Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feel Like Making (Bud-Up, Bud-Up) 'Kraut With You!

So a co-worker of TMOTH's gave us two heads of cabbage a while back. Don't ask.

I managed to use up one over the course of a couple of weeks, but that second cabbage was threatening to take up permanent residence in the fridge. I was stumped.

While perusing Simply in Season I came across the "Simple Homemade Sauerkraut" recipe and thought, why not?

So I sliced some cabbage...

And mixed it with some salt and spices.

Then I attempted to cram eight-plus cups of cabbage into a quart jar.

Success! I added some salted water to top it off...

And then placed it in an out-of-the way space on the cabinet to start doing it magic fermentation thing.

Itwo weeks or so we'll know if we made sauerkraut.

I guess I have until then to try to convince the girls that they might actually like sauerkraut.

--Rational Mama

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I (Beef) Heart Archives

Been looking at some of the stats for the blog...

Typically, we get an average of 50 page views a day (more if I'm posting regularly, less if I'm taking a break). During months with fresh content we average around 2,000 page views per month.

For the past several months the most-visited archived post is the one about cleaning out the chicken coop. I believe that has to do with a nice Reddit link posted by Anisa at The Lazy Homesteader. There is quite a number of visitors to the post describing when we slaughtered a chicken for the first time, too.

For a good portion of last year a lot of traffic ended up on the post where we caved in to air-conditioning during our rationing summer. Apparently, folks like pictures of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Much traffic comes to the site from searches such as "rationing in WWII" and "1940's women." No surprises there. What I have found very interesting, though, is that searches for "mock apple pie recipe" and "beef heart recipe" regularly appear in the top ten searches that lead people to the site.

Strange, no?

--Rational Mama

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Projects

Yikes! Spring has sprung here and that means we now have a seemingly endless list of projects to keep us busy.

Here's a quick rundown of projects completed within the last six weeks or so...

The grey is the base aluminum of the roof, which is approximately 100 sq. ft. in size.

TMOTH spent many hours sanding off, and then repainting, the roof of the camper.

Hopefully this roof rehab fixed the leaks in the camper roof.

There was the original 1978 finish on the roof, plus at least one other paint layer - not to mention the gloppy piles of caulking in areas. The smell from the sanding was absolutely horrible (the roof dust, not so much TMOTH) but the finished product is quite nice.

I've started several rounds of seeds and currently have some lettuce, radishes, spinach, kale, and mesclun popping up in the garden. I'm waiting for the carrot and beets to sprout.

I'm working on a series of screens to lean over the herb garden to keep the chickens out. I'm using a very simple approach of PVC pipes and wildlife netting. The chickens think it is great to dust-bath next to the lavender and oregano. For some reason, I think differently.

Finally, TMOTH constructed a very nice cold frame. I'd been missing the greenhouse from the old house, and we have a perfect location for a cold frame on the south side of the current house.

The cold-frame site.

We bought a series of windows from a local resale shop for $6 and had enough scrap wood laying around for the job.


A few hinges and such from the hardware store and TMOTH built a fabulous cold-frame for under $30.

The finished product: chicken-approved.

We still have plenty of spring projects on our list. The asparagus and strawberries are on their way, so beds need to be prepared for them. Plus the chicken coop needs a new roof and there's more seeds to sprout and...

Well, there will be plenty of topics for future posts.

--Rational Mama