Thursday, March 24, 2011

bits and pieces

After I read the comments on my last post I realized I didn't quite explain myself! So, let me tell you that I bought this applique project at Sugar City a few years ago. It's the kind of project that keeps you dreaming and waking up in the morning with the solution to make it work. And it does come with instructions. That's the funny part. The method didn't quite work for me but I figured it out the other day. I really do need my own work space but the corner of the family room works too. Here's how it's going....

This week has been rainy, slushy and cold. The wild and crazy weather started last Friday with an outrageous wind that whipped through our neighborhood and blew down part of our fence. Good times. I am very thankful for the snow, unlike the rest of the country, we had a really mild winter. A couple good things about the snow. First, it meant that the wind stopped and second, soccer practice and the games scheduled for this weekend have been canceled! Okay, I'm not totally thrilled about 4 nights a week of soccer but I'll warm up to the idea as soon as the weather warms up. I promise.

Actually, the weather can't stop me from dreaming about my garden and wanting to get outside and work in the dirt. By this time of year it looks pretty drab and lifeless out there. I want the green to come back because it looks so nice out there in the summer. Well, a little nicer.

I've also been purging my house. I know it's serious when I dream about it. (I guess I've been dreaming a lot!) The pantry has been a total mess and I sometimes can't find a thing in there. I didn't realize until recently that I had three more jars of tomato sauce from last summer.

And I think that purging makes want to cook things to fill it back up. Someone gave us some grapefruit at the homeschool co-op, then I craved it. At the store, I could smell the grapefruit. When I went to visit my great aunt last week she was making her mom's recipe for marmalade. It smelled so good, I just had to make some for myself and I can read the writing on the wall when it's just too obvious to ignore. It's a combination of lemon, grapefruit and orange marmalade that my kids didn't like it but I think it's pretty good. I guess there are marmalade lovers or marmalade haters! I'll keep on making it and hoping that it grows on them.

Jonathan has had a few weekends out of town and the last time he went away to San Francisco he brought back this huge bag of books from his parents. They were his or his brothers when they were kids. (Hey Ben, you can borrow them whenever you want!) So, I'll be dusting off and cleaning those book cases we've been storing in the garage and bringing them inside.

Since I wrote last, I've been kefir making, kefir learning and kefir loving. I've also been meeting kefir making locals through Freecycle. I placed an ad on Freecycle for kefir grains and one person was kind enough to offer half of hers. Turns out she's a really interesting grad student who studies birds at the local university. She also hooked me up with a wonderful kefir sight that I'd like to share with you here.

Before I was using the freeze dried kefir starter from the health food store and it actually was a lot of work - heating the milk and letting it cool. With live kefir, I just place the kefir grains in milk and let it do it's magic.

My kefir grains are very productive and the end product is so mild and delicious. We've been making kefir smoothies every morning.

As you can see, I've been a busy little bee. I guess it is spring.


  1. Spring clean, time to fling. Kyndale, I need you to come help me get this tiny house in order! It's so small it easily gets out of hand, and then there's the basement ... Ugh.

  2. wow, kyndale!!! fresh kefir sounds awesome! and marmalade grew on me! i didn't like it as a child either. what's your next fermentation experiment? i'm hoping to make honey wine!

  3. Rachael, you're my organizing guru but I'll come and visit you!

    Kendra, I don't really know what my next fermentation project will be but honey wine sounds good! I'm thinking that making tamari might be fun too!

  4. ohhhh kefir AND marmalade?
    You are a woman after my own heart....

  5. Kyndale,
    i make yogurt weekly and am wondering what the difference is btwn yogurt and kefir? Kefir sounds way easier.

  6. Rachel, I'm still learning! I googled it and on a basic level, yogurt is cultured with a bacteria and kefir is cultured with bacteria and yeast. Kefir has loads of B vitamins and is less transient than yogurt. Well, you can read for yourself:

    Kefir is so easy to make but it's very productive....We've been drinking it every day.

    Cory, I'm so glad. And I love your music by the way. I'm going to get your first album first and go from there :)

  7. I can't wait to see the finished product. I know I've already said it but the orange and purple combo in the header is just so ALIVE. Love it.

  8. i didn't click the link to see where the pattern for the 12 princesses came from, but i'm going to. i am so intrigued at this project of yours. i just bought some kefir at our farm we joined, just went out today for the first milk pick up of the year, and decided to try their goat milk kefir. i hope i like it. 4 nights a week of soccer sounds nutty. i like nuts though. 5 days a week of reading lessons is definitely nutty. and i like parts of it. just hard to accept that i can't do it all right now. you know. love.

    and~~ i'm not sure what marmalade is exactly! why don't kids like it? too sour?

  9. have been busy! I am intrigued by kefir. Right now little Asher has been having a hard time with me ingesting dairy ( as all my boys seem to) but maybe once he is older I will try it! I have been craving citrus lately and that marmalade sounds delicious. I guess purging is in the air because that is what I have been doing as well! Xoxo Pennie