Things I Love: August

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Things-I-Love-August

It’s hard to believe August is over.

Each new month I set out with a mental list of what I hope to accomplish, a set of goals for that month. Nothing formal. Some of those things get accomplished, others, well, just never happen and move to the top the list for next month. Next month has a lot of things moved to the top of the list. It’s been that kind of month.

August was busy and productive, but I could have used another 136 hours and maybe a full-time laundry folder.

With summer on it’s way out, I look forward to the new Fall season ahead. My favorite season.

I’m a Florida native so seasons are a general term, a romantic idea, more than reality. As a Floridan I can’t wait for cooler weather, boots and scarves will soon make their debut. You know weather in the 70’s, also known as a cold front.

With Fall approaching one thing fills my mind (other than a cold weather wardrobe),  pumpkins.

Brace yourselves for pumpkin recipes, talk, and pictures. I will try to tame my great pumpkin love this year. I won’t overdue it, I won’t overdue it. I never overdue anything in life…

With a new month ahead and a new season approaching, here’s a recap of life in August and some of the things I most loved this month.

Home Sweet Home

Chickens: Our life has been about one thing lately, chickens. We have become those crazy chicken people.

We started off with four new chickens last month. Two older laying hens we adopted from friends and two pullets. You can read more about our chickens in this post. A few weeks ago, contributing writer Candice, tragically lost one of her two baby pullets either to a dog or a hawk. With one gone, we adopted the second chicken. We are now an official chicken refuge. Shh! Word is getting out. We’ve since been contacted by two other families looking for a nice refugee camp, I mean home, for their chickens.  We already maxed our limit according to our county’s rules, so this camp is offically closed. One of the downfalls of urban farming in the big city. I’m content with our five ladies. We have just enough chicken poo for one backyard. Our kids are obsessed, which doesn’t even seem like a strong enough word, with our backyard refugees. I think we probably have some of the most loved hens on the planet. No wonder all the chickens are looking to join our camp.

Last month, after a huge storm and flood in our backyard, Dustin broke out the camera to document some of the chicken fun that happens when you have a backyard homestead.

Time to Sow: I did a horrible thing this summer. I let my garden go. I’m talking weeds, weeds, and more weeds. I really should have planted a cover crop this summer, but I didn’t. This month I have slowly and steadily been working to take back my garden. I am no where near done. Top of the list next month! This is a picture of what my garden should look like in the beginning of a new planting season. I was way too embarrassed to take a picture of its current condition.

garden bed 5

In the Kitchen:

Herb Invasion: Despite my embarrassing garden conditions, my herbs have been more than bountiful. I have a great love for herbs. Fresh herbs can take any dish from okay to AMAZING.  My herbs just got the best of me this month in the kitchen. I threw a bit in a new meatloaf recipe, some in buttery, flaky soaked whole wheat biscuits, and even more tossed with beets to make these delicious chips.

Yeah, it’s safe to say, I had a slight affair with herbs this month.

meatloaf sundried tomato and herbs

IMG_6361

Beet Crush: Speaking of love, did you hear about my great love for beets this month? If not, you are either A. new here (welcome) or B. not reading my posts.  I’m going to go with A.  My great love for all things beets showed up this month with both a beet chip recipe and beet blush. I proudly eat, drink, and wear beets.

Now, that’s love!

Maybe all those years of watching The Office rubbed off on me. Countless hours of watching were not in vain. Thank you, Dwight Schrute for opening my eyes to the wonderful world of beets. This month was for you.

Beet-crush

Lard: I rendered my first batch of lard this month. I truly never thought I would say that.

Lard?

That artery clogging, heart-stopping fatty pig stuff that great grandma used to make the best pie crusts with?

Oh yes, that’s the stuff! And boy, are the pie crusts good. The local pig farmer I have been buying pork from, was looking for a customer who might be interested in five pounds of pig fat and I was the lucky winner. Bringing that baby home really made my day. I was honored to be chosen for such a high calling. Next month, Candice and I will be bringing you our first ever video series. A series all about making good old time fat for cooking. I can’t wait to share some lard and other old fashioned fat tutorials with you.

Around the Web:

Easy Homemade Hand Foaming Soap: Speaking of obsessions (we have a lot of them in our house), my kids are obsessed with bubbles. Between chickens and gardening and just being three and one, their hands pick up everything. You really won’t believe the things I’ve seen washed off their hands. Unless you are a mom, then you would believe me! In order, for hand washing to take place happily, bubbles must be present. I was over budget from buying store-bought hand foaming soap (and sick at the thought of all the chemicals), so this recipe was perfect for my needs!

Happy kids + bubbles + clean hands + budget-friendly = A very happy mom.

Thank you, Homemade Mommy!

Easy-Foaming-Hand-Soap-2

Perfect Hard-boiled Eggs…Every time: Now that our chickens lay daily (at least two hens lay), we are eating a lot of eggs. Being tight on time many mornings means breakfast needs to be prepared quickly, yet still be nourishing. Hard-boiled eggs to the rescue. I am a food blogger (for the most part, you sometimes get to hear my musings on other things in life, other than just butter, beets, and herbs) and still can’t boil a perfect hard-boiled egg. That’s until this month when Arsy came to the rescue over at Rubies and Radishes with her tips on how to perfectly boil eggs. One more item to check off my bucket list. Successfully hard-boiling eggs has been mastered. Check!

hardegg.php

How to Cure Bacon At Home:  Not only did I make my own lard this month, but I also cured my own bacon in my own kitchen. I know, amazing! I feel like the word “homemade” has gone to a whole new level in my life. I bought a two pound slab of pork belly from the pork farmer with the pork fat. I honestly had no idea what to do with it until I found this wonderful tutorial by Small Family Footprint. A few days later we were eating bacon and I had one very happy husband.

bacon

How to Stop Being Overwhelmed by Laundry: Overwhelmed by laundry? Who me? Always! Laundry is my constant nemesis. A giant monster that grows daily threatening to take over if I don’t tame it. When Beth over at Red and Honey came out with this post, I immediately felt there was hope! I love her system for laundry and immediately put it in practice. Her tips are simple and pure genius. From one mom to another let me say “thank you, Beth”. There really is life outside the laundry room.

laundrytips

I’d love to hear what happened in your life this month? Did you find any great recipes? Any exciting news? Cook anything new?  I’d love to hear from both readers and blogger alike.

Links are welcome!

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4 Comments

  • Where has that hard boiled egg trick been all my life???? Like it was mentioned, since I have only fresh eggs now, peeling them is even more difficult. I have tried everything and couldn’t believe how well this worked! Thanks for sharing Kristin!

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