Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Keeping with tradition....and other stuff

So in "keeping with tradition"...it has been WEEKS since I last blogged. I had so many good intentions to blog at least ONCE a week, so I may have to try that one again.

But as they say..."the path to Hell is paved with Good Intentions"...or something like that.

So here is what we have been up to the last few weeks:

Log splitting...still not done, and definitely NOT stacked, considering every morning around 5 or 6 a.m. I am stumbling over large trunks of wood on our dark back patio...but I digress...

I have managed to make/can Pear Butter...been thinking long and hard about Caramel Apple Butter. The more I think about it, the more I love the idea! For the Butters this year I am making up Pint jars & 8 oz jelly jars. The 4 oz jars just aren't enough when it comes to the Butters. Also kicking around the idea of some Pumpkin Butter as well....then there is the Jalapenos that still need to be canned. I don't think I can wait for B-Real to do them any longer (the Debbie Meyer Green Bags will only keep those suckers fresh for so long).

You can now find Nutshell Farms items at The Dreaming Tree Photography Studio and Art Boutique in Downtown Bryan, Ohio...right on the square! :)  I am SUPER excited about this! They had their grand opening last Saturday (hence one reason for the blog hiatus...busy little bee creating items to sell through there). Things went really well for owner Kylie Bishop, and I believe quite a few Nutshell Farms items have sold already.

I am excited to see where that business venture takes Nutshell Farms!

Busy, busy, busy....at work...blech!

Chickens are doing splendidly...some of our chicks from this spring have grown enough & are laying!

The 2011 Garden is proving to turn out pretty darn good! :)  We have been harvesting Cauliflower as big (sometimes bigger) as our heads! Broccoli is a constant staple in our house, and the fact that we have been eating our own homegrown broccoli is out of this world! Brussel Sprouts will soon be gracing our dinner table, the squash did well, as did the cabbage, jalapenos, tomatoes, cucumbers, melon, chives, garlic, and red peppers!

New soap will be making an appearance at our farm as well! Batches of Natural (fragrance free), Cinnamon Chai, and Lemon Poppy seed will be on the agenda this weekend! Maybe, oh maybe, B-Real will make a couple more soap molds so I have do all three batches in one day (even one weekend would be nice). He made me one...and we wanted to try it a few times to see how it would work...and the orders are piling up, we are out of soap...and I'm stressing about the curing time. It takes 4 to 6 weeks for cold process soap to dry and cure...just squeaking into our first 2011 holiday season craft/vendor show. And I REALLY want to unveil these treasures of soap upon the locals! We already have a little of a following...thanks to my Mom & her church officers! THANKS MOM, you have been our biggest supporter since day one!

As some may know, my Mom was diagnosed last summer with Uterine Cancer. My mother has been my rock, my best friend, my hero....for a very long time, so the thought of losing her was totally devastating for me.  She is doing great now, she made it through surgeries, chemo, and a couple rounds of radiation...all while keeping her grace, faith, and humor!

My mother has never once doubted my ability to create, and has always encouraged us girls no matter what the endeavor. I will be eternally grateful to my Mom for teaching me how to be a woman, how to be my own person, and for never (at least outwardly...lol) doubting my talents. 

Well...it is now 9 p.m...and as silly as this sounds...my bed is calling to me. I must at least lay down, as my day will be starting again very soon!


Nutshell Farms

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Seasons They Are A Changin'

It's getting to be that time of year again. . . you know. . . HARVEST Season! While Autumn is my favorite time of year, the last several years have also become increasingly more hectic with every passing fall.  Every year I tell myself that I will be "more organized", "ahead of the game", so on and so forth. 

Well, this season has started off no less hectic/chaotic than any other year. . . in fact, I am already contemplating throwing in the towel! Say 'to heck with it all', and hunker down til the first snow has fallen.

LOL Okay, so maybe that was a little over dramatic, but you get my point!

I am ready for cooler days, crisp evenings, bonfires, fresh baked apple/pear/pumpkin bread, and soup. . . Oh how I long for soup! Since today and the next couple of days will be record-ish highs, I will have to fore go any ideas of simmering up huge pots of steamy belly-filling goodness.  I do see some cooler days on the horizon though, and I am ready (impatient would be more accurate).

Here are a couple recipes that I am yearning to try:

I have to admit that I have fallen in love with The Pioneer Woman, she is my super hero! Her recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup looks so yummy! She is so down to earth, and her food is definitely "family friendly" recipes.

I stumbled upon the Use Real Butter blog just the other day. . . and she has my mouth watering for this Chocolate Stout Chili! I LOVE Chocolate Stouts (or any stout for that matter)! I fell in love with them upon drinking my first 'Lion Stout' at my favorite restaurant up at the lake house. . . Shay's Chop House is one of the best places to eat! "You have to chew it before swallowing" would be B-Reals description of it, and since he started low-carb the heavy thick beers are out of the question for him! More for me! :) 

This last recipe is from In Jennie's Kitchen, which I have admired her wonderful recipes for quite some time now. My heart aches for her and her children during the difficult situation that they have faced. Kale, White Bean and Ravioli Soup isn't a traditional "bean soup". . . but the kale gives the soup a nice texture! Come on, who doesn't like Ravioli anyways?!?

So I challenge you, in between the hustle and bustle of the upcoming Harvest/Holiday season. . . try some fabulous new soup recipes (don't forget to share them with us/family/friends)!


P.S. Hopefully there will be a more consistent flow of blog posts. I really enjoy doing it, but when things are hectic blogging falls to the wayside. So I will be starting slow & steady on this new blogging regimen, trying to complete one blog post every week (no matter how small/large). Are we taking bets on how this will turn out? ;)

This upcoming Labor Day weekend will not go to waste on me! Oh no, while everyone else is enjoying festivities. . . I will be slaving away canning, creating, and OCD style organizing my upstairs rooms (fingers crossed that all 3 rooms get done)! FUN FUN!