At This Moment

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At this moment I am…

~continuing to stitch away at some new dish wash cloths.

~very thankful I got caught up on all things school yesterday.  I feel that I can take a big breath and a sigh of relief.

~even more thrilled I got all of the above mentioned work-type items done yesterday, because we have a day off of school today because of the frigid temperatures.  Hooray for snow days (Well, cold days) 🙂

~checking on my curing soap I have stowed away in my basement.  More on this adventure in next week’s posts.

~preparing to ferment a new batch of kombucha.  The cold weather has really slowed down my kombucha brewing, but I’m hoping I can get a new batch up and running today.

~reading Michael Pollan’s newest book, Cooked:  A Natural History of Transformation.  As with all of his texts, this one does not disappoint.  It is truly captivating, and also so informative and inspiring at the same time.

~organizing craft supplies.  My little ones mentioned before their heads hit the pillow last night: “Mommy, if we don’t have school tomorrow, can it be Valentine-making Day?”  Well gals, Valentine-making Day it is!

~flipping through Ashley English’s A Year of Pies.  I feel as if a day off school warrants a day of eating pie, right?

~wishing you all a warm Thursday, friends.

Brew and Moo

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The mercury had risen just a touch, but enough to make it bearable outside.  The snow fell lightly upon the ground, leaving a white dusting on the roofs of houses and the paved roadways.  This past weekend we took full advantage of this beauty.  I kept the kitchen warm with the stovetop all abustle, and the smell of warm milk in the air.  Meanwhile, my hubby could be found in the nearby garage, reading and mixing his brew with the aromas of hops pouring forth into the crisp air outside.  The girls frolicked in the snow, while the cat sat perched in a tree, taking in all the action.

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My oldest daughter and I used our favorite cheese kit and made two pounds of fresh mozzarella cheese.  (You can check out our previous cheesemaking experience here.)  For the first time, I allowed her to truly assist me by slowly stirring the curd and then stretching it, adding salt, and then forming it into small balls of deliciousness.  The best part of the entire experience was when this six year-old, who normally only likes “cooked cheese,”  took a ball of fresh mozzarella and bit in.  She said, “Well, I only like cheese that I make.  That’s the only kind I’ll eat.”  Love.

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The holidays left us empty handed in the home-brew department, so my husband brewed three fresh batches this weekend.  He tried out a new brewing kit, and then made two tried and true favorites…a caramel creme ale and a fabulous breakfast stout.

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The finished products of the day:  beer, cheese and a bit of hot chocolate of course.  Is there anything better?  Yum!

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Our Weekend

This past weekend we opted to stay close to home because many of us in our little household of four were getting over the lovely beginning-of-the-school-year sniffles. It always seems so odd to me to have a cold in the middle of a ninety degree heat wave, yet that was our particular situation this weekend.  So with lemon tea and honey in hand, we set to having a fun-filled weekend none the less.

The first pumpkins of the season made an appearance at Friday’s market, so we had to buy just a couple.  The girls worked hard all of Saturday morning, digging out the seeds and preparing for some roasted goodness.

While the girls worked hard on the pumpkins, I got busy making my homemade granola. We were able to purchase some delicious home-grown oats from Hazard Free Farms, which helped to make the granola extra yummy.

I also tried another treasure from Grandpa Dit’s recipe box: piccalilli.  I must say, standing in the kitchen over a giant pot of boiling veggies on a ninety-seven degree day was not one of my brightest ideas, but the final result was quite tasty.

And I chopped the day away, getting food ready to put by in the freezer for the winter months.  Andrea Hazzard, from Hazzard Free Farm, gave us a great suggestion for preserving watermelon.  Pour boiling water over a bit of honey, making honey water.  After cooling down the honey water, pour it over diced watermelon until all watermelon is covered.  Then freeze it for enjoyment in the winter months.

Rajah enjoyed finding a new hiding spot.  Oh my.

And Tyler enjoyed some brewing time.  He concocted a batch of caramel creme ale.  Yummy.

I have also been hard at work in the backyard, continuing with our garden expansion.  I am so excited to bring you the finished product in tomorrow’s post.  Hooray!  See you then.