Thursday, March 22, 2012

Out with the old in with the new

 It is so nice to finally have some stuff going on around the homestead that I can share with you guys :)  Last week Jeff finally decided that the Pine Tree in the front yard needed to come down.  I've been asking for a few years for fruit trees but he was reluctant about it.  I'm not sure what changed his mind but one day at TSC we saw the trees and he said grab them, who am I to argue with the man! 
 This little guy is a golden delicious which is Jack's favorite.  They didn't have many varieties unfortunately.
 And this is a red delicious that is Molly's favorite.  They will cross pollinate with each other I guess and so there will be apples.  I'm still reading up on the whole deal but I know we have a few years before apples appear. 
As you can see from the top photo Jeff decided to take the tree down by hand axe to see if he could do it.  He did rather successfully (albeit to the wonder of many neighbors who offered us their chainsaws).  If you look at this post you can get an idea of the tree a bit.  It was large in the middle of the yard and really blocked the house a lot.  We left the stump on purpose, Jeff has an art project in mind for it.  Since I got my new trees finally I can't say anything about his art.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Time

 I can't believe that it's the first day of Spring already!!!  Here in Michigan today is a freakish 80 degrees out side.  I'm not really complaining but I am wondering if the other shoe is going to drop. 
 A while ago I bought some Florida strawberries from the farmer's market.   They were a use it or loose it type of deal so I wanted to see what would happen if they got put into the dehydrator.  I thought that ... well actually I didn't have a clue what to expect.
This is what they looked like after several hours in the dehydrator (and my house smelled like strawberry cake for some reason).  The taste was outstanding!  Almost like a slice of candy, so sweet and delicious.  I can't wait til strawberry season and try to make more of these.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dry Beans

     Today I decided that I wanted to try something new, something that I think can only help us as a family.  We (I) are going to learn how to cook with dried beans.  It doesn't probably seem like a Earth shattering decision but as stupid as it may seem I have never cooked beans that didn't start in a can (except green beans).  Molly has been home sick the last two days and we have been watching Doomsday Preppers from NatGeo.  It has become an addiction.  The first thing we realized is that while we talk about prepping we aren't really doing anything and that has to stop.  So today while grocery shopping we made sure to get extra gallons of water, a small first aid kit and shelf stable dried beans.  If you have any tips or great recipes I would love to hear them :)  On the table is pinto, light red kidney, small red beans, and adzuki beans.  The ones in the clear containers are from a local source that will also be used for planting this weekend.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


 This post was supposed to go up last Tuesday but we had an emergency.  Jeff came home from work early with chest pain and was afraid it was a heart attack.  We spent the day in the emergency room and then in cardiac observation.  We were so lucky it wasn't his heart, they told us his heart was in tiptop shape and the doctor told him to get out and start hitting the gym whenever he was ready.  The culprit was inflamed cartilage from having a cold a few weeks back.  I'm so grateful for something so minor (painful still but minor).  Jeff was very grateful for the Homemade Granola bars that I had made the day before.  He couldn't eat them before the stress test but he gobbled them up afterwards. 
    This treat came from watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network with Jack this weekend.  I was honestly hoping for a cereal bar type knock off.  This isn't it by any means but it is very delicious and everyone enjoyed eating it up.  The recipe is Strawberry Oatmeal Bars here at the Food Network site.  We had some homemade CherryBerry Jam down in the basement and used that instead of the Strawberry she used.  I would definitely make these again but they weren't quite what I was looking for so I guess I'll start experimenting to see what I can come up with. 
  Have a great week I'm off to the hardware store to get some taps for the Maple Trees wish me luck!