The new Garage is going up

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I’ve gotten a bit behind with all that went on this summer! Most of these photos were taken over 4 months ago now! I still can’t believe how much work a small team of focused men can do! The garage was raised and set for siding by the time the men left after two days of work!

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There is always food in this house! We believe in working hard and loving well, and part of that love is putting on a good spread! It’s a good thing too because those guys can eat!
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Daddy got the girls and I up on the roof for a few photos and to enjoy the view! It was lovely.
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We are so thankful to all who came out to help and for the amazing weather! Well it was a bit rainy the first day….sort of what we came to expect this spring, but the second day was full of sun!

garageHere is an updated photo! Next to the garage is the new rabbit home! For the first time in our married lives we can both park in a garage! Thanks again to everyone who came out!What a blessing! The rabbits are loving their new home out of the elements as well!!

A few moments…stolen away

I have to say that some of my favorite times are in the early morning. We are on a quick family vacation this weekend and we spent the night in a hotel at the half way point last night….

Inevitably this means I don’t sleep in. I was up with a bolt at 6 and there was no going back to sleep. I’ve spent a good hour sipping on quality coffee (Praise the Lord), reading , sending out a few emails for the flower business and now…now just a quick bit of writing while I watch the rest of the world come to life.

I’ve been thinking a lot, A LOT about comparisons. Thinking about all that they steal and rob us of….how often do we look at others and wish we had what they do….want to be doing what they get to joyfully experience? How many times have I gotten onto social media and just seethed on the inside….WHAT?

Take a step back Melissa….just take a breath and look. My life is Amazing! there are moments to be grateful for at every turn….yes, even the seemingly hard ones! How have I missed this super simple practice of giving thanks In the moment? It was modeled to me in my mother’s joy and wonder at life….how did I miss it?

Life has always been a list of dos and don’ts….things to get done or a specific mission or adventure…not the slow walk of admiration for all that I come into contact with. What have I missed?

My dear friend sent me off with loving words and the assurance that she was praying that we would have a weekend full of laughter and joy! Oh, what a great encouragement….thank you friend.

A moment, the look of great wonder and joy within my children…Oh yes, I am thankful! The day is young and the opportunity is great…the lessons are many, and today I will choose to meet them with joy rather then with despair! So much more to write…but the time is up….I hear little feet padding down the hallway and the giggles of little girls!

Applepolusa and other fun…

It is fall in Minnesota and when you live on a homestead and the hubster also works a full-time job….there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done! It is these moments when I breathe a little easier feeling the deep thankfulness that we haven’t taken on milk goats…..yet.

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The harvest of our garden was wonderful, but it also took place all at once….thank you MN frost! The growing season here is just so short. However, what a great opportunity to learn about how to preserve and use items that are not fully ripe. I have boxes of tomatoes in the basement currently turning from green and yellow to shades of orange and red…if the mold doesn’t get them first…..one more argument for a rootseller in the basement! Yes please!

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A few weeks ago I lacto-fermented carrots and cucumbers. I left a few of the carrots in the garden to continue growing and wowsa did they get big!! I also did a dry run on our apples. we have two mature apple trees and one ripens about a month before the other. I made apple sauce and thought about plans for applepolusa! I didn’t make enough plans….we Just got done with our Saturday of apple processing and although I am deeply thankful for all that we can store away it was a lot of work and next year we will plan to do it differently.

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The men pressed over 60 gallons of cider. 20 gallons are being fermented! Oh I am looking forward to hard cider!

 

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The ladies made and canned over 20 gallons of apple sauce. we made some apple chips in the dehydrator, canned more apple pie filling then I kept track of and this week I made some apple butter because we still have apples! How do we still have apples????

 

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We only have 2 mature apple trees at this point….the men went nuts! I am so glad they did! Mike, Nate and one of the boys picked enough apples to fill the bed of our truck! wow! Nate went door to door asking people with trees if we could use their apples. It has always bothered me how many apples don’t get used around here. So thankful for the guys and all their hard work picking the apples ahead of time!

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Bunny moving day!

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Yesterday was a big day! Item number 328 on the list….move rabbits into their new home BEFORE winter really happens around here!

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My husband, MIKE, is amazing. AMAZING! I really hope that you cant read too far on this blog without hearing that! This man, this love of my life consistently works hard and blesses our family over and over again. We have a lot of rabbits….those suckers multiply like….well….like rabbits?! They need homes….out of the wind and the rain and soon to be snow….Mike built them an amazing new home! Oh, I am thankful for his ability to construct something out of what was  before just a pile of parts.

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As we moved the bunbuns (as we lovingly call our kits) to their new home they made a quick stop at the hose where we cleaned the cages before they were moved into place on the lower run.

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 Our adult rabbits are moving into the top run of cages that are not removable. We have new feeders and our winter water crocks on order and hope to have them in this week. You may also note the nesting boxes in mama’s cages….yep they are all pregers again and we hope to have another batch of kits in the next week or so! currently we have the four adults, 7 youth that will be butchered just before Thanksgiving and 23 kits that are about 2 months old! We also hope to have the fodder system going up again in the next few weeks. We jut got our 4 bags of fodder seed in this week…we are going to have some happy animals munching on greens in the middle of winter!

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Saying good bye….again

This is possibly an inappropriate time to be writing. Sitting in a room filled with chairs…hushed voices and kids entertained with the latest wireless devices….We are taking turns saying good-bye.

We got the call last night. This was it….our chance to say good-bye to grandma. Oh, the hope that we would make it in time for her to still know we were there. W packed our bags and left for the Chicago land at 9 pm….how do you say goodbye to years of love….warm hugs and laughter? When the hands that hugged and baked and clapped with joy….lay still in place. What are the words? Where do they come from? Somehow they make it out….passed tight lips and tearful sobs. Moments of laughter….the sweet taste of joy.

Grandma loved us well! She loved and cared for Mike years before I was around and when I came she was quick to fold me in…welcoming arms…I needed a grandma…mine had all passed away years earlier. We shared a love of food and she would often find a recipe she thought I might like and pass it along. I treasure her hand written note cards that are barely ledgable….maybe one of these days I will do a series on food inspired by those who have loved us well….she will be my inspiration!

As we said good-bye to grandma Mike and I shared all the things that we have been focused on here. Everything from harvesting the garden and canning to butchering our first rabbits. she mumbled something I couldn’t understand at first…hasenpfeffer! This lady wanted to know if we had made hasenpfeffer yet! Oh, I love her! When we returned home the first meal I made with the butchered rabbits was hasenpfeffer and it was wonderful!

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Hasenpfeffer in memory of Grandma

We have had our fill of saying goodbye this year. We lost both of Mike’s grandmothers within a few months of each other. One of them, we have been saying good-bye to for years while the other…well…Penny grandma, we just didn’t see this coming. I am so blessed to have married into a family with loving grandparents that I could get to know! I am thankful for every conversation, kiss of the cheek and knowing look! Rest well with Jesus as you see him face to face now! Pass our love onto those who welcome you home!

Finding peace in the ash

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photo credit goes to Robert Lofgren….thanks as always friend!

Robert blogs at www.thegaypostevangelical.com

Well, we’ve done it again. Pulled a little farther away from the cultural norm…. who it tells us we should be, what we should do. The reaction of people outside of the immediate family tells a lot. I’ve been watching & listening….so many times before I’ve been the reactor…the judge. Now…now, it is my turn to be on the ‘outside’….let me tell ya it feels good! There is a bit of freedom here…space to learn anew.

I’ve been surprised at each turn of this journey. The Lord has placed unique people in our path at each step! Some stay a long time while others drift in and out….all with a unique and important purpose. A deep and rich blessing. Touch points…’the hands and feet’…it has been truly beautiful. They never seem to be who or what I expect…and often in my humanity they would be those I overlook….there is a deep and soulful humbling in this place. I am thankful.

I struggle to keep my head above water most days. There is a reason why this blog has three sections…I post a lot of happy photos and try to keep up on all we are working on with the homestead….but at the same time there are deep truths I am working out….there needs to be space to write about it all.

Our lives are changing…we are making hard choices to accommodate. I’ve started homeschooling for preschool. Amazing. Hard. Exhausting. Just wow! Winter is fast approaching and we are working hard to wrap up all of the projects before the snow flies and In a few weeks we hope to start up soup nights again! All of this on top of the normal life stuff we do…So much to look forward to!

Here’s the thing (just one that I’m learning) in it all there is a gift and a joy to be treasured…..a romance to enter into. Sometimes, it needs space to be enjoyed and walked out and our lives are too full….too busy to enter in. As an introvert married to an extrovert this is a challenging dance, but we are learning a few new steps! I’m learning flexibility and had no idea how rigid I’ve been! wow…..so much to learn. So, so much!

Another take on that Gluten Free French Bread….

We have a Gluten Free home. 3 of the 4 people that live at The Ebed House do not eat Gluten and we try to keep our dairy to a minimum. The one outlier is Mike….daddy and husband! There is just something wrong about asking the man who ‘brings home the bacon’ to eat gluten free food that, let’s face it, half the time just doesn’t taste right.

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Born out of love for my family I’ve been on the hunt for a good bread….one that is easy to make and versatile. With a little help from my friends I found it! yep! a stunning french bread that is easy to make and takes a little more then an hour start to finish. If you have been eating gluten free and doing your own baking you have likely come across this wonderful bread already. If you have not HERE is the link.

One of the great things about this bread is that I have been able to adapt it to create a few other family favorites. I’ve been making pizza crust and will post another entry about that the next time we make it and I can get some photos! Today I want to share my ‘caramel roll’ adaptation. Caramel rolls have a long standing history on my side of the family…my father has often shared his deep love and longing for his mother’s caramel rolls…..a family treat we have not enjoyed in years. So daddy….and Mike….this one’s for you!

Gluten Free ‘Caramel Rolls’

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Ingredient list for the caramel
1 1/3 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Butter or butter sub.
4 Tablespoons Corn-syrup (I would love to get some ideas on a sub for this so let me know if you think of some!)

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I start by mixing the dry ingredients for the bread
2 Cups Brown rice flour
1 Cup Tapioca flour
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
(I have planned to add cinnamon but haven’t yet…this is where I would add it)

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While the dry items are mixing for the bread I melt the brown sugar, butter and corn-syrup. (I didn’t have brown sugar so I subbed standard sugar and molasses.)

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When the items have all been melted down I transfer the caramel to a 9×13 pan and set it aside.
Then I return to the bread
Dissolve 2 Tablespoons Sugar in 1 1/2 C. Warm water. Dissolve 2 Tablespoons of yeast in the water and sugar mix. Add the yeast mix to the dry mix along with 3 egg whites, 2 Tablespoons melted butter and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

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It really helps to have wet hands when you work with gluten free breads. So, with damp hands I parcel out rolls into the 9×13 pan.

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Preheat the oven to 400 and cover them allowing the bread to rise for about 20 min.

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Bake for around 25 min and check the bread. Make sure to check the bottom to see if the rolls have fully cooked. If they have not continue to bake a bit more.

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When the rolls come out turn them over onto a cookie sheet. And allow them to cool.

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And that’s it! Yum! They are sooooo good!