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Happy New Year!

As you can see I have given my blog a face lift.

I felt it only fitting that the blog have a new look as we head into a new year.

I am really looking forward to the new year because Ev and I have many new things we hope to learn this year. Some together and others on our own.

Ev tried homemade mozzarella a few weeks back and I came over just in time to help knead the hot cheese curds.

After a lot of kneading, the cheese somewhat resembled mozzarella and although it was not as creamy as store bought, I liked the taste better. Jesse tried some after it had been in the fridge for a while and he didn’t like the texture at all! He does however want to help out the next time we try.

We are left with about 45 pounds to which we will need to add another 30% pork fat.

Henry’s dad has both a meat grinder as well as a smoker so we hope to give jerky a whirl as well.

Seed catalogues have arrived and I’ve been drooling, I mean, studying them intently trying to decide how I might squeeze in more strawberries as well as some asparagus. ( for those of you who don’t know, after you have harvested the asparagus the plant puts out feathery thin ‘branches’ that grow up to five feet high!)

Then of course there are the hardy green grapes I’ve just discovered as well as two apple trees I would love to grow.( They are dwarfs so I’m sure there must be someway to cram them in too!)

More crocheting and knitting are on the list and I’m looking forward to learning how to double crochet, as right now I only know one stitch! (That’s all you need to make a scarf though and I’ve just finished my third one.) While Ev and her family were visiting her parents over the holiday her mom taught her how to knit cables! I’m rather jealous as I’m still knitting and pearling!

Working with raw wool (fleece straight of the sheep) is another possibility this year.

My primary focus for this year however will be food.

I would like to learn how to feed our family with food that hasn’t been processed within an inch of it’s life or traveled around the world to get to my plate . (And don’t get me started on packaging, pesticides and GMO’S!)

This will involve growing what I can at home (and maybe some of the sprawly stuff at J and R’s cabin), buying at farmer’s markets as well as straight from the farmers.

Last year we were able to buy grass fed beef and 80 pounds of potatoes this way. (The potatoes were only $10!)

I made bread yesterday using some of the wheat that R had ground from local wheat. Very nice although Henry found the finished loaf too fluffy, so I’ll have to play around with that a bit.

I have to admit I’m nervous about cooking everything from scratch as it means learning how to cook in a whole new way.

Tam, do you think you could lend me Chef Gary every so often???

If any of you have good recipes that might work I’d sure appreciate it if you’d share!

I’ll leave you with a few holiday memories. . .

Bus drivers get spoiled sometimes!

It’s possible that I may have taken the ‘how low can you go’ thing with the thermostant a bit too far!

I’m afraid I’ve had to add word verification in the comment area for now as I’m getting a lot of spam comments all of a sudden. Hopefully I won’t have to do this for too long. . .

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