Monday, April 27, 2015

Made From Scratch

Well, I finally did it! I made a meal from scratch using only what I have grown/raised in my backyard (excluding the salt). 
Using my home-raised eggs and home grown wheat, I made a pasta dough.




 I used my pasta maker to cut it into noodles.
 Then, I used the spaghetti sauce that I had made from my home-grown tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme, and oregano. I made the sauce last summer and froze it until I could get around to making pasta.

 I'm very proud of this meal and the hours that went into making it from scratch! The wheat I used was Blue Tinge Ethiopian wheat, which gave the pasta a nice bluish-purple colour.
 The kids enjoyed it too!




I really want to try making a bread that is from scratch...someday. My wheat field is planted and sprouting in preparation.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sewing

The sewing machine was really busy for a bit this spring, whipping up some nice projects for us.
Kesten requested an apron in his size. He wanted a white apron and when I told him I wasn't sure I had any white fabric, he requested a "man" apron. Haha, not sure what that means! I used a tea towel and trimmed the top to make it "apron" shaped and sewed some ribbon to edge it and make ties.
 I added a denim pocket and embroidered an apple, lemon, and orange, just as he requested. What a guy! He likes to wear it when we make pancakes and when he plays in his kitchen.
 My Mother-in-law sent me this beautiful fabric to sew Cedar a dress. I used this easy-peasy pattern, which involved all of 10 minutes of sewing. The other side is reversible with pink elephants.

 Next up is a little dress that I made up a pattern for. I wanted to try out some smocking, since I learned how ridiculously easy it is using a machine!


And finally, I made a dress for myself using the Washi dress pattern and expansion pack by Made by Rae. I really love her patterns. She gives very clear instructions and makes you feel like you can really sew! I've made the Geranium dress several times now.
 I've always wanted a dress with a Peter Pan collar. I'm excited to make other styles of this dress.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Screen Printing Fabric

My little girl is turning one in just over a month and I don't know where the time has gone. Since she is a May baby, and May is the month of dandelions here, we are having a dandelion themed party. I wanted to make her a dress with dandelions on it, but the fabric I found cost way too much to ship. So, I decided to make my own! I bought a cheap sheet and made a design on my screen. I screen printed the design over and over to make the fabric.

When it was dry, I ironed it to set the ink and then sewed her a dress! I had to pick and choose which parts to cut the pattern from, because some of the designs were blurred but it all worked out. I think it is darling! I used the Geranium dress pattern and then drafted my own pattern for the sleeves and the collar.
I thought some sunny bloomers might look cute too. This time I carved out dandelion leaves and flower in potatoes. Since I didn't want to do a bunch of extra work, I cut out the pattern pieces ahead of time from another cheap sheet and just stamped onto them.


I set it with an iron again and then sewed the bloomers using this free pattern: http://www.marthastewart.com/335538/baby-bloomers
 I have been having so much fun sewing lately, I'll have to show you everything I have made!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

7 out of 7

All seven of my chicks hatched successfully! The 6 Salmon Faverolles hatched on Easter Sunday and the lone Rainbow Egger made his appearance on Easter Monday.





Kesten is thrilled to have a black chick, since he thought they all would be black. I think he assumed this because we had a black hen hatching the first batch of chicks (who were yellow, much to his disappointment). 
He is so happy to have the opportunity to hold them and snuggle them and kiss them. He's even named one of the chicks "Chickadee."
Phewf, another successful hatch. I've never had all 7 of the eggs in the incubator be fertile and go all the way to hatch day before. It was crowded in there! Now hopefully in two weeks we'll be able to tell the girls from the boys among the Salmon Faverolles. The boys start to grow black wing feathers...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

First Peeps

The eggs went into lockdown Thursday evening. I heard the first peeps coming from the eggs right now. Fingers crossed for some Easter chicks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Roasted Dandelion Root Ice Cream

 With all of my dandelion root powder, I wanted to try making ice cream, from a recipe I found in "The Boreal Herbal," by Beverley Gray. It is a basic custard recipe with 2 tbsp of roasted dandelion root powder added in. I froze it in my freezer and took it out at intervals to whip.


 This guy really enjoyed it! It has a really nice flavour to it. It is supposed to be somewhat mocha-y, but I'm not sure I would describe it that way. It almost has a vanilla flavour to it, although no vanilla is added. All in all, it is pretty good and I think I'll make another batch for Cedar's dandelion themed birthday.


 The chicks in the coop are just over a week old and look how many wing and tail feathers they already have!
 They have grown a lot bigger too.
 Mama has become very protective and flies at me if she so much as suspects I am attempting to pick up one of her chicks. It makes the task of cleaning out the food and water every couple of hours more challenging! She is teaching them to scratch and in the process flings wood shavings (and the odd chick who gets in the way!) all over the place, filling up their food and water dish. But it is so neat to observe her teaching them. She uses a special sound, one I have never heard any of my chickens use before, to gather them over if she finds a tasty morsel in the sawdust. When the chicks hear that noise, they run over to her beak, like iron filings drawn to a magnet. And she lets them eat it up instead of eating it herself. I have even seen her give a gentle peck, pushing aside one eager chick who was the first to eat the morsel time and again, giving the others a chance at it.
When I check up on them at night, before I got to bed, it is neat to see them cuddled together. I've even seen a couple of chicks climb up on her back and nestle in.
 I opened the door to the coop this morning, to give her a little time in the run. She hopped down and started scratching, calling to her chicks to join her. But the chicks stayed up in the coop, either daunted by the drop to the ground or afraid of me and the other chicken on the other side of the wire. After a minute of foraging by herself, the mama flew back up into the coop. But before she flew in, she flew up once in front of the doorway, making a racket. I think she was making sure that none of the chicks would be in her way when she went up, by scaring them back.
The eggs in my incubator have 5 days left and I can see them wiggling all on their own. How exciting to have chicks hatching out for Easter!
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