Sunday, January 31, 2016

Temporary Melt

Lucky us!  We've had a weekend of near 40-degree temperatures, with melting snow and ice and drippy roof galore.  It's glorious!  I'm feeling particularly blessed as I officially burned the woodpile this past week, and stacking wood in terrifically cold temperatures is no fun at all. 
Just look at all that glorious firewood, stacked wearing a sweater.  A whole cord of luxurious warmth, plenty to last me through the end of this mild winter we are enjoying.  One of the nice things is that I get all sorts of bits and snivels to use as kindling, which saves me one task of chopping it up for a little while.
I have to admit, though, that I do really like chopping up kindling. I really don't mind it at all anymore, since a wonderful friend gifted me a Kindling Cracker for the holidays.  I don't have to worry about losing a finger anymore, because instead of my kind of rusty hatchet whizzing down toward my fingers, I get to bang the wood with a hammer onto a blade--no where near my essential digits, and it breaks up a log in no time.  It is such an ingenious device!  I wish there was a larger size, for splitting big chunks of that would be super cool to find.

There's rumors of snow in the forecast mid-week, and then it's going to be cold again, but gosh, this warm weekend has been so nice!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Still Here...and a Recipe Involving Bacon.

Hello after a long hiatus.

I had a bit of a bumpy fall:  work suckage, foot sprainage, too much going on but nothing I particularly wanted to write about.  You know.  The usual, when it comes to blog burn out.

But now it's January 2016 and here we are, in the midst of a short-term Arctic freeze.  I've got the truck running (it sat for the past 1 1/2 weeks, and I need to go fetch hay today...) and the fire is burbling away in the wood stove, so I thought I'd take a moment to bring us all up to date.

No eggs yet from the fancy heirloom chickens.  They all shed feathers and have finally grown them back in.  I'm hoping February and the increasing light might give me my first wee pullet eggs. (Freeloading organic-fed chickens are the worst.)

Indoor gardening is where it's at.  Lights are up, pots have come indoors ages ago and my herbs are doing well.  Soon, it'll be time to start some seeds but for now, I'm mostly growing indoor sprouts and microgreens...which reminds me, I need to sow some more of the latter this weekend.

I've just started my seed planning for the spring, no maps have been drawn yet but as it's only mid-January, I've got some time. 

Plans are a-foot for a small permanent greenhouse in the south garden and for a new Chickenopolis in the backyard (well fenced and electrified to keep the slavering dogs out), so come spring there will be some small construction projects happening.

And...that's about it.  More to come later, but for now, my latest favorite on the go breakfast:

Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

I use my Texas-muffin sized pan for these, and I get eight lovely large muffins, perfect for heating in the oven and driving down frozen roads with.  A hot portable breakfast?  Yes, please.

You'll need four cups of whole wheat all-purpose flour, two tablespoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, three eggs beaten, 1 cup or so of milk (I used half-and-half).  Combine these ingredients and stir until combined, it's okay if it's lumpy!

Fold in one cup finely chopped green onions, four slices of bacon, crumbled, and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.  When mixed nicely, scoop into well greased muffin tin filling each cup about 3/4 full.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 17 minutes, give or take, and immediately turn out to cool on a rack.

Once cool, wrap each muffin in a square of tin foil and pop into a large bag or whatever to store in the fridge.  To reheat, place in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, then open the foil slightly to pour in a couple tablespoons-ish of maple syrup.  Return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes, then carry off to enjoy while driving down the road merrily merrily in the cold wintry weather.

Eat hearty, my dearies. More to come soon!