Day 1 of the 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge!

See the red circle in the lower left hand corner?  It's highlighting an old enamel dish pan filled with organic corn for the birds and the fat squirrel that's made it's home in our attic, I named the squirrel Trouble.

Since it's mid afternoon as I post this there are no birds out and about, I expect to be seeing some closer to evening time.  For now they are holed up in those arborvitae's to the north of our dog run, I could hear a few peeps over the sound of the traffic.

I'm still working on my poem for Day 1 and will post later this evening, other activities are pressing at the moment, like the making of black-eyed peas with greens for our New Years Dinner.  At the moment hubs is grinding organic corn for the corn bread he'll make to go with our meal.

Bread and Butter Plates - I Bet you thought I Forgot!

Bread and butter plates a potter once told me, make bread and butter plates. When I questioned his sanity, since I'm a mixed media fiber artist and not a potter, he told me to always have something small that my admirer's would want to purchase from me. 

In the Artist Conspiracy (I'm an affiliate) this past year we have been learning about managing multiple streams of income, this has been both a hard and an easy goal for me.  Easy to think up multiple streams of income.  Hard, because I often lack focus and am still working on the organization skills needed to move towards my goal. 

So what are my bread and butter plates?  Well stay tuned because those are coming soon, many of you already know about my eBooks and my fabrics,  but there's more coming! 

So what are you doing to add to your multiple streams of income?

Making Potato Leek Soup

The remainder of the the leeks and my potatoes ready to be sliced thin.

Leeks and onions ready to be sauted with a little butter.

Some russett potatoes, I used six for this batch of soup.

Slice your potatoes thin.
Saute leeks and onions with three tablespoons of butter for three minutes - I actually saute them for about six minutes.

Take a taste and see if it needs more salt and pepper, I added more because we like it peppery.

Onions and leeks have been sauting for about three minutes and I've added more salt and pepper.
Chicken broth left over from last nights chicken canning session, I didn't strain the stuff out but no one will know it's in the soup when all is said and done.

Add potatoes to the onions and leeks.

Add salt and pepper to the potato broth mixture.

Cover in chicken broth and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.

When potatoes are fork tender blend everything using blender or food processor, I used my kitchenaid stick blender.

Add 2 cups cream or milk slowly to the potato stock.

The cream being blended with the blender stick, the heat is off so the cream doesn't curdle.

Blend cream/milk thoroughly and your ready to serve.

If you like bacon in your soup then see the previous post, this is my bowl without bacon. The recipe is from The Joy of Cooking cookbook. This made three quarts of soup, two of which I gave to the neighbor otherwise we'd be eating it for four days! The soup is very rich and is excellent on a freezing cold evening, currently the wind chill here is -28F so it's chilly here right now.

Bean Soup and Hot Corn Bread

Well I misread the directions and used only 1/3rd cup beans when in fact I was supposed to fill the jars 1/3rd full with beans.

So today we had bean soup and it was very juicey. To counter act the juiceyness John made corn bread with fresh ground wheat and fresh ground cornmeal - see Fannie Farmer cookbook for recipe. A canning buddy told me to add veggies to the bean soup and to use it as a soup base in the future - which is a totally brilliant idea - Thank you David!!!

Fresh Bread

I made bread for function today from freshly ground wheat, John did the grinding, it was delicious. So the dough rose in record time, I made loaves of bread which rose in record time and my oven decided not to work~! At 9:50 pm!!! So I called the neighbor and enlisted the services of their oven, it is really nice to have neighbors that care! The bread fell somewhat in the transfer from our house to theirs, the bread was incredible none the less.
The wheat was fresh ground Wheat Montana Spring Hard White.

Got Pickles???

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath and your done! Consult the Ball Blue Book for more specific directions.

The color of the pickles changes from bright green to that cooked pickle look with which we are all familiar.
The boiling spice solution is then mixed in with the newly drained and rinsed cukes and onions and brought to a boil.
Spices are mixed together with sugar and vinegar and brought to a boil.
You start with some pickling cukes, and a whole lotta onions, they are soaked in some pickling salt for awhile to draw the water out of the fruit.

Dh helped me put together three batches of Bread and Butter Pickles tonight. I do the pickle making around here, as everyone loves the way they taste ;-) Here's some pic's of how it all went together.