Saturday, June 29, 2013

*it's hot, folks.

Things I loathe when the temps are in the triple digits ::
* driving * dog breath * bras * making food * eating food *
Things I love, even when it is ridiculously hot outside ::
*happy, healthy veggie plants * cool showers * smoothies for dinner *popsicles *

* watching my boys water the garden with buckets *
* cold brewed coffee, lots of ice, sweetened with local honey
and topped off with a splash of raw milk *
* watching the kiddos from this spot in my dining room,
right next to an A/C vent for good measure *

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

happy, HAPPY mama*

 Anyone remember this unfortunate incident that took place last Spring?
I have been using that broken range for 15 months (but who's counting?!). Turns out it is perfectly functional without that outer glass however the door no longer stayed open by itself. That means I have been propping the door open with my knees this whole time. Not fun when I am wearing a skirt or shorts. I have burned my legs and forearms approximately 8 dozen times (again, who's keeping track?).
We are currently in the middle of finishing our basement and part of that project involved plumbing a line to our kitchen for a gas stove. Eek, excited doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about this.
I expected to wait until next Spring to get a gas range but then we came across this gem on Craigslist for next to nothing and brought it home. Some folks had just bought a home in a fancy-schmancy pants neighborhood and promptly purchased brand new appliances and were practically giving the "old" stuff away. And as we all know I have absolutely no problem with previously owned treasures!

five gas burners! swoon!!

One itty-bitty downside is that the gas range is off white, or is that almond? Anyway, the rest of my appliances are bright white (like my micro in the pic above) but I think I will get over that real quick as I cook and bake with this baby. And I am never, ever canning outside with the propane burner again, woohoo!
Buh-bye broken door range. See ya never!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

inspired mama miscellany*

He found this guitar in the closet in my studio and serenaded us all weekend.

Our real foodie group had it's second food swap today. I took oregano plants that I thinned from my herb garden, kombucha SCOBYs, and sets of cotton "unpaper" towels. I brought home freshly baked ciabatta and rye bread, plum butter, strawberries, cherries, plum seeds and recipe cards with cute little bicycles on them. 

Oh, and I made another embellished tank! Hoorah!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

water kefir*welcome to my living kitchen

 This is the newest addition to my fermenting kitchen - water kefir.
(Those jars in the background have kombucha in them and that one on the right has four (!!) SCOBYs in it, each approximately 1 inch thick. If you are local and need a kombucha starter, hit me up!)

 This is what water kefir grains look like. Little gelatinous pearls.

 Making water kefir is pretty simple. And quick! Mine was ready to bottle in just 48 hours. The first thing you will need to get started are the grains. If you have a friend who makes kefir they can probably share with you because just like my SCOBYs above kefir grains also multiply each time you use them. If you can't find them through a friend you can order them from various places online. Cultures for Health is always a good source for such things.
Here is the process I followed ::
I filled my glass jar with 5 cups of warm, filtered water (just warm enough to dissolve the other ingredients).
Then I added 1/3 cup raw sugar and 1 tsp unsulphered, organic molasses. I also added 1 tsp of baking soda as I read that the minerals are good for the grains and it can also result in a fizzier kefir.
Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is dissolved.
Pour your grains into the mixture once it is room temp - you will need 1/3-1/2 cup of grains.
after a day or so little carbonation bubbles would float to the top of my jar when I moved it. On day 2 it was very fizzy.
I bottled and flavored it much like I do my kombucha. I added some pineapple juice that I had on hand and will let it sit out at room temperature for a couple days before I refrigerate and drink it.
Then I mixed up more water and started a brand hew batch. This time I am going to add vanilla and try to replicate cream soda! I will keep you all posted on how it turns out, friends!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

sourdough*not just another farmette pet

I successfully made a sourdough starter a few weeks ago. I have stirred it daily and fed it weekly. I lovingly clean it's jar twice a week and change the organic cotton cover whenever needed. It kinda-sorta sounds like caring for a little pet, right?
I tried baking bread with my meticulously maintained starter but it did not turn out. I also made pizza dough. Eh, it was okay, but it could be way better. I am going to do some tweaking to make it closer to perfect this weekend.
The one thing I have been making regularly with delicious results are sourdough pancakes.  Lovely batter is started right before we go to bed and finished up while the coffee brews in the morning and then cooked to golden perfection in coconut oil.
Our batter is a pretty pale orange thanks to the spelt flour and fresh eggs from our backyard coop!

Plate full of glorious real food breakfast!

We serve them with pats of grass fed butter and homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam that has been warmed up.
You can find the recipe that I have been using here ::
And here are instructions to make your own sourdough pet, er, starter ::
and one more good link ::
Oh, and if you have a wonderful sourdough bread recipe to share pretty please leave me a comment and I will love you forever! Thanks friends! xx 

Monday, June 10, 2013

open house*

Scenes from my very first Barefoot Books event - an open house in my home ::

Of course I didn't snap a single photo while our home was full of people but we had a lot of fun with our guests! Thank you all for spending the day with us, dear friends! xo

Thursday, June 06, 2013

i made a dress*


In my last post I shared my desire to make stuff for myself and my family now that I am no longer sewing for my handmade business. Making good on that declaration here is my first completed project of the season - a new dress for ME! I am so excited!
The Pattern is The Ashland Dress from Sew Liberated. I used designer quilter's cotton from JoAnns. I installed the prettiest invisible zipper. And this thing fits like, well, like it was made for me!
Next up in my queue are darling vintage inspired shorts. I have dreamy visions of creating an entire handmade summer wardrobe. And this evening I dyed enough wool yarn to knit my self a cozy winter sweater.
Stay tuned for more selfish crafting posts, friends!