{Yarn Along} On the Go-veralls – Finished

So first the book- Bill Byrson’s At Home  I’m just starting this (after peeking at later chapters) and it promises to be interesting. I’m a fan of Bryon’s writing in general ever since struggling_along first introduced me to him through his book A Walk in the Woods. If you like hiking or if you like to think about hiking A Walk in the Woods is a must read. But I digress….

  Ishmael’s go-veralls are finished; in record time -just 8 days verses 26 days for the first pair! I was torn between making the 6-12month or the 12-18 month size. I went with the 12-18 month size cause I’d rather he grew into than for it to be too small in the first place and growing into it he will have to do. The legs are long (and that makes the bib look impossibly small). But I know it’s only a matter of time before these will be exactly the right size. And that will give me time to find the right buttons (and to find that last foot of gray yarn the boys borrowed for a fishing line).

Here’s the back:

And the front:

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Progress {Yarn Along}

It’s Wednesday!

I’m making good progress on the kid goat sweater…..

And I’m re-reading Surviving Off Off-Grid- definitely a book requiring some thinking and reflection. Which works out pretty well: read a bit, knit and think, read some more, knit some more, repeat.

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Goat Sweaters {Yarn Along}

Our goat, Ells, is hugely pregnant. Just by looking at her (which is in no way an accurate gauge) I’m thinking she has to be having twins, possibly triplets- and soon too.  I feel much better this year with the temperature being so relatively mild  but the first few days are hard enough for a newborn without battling cold winter nights.

Enter goat sweaters!

Last year I modified one of the kid’s (mine) vests for one of our kids (goat). Hopefully I can find it and, with luck, also knit up a sweater in time for Ells kidding. I found the pattern over at Fiasco Farms- an excellent site for goat info.

Reading wise I just finished The Birth House which I enjoyed immensely as the subjects of birthing and midwifes vs doctor are definitely  topics near and dear  to my heart.

I’m also reading bits here and there from The Beekeeper’s Handbook (great resource). One of these days I will have bees….one of these days…..

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farmgirl friday

Cooking from Nourishing Traditions :: Chicken with Cream Sauce

As you might know, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is more than just a cookbook. All too often I open up my copy of NT with the intent of perusing the recipes; instead I find myself reading the articles. I’ve learned a lot but I’ve found that I haven’t made that many of the recipes from Nourishing Traditions. So, starting with this post, I will (try to) regularly make a recipe from NT and post my results. Today’s  post will be from the poultry section (page 281): Chicken with Cream Sauce, a variation on Basic Baked Chicken.

Now the original recipe calls for one chicken cut in pieces, brushed with

  • 2 Tlb Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tlb melted butter (or oil)              – mix these three together
  • 1 Tlb dried tarragon

and baked. However, in an effort to speed things along and lessen the number of pans to wash I opted to use boneless chicken breasts, sliced then brushed and sauteed. This time around I also added in some chopped mushrooms to saute. Once the chicken is cooked either put it aside while making the sauce or cook the chicken a bit less and finish cooking it while the sauce reduces.

The sauce:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup piima cream or creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 Tlb gelatin (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Mix the above together, stirring to incorporate any drippings. Cook till the sauce has thickened. If you put the chicken aside add it back in and make sure it’s hot then serve. I think it goes well with egg noodles or over rice.

I’ve made this 2 or 3 times now. This last time I didn’t have any dry white wine on hand so I used the juice from the preserved lemons to taste and left out the additional salt.

I like this recipe more than I thought I would. It’s a delicate lightly creamy sauce, a touch sweet from the tarragon yet balanced just enough by the mustard. I love the sauce over rice. So creamy -almost risotto-y. I liked the addition of mushrooms as well. My 4 and 2 year olds like it but the husband not so much- he’s not really a light slightly sweet creamy sauce kind of guy.

I really recommend going stove top on this recipe. NT calls for a 2 hour baking time for the chicken before making the sauce, using sliced boneless breasts (and my pressure cooker to make the rice in 10 mins) this meal is an easy 30 min meal.

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this post is part of: mouthwatering monday, homemaker monday, monday mania, real food 101, home savvy a to z, melt in your mouth monday, make your own! monday, homestead barn hop, make-it yourself monday, traditional tuesday, fat tuesday , hearth and soul, slightly indulgent tuesday, food for thought, weekend gourmet, frugal days sustainable ways, real food wednesday, what’s cooking, gluten-free wednesday, whole food wed, these chicks cooked, healthy2day, fight back friday,farmgirl friday, fresh bites friday, freaky friday,

Little Critters::stART

Just Me And My Puppy by Mercer Mayer

Several of the books we read this week had a reoccurring theme: puppies. Just Me And My Puppy by Mercer Mayer starts with Little Critter trading his mitt for a friend’s puppy (don’t get any ideas boys). Little Critter gets to keep the puppy as long as he takes care of it and so ensues his attempts to train his puppy. Of course the results aren’t quite what he was going for.

Using pipe cleaners and the instructions from Twisted Critters we twisted up a puppy and a mouse (because of the mouse Mercer Mayer often includes in the illustrations). The boys love them. The only downside is that the pipe cleaners don’t hold up well to  a lot of  handling (especially the handling by a 2 yr old).

Meet Snuff:

Ezra's Loopy Puppy

 And Squeak:

Noah's Mouse

 This post is part of stART

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Bear Caves::stART

After seeing Almost Unschooling’s bear caves I knew my boys would love to make their own after reading Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

picture ffom openlibrary.org

 They did! Going On A Bear Hunt is a modern classic. And art involving 3-D caves, glue and googly eyes is awesome! Noah and Ezra have also picked up the phrase ” What a beautiful day!”. So we’re hearing that a lot around here whenever the sun comes out. Love!

Here are two of Noah”s. They’re monster bears because Halloween isn’t just a day – it’s a season.

 mossy_stone

Squash! Saving Seeds

Acorn Squash

Winter squash is now In Season! I love winter squash, particularly those of the acorn or butternut variety. And pumpkin too, of course.

Squash are awesome because 1) they grow great (and slugs don’t eat them) 2) they have a long shelf life 3) they are versatile (roast, soups, mashed,pie,pancakes….) 4) they produce a ton of seeds.

Seeds from half an acorn squash.

And seeds are awesome because not only can you roast and eat them- you can save them to plant next year. Squash seeds are super easy to save too. Basically you just need to pull them out and lay them in a single layer to dry. Removing all chunks of squash to prevent mold. You can rinse them so they’re all nice and clean but I’ve found it doesn’t make a difference. Once dry I stick them in an envelope. For longer seed life stick the envelope in the freezer.

A great book about seed saving is Seed to Seed. Gorgeous photos too.

Seed to seed: seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth

 What’s your favorite way to prepare squash?

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This post is shared with Traditional Tuesdays , Real Food Wednesday , Simple Lives Thursday. and Fight Back Friday