Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hello Everyone-Gluten Free Sourdough Starter & Catch Up with Photos

 Good afternoon All,
This has been a rough week since the long weekend. As I mentioned in my Tuesday short post I got hit with an allergy attack that's been bad. The air here is so saturated with high humidity, mid 90's f temperatures, and mold and pollen-so you get the picture.
   Last winter our doctor gave us scripts for antibiotics in case Hubs was on the verge of pneumonia and me a dose of steroids in case I got hit-I waited 3 days cause I don't care what that stuff does to my digestive system and puts my head in a fog sometimes which it has done this time. Better than the alternative-driving to the doctor for these meds or ending up in hospital if I wait too long. 
  Along with major sinus drainage-sore throat-it messes up my asthma.
  So, I am doing the minimum outdoors, catching up with house work, reading and watching the KC Royals baseball games most days ha ha  It's days like this allot of times when I am in a "fog" I do well with projects like my fabric journal. but when it is summer time my florescent light will not turn on-and it is my best light source in that room-I may need to bring that out into the living room one night to work on.

  I have been wanting to try out a new gluten free sourdough starter for me for baking breads etc.  I had picked up MaryJane Butter's latest new book Wild Breads (note if you search elsewhere online you will find better prices for this book)-which is full of recipes for gluten free versions too. She has done allot of research on several different flours with loads of photos and step by step instructions on how to capture the wild yeast in your kitchen to make sourdough-what homemakers used to do.
   A couple years ago I had purchased a packet of gluten free sourdough starter made in France sold by King Arthur Flour and that batch did not work out. I made the mistake of using a gluten free flour baking blend that has starches in it not just a grain. So I am using her tips but using the rest of this starter. I decided to combine organic quinoa flour with organic brown rice flour to make my starter-today with the warmer house-it's working fast. So I will feed it again tonight and tomorrow morning and then bake something with it and save back some starter-fingers crossed this will make me edible gluten free breads.

Before late Saturday evening when the allergy stuff hit I was getting lots done:

Bunny be Gone juice made-recipe from our CJ Kennedy--the wild bunnies snuck into my little fenced garden and ate down all of my just planted melon plants Will get this strained out and use it once the rain storms are out of her again.

Canned up two more batches of beans-this time northern beans for soups and also large lima beans.

My lavender plants-I lost my older ones that were established a couple years back, so bought a new plant last year and another little one this year-was able to harvest some this year

So excited I have two mini bottle greenhouses of indigo dye plants-so far they look good in the garden and bunnies have not eaten them--I am hoping to dye with these later this year i recently found a recipe that is very simple compared to many others-cold water and the blender first-stay tuned for that

lavender drying

Over the long weekend I made us the best batch of biscuits and gravy and after all these years I have learned a new way for perfect over easy eggs--put a lid on and keep an eye on them so the yolks are the way you want them-I always did what my Mom and Grandma did-flip them over and then over again on the plate-I usually break an egg doing that now no broken eggs happy dancing ha ha

I also made pies apple-blackberry first one a regular pie and next one gluten free- of course my crust was horrible-so got the fruit out and dumped the crust.-one of these days

   I am looking into planting the native american sweetgrass-the vanilla variety which has the best aromas. I need to clear a spot good and then let it take over-I am thinking in my original large garden spot-and if it takes over too much we can just mow down some of it.-this was used to freshen up the tipis and bedding, and be braided and dried and then burnt slowly also to freshen a space. It is also for basket making but I am thinking organic saori style weaving and making paper and the flower heads are loved by butterflies-so sounds fun to me.  It is so hot here and everything is growing out of control that I am going to make this a next spring project. If it wasn't so ugly outdoors I would try to clear an area now but I think that is just too much right now.
     I searched all over the web and found the best price on Ebay The roots is the best way to plant this grass not with seed. I am excited to grow and craft with this grass.  Here is the link-the seller is in Kansas and was so friendly and helpful answering all of my questions. He still has a bit left-but he told me to just contact him early next spring when I am ready for it.  More information here and here with photos.

  I also just bought this book Braiding Sweetgrass-the author is Native American, a botanist and scientist and this book had such high reviews on her writing style-like reading poetry how she mixes what plants and nature can do for us and with science.

  I am envisioning a lovely spot filled with aromas and butterflies.

Thanks for dropping by

Monday, May 28, 2018

Hi Everyone Happy T Day

Hello everyone, especially to my T Party friends.
  I have been busy busy with canning, cleaning the floors and all the throw rugs-and then late Saturday out of the blue I got an allergy attack. Which has progressed to worse each day now-sigh I bit the bullet and decided I needed to do a dose of the steroid pills. I don't take those unless I just have to.
   Lots has happened too this past week-we got a new vehicle traded in our truck for a more useable vehicle for our lifestyle now. So I am excited about that.
   Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) early we are driving into town early to drop off my vehicle to get some work done on it. 
  It is still way too hot for me -mid 90s with high humidity-ugh just not ready for summer heat right now. If the weather continues like this I will start working on the hallway project again to get that finished up-finally I know.
  I am not hooking up to the T Party this week as I don't know if I will be up to it and have the time to visit all of you.
   Happy T Day and hugs to all of you

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Day

Remembering and honoring those that served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms

(photos found online)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jam Recipe-in Your Enameled Cast Iron

 It is getting to be that time again-Jamming Season as in making jams from fresh fruits as they come available

  I used to make a few batches of Jam every summer-we always liked it with lots of fruits so probably more like Preserves and most definately not jellies. I started out making low sugar or no sugar jams when the no sugar pectins came out-they turned out really nice and I could make them with no sugars at all-they set up pretty good.

  In my inbox this morning was a recipe from Southern Cast Iron's newsletter for getting out your enameled cast iron and making up some jam  Find recipe here  this one is lower than most in sugars and does not use added pectin in their Blackberry Jam

note: all photos are not mine but from the links I shared

Blackberry Jam

Here is a link to their Peach Ginger Jam that looks delicious and is also lower in sugar than most and no pectin needed  (In my Grandma's day one would use the same amount of sugar as the fruit-back then those were too sweet for my taste too)

and they shared one more Plum Strawberry Jam  also no pectin needed

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Couple Videos

  Good morning sharing a couple videos I took
This wisteria is gorgeous this year do to all the rain we have been getting almost every day now for a week-and it's age as well.

The first video is of the hummingbirds mid-morning. We have hummingbirds visiting constantly all day long. The largest numbers at one time is at dawn and just before sunset

Sunday, May 20, 2018

T Stands for Tuesday

  Hi everyone, this is where we share a drink related post with friends. Hosted by our Bleubeard and Elizabeth you are most welcome to join us-link in right hand column.

  Friday and Saturday I worked outdoors allot, canned pinto beans, and more and was just really tired after all of it. post with lots of photos here if you missed it.
   I got myself so overwhelmed for some reason-I think it was the heat and humidity here already that got me and just felt like I was soooo far behind in life things. So, ignore my short post where I said I was taking a break. I love all of you in the T gang too much to miss seeing your art.

   I will be stopping the Cast Iron Friday's posts but will continue to share when I bake things in my cast iron especially my dutch ovens outdoors and my first time with my fire pit some time soon. I don't know why; guess cause I am a senior and turn 70 next year (still can not wrap my head around that one) that it was stressing me out-and blogging needs to be fun. Weird I know.

   Anyways this morning we drove a couple hours north of us to meet my husband's sister from Chicago area that was in the area for a few hours.  We happened upon a really good place to meet for breakfast. The food was so good-totally forgot to take my camera with me. But before we left his sister grabbed a waitress and asked if she could take a photo of all us. the one with all of us I wasn't ready for the photo ha ha but the other one at least I am smiling. I very very rarely show personal photos but since his sister already shared on facebook I figured I would share this time. I am in the salmon top with long hair, his sister and her daughter beside me and Hubs sitting. There is a 25 year difference in ages between brother and sister.

When we got home, I checked the computer for emails etc and Wow double Wow I found out that I was a winner of a silk eco printed scarf. I have been following this lady the Kitchen Witch from England that amazes me with her eco printing abilities. and she is someone that will answer questions on how to do it-love that and many don't like to share the details. She said she was overwhelmed with the response of her giveaway so she decided to draw a second name for another scarf. I was the second pick-sooo excited with this win. There were 351 entries so I am blessed to have been picked.
    My win is the scarf on the right side of the photo. Here are the details  The second scarf was made at the same time as the first and is lightweight silk measuring 114cm by 28cm and printed with sycamore, maple and rose leaves on a logwood background, 
   The first winner-scarf on the left--details-- made with fresh leaves. It is a lightweight silk scarf measuring 120 x 28cm printed with horse chestnut, sycamore and rose leaves on a background of cochineal. 

Our wisteria vines are totally gorgeous now loaded with blooms, these are more mature now (planted in 2003) so are getting fuller and the blooms longer. I will share videos and photos soon
   Update: I just posted two videos here

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? I totally loved everything. I recorded it from 3am to 8am on the BBC network so I could catch everything, and then watched it all late Saturday afternoon into the evening. Everything was so special, I loved that they broke traditions in different areas, and I just now read that Markle's bridal bouquet was laid at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at the British capital's Westminster Abbey.  

I have been enjoying my hard root beer a few nights now and sometimes I even add whipped cream on top-divine lol Especially after a hot day outdoors.
   This week though I am sharing a new wine from Aldi

I loved the label with the name and the birds, but I really love this wine-very nice red and not a dry one.

Happy T Stands for Tuesdays everyone.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Taking a Bit of a Break

  I love blogging very much, but I think I am going to take a bit of a break from posting. I will be stopping by to visit you though.

I'Ve Been Busy and Productive Lots of Photos

Most of all I love that I was productive today. With the hot summer temps with humidity it's just been difficult for me to get things accomplished outdoors.

Yesterday, for most of the day I got allot more gravel shoveled around by the fire pit. This time I remembered that I had been given a couple rolls of that weed barrier fiber so I laid that out first this time-in hopes it will keep down the weeds in this area. With the weather the way it is and rain almost every day the weeds and grasses are growing fast too fast for me lol
   I had been using my wheel barrel to bring in this gravel but hubs got out his machine for me-really saved my back and knees.
   This was full to the top when I started

My peppers grown from seed in the plastic bottles are big enough that I can get them into the garden, and finally my indigo dye plants are perfect for planting out too-really hoping to be able to dye with those this year. I probably won't get to those til Monday morning.

This morning I canned up a batch of pinto beans.  With my husband on a very very restricted salt intake now I decided to can up a bunch of dried beans-and with no salt. I can make our Mexican dishes now like refried beans and not be concerned with the very high salt in those store bought cans.  
   A friend of mine who is new to canning told me last fall that she was canning up allot of different dried beans and at the time I thought that was wierd-lol  but searching online for a recipe many canners are doing this for the convenience, low salt, and much cheaper as well. So I am excited.
   I filled up the canner with 7 quarts of pinto beans. I plan to gradually can up all of my dried bean packages which I discovered I have a 5 gallon bucket full. lol This gave me allot of freezer space back.

First photo-I soaked the beans over nite-drained and rinsed, and then brought this big pot up to a simmer and then canned it in a pressure canner-this has to be canned done in a pressure canner and not a with a hot water canner.

I followed the recipe in the latest Ball canning book-except I did not cook them for 30 minutes before canning. One article I read said this extra cooking made the beans to mushy. Here is a link to the canning recipe I used and I love the look of the jars-lots of bean with a little water.

Wow while I was typing up this post a big big storm just blew in-very dark out there right now and lots and lots of rain coming down.

Hubs had a request for homemade Belgian Waffles ( I had copied this recipe from online years and years ago and it was still there-the best one I have found) early in the week. So I suggested the weekend would be perfect to make them.
   I really love that recipe that I linked too and I now split the recipe in half and make a batch for him and another one gluten free. This is actually a recipe that works really well converting it to gluten free flour.
  We have some really nice fresh fruit on hand so waffles is perfect along with homemade maple syrup-yum. 

The Belgium waffles below are the gluten free version

   Our Wisconsin friends brought us down venison bacon so I am going to cook that up and see what it's like. Anxious to see what it tastes like. and Wow I was very surprised with this bacon-very delicious, tender, little fat, not heavy on the salt-this would make some awesome-bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches.

  It's about 3 in the afternoon now and I have been on my feet most of the day it seems. So I am off to clean up the kitchen, feed the hummers and Miss Calico Kitty and then put my feet up and watch the Royal Wedding that I taped.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cast Iron Friday's

 Hi everyone,
     Cast iron is my choice for cooking every day.  I am a farm girl at heart and just love the simple ways of life best. I have never been into electronic gadgets-except my computer keeps me linked with friends, and I do love my tv in the evenings. (we have no use for a smart phone here in our woods with no wifi available)
   My Mom was brought up a farm girl in every way. A wood cook stove and no indoor plumbing for her til she left home to go to college and then get married. A few years after that her parents decided on a more modern kitchen and indoor plumbing.  I have always wanted a wood cookstove but this home has no place for one.
     So with those as my roots, I still love to cook with cast iron, experiment cooking and baking outdoors, and I still love to can and put up allot of our foods. Although retiring here to the Ozarks in Missouri has stopped allot of my large space gardening and canning as it is just so difficult to garden here; nothing at all what I am used to with so many obstacles against a good garden with loads of produce.  The trade off though is we love our woods and wildlife. An inspiring place to retire.

   A few things I have made this week in cast iron-pork chops grilled indoors with my cast iron grill pan-those were super. Thursday I decided to make stuffed poblano peppers. I used a cast iron skillet to saute, leeks, garlic, sweet bell pepper, and the hamburger. I decided to mix the spiced up meat mixture with red quinoa instead of rice, used some of my own canned tomatoes and also a small jar of Classico brand basil-tomato sauce.  I combined everything and instead of using the oven I am baking them in a slow cooker. What ever meat filling is left over I just pile it on the tops and sides.

This dinner turned so tasty, sorry I didn't think to clean up the plates for better viewing (like food network ha ha)  I cut the peppers in half instead of stuffing whole. I made a large tossed salad to go with.

   I have not baked up a sweet for us for a bit-so I grabbed a gluten free brownie mix added fresh blueberries to the top and baked in a square dutch oven skillet. Yum

With the summer holidays coming up and well just fun summer get togethers I thought I would share some easy and fun recipes that you can make indoors or outdoors with your cast iron.
   This collection of links and photos is from Lodge cast iron's site

Skillet S'mores

Skillet s'mores dip

    Steak Mac'Cheese  for cast iron dutch oven

Gooey Chocolate Skillets

Gooey Chocolate Skillets baked in a cast iron skillet.

Baked Stuffed Apples    dutch oven
     these would be great camping or bake in your oven

baked stuffed apples

Garlic Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms cast iron griddle or skillets

Garlic and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Thank you for dropping by

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hummingbirds Video

     Late yesterday afternoon I filmed a few videos of the hummingbirds. Usually just before dark we have many more hummingbirds than this shows that fly in. 
     Hubs has so much stuff in the way to the left-a cabinet filled with fishing equipment for one that I tried to keep out of the film

 Enjoy Click for full screen

You can see the wisteria is quite thick this year and loaded with buds ready to bloom

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mothers.
   I have been a "mother" to lots of different animals and birds along the way but that's all  lol  Being a Mother is such a huge responsibility and undertaking and you are in it for life-so I always admire Mothers

Image result for photos happy mothers day

(image found online)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

T Stands for Tuesday Long and Heavy with Garden Photos

Hi Everyone,  (I am posting a little early this week)
  Another T Stands for Tuesday is upon us. I really enjoy this event and seeing what everyone is creating or doing.
   You are most welcome to join us, just show a photo of your drink-water, coffee, tea, soda or what ever. The link to our hostess Bleubeard and Elizabeth is in my right hand column.

   Wow we had such a very cold April as I know many of you did also, and then we had a week of nice weather and then the humidity and pollen levels got high and now we are in the 90's f  Too hot for me especially since my garden wasn't even in yet.-just no time or too cold before.

   The last few days though I have been up early-taking care of the birds (the orioles have now left, but lots of hummingbirds now), ducks and geese and then working in my gardens. I am not a hot sun kinda gal and I will never get used to how much closer we are to the sun here then when I was living in the northern mid western states. So when the sun is out with no clouds and we are headed to the 90's then I can't be out in the sun after 11 am or so. I do totally cover up, wear a hat, and use sun screen on my face.
     My husband just discovered some fishing pants and clothes by Columbia that is 50 pdf and wicks away the moisture to keep us cool. So I bought us both shirts (and him pants). I think this will work out good for us (me in the garden and him fishing on the water).

    I have been working on clearing and setting up a flower garden for pollinators-bees, hummingbirds, butterflies. A few years ago I discovered that the butterflies love zinnias-and they are so easy to plant-just grab a variety of colors and shapes of the zinnias in seed packs and then just scatter them. After the first season I then collect the dried flower heads into a big box and then scatter those for seeds. Just buying a couple more different packets each year.
   I have an area I have been working on to rid the weeds and build up the soil-we have very very very little top soil here-nothing at all like what I am used to. In fact I call this soil Missouri concrete yes it is that bad.

  I also planted some echinacea bulbs that are finally starting to grow, and I started from seed a few varieties of milkweed for the monarchs. Also the butterflies love petunias.

I am keeping the photos small since there is so many-just click to fully enlarge.

This whole area will be full of zinnias. The arch has wisteria which will bloom this year. To the right by the rod iron headboard I planted the echinacea and some other flowering perenneals Also to the left a little bit form this arch and in the back is another arch for trumpet vines-the hummingbirds love these.

This spot is just behind the arch to the right. I had found a perenneal sunflower that grows 10 to 12 feet last year-but the deer Love Love sunflowers so it never got a chance to grow. So I built a little fence around it-using cut offs from the stair project for the apartment above the shop. That tall old wooden ladder used to go to a tree stand (for hunting) it was falling apart so I salvaged it to use here.

Another view-that road goes to the shop and the apartment and behind is one of the ponds.

 This view is the back that then runs along the back of my little veggie garden. You can see more of those wooden pieces that I hammered in. I am going to wind some old rope around hopefully to deter the deer and other critters. (the deer could easily jump over but am hoping they won't)  This soil is sooo hard that I had a hard time with my hammer getting these in-but I persevered. 
     Those very green plants is tansy I grew them from seed about 4 years ago not knowing how much they spread. I gather the flower heads; dry and then use to keep moths away in my wool They are also a yellow dye.

This is that same area in back closer view, I laid out straw in front to keep the wild weeds down.

I added an old hand plow-which I actually used for awhile- to the side of where those sunflowers are

  Peeking through the veggie garden. That wicker plant stand is very old. I have had it forever and a couple years ago I just put it outdoors and planted flowers. The butterflies love these petunias-I see one every day.

I planted these clematis up near the house at both ends of the fence when we first moved here-spring 2004. They are so pretty-but these only bloom one time in the spring.

  The plants were sooo expensive this year that I only bought a couple geraniums for this pot along with petunias. I bought a couple herbs but no veggies this year. so hoping my tomatoes from seed will grow ok in this heat already

This is back to the side of the veggie garden-spearmint that has escaped into the garden.

When our Wisconsin friends were here, I asked the guys to lift off this very heavy grate, and stack up another layer of those concrete blocks. This was all too heavy for me to do now. This will work much better now for grilling and cooking-can't wait to try it out


My lemon balm is taking over this area-I love it though. a great healing plant, and makes wonderful tea

 Up near the house where the plastic bottle greenhouses are and the two raised beds-I let the wild violets grow and also this plantain since they are both healing herbs

Today I did get planted my cucumbers, green beans and yellow wax beans, a hill of zucchini, and I planted several veggies that I grew from seed-hoping this hot day won't wilt them too much.

On another note: my husband says have you read your Mary Jane Farm magazine yet? I said no not yet. Well check this out you are in print.  and I was:

So this was fun  This is really a great book about cast iron baking and cooking and I would recommend it. I love all my Mary Jane Books.

Soooo I am getting further behind with my fabric journal since I am trying to get the gardens set up before it's too late. I am taking notes though in the calendar to help me remember things that I want to include.

   I also want to thank everyone for your very kind words about my latest handmade papers-I am so very happy with them that I will want to do that again.  I also want to thank those of you that let me know you enjoy reading my cast iron fridays recipes and tips.

   For my drink today I actually took a couple different photos this past week. I found a new wine I really love, but I am sharing my hard root beer.  I had found a 6 pack of hard root beer made the traditional way that I thought our Wisconsin friends might like. Instead Hubs and his friend Mr L tried it and said it was so delicious and had the best root beer flavor ever. This is loaded with sugar, and was not gluten free either since it was ale based.  I checked online and could not find a gluten free version so decided to make my own.
    A can of Mugs diet free caffeine free, gluten free (it does not say gluten free but did not see anything in the ingredients list) root beer. a small shot of my Tito's gluten free vodka, and lots of ice.-Very good. I think I will look for a root beer flavoring to enhance the root beer taste, but I liked it

Happy T Stands for Tuesday everyone.
Thank you for dropping by.  

and if you didn't see it, since I posted this one pretty early this week-I posted a video of our hummingbirds here  I think these are still our favorite little birds-they arrive mid April and leave mid September. A few years back before there was a big hurricane on their migrating path-we had over triple the birds you will see in the video. it was truely amazing

    Also, since so many of you in this group are no reply bloggers and I have seen a few of you that do comment back under your comments-I am going to start doing that now or answer questions back on your blog.  
    I just feel bad I can not reply back to most of you-I am not used to this as in the past we all shared our email so we could converse up and back better. But I understand many of you do not want to be set up this way. 
    I personally would only get spam on my page if I did not approve comments-so I keep that feature in place to avoid spammers-which I had been getting too many of for awhile.
   So anyways, this is what I am going to do now.  I know also that most of you may not have the time to come back and see my reply-but just know it will be there.