Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 - first canning!

Today I picked the rhubarb.  Here is what it looked like in the sink waiting to be washed (by the way, just in case you missed the memo, rhubarb LEAVES are poisonous, being extremely high in oxalic acid.  They go into the compost.

I washed it all carefully, sliced it into 1/2 inch or so slices, and it made about a gallon of slices.  I put those into a heavy bottomed stainless pot, added 3 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of water and let it cook over very low heat until it was all tender.  Then, I water-bath canned it, processing for 15 minutes.  Here is the result!

I really love stewed rhubarb.  I eat it like jam or jelly, on buttered toast, pancakes, waffles or yogurt.  Yum.  Here is a link to the site where I got the following information about rhubarb.  It is very good for you!

Health benefits of Rhubarb

  • Rhubarb is one of the least calorie vegetables. 100 g fresh petioles provide just 21 calories. Nonetheless, it holds some vital phyto-nutrients such as dietary fiber, poly-phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Further, its petioles contain no saturated fats or cholesterol.
  • The stalks are rich in several B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
  • Red color stalks carry more vitamin-A than in the green varieties. Further, the stalks also contain small amounts of poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like β-carotene, zea xanthin, and lutein. These compounds convert into vitamin A inside the human body and deliver same protective effects of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant which is required by the body for maintaining integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for healthy eye-sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help the body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • As in other greens like kale, spinach, etc., rhubarb stalks too provide good amounts of vitamin-K. 100 g of fresh stalks provide 29.3 µg or about 24% of daily recommended intake of this vitamin. Vitamin K has a potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Its stalks also contain healthy levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. However, most of these minerals do not absorb into the body as they undergo chelate into insoluble complexes by oxalic acid, which then excreted out.

    When I was a little girl, my mother would give me a stalk of rhubarb and a little cup of sugar and I would dip the rhubarb in the sugar and take bites.  I know sugar is problematic, and yet... I do make this every year that I can, eat it sparingly and feel happy about all the nutrition in there.

    Do you eat rhubarb?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

That sewing project...

...was the valance I made today for the kitchen window.  I had to do it twice.  The first attempt turned out to be much too short, but I do like how it turned out in the end:

Our bedroom is nearly done...

We haven't put any pictures on the walls yet, but other than that, our bedroom is all put together. :)

View from the door - as you can see my kitty likes the bed very much.  She can look out the window.

The dressers.  We have a television in there and watch movies together sometimes.

My night stand:

View from window toward closet.  My cedar chest is there on the right.

My husband's night stand:

A little table that holds our music CD's and DVD's:

One other thing - the island in the kitchen is perfect for laying out sewing projects.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

We have moved into our trailer...

On Monday, we began moving into our new trailer house.  As you can imagine, it is still a work in progress, but I want to show you what we've done so far (leaving out the truly messy parts.)

Far from finished, but here is my reading chair.  :)

The kitchen:
 A friend of mine traded me this nice hutch for a my china hutch and Hoosier cupboard.  It fits this spot and my needs much better:

 Doggie digs:
Next, you will see our office.  It's a bit messy right now.

Kitty Korner:

I will post more as we get more areas situated.  I have to say, I really really really love my new home.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

We have a new milk goat!

A year ago last October, my DH had to have open heart surgery.  I knew I would be at the hospital for several days and would be very busy caring for him when we came home.  We had two milking does at the time.  I had to sell them.  Today, we went and bought a nice milking doe for me!  She is an American Alpine, 3 years old and this is her second freshening. I am SO happy! 
Here she is eating a little hay:
The chickens are thrilled.  Not.  She will be living with the chickens.  :)
Our border collie, Badger, thinks we brought the goat just for him.
Her official name is "Ensel."  I might change that.  Any suggestions?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

I'm moving in! Well, sort of....

Things are nearly ready so we can move into our new trailer house.  Just a few details to settle first, but I couldn't wait any longer to do something.  So... I moved my little friends over there.

The little pink glass vase is my "house warming" gift to myself.  There.  The important part is complete. :)

Biscuits, again, with the new flour...

My last post was about substituting King Arthur Whole Wheat Pasty Flour for unbleached flour in my cornbread.  I was able to go to the bulk food store yesterday and buy some more of this flour.  I used it to make some baking powder biscuits for supper last night.  Success!!  The biscuits were tender and light and delicious.  Not only that, but I just heated one up that was left over and it is still yummy!  Usually, the next day, biscuits are nothing to write home about.

Here is the recipe I used:

BISCUITS - preheat oven to 500 F.

1.  Sift about 2 cups of King Arthur Whole Wheat Pastry flour onto your work surface.
2.  Gently (I use a long straight spatula) lift up the flour into a measuring cup.  Measure 2 cups of the sifted flour into your sifter (I use a wire strainer for this.)
3. To the flour, add 3/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1 Tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
4. Grate 1/3 cup COLD butter, a little at a time, into the flour mixture.  Mix it in lightly with your fingers as you go.
5. Pour in 3/4 cup cold whole milk or half-and-half.
6. Stir until moist.  You might have to add a tiny bit more milk or a tiny bit more sifted flour.
7. Turn dough onto floured work surface and knead 3 strokes.
8. Roll out 3/4 inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter, placing the biscuits upside-down on your metal baking tray.
9. Bake at 500F for 8 minutes.

That's it!

Please let me know what you think if you make these.  I love them with butter and honey.
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