Fiber Haul

We had the pleasure of making our way to the annual Sheherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend. I thought about taking pictures of the festivities and animals, but I’ve already done that and, really, how many sheep photos does one need? Of course, what I’m about to show you presents the same question – how many photos of fiber and wool does one need? Apparently, not enough:

Fiber Haul

This sea of wool contains two fibers I have never spun before, and am looking forward to making some yarn out of them. The top left bowl of white, cloudy happiness is 100% angora – the kind of fiber that, when touched, just feels like pure warmth as opposed to anything tangible. The same can almost be said about the bottom left bundle. That’s 100% yak down. All in all, though, I feel I was a bit restrained, and that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m still working on piles of fiber from festivals past.

So, here’s to another year behind the wheel!

Bounty, Bread and Bunnies

Organic strawberries were on sale this week. Although these are not local strawberries, it’s still good to take advantage of the bounty – particularly in preparation for when there will be none (I’m thinking of the cold wintery months that will inevitably be upon us).

Bounty of Strawberries

These early, store-bought strawberries are washed, cut up and frozen on cookie sheets for later storage in freezer bags. Doing the bulk of the saving now, will let us enjoy (a.k.a gorge on) the fresh local strawberries when they start showing up (including the ones from our yard), without having to save them for later.

Also new this weekend, is my adoption of a new bible. I’ve been hearing a lot about this book, so I’ve decided to acquire a copy for myself to follow. I familiarized myself with the master recipe today, and looks like the hype is warranted (and, I bet it’s good for the soul, too).

Bread (Before and After)

This, of course, is the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. For this initial trial run, I cut the salt back quite a bit (almost half of what was called for), but that’s the only change. I now have a bowl of dough in the fridge ready to be drawn from and baked during the coming week (which fits perfectly with my tendency during the summer to wake up early). I’m sure Virginia won’t mind the smell of baking bread in the wee hours of the morning.

And, some of you may have seen this photo when I uploaded it to Flickr the other day. Our yard, full of all things green, is also home to a couple of bunnies. Their own bounty has made them probably a little too comfortable with their surroundings.

Lounging Bunny

It cracks me up whenever I see them hanging out after they’ve grazed, lying on their fattened bellies. We’re starting to call our house “Bunny Acres.” They’ve also inspired a few felted creations, including this little felted friend with a carrot.

Felted Friend - Bunny with Carrot in Garden

Apples on my mind

Apple Head

It might be possible to have too many apples in one’s life, but I don’t think I’ve come close. Saturday morning I picked up another bunch of apples, including some “seconds” that required some fairly immediate attention (lest they continue to decline).

More Apple Pie

The result was two enormous pies (I think each pie has about 25 apples), which is good, because I figured the recommendation of eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables can probably be fulfilled with one slice.

Other apples in my life that I enjoy are the ornamental crab apples outside our kitchen window. Not only do the blooms in the spring cheer up the yard, so does the fruit in the fall and early winter. While I was peeling the apples for the pies, this was my canopy:

Crab Apple

A couple of notes about my previous post on leaves and Carl Sagan – I obviously got a little distracted by apples and raked very little. The leaves aren’t going anywhere, and will be there for another day. I also tracked down the quote that I was hoping to find and replaced the one that I posted yesterday. It’s worth checking out.


For obvious reasons our gardening plans this season were thwarted. But, we are super fortunate to live close to a great farmers market. So, we’ve been taking advantage of the people who have been able to farm and garden this year, providing us with access to delicious, local produce.

In previous years, we made the market a regular part of our food buying, going once a week. This year, again for obvious reasons, we’ve only been able to go two or three times. Today was one of those times, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. For, you see, we had pickles on our minds, and there were cukes a plenty, dill and garlic, too.

We made a simple, but fantastic recipe last year, but ran out of them about half-way through. This year we hope to not make the same mistake.

Dill Pickles, year 2

Behold, 11 jars filled with over 13 pounds of pickled cucumber goodness. Of course, I should mention that my role in the process was greatly reduced due to low energy (thanks to my slow-to-recover hemoglobin), so I’m very glad Virginia was up to the task of washing, slicing, dicing and canning. (I did help a wee bit, though. I took some pictures.)

Dill Pickles, year 2