In the quest for greater self sufficiency sometimes we come upon some interesting challenges. For instance, what do you do when these:
Produce way too many of these?
My daughter has been selling some of our excess eggs to earn money for buying a computer, but so far supply is far outpacing demand. And our family can only eat so many eggs fried, poached, boiled, deviled and scrambled. We’ve had our share of omelettes and quiche as well and are growing tired of these tried and true egg basics. So I’ve been giving my recipe books a workout to find more ways to use up eggs, including baked egg custards, home made mayonnaise, lots of quick breads (zucchini, banana, cranberry) bread pudding…and still we have eggs.
And then I thought of this:
Yeah, baby, six eggs per batch! This is going to put a serious dent in the egg population around here! I’ve been making batches of pasta by hand, but that is exhausting, so I just got pasta roller and pasta cutter attachments for my kitchen aide stand mixer so I can really crank out the noodles. I will never have to hit up the pasta aisle again!
So glad to be able to find a way to adequately use up the bounty our girls produce. I needed to get that sorted this year because next year we are getting a cow and I’m going to have gallons and gallons of milk and cream to find ways of using. The abundant blessings of farm life. Gotta love it.
I was in the greenhouse picking chamomile flowers for tea a few days ago, and silly me was being a little grumpy about how long it as taking to fill my basket with the tiny flowers. Each flower must be carefully, individually plucked by hand and it took me about an hour of constant plucking to get enough to feel like it was worth doing. Not nearly as instantly gratifying as scooping up an armful of kale, or lopping off heads of broccoli. Tedious, even.
But then I thought –“Who complains about having to spend an hour picking sweet-smelling flowers, of all things? And in my very own greenhouse, on my very own beautiful farm in Alaska?” Wow. How selfish of me.
I need to remember how lucky I am to be able to have the luxury of spending an our in this way, when people all over the world are spending their hours in much, much worse ways.
Consider my attitude adjusted. I’ll think about this lesson every time I drink a cup of chamomile tea this winter, and remember just how blessed I am.
It’s hot. I mean, not South Florida hot, but still…
We’ve had record breaking heat here in Alaska this year and have been struggling without the relief of our usual cool coastal rains here on the Kenai Penninsula. Wildfires are raging all around the state and everyone is being so very careful not to burn anything or do anything that would cause a spark. Keeping fingers crossed.
Here at the Twin Spruce homestead we are doing our part by keeping our garden well-watered, and the veggies are responding by growing like crazy. So I thought I’d share a peek into our summer garden.
The Asian greens, arugula, lettuce and spinach have all bolted from the heat, but the potatoes are loving it. I am having to mulch the broccoli beds to keep the soil cool–a first around here, where I’m usually concerned more about growth being retarded by too cool soil!
Keeping the greenhouse from overheating has been a challenge, but with the addition of some well-placed fans, we are managing. And we have some pretty green tomatoes just starting to fill out as our reward. We’ve also been harvesting and drying herbs for the winter. I just put up a pint of dried oregano today and tomorrow I will start in on the sage. And just look at that chamomile! I can already imagine chilly winter evenings with a warm cup of chamomile tea by my side. Yum!
As you may have read in my “about” page, my family and I live on a lovely piece of property in a tiny village called Ninilchik, on the Kenai Penninsula, Alaska. The property is mostly wild, with a small area cleared for my garden, chickens, and ducks, and a small yard around an old log cabin which we are restoring.
If you look to the south of the garden, you see these lovely old Sitka Spruce trees.
Which, upon closer look, are actually two trees of the same age which have grown together into one beautiful twin spruce. I wish I had a better picture because this one doesn’t really show how they have wrapped around each other and joined not only at the trunk but also at several branches. (I will try to get a better shot in a few weeks when the snow is gone.)
We all have become quite attached to our beautiful Twin Spruce trees, and they happen to stand right in the dead center of our property, so they have become for us the natural symbol of our home here. And that is the story behind the name!