Weekend



the Coop Girls enjoying a break from the rain

after the rain is the BEST time to find worms!

blueberries are here!
Oliver always lets Emerson know when he needs to be cleaned up
Happy 4th of July weekend!!  It's been wet, wet, wet.  This is not a complaint as I know that many of you live in areas that are desperately waiting for rain.  I sincerely wish I could send some your way.   If we could get a break then my tomatoes would have a chance at ripening although the rain sure is handy to water the garden!

I was able to get a bit of weeding done this weekend.   So excited about that!  I can actually see the cucumber and pepper plants again.  I was able to use the clothesline for a couple loads of laundry on Friday too before the rain set back in.

Blueberries are in season and they are delicious!!  We will be heading to our awesome local u-pick very soon.  We pick pounds and pounds to put up for use throughout the year.  Although we may not get to making jam this year, they are still delicious in pie, bread, pancakes, smoothies and yogurt.

So, we learned a valuable lesson Thursday night.  If you make soap every single night and you have a septic system, it's probably a good idea if you get your septic pumped annually.  Yup - the system was all backed up by about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.  We were extremely fortunate that both a septic guy AND a plumber were available to come Friday morning.  We got lucky.  Despite our efforts to clean the bowls and utensils we make our product with before putting it in the dish water, the oils, lye, etc. that remains has wreaked a tad bit of havoc with the natural enzymes in the septic and we ended up with a system full of sludge.  The sludge backed up into the pipes and the next thing we knew, we couldn't use any water.  So, we'll be adding enzymes and having it pumped annually.

On a better note, the Coop Girls are enjoying the amount of worms that make their way to the surface after a rain.  They actually get a bit excited when the downpour begins.  Although they are not known for their patience {they get a bit cranky if it lasts longer than a couple of hours}, they sit, anticipating the gold mine and wait and wait for the rain to let up.  The moment it starts to let up they are in the dirt digging.  Dirt is flying, chatter is happening, and the running around begins with those who find the scrumptious little worms.

Today was a busy day at the market, and tonight, with dinner, dishes and animal chores behind us, we are relaxing for a couple of hours.  I was hoping to make a peach pie with crumb topping but I'll have to add that to the "to-do" list for tomorrow.

The chickens we are raising for meat are being processed this week.  This batch is really healthy which is nice to see.  And we've been fortunate to not have too extreme of temps for them.  We'll bring the next batch in the end of August to again {hopefully} avoid too much heat and humidity with them.  They just can't take it.

On the menu:  BBQ Country Pork Ribs with Mac & Cheese and Squash Stir Fry; Baked Cod and Fries with Green Salad; Smoked Chicken Quarter with Spicy Peach Glaze and Rice and Veggie Stir Fry; Beef Teriyaki Strips with Baked Potato Wedges and Roasted Broccoli; and Grilled Chicken Breast with Tortellini in Mushroom Sauce and Green Salad.

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend!






Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Rhubarb Quick Bread



This is what's cookin' in our kitchen this week!  With the plethora of rhubarb in the refrigerator, I like to make this simple and moist bread that showcases it beautifully.  A tiny bit tart, a bit sweet, very moist and a little crunchy make it an outstanding snack bread.



Rhubarb Quick Bread
Makes 1 9x5" loaf
Source:  adapted from a recipe by King Arthur Flour  

You'll need:

2 1/2 c. diced rhubarb
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 T. sparkling sugar crystals


In a covered medium size saucepan over medium heat, cook the rhubarb down to 1 1/4 cups. (If you don't quite have 1 1/4 c. rhubarb left, I have had great success with adding unsweetened applesauce to make up the difference.) Cool the mixture to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour (or spray) a 9"x5" loaf pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the walnuts, flour, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, eggs, cooled rhubarb, and vegetable oil. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, whisking until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with the sugar crystals, and bake for 50 - 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the best flavor, wrap the bread while still slightly warm and let it sit overnight. Yum!



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend










Happy Sunday!  If you live in this area of the world, you know these photos were definitely NOT taken today.  Nope.  Today was dark, rainy and a bit chilly.  I'm going to be honest.  I don't mind the cooler temps, even if it means having a rainy day.  Mid-summer is usually hot and humid and, well, I'm ok with the unexpected break.  The dogs, however, are not thrilled.  Neither are the chickens.

Saturday was spent making product for Sunday's market and for back stock.  We spend the day through about 3 making product and then the rest of the evening is usually packaging everything.

As you saw from the post before, we have a quarterly online magazine.  Woo hoo!!  I learned such a tremendous amount while putting it together and am very much looking forward to the next issue which should be out the end of September.

Our chickens we are raising for meat are now going on 6 weeks old.  Our last batch was ready for processing at 6 weeks.  This batch seems to be a bit slower in growing, so we'll wait one more week.  For more information on raising chickens for meat, you can visit my post here.

The Coop Girls are doing very well, although if you ask them, they would like more treats please.  They love to sit on their outdoor roost and chant at me as I enter the garden area.  They are convinced I grow the veggies and fruit just for them.  They do not forget anything when it comes to food.  They're kind of like dogs in that way.  They get goodies from the garden and, because they remember that, they assume everything should come their way.

This morning J had brought the Coop Girls some leftover potato salad.  When he came back up to the house, he left the empty dish on the back deck while he went to take care of the meat birds.  As he was walking back up to the deck, this little red squirrel who has been obsessed with our backyard, was upside down in the dish.  J surprised him, so he popped up out of the dish, and when he did J saw mayonnaise and eggs all over his little face.  He ran off and sat on our stone wall cleaning himself up.  J came in laughing, told me what had happened, and we sat and waited for him to return.  Sure enough, seconds later he was back up in the bowl, upside down and happily licking the bowl clean.

The garden is growing and growing.  Tomatoes are getting close to ripening, beans and cukes are growing, the squash plants are getting huge and I'm about ready to harvest eggplant and peppers.  I cannot wait to make the first BLT with homegrown fresh tomatoes and my favorite bacon from the Fresh Market.  There's nothing better than shopping in your backyard.

On the menu this week:  Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken Breast with Honey-Butter Corn; Juicy Lucy Burgers with Onion Rings and Green Salad; BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Rice; Shrimp Ceviche Fajitas with Corn, Avocado & Cilantro Salad; and Teriyaki Sirloin Tips with Zucchini Chips and Potato Wedges.

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend too!



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

A Magazine At Last


I have been absent this week from the blog, facebook, etc. because I have worked all week until 11p.m. - midnight on technical issues with the new magazine but I am THRILLED to say the magazine is finally up and running!!!!

If you subscribe, you've already seen it in your inbox.  If not and you would like to view it and/or subscribe {it's free} to upcoming issues, visit Modern Farmstead Magazine and check it out.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for your kind words and support as I got this little venture off the ground.  I learned a tremendous amount the last couple of months of pulling this first issue together.  So many more ideas are swirling around in my head and I am already pulling together September's issue full of homemade gift ideas for the Holidays in addition to homesteading and simple living articles.

Happy Friday!!




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend

Coop Girl Hattie

Coop Girl Dorilla














Jack
It was another spectacular weekend in these parts.  Sun, a light breeze and warm temps.  The perfect combination!

Saturday was a busy day full of running errands, making product for Sunday's market and we spent some time at our Veterinary Hospital's open house.  We didn't take Oliver and Emerson with us but we did contemplate taking Jack.  Jay {jokingly} suggested we take Jack all dressed up in his handsome cowboy hat and bandana to see if some poor unsuspecting family might find him so handsome and hard to resist that they beg us to take him home.

That didn't happen.

We didn't take him.

Although when it was first suggested I had visions of sleeping through the night, no more missing receipts/money/rubber bands/jewelry, etc. that he thinks he needs to stash.  Then the reality set in.  It would only bring us happiness for one day.  Or two.....and then he would indeed be missed.  Him and all of his crazy antics.

Sunday was another very busy day at the market.  I have had numerous people ask me if we do "well" at the market.  When I answer yes, they ask how much soap, for instance, does that mean?  So I figured you all are asking the same question.  We typically sell over 100 hundred bars in the 5 hours we are open.  That in addition to our men's products, lotions, lip balms, scrubs, deodorant {which has been a HUGE hit}, bug spray {has sold out 2 weekends in a row}, laundry products and more.  So yes....... we are busy.  That's just Sunday's sales.  I said to J, as we looked at each other completely exhausted on Sunday around 2:30 p.m., I guess this tells us we are a legitimate business.

Needless to say, the Coop Girls are less than impressed with the business taking up so much of our time.  The more time we spend working on product means the less attention they receive.  And they like attention.  The dogs feel the same although I think Cait and Jack are ok with it.  They seem just fine checking in from time to time to see if we need any supervision.

My garden is now just about 50-50 weeds to veggies.  Ok, so it's not quite THAT bad, but it sure feels like it.  For some reason the bed with the melon plants in it is the worst.  The birds stole most of my sunflower seeds which means we won't have the array of 30+ sunflowers I planted.  I think we're down to about 1 dozen.  My strawberry patch has been slowly getting smaller to the point that this year it's virtually non-existent.  That's the benefit about being vendors at the farmer's market - you can pick up whatever you need from the others!  I told J on Sunday I really want to make Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam.  He looked at me like I had lost my mind.  I had.  Temporarily.  There just aren't enough hours in a day......we'll be buying it this year.

On the menu this week:  Beef Fajitas with fresh salsa, guacamole and Mexican Rice; BBQ Chicken Quarter with Roasted Potato Bites and Grilled Zucchini "fries"; Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs with Mac & Cheese and Asparagus; Chicken Teriyaki with Veggie Stir Fry and Rice; Asparagus and Gruyere Ravioli with Fresh Marinara Sauce and Strawberry Salad.

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend too!






Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

My New BFF.....Coop Girl Betty




Do you remember when I shared with you a couple of weeks ago mine and Betty's evening routine?

Well, we are continuing our new tradition nightly.

Betty waits for me, longingly watching the back door of the house.

If she pops inside the coop to grab a bite to eat when I'm coming out, I call out her name and she comes running.

Sweetest BFF ever.

She paces and waits for me to get up to the coop.

We lock up the small door first to keep the others in.

Then, we head off to the garden shed where the nightly treats are kept.

A BIG bag of freeze-dried mealworms.

After she's had a handful.  Or two.  Or three.

Back to the coop we go where Betty finds her space on the roost and goes to bed.

A belly full and a smile on her beak.





Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

A New Side Dish: Roasted Radishes


I grow a lot of radishes in my garden every year.  They are easy to grow, are available from early spring until late fall, and are a beautiful addition to each plate.  Although they are typically added raw to salads, there are other ways to enjoy these ruby red beauties.


If you've never tried roasting radishes, well I've got a new side dish idea for you.  They lose much of their bite and become juicy and delicious!


Here's how I roast mine:
Clean and trim radishes {remove stem and roots}.  Cut in half.  Toss radish halves with 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lay radishes on a cookie sheet or in a cast iron skillet.  Roast for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve.

I also like to add a bit of minced garlic once they are removed from the oven.

Enjoy!





Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.