Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Egg Diaries

We have eggs!  Lots and lots of eggs!

After a winter of very few eggs,  (only our Rhode Island Red laid regularly through those cold months...she was amazing) it's wonderful to see our girls laying again.  We have eight hens, which means we are gathering six to eight eggs a day.

I know we're not alone in gathering dozens of eggs a week and I know that there are many of you looking for ways to use up all those eggs, which lead me to my idea of keeping a diary/journal of how we are using our eggs.  

This won't be a daily report, because I have some other new adventures I want to share with you, but, I'll report in once or twice a week with a record of how we used our eggs.  There'll be recipes, menus, egg facts and trivia and, of course, photos of eggs and our girls.

I'm calling the posts, The Egg Diaries.

So if you are struggling to use your eggs, looking to find some recipes and ways to use eggs every single day, I hope you'll follow along with me and The Egg Diaries.

First installment:

The Egg Diaries

Tuesday April 15th, 2014

We have just over six dozen eggs.  Time to give some to the neighbors. (I'll have to see who would like some)

12 Eggs:  The oldest dozen were Hard Boiled to be used through the week in salads, sandwiches, snacks and treats for the dogs.

2 Eggs:  Breakfast:  Home made Buttermilk Pancakes with syrup, bacon and a bowl of cut up cantaloupe

Lunch:  4 of the Hard Boiled Eggs used for egg salad sandwiches, made with whole wheat bread and romaine lettuce.  Served with apples and milk. 

4 Eggs:  Dinner Plan:  Chuck roast with potatoes, onions, carrots and green beans and Popovers

Dogs:  2 of the Hard Boiled Eggs were chopped into their dinner, 1 egg each.

12 Eggs used in total.  * 6 Hard Boiled Eggs left

Edit:  I had underlined what I had used the eggs in and the underlines were being confused with links, so I've removed them.  I will be including recipes at a later date and there will be a Popover recipe, seeing as this is the second time I've mentioned them in a post and not given you a recipe.  Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Planning My "Everlasting" Garden

There are no spring flowers here...yet.

I tentatively slipped and slided out to feed the chickens this morning.  Yesterday's thaw froze overnight into a vast ice rink.  It will thaw again today, but snow is forecast for tomorrow.  I can take comfort in knowing that it is March and the snow won't last long and the ice rink will become smaller and smaller each day.

Until the weather warms, the ice melts and the spring flowers bloom, I am enjoying the flowers that I dried last summer.

A rose, baby's breath, and purple statice bouquet has graced one of the bathrooms the past few months.

Dried Flower Bouquet Photo by Tori Beveridge AHWT

A small spray of lavender was twist tied to a kitchen cabinet.

Dried Lavender Spray Photo by Tori Beveridge AHWT

Soon they'll be sent to the compost pile and will be replaced with fresh cut flowers and herbs from the garden.

Today, I plan this year's "Everlasting" Garden.  Everlasting flowers are flowers which dry well.  They hold their colors and shape beautifully when turned into everlasting bouquets, which will last me through the next winter.

Roses, hydrangea, peonies, larkspur, statice in a rainbow of shades, strawflowers, cockscomb celosia, sunflowers, lavender, bergamot, baby's breath, chinese lanterns, globe amaranth, love in a mist and yarrow. 

Enjoy The Little Things Photo by Tori Beveridge AHWT

 All beautiful while in the garden.  All beautiful dried.

I used the following textures:
On the Lavender Spray:  Partings
On the two Dried Flower Bouquet Photos:  0703 from the Times 2 Collection
My apologies for not having any from "above" shots.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gathering Hickory Nuts

We had a hard frost this past week and the hickory nuts are falling.   Each nut hits the ground with a loud "ka-thunk".  We joke that we should be wearing hard hats.

Hickory Nuts in Grass Photo by Tori Beveridge

The outer husks bloom like flowers, revealing the nuts hiding inside their shells.

Hickory Nuts in Leaves Photo by Tori Beveridge

It doesn't take long to fill a basket.

Hickory Nuts in Basket Photo by Tori Beveridge

We have plenty.  Hickory Nut Tarts sound good.

Hickory Nuts Photo by Tori Beveridge
This photo is available as a print, because I loved it so much and want it to hang on my kitchen wall.  You can find it HERE

I used the following textures:
Grunge Framed from the Minimay Set
Rue Marion from the French Connection Set

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good Morning Sunshine

Good Morning Sunshine - Photo by Tori Beveridge

"Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail."  - Og Mandino

Linking up with

Kim Klassen dot Com

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mulberry Madness

Mulberries, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Last week, while picking radishes and lettuce from the garden, I noticed our mulberries were starting to ripen.

Radishes and mulberries Photo by Tori Beveridge AHWT

A few found their way into my basket, but it was obvious I was going to need to come out with baskets and bowls just for the berries.

Last year, because it was so hot and dry, there were barely enough mulberries for the birds and wild animals.   This year the trees are laden.  We've been picking every day, twice a day and have picked and frozen pounds and pounds of these delicious berries.

We always keep some fresh to snack on and to cook with.

The very first quart we picked, went straight (after rinsing)  into my 8 x 8 pan, ready to be made into cobbler.

Mulberries in the pan, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Yes, you can leave the little green stems on, thank goodness!

This is my favorite Mulberry Cobbler recipe.  It has a delicious shortcake like crust and the mulberries cook up sweet and juicy underneath it.  I originally got the recipe from Circle B Kitchen, HERE, and made a few slight changes to it.

Mulberry Cobbler

1 qt mulberries 
2 tablespoons lemon juice (one small lemon)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water (if  using frozen berries, eliminate the water)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter

1 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lard or butter
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place mulberries in an 8 x 8 pan.

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, water, cornstarch, salt and sugar.  Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Microwave for 30 seconds.

Pour the cornstarch mixture over the berries in the pan.  Mix gently.  Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the top of the berries with them.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Cut in the lard or butter with a knife or pastry blender, until the pieces are the size of small peas.  Slowly add the milk, stirring until a soft dough is formed.  Form into a ball and knead on a floured board for 20 to 30 seconds. Roll the dough out to the size of your baking pan.  Dough will be 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. 

Place the dough on top of the berries.  Cut 2 or 3 slashes on the top for steam to escape and sprinkle the top with a little more sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  We like it completely cooled.

Delicious plain or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Mulberry Cobbler, Photo by Tori Beveridge

I've made three cobblers since we started our harvest.  They don't last long around here.

I also made Mulberry liqueurs, one batch with vodka, one batch with brandy.

Mulberry Liqueurs, Photo by Tori Beveridge

They won't be ready until September.

And, yes, of course I've made Mulberry Jam.

Mulberry Jam, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Mulberries do not have a lot of natural pectin, so the jam tends to be more saucy than other jams.  This makes it perfect for topping pancakes, soaking into biscuits and topping ice cream.  Some people strain their jam of the fruit and seeds to make jelly, but I like to keep them in.  The seeds which rise to the top when you make the jam, stir easily through the jam once opened and don't rise back up.

So, what do I do when I have plenty of eggs and Mulberry Jam?

Eggs and mulberries, Photo by Tori Beveridge

I make fresh popovers and jam!  Perfect for brunch or tea.

Popovers and Mulberry Jam, Photo by Tori Beveridge

My husband has requested a Mulberry Pie for dinner tonight, so I must be off.  I hope you're enjoying mulberry season too.

I'm linking to:

From The Farm Blog Hop

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Good Friends

Yesterday, I spied Pamunky, our chow/rottweiler mix, and Sniper, the star of last Tuesday's Black and White Texture Tuesday, enjoying the warm weather together.

Pamunky and Sniper Photo by Tori Beveridge AHWT

I grabbed my camera and as quietly and slowly as possible slipped outside.  I didn't want to disturb the moment.

Pamunky and Sniper Photo 2 by Tori Beveridge AHWT

Pamunky started licking Sniper.  Try as I might, I couldn't capture the times when her tongue was out and I was snapping continuously.

Pamunky and Sniper Photo 3 by Tori Beveridge AHWT

Sniper didn't seem to mind too much.

Pamunky and Sniper Photo 4 by Tori Beveridge AHWT

I left them in peace to enjoy the rest of their afternoon.

In all of the above I used Kim Klassen's 1402 Magic texture, set to soft light.