Our thermometer has bottomed out at twenty below. Forty below is the low for the night. Until this weekend our temperatures have been relatively mild and we've all been spending more time outside. Our property is finally receiving a couple hours of midday sun. Here are some pictures from the last week. I've been enjoying spending time in the kitchen. I've also been doing various research, trying to make some decisions for the year on what eggs to hatch, what breeds of poultry to raise etc. On the table are all of our feed receipts for the past year. I'm going to attempt to figure out our yearly feed and hay costs. Above is the doe's daily grain ration, a picture appropriate for my last couple posts on feeding grain to goats.
The last of our own Copra onions. They are beginning to grow, as we don't quite have the right temperature/humidity area to store them. I used up the last of our garlic today. So I just bought the first bag of onions and garlic since last spring. We have enough potatoes for a couple months.
Homemade hot chocolate after playing outside.
I made a batch of beef jerky for the first time this winter. It turned out good, if a little plain for my taste. I like my jerky to have a full garlicky peppery soy sweet flavor. I should have marinated it more than just overnight- but I was jerkey hungry. I did do a nice job of slicing it thinly while still partially frozen.
I've finally gotten into a rhythm with Chana's dog food. I've been making chicken/duck or other turkey stock every other week. I take all the meat off the bones, smoosh up the soft stock vegetables and add rice. She gets a couple cups once a day. Daily scraps usually make up her second meal.
Our weekly 100% organic hard red winter wheat bread. I grind the flour every couple weeks, store it outside (in our natural freezer) I start it a day ahead before baking, by soaking a biga and starter with yogurt and raw goat milk overnight to help break down the gluten and make it more digestible. The bread is mild and soft. It is great fresh or frozen and keeps at least a week on the counter.
I've pulled in a bag of Copper River Red Salmon to brine and smoke - I'm counting on the temperature outside warming up. I also pulled in a large turkey breast to smoke for lunch meat. I'm hoping to pull out the grinder and turn some various bags of pork lard and pork scraps into rendered lard and sausage. Tonight we are having roast, mashed potatoes and salad. Tomorrow we are having stew with turnips and biscuits. I've also had meat pies on the mind, empanadas, Asian style BBQ pork buns. I guess it is just that time of year.
I'm gearing up for a soap making spree next weekend. This is the first time I've looked up other soap making blogs for inspiration, and lets just say, I have been blown away by some handmade soaps folks are making out there. I've been inspired to try some layering and and marbling this time around, so I'll be sticking with some simple recipes and focus on colors, scents and decorative techniques.
OK, lets here it, what yummy things are you cooking? What winter projects are you enjoying?