Monday, July 26, 2010

The winner is...

Jennifer =0). Congratulations, Jennifer- if you will contact me at, I will get your ring out.

My olders helped to do the drawing yesterday and did the images, etc. They're not so great, lol. And unfortunately, I have sick kiddos today so I'm just posting this quick and postponing the next giveaway until we get back to normal. So far Rob is fine, and I feel semi-human and am vertical so I must be on the upswing now. Only a couple of the kids are sick but the ones that are sick are feeling pretty cruddy. Colds and viruses going through our house is one thing that I dread- we rarely get sick, but when we do, look out... it's not pretty.

Congrats again, and I'll be back as soon as I get us all up on our feet again. I just got a sock monkey from an awesome Etsy seller that we gave Levi for his birthday, and I want to share her shop with you guys. I'll do that as soon as I can.

Thanks guys!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We have a winner!

But I will need to post the pics in the morning- I'm so sorry guys but I'm s-i-c-k this weekend and have had a two day headache, queasy tummy- the whole nine yards. Definitely not what I had in mind for our first weekend back home =0(. So just stay tuned until tomorrow when hopefully I'm functioning a little bit better, and I apologize again for making you guys wait... again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ring giveaway, 07.22.10- Titanium and Blue Box Elder Burl Inlay Ring

I'm sorry that I'm a day late with this giveaway- we got back to real life yesterday and our first day back was a little more busy than I'd anticipated, lol. I didn't get a chance to get pictures of this ring taken like I'd intended yesterday.

So even though I'm a bit late, I'm still totally in love with this ring- it's a hand milled titanium band, size 9, that Rob has inlaid with blue box elder burl. It has a nice rounded profile and softened inside edges for comfortable wear. It's about a quarter inch wide, which makes it a nice band for either a man or a lady. I haven't listed this band in our shop yet, but I'll be doing that in the next day or so, and it will sell for $127.50.

To enter to win this band, simply comment on this post. On Saturday, July 24, we will draw a winner from all the people who comment. I'll announce the winner sometime on Saturday evening.

Good luck to everyone!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

This morning in the garden...

This is what we got:

A few peppers, lots of tomatoes, and seven squash. Rob and I are getting ready to take all of this over to my Grandmother. She only grows okra and tomatoes for herself but she doesn't have many ripe tomatoes yet. She loooooves garden tomatoes and we thought she'd like some of our extra. And we know she'll enjoy the squash.

It's actually raining pretty hard here today, so our plans to do something outside are on hold. We are going to go see a matinee today though- probably Dispicable Me (the kids really, really want to see it.) Hope everyone is having a great day!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Eggplant Fries!!


I had two nice eggplant this morning, so we thought we'd do eggplant fries with our lunch.

I don't do anything special to eggplant before I cook it- I know some people do- but this is how we've always done it, and we don't ever have bitter eggplant. For fries, I just cut the eggplant into strips:

Also, if you want exact measurements from me, I don't have them. I just throw and go- most recipes aren't scaled for the amount of food we need, so I've had to learn to eyeball and guess at amounts. Sooo, once your eggplant is cut into strips, you need to put them in some beaten egg (I used two), and just give them a good toss to make sure they are all well coated.

Once the eggplant is coated with egg, it goes into bowl of seasoned cornmeal- I just added salt and pepper- and again, I didn't really measure. I tossed them around again to make sure they were all well coated with cornmeal.

Then, they go into some heated oil in a skillet- about 1/4"- not enough to cover them completely but enough to brown one side. This only takes a few seconds, seriously, so don't put too many in there because they'll all get brown at once and you will end up not being able to get them all out quickly enough. Just turn to brown on all sides, then drain on a paper towel.

They're all done- crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside- and surprisingly light tasting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

This morning in the garden... (and a few other things)

I'm so thrilled with our garden this year... we're getting basketfulls of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and eggplant every day now, and we are still waiting for most of the squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupe, okra and the rest of the tomatoes to come in. In a few more weeks I hope to be putting up a few things for winter use. Here is today's harvest:

I have enough squash from yesterday and today to cook some for our dinner tonight. We like it sauteed with onion in butter with lots of salt and pepper. We also had enough eggplant yesterday to make eggplant fries (which are delicious- my kids love them.) It's been a challenge to eat all of the tomatoes we're getting, lol. Besides eating sliced tomatoes with practically every meal, we have done fried green tomatoes, homemade chili (with garden tomatoes and grassfed beef!), grilled cheeses with tomato slices (so good with homemade bread and Amish cheese!) And I've made a TON of fresh salsa. We have white, yellow, pink, purple and red tomatoes (all heirlooms) and using a variety of colors makes an interesting looking salsa. Our salsa is just diced fresh tomatoes, diced garlic, diced onion, whatever peppers we have on hand (diced of course)- usually a couple of green bells or banana peppers and one hot pepper, salt, pepper, and cilantro.... so fresh tasting and so good for us. Even my friend's picky-eater daughter who hates tomatoes enjoyed the salsa and finished up a huge helping of it with my girls.

Another cool thing we did yesterday is that we made goat milk butter. Goats' milk is naturally homogenized- it doesn't separate like cows' milk. Only a tiny portion of the cream rises to the top of our containers of milk, but we have faithfully skimmed this a teaspoon at a time and put it in a jar in the freezer. When it was full, we made butter. We poured it into a bigger jar and let the cream sit out until it was warm and slightly soured (this is the way they made old fashioned butter; the butter we buy at the store is not allowed to sour and that's why it's called "sweet cream" butter.) Then we just passed around the jar and took turns shaking it. We got about a stick of butter after saving cream for a few weeks, lol. We added salt and its really yummy. One of the things on my wish list is a cream separator so that we can get most of the cream from our milk and make our butter as we need it. The kids have requested some homemade bread with dinner tonight; they want to eat the butter they made, lol.

And speaking of goats, it's nearly time for the girls to start cycling and getting ready to breed. They will usually start in August, and stop in December. I spent a couple of hours on Wednesday giving everyone supplemental copper, worming, and trimming hooves. I'm trying to "flush" the does this year- that's where you basically increase the feed they are getting and add as much nutrition, etc., as you can before they breed to encourage multiples. We had two singletons last year, and I wasn't too happy about that. It's also supposed to be possible to breed for more girls by adding apple cider vinegar to their water- it may be an old wives' tale, but vinegar is cheap and it's worth a shot, lol. We only had one doeling born last year, and I wasn't too happy about that, either. All of our girls are in really good condition so I am looking forward to a great year and to lots of doelings. Goats have a five month gestation, so we can look forward to babies in January.

Otherwise, Rob and I are working steadily to get as much work completed and shipped out before vacation as we possibly can. I know that we will most likely work a little while we're supposed to be off (we always do but we'd like to not work as much as we usually would). I will check in here and probably post some pictures- we have plans to do some museums, state parks, the zoo, fishing, etc. We have to stick close to home but there's plenty to do here locally to keep us all busy =0).

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This week's winner, and a few other things...

First of all, I hope that this week's winner will email us at so that we can mail their ring. We have had five giveaways, but only two winners so far have contacted us. I'm not sure how long I will hang on to these bands- eventually I'll put them back up for grabs because it's a real shame to not see them go to someone who will wear and enjoy them. Sooo, if you've won a ring and haven't contacted us, please go ahead and give us an email and I can send your rings right out.

We are very close to our vacation and looking so forward to it. This next Monday, July 12, there will not be a giveaway. We will hold our next giveaway on the 21st (Wednesday), when we get back. We're really looking forward to some family time! We have some fun things planned and intend to just relax and enjoy each other for a few days.

Today's winner was chosen by Joanna- she's 9 and was ready for her turn to choose a winner.

She didn't like Levi getting to draw the winner all the time, so she insisted that she get a chance this week. Here she is with all of this week's names in a bowl:

She's getting ready to draw a name:

She's chosen a winner:

And that winner is:

Congratulations, Caroline!! Email us at and let us know where to send your ring- we'll get it right out to you.

Thanks so much to all of you who entered, and please check back once we get back from our vacation.