Zombie T-Shirt Rug Tutorial

September and October flew in and out with the ferocious winds of fall.  We are squirreling away canned goods and root vegetables, as well as our traditional bushel or two of crisp tart apples. And we keep starting new projects that end one season and welcome the next.  This autumnal and looking towards winter time of year, has me thinking about crafting, for all the birthdays and holidays to come.  This is one of my favorite creative outlets.  Now, I am attempting one I have never done before…bringing old t-shirts back from the dead, to a new undead form. ZOMBIE RUG! (OK, Happy Halloween folks!) Continue reading “Zombie T-Shirt Rug Tutorial”

Would a Vampire Be a Good Farmer? The D.R.A.C.U.L.A. Criteria

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. About Dracula. And about farming. Normal thoughts we all have, surely. And this morning my thinking merged and I was struck by a question: would a focused, non-emotional vampire like Dracula have traits that translate well to farming? In a world where vampires need vegetables instead of blood, could someone like ol’ Dracs raise a nice carrot patch? Continue reading “Would a Vampire Be a Good Farmer? The D.R.A.C.U.L.A. Criteria”

HAPPY CHALLAH-WEEN (Pumpkin Challah Bread recipe)

We picked up some amazing pumpkins at White Gates Farm and one is just aching to become our jack-o-lantern. The pie pumpkins have been our table centerpieces.  I love pumpkins in the fall and winter because they store well, they can be added to many dishes for a depth of flavor (and vitamins and nutrients).  They make great baby puree and blends.  But the desserts are really why we know and love pumpkins the most.  Continue reading “HAPPY CHALLAH-WEEN (Pumpkin Challah Bread recipe)”

Lard, the misunderstood fat (and how to render your own lard)

Oh great, another article about how lard is healthy.  I bet you think I’m about to make an effort to convince you that lard should replace all the butter, shortening and olive oil in your pantry.  Yeesh, no way.  Or maybe you’re thinking, here we go, a pseudo-scientific health article comparing different levels of chemicals that make up the various fats available and somehow prove that when you look at lard a certain way, it’s a bona fide superfood.  Nah, too over my head.  Lard is good for three reasons if you ask me: it’s naturally part of our evolved diets as omnivorous humans, it performs amazingly for baking and frying, and it can easily be obtained and rendered from local sources (perhaps most important of all!).  Leave the fake science for the wannabe nerds that think turkey puts them to sleep!

Continue reading “Lard, the misunderstood fat (and how to render your own lard)”

Autumn Apple Sticky Bun (recipe)

I tend to read cook books like novels. Yesterday I watched as my daughter flipped through our weathered copy of Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Clearly, that book gets a lot of love in this house! She was thoroughly entranced in the images of fluffy brioche, croissants, pizza, “mama, what’s this PURPLE bread?” “that’s a sourdough with blue cheese and walnuts…” “oh, I like purple bread! mmmmm.” She asked which ones we had made and which ones we could make.  Then she grabbed the next cookbook, Rustic Fruits Desserts and flipped and dreamed about eating all the other yummy things, I certainly was..  We finally decided on mixing up two recipes we had tried before with apples. Continue reading “Autumn Apple Sticky Bun (recipe)”

Sweet Chocolate Pearple Cake [recipe]

PEARPLE?  Pear and Apple (pearple) are showcased in this lovely chocolate bundt cake.  We were gifted some beautiful pear tree drops from a hundred year old tree in South Tamworth.

Continue reading “Sweet Chocolate Pearple Cake 

Hard Cider

How to make Hard Apple Cider [infographic]

Homebrewing is so IN right now, isn’t it?!  I love homebrewing and take pride in the fact that a majority of the alcohol consumed in our home is not only responsibly consumed, it’s like 75% or more completely home made!  But brewing beer can be time consuming and requires ingredients that aren’t always that local.  Cider, on the other hand, well that stuff practically grows on trees!  Boo ya!  Want to make some hard cider? We’ll show you how! Continue reading “How to make Hard Apple Cider [infographic]”

shovels of peace

Dig a hole. Fill it up. Inner peace?

There’s a story (seemingly fabricated) that, during the Great Depression in the US, the government hired people to dig holes.  One group of workers was supposedly hired to dig all day, and the next day they had off.  On that off day, another group of workers came in, hired to fill in vast holes.  According to the story, this was a way to give a struggling populace a sense of purpose to help them get through the tough time.  I’ve also heard that digging a deep hole and then filling it up is a zen practice.  The digging is so full of intent that the mind is free to relax and seek inner peace. Continue reading “Dig a hole. Fill it up. Inner peace?”

Fall Fun for Families

Every chance we get lately, we are outside! There is something about Autumn air and the chill of the mornings! I LOVE IT. Every moment we are not working on the homestead, we are trying to savor all of Autumn’s wonderful sights, smells, and traditions.  Here are a few things we like to do this time of year. What are you doing to embrace Fall? Continue reading “Fall Fun for Families”