Monday, August 29, 2016

Decorating our Farm House-- Farm critter style :)

I thought I might give you a peek at how I have decorated our farm house. Now it is a farm house in all sense-- moved in with things in need of repair/or replacing and when you try to do a little at a time you start looking for ways to improvise while still keeping to a style you enjoy. So I have been using this website to make shower curtains and towels with pictures on them. Pictures I have taken of our homestead. The website is called, artscow. (artscow is based overseas and I have recommended it to a lot of people. Here is my advise if you choose to give them a try. Do not spend more money than you are willing to lose. It can and has taken up to a month or more to receive items. Not every item was good. If you google comments on them you will find people who have had some disappointing experiences with them. However the majority of mine have been great and remember this is overseas not your local photo shop) That being said I am showing your two pictures of the kitchen cabinets  and how I masked the dramatic imperfections in them. The valances are a shower curtain I cut up and used in three rooms. ( its really cool when the light shines the pictures on them. Another cool benefit is the rooms are now named. Its in the Goat room, Your staying in the peacock room....get it?)
I posted a pictures of the shower curtain -- I am sorry the picture is not good but you get the idea.

In the kitchen I have changed out the hand towels with new ones ordered every few years. I think it helps keep us in the here and now. LOL

Final thought on this. From experience use vivid color photos. Spring works best with lots of color and light. I tried fall and it was full of  browns and well I was not happy with them. I have not tried winter or a white winter photo.

Ok enjoy-------

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thrift Store find Pants ReVamped to wear

Found these pants during a bag sale at a local Thrift Store --They were to short and I really did not want to make capris out of them. So Here is what I did, I made bell bottoms on the legs and used lace and ribbon I have been collecting over the years to spice things up.  I think the pants are fun -- now we have to see if I actually use them.
Just think if I do -- pants cost around forty cents, lace maybe a dollar, buttons just a few cents, and the velvet was a skirt purchased at a thrift store Recycled. I have washed and dried the pants and they are holding up well.
It is fun to create out of the box. :)

I have had some problems with this combination. Here on the farm the inserted fabric did not hold up.:(😔
I took all the extra lace off and mended the fabric but in the end I just let it go and cut it out. After a search I choice some heavy cotton that was formally a curtain panel. I have worn them sever times and I am much happier with this combination.
I have worn them several times and they are holding up great. Lesson learned. LOL Although I love the velvet style the farm life does not and we are all about durability.
September 2017: Update, I wear these pants all the time and get compliments on them like crazy.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Super cool Water Barrel

I wanted to share a picture of a super cool Water Barrel. I went with the neighbor to a class in Warren County and made two of these Water Barrels. They supplied all the parts ( for a minimal fee-- really was minimal) and we put them together on the spot. What I really like is the stand and convenience of my water barrel for giving water to our birds. Super cool. If you want more information I keep the instruction from the class and can post them just let me know.....

Thursday, August 11, 2016

We are trying our luck at Fermentation here on the Farm :)

In a effort to use what we grow, milk or raise I am trying my luck at fermentation. I have read several articles on it both in magazines and online. This is some exciting stuff. I have purchased a one gallon crock from Ace Hardware. Now I purchased one with the lid and weights at mothers day. Right away I tried to make some sauerkraut. A little over a week into it I had moisture under the crock. I spent days trying to figure it out. only to notice a small crack in the side of the crock. Ace Hardware took it back with no problems. Because it was so easy I decided to give them another try. The price on the crock is excellent and because they are so easy to return I felt it was worth a second try. ( Wish us luck) We have the new crock and I am once again trying to make sauerkraut. I am also trying to ferment some cucumbers in a half gallon mason jar. I have it weighted down with a empty jelly jar filled with water. I place jar in a plastic container to catch any over flow and I am super happy I did. Last thing in the picture is an attempt to make curds and whey from fresh goats milk. This is attempt number two on the curds ad whey. I read about it and watch several videos this of course only intrigued me to do it myself.
I will keep you informed about my progress. If any one has easier ways to do this I am super interested. My mother said my kitchen will start to stink but hey we live on a farm. :) It seems like every thing stinks. LOL

Ok here is an update to how it is going on the fermentation. Today is August 14, 2016 and the curds and whey turned out perfect yesterday. In fact is startled me because in the morning I was walking around the kitchen and it looked like the above picture mostly and in the afternoon bam it was separated. The jar on the left with cucumbers and onion in it trying to ferment has been thrown out. I notice a layer of mold on the top of the water - it was pretty gross. So I have started another batch of curds and whey the cabbage in going strong and so far no leaks in the crock. What I will do now is some more research on the fermenting in a mason jar and see if we can give it another go.

Today is September 4, 2016 I just wanted to give an update on how the Fermentation is going. The Crock did not leak. Woo Hoo!! I am super happy about that. Ace Hardware came through on a great price and an item worth owning. I went out into the garden and got the last of the jalapenos. Final try at fermentation from the garden.  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Duck Egg Cake -- Who knew ducks eggs were so Good??

The duck we have has stopped laying eggs. The season is over. :(  What really surprised me was that I now have a love of duck eggs. I have made several of these duck egg cakes and I use duck eggs in my meatloaf, really holds it together. Omelets made with duck eggs were super easy. I can say that with the two ducks I had laying not a single egg went to waste. ( that is on top of the chickens we have) Unfortunately during a sever thunderstorm one duck went missing (we suspect a fox) so for months that left only one duck to gather eggs from. I want you to know I went out and found more duckling for next year!
I am going to share the duck egg cake recipe with all the adaptations I did -- we think it is better than ever!

4 duck eggs ( separated-- use 4 duck egg whites and 3 duck eggs yolks)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar

Lemon Glaze/Raspberry filling:
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup raspberry preserves

6oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fair warning this is a involved recipe so get ready. ( BIG SMILE)  It goes fast when you get started.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 inch pans. ( I posted a picture of them)

Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl until mixed completely. Mix flour and baking soda in a separate bowl ( I used a fork). Beat egg whites in a large bowl at medium speed until foamy. add 1/2 cup sugar increase speed ( I used the highest my little hand held mixer could do) until stiff peaks form.
Now gently mix yolks into whites by hand add flour slowly! I added the flour in small amounts -- Very important mix by hand. It will mix pretty quick - divide into the two 8 inch pans.

Bake 20-25 minutes until light golden brown, Top will be similar to a sponge and toothpick will come out clean. Cool on wire racks. I mix the lemon juice and sugar when the cakes were in the oven-- when the cakes are cooling on the racks I gently poke the top with the toothpick before I use all the lemon juice mixture on both the cakes. Do this while the cakes are still hot.

Mix the cream cheese and sugar. Add lemon peal and mix completely. Add in the heavy cream until icing looks firm. Now this part goes pretty quick. Mix in the vanilla with mixer. It is really good. :)

Now we get to assembly the cake. Place one cake on a platter ( I use a plate with a small amount of frosting on the plate to hold it in place) than you place the raspberry preserve on top of the cake. I put frosting on the bottom of the other cake before I put it on top of the raspberry cake. Now it is only frosting the whole cake. ( final picture) I put in the frig to set the frosting but it never lasts around our house more than a few days.

*******Ok here is my idea-- This is a really basic recipe and I feel so much can be done with it. Next year I am going to try orange juice (undiluted of course) - orange marmalade and use orange peel in the frosting. Just think though really could use anything that strikes your fancy-- this is like a blank slate what else could be combo together. ********* Next year........