Camping & Swimming

We’ve been enjoying the outdoors while it’s not snowing. Camping out here and there and cooling off at our new favorite swimming hole. The work and play of Summer doesn’t leave much time for crafting, never mind keeping up with posting here on Mossgrownstone.  Stick with me tho, I’ll try to post as often as I can and, if there is anything you’d like to hear, or see, more of – just mention it in the comments.

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It’s a boys’ life

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Sometimes you just have to stop and have some fun!

Struggling_along picked up some model rockets and boy, are they a blast! The boys love every bit of it, from setting it up to retrieval. To top it off the boys were elated to go camping out for the weekend; even little Ishmael spent a whole night out in the tent. We also had a fantastic cook out: steak, salad from the garden, and of course the traditional hot dogs and marshmallows (or s’mores) for those who wanted them.

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Summer, just the way it should be.

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Dairy Kefir In The Winter Kitchen {plus NT recipe}

During the summer I keep a jar of dairy kefir out on the counter. I use it freely and top it off daily – with summers abundent milk supply. Now that winter is here I find our dairy kefir usage has plummeted. It’s just too cold to mix up a frosty smoothie and, not in the least, our milk supply has dried up. Yet, kefir grains need to be fed regularly. So how does dairy kefir fit into my winter kitchen?

For starters I keep my jar of diary kefir in the fridge. This slows the fermenting process down considerably. That means there’s less to use daily and I can feed my grains less frequently. The kefir still ferments so when I do want to use some I can. Then I replace however much I just used up with fresh milk. If I use over half the jar I might leave the jar out to ferment on the counter, otherwise it might not be ready for a few days at least.

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During the summer kefir generally goes into smoothies and veggie dips and dressings. During the winter I use kefir mainly as a replacement for yogurt or buttermilk in recipes, like pancakes or meatloaf for example. These are cooked so they won’t contain the benefits of live kefir; although any grains in the recipe will benefit from soaking in the acidic kefir. You can still reap the benefits of kefir’s live cultures if you make dressing, dip or consume it unheated in some other way.

Here is a recipe I adapted from Nourishing Traditions, it’s kind of a three recipes in one recipe. It’s a light mild dressing. NT calls for piima cream or creme fraiche but I used kefir instead.

Creamy Dressing

First make the basic dressing (pg129 NT) This makes about 3/4 cup.

Combine the mustard and vinegar then add in the oil in a thin stream, stirring all the while till emulsified.

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 Tlb plus 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar ( NT calls for wine vinegar)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tlb flax oil, if you have it.

Add 1 tsp finely chopped fresh herbs i.e. parsley, oregano, tarragon, thyme, basil etc. This is now the herb dressing (also pg 129 of NT).

Finally blend in 1/4 cup kefir.

 Now you have 1 cup creamy dressing (pg 131 of NT).

Adjust seasoning to taste. I like to let it sit for a while to let the herbs have a chance to release their flavor.

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Some other recipes using kefir:

Susan’s Whole Wheat Kefir Pancakes   (or use your favorite pancake recipe replacing the buttermilk or milk with kefir)

Kefir Pizza Crust

Ranch Dip (from cultures for health- this one is a favorite)

Also, try straining the kefir for a thick & smooth kefir cheese. Season with herbs and salt and pepper. You can roll the seasoned cheese into small (about golf ball size) balls. Place balls in a jar and cover with olive oil.

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homestead barn hop, fat tuesday, slightly indulgent tuesday, real food wednesday, gluten free wednesday, fight back friday, pennywise platter, farmgirl friday

A Few Tops {KCCO/Yarn Along}

Back before we had this shift in the weather, and it was still hot out, I found myself needing a few shirts that were not stretched out beyond wearing and were cool enough for summer. I just happened to be perusing  One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. I had this book for years but for some reason had never made anything from it. This time through I noted several patterns to make, after all they only use one yard of fabric, and to satisfy my actual need for shirts I made myself a Pintucked Top (pgs 130-131) and the incredibly easy Mother-Daughter Halter Tops (pgs 142-143). Although since I don’t have a daughter I just made one adult sized top. Having no bias tape on hand nor wanting to take the time to make any I resorted to doubling some bulky yarn and crocheting a simple chain to use instead. I used this same crocheted chain instead of ribbon on the halter top as well.

My and my 2 yr old’s attempts to take photos of me:

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Milking the goats. Pretty good photo for a toddler.

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The fabric up close- one of my favorites!

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The halter top. The back is just a simple tie, which my hair covers anyways.

Also, I’ve finished Sea and Sky Planet X which was a knitting project from earlier this summer. The cooler weather makes this the perfect time to wear it. This was my first time knitting with Noro. What took me so long!? I love the colors they use in their skeins.

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This post is part of KCCO and Yarn Along