Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living Like A Pioneer

So in honor of Crunchy Chicken's Pioneer Week I'm doing things a little different this week. The idea is to live as much like a Pioneer as you can by using local, non-processed goods and giving up some modern conveniences. For me this means no TV this week. I did watch the election coverage last night and I'm not avoiding my husband by leaving the room when he watches TV, but I am keeping my attention on my book (currently reading You Can Farm).

I've also been baking like crazy. Honestly, I just pulled the last breads out of the oven and now the entire length of the counter is lined with homemade goodies. Today I finally got my first order of locally grown & ground flours from Hampshire Farms. Perfect timing for this challenge! The flour is definitely more coarse than store bought. The whole wheat bread flour didn't work too well with the dough hooks in my mixer so I kneaded it by hand for the whole 10 minutes. I also got some pastry flour and cornmeal, so I made a pan of cornbread with dinner. I cooked pork chops from our local meat market where most of the meat comes from farmers in the area. On the side we had non-local whole wheat rotini noodles with some cheese melted on top and mixed in. Not organic and not local, but a big step up from the boxed stuff we have in the pantry. I also made apple bread for breakfast this week and an apple pie with my canned filling and made from scratch crust, along with homemade oreos for my favorite dessert.

Before heading in to the kitchen I rushed home to plant my garlic before it got dark outside. I learned how to plant garlic from Farm Mom but it was all sold out when I tried to order my own. Then Melinda suggested Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. I ordered 1 lb. of German White and 1 lb. of Music. I got about 30 cloves of each. I loosened up a patch in my garden and was so thrilled to see how rich and fertile the soil is already after only one season of mulching and adding compost. I came across several earthworms. Brian brought me a bobcat bucket full of compost and I raked that on top of what I had loosened, planting each clove 4-6" apart and about 2" deep. Then I raked over the holes and mulched the whole thing with about a foot of leaves. I'll see how many blow off, maybe I'll have to add some straw.

I also tended to the chickens and ventured out to the garden with a flashlight in the middle of baking to pull a carrot for my cornbread.

Here's an idea: the Laura Ingalls Wilder workout plan. Arms = knead bread. Legs = ride horses. Abs = hoe the garden. I'd be so fit. ;)

Check out Crunchy Chicken's page to see what everyone else is doing for Pioneer Week.


Abbie said...

I like that workout idea! I always say my great-grandmother lived to 99 1/2 and she ate butter. But if you churn that butter yourself, I guess you can eat it!

Julie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. It was interesting to read this post about your week! I usually bake more than I have this week... I mean, do I have to churn the butter for cookies too?!?! :D LOL! It's so expensive to buy heavy cream to make the butter, so I haven't baked any goodies, this week- only bread.