Friday, October 28, 2011

Where Food Comes From, Week 1

We popped the first of our homegrown popcorn tonight!

'Tis the season to stock the pantry for the year. As we're buying up our bulk grains and meat for the year from the local farmers, the freezer and pantry are at capacity. I've been curious how much local food we've started eating but don't want to get as obsessive about tracking it as I could easily become. I narrowed it down to just tracking dinner. I know that breakfast is mostly local (scrambles, toast, milk, oats) with the glaring exceptions of "Instant Breakfast" and coconut milk in pumpkin custard. I'm trying to come up with another plan ahead solution so I can have better easy breakfasts. Lunch is quite varied and mine is often leftovers. I'm not always sure what Q does for lunch. :)

Each post will have a week's worth of dinners followed by a complete list of ingredients divided into local, not local, and should have been local. "Local" includes processed food (like sausage and salsa) that is made locally without worrying about where individual ingredients were grown (remember, against my nature, I'm trying to not be obsessive.) Asterisks denote foods from our yard. "Should have been local" is foods that I can buy from local producers but didn't due to poor planning.

Dinner for October 23-29
Braised Cabbage and Lemon Pepper Sausage
Sausage Stuffed Squash
Roast Chicken, Beets and Potatoes
Popcorn and Leftovers
Potatoes with Meaty Marinara

Italian pork sausage
lemon pepper sausage links
whole chicken
acorn squash
green pepper
chicken stock
Salsa De Casa medium salsa
*marinara (homegrown except olive oil and salt)

Should Have Been Local
garbanzo beans
white beans

Not Local
olive oil
Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips
golden raisins
canned green chiles
nutritional yeast
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
spices (salt, pepper, curry powder, carraway seeds, cumin, cloves, cayenne pepper)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goodbye Summer

First frost came last night. As I surveyed the blackened garden, I noticed that the tomatoes I'd given up on as hopelessly infested with bugs didn't look as bad as I thought. I gleaned 4 pounds off the ground! With a few salvaged basil and oregano leaves, untouched by frost at the middle of the stand, and some garlic from the fridge, I just got a Goodbye Summer Homegrown Marinara batch started. At least we've still got beets and carrots in the ground and a hearty kale plant for my harvesting cravings. And tons of frozen and preserved food. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reversible Scrappy Baby Pants

I love the Quick Change Pants that Soulemama is always making for her little folk and I have a whole bunch of fabric strips that are scraps from a project my mother makes. After some practice, I've come up with a reversible baby pants pattern that I like and works over her fat cloth diapered rear end.

The only change I'm going to make is adding an inch to the top and taking an inch off the bottom so rather than sewing on a separate waistband I'll sew on separate cuffs to hold the two pairs together. More to follow in the near future, hopefully.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Putting the Yard to Bed

It's that time of year. This season's been made especially neat due to the purchase of an electric rototiller, which Q has put to good use. He double tilled the corn bed, including another couple of feet of sod, which the tiller had no problem with.
He also did the oat bed. We planted annual red clover as a green mulch in both beds. He's also going to do the front edamame/squash bed and who knows what else!
We also finished getting the corn husked this weekend. A few ears of sweet corn had a couple of moldy spots, so those are getting slowly fed to the chickens fresh. The rest are up drying along with the popcorn (which we need to try soon). It looks like we're going to crack most of the corn and use it to help lower our chicken feed costs this winter (along with the oats, which we haven't found a good method for threshing).
Here's Willow helping me test fit a pants pattern for her, courtesy of a worn out pair of Daddy's boxers. I'll post pictures of the finished first real pair tomorrow.
And here's an easy fall dessert...
I cut the apples in half and used the melon baller to remove the cores before putting them in the baking pan. A dollop of butter and teaspoon of brown sugar in each center, liberally sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice, and baked uncovered at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Photo Shoots

At Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, October 22. Isn't Daddy a good photographer?

from October 8th, with Q's family

Monday, October 17, 2011

Early October

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I posted. Time flies in a haze of undone/slowly done chores and lots of baby snuggling.

This weekend we dealt with the corn patches.
This is about half of the popcorn already husked. Still working on the other half. It should end up being most of the winter supply considering we generally use about 1 cup every Sunday.

Here's the front yard with the popcorn stalks cut out of the raised bed and the lawn and strawberry patch mown. We're releasing the chickens on the strawberry patch for the winter whenever we get the fencing set up.

Here's the back yard after removing the sweet corn stalks. We were surprised to find that we could get a small electric tiller for $130. It arrives Wednesday and Q's going to go over all the beds with it. We found a source for reasonably priced straw bales so then we're going to mulch everything. We've done the city's free leaf program for the last 2 years but are tired of all the trash and fungus the leaves bring into our yard.
Here are the two feed bags of drying sweet corn that I need to get husked.

Apple cider we pressed with friends and then canned. Spiced, it's a delicious treat on a rainy evening and the smell is heavenly.

We're out of storage in the pantry so I'm using food as art. We grew everything there except the largest pumpkin and the largest acorn squash.

Purple carrots!

Here was our first dinner after we finished Whole 30. Willow got to watch. I've taken to using the stroller as living room/kitchen accomodations for her.
Here are the two knitting orders I've finished and I have two to get done.

BTW- This is the same laundry detergent recipe I use and the tutorial includes some very cute kiddos.

Hopefully it won't be another three weeks before I post again!