Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tucked in...

The storm earlier this week drove us to make some moves on animal winter housing.  For whatever numerous reasons there were several things that weren't done.  After several years of mistakes in winterizing the animals we have learned alot...and we still have plenty to learn. 
One thing I had to get used to was the idea that animals (like us) live in more confined ways in the winter. 
We like to support our animals living in a manner that suits their natural tendencies.  We put our hens and meat birds on pasture in the summer.  Our pigs have a large range of woods and pasture three seasons a year.  We use our goats to clear woodland so they always have over an acre of brushy undergrowth they are working on.   The reality is that snow and electric fencing don't really mix too well and animals like the pony require careful turnout in the winter so they don't hurt themselves on icy patches.  Everyone has a decent enough coat (or thick enough skin..and fat) to endure the cold but they also require some decent shelter from stiff winds and wet precipitation.  Basically, being cold is OK, but being wet and cold and drafty is not.  I can relate!  After discussing the whole winter "confinement" matter with several other farmers--who also pasture their meat and dairy critters-- over time, I became more comfy with the  idea of cozying everyone up for the winter.   Plus, by the end of winter, we have a nice huge pile of manure that can go on the gardens!!!
Slowly we worked up to a small list of winter residents that forced us to learn a whole new set of skills and practices.  Right now we are housing:

3 Alpine Dairy Goats
2 Large Black Hogs (sow possibly expecting)
1 medium pony
1 6 month old Dexter heifer
8 laying hens

So there are surely many ways to care for your animals in the winter but I thought I might share how we do it...which is forever the spirit of the ol' Grange Hall.  The way that farmers have been learning, and doing and sharing since the early days of farming.
The hens, per my last post, are living in the lap of luxury in their solar heated hoop house accomodation.

To winterize the goats we use sheep fence (wire 5 inch square mesh) and make a smaller sized corral around their house.  This fence is not electrified and they stay in no problem.  We throw in  evergreen boughs all winter for browse.  They get straw bedding which is deep packed (we dont change it til spring) and they get hay and a little extra grain.

The pigs got moved into a large stall in the barn which they lovingly share.  That gets mucked twice daily and they get some hay bedding which they also munch on. 

The calf is in the next stall over.  She gets tons of hay...mucked daily and ideally brushed daily---trying to make her super tame for milking...thats my goal anyway.  It seems to be going well.

The pony wears a blanket and lives mostly in his stall although he gets walks and turnout into the snowy pasture--which he loves to roll in.  He also gets dengi to supplement his forage diet and help him enjoy eating a little more in the face of declining dental health---oh getting old is tough.

We keep a little NPR or some such on the barn radio to keep everyone company -- and well informed -- and we, so far, have been pretty happy with how everyone is faring this winter.  We finally feel like we have the beginnings of a "system" down.  And we can reasonably afford our grain bill (ahem).

Of course--just when things are getting familiar--your sheep farmer friend calls to lure you with her 12 prospective blue liecester X lambs...just a couple wethers...beauuuuutiful fiber.....easy keepers....OH DEAR!  Are things about to change...again??

The corner...

Last night I came home to find my dear husband had assembled our Christmas gift to ourselves...a bookcase.  We read a lot and so we can never have enough bookcases.  This one had a particular purpose.  The kid's school work collection has grown to enormous proportions and needed a way to organize it better due to a few things Santa left such as...

a microscope...W. has been asking for one for a while now so he can study things.  Santa also left a whole bunch of art supplies (Thank you Stubby Pencil Studio and Soulemama!) My dad has been designing, cutting  and making a special place for those.  I'd love to take you on a tour of our shelves as soon as I get them organized the way I want.

In other news....we are officially NOT taking a vacation.  W. was getting out of sorts when his daily rhythm was disturbed.  He has been begging to do work (same kid that asked for a sweet treat and got a bin of spinach.)  So yesterday I ordered his 1st grade books.

My baby is growing up so fast.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chez Poulet Redux: Part Deux

Typical our style.  Its 15 degrees..dusk approaching..a nor'easter bearing down on us...and...voila!  We bust out the chicken house in a 3 hour push. 
It aint pretty...but it will do.  The hens are moved in, thanks to my 7 year old chicken catcher.  I would put her up against any 60 year old poultry farmer any day...she's fast, accurate and fearless and she can carry up to 4 hens at a time, upsidedown, two per hand.  She's incredible.

We are already psyched about shortened water and grain hauling trips...
And I am dreaming about slipper-footed runs just steps out the back door to fresh eggs.

salvaged rebar and slab wood and retired 4 year old greenhouse plastic=free chicken house

everyone tucked in for the storm...including us!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday...early: A cup of coffee...Theme and variations

I will not be posting on Saturday for Scrumptious Saturday...
It is Christmas.
So I am posting early.
I love my family.
I enjoy coffee.
Hence my recent comment about my compost heap providing caffeine for the neighborhood scroungers.
All coffee grinds go in to the heap.
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law came over for our traditional Thursday night cooking class. 
As a little treat, we made one of my favorite drinks...

Almond Cold Brew

First you need Cold Brew Coffee

1 c. coarsely ground coffee (as if for a French press)
2 c. cold water
(or a similar ratio)
1 quart jar
cheesecloth, strainer, or coffee filter, French press 
or a combination of the above.

Place coffee and water in a quart jar (yes, all mixed up.) 
Cover and give it a good shake and then let sit for about 6 hours on the counter.
Strain the coffee through the filtering method into another clean jar.
Keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Cold brewing gives you all the caffeine and a smooth taste without all the acid or bitterness and stomach turning parts that make coffee not so delightful.

  • To make regular hot coffee mix in a ratio of 1 part coffee to 3 parts boiling water (alter to your preference.) 
  • Heat straight up for super strong coffee.
  • Mixed with sweetened condensed milk 50/50 it makes what they called Cafe Bon Bon when I was in Spain.
  • To make Almond Cold Brew mix about 1 part cold brew to 4 parts sweetened vanilla almond milk. (I usually use  Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.)
  • Mix one part cold brew, one part chocolate syrup, and 3-4 parts hot milk for a nice mocha.
  • Mix in as some of the liquid for a baked chocolate recipe to make a chocolate espresso item.
What else can you make with Cold Brew?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordsmith Wednesday

Today I have two shorter picture books that are great for a wide age spread.  Like, at 30-something, I enjoy them as much as my 4 year old.

The first is:

Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson and illustrated by Annie Patterson

This is a great story about the Inupiat of northern Alaska.  It is a story about community, traditions, food and feelings.  There are so many excellent messages and learnings that can be drawn from these pages--it is a very worthwhile read.  Check out the pronounciation glossary in the back of the book and the amazing watercolors that really capture life on the edge of a frozen ocean.

Lucy's Christmas by Donald Hall and illustrated by Michael McCurdy

Travel back to New England to share this warming story that highlights the strenght of family and the joy of community and simplicity in celebration.  We read this every year and every year mine seem to get more from it.  The joy and excitement of making simple gifts is all wrapped up here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter eggs...

This is our first chicken owning winter that we haven't forced eggs...
and they are getting scarcer than hen's teeth around here.  
We broke down and bought eggs from Frankferd's due to the Christmas cookie baking that went on this weekend...20 dozen cookies for my husband's staff uses up quite a few eggs.  
Let me be the first to say if you buy eggs, they "pale" in comparison to the rich dark yellow eggs of summer.  I love the eggs when the chickens have been eating lots of grass and eggs.  
In winter, we have them in a shed.  We tried to put a run on to the side, but the ground froze before we got a chance. The shed has deep litter composed of hay and leaves from the yard.  We saved a garbage can full of leaves for mid winter when their litter will need a refresher.  
We've been getting a few eggs every day.  I am careful to get them around noon so that they have been layed. but haven't had a chance to freeze. (During a blizzard I had a few days were I couldn't get out there last year, when I went to wash the "naturally refrigerated eggs" they all cracked from being frozen.) 

Summer chores:
Feed Grain
Use the hose to fill up the waterer.
Give Scraps

Winter Chores:
Fill a 5 gallon bucket with hot tap water, one gallon at a time.
Boil a tea kettle full of water.
Lug both down to the shed
Wedge your way in so the chickens don't escape.
Use boiling water to defrost the waterer so that you can open it.
(careful...don't scald the chickens)
It helps if you also manage to bring the scraps to distract the girls from the water.
Use the bucket to fill the waterer.
Fill up the feeder.
Collect eggs
Get out.
While I'm down there, I also dump out the compost which often has animal foot prints around it.
We must have some well caffeinated wildlife around here.

The eggs may not be as dark as the ones in the summer, and a bit more difficult to come by, but they are still better than any egg I've ever bought.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sneak Preview....

We are excited to (sort of) announce the culmination of what has been a buzz in our home for a couple years.  Its a project my husband has had on his to-do list...mulling around in his head.   With things on the farm quieting down for the winter and his day job being a little less chaotic, he has been placing himself firmly in front of his development machine to produce what we hope will be a great resource and tool for bloggers-like-us. 
We are going into a "beta" phase and I wanted to invite all of you along, if you like, to join us.  If you would like check it out....

Just log in and create a password and, once you get your invite, you are ready to start "Re:laying" your favorite blog posts or news pieces to share with all of us.  You can also vote on posts.  The most popular posts for the day float to the top of the page. The general theme of the site is "home-centered living" --- there are several subcatagories within to sort your posts.

Anyway--check it out...mess around with it and throw up a post or two if you like.  

We are planning for a REAL Beta Launch after the first of the year so this is the true sneak preview just for you!  We are adding new features every day and tweaking here and there so check back often.  And our apologies in advance if you run into any glitches.  If you would like to give any feedback or suggestions for improvement, logged in users can "contact the squirrels" under your user name.  We'd appreciate it!

Thanks for joining us on this ride.  We are having so much fun with it and we hope you will too!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday

Winter is here.
It's in the cold brisk morning air when I bring boiling water (to defrost the waterer) and hot tap water down to the chickens in the morning.
It's in the snow that falls every day.
It's in the two hour delays that good ole hubby calls in at least once a week.
It's in the bells ringing in front of red kettles outside stores.
Yes, it is here.

And so is gingerbread.
One of my favorite winter treats.

Gingerbread Pancakes
1 c. flour (I use 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 Tbs. sugar

Stir together.

Mix in
1 egg
1 Tbs Molasses
1 c. milk

Heat up the griddle and oil well.  Pour on by the 1/4 cup.  When the edges get bubbly, flip it over and cook for an additional minute or so and serve...oh the toppings...syrup...powdered sugar...blueberries... Which brings me to..

Blueberry gingerbread
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1.5 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
2.5 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. milk
3 Tbs. sugar

Cream the sugar and butter.  Add in the egg and molasses.  Stir in the spices, salt, and baking soda.  Stir in the flour.  Stir in the milk.  Fold in the blueberries.  Pour into a loaf pan and sprinkle with the 3 Tbs sugar.  Bake at 350 for 50 min or so.

I have about 20 pounds of frozen wild Maine blueberries in my freezers. 
Oh how I love these treats!

Again I am sorry about the lack of pictures, but so it goes...

Let me what you cook to remind you of the Holidays.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Dinner

This is how just about every dinner starts at my house in the winter:

Its really quite amazing the things you can do with these three things.  Stirfry with rice.  Boil and its soup.  My latest favorite is steam in stock and the puree into a yummy sauce that goes over just about anything.   Where would I be without carrots and potatoes??
I must say though, we had some peas from the freezer (which I ration and cherish during the winter) and boy did they taste good!!!  Its the thing about seasonal eating in the northeast.  By the time March rolls around we are really craving the green stuff.  Thankfully due to the hoophouse we are not too far from fresh salad greens at that point. 
But this picture--its something I get pretty used to seeing for the next couple months.  So if anyone has any ideas to share about what to do with carrots, onions, potatoes and the occasional celery...just drop it in the comment box. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twinkle Twinkle

We started a new unit.  We have been in a bit of an between curriculum levels intermission for the past few weeks.  Focusing on family, home, and the holidays.  We've become a bit informal.  It's amazing me how the kiddos are begging to "do work" in our old more structured way, so I've added some structure by doing a unit study on "Stars."

We've talked about the Christmas Story and how the Star of Bethlehem played a role.
We've read a Scholastic Science Vocabulary Reader about Stars and Constellations.
In the back of the Science Reader, there was a vocabulary section.  We studied what each of the terms were.  Then W. was able to sound out the vocabulary words using the phonics he did for Kindergarten.
W. typed out his vocabulary list for me.  
(I love all the sneaky silent "e" sounds)

Pretty cool I think...
For comprehension I made a read and draw a line to the picture work sheet for him.
We read stories about the constellations from different cultures.
We made a star craft for our front door.
W. then "taught" (as she already knew the song, but it gives W. great pride to teach his sister) C. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  They sing it at the top of their lungs in the car wherever we go.

I always have to include some baking into what we are doing.  Today we are going to bake Christmas cookies.  I was thinking of making a bunch of stars and then making a constellation with them.

I just won a prize from Soulemama (yeah, I'm a winner) and chose to get as part of it, an outer space color card set.  You get to color in the card before sending it.  I wonder who the lucky recipient will be?

Sorry about the lack of battery charger broke so I don't have working batteries...oh so is the modern life.  My dad has some really cool old cameras from the pre-digital problem.  Then again, it is so much easier to download pictures.  I'm not sure which side of the progress fence I am on when it comes to pictures...If I want a great picture I am for the old film ones anytime, but for the blog, digital is wonderful...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Its a deliberate choice we make to do things...the "hard" way.  Is the hard way better? 

There must be something better about it, because we keep doing it that way, in the face of an easier path.  We've reasoned that in some cases its better for us.  Eating whole foods that are more laborious to prepare rather than processed foods with their strange ingredient lists and excessive packaging.  In many cases it saves us dollars.  Processing firewood to heat our home and hot water rather than picking up the phone for an oil delivery.  And in some cases, it meets those criteria just feels right.  Making our own cheese, or growing our own vegetables and meat.  All of these things seem pretty accessible and frankly, aren't that difficult.  Despite the extra effort that is involved, we continue to feel compelled.  We find enough value and satisfaction in it that we want to go out there and do it...and we're not alone.

You feel compelled to do it even when it is 95 degrees out, or the mosquitos have started a blood bank, or its sleeting and 20 degrees and the animals need water.  And those are the days that try your choice.  When half of the bucket spills down the back of your boot as you negotiate an icy patch.  When you're drenched in sweat and you still have hundreds of feet of picking left or when you get home from a long day at work and you realize that you didn't meal plan well and any well made dinner is at least an hour or more away and you decide to feed your family eggs with cheese and cut up carrots--again.  Is it still better?  Usually my answer is yes.  But I'm no homestead hero.  I fantasize about heated water buckets and, on a stagnant summer day, I love to sit in front of a big fan.

I know for sure that my husband's farmer-grandparents thought ding dongs and spaghettios were two of life's great inventions.  After baking and cooking your whole life over a wood cookstove, all 4 seasons, for your family and a farm crew, a can of "lunch" on an electric stove and a pre-made cake looked pretty darn good.  Interesting, isn't it.  People that wouldn't consider putting pasturized milk past their lips, mowing down a ho-ho with their raw moo juice.  Ah, progress!

Somehow it seems, all of us that do this, this homesteading stuff, we all draw our own lines.  We're, for the most part, doing it by choice.  The ho-ho's and boyardee are all there for us to take advantage of.  But we find value and satisfaction in another turn.  Despite its challenges, we ultimately decide that the more difficult road gets us to a destination that we consider better, or at least, one that we prefer.  And in each little effort to make one or another part of our lives a little more simple, more basic, we notice that we truly appreciate and are grateful for the access to modern conveniences that we have.  And we use them, mindful of their usefulness.  We love chainsaws and toilet paper.  Stuff like that. 

Which brings me to the greatest recent homestead FREE acquistion that had us hopping with excitement.  With much of our small wheat crop still in shocks in the barn, we were tediously and slowly processing little bits indoors in the evening.  It was beyond ridiculous considering the amount remaining to be done.  ENTER our new-to-us thresher.  
We had seen this nifty little chipper-turned-thresher on the interwebs but never figured that we would acutally find one---and certainly not for a reasonable price, like free. 
The great news is that without any modifications, it works pretty good!  We are still in the initial stagesbut....having done this job "the hard way" , we are definitely appreciating a little help from mother necessity.  And so, feeling a little like my husband's grandparents, we indulge, and plug in the mechanical thresher.  Now let me say that threshing and winnowing wheat at dusk in 20 degree weather while kneeling on frozen ground is a far cry, with regard to ease, from grabbing a bag of flour from the shelf at the store (and I might have mentioned that once or twice as I lost all feeling in my fingers)...but the wheels of "progress" were a-churning.  Ah, progress!

Wheat Berries!!!(and a little chaff)

When W. is working...

C. does her "school" too now.
  In fact she is quite insistent on doing "school."  
She has a deep, breathy, husky voice when she first wakes up.  It sounds like she's been a two pack a day smoker for the past 20 years (a difficult accomplishment in her two years...sometimes I suspect "screamer's nodules.") 
She stands on the top of the stairs and demands,
 "Daddy, I go down stairs!"  
soon followed by, "Mommy, I need water and puzzles."  
In my bleary pre-coffee state, I often mistake her "puzzles" with "pretzels" which is then met with a glare of disapproval when I hand her a pretzel.  Soon, I get with the program and hand her the first puzzle of the day.  Often it will be the getting the bear family dressed puzzle that she wants first thing.  
I think of it as a language tool as well as a matching and sorting puzzle.  
She always matches the bear family to what our family is wearing.  
First thing in the morning, she puts on the bears' jammies.  She then looks at our faces and puts on a face that matches (Baby bear is always so happy...Momma bear is usually yawning, and Daddy bear is looking a bit confused.)  
If she chooses it later in the day you never know what the family will be wearing.  She tells me all about the family she has created.  
Then she asks for another.

 Her current favorite is a wooden alphabet puzzle. 
 She dumps it out, and then finds a letter.  Then she finds where it fits.  Next she sings the alphabet song and points to each hole in the puzzle until she gets to the place where she put the letter in.  She then declares what letter she has inserted.  She has begun memorizing the letters and when she is down to a few, she'll yell "Momma where did MY (letter) go?...Oh there you are silly (letter.)"  
In this way she has taken previous knowledge (the ABC song) and expanded it to create a self correcting puzzle.  It amazes me how she does things sometimes.  Usually she will then move to a jigsaw puzzle.  She narrates the process telling all about which part of the animal she is going to put on, or why the pirates are fighting. 
 In my house, it is rarely quiet.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday

Okay, so it's not really a would even be a stretch to call it a stew...
It's a wonderfully starchy filling meal that feels so good after coming in
from a cold winter day.
We are very fortunate that all the ingredients were grown/raised locally.

Beef Bean Barley Soup
One large beef soup bone (optional)
2 cups sliced carrots
1 large onion 
2 stalks celery
2 more cups assorted veggies
1 cup chopped beef (optional)
1 cup barley 
1 cup mixed lentils (golden and green come in my favorite mix)
Water to cover the items
Simmer the beef bone for about an hour in water that will cover it.  Remove any beef leftovers from the bone and discard (or give to the dog) the bone.  Add in the veggies and beef.  Let simmer until everything is tender.  Bring to a boil and add in the grains.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the grains are tender.
Good for you
What did you make this week?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some Interesting Links To Look at...or not...

So I have been on the catch up I got to see some fun things.  I am forever losing great ideas, so in order to let you in on some things I like and keep myself organized...without further adieu, I give you some wonderful wintry links:
The Boyfriend Hat- Totally great simple pattern I have begun in a mini version for W.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup- A tasty staple in our house.  From one of my favorite Blogs! Hershey's has nothing on this!
FREE bread cookbook- need I say more?
Barefoot Books- Oh how I love books...
This is soooo cool!- Jan Brett's website...I love her books and she has a FREE calendar for next year with her artwork! I used to to a great month long language lesson unit on The Mitten when I worked in preschools.
I broke down and bought. something similar..$4.99!  Merry Christmas to me.
For the snow day...or any snowy day in our case.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordsmith Wednesday

I know I am in good company here when I say that I am always on the hunt for a good, high quality, book that will capture the attention of my 7 year old (and preferably my 4 year old at the same time...a girl can wish).  I was thrilled to see an exciting announcement for a regular book review over at Ink Stains...and so I thought rather than just take, take, I would throw my hat into the ring as well and offer up some suggestions from our book baskets.

Today's feature from our homestead bookshelf is The Moomin Series by Tove Jansson.

The series was originally written by Swedish-Finn author...... in Swedish and published in Finland.  Thankfully, the books were translated to English in the 70's and are now sold in the States. 

The series followes the adventures of a family of lovable hippo-like trolls and their sidekicks and family friends as they experience life in Moomin Valley and beyond!  It probes the imagination and uses intelligent syntax but still isn't so overly complex that it loses a young reader.  We are reading the series aloud.   And when I read aloud I really need a book grabs my attention (and holds it) as well.  The characters are fabulously interesting and whimsical and there are several, so it is fun to keep track of them and their quirky ways. 

Excellent read-aloud or read alone for a fluent reader. 

Also, if you are looking for high-quality books for holiday gifts, check out the books published/distributed by Barefoot Books(link in our sidebar).  I have bought their books at our local bookstore in the past and they are always beautiful, high-quality and contain excellent messages and information.  City Sister is now hooked up with them and offering online purchasing through her online store.  Stay tuned for possible giveaways---I guess I will have to recuse myself from any of those due to the family relationship to the giver...drat!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

At last...

I finally had time to put together some pictures from our adventure to Maine to visit with Country Sister and Co. as well as going over the (many) rivers and through the (again many) woods to the grandparents' home.  So sit back and have a vicarious vacation with the sisters.
Friends and Cousins both

Rose Hip Jelly, Cranberry Sauce, Crackers,
and Goat Cheese

Daddy's Little Girl

No Snow Yet

Tractor Rides

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I've been...

a little absent this past week...thanks to my sister for picking up my slack.  My creative evening time has been soaked up by "snuggle me" requests that result in me waking up at 1pm crunched into one of my kids beds.  It's where I was needed most. 
A busy week of work and school and the barn...but thankfully capped off with an amazing day....I went to bed (in my own bed....with the two girls) so grateful for days like this:

1.  The kids were dressed and fed before 7am, on their own!  Good start!

2.  Family drive to school and then a quick stop at the local chainsaw store to drop our VERY old Stihl for a little TLC, and a peek at the shiny new stuff on the shelves.  I know what my husband is putting on his Santa list. 

3.  Having time to make playdough. 

4.  The cleaning time that playdough allows me.

5.  Roasted Long Pie Pumpkin and SEEDS!

5.  A card game and tea with her...

6.  "Mommy, you 'yarn' while I play the piano"

7.  A phonecall with City Sister.

8.  Stopping back at the repair shop to get the bad news about the Stihl.  Oh Santa, I hope the elves can build something, cause the change jar in the laundry room just isnt gonna cut it.

8. Watching my oldest tack up a really big horse and ride....all by herself

9.  Our own chicken for dinner

10.  Family sing-alongs with Daddy on guitar...even my 7 year old can harmonize on this one!!

11.  My oldest teaching us a all a new contra-dance she learned at school (love that music program) to bluegrass Christmas music.

12.  A witch and a fairy burning off the last of the day's energy

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday

Sorry this is a bit late...We had these for lunch Sunday, before we left Maine, so technically it was this week...So without further adieu...  

My dear husband was taken aback when he found out my family had Thanksgiving Dinner in the early afternoon.  He thought Thanksgiving Dinner should be at regular dinner time between no...the main reason being the target of this week's Scrumptious Saturday. (No, I will not show a picture of a turkey dinner with a perfect looking turkey and display of the table.) Soon, he learned the reason we have such an early dinner is so that you can digest a little, have dessert, digest a little more and then have:

(aka a "help me Rhonda")

2 slices of hearty bread, toasted
leftovers from Thanksgiving Dinner
I use:
mashed potatoes
cranberry sauce
congealed gravy
sweet potatoes

Spread gravy and mashed potatoes on one slice of bread.  Spread cranberry sauce on the other.  Stack/spread/mash remaining ingredients on bread. 

It's really sad to admit that sometimes mid year we will roast a turkey breast or a chicken and make all the fixings for dinner so that we will have leftovers for the sandwich of doom.  Especially on years that we do not host Thanksgiving, thus we don't have leftovers, or sandwiches.
It's that good.

I would love to hear about something that you made this week.  Drop a comment, maybe a picture...or link to your Scrumptious Saturday!

What's your favorite leftover turkey recipe?

Friday, December 3, 2010

On the road...again...

The kids are home.
I am not.
I am in Gettysburg...again.
I have some time on my hands over the next few days and figured that I'd write a little as my dear sister does not have the time...
I finally finished C.'s pink hat at 5 am...there was a fire last night down the road.  I couldn't get back to sleep, so I finished it.  How this came from THIS I do not's one of those things that happens between 4 am and 5 am.
I like it.
It reminds me of 2 things.
1) A cupcake
2) The knitted toilet paper cover my 
granny always had covering her spare roll of t.p.

I started it last trip to Gettysburg.
Tore it out the night before Thanksgiving.
I finished it today...
Not to shabby.

I hope my little girl likes it.  I have already started a mini version of the "boyfriend hat" for W.  
He chose some blue variegated yarn as well as some red alpaca wool for a stripe during a shopping trip.
Can't wait to see what that ends up looking like.

In other news, I have spent the last few hours taking a long window shopping walk.  I ended up buying a whole lot of books at a library used book store here...
I can never go past those without buying.

I found something I really like...
maybe I'll have to take hubby to see it.

Most likely I'll have TWO posts tomorrow.  One for our Saturday ritual, and one for just the day...after all, I do have a few days on my hands.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

First Snow...


Seamus (the Irish German Shepard) wanted to put his paw print in too.

Very interesting place to shop.
Look carefully, the birdhouse is for "jail birds."

Tomatoes that never ripened. 

It was our first snow yesterday.  A day of awe and wonder.  We decided to get rested from our long journey and stay at home, doing dishes and laundry, exploring our winter wonderland and "'nuggling." (C. for Snuggling")

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Check this out!

We've put up some pages that link to recipes and educational ideas...check them out! Have a great day!