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A Freehold of My Own

Documenting my journey toward being a self sufficient family

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Preserving

Mishaps 

So while I was out walking the dogs I’m boarding with my three year old, my spouse tried to be helpful and turned the oven on for me. He failed to notice the big wooden spoon propping the door open, not only is it how Iet air circulate when drying herbs, it’s also a big warning to not turn the oven on. This was the result.

 
I was sad. What cheered me though was the fact I found some giant dandelions while I was out. Didn’t get nearly as much root as I wanted but there are lots of tender leaves! It will be dried and added to the “green powder” I’m making. It’s basically just greens you can eat dried, crumbled, then mixed together. I’m not fond of leafy greens, they usually taste like dirt to me or have the texture of dirt. When I saw a post about making your own green powder for smoothies and such I was overjoyed! 

  

 

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Salmonberry Leaf Tea

I’ve finally had the chance to taste test some tea made from local shrubbery. I had collected leaves from Salmonberry bushes(Rubus spectabilis) that I could find far enough from main roads to make me comfortable. They took about two days to dry, spread out on a cookie sheet in my kitchen. 

  

I crushed the leaves by hand and measured a teaspoon into my tea strainer. I let my water come to a boil and let it sit for about a minute. The leaves were tender before I dried them being the first Spring shoots; I figure that hot but not still boiling water would work well.

 

I let the herbs steep, covered, for about 10-15 minutes. I tried it after two minutes and the flavour wasn’t even noticeable. After more time it tasted much like a mild green tea. I think this would work well added to other ingredients, not so much on its own. 

Dandelion Oil – Part One

The sun was bright and shining today after having heavy rainfall yesterday. My joints do not agree with this sort of weather. In an effort to help with pain and because I love foraging, I collected dandelion flowers to make dandelion oil with. As the process unfolds I will do my best to keep everyone updated. I plan on making a salve with it also.

   

 

Crab Apple Pectin

Near my home there is a large crab apple tree. I never noticed that it was a crab apple but had noticed the tree itself. I was overjoyed when I realized what it was. I had originally planned to ferment some of them on the counter, not for booze but as a pickle of sorts. There had been talk of it in a fermentation group I am in on Facebook.

Life being busy this time of year I didn’t get out to the tree for a good four weeks. The fruit was still firm, some still with a pink blush but they were very spotty. I decided to use them for pectin instead. I didn’t use any one recipe in particular, just read through a few on Pinterest and Google.
Continue reading “Crab Apple Pectin”

Autumn Bounty

The pumpkin seed feast began today. I have considerably less then last year but we had mostly small pumpkins this time. I also tossed a bunch, I haven’t been feeling well and wanted to lighten my workload a bit. I’ve been reading a lot about fermenting and soaking. I soaked the seeds for 12 hours in salted water and then dried then at about 150F for approximately four hours. The length of time is due more to having a toddler then anything else. I don’t know if the soak will make the seeds themselves any more digestible but it did make the outer shell much more palatable!

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Lacto-Fermented Garlic

I started this on February 1st, it sat on the counter for about a week and then into the fridge it went. It smells amazing. And yes the blue-green colour is normal. This recipe involved whey. I’ve since been fermenting with just brine, 1 tablespoon of sea salt to one cup of water, it’s much easier and less cloudy.

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Coleslaw-Kraut

 

 

 

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Coleslaw-kraut…what is it you say? It’s essentially the sauerkraut recipe from a lovely book I just purchased (for $2!) called The Lost Art of Real Cooking by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger and the basic idea of fermented coleslaw that I got from my Mother-In-Law. It is happily fermenting away on my counter. I will keep everyone updated!

Homemaking and Crafting – February 19th, 2013

Made 7 pints of organic apple sauce. First time using a food mill. Quite pleased with the results.

Made fish and chips for dinner, fish from scratch, chips from the store.

Washed and folded three loads of laundry

Cleaned kitchen and washed the kitchen floors

Crafting – January 31st to February 10th, 2013

Canned crushed tomatoes
Started art/scrapbooking journal

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