Friday, May 3, 2013

Keeping busy during never ending winter days

 We have been having the craziest weather ever here in the Interior of Alaska as well as the rest of the state from what I hear. Usually our snow is gone by now and we are approaching "Green Up;" the day that you look at the hills and they are spring green. Instead our temperatures haves been between twenty and a little above freezing for the last several weeks. Not only that but we've been getting snow almost daily for the last week. It has been very pretty; large white feathery flakes drifting down. If this were last spring I would be really down right now. Miraculously I'm doing alright, biding my time, knowing it can't last. I told the kids we are just skipping spring. Summer is going to come crazy fast.

I never thought we'd have to do so much work to hive bees. I shoveled a lot of snow to get these girls set up. Partially because I moved them from their previous home in the greenhouse, to a location at the top of our garden, going for out of the way but an early sun spot.We've been keeping busy between caring for our new doeling Dahlia, several flats of starts indoors, new chicks in the hallway and we've checked on the bees once now.

I turned in our fourth quarter work samples to the homeschooling office today, and that felt good to be done with "my homework" for the school year. I plan to continue lessons up through mid summer so we can take off for late summer and a harvest break.

I've been having fun in the kitchen lately. I don't know about you guys but I tend to get excited about changing our eating habits and I go through phases of this or that, but then I fall back into old habits. Six years ago I had gotten the books Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz Elix. Both of these books had me sprouting and fermenting our foods and trying to eliminate most processed foods out of our diet. Lately I've been noticing that we've been adding back in too many processed foods, namely white flour tortillas and Anne's mac and cheese have become staples for my kids lunches. I've also been making bread weekly that is more than half whole wheat and often has other grains as well, but it isn't sprouted or fermented.

I started reading some articles by Weston Price which led me back to reading through my almost forgotten cook books. As a result I'm trying to sprout or ferment most of our grain products again, with the hopes that our bodies will be able to digest, process and gain more nutrition from the grains we are eating. I've been playing around with some of my current recipes, granola bars, corn bread and tweaking them so that instead of making them on the fly I start soaking the grains or flour a day ahead of time. I also got a sourdough starter from a friend and today I made banana sourdough muffins - which the kids loved. Today I started soaking some flour to make homemade flour tortillas for tomorrow. I'm hoping to get in the routine of soaking and planning ahead before summer is in full swing. I'll share my recipes when they are fine tuned.


Karissa said...

Ah, I tried to comment before, but my phone deleted it, or the internet, haha, so here it goes again! I think you're awesome!! I'm Karissa, I'm living in Chugiak Alaska, so I know we're not very close, so we couldn't hang out (though that would be amazing!) but I thought it would be lovely to connect anyway, since we are living a paleo-diet lifestyle, where we follow the sally fallon and weston price practices. We don't have any dairy animals (I'm Jealous of your goats!) but we do buy raw milk from a local farm and I make my own cheese (sometimes) and yogurt (a lot) and we do pastured meat that I order from US wellness meats online, and I would love to someday be living the dream that you are living! It is hard, with my husband in the military, and us always moving around, to feel stable enough to grow/raise our own meat.... but I'm attempting to get into gardening and would love to set up a mini farm on my own property someday! Find me on facebook, if you're on there with:, or "The Giving Mom" which is my page, where I share some of our recipes/adventures. I have two little kids, also, btw :) How cool that you have bees, also!!

AKmamaOf6 said...

I'm curious about your fermentation technique for your bread. I had been making bread every week up 'till this summer when the whole family revolted and would no longer use it for sandwiches. I would soak the milled grains the night before, so that we could absorb more nutrients and the next day bake the bread. I don't have the book Wild Fermentation, but perhaps I should buy it, I have heard a lot about it... Your bread LOOKS great in your post with your honey butter, so maybe I just need your recipe. I use spelt, kamut, hard red, prarie gold, then I started adding other things for more protein like millet, lentils and brown rice.

-Thanks, Anna, WAsilla

Emily said...

Anna here is the address for the bread recipe that I make most often. If you make it with a white winter or spring wheat flour it makes a lighter loaf - but I make it often with hard red wheat as well. I made this bread exclusively for over a year and needed a change after a while. My most recent picture was what I consider my cheater bread - I think. Which I made in one day, but with about 3/4 sprouted wheat flour, and some organic white as well. But try this recipe, I highly recommend it. It originally came out of Peter Reinhardts Whole Grain Bread Book - which given the ingredients you are using, you should totally check out his book too. Best wishes, E