Monday, April 28, 2014

in my kitchen {the last of}

This is such a hard time of year in the kitchen for me. Waiting for the first sprouts of something, anything!, to appear. It's that transitional season that I refer to as "the last of." The last of last year's harvest - the last of the pizza sauce. The last freezer chicken. The last head of garlic. And so on.

Homemade goat cheese pizzas.

And I start stealing little bits of whatever is appearing. A couple leaves off the tiny basil starts and spinach that's only just starting to grow. We're not supposed to harvest the asparagus for another year, but tasting just one (or three) can't hurt, right? I had never tasted homegrown asparagus before, and oh, it is just phenomenal!

The first asparagus! I planted crowns in the herb bed close to the house last year.

 I feel I've been relying more heavily on baking these days, too, trying to fill in the gaps a bit.

Clover leaf rolls, inspired by Beth, using braided bread dough.
Early morning baking is becoming an almost daily routine. These are English muffins, also using braided bread dough.     

But soon, soon, we'll be eating fresh again. I can't wait!     

Sunday, April 20, 2014

an Easter sweater

I wasn't sure I would finish this sweater in time, but I did! It's the hatchling cardigan (a perfect spring sweater name, yes?) and it's just darling, I think. (Although I thought the picking up of stitches for the finishing might be my undoing). The sweet little buttons are from Wooly Moss Roots, and I used a naturally dyed yellow wool yarn. And do you see all that green we have all of a sudden? Thanks to a few evening rain showers. I hope you had a beautiful Easter, friends! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

expanding the herd

We have new goat friends! They are unnamed as of yet, this young Nigerian dwarf doe and her four-week-old adorable buckling (who I know will get bigger and increasingly stinkier come fall - and may actually have only one horn - but isn't he just the cutest little guy?! Prepare to be inundated with irresistible baby goat photos). They came to us just an hour before dusk last night, and I fretted quite a bit about letting them stay unsupervised with the rest of our herd. The new ones kept following me toward the house as dark settled. But then I saw Spring coming to the lower pasture to lead them back to the barn, and I felt she would look after them. And so she did. Such a good herd queen, that girl, with a strong maternal instinct that I've grown myself to deeply understand; she was Abby's guardian, too, during her recent struggle with bloat.

Slowly, we're trying to expand our herd to add more milking does, and hopefully another buck so we can breed and maintain a closed herd. This is kind of the next step for us, I think. At some point, I'd actually love to have a few fiber goats, too!

But for now, these are the sweetest, tiniest little things, and to be quite honest I'm not sure how milk-able the doe will be (she really is small!) but oh, we're enjoying them so. I certainly don't need any excuses to venture out into the warmer air to snuggle a new baby goat. (Or, for that mater, to work on the garden or look for the "beautiful little duck," as my daughter calls the wild drake living by the pond). Ah, sweet spring. It's the best medicine for a rough day or any sort of weary heart. You can't put a price on that.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

speaking of bees...

Our hive looks to be doing so well that Don (the beekeeper) is attempting to split the hive to raise a daughter queen! We all got to watch as he opened the hive, pulling out the frames and inspecting things. He found lots of brood and honeycomb, too. He anticipates a honey harvest for us this year! (Unless disaster strikes - which we joked that it already has;  these bees are hearty stock, indeed.)

Did you know that bees are not allowed by ordinances in some communities? Don says that the bees, of course, don't pay any attention to such things. They live where they want to live ;) Thank goodness for that.

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