My week, in pictures

Picking apples

Pear sauce

The pantry is filling up!  Look at all my jars (the shelves are 5 jars deep)  :)

I promised myself a nice grain grinder if I started making my own bread...

Trains, trains, trains...


Under Construction

Please excuse the bare-bones layout.  I suddenly decided I hated the old one and wanted it gone.  Now.  :)


Oy.  Having a new baby during harvest season is a lot of work! I've managed to can 5 pints of chicken, 7 quarts of chicken broth, 2 quarts of beef broth, blanch and freeze about 2 pounds of green beans, and blanch 3 dozen ears of corn for freezing.  Tomorrow I need to cut the corn off the cob, vacuum seal it, and start thinking about tomatoes.  I love having my own sauce, but I'm seriously considering just skipping it this year.  We'll see.  If I know myself, I'll do it anyways, especially since the process isn't all that difficult.  Most of the time is spent just waiting for a giant vat of tomato puree to cook down.

We (I say "we" even though I had no part in the actual process, as I was on vacation at the time) had our Freedom Ranger chickens butchered last week.  I wasn't able to be all that involved in the process of raising them, since it was right at the end of my pregnancy and during Rowyn's newborn period.  All I really did was order the birds online, pick them up at the post office, and provide some consulting services.  But I now have 13 home-grown birdies in the freezer!  They averaged 4.5 lbs per bird, which is about $2.60/lb.  Definitely more expensive than store-bought chicken, but they were humanely raised, allowed room to roam, and are antibiotic-free.  I'm happy.

We're working out the kinks in our budgeting, and I'm making a lot more food from scratch.  I've almost gotten the perfect sandwich loaf down (will share the recipe when I do, though it isn't entirely whole wheat like I'd hoped), which will save us a ton of money from $4/loaf storebought bread. I'm also working on French bread.  Here's my first attempt, which was very pretty and tasted great:

I can't seem to get back into meal planning, though.  I know it would save us money and hassle, but for some reason the idea of deciding what to eat a week from now seems overwhelming.  I dunno.  I have a tentative plan for the next week, so I'll do my best to stick to it and see how it goes.


A Keeper

Today at the beach, Ethan wanted to climb on the big rocks in the water. I lifted him onto on, then held his hand to help him keep his balance. He grabbed me and held me around my leg and said, "I want to keep you. I'm going to keep you forever and ever."

I just didn't want to forget that moment.