Thursday, September 30, 2010

A good helper

The lifestyle we are choosing to live requires community effort.  It is difficult to manage everything yourself.  Everyone from the youngest to the oldest gets into the act. 

One of the things that we have been making is yogurt.  I didn't get pictures, but the process we have been using is:

  1. Heat your milk (gently) to 180 (I know - it is not raw anymore)
  2. Cool the milk to 120
  3. Add your starter
  4. Put it into some device to keep it about 110 for about 8 hours.  I have been using my dehydrator.  I have a box one and my glass pyrex baking pans slide right in.  I can do about 2 gallons at a time.
  5. We like a custard type of yogurt, so I pour the whey out using a big colander and a dishtowel with a catch pan underneath.  I drain for about 10 minutes, then move the yogurt to a bowl and whisk it with a wire whisk.
  6. Add fruit (I cook mine and sweeten with honey), a bit of salt, some vanilla and YUM!  It will set up a bit more as it chills.
  7. Bottle it up for lunchboxes.  We found 4 oz. glass jars that work great.
Tonight my helper worked with me sampling, bottling up, lidding up, washing and finding room in the fridge for all the yogurt.  We made fresh peach/honey and some white chocolate/raspberry/honey.  Tomorrow it will be divided up and delivered to the four households that we garden with.
Everyone plays a part.  It is a good way to live. 

Be blessed

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quail Adventures

My sister loves the quail.  Her hubby, a guy who enjoys building stuff out of nothing, built her what we are fondly calling the "Quail Condo".  It is amazing, organized and downright cute.  He even painted it - and the brooder box - a beautiful red.  This is downright awe inspiring.  He devised a self watering system where fresh water is continually coming into the cages using a recirculation pump, a five gallon bucket, a bunch of pipe and some...... stuff.  Above is a cool picture of my sister, SHOWING OFF her quail condo :)  I think I would show it off too!
 The Bucket.....

The Brains.....

 ......and the system!

The upside to this is that her VERY YOUNG quail are good for meat and are laying about 20 eggs every day.  Tomorrow's adventure.......


 Be healthy and well

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall is here

It has been a great summer.  We planted a garden, swam almost every day, made new friends, learned a lot, began using raw milk, preserved lots of stuff and generally stayed busy and happy all summer.  We learned how to butcher chickens and made gallons of cultured salsa. Most days began early and ended late.  It has been good.
Fall has officially started around here, even though the weather is wonderful.  The pool has been allowed to go green and the garden has sections being finished up.  The chicks which hatched on the first day of spring have begun laying (it is about time!).  We took a vacation to the Oregon coast and went crabbing.
School and soccer began and the kids are being brought back into routines (it is not easy).  We were blessed by a coffee can of rendered bear fat.  I am going to make pie dough with it.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Today we had a discussion on cultured foods.  I am re-energized on sauerkraut, ginger ale, kombucha and sourdough bread.  My sister found a great web site that she loves and she is trying out tons of new recipes.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

 This stands for "God's Natural Organ Whole Foods Grown Locally In Season"

We are all about that :)