Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sherby Farms Wild Birds [01]

A few minutes of the loveliness we get to watch every morning!

Red Poles, Sparrows, Chick-a-dees and Bluejays!  I'm telling you, it is so very relaxing to watch.

Head over to our YouTube channel, Life in This Place, to see more videos!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Baking Powder Biscuits




Sometimes, life can truly send you for a loop!

Tailspin...is closer.

No fault of your own and completely out of your control...and there is nothing that you can do to stop it...




You just hope and pray that it is over, soon.

                  ...sometimes...that is the beginning.

Life has torn me a new one...
     ...over...
          ...and over...
               ...and over...
...and over, again.

The last 18 months...24 months...

I NEVER would have expected that Life had this in store for us.




But still, it is life.  This is LIFE IN THIS PLACE!!  And here I am, hopefully on the other side of whatever-this-was. 

 But...

                    ...we still need to eat!  

Through think and thin, easy or difficult, smiling or massive anxiety attack...
No matter how the day is, there can always Biscuits!!

Quick and easy and a way to show the family that you love them even though you are a mess!




Have you noticed all the best quick breads are basically the same recipe just prepared slightly different?  I think it is awesome how having only a few ingredients and you can make biscuits or pancakes or waffles or dumplings or fried bread.  

I always double the recipe.  So many people to feed and then I might have a bit left over for hungry children, later.

I use unbleached white flour for this recipe.  Whole wheat flour or half whole wheat half white will still be tasty but won’t have the rise.  I haven't tried other flours.




Also, make sure your baking powder is fresh.  Old baking powder makes flat biscuits.

Baking Powder Biscuits 

2 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of butter or lard
1 tbsp of sugar 
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt

Preheat the oven to 450*F.

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Cut the fat into the dry ingredients.  I use a mixture of butter and lard.  

Stir in the milk.  Just until it starts to come together.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead a few times for it to come together , a bit.  

Pat out to 1/2 inch think and cut out rounds using a 2 - 2 1/2 inch round cutter.  You can roll with a rolling pin, but it isn't necessary...save on dishes.

Gather up the leftover dough and pat out again to cut more biscuits.  

Place on cookie sheet and bake in the over for 10-12 minutes until golden.  Immediately, remove from cookie sheet.  Serve warm.  Goes very well with butter and soup or jam or cheese or just about anything!




For more on my recipes check out my Recipe Page!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Farm Life Update

So much has happened here on the farm!  Too much to tell it all...so I will tell some!

Puppy Love!!


As you saw from previous posts...we have a beautiful little huge puppy!  She is growing like mad!!  



About one month after the first photo.  Look at those paws!!



Kitten Love!!


We also got ourselves a few kitten/rodent killers.  They are doing so well!  Haven’t seen a single sign of a rodent since we put them in the garage.  





Chickens Love!!


It has been a long winter for the girls.  It started out nice but we had a cold snap that had our day time highs at -28*C and lows going to -38*C...-45*C with the wind chill.  

A few weeks at those temps and you almost want to give up!  

The chickens, and ducks, did not go out of their coop for weeks!  

All of the chickens are showing signs of frost bite.  We are so sad for them but we haven’t lost a single chicken to the cold.  They are looking well and strong and more feathers than they have ever had!  

But dirty!!  Oh my they all needed a bath!  

So today, the temperature got up to +3*C, we let them out of the coop and run so they could free range.  Took them less than 3 minutes to all make it over the their favourite dust bath spot! 

Duck Love!!


Like I mentioned earlier, it has been bitterly cold.  The ducks don’t seem to mind the cold like the chickens.  Not quite so hard on them.  Still, they had no desire to leave the coop!!

They are so filthy, as well!!  

They took a different kind of bath.  This one involves water.  They are so happy and clean!  I love to watch them wagging their tails in delight!    

They are hitting reproduction age, now.  Soon, we will have little ducklings wandering the farm again!  I can’t wait!


Coming Up On the Farm!!


Oh my!  Do I have ideas and plans!!  

I am about to make my seed order from MiGardener.  First time ordering from them but the seeds are heirloom and some are organic.  So much selection and the packets have more seeds than I have ever seen from another company.  AND each packet of seeds is $1.00 US!!

                   !!??!!  Right  !!??!!

I don’t even have a plot of earth dug up yet but I am ordering so many seeds!!  I. Can. Not. Wait!!

I’m picking up a few more girl ducks, and one boy, from a friend and giving her one of my boys.  Trying to diversify the genetic pool, here...and there.

We also need to get our figurative ducks in a row before we get more chicks this spring.  I’m planning to get a breed that can forage better...not quiet as dumb as our last broilers.  Chicks that, once mature, can reproduce and go broody and hatch their own eggs.  So we can butcher 10 at a time, instead of 70!

I have more ideas but I am keeping them a surprise for you all!!  I can not wait to show you what all we are going to be doing!

Soon, my friends...soon!

Chickens are Here

Chicks!!

Farm Life Noobs

Tomorrow is Chicken Day

Chicken Count Down

Chickens Chickens Chickens

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DYI Recycled Cloth Yarn

Being a mom to many children, the thing I hate most (well, one of the top ten, anyway) is waste!  I hate to throw thing out.

I am a huge recycler...not necessarily for the sake of saving the planet...that is a bonus.  I recycle to save money!!  I will use whatever I can find to make something I need or want.  

So...many kids...large family...loads and loads of laundry...  

Brings me to bedding.  Let’s face it.  Fitted sheets have a short life span.  At my house, if I get two years out of a fitted sheet, that is truly amazing!  

What I am left with is a fitted sheet WITH a huge rip in it.  Toss it, right?

This is a Queen size fitted sheet...about to become yarn!!  


Wrong!!

There is a HUGE amount of usable material on that sheet!  So many things you can make with it!  

Cut squares for a quilt.
Cut squares for a Patchwork Skirt or dress.
Cut piece to make Bees Wax Cloths.

OR...

...make some Cloth Yarn!

A friend of mine taught this to me years ago.  We have since lost touch but I miss her and think of her whenever I rip material or crochet using this type of yarn.

Whether you have many kids or just like to recycle/up cycle/repurpose, this is for you!!

Start by cutting the elastic and hems out of the fitted sheet. 





 You can make a little snip with sicciors then rip the material instead of cutting.  Makes a nice straight edge for when you start to rip your strips.  Make sure to cut out the seams that make the corners.  I rip one side, up to the corner.  Then cut out the corner.  Then rip the next side.





Now, you have a large rectangle of material with weird corners and a tear, or hole, in the middle-ish.




Now...you want to start on one of the short ends.  That would be the left or right side in the picture above.



Measure about two inches in from the edge and make a small snip with your scissors.  Now, rip the strip of material! It kind of fun!  Stress reliever.  



Keep ripping until you are an inch or two from the end.  Then make another snip 4 inches from the edge of your material...that is two inches for the first strip and two inches for the next strip.



Now, rip it again!!  



Oh...don’t forget to start rolling it all into a ball!



I usually just do all of this on my lap while watching a show or playing a game with the kids.  Well, I could do this while paying a board game but it hasn’t happened yet.

I want to like board games...I just don’t!  

Ripping and rolling all on the floor (or large table) keeps the threads from getting too crazy.  I had to move to the upstairs living room because I was getting too much help...from the puppy.  The treads then went nuts!

Just keeping it real.

And repeat.  Just keep going.  

Eventually, you will reach the rip or hole in the sheet.  When you get there, just rip the strip right to the edge of the strip.  Remove the "hole" section and start ripping strips again, starting like I wrote ^^up there^^.  

You can chose to join the new strip to the ball you have been rolling or you can roll a new ball.  

To join...

Tie the end of the “yarn” ball around the new strip ending with the “tail” pointing toward the new strip.  Then tie the end of the new strip around the ball strip with the “tail” pointing towards the ball.  



Pull the knots together and tighten them up.



Then, trim the ends into points.



All done joining.  Keep ripping and rolling.  

These purple balls of “yard” where made from one queen sized fitted sheet.  The green one is from a twin sheet.  





The purple had much more wear on it so it made less.  The green twin was much less worn, just ripped, so it is a larger ball.  Also, I had to cut out a large area of the purple because it was just too thin.

You can always cut the strips thinner to make more length or wider if your sheet is more worn or to give your yarn more bulk.

So pretty!!  And comfy!



















I crocheted this rug using yarn that I had ripped from sheets!  Cool, eh?  I love it!  I have it laying in front of my washing machine.  The laundry room is so cold, so this keeps my feet warmer while trying to do some laundry!  Trying!


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bees Wax Infused Cloth



A little something that I have been wanting to do for quite some time.  Bees wax infused cloths!

I hate using plastic wrap or cling wrap or whatever you want to call the plastic stuff everyone wraps their food in or covers their plates/bowls with.  One use and it gets thrown away.  Hate all the waste.  

Like, with my large bread bowl!  I don’t make bread often because of the plastic wrap waste.  I’ve tried to just use a tea towel on this bowl while my dough rises but the dough dries out...and I have never like having a wet towel hanging over my dough, either.  




But this wax infused cloth is perfect!  I made two smaller cloths to try and get a feel for how much wax to use.  Then I made this large one!  Oh I love it!!

The warmth from your hands forms the wax cloth around the edge of your bowl or plate.  The wax creates an imperfect but good enough seal that keeps out air and moisture.  They are cleaned by wiping with a cool damp cloth.  A tiny bit of mild soap may be used if needed.  

I can’t wait to try them out on sandwiches!  

Sandwiches from the bread I make that is rising in the big bowl, right now!