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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dark Days of Winter

This week has been such a busy week. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving, and also Jackson was on call, so we used what time we had together to work on our living room. Just repainting and hanging all the art work we have been collecting over the years. Actually we are still in the process so I don't have a whole lot of time to write now about the living room but will in another post soon.

I do have a local meal. Lately meals have been quick and on the go, so this is my Dark Days, local meal for today. A cheese sandwich. Local goat cheese, homemade bread with local flour and honey, local lettuce from a friend who was harvesting the last of the lettuce from her garden before a freeze took it all, and my homemade mayo, with eggs from my chicken. So the non-local ingredients include, yeast, oil and salt for the bread, spices and oil for the mayo.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dark Days Challenge

OK this year I am participating in the Dark Days of Winter Eat Local Challenge. Getting a slow start this week as it has been a busy week with a lot going on but here is my eat local meal.

We had collards that were frozen from the summer harvest, along with beets that were frozen as well. I was trying out freezing my beets this year as I do not like the texture of canned beets, much prefer the frozen ones and think I will do this again next year as well. We were supposed to have roasted potatoes with this meal, but dh moved my bin of potatoes in the garage, so I have no idea where my potatoes are. :-) I will find them eventually. I also made a loaf of bread, local flour and honey in that. And as vegetarians we had fake chicken with some spices.

The nonlocal ingredients were the oil and yeast in the bread, and the fake chicken. Some of the spices came from my garden some did not.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wood Heat

I blogged a while ago about our heating struggles, wanting a more eco friendly option, but settling for a new heat pump because no one around here will install something different. Well I do not like forced air heat/electric heat. IT IS NOT WARM!! I grew up with wood and oil heat, and we have a furnace here. We really want to get away from burning oil in our home.

So we added an insert into our fireplace. This added another source of heat for our house. And I am totally enjoying it. I can really keep the thermostat set low (for us that is around 65 degrees), with the wood stove burning it keeps our large living room nice and toasty. Our kitchen also stays warm. We spend most of our days that are inside, in the living room so this may just work out. We will have to see. We have bought some wood this year as we were not anticipating burning wood for heat, so did not cut any from our woods. But we bought from another homeschooling family, that gets most of their wood from trees that neighbors are cutting down etc. So NO clear cutting.

We are truly blessed.

Apple Sauce Cake

I made some apple sauce a couple of weeks ago, so this morning I decided to make some applesauce cake. The flour is local, applesauce and fig preserves are ones I made. Older, depression era recipe:
1 cup applesauce (this time I used 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup fig puree)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening, I found a nice organic vegetable shortening 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour

325 degrees for 45 minutes, use a greased and floured 10 inch baking pan.

You can ice this cake but my family does not really like icing so we just eat it plain like a coffee cake.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Apples, apples and more apples. We just love FRESH apples. And there is an orchard near us, like 30 miles, that has the most delicious apples. We have been going here for 5 years now to pick our own apples. One of the only orchards left where you can actually go through the trees and pick your own apples. They have so many different varieties. Our favorite this year, as in the past, is the pink ladies. Now I have fresh apples to cook with as well. Made an apple cake. Recipe was from the Internet and it was OK, although I have made better. Need to still search out the best apple cake recipe. Also have apple butter to take me through the winter. YAY!! Can't beat it, and we so enjoy spending an hour together picking apples, tasting apples and chatting with the owners.

Maybe tomorrow I will have time to blog about the reactions of other families to the bumper stickers I have on my care. ;-)