Wowza! I’ve been off the blog for over a week – it’s been a mad house around here! What with the teething and growing and friends over for dinner and getting all set for the holidays, plus prepping to do my student teaching! Yikes!
So a quick update…. I think I owe a few weeks of Independence days. We’d be on week 28, but I really don’t feel like I have all that much to report for the last three weeks or so (see the mad house comment, above). The chickens are just hanging out (or hanging in) in the snow, and we are still getting two or three eggs a day from them. The two older hens are not laying, and I’m guessing they won’t lay through the winter. The three little girls are busy, but they can’t keep up with Henry, the egg eating machine, so we did buy a couple dozen this week. Yes, they are both local and humane.
So there’s nothing in the Plant Something, and only eggs in the Harvest Something category. Does any one know if it is too late to put garlic in the ground? We’ve wanted to do this, but have kept putting it off and now it might be too late??
We did pick up our hog (well, only half a hog this fall) last week. We split it with Dave the Dentist, and so maybe that counts as Want Not/Prep & Storage or Build Community Food Systems?? Since we didn’t harvest anything new, there was nothing to Preserve. Wait, no, I take that back. We did boil a turkey carcass to death, so we preserved some turkey stock (which is delicious!).
Waste Not – well, compost and recycling, of course, and we are still mucking about with the pallets Rick brought home for the new bins we want to make. Rick brought home a piece of drywall that was to be cast off at work (they’re remodeling his office), to replace a damaged piece in our basement junk room. Also, found a couple of cute uses for scrap fabric that have been transformed into Christmas gifts.
Eat the Food - ah, food. The one category that never fails me. I always eat! So this week, we are making green bean casserole from beans we froze, and chardonnay glazed carrots from the sweet carrots of the late summer/early fall. And mashed potatoes from the spuds stored down in the basement. Yum. Yes, we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner. I plan to break out the home-made dill pickles and watermelon rind pickles for snacks while the turkey roasts.
And I made my cranberry sauce ahead of time. I adapted an Everyday Food recipe. I was standing there cooking it, when suddenly the urge to add rosemary overcame me. I put it in and I think it turned out pretty tasty. So here’s that one for you:
2 packages fresh cranberries (24oz each)
1.5 cups sugar
4 large strips of orange peel
1/2 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
Rinse and drain cranberries. In a large sauce pan, add cranberries, sugar, orange peel and water. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes. Add rosemary sprigs and simmer 5-10 minutes more. Remove from heat, and stir in orange juice. Let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to a week. To serve, bring to room temperature and remove rosemary, garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.
So that catches up the Independence Days. But what else? Well, Emmett is rolling over both ways now, and quite the wiggle worm. I know he’s just getting all set to crawl off, and we are so not ready for it. He’ll be five months old this week, and I can’t believe how fast the time is flying.
We signed him up to participate in a study on infant feeding. He is exclusively breastfed, and the study is looking at first foods for babies, and how they absorb iron and zinc. There are three groups: a meat group, and iron fortified organic cereal group, and an iron and zinc fortified cereal group. We were randomly assigned to the organic iron fortified cereal group. So yay, we got my second choice, although I would have preferred the meat group, since that means for the duration (until he is 10 month old) we are not allowed to feed Emmett red meat – including venison and elk. But it’s not a big deal really. We didn’t feed Henry ANYTHING until he was nearly ten months old. So starting cereal and waiting for red meat is fine. Emmett will begin next month when he is six months old.
Ah – times up. I do have more to write, but now, not only is Henry awake and playing in his room, Emmett is paging me. So with this post, something is better than nothing. I will try to get more up this weekend. maybe a few pictures too.
Happy Thanksgiving Day to you!