Friday, December 26, 2014

Dreary December

We have had about 6 days that the sun has actually been shining on our solar array all month long, and two of those days were yesterday and today. So, I have taken a trip back to to the laundry mat and have not vacuumed, charged the computer/hotspot, or the batteries that run our radio... I thought that it has been more dramatic than that, but really it's not very dramatic at all.
 I have had plenty of fun doing things that don't require any power.

I sauteed a big ol' pan of onions, so I could freeze some for later and use some for our beet sandwich

I think that cooked onions look like worms... yum! 

Beets are one of my favorite food, you can't go wrong, wrap in foil and bake until they are tender.

Glenn liked the grilled beet, cheese and onion sandwich, so that's how I will have to fix beets for him, even though I like to eat them peeled with a dash of salt. 

I started on my meal planner again... to make sure there is some sort of variety in our diet, 
because otherwise we just keep eating the same things over and over again. 

My first time using my flour grinder in the cabin! 

I love making my own fresh flour, but a little intimidated to start making bread in the wood stove because the temperature fluctuates so much, but I will be trying soon. 

 Glenn hung a rack to extend my dish drying space, it really helps.

Splitting wood

It has been a mild winter so far, with lots of rain, 
so there are tons of mushrooms that are looking as cute as ever. 

Hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas! Can't believe 2014 is almost over!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Frosty Winter Day

My morning tea came with a great quote.

 I decided to make some tea to replenish my kombucha ferment. 
She has been neglected since... before we moved here,
 so a really really long time for a kombucha mother to be neglected. 

I made a huge batch but this is the recipe ratio that I work from.

I had to find the organic black and green tea that I use for my kombucha, it was still packed away in the extension like a lot of my kitchen stuff that just does not fit into the kitchen. 

Found a ton of my tea that I decided I should pull out for the winter. 

Then I realized that I had mashed potatoes in the stock pot that I use to make the tea. So I googled some leftover mashed potato ideas and came up with a mashed potato crusted egg bake. 

It turned out yum, it looks burnt but it was not, just a good crisp hashbrown crust.

Glenn hung up all my cast iron skillets! 

Went for a peaceful walk with Mojo and enjoyed the frosted views.

Mojo was snoozin pretty hard after our walk.

We had another sweet girl start to lay. She is our Americana who could have either layed a pink, blue, green, or brown egg. We were hoping for anything but the brown egg of course. 

She did really well! At first I thought it was green, but now I think it looks more blue. 

The pictures really don't bring out much of the color. This is her's and one of our Cinnamon Queen's

Hope your cold winter has been as beautiful as ours. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This Picture Makes Me Laugh!

How could it not? This is the funniest picture ever! 

It is sooo hard to get a good picture of a chicken!
The above Silkie was interested in the shiny camera, and that's why I got a good and humorous pic. 

The Cinnamon Queen is always friendly, but she is normally blurred in her glamour shots.  

Mojo thinks that if he waits long enough it will be his turn to eat some tasty chicken food.
Ms. White Rock is not concerned. 

 This is the crazy range of egg sizes that we get. Who laid what? 
In order from left to right:
 Silkie, Cinnamon Queen and White Rock. 

Fall Food Fun!!

We went to a pumpkin patch with Glenn's wonderful family, and picked out a nice BIG pumpkin to be a little more festive than we normally are. We had big plans to carve it, and we never did, so I gave it a good washing and plopped it onto the good ol' cutting board. 

It was an awfully pretty pumpkin, inside and out. 

I filled up the dutch oven(thanks Moma G), stock pot, and both oven racks.

Then I pureed them in my food processor(thanks again!)
Running the food processor on solar energy makes me very happy!

bagged them up and put them in the freezer!
Of course I made some chickpea pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pie pancakes, and sweet potato pumpkin casserole with the stuff I didn't freeze, so I'm already having too much fun!

I also made some scrumptious beet and carrot dilly sticks by natural fermentation! Yum! 
Easy as cutting up some raw veggies!

Making a salt water brine at a ratio of 1/2 Tablespoon salt to 2 Cups of water.

I added random herbs that I love plus some lavender, sage, and thyme from the garden

 Once everything was combined, I used some greens to help keep all the goodness under the brine and prevent the garlic and such from floating to the surface. This ensures that you won't have moldy nasty-ness on the top of your yum ferment. 

I could have eaten the whole jar, after it had sat out at room temperature for about 4 days. 
Glenn liked it too, but he only likes it in small amounts. 
Here it is on top of one of our girls eggs! Very yummy combo!

More W.O.M Room Heat

We originally thought that by putting a vent fan in the bathroom that would blow into the WOM Room, we would be able to regulate an above freezing temperature. Well, when we did a test run, we found that the fan actually drew such a draft that it was pulling smoke from our wood stove! We had a room full of smoke before I could even maneuver myself out of the cat-napper! 
So, this still may be an option if we closed the bathroom door before turning on the vent, 
but Glenn already had a plan B up his sleeve.
He decided that the refrigerator fan that pulls air from the bottom front to the back of the fridge might just be enough warm air exchange to help keep it warm in there. 
So, off he went to see what the result was.

First he tore off the cardboard back vent thing, and traced it onto some wood 
to make a new and more supportive one.

Then he drilled a big hole in the wall and fit the duct work into that from behind the cabinets.
 He used a ton of shiny tape to get a good seal on the ducting and the new wood backing.

I slowly pushed the fridge back in place while he guided the duct 
work back to make sure it would not kink. 

Then he climbed out and pushed the fridge in the rest of the way.
He went to work in the WOM Room fitting on the  "anti-back draft flap"? and screen 
to keep drafts and critters out. 

It worked great, so far the WOM Room has stayed above freezing, but with all this cold, we will be VERY lucky if the pipes do not freeze…we are concerned about the trench that we dug…maybe not deep enough from the cistern to the cabin. Only time will tell. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our 1st Snow!!

Unbelievably, we got our first beautiful blanket of snow on Sunday! It was a peaceful day, although waaaay to early to want to see snow, it's here so why not love it. Although I am in high hopes that it will all melt away soon.

Enjoying a walk through the woods

Can't believe all the fall colors are already gone!

Unfinished geodesic done has another cold winter to endure

Solar array will need a little extra sun to melt this off

Glenn's artwork looks good in the snow too

The chicken run shanty, this is my creation... as if that's not obvious! :)

It is keeping the chickens dry and out of the snow when they want to be

I thought they would all stop laying with it getting so cold, but our Cinnamon Queen is determined