Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Well here are some pics from the last week.

We had a great spell where the girls were going to bed really easy after deciding that they wanted to push their cots together to make a big bed. Things have slid a bit latley with my sister visiting from Florence but really all things considered they are going to bed really nicley together.

I have been spending every free spare moment in the yard, raking, cleaning out brush, moving stones, mulching, composting, etc. It is looking much better already. The girls and I started our seedlings this last week a bit late but at least in March! We planted peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and sunflowers for good measure. I hope to get enough sun on the eastern side of the house to plant them there.

Angelica is back to her old ways, picking up earthworms, salamanders and even finding a few caterpillars already.

I went to the library this week to get a Chesterton book but ended up getting this wonderful book by Madeline L'engle called "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art." It is a wonderful read. I'll post some favorite quotes soon.


WondrousPilgrim said...

Angelica is so big! I can't wait to see you all!

lover of beauty said...

Wow, Anna! I'm so excited that you got that book--would love to discuss it at some point. Madeleine L'Engle is such an interesting author. She is practically a mystic in some ways, and she has great spiritual insights. I just wish she was actually Catholic. Still, I love reading her stuff.

Ben said...

Only TWO comments Anna? PATHETIC!!

LeeAnn said...

Hmm, maybe you're a green thumb enough to answer a question for me. I'm starting some seeds indoors in one of those peat greenhouse thingies and I don't think I planted the seeds deep enough. Can I dig them out and replant them deeper or will it hurt them? It's been about three days and I see a few sprouts already but I'm worried they'll fall out of the dirt because they're too close to the top.

I love Madeleine L'Engle's books too, although she has some unorthodox views on some religious matters. I heard that supposedly there is going to be a new wrinkle in time book (another sequel I mean) with Meg someday.

LeeAnn said...

Ah! The other thing I meant to ask you (though you are a total stranger of course) is about the beet kvass. I'm trying to get started on my first batch and can't get the buttermilk to separate to make the whey. I'm thinking it's maybe the wrong brand of buttermilk for this but I wanted to check with someone else to see if this is common or not. The recipe I have (from Nourishing Traditions) calls for 3-4 beets (chopped coarsely), 1/4 c. whey, 1 tsp. sea salt, and some water.

Since you can't get whey at Safeway (that I know of) I looked up the recipe for that and it was basically, let buttermilk sit out at room temp for 1 or 2 days and it should separate. Then strain through a clean dishcloth, etc., so that you end up with whey (the liquid) and cream cheese (the solids).

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. :)

Anonymous said...

Anna: I was talking to Lori the other day and she said that her Dad (who has been farming for about 100 years) says that it is not necessary to start your seeds indoors. He says to wait until the ground temp. is about 55 degrees and then you are safe to just plant the seeds. Since I will not be able to plant a garden this year until the "big machines" are out of the yard, I am hoping that his advice is correct. What do you think?
Love, Mama

Anna said...


I think your seeds should be fine since all seed fall off of the plant and just hit the ground. I'm no expert though. And as for the whey, I have had better sucsess straining it our of plain whole fat yoghurt rather than buttermilk. Just make sure it is unflavored.

Mama, I have always planted just straight outside too--also cause it seems easier. . . but I also usually bought tomatoe and pepper seedlings on my own, and this time I thought I'd just try and grow them for fun. I also have only planted a garden two or three times so I learn something new every time. Lori's Dad is one of those guys you'de like to keep at your house to refrence every other day. It's not easy to find that kind of knowlege. Thanks.


LeeAnn said...

Thank you for the tips! My seedlings are getting taller by the minute, it seems, and now roots are growing even out of the peat pots into their neighbors. Which is probably a sign that I should start planting them and I would...if we hadn't gotten three inches of snow yesterday (all melted now) and frost again this morning! Since when does it snow in April in Washington state???

My buttermilk did finally separate. I was expecting the whey to be on top, like yogurt that hasn't been stirred up yet, but it was more underneath. Once I poured it into the cloth and set it up to strain, I got at least a cup of whey from about half a quart of buttermilk. Plus, we got some nice homemade cream cheese. It's a bit more tart than store-bought.

So I mixed up the beets, salt, whey and water and the kvass sat brewing in my windowsill for a couple days and then I put it into the refrigerator. I haven't actually tried it yet.... A little chicken--although I do like beets and that beety smell. It's still hard to trust that it's safe to drink. I mean, who eats dairy products normally after they've been left sitting out for two days?

Ben said...

Maybe Lori's dad could come live in our hall closet!

Echoes_of_Aberdeen said...

Anna, we missed you all today!

Echoes_of_Aberdeen said...

Anna, this is your cousin in PA using Patrick's account. We had a great visit with the family today. We don't have your phone number and forgot to get it from your folks. I tried information with no success. Could you please give us a call ASAP? We missed you and were hoping maybe to come see you.


Ben said...

Do you like Beet Kvass?