Summer Cold

It has been quite a while since I have written anything. As soon as I got back from Portland my daughter got this nasty cold and of course being three we’re still working on the whole “cover your mouth while you cough” thing. That being said my husband and I came down with it as well. Needless to say the last few weeks have not been as productive as I’ve liked. Side note… it has actually taken me two weeks to write this. My son just got over a three day 104 fever. Mom life am I right?

did have quite a bit of fun learning how to treat colds as naturally as possible though. Thank goodness for essential oils and herbs from my garden. Mint tea, lemon, and raw honey was the BEST for my sore throat. I also diffused On Guard and lemon almost constantly and made a cleaning spray with them as well that I put on EVERYTHING trying to kill whatever it was we had. There was this drink called the “cold bomb” that I found in my essential oils book. It has 2 drops each of rosemary, lemon, lavender, and peppermint. That did WONDERS for me. If you’re not quite sold on essential oils I can not stress enough how amazing these “magic oils” (as my husband calls them) are. I was super skeptical at first but I will never go back. It’s so empowering to take your health into your own hands.

I digress though (I get so excited about my oils, haha). Even through my summer cold haze I did learn how to make two new things…kombucha and beer.

The kombucha was so easy. I’m not sure why I didn’t try making my own sooner. We didn’t add any flavoring to it this time which to be honest I was a little nervous about. I’ve only ever had the flavored ones so I thought it was going to be gross. It wasn’t. It was delicious. You just make black tea, add some sugar, and then add the scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). That’s it. You let it sit for about a week, taste it, and if it’s still too sweet for you let it sit a bit longer. Keep tasting it every few days until you like it then, bottle it and put it in the fridge. Now in regards to the scoby you do have to keep it “alive” which you can do by putting it a sterilized jar and cover it with black tea. Keep it covered and in the dark until you are ready to use it again. I’m thinking of making strawberry “booch” next time since strawberry season is in full bloom right now. I’m excited to experiment with flavors.

Now for the beer. I had gotten stinging nettles in my CSA box and had found a recipe for stinging nettle beer so I thought… why not? It was also super easy, I boiled the nettles for fifteen minutes. Strained them into a gallon glass jar, added fresh lemon juice, sugar, and brewers yeast. Let that sit for three days then transferred it to mason jars. I was skeptical at first because the boiled nettles smelled like spinach and I was pretty sure spinach beer would not be a hit… BUT it turned out great. You tasted more of the lemon than anything. It was very refreshing and actually had 5% alcohol in it! I was surprised I liked it really since I’m more of a wine person but it was really good!

I’m hoping no one in my family gets sick for a while now so I can get some stuff done that’s not laundry or dishes. With everyone being sick I’m a bit behind on those. Diffusing On Guard and Lemon as we speak to keep all the “bad stuff” away! Hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of July!

 

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.