Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ginger Beer Culture



Before one can make the ginger beer soda pop...
you have to make the culture, so that is what I'll show you first

all I use is 3 ingredients; unrefined cane sugar, fresh ginger and un-chlorinated water
some people use baker's yeast to get their culture started...
but, that is not necessary
the wild yeast in the air will do the job just fine
in fact, using baker's yeast will probably turn your culture in alcohol

this is my way of making the ginger culture...
but, there are other ways of doing this and you can go to youtube...
and type in "how to make ginger soda pop" to find different videos on it

I like this  particular video on how to make the culture...
which also has a part 2

making the culture aka "bug" works best with fresh ginger
fresh ginger should be organic because you don't want ginger that...
has been washed with anything to kill the natural lactobacilli that ginger...
have to protect themselves in the ground, specifically over the winter

if you are not able to find fresh ginger...
you can use organic powdered ginger that has not been irradiated
if it is organic, by organic standards, it will not have been irradiated...
which kills all the good lactobacilli bacteria that ferments the ginger solution into the culture

it's possible that using powdered ginger may take the fermentation...
a couple of days longer to get started

as for the sugar used to feed the lactobacilli...
I have seen different people use different sugars
I do not keep processed white sugars but, I do use unrefined brown cane sugar...
you can find it by the names of turbinado, raw cane sugar or demerara
do not use raw honey as it will take much longer to get the culture going
you can use the white sugar which really is of no real concern...
because the sugars fed to the culture will be broken down...
and be eaten up by the fermentation and you won't be consuming it yourself


after I dig up enough ginger to use for the week...
I brush or lightly rinse the ginger without scrubbing to take off any dirt
and keep the peel on which the lactobacilli live on

fill a glass jar with 12 ounces of unchlorinated water...
cut up a piece of fresh organic ginger into very small bits until you have 1 tablespoon
put that into the jar of water and add 2 teaspoons of sugar into it


once the ingredients are all in the glass jar...
give it a good vigorous stir until the sugar is completely dissolved


cover the opening with a loose weave cloth or a paper towel
you can also use a canning jar's lid band over the cloth or towel
this will give the ginger solution the breathing ability to catch the wild yeasts in the air
set it aside in a warm spot

once a day, every morning...
feed your culture by chopping up small pieces of fresh ginger...
to make 2 teaspoons and add that along with 2 teaspoons of sugar to the solution

stir your culture vigorously 2 to 3 times a day as it likes to be aerated 

it will take about 2 to 5 days for tiny bubbles to appear at the top of the solution
it all depends on how warm your kitchen is
the bubbles tell you the fermentation is taking place
you will continue to feed your culture for 7 days

and next post, we will go to the next step of making soda pop


May your day or night find grace in the Lord.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Kitchen Zone


The kitchen seems to occupy a large amount of my time lately

we've had a couple of pumpkins that were ready for the picking...
and I made some pureed pumpkin to keep stored for use in soup thickening...
coffee flavoring and baking
I do not can the puree...
it is frozen or kept in the fridge if it will be used in the next week

I merely cook the pumpkin till it's soft...
then puree it in a blender till smooth

great for baby food, too


I have been learning to make my own soda pop...
and I must say...
it is so good

store bought sodas are a detriment to good health and we refuse to drink it
it has been many years since we last had a taste of commercial soda pop
to tell the truth...
I cannot remember what coke or pepsi cola tastes like
and it doesn't matter because I know those drinks are not good for the body

so, we are making our own sodas
right now, I am working on ginger soda pop...
and I have already tasted it
wow!...
commercial ginger pop has nothing on this homemade recipe


also, I have been busy working on sourdoughs of various kinds
one is wheat and rye for my husband
one is gluten free with brown rice and sorghum
and I am also trying for the first time oatmeal sourdough
I simply mix in a 1/4 cup of oatmeal flakes with water to get started

these all get fed once a day in the morning...
each a couple of spoons of their respective flour and whey or buttermilk

I find that using whey or buttermilk seems to help...
in developing cultures in the sourdough quicker and easier
I make sure and label them with the date to remember when they were started
and to make sure I know which one is the gluten sourdough
so far, they are coming along fine


clabbered milk continues to be made in this kitchen
it is a delicious treat of probiotics...
and the chickens do love it so, too



they never seem to get enough of it
I understand


I think it would be fun to make sorrel (aka roselle hibiscus) soda pop...
and hope to do that sometime
for now, juice is good enough


we had some ripe bananas that needed using...
so a cocoa banana cake was in order
that is a good one



these next two months of November and December...
I will be taking these things going on in the kitchen...
and will give you how I do them and a few recipes
so my posts til the end of the year will be about recipes for the most part

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:8

May your day or night find contentment in the grace of the Lord.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Kiddies and Them Thorns Do Hurt



Around noon time...
I fill a couple of buckets up with water and take them down to the goats


the kiddies are growing ever so fast


and soon we will come around to milking mama Snowflake
we have her and the kids by the cocoa orchard which is also above the big garden...
so we need to keep mama on a tether so we don't lose our crops


in spite of all the wild bush for them to eat...
goats will lunch voraciously on both cocoa leaves and anything in the gardens


as you can see, these twins enjoy being together


brother is the one on the right with the longer horns


sister enjoys using him for a pillow


*****

We have quite a few citrus trees on our homestead...
and all the ones we deliberately planted have no thorns...
as they were cultivated from grafted trees

but, there are a few that grew from seeds that were thrown down...
from fruit eaten and had grown on their own
these have thorns


there are two citrus trees with thorns that grow at the corners of the chicken coop...
and if I had it my way, they would be hacked down...
but, right now, the citrus trees are full of fruits

the two thorny trees are grapefruit and I'm itching to get my hands on the fruit...
just as soon as they are ripe enough


because they sit so close to the coop...
I must maneuver around them carefully

I didn't learn to do that well enough, until after a few scratches on my arms...
I finally one day bumped my head against the tip of one of those 2 inch thorns
that was several days ago and it still hurts

instead of taking the trees down while they fruit...
I took pruning clippers and snipped off the thorns on the trunks...
and wherever they were a danger...
and pruned off any thorny overhang at my head level

now, the trunks are smooth and bare of thorns...
and that has helped tremendously


the first thought that came to mind when that thorn met my head...
was to take a machete to the tree
the second thought was a crown of thorns of over two thousand years ago

one thorn was plenty hurtful...
a whole crown of thorns could only be torture
that crown of thorns from long ago was worn by the Savior who willingly...
wore it to set me free from sin, darkness and wrath
and as hateful men set that crown of thorns on the Lord Jesus...
I know that my Christ's loving thoughts were on me

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

May your day or night find grace in the Lord.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home on the Range - Little Patch of Heaven


Well, we may not be dancing the homestead jig with our animals...
but, we get close

it's been more work than play on Pilgrim's Farm...
which leaves little time for blogging...
or footloosing with the chickens

I'll be back to post next week, Lord willing
in the meantime...
do enjoy this little video I found on YouTube




May your day or night find heavenly grace in the Lord.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Winding Down, Avocados Are


Mango season is now pretty much out...
but, we still have a few left that we don't let get away

and one of my favorite drinks is a home brewed tea of...

7 teaspoons of earl grey tea leaves (or 5 to 6 teabags) in a large pitcher
2 tablespoons of grated ginger
1 mango (ripe or green will work) cut up or grated down to the seed
you can even leave the skin on if you wish
put it all in the pitcher and fill with very hot (not boiling) water
let steep for several hours and strain...
sweeten with raw honey (or whatever your favorite sweetener is), then refrigerate

sometimes, instead of the ginger, I'll use mint leaves
that one is good, too

and I have found, this tea is actually better if left overnight to meld the flavors together
I'm going to be sorry when no mango is left to pick till  next season

if you have no mangoes...
you can make this tea with peaches, apricots or even try an apple




and woe is me!
we are at the end of avocado season with our trees

now honestly, I do not know what variety are avocados are
I do know they are delicious

the one in this photo below is long, smooth skinned and has a sweet, creamy tasty texture
I loved this one!


it's quite large and heavy and the meat of it is a creamy yellow
boy! does it make a good chocolate/avocado mousse



then, we have a much smaller avocado that is, well...
good but, doesn't beat the taste of the pear shaped one above


it does fit quite nicely in the palm of my small hand
and when it turns the color of purplish red...
it's ready to eat

and did you know?
avocados do not ripen on the tree
they must come to full maturation, then picked...
and they will ripen usually in the next couple of days, or so
some will change color; others will "give" a bit when gently squeezed

and if you are not ready for an avocado from your own tree, yet...
the fruit can be left there until you are



well, one of my favorite salads is an avocado and tomato salad with fresh basil leaves
the fruits are diced into bite size pieces
spritz a little lemon or lime juice into the salad
and...
whip up a mixture of olive oil and apple cider vinegar with a little raw honey and sea salt...
mix into the salad
and the basil leaves can be cut with a scissors and mixed last
so good!
some shredded parmesan cheese would probably be good as a topping, too

I would rather have good food labored for by the sweat of my brow...
than all the riches of the wealthy who are burdened of all their "stuff"


The sleep of a labouring man is sweet,
whether he eat little or much:
but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
Ecclesiastes 5:12

May your day or night find good food in the sweet grace of the Lord.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Battle Scars



It rained almost all night off and on...
and we have a goat under the cottage


he is under the weather right now, one could say

we need to keep him out of the rains while he recuperates from the battlefield

he had this notion to go to war with our neighbor's ram...
and it turned out to be a bad idea

because our ram lost...
and not only did he lose the battle...
but, he lost a horn...
all the way down to his skull
yeah...ouch

(we did clean him up after this photo above was taken the next morning)

he should have stayed at his own post and behaved
our ram is less than a year old and...
the neighbor's ram is a bit older, bigger and probably wiser on the battlefield

ah well...such is the life of rams

he came very close to death and we thought we lost him...
but, the vet who did surgery to fix him up rushed back when we called him...
after we realized the ram was down with bloat after the suturing

the vet relieved the ram of the bloat with his needle...
and the ram was immediately up and although a bit dazed...
he looked so much better and alive

although he has lost a little bit of his handsomeness...
as he looked in this photo below pre-battle times...


he is now doing well at day 4 and will continue on his journey of growing into a future breeder

hopefully, we can keep him out of any more wars with other rams

I realize that some people believe goats with horns should have them removed as babes...
however, if God did not intend for them to have the horns...
He would not have created them with horns
they are there for a reason
so, no, we do not remove horns from our kid goats (or any goat)

just in case someone wants to say horns ought to be removed :)

this event makes me think of what God's people battle against...
truly we wear the battle scars from spiritual wars so long as we are on this earth

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12

May your day or night find peace in the grace of the Lord.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And Then, There Were Five


For the last couple of weeks, just about everyday...
we would think "today the does will have their kids"
and every day...
the kids weren't quite ready for their earthly debut


well, here they are
two on one day

mama Snowflake done us proud


and she is turning out to be a good mama to her babies
these will be her first kids


once she had done a good thorough job of cleaning the kids...
and they were nice and dry and had taken their first drink of mama's colostrum...
I gave her some ripe banana treats


and I couldn't help myself...


I must touch


must they be so cute?
and soft, and sweet, and so wee little?


then, the night fell...
and the rains came...


and frogs came out


and honestly...
I couldn't tell if there is a handsome prince inside somewhere...
or if this is just a big, fat toad with a pot belly
perhaps, just handsome in his own way


well, in any case...
we ran down the hill to mama Snowflake and kids with a basket to put the babies in...


and brought them up to stay under the cottage for the night...


where they would stay dry and warm


when I put the towels down to give them a more comfortable spot...
these little kids naturally chose the soft towels over the rocky ground


and the next day, it rained still more all day, in fact...


and my husband took the good opportunity while babies slept to give mama a nail clipping...
and she kept her eyes on her babies just to make sure they were still there 


a ram and a doe is what Snowflake gave us



and then, there were five
the next day, mama Queenie had her triplets
we knew there were going to be more than one by the size of her...
while she has been a mother a few times now...
this will be her first triplet set


all does
it looks like we will have some future milkers


we've got good mamas and these babies are being well cared for by them
while Snowflake is anxiously careful over her babies...
Queenie acts as an old pro with hers
she knows the scoop


over the last couple of years...
the Lord took and He has also given


so far, all is well and we thank the Lord for His gracious gifts


while we are thankful for God's gifts of the goats...
we are still more thankful for His gracious gift of faith
just as He says...

For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8,9

without this gift of faith, how could I have believed in Christ?
He alone has done all the work needed to save me from sin and wrath

May your day or night find the grace of God's gift of faith.