How To Get A Fresh Egg To Peel Beautifully!

peeled egg

Those of you with chickens and those of you who buy fresh eggs from those with chickens peeled eggalready know that fresh eggs do not peel well.  I think I can help.  This comes from a young farmer friend of mine and we have tested this out over a dozen times.  Ready? Steam your eggs.  Yup.  That’s it.

  1. Place the eggs (not more than a dozen)into your steamer.
  2. Steam for 15 minutes.
  3. Plunge into cold water until cool enough to handle.
  4. Peel.

I am not going to try to tell you how to use a steamer; if you have one then, chances are, you already know how to use it.  Our results have been pretty consistent;  I am not going to say this is foolproof 100% of the time cause, well, life is not 100% foolproof.

So next time you are wanting to use farm fresh eggs in your potato salad or for deviled eggs, fear not; pretty is here!

A Simple Life

Planning a simple life is like writing a love letter to yourself. You can include what you want to include, you live by your own values, love who and what you love, develop your own usefulness and eventually you become the person you wanted to be in all those private moments of hoping for a life of grace and splendid simplicity. ~ Rhonda Jean with Down—to—earth

The cold months are a good time for reflection and planning.  The garden sleeps, outside activities are dictated by the temps and precip, indoor activities become ripe for completion and active contemplation.

Living a simple life, in the reality of the world in which we live, is an act of rebellion and against the status quo.  We strive to build a community of like-minded individuals, learning to live a life rich in experiences and poor in consumerism.

Words hold great power so as you write your love letter, remember that these ideas, values, and thoughts, will create action in not only your private life but in your public as well.  Last year’s events brought that home very quickly and poignantly; stepping on the toes of the quo is threatening and there are those who will go to great lengths to protect the quo; be prepared.

Several advised me to ‘live my bliss’ and put nothing to paper; I’ve spent this last year doing just that and have reached this conclusion: the world is full of great beauty and much ugliness.  There is too much despair and hopelessness in the world to sit back and just let it be.  If the few words, photographs, and projects that are shared here can give some hope then it is worth it.

There is much to share… let’s get to it!

Rhubarb Yum Yum

RhubarbI was gifted with two rhubarb plants a few years ago and, until this year, has gone relatively unused.  A crime, I know.  Now these lovelies are ready to feed and nourish and I have just the recipes to share:

Sad to say that I never got a picture of these goodies as they disappeared shortly after emerging from the oven. Except for the jam.  There are a few jars left!

The rhubarb is from our garden and the strawberries are from Chiles Orchard in Crozet, just outside of Charlottesville VA.  This orchard is ‘local’, if you are following the 100-mile diet, and all the produce we have purchased from them has been above par.

I invite you to explore your local resources and enjoy the seasonal bounty!

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

wool in a bag

wool in a bagI must admit that this festival was so much more than my expectations – WOW!  Anything and anyone fiber related was there:  plants used to dye naturally, fleeces, sheep shearing demo’s, auctions, wheels, etc.  It was a spinning/weaving/crafting palooza.

While the ride up was cold and damp, well, downright rainy, that Saturday and Sunday were sunny and beautiful.  I learned so much about fleece quality and how to purchase fleeces, cleaning/skirting fleeces, and how it is all worked into yarn.  Quite a labor of love.wool in a row
Fiber Festival

All in all, it is a great festival and I am glad to have attended.  A long drive for us so I may attend a closer one, like the 2016 Fall Fiber Festival held at Montpelier.  Mark your calendars!

Highland County Maple Festival

highland maple

highland mapleEvery year, residents and visitors alike, look forward to the Highland County Maple Festival.  This celebration occurs the second and third weekend of March; for 2016, March 12-13 and 19-20.  One weekend will be beautiful and the other rainy/snowy.  We are betting on which weekend will host which weather and the consensus seem to be this coming weekend (12-13) will be on the sunny side.  Both weekends hold something for everyone; food, crafts, entertainment, a picture-taking palooza (even when the weather is bleak).

Making the syrup from tree sap has been a tradition in many areas for generations, some have it down to a science, highland maplemonitoring day/night temps to know what the sap yield will be.  For those of you who wish to make your own syrup and are interested in tips from a backyard tapper, check out Kathie’s post on tapping backyard trees.

If you plan to be in the area, take the long way home and swing through Monterey.  The drive home is always yummier when you have a box of warm maple sugar doughnuts!