Sunday, January 23, 2011

...But at least it's warm.

I made a hat.  It kind of looks like a clown threw up on my head:

Saturday, January 15, 2011


My feet were cold this morning, so I decided I needed to try my hand at making some fleece slippers.  So after picking up some fleece and fabric scissors from JoAnn Fabrics, I made these prototype models:

Sorry it's blurry.  But you get the idea.
The real ones will be yellow like this on the inside, with a blue/green splashy pattern on the outside.  Also, I think I will find some way to make the toes less square-- a friend commented that they resemble duck feet more than a little.

Watch this space for updates on the cuddly footwear!  I already have the pieces cut, now it's just assembly.  I might get to that tomorrow, or maybe Monday.

Successful cheese!

You might remember my earlier attempts to make cheese using powdered milk.  Although the finished product was cheese-like in texture and consistency, it had little to no flavor.  I hypothesized that this was due to there being no fat in the powdered milk, and thus in the finished cheese.

For today's experiment, I used a mix of 4 cups whole milk and 1.5 cups heavy cream (nothing fancy, just Target brand).  Basically the same process as before: heat to ~170 degrees, add lemon juice, continue heating to 190, then strain out the curds from the whey.  Instead of squeezing this time, I just let the cheese drain for a nice long time-- I actually went out for several hours and left it draining into a bowl on the counter.  When i came back, I had very rich, delicious, creamy ricotta cheese.  Absolutely divine.  I like soft cheeses anyway, and spreadable ones are even better.

Sorry I have no pictures; the cheese is white, my bowls are white, and I am lazy.  But I promise, it's wonderful.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I just got A Countryside Anthology 1998, published by Countryside Magazine, in the mail.  I'm so excited to read this, you have no idea.  Just to give you an idea, here's the main sections:

Alternative energy
Gardening, orchards, crops & soils
Country kitchen
Beginning homesteading & finances
The beehive
The homestead dog
The poultry yard
The rabbit barn
The goat barn
The sheep shed
The cow barn
Livestock and health
The pig pen
Book reviews
The machine shed
The workshop
Miscellaneous tips/crafts/leisure
Homestead health
Emergency preparation
Country neighbors

and more!  Between this and Storey's Basic Country Skills, I should be all set.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Books of 2010

It's been a year since I started keeping track of the books I read.  Some were re-reads, some were new, and some I didn't finish.  Here's the list.  If you'd like me to write a review of one or more of these, let me know in the comments.