Go Ahead, Prettify Yourself

Who is that headless woman?

Today I’m veering away a bit from my normal food/homesteading topics.  I’ve been enjoying participating in a few fun linky parties (check out Homestead Barn Hop, or Traditional Tuesdays) where I and a host of other fabulous blog authors link posts about a certain topic.

I’ve loved making new friends with other bloggers and have learned so much. One such blog I found through my friend (okay, you know that I used the term friend loosely here since I’ve never really actually talked to this gal), Emily of Jones Design Company.  It’s called What I Wore Wednesday and it’s hosted by Lindsey of the Pleated Poppy.

You have to jump on over there and take a look. It’s a linky party where regular women (many of them mommies) show off what they wore that day. I know. I know. You’re thinking, “Why do I care?”

You care because sometimes we all get into a frumpy look. You know, the look that involves sweats or yoga pants and a pony tail. And sometimes we need a little help from our friends to inspire us out of the frump. Okay, well let’s just say, I needed some help. Some days it’s just easier to stay in my ‘barn clothes’ because really, who is going to see me?

But I have found when I take the time to put on some make-up, do my hair neatly (as best you can with frizzy curly hair) and put on an outfit (definition: clothing that you plan to wear together, NOT just something you grab out of the drawer), I feel so much better when I pass by that mirror in the hallway.

Let’s face it, I’m not out to impress anyone with my fabulous good looks <tongue in cheek>, but when I’m depressed about the amount of rain falling from the sky, which is often around here, my lack of productivity, my poor parenting skills that day or whatever, looking into the mirror and liking what I see (mostly) makes me feel better.

Or at least, it’s not a frightening, more disheartening experience. I mean, come on. How can it be good for your psyche to run away screaming from the mirror? Doesn’t seem like a good thing to me.

And you know it’s true for you too, my friend. There’s just something about making a little effort to spruce up one’s self.

Soooo…all that to say. Since my eyes are usually focused on goats, children, homeschooling and sugar free food, I have seemed to have lost my ability to put an outfit together. Hence, I made my way over to What I Wore Wednesday to be inspired. And inspiration I did find.

And as you saw above, I came up with a fun outfit.

Please disregard the phone cord. Oops.

 I’ve been loving to wear flowers lately, of which was influenced by my actual friend, Kylene of Miss Moss Demi-Millenery. I love how a flower can instantly prettify your duds .  I found this one at Anne Taylor Loft on sale. You can wear it in your hair too. Let’s just say it makes me smile.

Now, I don’t know if this outfit would be considered stylish or even cute, but my eyes gave me a thumbs up as I sauntered by that dreadful mirror. And that’s all I’m after folks.

Okay. Fine. I’ll show your my frizzy head. Keeping it real, friends.

And Dad, I now know why you kept encouraging me to, "Put your shoulders back."

Well, I hope you aren’t turned off by all the photos of me. It feels a bit weird to be the center of my pictures this time, but I do hope I’ve infected you with a desire to go put on something pretty. Just do it. Your special someone will like it.

Feel free to give me any stylish pointers. I can take it.

I shared this on:

Works for Me Wednesdays, Women Living Well,

Posted in Inspiring, Uncategorized | Tagged | 17 Comments

Lemon Blueberry Baked Beauties

Chez Misty baked up some of Elana’s Pantry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (made from coconut flour) for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Oh. They were so delicious. If she hadn’t cooked me up so many other delicacies, I quite possibly could have eaten them all in one sitting.

Okay. Not really. One thing about coconut flour is it makes for dense and filling goodies. You may think you’ll want to eat the entire batch, but your full tummy will warn you otherwise.

Since I knew we were headed to a couple of family gatherings on Easter, I thought it might be wise to bring along a Candida Diet friendly goodie I could eat in the midst of all the yummy desserts that were bound to be present.

So, I decided a muffin would do the job. But I was clean out of poppy seeds. Lemon Blueberry sounded like it might just hit the spot. And since I wanted to share with the family, I thought I needed to up the lemony flavor. R-Man loves lemon…and not just a hint either. These puppies needed to pack a pucker punch. Hee. Hee. That, my friends, is called ‘alliteration’. Remember high school Writing Composition class?

In language alliteration refers to the repetition of a particular sound in the first syllables of a series of words or phrases ~Wikipedia

Okay, writing class is over.

So, with Elana’s inspiration placed neatly in my apron pocket, I set out to create pucker power puffs of perfection. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Sigh.

I created these sugar free buns.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Grain Free and Sugar Free)

1/2 cup Coconut flour (sifted)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

6 eggs

1/2 scant cup xylitol (Elana uses 1/2 C agave)

1/2 c coconut oil (I used unrefined, aka coconutty tasting)

2+ Tbsp lemon zest (I zested 1/2 a large lemon)

3/4 Tbsp lemon juice

3/4 tsp lemon flavoring (I used *Frontier’s Alcohol Free)

1 cup blueberries (mine were frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Makes 24 mini muffins.

  1. Grease 2 mini muffin pans and dust with a bit of coconut flour.
  2. Mix coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, xylitol, melted coconut oil, lemon zest, flavoring and juice.
  4. Add coconut flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon 1 Tbsp of the batter into each mini muffin cup.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.

*NOTE: I’m not super excited with this choice after looking into the ingredients more…canola oil and ‘natural’ flavors. Yuck. When I make these again, I will probably omit the flavoring and just add more lemon juice. It looks like others have had success with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.

You might be tempted to fudge on the eggs in this recipe, but DON’T do it. Coconut flour is super absorbent and it needs eggs. Besides, the eggs make this treat a protein power punch.

Okay. Really? I know.

You must excuse me now, I gotta go eat some homemade sugar free chocolate chips. Ooo. I see Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins in my future. Care to join me?

If you makes some of these fabulous muffins, come on back and let us know how they turned out.

   I shared this on:

Allergy Free Wednesdays

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Milkless Rest

The slow time of year on the farm is quickly coming to an end. I forgot how much I adore the reprieve from all the chores. You see, right now there’s no meat chickens to feed or move down the pasture,  no garden to tend, and no milking. It’s all coming to an end soon though.

Chickens will be arriving this week (I hope), seedlings for the garden will be ready in the next few weeks and at the end of April we’ll have baby goats to help come into the world. Yep. Right now, I’m loving that I can hang out in my PJ’s all morning long if I want. And yet, I’m excited for ‘summer’ chores to get started.

I didn’t realize how much things change from Winter to Spring until I came across this picture recently.

Xcel - August 2001

Woo Eee! How’d you like to carry that baby behind you 24/7? That is seriously one big udder.

 And this is 4 months after giving birth. You should have seen her just after those babies were born. Yowza. No wonder we got almost a gallon of milk a day from her. It’s just almost too painful to look at, especially when you’re watching her walk around. Talk about a waddle.

Xcel - March 13, 2012

Whew! That’s better. She can now walk without bowed legs.

2 months before our goats give birth, we stop milking them. It gives their bodies a chance to rest and just take care of those babies inside. It’s a bummer to not have the milk (just ask our milk customers), but it’s healthier for the goats.

And it makes a nice break for us. It’s kind of like summer vacation when I was a kid; by the time summer was over, I was ready to go back. And two months is just enough time to start looking forward milking again.

Goat Milk Yogurt and Grain Free Granola

Besides, I really miss the yogurt and Mozzarella cheese.

Be on the lookout this week:  I made scrumptious Grain Free/Sugar Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins on Easter morning and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.

Love, Kathleen

I shared this on:

Homestead Barn Hop

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Imposter Creme Brulee

As many of you know, I am plagued by candida. Okay, plagued is a bit harsh. Lately though, it feels like a plague. I’m on Week 3 of absolutely, positively NO grains.

“What’s the big deal, Kathleen? I thought you were grain free anyway.”

Mostly. As I’ve gotten healthier and been given the okay from the Doc to start introducing grains back into my diet, I have tried to limit them, but I have not been completely grain free.

Well, candida roared its ugly head again and I’m back to the super restricted, can’t eat ANYTHING diet again.  I’m not sad about it at all. <heavy sarcasm>

The one grain that I am super missing right now is corn or more precisely, my beloved tortilla chips. The brand is Juanita’s and can I just say, they are beyond words of description. How does one describe perfection? They are a sublime blend of salty and crispy (not to be confused with crunchy). When you bite into one, it’s almost like biting into a crisp croissant. And the best part is they are just made down the road from my home town.

Okay, when I say down the road, it might be a bit farther than you imagined. But still it’s only 50 something miles. Only one hour’s drive. See? That’s close.

Why do I miss them so? Because guacamole just isn’t the same without them.

Ahem. Sorry. I have greatly digressed from Imposter Creme Brulee, the topic at hand.

Right. That brings me to why I’ve fallen in temporary love with my dairy, gluten, and sugar free Vanilla Custard.

I’m hungry!

That’s right. I’ve been sick for almost 2 weeks and have not had the energy to ‘make’ anything. And when you’re eating on this horrid diet, if you don’t make it… you ain’t eatin’. I’ve lived on fried eggs, almonds, strawberries, coconut, salad and plain yogurt for too long.

So, today was the day to work up some gumption and energy and make something wonderful. Along with some yummy granola, I whipped up some custard.

I love custard. My favorite is Creme Brulee. Mmmm.

But how does one go about making a dairy, gluten and sugar free dish of scrumptiousness. A year ago, I would have said it was impossible. Can’t be done. But then I would have have be so wrong. Because today a beautiful creation was made in my very own kitchen. Oh, yes I did eat two ramekins of this before dinner time.

Vanilla Custard (Dairy, Gluten and Sugar Free)

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups coconut milk (almond would work too)
  • 1/3 cup xylitol (1/3 sugar if not going sugar free)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a smallish size bowl, wisk all the ingredients together. The cinnamon and nutmeg will appear to ‘float’ on the top. No worries.

Pour into four ungreased 8oz *ramekins. Sprinkle with cinnamon for garnishment.

Take a 13×9 casserole dish and put in all ramekins. Now fill the casserole dish with 3/4 inch of HOT water. Stick the whole thing in the oven uncovered. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of one of the custards comes out clean.

Take ramekins out of the casserole dish and place on a cooling rack. Eat warm or refrigerate after cooling. Makes 4 servings.

*I haven’t tried this yet, but I bet you could pour your custard into a pie plate and have the same results. Just don’t think I have a casserole dish big enough to hold the pie plate.

My favorite part of this custard is its Creme Brulee crusty effect. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating the real stuff, you wouldn’t know that the best part of it is the carmelized sugary crust on top. You literally have to push through the crispy (there’s a theme here) layer of goodness to get to the creamy center.

For some reason, the cinnamon and nutmeg did a funky thing. Part of it sank to the bottom of the dish and part of it rose to the top making a bit of a crispy faux sugary delight. Oh, yes. This made me immensely happy.

And the part that sank to the bottom? Divine!! It was a cinnamony crust.

Well, that’s it. I hope you make yourself some of this wonderful treat. By the way, I used some homemade coconut milk of which I will show you how to make yourself soon, but I think you could use the canned stuff just fine.

I shared this at: Allergy-Free Wednesdays


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Morning Chores Pictorial #4

Well, it’s only taken 3 weeks to show you my morning chores.  I thought perhaps we might finish them up today. Shall we? It’s time to milk this girl, Sadie.

Last week we had just completed milking this girl and now she’s eating away at some alfalfa spread all over the Dairy Parlor. By the way, I couldn’t stand feeding the girls anymore of that junk I bought, I finally broke down and bought some decent (and expensive) alfalfa at the feed store. I feel so much better. And guess what? The Dairy Parlor is getting cleaner because they eat most of it. Yay.

Once I finish milking Sadie, here’s what the bucket looks like. That may look impressive, but this summer that bucket was nearly overflowing. And on top of that, I didn’t leave the barn without at least a filled 1/2 gallon jar under my arm. It was a crazy amount of milk. 1 1/2 gallons at one milking. Yes, I pondered a bigger bucket for sure.

But those are bygone days for now. This day we only get this.

And to be truthful, today we get zippo. That’s right nothin’. Both goats are officially dried up right now. I’ll explain why another day, but boy do I miss their milk.

And now it’s time to let the girls out of the Parlor and out into the great green fields. Okay, they’re not so much green as yellowish now, but it sounded good. Now Dasher…

Now  Dancer… It’s time for your release.

And mine as well.

And back to the house where I am greeted by the ‘Pooping Welcoming Committee’, …

(“Hello, Ladies.”)

my favorite pair of slippers,

And one really nice dog. (Sorry for the blurry pictures)

I had planned on showing you how we process the milk, but those pictures came out pretty bad too. I’ll save that for another time, when we have milk again.

So, for now, tootles friends. Thanks for joining me on my morning excursions. We’ll take a walk through my chores again later this spring when there are meat chickens to care for. Ooo. I know.

I can just hear your excitement.

I shared this with:

Traditional Tuesdays

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Best, Better, Ok part 2

While there are challenges to eating local produce, especially in the winter, I found there are some viable solutions. As promised in my last blog , here’s what I’ve come up with.

NOTE: Now remember, I’m new to this way of shopping, so if you have more info to share, hop on board the comments sections and give us all a holler. I’d love to hear from you.

Where can I buy local produce?


I have friends who are a part of something called a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It’s where you front the farmer money each month or each season to buy seed, fertilizer, etc, and then whatever the farmer produces you get to share in it. Usually, there is a freshly picked basket of goodies ready for you each week. The CSA farmer only picks the food that is ripe, so you get the best of the best. The only challenge with CSA’s is that you never know what you are going to get in your basket from week to week. For some, that’s an exciting challenge, for others… not so much.

Want to find a CSA near you? Go here. Just plug in your zip code. I found one for as little as $18/week and another $600/season.

Organics To You

If you live around the Portland, Oregon area this may also be a option for you. Organics to You says they only buy their produce from local farmers (although I did see some items from California) and they deliver your order right to your door. What’s kind of cool about these guys is that it appears you get to choose what foods you want to buy.  It looks like there are plenty of options even in March. If you check them out, come back and let us know what you thought of your experience.

If you’re not from around these parts, get your fingers walking on google. If we have a service like that here, chances are you might have one in your neck of the woods.

Your Local Farm Produce Stand

I am so fortunate that I live exactly 5 minutes from my local produce stand that not only sells organic food, but practices awesome farming (crop rotation, leaving the ground fallow for a time,  cover crops to attract beneficial bugs, etc).

If you live around Portland, go to Tri-County Farm Fresh Produce and plug in your zip code and voila, you’ve got a list and a map of all the farms nearest you. By the way, you can also find local CSA’s through this website. It’s awesome. Chances are, you drive by one every day.

Don’t live around here? Just google the words “local produce” plus the name of your town and state. Trust me it works. I just googled Kansas City. Ask of google and you shall receive.

You Local Farmer’s Market

This is an option that is pretty limiting in the winter, at least around here, but nevertheless, it can be a great option for you this spring/summer. Most Farmer’s Markets are open clear into the fall, and the atmosphere is so fun. Gresham Farmer’s Market opens in May and Portland’s just opened this last Saturday on the Portland State University campus. All over Europe, it’s common to buy your food at an open market such as these. So, go ahead. You’ll feel so “Euro-ish”.

What can you eat in the winter?

It will vary depending on your climate. Around here, my local Thompson’s Farm has potatoes, yams, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, lettuce and apples. Can we say stir fry?

But you know, this summer I started to think about what would not be available in the fields around me. The obvious ones were berries. I decided to really stock up this summer, and freeze as much as I could. It ended up not being near enough for our consumption. Guess what I’ll be up to this summer?

And then there was some food that I had never considered before: Corn, tomatoes, bell peppers…all foods I use often in my cooking to make soups and sauces.  So, each time I shopped at the produce stand this summer, I brought more than I needed. I usually picked up 4 additional ears of corn and 2 bell peppers. I then blanched the corn (I learned this is an important step if you don’t want mushy corn later), cut it from the cob and then froze it. I did the same with my chopped bell peppers (minus the blanching, that is). I have loved having the pre-cut peppers on hand.

The tomatoes demanded a different approach. Sort of. I bought several whole boxes of tomatoes at a time (it’s cheaper to do it this way) and canned them with my friend Misty. For those of you not too keen on canning yet, you can freeze tomatoes whole no problem. In some ways, I prefer freezing to canning, but I couldn’t afford the freezer space this year. So, into jars they went.

Again, it wasn’t enough and I will run out of these items before they are in season again, but I thought it was a pretty good first attempt. And this way, I don’t have to go “Cold Turkey” throughout the non-season.


Okay, I know. I’ve gotten a little nuts with all the questions. I promise. The interrogation is over. Hee. Hee.

I hope you’re not discouraged with all this info, but if you are, remember…Baby Steps. Maybe this is something you start to tackle this summer when local food is a plenty. Take this spring to come up with a game plan.

It’s okay to start small.

The Cost

I know you’ve probably seen how much more you can pay for organic food. And I realize this may be a deterrence for some of you. It was for me for years. Did R-Man get a huge raise this year? Nope. So, what changed? (oops, I said I wouldn’t question any more)

What changed is I watched a documentary. Yes, it’s true, I like documentaries. This one was called Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution. In it shows a little town in France where the Mayor decides to have the schools only buy local organic food for school lunches.  The results were amazing.

The children began coming home and asking their parents to buy organic food. It tasted that good to them! The parents, not being from upper middle class, were a bit perplexed how they would afford to feed their children this way. But after some time, when asked how they were managing to pay the higher prices, they all said they had stopped buying junk food. They used their food budget money to only buy what was good for them.

So, I decided if these poor french people could do it, so could I.

That’s when I started my s-l-o-w but surely way of cutting out highly processed goodies from our lives. I only do one thing at a time. And I usually look for a good replacement, so maybe, just maybe we don’t miss it. You know, like replacing R-Man’s sugar-laden yogurt with my homemade stuff. And then if there is sadness at the loss, I wait for the grief to subside before not buying another thing.

Before you think I’m some crazy health nut that never lets her children have anything fun to eat, just let me be brutally honest with you. The first thing I cut was soda on Pizza Night. That was a year ago. We still have Pizza Night (sans soda) every Friday and I’ve been known lately to buy it from our local pizza joint. <gasp> Baby steps.

Go here to see a clip from Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution. By the way, this is a documentary on Netflix. It’s worth watching.


How about you? Do you try to eat local? Have any tricks to share?


I shared this at:

Monday Mania, Traditional Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday


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Please Forgive Me

I first have to apologize for yesterday’s post. It took way too long to write (3+ hours) and it ended up being a short, waste-of-your time blog.

Let me explain what happened. I always keep you in mind, dear reader. My goal is to share things with you that  which on the surface seem difficult, but are actually quite easy, like making mayonnaise. Man, I wasted so much time avoiding making that because I just knew it was going to be challenging. So, when I realized it was not only super easy, but also fun, I couldn’t keep it to myself.

My other goal is to be encouraging. I want to be your Rah! Rah! friend. When you come over to Providence Farms, I want you to know that I believe in you and I want to help you. My desires are that the feel here is never condemnation.  I believe people truly make change when they are inspired, not brow-beaten. So, my greatest desire for Providence Farms is that you would be inspired.

That’s why I LOVE it when you try something new and then let me know about it.  Have I ever told you how much I adore your comments? Oh, yes. It’s like a drug, really.

This all brings me to the disaster of a blog yesterday. ‘Eat Local’ is definitely a buzz phrase these days and I think it’s gotten the ‘Weirdo’ rap as well. You know, like only weirdos do that. I know there are people who feel passionate about this subject and I’m glad. They are the ones keeping us informed. But there are others who take their fervor to a new level. They end up blasting the rest of us for not being on board. And that, my friends was what I was trying to avoid yesterday. I wanted you to hear my words, not fanaticism.

But in my diligence to be kind, I ended up missing the whole point of the blog.

So, at the suggestion of R-Man, I’m back to say I’m sorry, and to ask you if I can have another go at it.

Here’s what I really wanted you to know of my discoveries about our produce in the grocery store:

  • It’s on the old side (therefore not as nutritious as would seem)
  • It’s probably been sprayed with chemicals you can’t even pronounce
  • The money you save on the price, you’ll probably pay back with poor health.


And then here’s what else:

  • We could save our country a whole lotta moola in gasoline alone (remember each item of food travels an average of 1500 miles)
  • The reason why our food has to travel so far is our demand for out of season food. See, if we decided we could live without tomatoes in the winter and stopped buying them, there would be no market, and no need to gas green tomatoes to make them appear red and ripe. And we all know those don’t even taste like the same fruit as a home grown one. Hey, I know. I didn’t say this was easy.
  • If we would buy from our little fruit stand guy, he’d get so popular and sell so much food, his prices would go down.


Am I perfectly following the Eat Local movement? No. Not at all. But that was the other point of my blog. I’m just learning these things myself and I refuse to completely change anything overnight if I can help it. I get burned out when I try. My hope for you was that you would see my plan to slowly make changes.

I still buy red apples at Winco or New Seasons because there aren’t any available at Thompson’s Farm (my local fruit stand) and those are the only ones Parkour Boy will eat. I’m picking my battles. I also buy celery and avocados at the grocery store and I’m pretty sure those are not in season. 🙂 One thing at a time.

Thanks for your patience with me while I try to figure out all this stuff. You’re the best!

Be on the lookout for the part 2 of yesterday’s blog. It’ll be better than part 1. Promise.

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Best, Better, Ok Produce part 1

For years I have been perplexed by the cries of many calling us to ‘eat local.’ Sure, there’s no comparison between a strawberry sold at the local fruit stand and the one at the grocery store. I mean, come on. One was picked at the peak of its red juiciness and the other?

Well, I’m not sure what color the other one was when it was picked, but guaranteed, it couldn’t have been ripe. If it had, by the time it traveled from where it was picked to my grocery store, it would’ve been rotten. And well, the last time I checked, spoiled strawberries were not too profitable.

Here’s something interesting I just learned while watching a Joel Salatin* video:  Did you know that in the U.S., each morsel of food travels an average of 1500 miles? 1500 miles! Whoa. Really?

  The point is that everyone knows a strawberry from the fruit stand will beat the other in taste, hands down. One is soft, juicy and sweet. The other is hard and tart. I get that.

Well, finally after reading one Joel Salatin’s books (I think it was The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer), I finally understood what all the hubbub was about.

 What I Discovered

Fact 1:  As soon as a plant is harvested, it starts to lose nutrients. (source)

Fact 2:   It takes 5-14 days for our produce to get from the field to our grocery store. -Yikes. My produce sits in the fridge for another 3-7 days before we eat it sometimes. It looks like we’ve been eating some pretty old food.

Fact 3:  Many times farmers are forced to pick their produce before it ripens (before it can reach “maximum nutrient capacity”) so that it can arrive to us looking fresh.

Fact 4:  I don’t know if or what pesticides/herbicides each of the farmers used on the produce at the store.

Fact 5: If I buy from a local farmer, I can buy produce harvested that morning and ask him directly about pesticides/herbicides.

Baby Steps

Based on this information and a host of others I won’t get into today, I made a decision. I want to make some changes. If I want fresh, non-pesticide food, I’ll have to either grow it myself or buy from a local farm.

The clincher is I decided to not go all crazy and totally stop buying from the grocery store. I’ve learned baby steps are the best way to make BIG changes in the way we eat. It keeps my family and my budget from going into shock. And well, it keeps me from losing my mind.

The Plan – Best, Better, Ok

Best:  Stop at my local fruit/veggie stand before heading to the grocery store.

Better:  Shop at New Seasons Market for produce not found at the stand.

Ok: In a pinch only, buy from Winco Foods (mainstream grocery store).

New Seasons does a great job of buying the bulk of their produce locally. The prices are a bit costly, but I’m not usually buying very much.
In Part 2, I’ll talk about some of the difficulties of my Best, Better, Ok plan and how I think I can overcome them.
What about you? I’m sure you can see some flaws in my plan. Please share.


*Joel Salatin, is a famous U.S farmer, lecturer, author of 9 books, and writer for several farming magazines. I’m fond of how he thinks and many of his philosophies. He’s a Christian man and he and his wife homeschooled their kids.
Here’s a great video USA Today did on him.

This post was shared at:

Real Food Wednesday

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The Results Are In

My experiment with fermented sauerkraut has come to its final conclusion.

Before the big reveal, let’s recap.

While patronizing an antique shop in Silverton, Oregon, the owner said she made the best sauerkraut by doing the following:

1. Shred Cabbage.

2. Stuff Cabbage into quart size jars.

3. Add 1 Tablespoon salt to jars.

4. Add water, cover and set on counter for 3 days.

After following these instructions to a ‘T”, Day 3 came and watery cabbage was my only result.

I then decided to try the experiment.

 Since I had 3 jars of my cabbage creation, I figured why not see if the amount of days on the counter aided more flavor.

This was my plan:

Jar #1 – 4 days on counter

Jar #2 – 1 week on the counter

Jar #3 – 2 weeks on the counter

The first obvious change was the color of the kraut.

On Day 4, all the jars donned a beautiful magenta. Unfortunately, my pretty layered look was sacrificed. Sigh.

C’est le vie.

They still are very pretty.

The next change was the taste.

I enlisted Renaissance Man to be the ‘official’ taste tester this evening. And let me tell you, there was definitely a clear winner.

Was the tasty winner container #1, the jar left out for 4 days?

Mm. Well. Not so much. R-Man says flavor was lacking…in a pretty big way.

Or was it #2, left to ferment 1 week?

 While this was definitely tastier than #1, R-Man says, it didn’t even compare to the awesome zip and tang of …

You guessed it, #3 .

Crunchy. And tastes more like what R-man would expect from sauerkraut.

So, there you go.  Lacto-fermenting sauerkraut in a jar with just water and salt.

Don’t remember how I did it? Go here and then make sure you go here to see some lessons learned from my initial venture.

Now the only business to take care of is to decide what to do with the contents of Jar #1 and Jar #2.

I’m thinking these girls might like ’em.

I shared this at:

Traditional Tuesdays   Real Food Wednesdays  Simple Living Wednesdays

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Llama’s Night Out

This weekend we got a lesson in “The Importance of Closing a Gate”.

But first let me introduce our newest member of the family.

This is ______. (Sorry I haven’t picked a name yet). I’ve been calling her Sweetie for the lack of a more creative, fun name. I’ve always admired people who name their animals after characters in books or an exotic flower.

Anyway, she’s our new Guard Llama. So far, she seems to be adapting quite well to the farm. She comes to the barn to eat and spits at the goats. Good girl! She really is quite sweet. She won’t have anything to do with us, but as long as she seems to be taking care of the girls, we’re happy.

Well, we were happy until the incident.

After arriving home late this Friday evening, we found a note on our door, which stated our llama had gotten out. And well, not just out, but almost causing a multiple car crash. Oh, yes. Sweetie must have been looking for a good time down our little country road and figured walking in the middle of it would lead to her fancy.  Hey, it was Friday night. Can you blame her? Llama Night Out. Ugh.

Thankfully, we have the most amazing neighbors. Once the wonderful young woman, who came face to face with the large dark creature in her lane, alerted our neighbors to the ‘beast on the loose’, Jackie and Steve (neighbors who have three llamas), somehow corralled Sweetie back into our lower pasture, of which was noted one VERY open farm gate.

Yes. Apparently, an open farm gate was the culprit. And Sweetie, well, she just decided to take advantage of her good fortune.

 She looks so serene here. But don’t let that fool you. Ever since her night out on the town, she’s been checking the status of that portal to freedom. Yes, she now understands that liberty is just one open gate away.

And we realize, in the interest of the driving public, all passage ways out of our pastures must be secured…

at all times.

Happy Sunday to you!

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