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Monday, October 8, 2012

Unprocessed October Update

Things have been going really well. It has been busy still but I am making time to cook at home. Today for breakfast I had a Fage Greek Yogurt, the one with Cherry and a handful of almonds. For lunch, I had cucumber slices and celery sticks, a banana and a turkey sandwich on rye bread from our local bakery. Dinner was grilled pork chops, cornbread stuffing…I even baked the cornbread… and corn on the cob from a local market. It was the last of my corn that hasn’t been frozen and preserved for  the winter. 

I have to admit, I like making my own lunch to take to work and coming home to relax and prepare dinner. It has been a nice almost calming experience. I have put in the effort to plan a bit more. This has freed up some time because I know exactly what I am going to be making. No more mad dashes to pick up a quick pizza because I forgot to set something out. Not to say that won’t happen this month, I can’t guarantee it as a working busy sports mom. These things happen, but I am being conscience and intentional about avoiding those traps.  Also, the chickens have been reaping the benefits of my unprocessed diet. I roasted a hubbard squash on Sunday and they loved the stringy guts that I scooped out and tossed into their run. They also like to pick at all my salads and bread heels. Lucky Ladies. 

There is just something about October. We have had our first real frosts that have put an end to any late tomatoes I had lingering in the garden. My canning has come to a halt. No more veggies to blanch and then freeze. Foods have been stored. The days are getting shorter. It’s the time to put away the lazy days of summer and meld into a back to school, back to the daily routine kind of time.  There is something about the weather change that brings me back indoors back to the kitchen and back to making sure as a family we have some good quality time together. Summer is always so busy, so much to do and the kids want to be outside and out with friends as much as possible. October brings about a change in that. They kids are still always busy, but with the days being shorter, they are forced indoors earlier than before. As a family we have the time to take a breath, have a family dinner, and maybe even enjoy a movie together. 

October also brings out the inner crafter in me. I can’t explain it but as soon as those beautiful fall colors hit and the weather gets brisk, I just have to create things. I bust out the knitting needles and yarn, or I paint and make wreaths and Christmas ornaments. I can’t be the only one out there who does this, the only one who enjoys being crafty in the Fall. My pinterest boards are already growing with things to make.  By February, I am back into the gardening mind set. I want to peruse seed catalogs and map out garden beds in my head. I make big plans for the yard and garden in the blah days of February in Michigan. My pinterest boards will grow with those plans too. 

This weekend coming up, I am heading to a friend’s house to bake bread. I love the physical aspect of kneading the dough. It is rustic and crafty and reminds me of simpler times. It is especially nice to bake bread with a friend. It gives you someone to chat with while waiting for the dough to rise. I will be taking lots of pictures and posting the recipes we try.  I am planning on using my Michigan honey I got from our local cider mill to help get the yeast blooming. I love what that hint of honey does to breads. Who needs added sugar or corn syrup? Not this girl.

Vanilla extract update… The brandy vanilla mixture still smells the best. It is really taking on a nice color and the sweet aroma of vanilla. The bourbon vanilla, while I like bourbon, still has a stronger liquor smell over the smell of the vanilla. I am still unsure of how rounded a flavor profile it will have. I really should begin taste testing… Note to self lol  

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