It was a beautiful weekend in our neck of the woods.  I hope it was in yours as well.  Yard clean-up was top of the list.  I wanted to get the yard tidied up so I can start working in the garden this week.  We had hoped to have mulch delivered so I could tackle that as well but it seems we are a bit early on our planning and it can't be delivered until this week or next week.  That's ok, I'll get it going on the next decent day.

We have to make a trip to the grocery store this week.  Not something I'm looking forward to.  I'm hoping to get in, find what we need, and get out.  We've completely run out of fresh veggies (we still have frozen) and are almost out of fruit.  We also want to stock back up on a few pantry items, a bit more meat for Jay and some dairy & non-dairy too.

I certainly hope this finds you and your family doing well.  It's a scary time for everyone that I think will make an impact on us all for the remainder of our lives.  All we can do is to try and make that a positive impact.  Find some lessons to learn from this difficult time that may make our lives a bit better.

The links I'm sharing at the end of this post are all food related in hopes to provide you ideas or recipes you may need during our shelter-in-place.

do you see those piles in the yard past the coop?  those are our raking piles.  we haven't loaded them into the truck yet.

Coop Girls - they are doing really well.  They love this time of the year because the snow is (finally) gone and they can dig and scratch and forage to their hearts content.  Egg production remains high so we've been giving them away for free to our community while we are not attending the market.  We've been told that eggs can be hard to get (not surprising) right now, so our hope is that those who need them can enjoy them.

did you know that Ollie does yoga?
Oliver - Ollie is doing good.  We haven't been taking him to the park because the last time we went it was absolutely packed so we didn't walk.  It's hard because everyone just wants to get out and there's only so many places to walk.  We'll wait until the quarantine is over.  Because his stomach is so sensitive and I've only been successful in finding one food he can eat I stocked up on it.  So I find comfort in knowing he's good for another 2 months.

Jack - oh brother.  He's been something else.  His naughty pants are at an all-time high again.  He is back to posturing and lunging at Oliver anytime I'm not right by his side.  He's such a brat.  Jack is very very funny but very very annoying.  Oliver sleeps in a pack & play in our bedroom at night.  Jack was going through a phase of jumping in it in the middle of the night and getting in Oliver's face and scaring him.  So we went through trying to keep Jack out of our bedroom (he shook the door and cried all night) and eventually the trauma of it all made him stop.

Now Jack is jumping into Oliver's pack & play during the day.  (mind you, he has boxes, blankets, teepees and beds, that are his, throughout the whole house...) The problem, is that I'm afraid he will do this overnight as well because he loves it so much.  So, I've found a way to stop him.  I call it my "Jack trap" and let me tell you, it is funny.  I took a piece of netting that we use to keep the birds away from our fruit trees and clamp it onto the frame of the pack & play once we get up in the morning.  As you know, Jack isn't the brightest lamp in the park so he continues to try to jump into the pack & play throughout the day and freaks out when he hits the netting.  His hair goes straight up, his ears go back, and he shakes his head like "whoa....what was THAT????"  Sometimes he tries it a second time (again, not bright....) and eventually settles for our bed.  But he keeps on trying!  He really is something else.

Cooking - Hopefully you're taking this opportunity to cook and bake your way through your pantry.  Using up any ingredients you purchased for a recipe that you never made, or because it looked good, or even because it was on sale or really cheap.  I had some items in each of these categories ( I'm talking to you quinoa flour, xanthan gum, umeboshi plums, and harissa paste).  A cleaned out pantry will be the perfect space for, at some point, stocking up on only our true pantry essentials.

On that same note, it's also a good opportunity, I realized, to go thru kitchen gadgets and purge.  If you aren't using it while you're making so much from scratch, do you really need to keep it?  I found some items that are going to be relocated once we can donate them.

I'm grateful that I already had enough flour and yeast in the pantry and freezer.  We don't use either a lot so I know we are set for some time.  I've had a small bag of Einkorn flour in the freezer for a few months that I've been meaning to work with.  This past week I decided it was time to try some recipes.  The first Einkorn bread recipe I tried was a no-knead one and it was not good.  It was fairly flat, dense and crumbly.  Disappointing.  Next I went to Jovial's website (something I should have done from the beginning) and found their Einkorn Sandwich bread and hit upon a winner.  I would purchase more of this flour to create this bread recipe again and would like to try it in sourdough too.

I've been trying to keep my schedule of meal prep on Saturdays.  This usually is cutting up any veggies, making a big pot of beans I'll use that week (this week it was pintos), making quinoa for salads, making bread or bread dough, and anything else that helps out for meals.  I made a batch of vegan meatballs (recipe from Minimalist Baker) that turned out really good.  Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  I used a few last night and put the rest in the freezer for use later.

Business - We've significantly slowed down our manufacturing for 3 reasons really: our sales are slower since they are online only (quite busy, but slower than normal); we have no idea when things will pick back up to "normal" again or, alternatively, what our new normal might be and we don't want shelves of stock just sitting there; which brings us to the third reason, practicing judicial money management to get through this.   We are fine (and will be fine), but it's the responsible and prudent thing to do for us and for the business.

Anywhoo, this has allowed us extra time to get other things done.  We've been checking off some "to do" items on our list, jumping into spring projects early, and actually getting to things we've held on each of our "someday" mental lists.  One for me is to make vegan cheese.  I know, I know, just the thought likely makes you squeam, but for those of us who can't eat dairy, it's all we've got.  I've found a couple of store-bought cheeses that are good, but they contain way too much oil and some have suspect ingredients.  So, I'm hoping our shopping trip this week will score me some of the ingredients required to try fermenting for the purposes of making my own vegan cheese.

It's the little things.....isn't it?

Hoping you had a wonderful weekend and that you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Link Love:
A few recipes on this blog:
No Knead Artisan Bread, SUPER easy and includes recipes for white, wheat, and gluten flour
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
16 Homemade Spice & Seasoning Blends
The BEST Deviled Eggs
Secret Ingredient Potato Salad
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Quick & Easy Skillet Spaghetti

And a few from other blogs:
20+ Sourdough Recipes, including how to create and maintain a starter (Farmhouse on Boone)
100 Cheap & Easy Pantry Meals (Prudent Penny Pincher)
Food Storage Tips, to help your food last longer (Cookie & Kate)
50 Pantry Recipes & Substitutions (Cookie & Kate)
Healthy Homemade Easter Candy (Chocolate Covered Katie)
14 Easy Eggless Desserts (Living On A Dime)
10 Cheap Chicken Dinners (Living On A Dime)
Honey Beer Bread, we made this last weekend and it was very good.  Great recipe if you don't have any yeast on hand. (Gimme Some Oven)
50 Best Beans Recipes (A Couple Cooks)
Easy Garlic Naan (A Couple Cooks)
10 Homemade Pantry Staples (One Good Thing By Jillee)
100+ Easy Pantry Recipes (Gimme Some Oven)
How To Make Oat Milk, because I have not been successful in finding oat milk locally and think maybe you are struggling to find it too. (Downshiftology)
16 Of The Best Chicken Thigh Recipes (What's Gaby Cooking)
Extra Small Batch Chocolatey Brownies (I Am A Food Blog)
Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies, no eggs & no flour. (Chocolate Covered Katie) *update: I tried these.  I added half of the honey called for and they were delicious!  Next time, if I have any peanuts I'll add some chopped peanuts and reduce the oats.*

I hope these links help you find some new winning dishes!


Kathy said...

When you think about it, it's quiet nice that a forced slow down happened [yes we wish it was over however] having the time to do those things around the house, stop and smell the roses so to speak. Slowing down the production of your soaps is a good idea because you don't want extra unnecessary money tied up on shelves. Good luck at the grocery store. Kathy, Brisbane, Australia

daisy g said...

Sounds like y'all are faring well. I know with all of your resources and talent, y'all won't starve!

I've made those meatballs, they are very tasty. Have you tried making cashew cheese? So delicious and easy to make.

Enjoy your week and the satisfaction of crossing projects off of your list!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thank you Kathy. I agree - slowing down for a bit of time is definitely a good thing.

Daisy - yes, I do make a melty cashew cheese. I agree, it's very much delicious! I've been wanting to try my hand at "aged" vegan cheese so I'm hoping to delve in this week. :) Thank you so much!