Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hot off the Needles

Its 1030 at night and I have stayed up way past my bedtime in order to finish a knitting project. This project is special to me, because not only did I knit the items, but I handspun the yarn too! I love being able to go one step before knitting and actually create the yarn. I am pretty pleased with how the colors turned out, and how the items knitted up. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Everything Pumpkin

My supply of 20 pumpkins from a neighboring farm is slowly dwindling. I feel like everywhere I turn there is something pumpkin. Not that I mind... I use what i can, save what I can, and the rest goes to the pigs. They eat the skin and stringy meat that i cant use.

I finished up the last round of pumpkin butter last night. That left me with 10 remaining pumpkins. I plan on pureeing the rest and freezing it for future use. To use up some of the puree, I did make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars from this awesome website. You will notice in the picture I just couldnt wait to sample it. We will say its in the name of quality control. As I type I have pumpkins baking in the oven and seeds drying on the counter. When I am done baking the pumpkins, I will roast the seeds for a healthy snack.

I think it is safe to say that we will be set on the pumpkin supply...Good think we love pumpkin!

A successful batch of yogurt

Last night I had my alarm set for 1:20am and 5:40am. I had to get up at 1:20 to turn off the crockpot full of pumpkin butter. I had to get up at 5:40 to turn off the yogurt, and cool the containers in the fridge. I was grumbling because it was early and I am not feeling well and I did not want to get up twice in one night. Let me tell you, it was all worth it this morning. I had a bowl full of goats milk yogurt (from the goat I milked yesterday) and a spoonful of pumpkin butter for some flavor. YUM! Moreso than the fact that this breakfast is healthy and free, I can take pride knowing its one more step to being self sufficient. One more thing I dont need to buy at the grocery store. That makes me happy. Until I learn to make cheese with the goats milk, I foresee us eating lots of home made yogurt for breakfast. The yogurt itself is pretty sour (no more sour than plain yogurt from the grocery store). I am open to any suggestions to add flavor or sweetener without too much sugar. Tomorrow I might try adding just a touch of honey. Does anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Roll Out the Red Carpet...She's back!

Hello blogland! I am extremely happy to report that our computer is now fixed! The monitor had gone out, and we wrestled with buying a new computer. I have been wanting a laptop. Since a new monitor is over $150, and laptops are only a little more (ok a lot more) we went back and forth on what to do. I scoured craigslist for cheap monitors, but didnt find anything...until last week. I bought a monitor for $25! That sealed the deal and I am glad to say I am back in the blog business!

We have been super busy here this week. If you remember, a while back I was given a huge (and I mean HUGE) alpaca fleece. To you non-fibery people this is the fur of the alpaca after they are shorn. I was happy to correct one of my coworkers, that I am not killing the alpaca for their fiber...they are shorn yearly. Anyways, on friday I picked up part of my order. Oh my goodness! I will be spinning alpaca for-ever....This alpaca fleece will provide me with hours upon hours of spinning and then knitting.

We have also been quite busy in the kitchen. I have recently been in a canning fix. It started with apples-applesauce, apples in water, apple butter... then it switched to tomatoes...then to salsa (to use up the ton of peppers from our garden)...and today its pumpkin. We went to the farm down the street to pick up some pumpkins. I had said we wanted to get 20 pie pumpkins. Since the pumpkins were still in the field, the farmer said to give him a $20 and drive to the field and take what we want. Talk about a nice farmer! Dont worry, we just took our 20, since thats still quite a steal and under $1 per pumpkin. We have been busy cleaning, gutting, baking, puree-ing and cooking the pumpkins.

Not everything has gone smoothly. I attempted to make yogurt with some of the goats milk. epic fail! I am not sure if I did it wrong, but it just stayed milk... I will try again tomorrow after work. Tonight the kitchen is devoted to pumpkins.

The animals are all doing well. The pigs graduated to the official pig pen and are loving it! The two new goats are in a pen that shares a wall with the other herd. They can socialize all day, but the original herd cant hurt the new girls. Normally after a period of introduction, we would merge the two groups. However since both the new girls are (hopefully) pregnant, we dont want them to lose the babies. So until they have their kids sometime in feb, they will be kept seperate. The chicken pen was enlarged today to almost double what it was before. The chickens were very excited about this and displayed their gratitude by immediately rushing the new area and clearing it of bugs. The turkeys are huge, and we are trying to plan how to butcher them. Any ideas? Our issue is finding something large enough to scald them in to loosen the feathers. We might have to use a metal trash can with a fire underneath.

On a very happy note, I am planning on putting in my two weeks notice at work tomorrow. Ill explain in a different post my reasonings, but in a nutshell the commute is just too long for the amount of money I make. We have calculated out that we have the opportunity to save more, and work on our homesteading goals with me staying home. More to come on that.

Well fellow bloglanders, I am signing off for the night. I have my alarm set for 2am so I can turn the crockpot off. My only consolation is that I will be able to go right back to sleep, and wake up to pumpkin-y goodness in the morning. Good night all!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Augh, dead computer

Dear friends, I am so sorry there have been no recent blog posts. Our computer at the house has died, and until we get a new one I am unable to post blogs. There is so much I want to say and share and I am afraid I will forget it all by the time we get a new computer. As far as a quick update goes, we have added 2 new goats into our family and are getting milk on a daily basis. We have been enjoying having fresh milk and even made goats milk ice cream last night. The chickens are laying only about an egg a day and are enjoying their "vacation". The turkeys are huge and will have to be processed this month before Thanksgiving. Last weekend we had a freak snowstorm and lost power for 2 days. It made us realize how unprepared we are for a true disaster. We lost a total of 5 meat chicks from the lack of a heat lamp. I will do a whole post later on the snowstorm. In the meantime, I wanted to explain why there havent been any blog updates. Hopefully we will have a new computer soon. until then, I will be pretty absent. Thanks for understanding!