Monday, December 6, 2010

Early December Projects: Photos!

Hi Everyone!

Thought I would post about various BaltimoreDIY projects that went down this weekend. I've got a short video and a lot of photos of Saturday's venison workshop to be posted later, but for now here is a fun update post about some of the smaller day-to-day projects.

Kneading sourdough bread for Saturday's potluck and morning breakfasts:

Breadmaking is one of those projects that seems like a pain at first, but once it becomes incorporated into your daily schedule, it's relatively easy to maintain.

For daily maintenance, usually I feed the sourdough starter in the morning as I make breakfast. Baking a loaf does require some forethought, but if you mix up a big batch of dough it will keep in the fridge for about a week which cuts down on a lot of the prep time. King Arthur Flour is the best resource if you want to know more!

The finished bread is at the top of the page. Next time I'll remember to slash the loaves so they rise more.

Chickens making quick work of some old apples.

Finally got a photo of one of the Araucanas.

Eggs. Miso paste + rice + greens + egg = one of my favorite cold weather soups of all time. I will eat it for breakfast!

And I realized that I haven't posted a photo of the rabbits on BaltimoreDIY!

I haven't quite decided my position on the rabbits yet. These are American Chinchilla rabbits, and I am excited to own a heritage breed of an animal. Also, rabbit meat is one of the healthiest and most efficient types of meat you can raise. Plus, rabbit poop makes some amazing compost.

But as Pluck and Feather writes, raising backyard livestock isn't for the faint of heart. You have to be o.k. with getting them to mate, raising the kits, and then eating them.

Having grown up vegetarian, I don't feel that meat is so important for my diet. Not so important that I need to eat rabbit meat. But on the other hand, many cultures eat rabbit, and I like the idea of raising meat for food security purposes. For now the rabbits are not mating, so I don't need to make that moral decision. Any input from other homesteaders on this issue?

Right now the rabbits are just big fluffy compost machines. Here is Ethel looking nervous because I'm looming with a camera:

I finally got a somewhat cheerier shot of Frank:

Chicken Man and I attempted to get the rabbits to mate on Saturday, but Ethel still needs more coaxing. It was kind of sweet seeing Frank try to nibble on her ears though.

Now that it's too cold to garden, I do have a small indoor plant project. Our neighbors have a lovely assortment of various house plants, and many of those are incredibly easy to propagate.

Just snip off a piece several inches long, strip off most of the leaves except at the top, and place in a glass of water. Change the water every few days or so. Roots will eventually sprout, and then you can put in a pot of soil!

You can see my earlier Aloe Propagation post for more information. Do friends or family have lots of potted plants for seasonal decorations or gifts? Once the plants die, hang on to the potting soil for projects like this. Worm compost comes in handy too. Don't throw away potting soil!

After the deer butchering workshop on Saturday, I helped out at 2640 for Holiday Heap. So many great crafts!

Funds from the raffle basket pictured above went to Heart's Place, the shelter located at 2640.

On Saturday night, Chicken Man slow cooked his venison ribs.

They slow-cooked in the oven for about 15 hours or so at 200 degrees. We threw in onions, potatoes, carrots, green peppers and jalapenos (the last three ingredients were homegrown). Plus Chicken Man's dark spicy beer came in handy again as a wonderful marinade, mixed with a cup of apple cider vinegar.


The finished ribs:

So tender! I've never had saurbraten but it smelled like what I think that would taste like. I've got a small snack of it for lunch today, along with a butternut squash pie from the freezer.

Well, I think that's enough of a photo blast for now. Stay tuned for a post about the deer workshop.And I'd love to hear from you all what sorts of DIY projects you are up to at this time of year!

1 comment:

Samantha said...

My Dad is a deer hunter, and while I've eaten venison, I've never prepared it myself. I think I might tackle that this winter.

I LOVE LOVE love 'Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day', but I haven't done any bread baking in the past few months. I need to set aside the time to bring that back into my daily habits. I miss the tasty pay off!

Great update! :)

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