Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Made to do dishes...

We all do dishes, right?  Truth be told, I don't really mind it.  There's something satisfying about standing at the sink for just a bit, with my hands in warm water and bubbles, whispering thanks for the daily blessings, and seeing immediate progress as each piece is cleaned.

I will confess, however, that I have an aversion to sponges.  Bleh!  Someone always forgets to squeeze the water out and the sponge is left waterlogged with who-knows-what in the bottom of the sink.  Gives me the shivers!  I'm a dishcloth kind of girl.

While my mom was still with us, she discovered the joys of crochet.  She made dozens of precious prayer shawls for our church, hats for cancer patients, afghans, scarves... and lovely, useful dishcloths for me.  We have used them, and used them, and used them, until I noticed recently that these lovingly handmade pieces were tired and worn from all those dishes.

I set out to make some replacements.  A dear friend and fellow homesteader has been teaching some basic stitching and one of the projects was a dishcloth.  Armed with this new skill, I branched out to a more difficult (but free!) pattern, found at Blue Boab Crochet and Craft Blog.  The instructions are clear, with a great link to a tutorial on the unfamiliar-to-me stitch.  The pattern was quick, easy, and created a slightly nubbly texture on one side of the dishcloth, great for gentle scrubbing!

I used Sugar and Cream cotton yarn in a self-striping coral/brown/cream blend, purchased at Michael's on sale, 4 skeins for $5.

It always feels good to make something yourself, and the finished product is almost always better quality, handsome, and just plain fun to do.

What are you making for yourself these days?

"The ordinary arts we practice everyday at home 
are of more importance to the soul 
than their simplicity might suggest." 
Thomas Moore

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Supper... Buy Fresh Buy Local style...

Ah, Pinterest.  So many things to discover, explore, and pin, pin, pin!!!

Recently, I came across this recipe on Pinterest.  The recipe and this photo originated on thekitchn.com, and combined kale and goat cheese in frittata cups, baked in a muffin tin.  OH, YES, PLEASE!

I do try, however, to use local or homegrown ingredients whenever possible...
First, out to the garden to pick some crinkly, green kale.

Then to the fridge to pull out some fresh eggs from my friend, Kylene, at Roses Ridge Farm.  Her chickens are a delight.  When you pull up in her driveway, all the chickens run out to greet you!

And goat cheese.  Hhmmm... I was missing my Shady Goat Farm cheese since the market season ended.  But I'd found a lovely Virginia goat cheese from Sullivan's Pond Farm:  Rocky Mount, from their Isabel series, 'Semi-soft mild, with a rind of rosemary, and chopped jalapenos and seeds. Wrapped in "White Lightnin" macerated corn husks.'  Perfect!  (Since I used this particular goat cheese, I eliminated the red pepper flakes and thyme called for in the recipe.)

While I was preparing the ingredients for the frittata, I started roasting some white and sweet potatoes from New Earth Farm

I'd love to show you a photo of the finished plates, warm and fragrant and filled with local goodness, but the plates were empty by the time I remembered to grab the camera.  Let's just say it was quite good...  enjoy the recipe from the fun folks at thekitchn.com...

Kale and Goat Cheese Fritatta Cups

Makes 8 individual cups

2 cups chopped kale
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
8 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350°F. To get 2 cups kale, remove the leaves from the kale ribs. Wash and dry the leaves and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook the garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the kale and red pepper flakes and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the kale and thyme to the egg mixture.

Using a 12-cup muffin tin, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to grease 8 of the cups (you may also use butter or non-stick spray if you'd prefer). Fill the 8 cups evenly with the egg/kale mixture.  Sprinkle the tops with goat cheese. Bake until they are set in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Frittata is best eaten warm from the oven or within the next day, but leftovers can be kept refrigerated and reheated for up to a week.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

God's good gifts...

Our words for the day, on a journey of enrichment and discovery with wee worshipers:
God's good gifts

The Word was opened carefully and the verses read aloud.  This message from the Eternal One, offering abundance and fulfillment.  These precious words to those without pennies to pay.  An invitation to experience richness.

If you are thirsty, come here;
        come, there’s water for all.
    Whoever is poor and penniless can still
        come and buy the food I sell.
    There’s no cost—here, have some food, hearty and delicious,
        and beverages, pure and good.
I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish
        or work so hard for what leaves you empty.
    Attend to Me and eat what is good;
        enjoy the richest, most delectable of things.
Isaiah 55:1-2

We shared about nourishing things to eat and thirst-quenching things to drink.  
Trista's hot cross buns
We talked about places to go and explore, the fun things we do with our families.  About other signs of the coming joy of Easter in our homes. 
Outdoor Show at McDonald Garden Center in Hampton

The beautifully hand-painted eggs are the work of Rev. Bill Hiller

And then we looked out the wind-chilled windowpanes at God's good gifts of Spring... blooming flowers, sprouting herbs and veggies, and lush green leaves.
Lenten Rose in our garden today
Lush herbs ready for planting
 God's good gifts are all around.  
And the smallest of the faithful 
help us to see them with fresh eyes...