Friday, April 29, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS
{photo credit: Grandma}

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the road


We've been busy sightseeing with Grandma and Grandpa! We'll be back next week with more posts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

~ today ~

~ we are enjoying fresh farm eggs in our egg basket, the most recent cool find at the thrift store

~ sleepy kitties are never far from curious hands

~ we are loving our visitors from New Hampshire - Grandpa and Grandma!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

We had a beautiful spring day on Easter and Pieter hunted down eggs for the first time. What a great family time to celebrate the risen Christ!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Preserved Lemons


This morning our Azure Standard order arrived and we got some very nice organic lemons. We just pounded them into preserved lemons - our first lacto-fermentation project.  There are many recipes online for this, but I really like the Nourished Kitchen blog, so I went there for the recipe: Moroccan Perserved Lemons. This project proved to be lots of fun for the little guy, so when we were finished, I gave him some lemon rind, a jar and a spoon. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Black Gold

Pieter and I made a trip out to the small farm in the plains that we have a herd share in.  It was a beautiful day in the low 70s and we could see for miles. The dark mound in the horizon above is Bear Butte.

Every week fresh, raw milk, butter and eggs arrive on our doorstep from the farm. A by-product of our herd share is wonderful, composted manure for the garden. I loaded up several plastic tubs of this black gold and had to fight for room while I was doing it - the whole herd of jersey cows surrounded the car with great interest in what we were doing. Pieter was free-ranging in the back seat and really enjoyed all the noses and licks on the windows from the cows.
{adorable piglets with their mama}


{handsome fella}
{happy, free-ranging chickens}
{Silverback, the resident turkey, in full show}

We had a lovely day and brought back the manure and dug it into the garden. We've since done some planting, which I'll show you in a bit. I am going to remember this beautiful day when it snows tomorrow- we have a Winter Storm Watch happening for the rest of the week. Hopefully the snow will melt quickly!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dutch Baby

Mav put up a wonderful recipe for a dutch baby or oven pancake. I just saw it this morning and decided that it would be breakfast. It was really good. So good that I'd like to make another one for dessert right now. Yum. The first photo is immediately upon removing from the oven. It quickly deflated and I splashed on some fresh squeezed lemon juice and dusted it with powdered sugar. I made a few changes to the recipe. See below.
Dutch Baby
Ingredients
1 egg
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half unbleached and half whole wheat flour
vanilla
lemon juice
powdered sugar

Instructions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put several tablespoons of butter in skillet and pop in oven to melt. Multiply ingredients for additional servings (the skillet above is 4x). Whisk until thick and creamy. Pour batter in skillet and bake for 30 minutes. Do not open the oven while baking. Remove and top with fresh, squeezed lemon juice and powdered sugar. Serve with fresh fruit, jam or maple syrup.

Speaking of Dutch Babies, here is mine doing a little baking himself!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another sign of spring

Everyday we are seeing signs of spring. Robins are hopping around, feasting on worms. Calves dot the fields in numbers that surprise me, with mamas bellowing for their babes as strangers approach. Life is good, here in the west.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Butter-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

These sweet potatoes are quite good. I found the recipe on Martha's website a couple weeks ago and loved them so much that I had to make them again. My only modification of the recipe is to use rapadura instead of brown sugar. When I started using Sally Fallon's cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, I began using rapadura more often. However, I was unsure how this unrefined sugar compared to other sugars, like sucanat or turbinado. There is a great explanation on Quirky Cooking. The quick answer is that rapadura is the least processed of all cane sugars.

Butter-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients
  • 8 medium sweet potatoes (5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rapadura sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces
  • Drizzle potatoes in olive oil, salt, and roast in oven for 30 minutes - make sure the potatoes are in a single layer, using two sheets if necessary
  • Mix together the remaining ingredients and toss on potatoes
  • Roast for 15 minutes longer

Friday, April 8, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dirty hands




You know that spring is really here when you get your hands dirty. This is our first spring here and we are thrilled that the soil in our garden is dark, rich and loose. We've gardened in way more clay soil then I care to remember. This is good stuff. The worms abound. And, best yet, PJ loves it. There is a lot of pointing out the window during the day that pulls us outside to the yard. He will run around the yard until you bring him inside, usually kicking and screaming. Today I picked up 2 dozen strawberries and rhubarb that we'll plant tomorrow.

Here's hoping that your hands are dirty!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quick Change Trousers


Pattern: Quick Change Trousers, Anna Maria Horner, Handmade Beginnings
Fabric: Gifted flannel and Baobab Flannel by 2 mod moms, RJR Fabrics
Size: 18-24 months

When I saw these trousers on Soule Mama's blog (summer pants and winter pants) I knew that I needed to start sewing. I bought Handmade Beginnings and worked up the courage to give them a try. I used red and blue flannel that my mom sent to me (thank you, Mom!) and they didn't take that long to do. They came out so well that I made a second pair in Baobab flannels that I found at the Bakery Fabrics. My only modification was to follow Meg's directions for adding some extra room for cloth diapers.

PJ should get lots of use out of these as they are pretty long. Making reversible trousers in flannel have created the perfect cosy clothing for our "spring" here in South Dakota. Now I need to make some out of cotton for the summer that I know must be coming.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mato Paha

Mato Paha is the Lakota name for this dark mountain in the plains, just north of the Black Hills. This place has religious significance to the Lakota and the Cheyenne people and now is called Bear Butte State Park. It is not far from the town of Sturgis and is quite impressive from the distance, measuring in at 4,426 feet in elevation. We hiked up the Summit Trail on Saturday in 70 degree weather! The day couldn't have been any nicer. Here are a few pictures of this beautiful place.
{the beginning of the Centennial Trail}
{Pieter running down the trail, probably for about 1/4 mile}
{prayer bundle~arrowhead}
{checking out the lichen - note the burned trees in the background from the 1996 fire}
{plants trying to reestablish after the fire - a Ponderose Pine seedling}
{fiddleheads}
{Louisiana broomrape, Orobanche ludoviciana}
{prayer bundles}
{false fossil}
{so much lichen}
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