Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chaotic Christmas...

Oh my what have I done.
If you only knew all the projects I was already under, I took on another as a present for Christmas. It just was not as easy as I thought.
These are the best answers I have found.

P.S. The acorn bread is really dry.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Acorn Flour's final stage...

We knew that we would have to sift the acorn flour before we made bread. So that is where we started.

I immediately yielded the consistency I was after when I thought of sifting the flour.

SP took over and sifted fast and furiously...

until we knew just how much we would have to regrind...

and have made one loaf so far. I will be able to make 2 or three more. See my other blog for the recipe!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

After 24 Tally whacks ....

... we have flour!!!!

Now, since I spent the morning in the ER learning how children's scalps are better stapled than stitched, and then witnessed my 10 year old close a well deserved winning hockey game on the bottom of a pig pile(he's the goalie), I know I am smart enough to NOT start baking acorn bread this evening. So in the mean time, please enjoy this picture and celebrate my own personal victory!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

$11.99 and a Tally-whacker

Dee this one's for you!

I caved in and went to my local Reny's and bought a new coffee grinder.
Mind you it does come with some disturbing directions:
Shall I paraphrase? "Do not attempt to defeat the cover interlock mechanism". Seriously.

So on my first grind I filled the little bigger with an entire ladle-full of the processed acorns.
But it was a bit too full, so I revised my plan.

And it ground much better.

Thus far, the process of grinding acorns to flour is occurring at a MUCH more tolerable decibel level. Now, the painstaking part is how many acorn fragments are actually being ground at one time. One grinder-full is barely making a dent in the bowl of acorns so this is a multi-batch step in the process. .

So, SP ran to the basement and brought his nifty yet archaic tally counter upstairs which I promptly called a Tally whacker and laughed so hard I took my final picture and came here to the computer to document this process. At 20 grinds the grinder became officially too hot to work anymore therefore we will reassess when it cools sufficiently. I wanted to let you all know that I am officially sustainably insane.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grinding acorns to flour.

Just when I thought that shelling acorns would be the hardest part, I have now attempted to grind them into flour. Where, when and why did I think that this last and final step would be the easiest? First of all, the cacophony caused by the food processor demands ear plugs - or maybe that fancy pair of ear mufflers I wear while tilling the garden. Secondarily, my food processor has thrice now rejected it's blade. Yes, seriously, look closely at the photo above, my blade has popped off and over to the side ceasing to continue it's merry go round of abuse.
So I am stuck in the hard spot of not wanting to sully my only coffee grinder in the house, nor do I want my acorn flour to taste like coffee. I am also in one of my stubborn frugal moods where I can not fathom owning two coffee grinders at once nor do I want to buy a brand new one for this purpose. I have always wanted a coffee grinder for fresh herbs and the such, but have thought about getting a Magic Bullet instead since it seems so versatile for making salsas and the like.
So here I am stuck between a stubborn acorn and a stubborn wallet - two equally hard places to be right now! Bah hum bug!

Recycline - Preserve Everyday!

Our dear friend Mona, a waste water engineer, just sent me a link from this website about a buy back program for #5 plastics. Mona (we miss you!) is always a great resource for plastics in the environment, drinking water, and how they leech into our foods. It was Mona who got me to stop reheating my leftovers in plastic containers and to be cautious about just how many times I reuse a plastic bottle. She is also a great resource for carcinogens or other nasty products in our health and beauty products. Anyway, today is about plastic. In our town we are fortunate to have a single sort that takes #1 through #7 plastics, but I know that much of the country is less fortunate and can only recycle #1 through #3. So please go to this site and educate yourself about some of the possibilities.
From recycling Britta filters to buying toothbrushes made from old Stonyfield yogurt containers, all of Preserve's products are made from 100% recycled materials. I know someone in my family who is going to be getting some of their products for Christmas! This is very exciting!

Monday, December 1, 2008

We put the house on the market today.

Our house went on the market today and I have been a melancholy little mama ever since. I am feeling rather ambivalent but that's not to say I am not feeling anything, but more so my emotions keep changing, like a pendulum, every feeling has a diametric opposite which seems to balance it out or else make it all the more confusing. I am terrified to have put the house on the market during such a market and economy, but I am absolutely giddy at the notion that we are getting ready to own our own small family farm. I am sick to my stomach about how barely we are eeking out a profit on the house (and honestly not sure how much of one our listing price is considering how much we put into this house), but I am also feeling really hopeful that some foreclosed farm is out there waiting for us to find it. I am sad that this is the house my young children have grown up in in such a short time, but I am happy to know the timing is right for the move since dear daughter will be entering kindergarten and the ten year old is bound for middle school. I am sad that I will leave my gardens and my beloved lilies, but excited to know I have new ground to discover, plants to nurture, and shrubs to key out and identify. I am excited to be in a new place where I can finally have the chickens, goats, and rabbits I have been wanting but am also sad that we have literally outgrown this house and have to say good bye to the rocks that the 10 year old once found impossible to climb. I am dead set against ever moving myself again but a nervous wreck about what the expenses of movers or even storage facilities will be. I am feeling incredibly stressed about the amount of work that needs to be done in such a little time before the house will start showing, but I am incredibly excited about downsizing our lives and reducing the amount of clutter that exists within the walls of a family of 5's home. I'm scared of the future, scared of this economy and scared of the unknown but comforted by the fact that we are a family of 5 and that is something we can draw strength from. I have to continue reciting the serenity prayer and remember my favorite mantras: "Everything happens for a reason", "Nothing but good can come out of this" and "Let go and let love lead the way". OK, dinner is up - Mom's favorite comfort food: grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup!