Dandelions

Our yard has SO MANY dandelions. We moved in almost a year ago now and we have been focusing more on the inside of the house than the outside, so when Spring rolled around and we finally were “surveying our land” we realized that we had work to do. A lot of work to do.

As we were looking at our yard my mind immediately went to Weed and Feed. Kill everything bad and we’ll have a nice green grass to mow and water all summer and we’ll win the “best yard” contest that our HOA does over the summer months, and… Then I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Trying to keep our lawn luscious and green over the summer is so stressful and a complete waste of water and money in my opinion. So after talking about it, my husband and I decided that we are going to get rid of our grass and do an edible front yard.

Now we are a little late in the game to get a full edible garden for this year but we are definitely going to start heading in that direction. In the meantime I was brainstorming what I COULD do with the edible weeds that I already had growing in abundance. Pinterest here I come!

A lot of the dandelions that we have in our yard as of right now are not actually in bloom yet. They are just long stalks with little green balls on top. Looking at them I remembered reading a recipe called Poor Man’s Capers with which you use… dandelion buds. Lucky me!

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Fortunately I have a very enthusiastic three year old who is always more than willing to help forage with me. She spent ALL afternoon picking these dandelions, plucked all the “capers” off for me, and then fell asleep right away at bedtime. All of which was awesome. She really was amazing though, she was as proud of her hard work as I was.

 

After we had plucked all the soon-to-be-capers off I boiled some apple cider vinegar, water, and salt. I poured that into a sanitized jar, turned it upside down, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and VOILA! Poor Man’s Capers. It will take them a few weeks to actually pickle, so I’m just keeping it in the back of my fridge anxiously waiting to see how it turned out. I think the next thing I might try is Dandelion Jam. Let me know if you have any great recipes for dandelions! I’m always up for trying new things. Until next time… peace and dandelions.

Mother’s Day and Chicken Feet

Aww yiss

 

As part of our homesteading dream, we want to make everything from scratch. We are tired of buying almost everything from the store. There are so many ingredients you can’t pronounce and have no idea what they even are. But the biggest thing for us is the pride and feelings of self-sufficiency we get when we learn how to make things ourselves.

So if you’re new to homesteading (like I am) or even making anything from scratch (again, like I am) then you’ve probably never made bone broth. Let me tell you, it was SO much easier than I thought it would be, and the result was so much better too. So… homemade bone broth here we come!

Now in the early stages of researching homesteading I came across The Eliott Homestead. That family is what made me want to finally jump in with both feet and start this homesteading adventure. They have an AMAZING book out, Welcome to the Farm: How-to Wisdom from The Elliott Homestead, that I recommend everyone who is thinking about homesteading (or even if you’ve already started) should read. It has SO many tips, tricks, and recipes that I call it my homesteading bible.

 

 

In this book Shaye Eliott tells you how to butcher chickens, and she emphasizes to KEEP THE CHICKEN FEET. Now, as we all know chicken feet are not pretty. They are even LESS pretty when they are not connected to a chicken… BUT they make for an AMAZING bone broth. I’m lucky enough to have a friend who just butchered all their chickens on Saturday (what a great way to spend Mothers Day eh?) I bought two chickens from them and she also gave me a bunch of… you guessed it… chicken feet. At first I was just a little hesitant to accept but in the back of my head I kept thinking about how chicken feet were “gold” to the homesteader so I couldn’t say no.

I kind of followed the recipe from the homesteading book but at the same time winged it… which is how I roll when it comes to cooking.

First Step

I cut off all the calluses (if there were any) from the bottom of the feet. It was pretty tough, actually, and I had to use my fingers. Ew. Now I don’t have a picture of that because… well it was really gross and not very photogenic at all. So instead here is a picture of my daughter who was SO excited to help mommy cook.

MonkeyButt

Second Step

Chicken feet, onion, celery, and some water all went into the crockpot. This has to simmer for at least 12 hours so what better appliance to use?

Just getting started...

 

Third Step

After letting it simmer for quite a while, it was done. It’s that easy. And now I have some gorgeous homemade bone broth. I poured all of it into mason jars, let them cool, stuck them in the freezer… and voila, done.

 

Twelve hours later...

All done!

My husband had some right after it was done with a little salt and cayenne pepper – it’s pretty bland by itself, but with some spices it’s delicious and nutritious.

I am so happy that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and used chicken feet to make bone broth. It filled nine mason jars, so I’ll have it for a while and it was easy! Soon I’ll be posting some info about why bone broth made from chicken is actually pretty good for you as well. If anyone has any tips on bone broth or a really good recipe let me know! Until next time… Peace and chicken feet.