Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Butter Making In My KitchenAid

Something I thought I would never do is make butter. I do all my baking and cooking from scratch, so we use a lot of butter.  But, with the price of real butter at almost $4.00 a pound, I was kinda forced to "do something" about it.  I saw a post here and decided to give it a try.  (there are some video tutes on youtube as well)  I bought the cheapest whipping cream I could find. (hopefully next time I'll be able to get some on sale) and I put it in my KitchenAid.  Turned it on and let it go.  It took about 15 minutes total and my splash guard really helped.  The kids thought it was "awesome!"  It was very interesting to see it go from cream, to fluffy "whipped cream", to butter & buttermilk.  In the end I spend $3.25 on the carton of Whipping cream and I got 11.5 oz of butter and 2.5 cups of buttermilk.  The butter tasted amazing and the buttermilk whole wheat oat pancakes that we had that night were equally amazing.  The kids are now asking me for more!  I'll definitely be making more when I need butter and it's not on sale. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Start Of My Edible Container Garden

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a black thumb.  You may remember my post from last year about planting seeds.  Yeah... they all died.  We ended up buying two tomato plants and a strawberry plant.  Planted them in those upside down thingies.  Yeah.... those died too.

This year is they year! I am going to grow food.  I will not let my plants die of over or under watering.  I will produce something edible and yummy.  I started with some good container potting soil.  I bought some 10" tomatoes and some smaller bell pepper plants and a cucumber plant.  Some tiny herbs and strawberries and a blueberry bush.  Here are my tomato plants!
These pics were taken about 2 weeks ago.  The tomatoes are now about 8" taller than pictured.  They are doing great!  I've been keeping them watered and fertilized.  I've been pruning anything that is looking wilty and I've been making sure the stems are going over the wires for support.

Here are my other goodies.  In the blue pot are some  red and yellow bell pepper that are newly planted. Next to that is my green bell pepper plant.  I've had this one for a month or so now.  It currently has a 5" and a 4" bell pepper growing as well as a few 1" ones!  The small plant next to that are some zuchinni squash.  Next to that are green beans.  In the larger white pot in the corner is my blueberry bush.  I'm not expecting this one to do much in the way of fruit this year.  But, as the years go by it should start producing nicely.  In front of the blueberries are my strawberries.  These are growing like mad.  We've only had a few very small berries so far.  But, we all agree that they are the best berries we've ever tasted. - Just a note that the picture was taken 2 weeks ago.  All of the plants have grown quite a bit since then!

 And finally I have my herb table.  Missing in the front left is my basil.  We LOVE basil.  In the back left is cilantro and chives.  In the middle green pot is peppermint, sweet mint, and lemon something... In the back right is oregano.  This one came up from last years oregano.  And in the front right is Italian parsley.  Again, it's been 2 weeks since this photo.  All my herbs are doing great.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#10 Cans Of Long Term Food Storage at Walmart!

I just got back from my monthly shopping trip to wallymart.  They are now carrying #10 cans of all kinds of goodies including egg, butter, honey & milk powders, tvp's, some fruits & veggies, oats, wheat, bisquit and pancake mixes, and a few other goodies.  I saw a few different ones a month ago, but now they have a good selection.  They even have a dinner set case of 6.  I purchased 12 #10's and a 10# bucket of oats.  I would have loved to buy them out, but I couldn't.  I'm hoping that next month they will still have some available.  Edit to add:  As a side note I just want to say "Is someone trying to tell us something buy selling this stuff at the local grocery store?  I'm personally not stocking up for dooms day or even a major economic crash.  I'm doing it for more immediate / practical everyday reasons.  With the rising cost of food it just seems right to prepare some.  But, seriously.... maybe I should be more worried?  I don't know....

Where's the photo!?  I went to take a picture of my haul only to notice that my camera seems broken.  (trying hard not to cry right now)  The screen / view thingy is just pixely green & purple lines.  I sure hope it was just the batteries and not something more. Granted, we've had the camera for 7 years now... but I really don't want to have to be without a camera right now.  Let alone try to save for a new one.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday Rachel!

I can't believe your 8 already.  You've been so very proud today.  When asked if you felt any older, your answer to daddy was "Oh yeahhhhh!!!!!"  Your so wonderful in so many ways.  Your smart, loving, compassionate, curious, always moving, always thinking and creating, and most important.... Your so very very loved.  No one can make your brother laugh the way you can and no one can make me smile bigger than you when you tell me a crazy story or adventure you've just had.  You bring so much joy and love to our lives.
You see the world in such a beautiful way.  Your always willing to give someone another chance and your always willing to forgive.  I am honored to watch you grow and learn.  And, I can't wait to see what you do next!