Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring is here at last

It is April first and I can easily say that spring as sprung here in the Interior and it is here to stay. Our days have been reaching into the forties, well above normal, and the trend is expected to continue over the next several days. Before we know it all the snow will be gone. We have had the easiest, shortest and warmest winter I can remember. We have been remarking on our good fortune all winter long, hardly daring to believe that the harsh cold days could be over. We are now in the safe zone. We could easily get snow and below zero temperatures this month, but chances of extreme cold are long past.

Bare ground is starting to show on our heavily used trails. On my morning walks the snow crunches under my boots. In the afternoon it is almost too warm to be slippery, boardering on slushy, by late night watch out, slip bam before you know it.

I can not emphasize how elated I am knowing that spring is finally here and the days are only getting warmer and lighter. We are receiving more than twelve hours of daylight and gaining over six minutes each day. The kids have been spending a lot of time outdoors. They get dressed to go outside, coats, hat, mittens and boots. Then they get outside and play, eventually get bored because there are not too many toys outside yet and they are mostly confined to the back porch or the driveway, hands get chilly etc. They come in and get all their clothes off. Get bored indoors and before I know it are headed back out. I can hardly keep up. I think the outside layers got put on and taken back off about eight, maybe ten times today. By the end of the day Avery's outside clothes were all wet, but she was still insisting on going out and that was all I had to put her in. There was a while today where the sun was so intense that D was on the back porch in a t-shirt and the kids were hat and mitten-less. I shopped around town looking for rain (muck/farm/ all purpose) boots for Avery today without much luck. She has tiny feet and the smallest kid sizes were too big and finding rain boots for baby sized feet is not easy, at least in this town.

The pace is picking up. By the time we get up the sun is already shining, the kids are wanting outside before they've gotten out of their jammies. The days have been filled with all those things (indoor cleaning, organizing, projects we've put off all winter) we'll never make time for once the ground is thawed.

Twenty-four chicks have moved out of the house and into the chick section of our chicken coop. All peepin and going strong.

Three awkardly pregnant goats are lounging around enjoying their final days of peace and solitude. We are counting down the days. We've got about two weeks until the first kids are due.

Tomato, herb and pepper seedlings are growing. I'll be starting more herbs and flowers soon. Today I dug my hands into the thawed soil in the greenhouse. I think I might start some cold hardy greens and brassicas in the greenhouse and cover them with an extra layer of glass or plastic for extra protection.

We killed two roosters and a drake this week. The roosters were not yet a year but I noticed the meat was not near as tender as the Cornish. At first I made a quick stir fry but the breast pieces were too chewy, the dog was happy though. Then I made an Indian curry and the drumsticks and thighs were thankfully tender enough to enjoy.

I've been making most of Chana's dog food. I had tried my hand at making dog food for her a couple years ago, but eventually went back to the convenience of store bought dog food. Well, I have been re-inspired so I'll be sharing the basic recipe at some point. I've also started just making extra for her when I cook our meals. I make more scrambled eggs on purpose now, and slather a piece of homemade bread with peanut butter when I'm making the kids sandwiches. At one point in my life I actually believed that store bought pet food was the healthiest diet and I felt like I was breaking some law feeding table scraps. I've read enough to realize that maybe the average American diet is not only unhealthy for us but yes also unhealthy for our pets. However, for those of us cooking from scratch with wholesome ingredients, that is another case entirely. So I'll write more on this topic.

As far as this weekend goes, I'm preparing a ham that we bought with our half a pig last spring to take to an Easter brunch with friends. Later in the day we are headed out to my folks for a leg of lamb, brioche, asparagus soup and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. I am making some sort of salad with my version of shredded duck confit from our duck. I think the salad will have blue cheese, toasted pecans, pears and sherry shallot vinaigrette. Today I made a cheesecake for my mom's birthday which we are celebrating tomorrow. As requested it is a baileys cheesecake with chocolate cookie crust and caramel topping. With a weekend full of cheesecake I am surely doomed as I've been having completely unpredictable dairy sensitivities especially when consuming pasteurized, ultra homogenized unorganic dairy products. Ah, such is life, on one side of the scale is cheesecake and on the other a runny nose and lots of sneezing...

I have ambitions to write some informative helpful posts with pictures included in the following week. I'd like to write more about prenatal goat care, making dog food, grain mill and baked goods and the list goes on. I know if I don't do it soon it isn't going to happen because my time is about to be all consumed by goat babies followed by a planting frenzy. For now, I hope I haven't bored you with my ramblings. Well happy spring everyone! So long dark slow cozy days, hello bright frenzy!


Jamie @ Woodside Gardens said...

I have to say thanks again for the Kombucha tutorial! I will be bottling my very first batch on Monday!!

Emily said...

Great Jamie, how exciting. My mothers were doing some slightly suspicious activities recently so I started over again from scratch. I'm finally back on track and about to drink my first batch from the newbies.

sk said...

How interesting!
I can't wait to read more about homemade dog food. Your blog is where I first read about making chicken feed, and I'm planning to try this really soon! Thank you.