Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Natural Cold Remedies and Care

Out of everyone in my family, I am the only one that ever gets knocked off my feet kind of sick.  It is almost guaranteed that at some point in time when the weather starts cooling down that Mom will get deathly ill.  Okay, not really DEATHLY ill (although, it feels like it to me in a very dramatic way), but in a way that surely keeps me from my true potential.  It could be that I am pregnant right now, which means my immune system is already weakened.  Whatever the case, I feel terrible. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Carrie is FAMOUS!

Check it out!  Carrie the goat was in the newspaper!

Sweetness!  Thank you Mary Ann!  You can check out her blog here

Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract

Here at the Dirty Goat Farm we are all about homemade.  It’s a borderline disorder.  When I see something, I am not one of those people that say “Oh wow, that’s really cool.  How much does that cost?”  Instead, I say “Oh wow, that’s really cool.  Pf, I could do that.”  Sometimes I irritate myself.  I’ve heard that there is treatment, but so far I am skeptical. 

About a year ago, I said “I could make vanilla extract.”  So, I did.  It’s very easy, although start up can be slightly expensive (think long term), but it is not something that will go bad (that I know of).

Cinnamon Vanilla Cream Recipe

Nothing goes better on warm pumpkin bread or hot oatmeal on a cold morning than my cinnamon vanilla sauce.  It’s just perfect for those crisp mornings after the leaves have started changing colors outside. 

And you are in luck!  I have a recipe! 

To make a quart sized mason jar of cream you will need

2- 12 oz cans of evaporate milk
1 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
4 cinnamon sticks (the thinner the sticks, the better they will be)

In a sauce pan on medium heat, add the two cans of evaporated milk with the sugar, cornstarch, and the cinnamon sticks.  Stir occasionally, making sure that as the cream warms and thickens that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Once you feel it start to thicken, take it off the heat and add the vanilla extract.  Pour into mason jar and cool in the refrigerator. Leave the cinnamon sticks in for added flavor later on!

After it is done, pour onto almost anything.  Your taste buds will absolutely LOVE you for it!  It goes really great on my Banana Bread.

What would make this recipe even sweeter?  Make your own vanilla for it.  Click here for instructions.

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Lessons from a Homesteader and an Herb Garden Plan

Today we did a lot of work.  Well, Keith (my husband) did a lot of work.  I did a lot of managing and complaining.  You know, I realized very early on, that even a backyard farm was A LOT of work.  We don’t have much space.  Everything we do is strictly limited to a backyard space.  I like to think of it as a farm (although the definition might vary for people) because this is the way I see it…  We grow food, we have the opportunity for fresh milk, eggs, and meat…  so in my mind, that makes us a farm. Right?  Everybody nod your head in unison.  Thanks.  I have learned a lot of lessons on a small space that someday I hope to take to a large space.

Monday, August 20, 2012

World Famous Banana Bread Recipe

Cooler weather for me means an increased and renewed interest in baking.  My family appreciates that.  One of our favorite (I guess we have several favorites), is banana bread.  mmm-mmm!  I have to bake a double batch every time I do make this, because an entire load gets eaten within less than a half hour after it gets pulled out of the oven.  I particularly like wrapping them up in foil so that the tops get sticky.  That is my favorite part.

I am not sure where this recipe came from.  I have been using it for so long that it has become engrained into my memory. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Autumn Pancakes... perfect for the cool weather!

There is nothing more delicious in the mornings than a plate of hot mouthwatering pancakes made from scratch.   Awhile back, my family decided that Bisquick pancakes just were not cutting it like they used to.  So, we made our own recipe and over the last year, we have perfected it.  They are thick, hearty, and will leave you feeling satisfied.  Plus, they are good for you! 

Homemade Bisquick Recipe- Simple and to the Point

Simple living should always cost less.  If simple living is not costing less, then there is something terribly wrong.  Every little step people take should be one extra penny in their pocket.  When it comes to baking, a lot of the recipes I use also use Bisquick.  And have you looked at how much a box of that stuff costs lately???  Not cheap.  My family goes through a lot of it, so I figured I would share a recipe that I recently found in hopes of cutting another cost.  Bye-bye Bisquick!  Parting is such sweet sorrow- unless it saves you money, and then you can't wait to get it out the door!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Get your Fall Garden Ready NOW: Part 2

Companion planting and soil testing and composting…  oh my!

The next steps for the fall garden all need to take place at the same time along with the final planning.

First thing, graph out your garden.
Get some graph paper and draw the garden out to the dimensions you have decided on.  This is what our garden looks like-

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beignets for Breakfast (or whenever)

I am from the New Orleans area originally in a small town that is just on the Mississippi state side called Picayune.  I grew up with the New Orleans influence.  New Orleans has the awesome place called the CafĂ© Du Monde that has the GREATEST beignets (pronounced ben-yay) in the whole world.  They are awesome and served fresh and hot.  What is a beignet?  It is a French style doughnut in a square shape covered in powdered sugar.  Don’t wear black when eating a beignet.  It is messy.  But so, SO good. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Get your Fall Garden Ready NOW: Part 1

Planting time is around the corner again!  That is all kinds of good news for me!  The process might seem kind of intimidating for someone that really wants to start growing something (anything), but is not entirely sure where to start.  Well, start here with me and I will tell you what to do first. 

The singular most important thing when starting a garden is having a plan.  Get some graph paper, sit down, draw out the size of your garden that you want, and think about it.  What does your family like to eat the most?  One of the biggest problems I face with a garden is that there are a lot of things that I LOVE to plants and watch grow, but that no one in my family will actually eat.  I end up giving away a lot of that to neighbors and friends.  Although that is a fantastic thing to do, it kind of defeats the purpose of a family garden.  So, think practical.  And don’t get carried away.  Another thing I tend to do is think too big.  I LOVE planting.  But will I have the time and energy to maintain everything it is that I have planted?