Friday, March 9, 2018

March, winter or spring?

It´s the 9th of March and still lots of snow. Last year we did a lot of outside work in February and March but now we are still waiting on better weather to arrive. Last Tuesday we had some glimpse of spring. The sun was shining clearly, no wind and it was complete silent only the soft sound of chirping birds. We took our time to sit outside and enjoying a cup of tea. It was even warm enough without coat and scarf, I´m looking forward to more of these days. But for now it´s snowing again, so waiting for the next nice day to come…..
 laundry drying in the sun 
But in the meantime, there is lots of other work to do. We are still busy with the firewood making, but it´s in progress and hopefully done in two weeks… 

My lavender seeds seem to sprout, I hope the will grow! Of course, I´m still sewing on my new dress, I have finished the upper skirt, (the skirt consists of two parts, a shorter the upper skirt and the longer underskirt,) and I almost finished the day bodice, I only need to sew 7 buttonholes and two buttons. After that is only the underskirt, a ball bodice and the short cloak left to make :).  This will be a multifunctional dress but more over that later.
 working with our workpony to be, he ´s doing so well! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Planting my first seeds and the hens are laying eggs!

A week ago, one of my new hens laid her first egg and after that, we got an egg every other day. So, after a long time without chickens and without eggs now we finally have them again. There is nothing above going outside and get some eggs and take a slice of the very best homemade bread with butter and scrambled egg, yummy!

Every year we try to have al the work with the firewood done before Easter. So, in December and January Sander cut some trees and now he will saw them in pieces and cleave the wood with the cleaving axe. For sawing he used a crosscut bowsaw. They have their saw teeth bent out on either side of the blade. Therefore, the teeth create a channel which is a little wider than the wide of the saw blade. Which makes it much easier to saw the wood. But after a while the teeth bent toward each other again and need to set, as it is called. To set a saw is to bend the tip of each cutter tooth away from the blade in a slight amount. Just as alternate teeth are sharpened opposite each other, they are set opposite each other to. You can buy special tools to it, but we do it on a more basic method, with two small adjustable wrenches.

I have got all the seeds I need for the coming seasons, most vegetables but I did buy some flower seeds to. One plant I like very much is Lavender, and I bought some seeds to it. It is not the easiest seed to plant. These seeds need a cold period to sprout. Most you should sow them in the autumn or put them in February, in a bit of earth, in your freezer for at least one week. But I couldn´t do, nor the one nor the second method, for we don´t have a freezer and I hadn´t my lavender seeds last autumn. But it is still very cold here and we do have a cold spot on the loft and it´s there I put them. I hope it works and I get at least one lavender plant after all my 1000seeds I sowed.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The kitchen, the heart of the home, part 2

Last Monday I received my package with seeds from the USA.  A long time I wanted to plant beet sugar to make our own molasses and maybe even sugar. But I could not find seeds in Sweden and I looked in other European countries as well, but no one did sell seeds in small portion. But at last I find a shop in Missouri the "BAKER CREEK HEIRLOOM SEEDS” and there I got them! I ordered also some other seeds, an early sprouting broccoli, it´s an English heirloom variety and it produce a lot of purple broccoli sprouts in the early spring. You plant it in the autumn and all the winter it grows till the harvest in the early spring. Of course, I bought some beans as well. I love beans and eat lots of them. The Jacob´s cattle bean is an old variety from America, and as the name says the look like a cow. A light-colored bean with dark spots. I´m curious how it will taste… I was very surprised that I found one more seed package. It was a gift from the shop. A Black Vernissage tomato. I had actually decided that I would not plant tomatoes anymore, but it seems my fade decided differently…

But let´s baking a Dutch oven bread for now!

Often I bake bread in my Dutch oven. This is not an electric oven or something like that, but it means I bake in a large pan in my wood oven. I preheat this pan in the oven and put the dough in it and it bake it for 45min. I create a sort of mini oven in the oven. It makes it easier for me to handle the temperature and the bread become so nice brown and crispy…  

You need for one bread
500gr flower (whole meal flower or all purpose, what you like.)
½package dry yeast
Lite sugar
250-300ml water (37)
A little butter
1 ½ tsp. salt
- Tip the flour into a bowl and mix in the yeast with the salt. Stir in the water, butter and sugar Now bring together to make a soft dough – I use my hands, but a wooden spoon works fine too. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins. It is worth putting in the time to do this as it will pay off later with lovely airy bread.
- Put it in the bowl again a covered with a wet towel put I a warm place to rise, it takes most an hour the first time. Push gently the dough flat and form it in a bal. Put it in a little basket or bowl with the same measure as your Dutch oven pan. Let rise another half an hour or so.
get the fire going before baking
put my Dutch oven in the oven
- Put it in the Dutch oven which have preheated for at least 30min, covered with the lid, bake for 45min. in a hot oven.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

garden and sewing

It´s the last of January today, so the first month of the year is already passed away. Last week we did some work in the garden and also this morning! But now the fine weather is over and it´s snow raining here.


But there is enough to do inside as well. I´m cooking a delicious stew. With potato´s, mushrooms, carrot and onion, this goes well to the nasty weather.
 I´m busy with making a new dress. A wool dress this time. I bought this very lovely checked fabric.

 My dress will be inspired by this dress.

 But first I made a new corset, with front and back lacing this time. Most is machine sewed but all the eyelets are done by hand. 12 front eyelets and 28 on the back. I made also a nice crochet lace on top. It turned out very well and I like the colors to.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Longing for summer and a stable tour

Mmm, freshly baked cupcakes and a cup of tea, that´s what I need to write my post

When I would use my camara some days ago I found some movies of last summers hay harvest. It gave me a lot of happiness to see everyting so green. I long to the springtime and long to work in the garden again. But now is everything covered with snow and the ground still frozen. So I spend some time with planning my garden instead. I think it´s good to have something to look forward to. It gives a lot of pleasure. Sometimes is longing to even better then that you were looking forward to.
I hope this little silly movies will you make happy to.. please enjoy.

The last weeks my husband is working in the barn. We have 2 ponies on one side of the stable and our horse stands on the otherside in a large box. She can see the other two but not make contact them and now we have sold one pony we have one box empty on the ponyside. This will be her new box. Only the railing was to low. She is 150cm high instead of 95cm. I think she could just step over it. So that is what we needed to change and she needed also a larger door. This is done by now and the last step will be to cover all electricity cables.
 Vera´s new stable/box, on the left jou see a bit of the pony boxes
the pony stables just next to her. 

Our chickens are also waiting on warmer weather. When it is snowing they don´t like to be outside... I hope now the daylight is become longer again that I might have our first eggs soon!
 little Betsy is waiting to go inside again, she follows me everywhere😺.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The kitchen, the heart of the home, part 1

The kichen is one of our most important places in our little house. Here do we cook our food, bake our daily bread, preserve food for the winter months and heat water for bathing. All through the history the kitchen has been an important place. Long ago this was the place where it was warm all day round and where you would have light from the open fire. In the 19thcentury this changed when the more economic woodstove made his entrance. The smoking open fire became past time, although in some houses it stayed in use until 1930´s.

I´m not certain when our home got it´s first woodstove but you can see that the timber above the stove has been burned and I suppose that they had an open fireplace back in the 1850´s when the house was build. When we moved into the house, a large ¨Skillingaryd¨ stove was build in but unfortunaly it was damaged and could not be repaired. Without the stove the kitchen was useless so we did buy another stove. A Näfvekvarn 19 B, I think it was build in the early 20th Century and it was renovated before we bought it. I´m very happy with this woodstove. Most of the early Swedish woodstoves have very little fireplaces, you almost need to split your firewood into safty matches formate. But this stove has fortunately a large fireplace. I cook on it, bake bread or cookies but also cake goes fine, even when I have to turn the cake  after half the time, it never collapse. I know a lot of people where that happened despite the have a modern oven.

This time I made some picture how we clean the inside of our stove, we need to do deed every other week or so, it´s important to clear out all the soot. If I don´t do that, I can´t  regulate the oven tempature that well, and the stove smokes when I lay new wood on the fire. I also blacken the stove  this time, I often forget to do that but now he is black and shiny again.
 On the picure above, you see the right cook plate, this plate is provided with extra iron on the underside, this makes that the plate stays  longer hot. A lot of soot is collected here.

 Also above the oven you´ll find a lot of soot and ashes. These scratch we beside the oven where it falls down...

 Last we clean in the sootvalve. Behind this little valve all soot and ashes are collected now and we can scratch is out and put it away.
 Brush the blacken on top and polish it out
And black and shiny after all work!

Monday, January 8, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR and news from the homestead

hello everyone!

It´s a long time since I posted my last update, but I had some trouble with my computer and it took a long time before we solved the problems but now I´m back!

Another year has passed by. A lot has happened. We get some goats and we gave them away again, we made a lot of hay, we sold one pony, get some new chickens, had a very good vegetable harvest and made some new ideas for the future...
I finished my first knitting project
We have decided to reduce our numbers of animals. It´s a lot of work to feed them all through the winter, and making all the hay they need. Last year we start mowing hay, a little before midsommer and we were done just before the first of oktober. It gives satisfaction to see the quantity of hay grow on our hayloft and gives a feeling of safety to know that there is enough food for the animals to eat all through the cold winter months. But spending almost 3months on hay making was a bit to much. I like the job but I like to do something else also... So now with less animals we need less food and it will be less work. We ´ll have some more times to do other tings, like working in the garden or maybe even to enjoy ourselves with dancing on a sommer ball.
some christmascarts I painted last year

The past 3 weeks I was in full speed with sewing a regency dress, a regency shift, a pair short stays (or corset) and a tucked petticoat and making a new pair of trousers to Sander. I readed on Facebook about a Regency ball or assamble in SkÃ¥ne, not to far away from were we live and decided to go. But I didn´t have the right dress to it and I had only 3 weeks to finish it. But I made it. Last saturday was the ball evening and it was wunderfull! I and my husband enjoyed every minut of it! It was very well organized. The room was delightfull decorated with paintings and candles. Very enjoyable dances we learned, it was just perfect! And now I dream to organize a ball to, we´ll see....
and a Picture from the ball, I´m in the Blue dress

in the upcoming updates
Were going to step by step learn our little pony to pull and drive
A lot about our vegteble garden 2018
how to sharpen a scythe
and much more!