Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ginger - Lemon Slushies

The week before Thanksgiving and the weather is balmy 78 degrees. What's a Mom (who dreams of real falls and mild winters) supposed to do?

Make Ginger - Lemon Slushies!
Actually the ginger in these slushies is the gift that keeps on giving. Last year we had a couple of weeks of fresh ginger in our kitchen basket. So I needed to figure out what could be done with it. I made candied ginger. Yummy!

I had a small jelly jar of the candy and a 3/4 jar of dark, rich syrup left. Yesterday we attended a Pioneer Harvest Party. We needed a dish to share from the time period. The day before we were reading in a Plymouth Cookbook that the Pilgrims would make ginger tea regularly. Perfect!
Here's what I did. I put the candied ginger in the blender with some water and pureed it. I pop it on the stove and simmered it until all the pulp rose and clung to the sides. I then scraped that out added more water, the ginger syrup , and a bit more dark sucanat. The Pilgrim's were said to use maple syrup, but I had sucanat. I placed all this into a gallon size milk jug for easy carry and chilled.
We took the ginger tea and sweet popcorn to the event. The reviews were mixed. The tea has quite a spicy little kick at the end! It is really meant to be hot and was a bit sweet when cold. (I made it sweeter for the children because of the spiciness.) Everyone enjoyed the homemade sweet corn.
So here were are at today. I had a half gallon of sweet ginger tea in the fridge and nothing to do with it. Then a light went off! Why not make slushies with it? So I boiled it back down to a syrup state. Let it cool. Then we popped it in the blender with a BIG splash of lemon juice. More like a glug,glug,glug. I added a bit of water and tons of ice.
The lemon is a perfect accent and you get a spicy kick at the end of each sip. Yummy. I'll definitely put this on the spring and summer treat list!
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The End of the Apples...

The apples are about done and I miss them already. I feel like I need another case or two. Crazy? I'm seriously starting to think that I need to open a seasonal bakery.

Here's the totals for 5 boxes of apples:
30 apple pies
4 apple crisps
13 quarts of applesauce
7 quarts cinnamon apples (these were supposed to apple filling, but I didn't like the recipe)
10 gallons of dried apple chips
50 apples for eating
lots of cores and peels for chicken food

I'm hoping to get one more pie out of them tonight!

This weekend I'm moving on to a case of pears that are ripening on my kitchen table. Date night with Superman. Outdoor Movie Night with the chickadees. Oooooo and making baby burp clothes for a cutie pie that will be born in the new year! I also probably should clean up craft room which looks like a bomb exploded in it and help make 4 Sweet Sisters Pumpkin Bread!

Have a Great weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apple Pie

School Girl

By my tally we have made approximately 27 apple pies and 2 large apple crisp in the last week! I know what you're thinking, "She's nuts. Doesn't she already have a full to overloaded plate?" The answer is a resounding YES! We Mom's tend to do what we have to do and what we probably don't have to do also. Ahem.

The Little Chefs friend

Well there were some hectic moments. Like the small fire in the oven that only got bigger when I opened the door to throw in salt. SCARY. Or the black smoke streaming out of the ovens. I'm so thankful we have had a patch of cold weather so the windows could be open!

First timers!

Some fun times were teaching a gaggle of preteens how to bake their first pies. They were so excited. My own little chickadees and I even had a chance to bake some big ones!

Farm Girl's friend.

We made 3 different types of crust:
-Whole Wheat with butter
-White flour with butter
-White four and vegetable shortening

Flakiness Factor- White Flour w/shortening was the clear winner. Although the thought of shortening grosses me out!

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour - Great if you're making pie all time and you want to keep as much nutrition as possible. A bit denser than white flour BUT the butter gives it an excellent flavor.

Butter verses Shortening - Butter gives more flavor and a more tender crust I think it's a must in you are making pot pie. Yum!
Coconut Oil Crust is next on the list. I plan on making a coconut oil crust this week.

Farm Girl

Whatcha been up to?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our Little Farm Part 2

Hi Folks. I can't believe it has been so long. The fact of the matter is schooling, girl's groups, play practice and a much needed vacation is kept our family overloaded. All wonderful things, but you know how it is. Right?

What's been going on around here? Well unfortunately last night Farm Girl found old Gert ( one of our first chickens) dead. Just before we had a passel of ladies convening on the homestead to make apple pies. Not good timing. She was truly one of my favorites. She had a wonderful life here. Eating spaghetti, hunting frogs, bugs and children. She also gave us some wonderful eggs!

Farm Girl was a sad, but seems to be learning the ways of farm life. Saturday she is going to look at about 150 new chicks a friend of ours just got in. Maybe we can persuade Superman to get a couple ;)

Our garden is perking along. We are already harvesting collards for the chickens! We put in two rows in just for them. The weather has not been cooperative. We haven't had any rain (until last night) in the past month.
We are having Squirrel problems. Superman has hung cd's around the perimeter of the garden. They startle me at times, but I 'm not sure about the squirrels. They really like to eat the baby cucumbers and the almost all of the lima beans as they have come up. I would really like to find something that would keep them away from our house! Superman has ideas, but I don't think they are allowed in city limits :0

Here are some heirloom tomatoes. No blooms as of yet.

The lettuce had trouble. So I need to plant again. We are using a ground water system and the lettuce, kohlrabi and other really need to be hand watered for the first month or so. I haven't had a chance to replant and I'm missing the lettuce.

Hopefully this weekend we will get some fertilizer down, check for weeds. (Superman and the little chickadees pulled a bunch after our vacation.) Make more apple pies and lots of 4 Sweet Sisters Pumpkin Bread!

We're trying decide on a ground cover for weed control. We've a free mulch in that past, but it's very big and chunky. Any ideas?