hands on. new mittens.

unlike my dear fellow farmwife cher, who is an amazing and prolific knitter, i tend to be rather slow going. i love knitting mind you, but i usually opt for smaller projects that i have hopes of completing. the hats. the head warmers. the mittens. now with fall is upon us, winter looms, the work in the fields is drawing to a close, the time is here to get a little woolly. my littlest can hardly wait for his new mittens, knit with our hand dyed indigo yarn. lovely.


garlic lullaby

IMG_8299Today was all about garlic. As soon as morning chores were wrapped up and our bellies were full of a hearty breakfast, we headed to the garlic patch. There is supposedly rain headed this way, so our window of dry planting time is about to slam shut. Typically, once the November rains set in and the cooler temperatures are upon us, the soil conditions might not be dry again until next March or so. And a year without garlic would be unfathomable. Not only would it suck to not have garlic for our culinary and medicinal uses, we would also lose all of those years (and years!) of selecting and saving our own seed. IMG_8295IMG_8294IMG_8296IMG_8288So today, we planted and planted and planted. My thumbs are incredibly tender from popping the bulbs apart, my knees ache from crawling around on the rocky soil, and my shoulders… well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the day was good and hard and honest and grubby. And the garlic is in the ground. And I’m ready for bed.

You’ll never guess the sweet music I hear right now… rain falling on the tin roof. The best bedtime lullaby I could ask for…IMG_8286

hands on. marzipan.

Our little guy turned four.  Big Four.levon four

When asked what kind of cake he wanted, the only specifications he could give involved the use of the bundt pan, and cars.  He didn’t want a car shaped like a cake, but he wanted cars ON the cake.cake 1

I had been wanting to play with marzipan for awhile.  The opportunity finally arrived.

Turns out, it’s not so hard.  Here’s the recipe I used – it’s at the bottom of a nice informative post.

I used almond flour that I had dehydrated from the making of almond milk awhile back.  It was worked up, nearly at a 1:1 ratio, in the food processor with powdered sugar (which is just regular sugar cut in the food processor then sifted, by the way), along with a bit of almond extract, rose water (one of my favorite secret ingredients), and an egg white.  So easy!cake 2cake cars

The taste was good, but I think when I try it again I’d like to try using fresh almonds.  One reader on some website I visited in this exploration remarked that he didn’t even blanch and skin his almonds before he ground them and it still worked great.  Maybe then I could even leave out the egg white.  Our refrigerator is small and anything I can make that doesn’t have to be chilled  is more likely to be made again.

cake finishedSo, I frosted the cake (marble chocolate/vanilla) with the marzipan, working it with my fingers.  I used a tiny tube of sparkly black frosting to write and make a road around the top, and then, I made “cars”.  Rudimentary cars, of course, but Levon found the quite acceptable, as well as yummy.cake up close

cake with levonGo ahead, play with your food!  Happy birthday sweet Levon!cake lit