Saturday, January 10, 2015

Frozen Dried Apples -- Oober Yummy!

We weren't able to collect all of the apples off our little apple tree this fall. It was an oddity that's never happened to us before, since these are delicious apples, they're right outside our front door, and eleven munchy people live in this house! I'm still not quite sure how it happened--we certainly tried, bagging several sacks for the root cellar and everything. There were just so many up there this year!

Once the snow and cold came, we'd thought the remaining apples, clinging frozen on the tree, be a tragic loss.


 Mom decided to try bringing some in, thawing them by the stove,

chopping them up and laying their slices on the dehydrator trays.

(Brr! Good job for rowdy boys holed up indoors during the winter. :-) Johnny has the daily chore of chopping two of these trays.)

And drying them on the trays hanging above the rocket stove.

This family has always had a thing for dried apples, but nothing compares to the sweetness and chewiness of dried apples that have been frozen first.

We brought some 'good' apples up from the cellar and dried a few, only to find they were pale and bland by comparison. 

A tray of these thick, oozy, frozen slices only takes about 12 hours to dry. The trick is getting a few when they're done before they've all been snatched up!


 I think this is a 'mistake' we'll be repeating next fall...


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

On New Years Resolutions...

Just a friendly reminder that we are one week into our new year! Yay us! :)
 (The Christmas tree gets buried as it awaits its end in the goat feeder.)

Is it too early to celebrate having kept my new years resolutions thus far? Because I'm pathetically proud of the fact. (Seven days? Yeah, I think that may be a little soon...)


Oh well. I'm celebrating anyway. :)

The first goal, is that I've kept up my daily word count goal of 500 words on my WIP. It should be a ridiculously easy goal, but I've still found myself up past my bedtime forcing the words out. It's been really good for me though. Aiming to finish draft 1 this winter!

Secondly, I've started a photo of the day project for 2015, where I attempt to take a photo each day that captures the mood of the day and post it in this sweet little leather bound book I got. 

(On the desk behind my photo-of-the-day book is one of Lizzy's drawings in progress. Her 2015 goal is to draw/paint a picture a day! And I thought remembering to snap a daily picture was a feat.)

 Lastly, I'm trying a paleo diet for the month of Jan. No particular reason, just switching it up. I'm not big on meat, but otherwise, it's going pretty well. My lunch today was leftover shepherds pie, topped with sweet potatoes and a side of brussel sprouts... Trying new recipes has been fun, but I already miss having someone cook for me. :)

So, new years resolutions aside, there's not much left to do but complain about the weather.... which I've already decided I'm not going to do.

  (Psst: it's cold. Ridiculously.)
Even when the sun shines, we still have -30 wind chills; enough to keep the schools closed, cancel ice skating lessons and even close our porkie hills! *gasp*

We're fine though, as long as we remember to haul in our firewood. :)

 And feed our fire.

And then warm our butts on our nice toasty rocket bench.... whilst strumming the ukelele. 

Don't get me wrong. We do other stuff too. Like help Mom in the kitchen. (Kiddo wants to grow out her bangs, but never remembers to pin them out of her eyes!)

And make art. Donna's been on a creative high lately! 

 And knit our pony orders (well, I do). And yes, it's fuzzy homemade sock season!

 Whilst playing cards with Donna and listening to Annie and Dad knock out an impromptu jam.

Ukelele has been a big 'phase' around here. We're teaching Donna.

And relearning/learning ourselves.

 The shop work continues, with fires roaring out in the woodstove.

And farm the chores.

And, (it goes without saying) the snow...

I feel very proud of my house plants on these ridiculously cold days. 

Their effort to reach for a rare glimpse of sun does a lot to encourage and cheer me. :)

I like to give my plants a little high five when I walk by, just as a 'hey, good job for struggling to survive here with us'.

When it warms a bit and the porkies open again, those hills are where we'll be working off our cabin fever!

 But for now, don't worry about us... we'll just be entertaining ourselves as best we can. :)

Feels good to relax a bit after a busy fall on the homestead and busy Christmas season in the shops. As much as I hate the bitter cold, winter is a nice time to catch ones breath (even if it's just a frigid gasp).

That's all for now. Stay warm!


p.s. Yes!! Another resolution met (I'm really celebrating today) I updated my blog! :) I gotta stop forgetting about this special little space and all the wonderful memories stored here.