Winter Around the Homestead

Snow, snow and more snow! This is what it’s looking like around here:

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I believe Manson’s expression sums up!

DSCN9190On the bright side the huge snow banks provide plenty of fun for the little guys. All that climbing, digging, sliding down. And taking a hike is quite the undertaking. Only Struggling_along, Noah and Megan have made it up into the woods – and that required snowshoes. They reported back that there’s easily 3 feet deep of snow back there.

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This isn’t Ishi’s first winter but this year he’s old enough to explore what this winter season and snow is all about.

DSCN9171He’s been quite the helper; joining me everyday (well except for those -10 below days) to go and feed and water the animals. I believe the chickens are his favorite. Likely because they’re not very bright birds and we have no roosters right now so they’ll squat there and they’re easy to pick up (or if you’re a pig – eat. And that’s why we have 6 chickens left).

DSCN8626The chickens are back to laying well though – 5 or 6 eggs a day.

DSCN9084The pigs (Mercedes and Lexus) have taken up camper remodeling and have thus far striped a large part of their section; after all that hard work they enjoy a fresh chicken. Chevy hangs out in his dog shed full of hay but readily comes out for a scratch and some scraps.

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DSCN8731I make many trips like this. Ah the days of hoses, grass and not spending a half hour putting on layers will soon be here (relatively speaking).

DSCN9071I’m thinking more and more that Manson did his job and Ellie will be kidding this spring! Milk again! Rita isn’t pregnant as Lenin has continued to nurse. He’s getting quite big and has beautiful colors as Rita is 3/4 Oberhasli and has color variations too.

I have to feed Manson separately or he’ll just ram everyone else away and eat it all himself.

DSCN9059Since the goats can be a little pushy before they get their grain I have Ishmael wait a second before we water and hay the goats. He just loves this part because he gets to sit and pretend to steer.

DSCN9199Winter around the homestead also means a lot of snow removal. Thank goodness for Struggling_along! He works the snow plow and shovels bits by hand.

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Sour Dough Part 2 Action!

In Sourdough, Part 1- Rehydration I added water to the dehydrated sourdough starter, softened it; added some whole grain fresh ground flour to feed it and get it going. Twelve hours later there wasn’t much sign of life. Just a few bubbles but otherwise flat and lifeless. But no worries.

After 12 hours

I fed it. I don’t really measure. I just go by thickness not too watery but not so thick it’s doughy. Fresh ground flour also seems to absorb water differently than refined store flour so I take that into consideration too. Stir well and try to incorporate some air.

After feeding

Now let sit. Oh I don’t think I mentioned this last time but when I use a jar I cover the jar with a piece of cloth held down by the screw band. This way it breathes and no bugs get in. Otherwise be sure to burp the jar.

Like this

This time there’s some Action! Yay!

Action! Note the bubbles of the raise.
View from the top. Starter has doubled in height.

Stir the starter down and either get rid of half and feed it in jar or transfer the starter to another larger container than will contain the starter once doubled again. Otherwise it WILL overflow. You might also notice that if you use whole grain ground flour the starter looks a bit different now. Less grainy and pasty. More smooth, doughy and there is definitely that sourdough smell.

 
Starter ready for another feeding before first use.

Now it sits. Time to start thinking about what kind of sourdough goodie to make first.  A loaf? Some pancakes? A batch of crackers?

Time to get a batch of cultured butter started.

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This post is part of Traditional Tuesdays and Real Food Wednesday , Simple lives Thursday and Fight Back Friday