Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making bread.......

With 6 kiddos and hunky hubby it seems that we are always in need of bread. I bake twice a week and usually make 5 one pound loaves. One loaf is devoured hot out of the oven ( and really you can't blame them hot bread is the best!) and the other four are gone in two days and everyone is hollering for more bread.
I use a sourdough starter that came from my great Aunt. She baked like a pro and used her starter for 40 years or more. The starter has a wonderful flavor and adds a beautiful rise, the only problem is that it uses the sponge method in the process. To bake bread from start to finish it is about 18 hours. In order to have enough bread I typically have a bowl on the counter full of dough. I love to make bread luckily because I am always making bread....... what are you doing today???

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Grounds keepers are on strike!

Our ground crew of Muscovy ducks are on strike.. I haven't seen much bug munchin' or weeding for about a week now. We started with a large crew of 12. Nine are gone, some found a better paying job at the neighbors pond and some became dinner to go for the coyotes. The three that are left are male and they do a wonderful job I am very pleased with their work.
I noticed some funny stuff going on with the boys...they started pushing each other around and going out dancing when they should be working. I wondered what was up and then spotted the problem. She came to visit. Her beautiful long neck and sleek feathers were just too much for the boys. She called to them to dance and next thing you know the garden is empty. Who's gonna keep those weeds down? What about all the juicy slugs that are setting up house in the lettuce? I was left high and dry for a pretty face!! I am not sure where she came from. The boys are VERY happy she is here and I am too. I hope with all that romance and dancing going on we will soon have a new little family. I wonder what the child labor laws say about ducklings?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New raspberry patch

We have raspberries and blackberries in the orchard already but due to a huge oversight it is now overgrown with very thorny blackberries. When we started planning the farm out and ordering trees and such we found a great deal on some blackberry canes. We planted like 50. They were the wild variety come to find out and now we have a 100x60 patch of thorns. We have cut them down, we have tilled them under and it seems to have spurred the canes in to the super cane I will not die mode. Somewhere in the midst of the thorny kingdom are my lovely red raspberry canes. I can see them I just can't get to them. So now in despair and desperation to have raspberry canes (so I can make my famous raspberry chipotle jam) I planted another patch. Stark brothers was having a sale and I bought 12 new canes.. I planted them FAR away from the thorny dungeon. Here's hoping they do well!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What do ya get when you combine hot bread with a 8 year old boy??

Smooshed bread... never leave the house with bread cooling on the counter and hungry kiddos..

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Someone's been workin overtime...

I love collecting eggs, there is something about it that is exciting.. how many will I get, what color are they, and how big will they be. The hens must see my excitement at this and have taken to laying double yolk eggs. They are HUGE!!! At first I thought that the ducks had gotten in the nest and laid the egg. Now I see that there is no way it is a duck egg. I get a double yolk egg about every four days. I am saving them for a killer custard pie(hunky hubby's favorite!)
I love a good egg hunt!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Violet jelly recipe


2 c. violet flower juice (see below)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pkg. powdered pectin
4 c. sugar

Violet flower juice: Tightly pack 1 quart jar full of violet flowers. Fill the jar with boiling water, cover tightly and let steep overnight. Strain off juice. Discard flowers.
To 2 cups violet flower juice, add lemon juice and powdered pectin. Bring to a boil and add sugar all at once. Bring to boil again and boil hard for one minute. Skim off foam, ladle into jars and seal. Makes approximately 5 1/2 pints.

Wild violet jelly

In the spring our yard is full of beautiful wild violets. I know it is spring when my lawn turns in to a sea of flowers. I love to candy the violets and use them for the tops of cakes and treats but have never done much else with them. I was cruising the net for ideas to use these beauties and came across a jelly recipe. I was not too sure how it would turn out I usually do not like floral flavors. I had #5 go out and help me pick a basket of flowers. The recipe has you make a tea from the flowers and then make the jelly. I followed along and to my surprise violet jelly is wonderful. I love the beautiful pink color, #5 says it is princess jelly. I am very pleased with the results, well worth the time