I don’t post as much as I used too now homesteading , making food from scratch and raising three small homeschooled children takes an enormous amount of time.In the evening I have a few hours to crochet for my Etsy store orders before going to bed so I thought it might be nice to share a post on what a typical day at home looks like.Morning timeOur 16 month old wakes us up usually By pulling our hair, slapping our face, doing gymnastics between us. By then our 5 year old has been woken and we have cuddles in bed.We rise have coffee and I make breakfast usually something cooked such as sourdough, eggs, muffins, pancakes ectThis morning we had French toast, Dane goes out to do the outside chores done which include watering the gardens and feeding the chickens and rabbits. The children and I do some onside jobs and some school work or craft.Today on my list was salting 5 pork bellies for bacon.After this I started another sourdough ready for tomorrow morningI make a tea from our own dried chammomile and lemon balm to sip on as I often forget to drink water during the day being so busy.During this time the kids have been playing and my toddler has gone into the carrier on my back.I’ve made up a batch of cherry blossom syrup, cookies and sushi for lunch and now it’s 10amWe eat on the deck then meet a delivery driver with a truck load of compost for the garden beds then it’s time to put our 16month old down for a nap.Dane is busy moving soil now and we a just checked on chicks that are hatching in the incubator.It looks like we’ll have a good hatch of silkies and Wyandottes and we hope to sell the pullets to cover the costs of our chicken feed for the next few months.While Ember naps the kids and I are going to plant their seedlings in the garden patches Dane made for them. They’ve helped work the soil and have chosen some seedlings from the greenhouse they helped grow.Nyah plants corn and beans saving room for tomatos. Banjo chooses corn, amaranth, strawberry, beans and a artichoke.After this we head inside to do some school work Noah chooses to sew a doll and Banjo wants to do reading practice.I start getting ready for dinner we eat about 4.30pm then at 5 it’s time to start bedtime routines. Dane goes out to do the afternoon animal chores checking water, locking chickens in with the older kids while I put the youngest to bed.By 9pm all the kids are asleep and we get a little time to ourselves.So that’s generally how our days flow (on a good day!) when we are home. It’s messy, loud, sometimes productive but we are happy and love our lifestyle of homesteading.
We used our last bottle of preserved cherries yesterday in our version of a delicious cherry and custard Danish.It may not be a traditional danish pastry but it is well worth the effort.It really was perfect timing as our Cherry trees have blossomed this week and I hope we have a season good enough to make it through next year wit Cherries.Anyway I won’t rabbit on too much in this post (something that annoys me in recipe posts! ) See below and enjoy.
Cherry and Custard filled Danish
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup + ⅓ cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large sauce pan, stir together milk and ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and ⅓ cup sugar.
Once the milk has reached a simmer, work quickly and carefully pour half of the hot milk in a steady stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling or cooking the eggs. Immediately pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return to a medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat once thickened and stir in butter and vanilla until melted. Pour into a clean mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, letting the plastic wrap touch the top of the pastry cream to avoid the creation of any film on top.
Cool before using.
2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cupmilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 cups flour
210g butter, cold
- Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, sugar, and salt. Once wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside
- In another bowl Cut butter into cubes and add with flour to a food processor or with your fingers mix until butter is fairly crumbled.
- Gently fold the two mixtures together. Very gently mix the dough and let rest in the fridge in a hot climate or on the bench in a cold for 4 hours
- After 4-12 hours, take the dough out ,Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square. From there, roll out into a 15 inch long rectangle using your rolling pin. You may have to continue to lightly flour the counter as you are rolling. Fold the dough gently,roll it out into a rectangle again. Then, fold again . You’ll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.
- Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes
- take the dough from the refrigerator, unfold it, then cut it in half. . Roll out your dough onto a floured work surface,
- Cut into desired shapes (I did small circles but you could do triangles )
- Spread some of the filling into the centre then fold over leaving the middle open alternately fold right over then Cut slanting strips along both sides. Rest pastries 20 minutes as you preheat your oven.
- Preheat oven to (204°C).
- Bake for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan at least two times to ensure the braid is browning evenly.
- Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Drizzle with glaze or icing sugar, slice, and enjoy!
Today we celebrated my 33rd birthday.
I didn’t feel like going out as we’ve been really busy recently and I just wanted some quiet time at home doing garden jobs.
We moved the rabbits out of the netted orchard to make it easier to move their hutches around. We are on our second litter from our black doe and I’m delighted that she’s given us two babies with Angora fur like their dad. Sadly our angora buck won’t be with us much longer as he has a tumour on his eye so it’s somewhat comforting to have black and white babies to replace him.
We had a lovely warm day on Friday and got into our hives for the spring inspection.
One of our hives is doing really well and the other is average. I can see the benefit of having two hives for comparison. It was a really good inspection quick and the bees were calm. Unfortunately hours later Dane for stung on the back of the head.
I’ve not ever been stung yet and I wonder if it’s because I’m so short I don’t get in their flight path!
Ironically today we decided to make a beesting cake for my birthday which was much proffered to the previous one of days before.
I used the recipe from The farmers kitcEn handbook by Marie Lawrence in Vermont.
I got this book when we first moved rurally 6 years ago and it’s got so many wonderful recipes in it as well as great stories of farming in Vermont and I highly recommend it if you are a cookbook collector like me.
I tweaked the recipe for our cake and used pimentos on top because I didn’t have any almonds and I used lemon zest and vanilla instead of fiori de sicilia.
Normally I’d type the recipe out for you all but I’m time poor tonight and need to get to my crochet hooks!
Posts from August that didn’t publish!
When you get sick living this lifestyle can feel impossibly overwhelming.
The jobs don’t stop. Everyday animal chores still need to be taken care of and bigger jobs continue to pile up.
We’ve been hit with a virus here and all of us are feeling rotten but we keep on trucking because we have too. You could say not being able to wallow in our misery helps us heal quicker but maybe that’s what I tell myself!
I’ve got beans waiting to be canned, The pig pens need to be built for the butcher in two weeks. The relentless rain has flooded the rabbit barn and they’ve been moved back to cages and the eggs are piling up!
Spring is now mere weeks away and we find every sunny day invigorating. If the bees are out so are we!
Things have been extra busy since we brought the new puppy home a few days ago. Ida is a Spaniel x Viszla apparently but as we got her third hand we aren’t sure of her true history.
She’s such a gorgeous puppy but it’s like having another child except I think small children are easier to handle 😂
She’s fitting in really nicely though and I think after we have our on property training session with the local dog trainer it will get a bit easier.
Today after our regular library trip we moved all the young male rabbits to another cage and next week we’ll begin processing them and tanning the skins.
I debated selling some of the bunnies to recoup some of our costs but decided as we had always planned to breed for meat that there was no sense in waiting and we will be better off doing these boys as fryers for the freezer.
We still have one little doe we are keeping that the kids have become attached to and I have plans to use in my Angora program as she has fluffier fur than the rest.
Our Black Doe is hopefully pregnant and should give us some interesting skins if all goes to plan. I’m not yet sure what we will so with these skins maybe a luxuriously soft bedspread when we have enough.
In the garden we have moved the baby tomatoes to the outdoor cold frame from inside and started the next batch of seeds in the heat propagator. This will be ongoing until it warms up as in Tasmania we have such a short growing season that I’ve found this system really gives us a head start on the garden.
Dane’s been busy in the old pig yard building walls for garden beds. We’ll be moving some top soil over soon and spreading clover and green manure seed then moving the garlic seedlings , planting potatoes , veg and flowers for the bees but fruits and tomatoes will stay in the protective netted orchard to protect the fruits from the birds. We might plant a couple of sacrificial tomatoes just to see how they go with a scarecrow but I don’t want to risk the whole crop.
We have been doing lots of thinking, Planning and walking around the property these last few days and are feeling newly inspired and ready for Spring.
I recently approached our landlord about the possibility of Vendor Finance in the future and security to know we could put things in place to develop a homestead business and he has given his blessing to go forward and discuss vendor finance options in a few years so we are feeling incredibly positive and excited for the future.
My first step was to fill out the application for our egg stamp so we can legally sell our free range eggs for eating. I will also be getting back into selling preserves and looking into hiring a kitchen to prepare these in so we can sell them legally.
The next step will be focusing on garden veg production and bees. We would like to increase our hives to 5 in total. I feel this is a good amount for our own honey as well as a small surplus to sell.
My other plans are creating some beauty products with our excess beeswax. Nothing too fancy as now days my focus shifts to the practical – What do we use, need and excess can potentially be sold so this means Lipbalm and a gardeners hand cream.
This leads me to goats which are still high on my list. We are continuing to work on clearing the masses of fox gloves from the future goat areas and then we will work on fencing. After this we will go goat shopping. Gone are the days where I throw caution to the wind and get the animal before we are read. It seems I have finally learnt from our mistakes.
Another addition to our family this year will hopefully be a Maremma puppy. This will scare predators away from the chickens and I’m hoping keep possums and wallaby s away from the garden and flowers.
There are many more ideas we have which I am keeping close to my heart at this stage but we are feeling renewed and energised ready to create what we have been working towards for 7 years now.
Until next time
It was a big morning here today with the mobile butcher booked to come and process the pigs.We were all ready. It’s been a experience raising pigs and although it’s not the first time we’ve done it this time was different as we weren’t sharing the responsibility with a landlord but doing it ourselves.We purchased the pigs a few months ago from a local breeder 15 minutes from us to do the job of ploughing a new garden area. They did this so effectively within two months! In hindsight we probably could have utilised them better to dig out more areas but as we want to grow our garden areas slowly we focused on one patch.They were fed on a mixture of garden scraps, commercial pellets and sprouted and cooked barley which was a time consuming job for Dane .Before the butcher came we were discussing the cost and how it wasn’t economical in terms of just buying a whole pig from the town butcher but now he’s been here I feel differently and the extra money we’ve paid has been worth it.It’s a really good feeling to know exactly what we are eating ,where it has come from, how it’s been treated and what it has been fed.The butcher did a amazing job it was quick and clean and it was a blessing to watch someone so skilled work and to know they didn’t suffer but died eating and together.WWe choose to eat meat and we choose to eat it in a conscious and meaningful way. my long term goal is to not be buying any meat from the supermarket and only be eating what we can raise our self or barter/buy locally.We decided in the end not to keep the heads. We’ve done this before and this time as we are already making bacon, hams, salami and sausages I felt I wouldn’t have the energy to also process head cheese. I do feel a little regretful for this decision as I wanted to utilise as much of the animal as possible but maybe next time.We kept the livers and the hearts. One liver I processed into Pate using Hugh Fernly Whittingstalls recipe from his meat book. Dane gifted me this book when I was pregnant with my first 8 years ago and it was good feeling to get it out today and know we are still committed to this journey despite not yet owning our own land.1 whole pig liver makes a LOT of Pate so I sectioned it into silicone cupcake baking trays and froze so i can get it out to defrost as we need it. The second liver Dane will be cooking for dinner tonight.The hearts have been marinated in a Korean BBQ marinade for our dinner tomorrow. The butcher will hang the carcasses until Monday when we’ll pick them up and get ready for the next stage of sausage making and smoking.We are borrowing a smoker from our neighbour which we are very thankful for and are considering having a sausage making day with some friends to help get the job done a bit quicker seeing as we need to mince the pork ourselves with the hand grinder.I’m looking forward to getting the pig patch ready to be converted to garden. It will be really lovely to look out on that patch from the deck and see the flowers. We will be electrifying the fence to make it possum proof and buying a budget poly tunnel greenhouse to keep us going until we can afford to put up a sturdier one.