Chicken Noodle Soup With Homemade Noodles

I’m excited to share this one with you!  I’ve made chicken noodle soup many, many times but this one is by far my favorite.  I think it’s the homemade noodles and homemade chicken stock…..yummmmm!

Chicken Noodle SoupStart out by chopping up a medium sized onion and a cup of carrots.  Add them to a big pot with olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, basil, and thyme.  You can add celery too, somebody in our house doesn’t like celery so I leave it out.

SoupSaute for a few minutes until the onions are cooked.  The carrots will not be done yet, but they will finish cooking in the stock.  It will smell amazing!  Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken, salt, and a bay leaf to the pot.

Chicken StockLet it simmer for a half hour or so, while you make the noodles.  Here is the recipe for homemade egg noodles.  I use about half of that recipe in this soup.

Egg NoodlesAdd the noodles to the simmering pot, the fresh noodles will cook in just a couple minutes.  If you made your noodles ahead of time and added them dry, it will take a bit longer.  When the noodles are done remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste and your soup is ready to serve!

Chicken Noodle Soup With Homemade Noodles
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • homemade egg noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a big pot saute onion, carrots, thyme, parsley, basil, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are cooked through.
  2. Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken, bay leaf, and salt to the pot and simmer while you make the noodles. (let it simmer for at least a ½ hour)
  3. Add the fresh noodles or dry noodles that you made ahead of time to the simmering pot and let the noodles cook thoroughly.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

chicken soup with homemade noodlesThis makes a hearty meal for four people. I usually double it and enjoy leftovers. :)

 

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Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs

With all the egg recipes I’ve posted you would think I’d have shared a deviled egg recipe a long time ago.  The truth is, I never had a recipe before; I just kind of added whatever, and then a little more of whatever until it tasted good.  So I decided I needed to take the time and measure everything so I could share the recipe.  Little Chef wanted to help as usual, so I let her peel the eggs.  While she was doing this I left the kitchen for another chore.  When I returned she already had them peeled, washed, cut in half, the yolks were mashed up, and most of the ingredients were in the bowl.  When I told her I had wanted to measure the ingredients, she looked at me like I was from Mars.  So I explained that I wanted to share the recipe as a blog post.  She rolled her eyes…..that happens A LOT since she turned eleven last month.  It seems the older she gets, the more ridiculous I get.  Anyway, I decided to just look in the bowl and “guess” at how much of what she had put in and go from there.  Her eggs turned out VERY yummy, so I was hoping I had “guessed” correctly.  The next weekend I made the eggs again using the “new recipe” and took pictures along the way. They tasted just like Little Chefs yummy eggs!  Maybe I should have called these “Little Chefs Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs”?  Maybe not,… I don’t need the eye roller getting a big head or anything.

Sweet Relish Deviled EggsStart off by hard boiling a dozen eggs.  Here is my tip on how to boil and EASILY peel farm fresh eggs.  It’s a life saver if you have very fresh eggs and you don’t want them mutilated when you peel them.  After you have peeled the eggs, wash them, cut them in half and place the yolks into a bowl.

Deviled EggsMash the yolks with a fork, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.  Then taste it….salt?…pepper?…more relish?  It’s all up to you!

Making Deviled EggsThis came out a little lumpy, so I used the immersion blender on it for a few seconds. (Love that thing!)

After it’s all mixed up, spoon the filling into a plastic bag, seal the bag, cut a small hole in the bottom corner, and squeeze the yolk filling through the hole into the empty egg whites.  For years I would carefully spoon the filling into each egg, the plastic bag method is WAY faster, and much more fun!

eggsSprinkle a little paprika on top and you’re done!

All DoneHere’s Little Chefs recipe for delicious “Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs”:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Relish Deviled Eggs
 
Makes 24 deviled eggs.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs peeled
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Cut your peeled hard boiled eggs in half length wise.
  2. Place the egg whites on a tray and the yolks in a mixing bowl.
  3. Smash the eggs yolks with a fork.
  4. Add the first 5 ingredients to the yolks and stir.
  5. If it's to lumpy for your liking you can use an immersion blender to make it a little smoother.
  6. Do a taste test and add salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Spoon the filling into the egg whites or use a plastic bag as described above.
  8. Sprinkle each egg with a little paprika.

 

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February 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

Goodbye February….Hello March!  If you saw January’s photos you know we have had some crazy weather, and February was no exception.  It did finally snow, then melted extremely fast.  It was nice to have that long awaited white stuff around for a couple days, but now I feel that winter is complete and it can go….away….any minute!

Finally SNOW! (480x640)We got about a foot of snow, so school was cancelled that day and it was nice to stay home.

Brave chickenThe chickens were not happy about it and only one brave lady ventured out of the coop that day.

Chicken in the snowThe human girls enjoyed the snow much more than the chicken girls. :)

Fun in the snowTemperatures dipped down into the single digits several times.

Frozen eggsJo came back from the coop and said, “look mom, every chicken laid an egg today!….But, 5 of them froze and cracked”.  I was disappointed, the dogs and cats were not. :)

I got a shiny new washer and dryer a couple weeks ago.

DSCN1399 (640x480)It was one of those things we have been putting off for a LONG time.  Who wants to spend money on a washer and dryer when there are sooo many other “fun” things to spend money on.  Like a new, bigger chicken coop. :)  It got to the point that we couldn’t ignore the horrible sounds coming from our old washer and dryer.  I was really bummed about it at first, then I realized how fortunate we are that God had provided for us financially and we were able to purchase these very necessary items!  Now that I have them home and have used them, I have to confess,…  I REALLY like them.

Just a couple days ago God provided AGAIN.  This time it wasn’t a necessity, but it was something I’ve been wanting and dreaming about for some time now.  Please don’t laugh…..

DSCN1407 (640x480)IT’S MY NEW CHICKEN COOP!!!!!  Yes, it’s a big empty box off the back of a truck…  Digger needed this thing off the truck it came on so he can turn it into a mini log truck.  All it needs is a chicken door, a people door, a window, and a paint job!  I’m so excited!  I’ll keep posting updates on my redneck chicken coop. ;)

Thanks for stopping by the red double wide!

Boots Prayer

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Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg NoodlesI had never thought of making my own noodles until we got chickens.  Once all seventeen  ladies started laying, anything with the word “egg” in it caught my attention, so I decided to give egg noodles a try.  I’m so glad I did because they are DELICIOUS and fun to make.  My girls love to help make them, and noodles are surprisingly forgiving.  You really can’t mess them up.  :)

If you have fancy equipment like a food processor and or a pasta maker, please feel free to utilize them and make your noodle making experience a little easier.  I don’t have either one of those things….. and that’s where kids come in handy.

Put a cup of all purpose flour in a mixing bowl and add 2 eggs with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

flour and eggsStir until you have a sticky clump of dough, then turn it out on a well floured surface.  Knead the dough until its smooth and no longer sticky or clumpy.  You will need to add flour as you knead to keep it from sticking to the table and your hands.  (Okay, I know that’s bad, but I couldn’t resist!)  The amount of flour you add will depend on how big your eggs were.  If you get too much flour and it gets too dry just add a little water.  Like I said, it’s forgiving….just keep kneading and adding until you have a nice smooth dough.  When you have achieved a nice smooth unstickyness, put the dough into a plastic bag and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

After it has had a rest, sprinkle flour on the table, the dough, and the rolling pin.  You don’t want it sticking to anything.

Egg Noodle Dough Roll the dough out very thin.  The noodles will puff up when you cook them, so the thinner the better.  Cut the dough into strips with a knife or a pizza cutter.  You can make long skinny noodles, short fat noodles, or any size in between.  What kind you make will depend on what you are going to use them for.  If the kids are “helping”, you will end up with an interesting variety of shapes and sizes!  It’s all good, cuz it all eats good! :D

egg noodlesYou can cook them right away in boiling salt water, or by adding them to a simmering pot of soup.  They will only take a couple minutes to cook, so keep your eye on them.  You can also put them on a cooling rack to dry.  It will take two to several hours to dry depending on how thick they are.  When they are COMPLETELY dried, store them in a bag or a jar for up to a month.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Egg Noodles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until it all comes together, it will be sticky and lumpy.
  2. Turn the dough out on a well floured surface, knead and add flour until you have a nice smooth dough that is not sticky. If you get to much flour just add a little water until you get it right.
  3. When you have the right consistency put the dough in a plastic bag and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  4. Place the dough on a well floured surface and sprinkle flour on the dough and rolling pin.
  5. Roll dough out very thin and cut into noodles with a knife or pizza cutter.
  6. You can cook them right away in boiling salt water or dry them completely and store for up to a month.

 

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How To Freeze Waffles, Pancakes, And French Toast For Easy Weekday Breakfasts

This is the easiest thing EVER.  Why have I not been doing this for years!?!?  I love easy, yet healthy breakfast foods.  The kind that I don’t have to worry about on weekday mornings.  Lately when I have the time, I make a HUGE batch of fluffy whole wheat pancakes, or waffles and then freeze whatever is left.  When I have bread that’s getting a little old I make french toast and put it in the freezer.  (sorry chickens no more stale bread for you)

How to freezeThis is how I do it:  Take your cooled off leftover pancakes, waffles, or french toast and layer them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I have gone up to 4 layers)  Try to make sure they are not touching so you don’t have to hack them apart.

Freezing BreakfastPlace them in the freezer until they are frozen through.  The more layers the longer it will take.  I just leave mine in over night.  When they are frozen through, place them in a dated, resealable, freezer bag and put them back in the freezer.

Freezer WafflesIt’s that easy, and now you have a homemade, fast, healthy breakfast on hand.

To reheat them on those crazy weekday mornings, just pop them in the toaster.  You may have to adjust the timing or temperature on your toaster so they have time to thaw out and toast.  My girls use the toaster for the waffles, pancakes, and french toast, but if you aren’t into crispy pancakes and french toast you can always microwave them for 1 to 2 minutes or preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes.

It’s sooooo nice to have yummy, healthy options in the morning that don’t come from a box.  :)

 

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January 2014 – A Month Of Photos From The Red Double Wide

The beginning of 2014 got off to a rough start.  The flu made it’s way through our house and my class room, then once we got rid of that, a nasty cold made it’s rounds too.  I THINK we are all on the mend now and maybe I can get a little caught up on EVERYTHING.

Along with our health, the weather was a bit off too.  We started January with very mild temperatures.  Mild enough that we were even able to hire Uncle Tom to come and finish building our fence around the barnyard.  Building fence in January is a very rare thing around here.  Well, for everyone but Uncle Tom…

New FenceThe fence is now complete and it looks GREAT!

Kitty in the windowThe weather was so unusually mild I was even finding myself wishing for snow and wondering what happened to winter. (I never wish for snow)

Dust BathThe chickens loved the mild weather; here they are enjoying a nice dust bath.

Eggs of plentyWith the addition of a few hours of artificial light in their coop we are still getting PLENTY of eggs this winter.

Winter did finally come, but not in the way we were hoping for.  Instead of some nice fluffy snow, we got a layer of ice in the form of freezing rain then the freezing fog settled in and stayed awhile.  Freezing fog is not a stranger around here, but this stuff was NASTY and it seemed it would never go away.

FrostHere is a couple of willow trees laying on our brand new fence.  Sure glad Tom finished clipping the wire before all this showed up!

Heavy FrostAfter a few days the trees started snapping, and our drive way turned into an ice skating rink.

DSCN1045 (480x640)DSCN1048 (480x640)After about 2 weeks of this frozen wonderland the fog lifted a bit and we thought the sun was coming……but, not before it dumped another 1/2 inch of freezing rain on us over night.  This caused near by power poles to snap and of course many more trees.  We lost power and all the local schools were cancelled for the day.  I was still recovering from a cold so I took the opportunity to grab a book and curl up under a blanket.  After 12 hours of no power, I was reminded of how thankful I am for the little things in life…..like flushing toilets and warm water.  The sun did FINALLY come out, and the frost disappeared VERY quickly.

The SUNOur poor trees…. :(  The image below is of one of the seven tops from our big white fir tree that broke out.  Seven tops gives a clue that such heavy hoar frosts have happened before, but we’ve seen nothing like this in the near fifteen years living here.  This top drove itself into the somewhat frozen ground well over a foot, and sticks nearly ten feet in the air.

BranchI see a huge bonfire in our near future…..hotdogs anyone?

DSCN1075 (640x480)On a happier note, Digger did some bartering with a good friend of ours and we ended up with a freezer full of grass fed beef!  Oh, how we have been enjoying beef, lots of beef!  We ended the month by celebrating Little Chefs 11th birthday.  What a blessing she is. :)

Thanks for stopping by the Red Double Wide!

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The Best Whole Wheat Waffles

The Best Whole Wheat WafflesBefore a couple weeks ago I had never made waffles from scratch before.  In fact I haven’t made waffles at all for about 10 years.  I had always used a waffle mix before, but after deciding the mix was to expensive and REALLY time consuming for six people, I put the waffle iron up on the top shelf and forgot about it.  Well I tried to forget about it, but the kids would ask every once in a while if we could make waffles and I would distract them with puff pancakes or baked pancakes.  ANYTHING but waffles….I even played with the idea of throwing away the waffle iron so I had a good excuse not to make them. (I know, I’m awful!)  My poor deprived girls wouldn’t even know what a waffle is if they hadn’t spent the night at grandma’s house :)  Anyway, in all my brain wracking trying to come up with healthy, easy breakfasts for those busy week day mornings, waffles came to mind.  They aren’t exactly quick, but if I make a quadruple batch on the weekend and freeze them.  Tadah!…I have a from scratch breakfast that we can enjoy on the weekdays and still make it out the door by 7:15.

While I said these are not quick for a weekday morning, they are not at all hard to make and the time consuming part is waiting for the waffle iron to do its job.

Start by separating the eggs.  Mix together the egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and melted butter.  In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir the dry ingredients into the milk mixture, do not over stir.

Now this is the part that makes these light and wonderful!  Beat egg whites until they are stiff then fold them into the batter.

Waffle batterLet the batter sit for a few minutes while the waffle iron preheats.  Cook the waffles until they are a golden brown.

The Best Whole Wheat Waffles
 
This makes about 12 waffles.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs-separated
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ⅓ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup all purpose flour (I recommend the pastry flour though)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar - I use organic sugar or sucanat or you can omit the sugar altogether if you would like.
Instructions
  1. Mix together the egg yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl stir the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients together with the milk mixture...don't over stir.
  4. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff then fold into the batter.
  5. Let the batter sit for a few minutes while the waffle iron heats up.
  6. Bake waffles as recommend in your waffle maker until golden brown.

These really are the best!!  I’m very glad I dusted off my old waffle iron to experiment (and so are my girls).  ;)  We will be making these VERY often to have on hand out of the freezer.

Waffles

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Homemade Italian Seasoning

Italian SeasoningI’ve been using store bought Italian seasoning in my homemade Italian sausage, but the other day I ran out.  Instead of buying more I made some and it turned out great!  It was SUPER easy and why buy it when you can make it?

Homemade Italian Seasoning
 
You can use this in any recipe calling for Italian Seasoning
Author:
Recipe type: Seasoning
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon each of:
  • dried basil
  • dried marjoram
  • dried oregano
  • dried rosemary
  • dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Mix it all up and your done!

Italian Seasoning MixThis can be used on any recipe calling for Italian seasoning.

 

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Homestead Headaches

A Post From Digger

I like how the women folk are always rambling on about how enchanting their little homestead is.  Weather it’s half an acre in the burbs, or five hundred in cowboy country, its always the same.  Pretty pictures of flowers, kids playing, home cookin’, and cute baby critters…  Uhg!  Where’s all the mud, dust, blood, sweat, and crappy weather.  Anybody want to know what REALLY keeps a homestead steady?  Attitude!

I’m not saying this to discourage anyone,… not at all; I’m just saying it’s not always peach fuzz and baby giggles… For example; the Queen and Little Chef are always experimenting with new meals prepared from scratch using all natural ingredients.  These ladies know that there are few things finer than a full spread meal that’s been grown and raised on your own land, and most of the time their efforts result in something amazing!  When it’s especially brilliant, I’m always amused by the girls grumblings while they have to wait for mom to take a few pics for the blog before they can eat it.  I try to explain to them that excellence always comes at a cost, but the consolation is always met with a despondent glare that says “Yea,… whatever dad”.  As for me; I’m proud of the accomplishments my ladies make in the kitchen (mostly because I get to eat their achievements!), but once in awhile however,…  Well,… let’s just say that not every experiment is blog worthy.  I would like to elaborate more on the specific details concerning some of the failed experiments in the kitchen (they always sound dramatic), but I rarely understand what they’re talking about.

DSCN8992 (459x640)Where the kitchen is Grace and Little Chef’s domain, Jo and I spend allot of time in the shop.  I suppose I should say that Jo spends most of her time outside, and the shop is the next best thing when the weather turns lousy.  When she’s not reading a book, (usually outdoors at the risk of moms’ admonishment) she’s out there building something.  It’s like an addiction for her, and I can genuinely appreciate that.  Since diapers she’s been manipulating whatever materials she can get her hands on into whatever her mind can conjure.  For the most part I’ve always encouraged this ambition, but when she gets into the stocks of materials I need for work and drags them to all corners of the property to build a…  a…  well,… whatever it is she feels compelled to build right then, I have to reign her in.

The other day Jo came through the shop and left with one of my small hand saws.  At the time I was a little distracted helping Uncle Chris put a new timing belt in his pickup.  (By helping I mean leaning on the fender and sharing words of encouragement, like: “I think you’re insane for trying to attempt this on your own.  You sure you know what you’re doing?”  You know,… big brotherly advice.  And by the way; thank you youtube!)  Anyway,… as I watched Jo depart with my saw I thought, “wait a minute…” and followed her.  I found her with several pieces of one inch pvc pipe I keep stockpiled in the barn. (She had in her possession many more short pieces than I’d remembered having)  She was busy cutting a piece off when I asked her what she was doing.  “I’m making an automatic dog food dispenser.” (Feeding the dogs is one of the chores she shares with Little Chef) She said this as she lifted the piece up to her eye to peer through it.  “I’m not sure it’ll work tho’, it might be too small.”  I kept my composure long enough to remind her that she needs to ask me before robbing materials from the barn.  Yea,…  It was a little disappointing for her, but this particular girls’ attitude is rarely defeated, so after returning the supplies as I’d asked she moved on to her next project full stride!  Something about the “cat crusaders” (her club) needing a new, secret meeting place I think. (I didn’t want to know what that might entail, so I didn’t ask…)

DSCN9623 (480x640)

Notice the piece of one inch pipe at their feet.

I suspect Jo sets a better example in regards to attitude than most of us.  Setbacks happen all the time, but are usually a minor thing we quickly move on from a little wiser.  On occasion however, the good Lord seems compelled to remind us of what genuine humility is all about.  A couple of years ago Grace decided she wanted her garden to be even bigger (Have you seen her garden?!).  It was already put near 4,000 square feet, but I didn’t complain while I extended it another 20′ to the east, and full length north to south.  This addition roughly added another 2,000.  Now,… take a moment to consider just how big your house is.  I remember way back when I was a little shaver what my Ma would say every time she’d finish with the vacuum cleaner,… “I’m so glad we can’t afford a bigger house!”  She’d let out a tired sigh as she wiped sweat from her brow, (sorry Ma, I meant perspiration) and share her views on how silly it is for rich people to hire servants to maintain a ridiculously vast and expensive home.  This concept kinda stuck with me all these years, and while I was tilling the ground far beyond the original footprint of our garden it was on my mind.  I gave some thought to the countless hours we (Okay, mostly Grace) spent on hands and knees pulling weeds last year.  Where few would care to vacuum 6,000 square feet of carpet, try to imagine weeding that much area!  The point and purpose of all this extra space was to provide a greater surplus of vegetables for canning.  I get that,… but since this expansion, the only thing Grace managed to can was green beans.  ALLOT of green beans…  Guess which vegetable of all the vegetables we could ever possibly grow in the garden do I care the least for?  Yup!  Green beans!!!

DSCN7294 (640x480)Oh well,… I really can’t say much.  Once the irrigation is installed, Grace pretty much takes over maintenance of the garden.  I do have to admit tho’; her diligence this year paid off. (that is to say, she worked her butt off!)  That was until the late spring rains came…  Right up until that point Grace had somehow managed to single-handedly conquer most of the weeds across this generous space, and just a few more days of battle would have enabled the “Queen” to declare ultimate supremacy over the land (well,… this bit of it anyway).  I should share some things to consider right about now concerning the value such an arduous conquest would have ordinarily meant.  We drip irrigate the rows on 4′ centers allowing us to easily measure and offset each row to ground that had rested the year before.  It also gives us more room to weed and harvest, and it usually saves allot of water (we were plagued with irrigation failures this year).  Another great advantage to this system is that MOST years, once the moisture comes out of the ground the weeds don’t come back between the rows.  We typically just don’t see enough rain again until late fall.  You can imagine her dismay when after nearly two weeks of unexpected showers her whole garden turned green with weed sprouts (making all that effort lost and pointless…)  Grace bravely redoubled her commitment to purge this particular piece of land from the invasive onslaught of subversive flora as long as she could, but ultimately the allergies she always suffers this late in the season finally won out. (I’m thinking hydroponics may be the way to go, or better yet, aquaponics!  Yea,… I like fish.)

To add insult to injury, the area I’d extended the garden into wound up primarily dedicated to melons, squash and gourds, but nothing grew!  I don’t mean that the harvest was slight, I mean there was no harvest!  The plants were lanky, yellow, and in most cases didn’t even grow beyond the noon shadow of a goat.  By late July we knew something was very wrong, (even the weeds struggled) but it took a few more weeks for me to remember what I’d done… (Yup… My fault.)  Oh c’mon!  If the ground had looked any different from the rest of the garden when I tilled it, it might have occurred to me then; but it looked great! (it still had moisture)  As I stood there thinking about what might possibly be the problem, I remembered the go-kart track (Picture a small light bulb briefly illuminating over my head, replaced shortly by a dark storm cloud as I realized what an idiot I am).  Years ago I’d stripped the topsoil off this area with a dozer when I was building our first go-kart track. (For the boy’s,… of course.)  I’d completely forgotten!  Yea,…  Ooops!

2008 springsummer 194

This is me and big brother racing over the ground that is now the melon patch.

Things tend not to grow so well in subsoil even if it does look good.  I’ve been cooking down a large pile of old hay bales into compost all summer, and I’ll till it into the new garden space next spring.  That should help…

DSCN9593 (640x480)By chance the potato bin I built wound up on this same piece of ground as well.  Given that the bin was filled with good soil mixed with red sand a few inches at a time over several weeks excludes the poor soil from the lousy ‘tater harvest in this case.  Even our best soil is still pretty heavy with clay, so despite the liberal application of sand (well over 50%) the lower half of the bin stayed too wet.  Another disappointment, but another lesson learned.  Next year we’ll use straw with a bit of cured compost, and raise the bin off the ground enough to let it drain better.  That should help.  The ground we’ve expanded into (the old go-kart track) should improve greatly with liberal amounts of compost tilled in, and I’m also planning on a much improved irrigation system for the whole works.

Yea, we’ve had some setbacks over the years, but despite all the headaches our accomplishments far outweigh the disappointments.  Too often the difference between lost time and effort vs. education is attitude.  Personally, I’d rather spend a few days every year learning the wrong way to do a thing than spend the thousands it would take to have some professor tell me how to do it their way…  How about you?

Jade - Garden

In the end it’s all worth it!

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Whole Wheat Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits

Whole Wheat Skillet BuscuitsOver Christmas break I had time to do some long over due deep cleaning in the red double wide.  I also did some purging and lots of STUFF went out the door, but when I came across my cast iron skillet I decided it was time to re-season it and put it to work.  It was a lot dusty and a little rusty.  Here are a couple before and after pics.

Cast Iron SkilletRust be gone!I had put this poor skillet in hiding shortly after my mom gave it to me….Why, you ask?  Well I knew nothing about cast iron and the whole seasoning thing kind of intimidated me.  Then, the first thing I attempted to cook was eggs……ya, they didn’t turn out so great!!  By not so great, I mean a smoking, smelly, skillet with bits of crunchy black eggs.  After that the top shelf in the laundry room seemed like a good home for the cast iron skillet.  Recently I have come across some blogging posts about caring for your cast iron and some recipes that work well with it.  They made it sound easy enough, so I thought I would give it a try.  It made me feel a little better to read that though it’s not impossible, eggs are not the easiest thing to cook in cast iron.  :)  I have decided to stay away from eggs until I am a more seasoned (haha) cast iron cook!

These biscuits are the first thing I made in my skillet.  They turned out GREAT.  They are light, flavorful, quick, and my favorite EASY!

2.0 from 1 reviews
Whole Wheat Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits
 
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  3. With a pastry blender, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is about the size of peas.
  4. Add the buttermilk to the mixture and stir just until combined, then let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl place the additional 1 cup of flour.
  6. Scoop about ¼ cup of biscuit mixture out and gently toss it in the flour. Lightly shake off excess flour and place it in a greased 10 inch cast iron skillet.
  7. Continue with the other biscuits, you will end up with about 10 biscuits.
  8. Pour the additional 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the biscuits.
  9. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

 

Skillet BiscuitsNote: This recipe is for a 10 inch skillet and mine is a 12 inch.  That’s why the biscuits look so small in the pan. :)  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use a cake pan.

This recipe also works using 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour instead of 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour.

Buttermilk BiscuitsThis recipe was adapted from:  crunchyrock.com

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