Thursday, March 26, 2015
While I'm awaiting all the wonderful flowers that will be peeking through the snow soon, like the ones above and all the different types of daffodils we have here, I've been plucking away at the to do list. For the past three months, I've not really felt like doing much, been in a serious winter funk. Outside of keeping the house remotely clean, stocking the wood box, keeping the wood stove going all day, I've not accomplished all that much. Well, I did make and can lots of bone broth, canned my first meat (pork and chicken) and canned lots of dry beans. I use beans in a lot of things, I kind of sneak them into things like tacos, soups, and casseroles. We've been on a meat reduction of sorts around here, and using beans stretches the meat factor a lot and provides us with healthy fiber and protein. I try to can what I'm able to do in the off season, like beans and meat so that when the garden is overflowing I don't have to worry about the staples. I've got what I need, already canned, and that's a relief. I've been enjoying canning the meat and beans and having them ready to serve. If I have a night where I run out of time to do something, I can open up a can of black beans and pork and have tacos in minutes...or chili, or some of the soup I also canned. It's like having my own fast food restaurant, only much, much better.
Daffodil smiles to you,
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Did you miss me? I've been having technical difficulties with Blogger, and I may be moving this blog to another service because not being able to upload photos makes my blog, well, not my blog. I find the photography at least as fun if not more so then the writing. Right now, it just won't let me upload photos and I'm having not much luck figuring it out. Grrrr....computers are your best friend or your worst enemy, honestly!
Winter has been very hard here at Grace Note. We're ready to fetch the tauntauns! If I could post the pictures for those of you not able to look out the window at the frozen world that is New England, you would see why. The snow is now half way up the bottom floor windows, which is about 5 1/2 feet up. Most of that fell in the span of 2 weeks and we've also been dipped into subzero weather for far too long. It's becoming a problem with the morale around here. I'm usually knee deep in gardening and chicken catalogs. Not this year. I can't even see the end of the snow tunnel here. We wanted to wait to get the chickens until we'd be able to put them out in the outdoor pen after a few weeks in the house. We could do that if the temps stay up high enough at night for us to have them outside. Since the little chicks coop is currently full of over five feet of snow, and we're predicted 5-8" more inches tonight and another 12" possible on Wed...well, not feeling too optimistic about the chances of chicks arriving before June. Planning this early for that is a bit tough since it's a bunch of time between now and then, a really, really long time. And I would usually be putting some seeds in to have some seedlings ready to go when the ground warmed, but I'm looking at snow almost half way up the sliding glass door windows in our dining room. We usually put the flats of seeds on the floor as it's the best sun. Right now, the sun doesn't reach the floor because of the snow level.
Cabin fever has set in badly, feeling a bit hopeless, but that comes with the tough winter territory. On the up side, we've been warmer this year with the new stove, that has been a blessing. That along with the three cord of wood I got last summer, dry and wonderfully full of blessed BTU's. Some days, I need a diversion to keep spirits up, not just for me but for the guys in the house as well. Today's diversion included a yummy banana cake right from the Bob's Red Mill Baking Book. Thought I'd share that with you in case you were needing a diversion of your own.
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c soy flour (I used all purpose since I have soy issues)
1/2 c ground flax seed meal
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c soy milk (I used almond milk, but any kind of milk will work)
1/3 c honey or maple syrup (or you could use cane sugar as well)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 med ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
3 T unsalted butter
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8"x8" baking pan or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, flax seed meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, honey, egg, vanilla and bananas. Combine milk mixture with the flour mixture until combined. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Hope everyone out there is doing okay in this long and cold winter. Our dog is the only one that seems to still be excited about new snowfall these days. Keep on keepin' on! We'll get through it!
Enjoy a little comfort cake,