People often ask us what we do this time of year. While it is a time where we slow down a bit, there are still many chores and preparations for the coming growing season that happen daily. We have been moving fences, designing a greenhouse, constructing cold frames, building compost bays, and planning space for more chickens. (We will be blogging about most of these, so stay tuned). Yesterday we decided to focus most of our energy on our garden layout and cooking enough food to help heat the house.
We always start our morning with a hearty breakfast. I made breakfast while Nick tended to the chickens and the dogs. This barley bowl is super tasty and filling! We were super excited to use some blueberries we had frozen from summer and local maple syrup in this dish!
Here’s the brief how to:
Add 1 cup of barley to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil
Reduce heat, cover and cook for 25 minutes
(Most of the water should have absorbed, but if there is a little left, don’t fret, just strain it off!)
While the barley is cooking, combine 1 cup of mashed blueberries with 1/4 cup of maple syrup in a sauce pan.
Bring berry syrup mixture to a rolling boil
Reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid has reduced by half and you have a nice, bright purple syrup
Place your barley in a bowl, top with blueberry syrup, and crumbled pecans
YUM! This recipe makes 4-6 servings depending on how hungry you are!
After breakfast, I started making our bread for the week. I used a super simple recipe that can be found here. I like this recipe because it is so versatile. You can take the basic recipe and change it up to make it your own. The recipe in the link calls for all purpose flour, but we use half all purpose and half whole wheat. Here is what the process looks like.
The recipe says to drape the dough with plastic wrap while rising, but we don’t use plastic, so I dampen a cloth napkin with warm water instead. It works great, helps keep the moisture in, is an eco-friendly solution, and looks pretty too!
I couldn’t resist the warm bread straight from the oven, so we made some egg salad. I used eggs from our chickens, aioli, and apple cider vinegar all mixed up. Then I added dill, paprika, cracked black pepper, a little onion, and lovage to taste. It’s so delicious. We paired this with a mixed green salad, and lunch was a success!
After lunch, we each had big projects to work on. I spent the next 5 hours planning our garden layout while Nick reinforced our rabbit hutch, and loaded up some wood that we will use to frame in our greenhouse.
My mind was boggled. We are growing 89 varieties this year. I felt like I was playing veggie-tetris all afternoon.
Before we knew it, it was time for supper. I roasted some veggies we had saved from our garden last year (beets, carrots, garlic, butternut, sweet potatoes) with some rosemary and olive oil. The beets were super bright and stained my hands the loveliest color!
Then I made a risotto with the bone broth I made a few weeks ago. We had a green salad with it and it was delicious!
After supper, Nick tended to the chickens, we cleaned the kitchen, and started planning for today.
A slow, but fulfilling day indeed!