Beautiful Winter scenes, and a very late Christmas wrap up!

 

We have been going through some family changes this past year, with parents, on both sides, settling into new situations that are more fitting to their time of life. This has meant sorting through things and passing things on to next generations. This salad bowl, that I saw on my Mother-in-law’s table over the last 35 years, is a treasured item. Many years ago she told me that I could have it and as they pared down their belongings this was passed to me. I love it very much for it’s beauty and for the story that it makes me a part of, as well. This salad was served on Christmas Eve. To my constant amazement the Spinach was from our tiny high tunnel in December! The greens and watermelon radishes were from our small Saturday local winter market.

After Christmas 2018, I went to a quilt shop that was going out of business. The fabrics were 50% off and the Christmas designs were 50% off of that! I purchased a lot of different fabrics and my daughter and I cut them so that this year on Christmas we would not have to use gift wrap, but would use gift bags in lieu of wrapping paper. Well, December rolled around this year and there were all the nicely cut out pieces for the bags that I never made! I got the sewing machine out and for a couple days I just sewed bags. I have literally no sewing talents at all, but I can sew straight lines on a sewing machine, so without pinning anything, or measuring anything I just went at it. I didn’t do a drawstring on them, instead I finished the edges at the top and tied them with some hemp string. It went quickly and I had enough bags to wrap all the family gifts. This year I collected the bags afterwards for a good start on next year’s bags. My plan going forward is that I¬†will make many more bags this year, for all different occasions and then I will always give the bag with the gift, asking that they suggest to others to pass it on as well.

I posted this on a Homesteading Facebook page and was absolutely shocked to see over 500 comments, and 4700 likes! People really liked the idea and many said they too were going to quit buying gift wrap. It also got shared many times. I just wanted to share an idea, and I had no idea how much exposure the idea would get! How cool if a bunch of people do not use wrapping paper next year because of this little Facebook post!

A little holiday bake. Breadsticks for the soup, buns for lunch the next day and a braided loaf for serving with dinner.

This is a 100% grass fed Scottish Highland 5 bone Prime Rib saved for this special holiday occasion. It was as great as it looks! Highland beef is quite special.

I accidentally mixed some of my soft wheat berries with my hard wheat berries, and not wanting to make bread products with a mixed result, and feeling bad for the poor chickens with nothing green to eat, I decided to grow some wheat grass for the chickens. The chickens were at first alarmed by the wheat grass but once one tasted it they were definitely on board! It was nice to see them eating something green!

In order to make room for our pork, we will soon get back from the locker, I decided to use up a lot of round roasts. I thaw them about half way and then slice them thinly. It’s much easier to do this when they are still partly frozen. After marinating the meat overnight I put it in the dehydrator.

Here is just some of the finished product. It made quite a bit!

 

This was a first attempt at a very rustic Summer Sausage. I’ve learned the word “rustic”covers all sins of dabblers trying out new things. Next time I would cook it longer to dry it a bit more. It was good, but was surely a first try. Next time I will do a few things differently and if I really like it, it might warrant getting a simple sausage stuffer for future batches.

…and this just in, we finally, finally, saw some Winter on the farm, and it couldn’t be prettier.

We broke in the new fireplace on New Year’s Eve! There is so much work going on in the addition at this time, that we only used it that one time. I am really hoping for a cold March so that we can get to use it before it gets too warm!