Friday, October 29, 2010

Beer, beer, beer, beer!

As some of you may know, my husband and a couple of his long time friends are in the process of starting a micro-brewery. The past year has been working towards building a business plan, getting an SBA loan and investors, finding a space. Interesting at times - but, ya know, mostly kind of, well, unexciting details.

Things just got a little more interesting, though. Thanks to one of the investors, there is now a 2 barrel brewing system living in our garage!

While things are still wrapping up on the financial end, the group wanted to get started working on the actual product. A used system showed up for sale and they took the plunge. For some reason, the best place for this thing to be right now is in our garage...Don't ask, it just is.

So T got it all put together last weekend. It just needs hooked up to some propane, we need some grain, yeast and water and we're ready to go!

It's a whole lotta shiny stainless steel, right?

The product line will be called Born Beer, after a former Columbus brewery that operated from 1864 up until 1919, when prohibition pretty much shut them down.

So, hopefully you'll be seeing this in a store sometime in the next year or so! And hey - if you know someone who might want to invest in a brewery, let me know! ;)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Out at the Farmhouse

Last weekend T and I went out to our brother in law's land, so that T could switch out his trail camera SD cards. Sounds totally snoozeroo, but it's so pretty out there I took my camera to catch some pictures of the early fall. This is the same farm where we were married last year - here's the 1830-40's house all dressed up for the ceremony.

We made out way around the corn fields to get to the two cameras. One of the fields is right up against some woods and Rose Run creek - which is dammed up by the beavers right now, and kind of still and groddy looking. Anyway, the rest of the scenery is pretty nice. Here's some of what I saw.

On the way back in, we stopped in the cow barn to look around. Sadly, it's falling into pretty bad condition. There's a pretty big hole in the roof, there's about 30 years of manure hanging around, and let's not mention the bats. Still, believe me, it's full of that sad but beautiful rusticity. I hate to think that the barn is just going to disintegrate one day, but without a ton of money it's probably going to.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh my

So during the craziness that was making applebutter and all that hooha I managed to make these rolls. It's really gilding the lily to put butter on them, but for real, when did butter every hurt?

Now, I actually started them the night before - but don't be misled. They're not hard to make, you just need time for cooling down scalded milk, and then letting everything rise sufficiently. Seriously, they're no knead, too. Slightly sweet, buttery even before you butter them, soft, great crust. Really I could go on.

So, some day when you have lots of laundry or other lame housework stuff keeping you home, sweeten the deal by trying these out. Or please, do your families a favor and at least make them for Thanksgiving. They will love you even more than they already do.

Created by the wonderful Pioneer Woman, of course!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apples! Get Your Apples!

Over the Labor Day weekend, we did a little apple picking. Now, we had every intention of going to Lynd's farm, paying someone else for our hard work, then heading home to make apple butter and sauce. Well, T's dad pretty much told us we were idiots, and that there is an old man down the road from their house that will let you have apples from his defunct orchard for free. Just ask. So we did.

The orchard is huge, and it's pretty sad that it's in such a poor state. No kidding, this place is a little wild and overgrown and there's a lot of stickers and possibly poison ivy, and a lot of the apples are wormy - BUT, we still managed to pick a ton that were perfectly fine.

See, they're fine! Maybe not the Miss America of apples, but still completely fine for our purposes. And totally FREE!

See how pretty they look all washed up?

While we were making apple butter, I had plans to make apple cinnamon syrup, so I washed up practically every jar in the house. There's something so satisfying about clean jars in the sunlight, waiting to be filled up and stored away.

So the apple butter was the crock pot method (since buying a copper kettle would probably mean opening up an equity line). And this was what it looked like starting out. Apples, cinnamon, clove and about a half ton of sugar. Delicious!

This is about 5-6 hours of cooking. Starting to break down and actually look like something. Let me tell you our house smelled like autumn heaven!

And this is the next day. Three crocks pot of apples cooked down for a looooong time. We mixed all the batches together for consistency, then canned, canned, canned.

And here's the end result! We got 18 jars of apple butter, and I did manage to squeeze in the syrup making too. Gosh I love those cut glass jars. Now, we still have possibly 15 pounds of apples left, so it looks like apple sauce needs to happen this weekend. Or we may have to invest in a cider press, it's hard to say.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh Yeah!

I have a blog! Yes, apparently I've forgotten (again) about that. This reminds me of my high school Latin teacher, when we were wasting too much time in class talking about Days of Our Lives. "Tempus fugits class!" Once we heard that we knew we had to get back to conjugating and translating. That's the only excuse I have for dropping the ball here. Tempus fugits, and it just won't stop.

Not that I haven't been up to stuff.

This spring we went to Costa Rica - Playa Carillo, on the Pacific side. Teeny tiny town, incredibly quiet, since it was off season. We practically had the beach to ourselves.

We hit the Goodguys car show again. I love me a classic car.

Apparently I love a classic car very close up.

There's been some cooking.

Some crafting.

And I'm learning how to fish with T. I don't have any pictures of that - cause, well, that would be a camera disaster of the highest order.

That's a very tiny nut shell of the past six months. Hopefully I'll be better about keeping up this time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some Spring Stuff

Every year the rhubarb action in my garden freaks me out a little.

It's just so weird, ya know? Makes me think of an alien baby - I know, it's gross, but I can't help it!

But then it starts to look more like a plant, and you turn around and it's big enough to hide small children and livestock in.

This was the garden a few weeks ago, and things certainly don't look quite as bleak now. But for reals, there's a crushing amount of work left to do. That is, after it's safe to plant stuff after our scorched earth weed attack. I hate it, but we had to use the Round Up, or there would be no peas, lettuce, carrots or tomatoes. Just thistles. And more thistles, and a few locust trees that I don't need. Oh well, we can always try better next year, and know that, even if it's not organic, at least it's homegrown!

And in the spirit of spring, here's a shot of some tulips I treated myself February. I just didn't get around to sharing them until now....Well, I can try better next time, right? They're still pretty even if they're not exactly hot off the presses!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Itty Bitty

Here's the hat I made during the first big snow, for a new baby, C. I might have been inspired to pick a bright, springy green by the snow coming down when I was at the yarn store - who knows? Either way, it's super soft, and making that teeny tiny pom-pom was a kick.

Super close up of the knitty goodness. That's a mock cable stitch, which looks super fancy and cabled, but is just a 4 row repeat of knit, purl and a ssk or two. I found the pattern for this itty bitty hat here. It's easy, and very importantly, quick. I made a similar hat for my niece J, when she came 2 months early. I could still get it completed in time to deliver to her tiny little head, just a little over a year ago! Man, time flies!