Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

wholesome and fresh ground…

For years I have threatened my family that we were going to completely do away with white flour and white sugar.  Even more than saying it out loud, I would tell myself that this was a change that we needed in our home.  One problem…

♥ I love to cook yummy things.

♥ I love to please people with my cooking.

♥ I love to hear them make joyful little expressions of pleasure as they eat my food.

I hate to say this out loud but white flour and white sugar are two of the main ingredients in pleasurable foods.

Last week I ran out of white flour…Oh! My Goodness!….that NEVER happens around here.  We buy it in 25 lb. bags and we always have an extra one {or three} on the shelf.  I immediately told myself….”OK, that’s it, no more white flour”. I decided to try to go a month without buying any.

I’ve been grinding wheat for close to 20 years and I have plenty of grain and plenty of variety.

{hard white ~ for yeast breads, soft white ~ for baked goods, rye ~ for bread, durum ~ for pasta…}

I’ll tell you, to have success when cooking with whole wheat you need to grind your own.  It’s fresh, light and bakes up so nice.  There is no reason to have a hard, heavy loaf of bread.  If you are interested in any tips with using ww I would be glad to answer any questions.  I’ll always start any advice with, “if you want to be serious about it, invest in a grinder…”

One of my girls shared this video with me this week and it has tickled my happy spot multiple times.  It reminded her of me!

we had a blustery~blizzard here a bit ago...

November 14, 2011 Posted by | healthy living, Hobby~Farm Home life, in the kitchen | 1 Comment

As the seasons change….

This has been my trusty Market Shopper.  It’s accompanied me to our local farmer’s market and a variety of other happenings lately.

I think that this Friday will be the last Market of the season.

I generally have mixed emotions as each season comes to an end.  I know for some it seems like summer ended a while back but I’ve still been hanging on to remnants of it.  We did have a pretty good freeze this week {30°} so that helps me to make the official transition to fall…which makes me long for a hard, cold, snowy winter!

My own garden/orchard is winding down too but I still have [some] apples and pears and lots of potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and [hopefully] some tomatillos [just waiting for them to do their thing...I've been told that you know they're ready when they drop off the vine...if they don't freeze first].

I really love pear.

I don’t find it as versatile for my family as apple but I still love it.

It’s a beautiful fruit!

I made this Pear Custard Pie this week.  Oh, so Yummy!…and it just got better on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day!  Next time I would make it a day ahead.

The goats and chickens are benefiting from the garden clean-up!

October 10, 2011 Posted by | garden, goats, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, market shopper, my neck of the woods!, news from home | 2 Comments

only the freshest….

Ice cream has forever been a favorite.

Mr T and I have discovered a new love for it though over the summer.

fresh milk

fresh eggs

and now… fresh vanilla bean

I was gifted this week two handfuls {46} of vanilla beans, fresh from Indonesia.

I have never, not once, worked with vanilla bean and have felt like I was surely missing out on a pleasurable experience.  When I see them in the store, I’m not willing to break down and pay the price.  I found some through Amazon that have been sitting in my cart for quite some time, waiting for the whim to click the button and just do it….splurge!

Now I can eliminate that item from my over-crowded cart and enjoy the abundance in my possession.

I fear that my closest friends and family are going to remind me of how special I am to them and they are to me and coerce me to share….I’ll just remind them that I love to make ice cream and I will make it for them any time!  {i.will.share.some.things}

My sister-in-law Nichole, shared a wonderful recipe with me for Vanilla Peach Syrup.  At the time, we were picking huckleberries so she tried substituting 1 cup of huckleberries for 1 cup of the peaches and then I did the same.

Oh, my! and Oh, YUM!

I think that this syrup will be good on almost anything.  You can find the recipe HERE.

September 21, 2011 Posted by | in the kitchen | 3 Comments

…much love for ‘the apple’…

Oh, the goodness that’s wrapped up in an apple.

Such diversity, sweetness and nutrition…

When my kids were babies, homemade applesauce was there #1 staple food.  I had a sweet {older} friend who would help me can up some apple sauce each year for my sweet babies.  Since then, whenever I’ve canned sauce I think of my dear friend, with great appreciation, for helping this young mom in those early years when I didn’t live close to my own mom. 

I appreciate so much when ladies are willing to give of themselves to help younger gals learn these valuable skills.

Titus 2:4-5… These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

[picture taken by Trisha Love]

Now that this little man is 4 months old, he’s going to be loving some of Nana’s home~made apple sauce.

I wish I could decide what I want him to call me.  I know…I should just let him decide but I don’t want to be called ‘grandma’…that just doesn’t set well with me…so he might need a little encouragement….Nana…Grammy…Nona…Nanny….It’ll come…one way or another…sooner or later!  :)

This is a favorite charm.  It’s round and chunky and reminds me of a candy drop.  Both sides have fun, vintage fabric that came from my Great Grandma’s fabric stash.

If you have some old, cherished fabric, this would be a fun way to preserve and share a snippet of it…

September 5, 2011 Posted by | family, garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen | 1 Comment

The land gives so freely!

What’s on your {late} summer reading list?

I have my favorite little spot to sit in the living room and I have a stack of wonderful books and magazines piled up all around me.  Any chance I have to sit down, I grab one and start looking for the next fun thing that I want to make, can, dehydrate, freeze…

My interests seem to evolve and change but they also seem to keep moving in the same direction.

Living off the Land!

I can’t get enough…it makes me get all excited!

Yesterday I ordered #3 & #5 crocks for sauerkraut, pickles, etc…

the laundry and housework has been very patient…so has Mr. T!

Look what I drug home over the weekend {along with a whole lot of other things}.  Oh, I’m so excited…it’s just so beautiful!

really, I promise…it is! 

A number was randomly chosen and we have a winner for my birthday give-a-way….Rosie!

Rosie is a local gal so I can’t wait to have this grand excuse to get together for coffee, tea, food…good conversation!  :)

Oh, the comments that were left on this post…all of them made me smile…most of them made me cry just a little!  Thanks for sharing from your hearts, ladies!

August 31, 2011 Posted by | garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 4 Comments

Summer Grandeur…

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
— L.M. Montgomery

This has been a favorite summer for me!

I’m going to guess that it has much to do with that ‘gentle’ process of aging that none of us can avoid.

I believe that I have learned to enjoy the simple joys and pleasures in life more than ever.  And, because we were able to move to this beautiful country setting 3½ years ago, it has allowed for a more restful, less hectic life {which I fully embrace}.

I’ve made a quiet resolve with myself to keep it that way!   [...so far, so good]

Another one of life’s simple pleasures that I cannot ignore is the power within a seed.

It amazes me each and every year.

And, it causes me to be impressed with myself {that’s always fun}.

Most of my garden is the result of seeds that I put in dirt…with my own little hands.

Many of my herbs I purchased but most everything else came up from seed: corn, green beans, peas, carrots, kale, lettuce, spinach, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, flowers.  Plus, we have a nice variety of things that come back each year: raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, horseradish and a small orchard with apples, plums, pear…

With fresh local lamb and beef filling our freezers plus the abundance of fish that we caught in Alaskan waters…oh, ya…and that fresh goat’s milk…we have been eating so well {too well}.  Everything is fresh and yummy…not to mention, oh, so healthy!

All of this makes summer so busy and so wonderful in a very worthwhile and fulfilling sort of way.

I have a few sunflowers that are nearly twice my height…

Do you remember the chickens {Silkies} I had in my booth at the Farm Chicks sale? 

Because the little one {the black one} was so little I didn’t want to put them in with the other chickens so I just let them have free-range of my garden.  I wasn’t sure how that would work.  I told them that if they got into my strawberries then they would have to leave.   They have done great.  They just kind of hang out in the potato patch.  I brought home a rooster for them recently and they literally are all inseparable.

Poppy, Nel and Papa Jack

I still haven’t forgotten that there is a give-a-way…go over HERE and sign-up…I’ll draw a name in a couple of days.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 2 Comments

Goat love :~)

I never, never saw myself as being a milkmaid to goats.

However, I did dream of having a milk cow for a very, very long time.

Once I realized that goat’s milk tasted just like cow’s milk {this, of course, depends on the type of goat and what they are eating}, milk goats seemed to be the acceptable compromise.

I have been loving these little critters and the wonderful milk I’m getting…two times each day!

My milking stanchion was broken for a while so it wouldn’t hold in Bella’s head.  She would eat her grain while I began milking but when the grain was gone she would pull out her head and nuzzle my neck and nibble on my ear.

This is a very fun and silly picture but I’m so ticklish that it would just make me crazy.

Last week while nibbling on my ear, she managed to slip the back off of my diamond stud.  I had to dig that little golden fleck out of her mouth.  After that she seemed even more and more determined to get it off of my ear.

Silly girl!

I get about 2 cups each time I milk.  Most goats would give more but it’s actually a nice amount for us…for now.

I’ve experimented with making some cheeses. 

We make ice cream on a regular basis. 

I eat yogurt every morning from the milk and I’ve made some soap.

Which reminds me….there’s a give-a-way in the works.

Make sure to head over to my last post, leave a comment there and you’ll be entered in to that give-a-way!

source of photos: Tres Birds Photography

August 16, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, goats, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 2 Comments

Raspberry Bliss…

Raspberries!  Raspberries!  Raspberries!

It is such a great year for berries.  I guess they liked the cool wet spring and early weeks of summer and our lower-than-average mid-summer temps have shown favor to the berries as well.

The rest of my garden?   …not so much!

Our spring/summer weather has been very hard on most of the garden but I’m still enjoying it and I think it’s beautiful.

And…it’s not over yet!

The raspberries though are certainly the gift that keep giving and giving.Truly a delight of summer!

They are also a beautiful addition to flower arrangements.

My nephew, Joel {1}, has discovered the rewards of finding the red berries.  We have a new row that his dad planted this spring and it is just the right size.  He toddles his way along ‘his row’ and finds all of the red berries.

I also love pretty jars!  ♥

I’ve come to a sad realization this year.  Making jam is horribly expensive {and involves WAY TOO MUCH sugar!!!}.  It’s a good thing that I don’t have to buy berries or containers.  I grew up with freezer jam and so have my kids but it’s slipping into more of a for-special-occasions thing around here. 

August 6, 2011 Posted by | garden, home life, in the kitchen | Leave a comment

Strawberry Lemonade, anyone?

The Royal Lady workshop and picnic lunch is an event that will transform my front yard {and all of your senses}.  In the mean time, it certainly plays with my mind…on a daily basis.  I want every part of it to be perfect.  I’ve been working on drink ideas and trying to perfect a fresh strawberry lemonade.  I go out to the garden pick a couple of handfuls of strawberries, juice them, squeeze the juice from a few lemons…add some water, sugar, fresh mint leaves….refrigerate….taste, taste and taste again….see how it sits in the fridge for a couple of days…taste some more.  And then a few days later I repeat the process again. 

the results?    It’s all good, tasty and beautiful!

maybe I’ll even add a touch of sparkle to it…

I can’t wait for July 30th – It’s going to be grand and there is still room for YOU and your friend{s}!  :)

click on the picture for more information

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Art Retreat, Boho Workshop, in the kitchen | Leave a comment

Drink Green!

Up until now, my garden has been providing pleasure mostly just for my ‘visual’ senses. 

It also has given me an excuse to soak in a lot of Vitamin D. 

Oh, my ~ how that feels so nice. 

Although our spring was so rainy and cool, we have now had about 3 solid weeks of sunshine.  Today our early morning temperature was 52º ~ oh, how I’ve been waiting with anticipation for it move into the 50′s.

This morning I picked one of my rows of spinach so I can get another re~planted.

Have you ever added spinach to a fruit smoothie?

If you haven’t ever tried it then you would be surprised that it blends in so nice without adding much to the flavor.  I just throw in a handful and it’s always the perfect amount.  It gives an amazing healthy punch to this already nutritious drink.  I make mine with yogurt that I’ve made from my own milk, fresh fruit {preferably that I’ve frozen} and I like to add a little stinging nettle if I have it on hand.  {remember THIS POST?  I was able to dry some for tea and freeze some in ice cube trays to add to drinks….YUM!}

I know, I know….I’m used to having people think I’m crazy but I’ll say that I feel better than I think I’ve ever felt! 

{so there!!!} 

:-)

July 7, 2011 Posted by | garden, healthy living, in the kitchen, my neck of the woods! | 4 Comments

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