March 31, 2010

FOR TODAY:    March 31, 2010

Outside my window...  the drizzle is finally letting up, new blades of green grass are beginning to sprout up among the brown dead grass, the chickens are pecking and looking for any little thing of interest.

I am thinking...  about the homeschool curriculum magazine I got in the mail yesterday.... wishing that season of life wasn't over!

I am thankful for... wonderful young adult children that are such fun to be around! 

From the kitchen...  there is sooo much to be done! Dishes, dinner prep (heck, it still needs to be planned!), clean off the table...  uggh, I think I'll finish my tea first! 

I am wearing...  warm wool slipper with my jeans & t-shirt.

I am creating...  cloth handbags for some special people in my life!

I am going...  attack my to-do list with a vengence!

I am reading...  "Sitting At The Feet Of Rabbi Jesus" by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg. (a very good read!) 

I am hoping...  that the 'tax guy' will have good news for us!

I am hearing... the blessed sound of silence...  ahhh, the calm before the fray of everyone coming home for the evening!

Around the house...  the dog sleeps beside me, the hermit crabs are silent, the kids and Pete are still at work...  in a few hours all of that will change!

One of my favorite things...  peaceful, relaxing evenings with everyone at home!

A few plans for the rest of the week.... start checking out seed catalogs, try to find homes for 3 rabbits, rearrange in the back room for this year's maple syrup supply, sewing projects, and looking for a recipe for April's CanJam; choice of the month ... HERBS!!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Clara's 3 babies....  7 days old!

March 25, 2010

Clara's First Litter....

They finally arrived! Clara, our New Zealand White, had her first litter of babies today! We haven't been overly invasive to count them, but I did peek and held my cellphone over the nesting box to take this picture while mom was eating a little treat of romain lettuce! So far, I count 5! It is amazing to me that this is day 1 and they are totally pink....  within a week they'll be white (notice the white hair around them) and by day 10 they'll have their eyes open and they'll be scooting all around the box! :)

March 20, 2010

Introducing... Charlie

I'd like to introduce you all to "Charlie" our newest addition to the bunny hutch! He is a 5 month old, pure bred & pedigreed Silver Fox rabbit. This breed is born black and then as they grow, usually by week 4, they develop flecks of silver! I read somewhere that this breed is known as the 'teddy bear' of rabbits!

*** Kristy, this breed could be a 'muti-purpose' rabbit, but I can almost guarantee you that his offspring will be PETS ONLY! We are still looking for a pure bred & pedigreed doe for him....

March 15, 2010

If I Were....

To all my blog friends: Copy and paste this to your blog and add your own answers after the comma. Have fun!

If I were a gemstone, I would be a sapphire.

If I were a scent, I would be the scent of fresh air in April after the rain.

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be comfortable worn sandals.

If I were the weather, I would be a warm sunny day with a gentle breeze.

If I were a facial expression, I would be a smile.

If I were a car, I would be a family car.

If I were a time of day, I would be the quiet of the early morning.

If were a month, I would be July.

If I were a place, I would be a cottage on the waterfront.

If I were a liquid, I would be cool water.

If I were a taste, I would be sweet milk chocolate.

If I were a sea animal, I would be a dolphin.

If I were a food, I would be a vine ripened tomato.

If I were a color, I would be light pink.

If I were a musical instrument, I would be a piano.

If I were a flower, I would be sweet mayflower or a hyacinth.

If I were a song, I would be worship song.

If I were a planet, I would be planet earth.

If I were an object, I would be a photo album.

If I were a fruit, I would be a gala apple.

If I were a sound, I would be the laughter of a baby.

If I were a day of the week, I would be Sunday.

If I were a pattern, I would be an original.

March 12, 2010

Red Onion-Rosemary Jam ... "March Can Jam"

Red Onion-Rosemary Jam

7 Cups red onions, sliced thin
3/4 Cup red wine vinegar
1 TBsp. olive oil
3 1/2 Cups sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell Light
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled

Saute onions in olive oil and vinegar 10-15 minutes or until tender. Place onions in food processor or blender. Add rosemary, thyme and white pepper. Blend 1 minute. (4 good sized onions made 7 cups)

Place onion mixture in saucepan or dutch oven. Add Sure-Jell and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar and boil one minute more. Remove from heat, stir well and pour into sterile jars. (about 6 pints) and seal quickly. Process in boiling bath for 5 minutes.

It was a challenge to decide what to do with
this veggie! We like small doses of sweet, mild onions in salads or on hamburgers or hotdogs but not for much more then a garnish... 
When I saw that this recipe was suggested to be used as a marinade for chicken or beef, I decided to
try it!! (It was also recommended for biscuits & bagels.... one of my sons said he'd try that!)

It was really easy to make, after the odor of all the chopped onions wafted out the window! The red onions pinked up alot after I put them through the food processor! It looked really pretty, sort of looked like a pink lemonade slushy!! (Quoted from of the boys!)

Flavor....  definately onion! :) The sweetness from the sugar & sour from the vinegar work together! I am looking forward trying this with a roast....  

Interesting choice for the March Can Jam!! What will April hold? It will be a fun challenge for sure!

March 11, 2010

Home Made Kahula

I got a fun gift from a friend and I thought I'd share it with you! Kahula is a tastey treat to occassionally add to a Dunkin Donut's Vanilla Bean or Coffee Coolattas or to made frozen mudslides with or to use in Kahula cake! I had mentioned this to my friend and she found this really cool kit to make Kahula!! So... I did!!

The ingredients may surprise you,  brown sugar, white sugar, instant coffee, water, a vanilla bean and vodka!

First I mixed the sugars and coffee with water and brought it to a boil.....  that was easy!

After pouring the mixture back into the canning jar, I poured a measured amount of vodka in with it!

I scored the vanilla bean and added that to the jar too. So far so good, now it sits on a shelf for a month waiting. The directions say to shake it up once a week for a month and then use over ice cream, cooking, drinks etc. It also suggested adding a tablespoon of  chocolate syrup to it.... I think I might just add that before it sits for too long! :) I'll let you know how it comes out! IT SHOULD BE DELICIOUS!

March 8, 2010

Maple Season

It is the sweetest time of year.... time for MAPLE SYRUP!! The buckets are all hung on the trees... I think we have 42 buckets hung and some of the biggest trees have two taps in them!
We've talked about using piping, but I think we really like the beauty of buckets! The sap isn't flowing the best that we've seen, but we have already bottled up 8 gallons of syrup! After straining the sap, it gets poured into the white 55 gallon drum and then is slowly fed into the pan to the evaporator. This is the longest part of the whole process!! Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup?! Yup, that is true...  that is why the price of pure maple syrup is sooo expensive in the stores!  Pete and the boys are the ones who pretty much handle this part of the job! They feed the wood fire and keep a watchful eye on the pan to make sure it is boiling! Then, when the syrup turns a golden color and boils just right (we can tell by looking now) it has hit that special temperature of 220* and is now offically syrup!!
It is time to take it off the fire and strain it once again and then bring it up to me!! I pour it into my kettles and bring it back to a boil at 220* on the kitchen stove. Then I pour it into the plastic bottles and seal them! Lots of work... lots of fun.... LOTS OF YUM!