Sunday, November 28, 2010

Independance Day Challenge - 28 November 2010

It's been a very quiet week. I've been enjoying the rest, and getting ready for Yule.

1. Plant something:

2. Harvest something: nothing

3. Preserved something: Dried lots of kale and turnip greens.

4. Waste not: I failed here; threw out a lot of food that got lost in the fridge.

5. Want not: Went shopping. Realized I didn't want or need anything there. Left.

6. Build community: Spent a day with one of My Farmers, who has become a Friend as well. I learned I really do like the sounds the hens make - they almost seemed to be purring (hensong!) All the items purchased that day were locally produced - mohair for spinning, handmade soap for DD, a beeswax candle, hand-blown beads to make mother's gift.

7. Eat the food: Sampled Bourbon Red turkey yumminess. Brussells Sprouts with Sausage. Kale and sausage soup. Ended up not cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner... for all two of us.

8. Crafting: Working on niece's afghan. Spinning.

Turkey Tasting

I was recently given just a bit of leftover turkey to try. Not a big deal on the surface, but this was pastured Bourbon Red turkey.

Oh my yum.

Bourbon Reds are a heritage breed, and they are on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. All of this is great, but it doesn't inspire me to pay something in the $100+ range for one turkey. Tasting it, on the other hand, worked great. Remember turkey flavor? Remember dark meat? I haven't run into either in years. Dear Fiance can have the breast meat - which has actual Turkey Flavor - and I'll have the dark meat. Works great.

Now, the challenge: To find, and budget for, a Bourbon Red turkey for Yule. Right after Thanksgiving, which will be the hardest part! And yes, they are good enough to pay the $100ish for, plus drive a couple hours to pick one up. Yum.

Dark meat and breast meat (leftovers, not fresh from the oven) from a Bourbon Red turkey:

Bourbon Red turkey meat

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Independace Days, 21 November 2010

1. Plant something: nothing yet

2. Harvest something: a bit of chard

3. Preserved something: dried lots of greens; cooked & froze pumpkin & extra potpie filling.

4. Waste not: veggie scraps into a freezer bag, to make into stock.

5. Want not: nothing this week

6. Build community: Making plans to visit local farms - does that count?

7. Eat the food: Rubber chicken, greens, turnips and potatoes and eggs.

8. Crafting: Finished the mittens, working on the afghan again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Anyway, November edition

Sharon's Anyway Project

My goals for November (anything in italics is Sharon's):

Domestic Infrastructure - Finish decluttering the storage. I've inventoried the food, craft supplies & projects-in-progress will be next.

Household Economy: Paying cash for this Yule. Refilling the BEF (basic emergency fund). Not going over budget this month!

Resource Consumption: Trying to stay out of the stores as much as possible.

Cottage Industry and Subsistence:

  • Subsistence: learning to knit mittens & socks.
  • Cottage Industry: Still researching, looking at possibilities.

Family and Community: "Pretty much what it sounds like. How do we enable those to take the place of collapsing infrastructure?"

Outside Work: "Finding a balance, doing good work, serving the larger community as much as we can, within our need to make a living."

Time and Happiness: I need to learn to not over-schedule my weekends. I hardly get to rest even one day a week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Independance Days 16 November 2010

The weather is finally turning cold, and the sun sets while I'm a work. Winter is cozening up to us.

1. Plant something:

2. Harvest something: a bit of chard

3. Preserved something: dried chard, kale, turnip greens

4. Waste not: saved veggie trimmings for broth - I've actually never done that before. Checked the freezer, ate saved leftovers. Use frozen bananas to make muffins for breakfast.

5. Want not: Small bag of donations in the car for the thrift store.

6. Build community: did some research for one of my farmers. Found another farmer who has free-range chicken and pork, and will be raising lamb - and might be selling fiber!

7. Eat the food: Roast chicken, cooked kale, root stew, tomato-and-lettuce sandwich, apple muffins, yumminess.

8. Crafting: Making convertible mitten-gloves for DFH.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Saturday Afternoon

Saturday projects
Peanut brittle from the farmer's market, mittens for my love, homemade banana muffins, first harvest of Swiss chard, and cotton fabric for a new project underneath all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Pair of Pillowcases

We use king size pillows, but we only have full size pillow cases. I decided to extend those to the needed length, and so went out and picked up quilt fabric to add to the pillow cases. I chose 'fat quarters' that JoAnn's has for sale and simply matched them to the pillow case I'd brought with me.

First I ironed the pillowcases inside out, making sure the seams were flat. Then I cut off the seam on the narrow end, where I will add my fabric.

Trimming the Seam

I get the fabric and make sure it's folded so that I have enough length (it works one way, but not the other, due to the way it's cut). I iron it that way and then use my quilting supplies to trim it square.

I'm using french seams on this project, as I don't have a serger.

I hem one short end of the quilt fabric, creating a finished seam, and then turn it inside out.

Sewing the SeamThe pillow I have right side out. The quilt fabric goes inside the pillow, right side facing in. I match up the seams - the side seam on the pillow with the short one on the quilt fabric. Next, sew down both long sides, starting from the seams and going down. Don't finish them, just stitch the pieces together. I leave the bottom (the long seam) open while I do these sides.

Once both sides are done, pull the quilt fabric out of the pillow and sew shut the open end of the quilt fabric. You want to make this seam just a bit longer, say 5/8", than the outside edge of the pillow. This is your seam allowance to finish the seam and hide the fabric edges.

Trim the extra fabric on all the seams down to about 1/8".

Turn the pillowcase inside out, and tuck the fabric quilt back inside the original pillowcase. Sew the seams from this side to create the french seam on the inside. The frayed edge of the fabric should be completely hidden inside the seam. When the side seams are done, pull the quilt fabric out again and finish the last seam.

Enjoy your new pillowcases!

Finished Pillowcases
Two pillowcase pairs I made this way. The crochet afghan was made for us by my mother.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Late-season canning

We canned up the last of the late tomatoes yesterday. I say 'last,' because this time I totaled three jars of diced tomatoes. She's had a bit less every week, highs now are in the low 60's, and she is north of me. Tomatoes like heat; this isn't it. Total, we did two batches of whole tomatoes and just over a batch of diced tomatoes. Two pints of something strongly resembling tomato sauce are put up and there are extra diced tomatoes in the fridge and freezer. I'm thinking about pureeing the bunch of them and seeing if I can get soup out of it.

I'm still not done canning for the winter. I want to can up our own pinto beans, chickpeas, and blackeye peas. We need more homemade convenience foods (we ate them all!). I want to put up canned carrots, plain and sugared, and sweet potatoes the same way. All of this, thank heavens, can be done when I'm ready; all but the potatoes will come fresh or dried from the grocer. The pumpkins I want to put up are sitting on the floor behind me.

The winds are blustering outside, the air is crisp and wonderful. I love this weather, and the comfort of having food and fiber put up to care for my family over the winter.

Fiber, here, being blankets, sweaters, socks, yarn...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Independance Days - 8 November 2010

I got a lot done this weekend. Hallow'een is put up, the candy is gone, and the house is dressed for fall. Warm clothes and blankets are out, and water stays ready for tea. We've turned the heat on, barely, with temps outside getting down to the 30's but not much over 50 - the house won't stay warm enough without the heat on.

1. Plant something: sigh...

2. Harvest something: ... still nothing. It may be too late for outdoor planting until spring.

3. Preserved something: More tomatoes! Pumpkins are lining up for their turn.

4. Waste not: Lots of leftovers this week. The fridge & freezer were bursting...

5. Want not: More repairs to items we have. Winter clothes and extra blankets came home from the off-site storage. I did a massive-for-me clean Saturday and the house feels & looks much better. Some piles seemed to disappear on their own while I did this, which is a nice bonus. I'm working on the remaining, much smaller piles.

6. Build community: nothing. It seems like everyone nested this week.

7. Eat the food: Chevon slow-cooked in homemade Barbeque sauce; mashed potatoes, turnip greens with bacon. Apple muffins with last fall's canned apples. Breakfast tortillas with local eggs & yellow tomatoes.

8. Crafting: Mittens for my love. Just that one project because he needs them!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Applesauce, compared

This post was started last fall, when we got that 120lbs of apples. I thought it was posted until recently; it seemed appropriate to post it during (or at least near) the current apple season.


Mott's Unsweetened Organics, 8oz:
100 cal, 28 carb, 0 protein, 2 fiber, 0 Vitamin A, 2.4mg Vitamin C, 0 Calcium, 200mg potassium.

My home-canned applesauce, via recipe entered into CalorieCount:
236 cal, 63 carb, 1.2 protein, 10.9 fiber, 245 IU Vitamin A, 21mg Vitamin C, 28mg Calcium, 485mg potassium.

I'm not sure what the canning process might change here, but just off this... wow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Independance Days 1 November 2010

The weather has been varied - highs in mid 80's to mid 50's. The cool, crisp weather is what I like best. I need to do a pantry inventory and some meal planning, then make sure I'll have at least most of what I'll need.

1. Plant something: nothing, still need to get planters up. I really need to get better about this.

2. Harvest something: nada

3. Preserved something: 14 lbs of tomatoes, canned whole. My fiance helped and enjoyed working on it with me. Yay! We now have all the whole tomatoes done, and I found a store with tomato paste in glass jars. Next up is diced tomatoes, then soup & ketchup. I also have pumpkins and dried beans waiting to be canned, and I'm stocking up on jars again. Current plans will use all I currently have.

4. Waste not: Juice from the tomatoes we canned will go in the freezer for later use in soups as kind of a one-veggie stock. I'm thinking it would be good in the crockpot with beef?

5. Want not: The thrift pile is slowly growing. Clothing had sewing repairs done.

6. Build community: Spoke with a lady at the store about local foods, gave her one of my farmer's cards and websites to find more food.

7. Eat the food: Root stew. I've barely cooked this week, and I can feel it - more tired, more bleh feeling. Tonight is Tacos and most of that is local (meat, lettuce, tomatoes)

8. Crafting: Fixed 4 items from the sewing pile. Two easy items left; the remainder will take a bit more work. I'm doing easy crochet projects while we watch TV.