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Official Chicken Farmer

It’s official. About one week ahead of my predicted schedule, a chicken started laying eggs. For about 2 solid weeks now we’ve had a single egg every day. They’re small eggs, but there’s something fantastic about going out to the coop and finding an egg waiting to be picked up. Last wekeend, a second chicken started laying eggs, though not as regularly yet. Two eggs a day..it’s amazing!

first_egg

 

We’ve eaten several of the eggs already, and the difference in fresh eggs, and those that you get in the store is just beyond words. The yolks of our “farm-fresh” eggs are a beautiful orange-yellow color. The cooked eggs are more firm, and the shells are much thicker.

We don’t normally eat a lot of eggs in the house. We are up to about a dozen in the fridge, and eating about as many a day as we get. I’ve got to find some new recipes that call for eggs, or find friends that aren’t scared to eat them. I have a feeling when the third chicken starts laying we’ll be up to our eyeballs in eggs!

Raspberry Jam Breakfast Rolls

When I made my raspberry jam, I had enough for 4 pints, with a little left over. It wasn’t enough to pressure can, so I was stuck with a dilemma, what to do with the additional amount. Luckily I had some rolled dough in the fridge, so I made raspberry jam breakfast rolls. Think cinnamon rolls, but instead of cinnamon and sugar, I spread the jam throughout. The dough was rolled up, sliced into rounds and baked in the oven.

raspberry_rolls

Delicious. That’s what I can say about it in a single word. They were gone almost before they cooled down. I think when I make them again, though, I’ll either include cream cheese as part of the spread, or I’ll make a nice cream-cheese frosting to go with them.

Jam season has started

And I’m kicking it off in style! I’ve already made raspberry, blackberry and gooseberry jam for the season. A total of 22 pints of sweet sugary goodness is on my shelf, ready for cookies, cakes, or gifts for friends.  Along with the jam, I’ve also put up 6 quarts of tomato sauce from tomatoes at the local farmer’s market.

canning_2014-6-28

 

It’s only the beginning for what I hope to can this summer. I’ve already got a great crop of tomatoes starting that will go towards more sauce, and maybe even some home-made ketchup.  If you’re looking for some inspiration for canning recipes, or just recipes in general, check out Punk Domestics. They’ve got a recipe for just about everything imaginable, and have, as of late, been such an inspiration for my culinary adventures.

May Signature Blocks

I finished May in June, and with that, for a short period of time, I am caught up with the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee swap. Of course it’s now the first week in July, and I’ll need to get started on those blocks soon. (June ended up being my month, so I have some leeway on getting the blocks done for me.)

May belongs to Mr. Paul Hallinger. His request seemed simple, create four blocks that represent your signature block, and have them feature either black or white as the primary background color. My problem? I haven’t had enough experience with quilt blocks to really say that I have a “signature” block. In pouring over different blocks, I ran across the Broken Herringbone block by Play-Crafts. I had seen this block once before, by the glitterific Molli Sparkles, and fell head-over-heels in love. It like a french braid quilt, but with it’s own style.

Inspired by Kona’s solid, Cypress, I set off to make this block, with one minor change. Instead of being a double herringbone design, I’d tackle it as a single herringbone.

NGABQ_MAY_block1

I’m really happy with how this block turned out. I used the pieces and parts of the piecing to  round out the additional blocks that were required. Keeping them off-center, and different sizes and shapes I think adds to the already modern feel from this fabric pairing.

NGABQ_MAY_blocks

 

Paul has been quilting since 1992, and has some amazing quilts under his belt. His ability to churn out tops makes me absolutely jealous. If you’re interested in seeing some of his amazing work, you can follow him on Instagram.

April Feathers

April’s No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee blocks were terribly late, but they’re done now, and shipped off to their new home.  This month’s blocks were for John Q. Adams (yes, that John Adams). His request was to make the Anna Marie Horner Feather Bed blocks. Honestly, I think that we were all intimidated by these blocks, but as I worked my way through them, I really fell in love with the design. Some of us used the paper-piecing method, some of us used the strip piece method. I put mine together using strip-piecing. After I got used to the cuts (and the waste of fabric), it went together really easily.

NGABQ_APRIL_blocks

These blocks, at a glance, look small, but they’re actually 18 inches tall finished. It takes about 60 feathers to make a king size quilt. I love this design so much, this has made it’s way on a short list for a future project with me. I love the look, and I love  the flexibility of the pattern through your own fabric choices.

If you’ve not been introduced to John Adams, a.k.a. QuiltDad, here’s a great introduction, in his own words:

I am a father of three, originally from Brooklyn NYC but now living in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I live with my 9 year-old twin girls, my 8 year-old son, and a crazy German Shorthaired Pointer named Bristol. Though I often wish it could be, quilting and pattern-writing is not my full-time job; by day, I lead branding and brand marketing efforts for a global software company. I am a completely self-taught quilter (thanks, blogs and internet!) and have been sewing for about 7 years now. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina and, when I’m not sewing, enjoy cheering for the UNC Tar Heels.

I was originally inspired by the blossoming worlds both of craft blogging and modern fabrics back in 2004. I was living in Charlotte NC at the time and began mixing and matching fabrics and buying fat quarters in my local quilt shop even before I knew how to sew a stitch. I was really drawn to the creative process of mixing and matching colors and prints. That was when Amy Butler’s Lotus line had just come out, and the options for bright modern fabrics was growing like crazy. Before long, I decided I was going to make a quilt and read free tutorials online until I felt comfortable with the basics.

I started my blog, QuiltDad.com, in 2008 on a whim, mainly to be eligible to join a swap at the time but ultimately to share my love of patchwork with others.

Since then, I’ve remained very active in online quilting communities through swaps, virtual quilting bees, and guilds. Today, I try to apply my own quilting aesthetic to designing original quilt patterns for both fabric designers and companies and frequently contribute to creative blogs, books, and other collaborative endeavors. I’ve contributed to several collaborative quilt books, have two book titles of my own (Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays and the soon to be released Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements) and was a co-founder of the popular e-magazine and book series for modern quilters, Fat Quarterly.

Having said all that, the NGAQB is one of the most unique, exciting projects I’ve been a part of and I can’t wait to see the beautiful things that emerge from it.

 

The garden is growing

Summertime means that plants are growing and producing like crazy. A lot of my daylight hours away from work are spent watering and tending to the small patch of garden that I have. I’m excited to start harvesting some great homegrown food!

garden_2014-6-27

Green tomatoes

Here in the south, there’s nothing that heralds in late spring and early summer quite like the fried green tomato. This week, we started seeing our first green tomatoes show up in the local markets, and there’s nothing that makes me happier. Not only because I love green tomatoes, but also because this means that local-grown fruits and veggies will be in season soon.

If you’ve never eaten a fried green tomato, I’m sorry. Get to your local southern eatery and try these things pronto! Crunchy, bitter, creamy..there’s just nothing like it at all. There are about as many ways to cook a green tomato as there are green tomatoes. I prefer the old-school method of thin slices, egg dipped and coated with seasoned flour, and then fried. The thinner the tomato slice, the crispier the coating gets in the oil.

Tonight, I decided to try something new with my tomato slices; I made my take on a BLT sandwich by putting the fried green tomato on toasted bread with bacon, and mozzarella  cheese. Simply delicious! To take it up a notch, I added some sriracha mayo.  I ate it, and all I can say is I wished my stomach could have held another. It was just that good!

Fried green tomato sandwich.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 1 green tomato cut into thin slices (1/4 to 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned flour
  • oil for frying
  1. 1. Season egg white with salt, pepper, or other spices. (I usually use a dash of sriracha, spicy vinegar, or some salt, pepper and red pepper flake).
  2. Season flour, or purchase a pre-seasoned flour like Kentucky Colonel brand.
  3. Preheat oil in pan to 300 degrees
  4. Dip tomato slice into egg wash, then coat with flour. Drop into hot oil.
  5. Cook for three to four minutes on one side, flip and cook on other side till both sides are golden brown.
  6. Remove from oil and let drain on paper towel.
  7. Serve as-is, or with a dipping sauce.

 

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Wait! Where are you going? She is always judging. #urbanchickens #urbanfarming Blu striking her "let's take a nap" pose. Finnigan got his hairs did today. Isn't he handsome!? Staci teaching Zahara how to jump over her leg. It literally took 3 tries! #GSD #adoptlove #instapup And literally 15 minutes later she's out and snoring. "Learning new tricks is tiring, y'all" --Blu

#adoptlove #rescue #minpin
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