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Monday, June 28, 2010

simple things

I love Black Eyed Susans. And I love this hot pad that I got at the Thrift Store off Michigan Avenue for a quarter.

Our first tomatoe is on it's way! I wonder if it will be red while we're out of town.

I loved watching my girls eating the mulberry buckwheat muffins I made for breakfast the other day

Thursday, June 24, 2010


No time for knitting or cooking this week! We got chickens!

Four lovely egg laying (this fall) ladies have joined our family. Isaiah named his Bawk Bawk. Solstice named hers Jar Jar. Aiden named his Landy (after a soccer dude) and I think Andre hasn't decided for sure yet.

We are in the process of building the hen-house. We are not exactly "power tool" kinda people, so it's taking a few days. But Andre made huge progree with it today.

I love them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

pie and kimchi

Yesterday after another day of strawberry picking I made this lemon strawberry pie. It needed to sit for 4 hours so we didn't eat it until tonight. It was great and not too terrible for you either.
Strawberry Lemon Pie
First make a grahm crust (6 crackers with melted butter smushed down into a pie plate).
Mix 2 boxes fat free cream cheese with 1 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme (gross, I know, but not too too terrible). Add 1 TBSP lemon juice. Once this is light and fluffy, mix in 2 cups strawberries. I think I should have drained my berries awhile. The pie didn't set well. But it was still awesome.

I've been talking about making Kimchi for awhile. With our latest scheme to try and eat food from every nation in the World Cup, it seemed like the time. So I started it yesterday. I put the nappa cabbage in a salt water brine over night. Today I started putting it all together to ferment.
~garlic, ginger, grated carrot and radish, green onion

~finely chopped brined nappa cabbage.

~salt, sugar, chilis and fish sauce

It says to leave this on the counter for 24 hours and then put it in the fridge for 2-3 days. I'm not sure what to expect. But I will tell you something- Fish sauce smells TERRIBLE! Food is such an experiment, and I love that.


Beans (with their fancy climbing steaks)

Future pickles

Tomatoe Flower

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ohhhh Freedom! Ohhhhhh Liberty (Tank)

I finished the Liberty Tank tonight! I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I like it, but maybe not on me? Hmmm.. Reminds me a lot of the hippie shirts I wore years ago.

It ties around the neck. The straps are wider on the bottom and then get thinner up where they need to be tied.

The bottom flares just a bit but not as much as the Freedom Skirt. (I can't believe I'm posting a picture of my belly here. Crazy.)

Ties in the back.

It's kinda see-through, eh? Not sure if I can wear this...

I'm a fool for Strawberries

Breakfast this morning was a granola bake with strawberries.
2 cups oats, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1 grated stick of butter- mixed well and patted into a baking pan.
On top was 2 cups of strawberries, mashed with a potatoe masher and mixed with 1/4 cup sugar.
Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.
It stayed soft and chewy. Yum.

I had intended to have this last night with dinner but we opted to play outside all evening when the sun came out. So I made this late last night and we'll eat them tonight.
Strawberry Fool-
3 cups strawberries, mashed with a potatoe masher and mixed with 1/4- 1/2 cup sugar. Let that sit for an hour.
Make 1 carton fresh whipping cream with a little sugar.
Fold the two together, very gently and pour into parfait glasses. (notice my rockin' 70's Tupperware parfait glasses- ohhh how I love them!)
You can put this in the fridge for a softer fool or the freezer for a harder fool.

Friday, June 11, 2010

~1 skein knitted~ for the Liberty Tank

I can't decide if I want the bottom to bell out like the skirt did or not. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

~Obsessive Mom Cake~

When Solstice and Aiden were babies, I was much more careful about food coloring and dairy. So it was hard to find cake mixes to use for their birthday cakes. I started making this cake that I adapted from The Farm Cookbook. They still love it and when we're in need of an easy treat, this is a standard baked goodie.

Obsessive Mom Cake
Mix together 1 stick butter or maragarine with (1 cup sugar + 1 ripe banana) or (1 1/2 cup sugar) or (1/2 cup sugar + 1 ripe banana + 1/2 cup applesauce). Once creamed add 3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. The alternatively add 3 cups flour and 2 cups milk (cow/soy/rice/etc)... ie... 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk... Then add some vanilla or maybe cinammon and/or nutmeg.
Bake at 350. I find that with the banana/applesauce options, it may take up to an hour to bake through. But it's usually closer to 30 minutes.

Check out Mr. Obsessive Cake Man :)
enjoy! xoxo

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Progress! and muffins

Starting that dreaded YOK2TOG pattern again! I'm working on my Liberty Tank to go with my Freedom Skirt. It will be quite the 4th of July ensemble.

The right side here will be the top. I'll put straps on it when I get the bottom done. The left is where I'm starting the lace pattern for the bottom. It occured to be today that I'm going to need something under this. Because really, am I going to want my belly showing? Not really. The pattern seems to be going easier than when I did it on the skirt.

Look at that Kraut progress!

I've had this package of buckwheat pancake mix in the cupboard for probably a year. The kids wouldn't eat it. But treated as muffins with strawberry and banana they ate them like mad!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

making sauerkraut

I used to think that I hated sauerkraut. I'm glad I tried it again a few years ago. Now we eat it all the time. The good, fresh stuff can be a little pricey so I looked into making it and found that it is quite simple. All you need is cabbage, salt, a crock or big jar and a knife.

I cut the cabbage quite fine. I've found that when I've tried to use my food processor it did not work very well. The kraut didn't turn out very well. So I stick with cutting it by hand. It's not as fine as what we would buy at the store, but it is still very good.

I layer it in the jar with a little bit of salt sprinkled over each layer.

It needs a little bit of a weight to push the cabbage down under the brine as it is released from the cabbage. I used a glass with some warm water on it. I generally cover this with a cloth (to keep out any flies or what-not) and leave it on the kitchen counter for a few weeks. I'll post again when it gets to that step.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

strawberry day~ part two

I put strawberries in the dehydrator last night. Today the house is full of the smell of strawberries. It is almost overwhelming. This evening about half were ready to come out of the dehydrator. They taste better than fruit leather. The flavor is intensified quite a bit. Isaiah calls them "candy" and got into the kitchen and stole the container of the finished berries and ran into his room, slammed the door and I'm pretty sure, intended to eat them all. I caught him though, of course.

I also made Strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight. I love my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
Strawberry Shortcake
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 stick butter- grated (trust me)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
Mix the dry ingredients. Grate the butter into the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg a little and then mix it with the milk and then pour this into the dry ingredients. Mix until just wet and pat it into a very greased cake pan. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
I had a few jars of jam that didn't set so I used that as the middle filling along with some whipped cream. On top I spooned on strawberries mashed with 1/4 cup sugar. And then plenty of whipped cream on top.

oh yum. xoxo

Friday, June 4, 2010

strawberry day!

I had planned to visit some family and run some errands today but the farm was calling me instead. So we packed up and went to pick strawberries today.
The kids were even more helpful this year. I would remind them how good strawberry freezer jam is on a cold february afternoon and that motivated them! We ended up having more than we could make into jam on one day!

It took me a few hours to clean and process them. It's a lot of standing in one spot but well worth it. Plus, I got to nibble as I worked.

Before we got too far into the jam I put a pie in the oven. We had this for dinner. The picture just doesn't do it justice. It was amazing. I made a shortbread crust and just cooked the berries with sugar and a little flour. Simple and delish.

Then my friend came over and we kicked out 23 jars of freezer jam! The color of the berries is beautiful this time of year. The jam is scarlet colored. Beautiful!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Liberty Tank

I thought my Freedom Skirt needed a top to go with it. So I cast on 120 stitches.