat!

a new hello and a sad goodbye

We got a few of our new chicks today. These are the Marans. Our Buff Orphingtons are coming next Friday. Aren't they sweet? The kids love them. But we do have to be careful, Timber already made one of the poor chicks eyes bulge a little by squeezing it. She's going to have to keep her hands off them for a while!And I guess there is a "season for everything under heaven" because this week we also said goodbye to our most loved chicken, Roundy. I'm not much for keeping animals that don't do anything. If we're paying money to feed it and taking the time to care for it then it has to be doing something for the family. Roundy didn't. She didn't lay eggs anymore (except for a few weeks in the spring) and she pretty much just walked around the property at your ankles like a lost puppy. She was however the sweetest chicken I have ever met- and she won me over. She would let you "pet" her and let the kids hold her. She also had a really bad habit of coming in to the house if a door was left open! Monday afternoon she was killed by our neighbor's dog.
We buried her in the flower garden. Good bye 'ol girl.♥

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If only.....

I heard this from Proverbs 31 Ministries on KLOVE this morning and boy did it hit home. I needed to hear that. I'm completely happy with myself and my husband and my kids but not so much our home. I'm constantly wanting more. I find myself complaining to myself, "Our house is too small." "Our property isn't big enough to do the things I want." "If only we could move- NOW!" If only........
The best quote from this clip for me was "When God’s truth gets inside our heads and hearts, it becomes the way we process life. And it helps us see what we have instead of what we don’t."
I need to remember that! Thanks Lysa!

last night

Yesterday I posted a little blurb on my facebook page about trying to be optimistic about the day. I was trying to stay positive because in all honesty I woke up in one foul mood. (I have serious lack of sleep to thank for that one.) Anyway, I also said that I was going to be praying, for myself, because I needed it! I needed God to soften my heart yesterday, to give me patience and wisdom with my kids, for the house and all the undones, for sanity!
Well, I know some of you were praying for me because I could feel it! My day was not half bad, things went fairly smoothly and at the end of it all, I felt like the Lord had heard my prayers and the prayers of others for me and had given me just what I had asked for. Thank you Jesus!
So last night I got to do a few fun things!
Bread baking

Butter making. I had leftover raw cream that was getting "cowy" so I made it into butter for baking.


And yes, I even patted it into a nice little cube!

I also got to look through the sales issue from Azure for my next order thanks to a seriously sleeping hard baby next to me. (P.S. Sorry about the laundry in the shot. I wish Gavin had said something BEFORE he took the picture. I told him he's no Ansel Adams. He said that was fine.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

try and remain seated...

I actually just listed a new quilt in the shop.
I know, I know, you almost just fell out of your computer chair! I have to say it's been a while. With the birth of Mason comes very little quilting time so I'm pretty proud of this one. I'm currently binding one more for the shop that I'll get listed either tomorrow or Thursday. Then I'll have 2 more coming to the shop by the beginning of March. (I'm on a roll now!) Check out the listing if you get a moment!

Monday, February 15, 2010

a little random

1. I'm making our usual sourdough bread today but instead of the milk I'm trying raw cultured buttermilk. Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

2. I can not wait to start the hand stitching process of binding my quilts.......if I ever get a free moment today (besides this one.)

3. For all of you who have been praying, Karen (our pastor's wife) is doing better! Praise God! She just move out of ICU today into a regular room. She is now talking (whispering) and has some arm movements. She is starting PT this week too. The Dr.'s now think that the tumor was NOT cancerous and we'll find out for sure tomorrow! She has a long road of recovery ahead of her so keep praying!

4. I scored a sewing machine at the second hand store today but I'm not sure I want it. The guy said they couldn't figure out how to thread it so I could take it and if I got it to work I could bring them back $5. I'll have to look at it closely.

5. It's so nice to have Wyatt home from school today.

6. Leftover lasagna for dinner tonight.

7. I so want this for Mother's Day.

8. Remodeling is so NOT fun. Unless you're an almost 2 year old with a power drill.

9. I want to make a new apron. I'm going to use this pattern that I purchased.

10. I also just bought this skirt. How cute is that?

11. I'm on Facebook now......finally! Wanna be my friend?

That's it for today folks! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a late valentine's

It's just after 7:30pm here on the west coast so I'm sure that your valentines is close to over if not already over........but Happy Valentine's none the less. Hubby and I don't do much for the day which is totally fine by me. I surely don't need any candy, I don't wear jewelery and I know my husband loves me. It's a day I can skip! :)
Gavin did however give me a small gift today. He watched the kids and let me quilt! Now that's my kind of man! I got 3 bindings on 3 quilts and worked more on the quilt for our bed.
Then he ran to town for me (because I forgot the mozzarella cheese I needed for dinner) and came home with these. The red were for me and the pink for Timber. ♥
What a guy! Thanks babe!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

a day in pictures

A little glimpse. In no particular order.
Making and eating yummy muffins for breakfast.

Trying to contain a almost 2 year old in the kitchen.

Laundry to be folded and more to come.
Changing a lot of these. Yes, I know they're sposies but at this point with 3 little ones and all the loads of laundry for the 6 of us, cloth just hasn't happened!
Making more applesauce.
Working on taxes.
Trying to drink some of this.
Being jealous of my hubby enjoying the sunshine!
Doing this around 4pm- for the first time in the day.
Shooing Roundy out of the house once again.
Kneading bread for dinner.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

for those that pray

Our pastor and his wife have been traveling for the past 2 weeks to a pastors conference and then to see family when last night our pastor's wife got really sick. They went to the hospital and found out that she had a brain hemorrhage. When they went in for surgery they found an egg sized cancerous tumor which they removed. She is in recovery this morning. They are in Mississippi.
Please, please pray for her. For her health and recovery. For God's peace right now. For the doctors who will be re-evaluating her in the next days to come. For her husband, our pastor, for strength and the confidence that the Lord does not make mistakes, that He is always by our sides and that He has a plan that we can't see; one that is for the good and that good things always come from the Lord's plan. Please pray for her 3 adult children and their families as well.
Thank you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


One more quilt top down, three hundred to go!
I finished this top today and need to work on piecing a back together since I just have remnants of the fabric left.Then I started cutting fabric for my blue and tan civil war era reproduction fabric star quilt. Great name, huh?This quilt is actually for me to keep so it won't be going into the shop. I just might have so much fabric left over though that I may make a smaller lap quilt with the same pattern. (Yeah, I went a little crazy buying fabric.)
See that piece of paper in the picture? That's my crazy attempt to figure out the right size of squares and triangles I would need for the quilt. I decided that I really dislike working out triangles and math and all the stuff you need to figure out sizes for quilt patterns. Math is so not my strong point (right, Dad?)
After this top is done I'm going to have to admit something to you all. But that will have to wait for now.

Friday, February 5, 2010

canning in february?

When you get organic apples from your co-op at a great price? then sure, it's good to can in February!

Do these pictures look like deja-vu? (Is that even how you spell deja-vu?)
Better stock up on these babies because come canning season the store will be completely out!I got my seed order yesterday and look what came with it?Isn't that fantastic? We'll certainly be planting this row for a neighbor in our area that could use them!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

oh yes, there's more

Now I wouldn't call making soap an addiction for me. If you compared it to fabric and quilting it would even hold a flickering candle. But I do enjoy it and it's a great hobby. Yesterday my friend Ida and I whipped up a batch. I used a scent called
"You'd better like this scent because it was ridiculously expensive." Oops, I mean, "Christmas Spice" which is great for anyone who loves the whole cinnamon, clovy, holiday smell. I used Trader Joe's Apple Cider as my liquid. We threw in a couple Tbsp of cranberry seeds too, to give it a nice exfoliating touch. Now only 6 weeks to wait to use it! :)
As soon as I order some more lye I'm going to make one more batch using my Cucumber Melon sent. It smells so fresh- like spring time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

today's tasks

Make more laundry soap.Stew for tonight with friends. Cut and wrap butter. 15lbs of it.
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