Wednesday 11 December 2013

Honey Spelt Shortbread Cookies, by Kira

These cookies are simple and delicious.


1 cup of butter
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of spelt flour
1 cup of arrow root flour.

Preheat oven to 300F

Using electric mixer, mix the butter, honey, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add in the flours until combined.
Press dough into dry cast iron pans. Score the surface of the dough into wedges.
Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cool completely and cut into wedges.

Monday 9 December 2013

Drying Laundry without a Dryer, by Kira

I thought I would miss my dryer when it died.
We knew it was coming; it had a horrible squeak when it ran,
and gradually took longer to get started.
Eventually, it just stopped drying clothes,and we deemed it not worth repairing.
At first I did miss it.
I guess for the most part it was the convenience that I missed;
if you needed something dry now, you could run it through the dryer and have it ready in a matter of minutes.
It was also missed for it's ability to dry the cloth diapers thoroughly.
It's been two years now without a dryer.
It wasn't missed for long.
It just took a while to get into a rhythm and working out drying details.
We have an outdoor clothes line that Andrew installed within the first year of moving into our home, which was about 9 years ago.
The second was put up shortly after the loss of the dryer.
Since then, two more lines have been added indoors.
One is a line that goes through the middle of our living room, which I usually only fill before bed and empty early morning.
The other line is the seed shelf that Andrew built last spring for holding my seedlings.
The woodstove really does work wonders for drying clothes.
If it wasn't for the woodstove it would be slower.
I can do three large loads of laundry in the evening, fill all the lines in the living room and have it all dry by morning.
The most difficult time for me to dry laundry is during the hot
and humid summer days.
If I get too far behind on these humid days I sometimes hang the clothes indoors and light the woodstove.
Some may call that crazy for making it hotter.
But the temperature doesn't normally rise much.
What it does is dry my clothes and also cuts the humidity in the house.
We also started to be more mindful of what was actually dirty before just throwing it into the dirty clothes pile. (Yes, a pile, not a hamper.)
Now that we're diaper free, (yay!) the laundry has been cut back even more.
This past year I dried more inside than outside.
There just wasn't that much prime drying weather.
The key to going without a dryer is having the right kind of set up in your home.
For me it's lots of lines and a running the woodstove.
By the way,
here is a link to my laundry soap recipe.
I felt it was appropriate. ;)

Saturday 7 December 2013

Roasting Our Beans, by Kira

A little glimpse into feed making.
One ingredient that goes into our chicken feed is soybeans.
Andrew buys organic soybeans to use as the main protein component.
Many animals aren't able to properly digest raw soybeans.
So, to make the beans easier to digest we roast them.
Our clothes dryer died a couple winters ago, and we became a dryer free home.
We held on to the dryer until we found a use for it.
This past summer it became our soybean roaster.
Andrew removed the drum from the dryer and now it sits on the cookstove inside the school house
(which is nearing completion, I will share photos soon).

The cookstove is on most days,
with dinner slowly cooking inside the stove and beans roasting in the dryer drum on top.
Once the beans are roasted they are ready to go through the feed mixer with the rest of the grains and mineral supplements.