the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sourdough bread in 5 minutes a day

I love bread.  It really doesn't matter what kind.  Farmhouse, honey oat, Artisan, Whole Wheat, White... I have even learned in my life as a mostly grown up to enjoy rye and pumpernickle. 

And Sourdough?  Oh sourdough, how do I love you?  Let me count the ways...

I am also learning the art of food fermentation.  Yogurt, Water Kefir, soaked grains... the many uses  of sourdough starter!  Oh I've made muffins and pancakes and more pancakes and waffles and pancakes.  Did I mention the pancakes?  (Today IS National Pancake Day, people!) 
Except... I have NOT had much success with sourdough bread.  It just didn't come out... right.  It didn't rise, it was WAY too crusty.  Don't get me wrong, I love crust... just not enough to chip a tooth on it.  So sourdough has elluded me... until today! 

Another thing I love?  Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day.  This is the ONLY way I can have fresh bread in the summer.  It is just too busy a time of year to be on a bungy cord attached to the kneading and rising and punching and rising and shaping and rising and baking... gesh.  I have bett-ah things to do! Like swim in a pool, feed chickens, tend look at pigs (Five-Oh raises those), milk goats, make chevre and weed gardens!  Oh and raise children.  Ha, almost forgot about those hungry growing buggers blessings from heaven.

Wait, wait, what?  You've never heard of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day!?  Oh ma gosh.  It's SOOOO easy.  You mix up, like, 4 ingredients, put it in a non metal bowl, let it rise, stick it in the fridge and pull out a softball size ball of dough everytime you want artisan bread.  Or you can make it into pizza, or cinnamon rolls or well, anything that's made with dough.  You get the idea here?  You see the broad scope of possibilities?!

You're welcome.

Next comes the inspiration that just shot down out of the heavens and into my head this morning.  (Thank you Jesus!)  What if... stay with me here people... what if I combined the sourdough starter with the ideas of Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day!?  And so that is exactly what I did with mah bad self.

Sourdough Bread in 5 Minutes a day
1 1/2 c Sourdough Starter (my starter is fed 1/2 flour, 1/2 water quantities at a time)
2 1/4 c warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast (you need a little of this yeast in order to get a good rise from the 'fridge)
1 Tbsp kosher salt
6 c flour (I used organic white)

Mix it all up.  I used my kitchenaid mixer, but absolutely do NOT leave your dough to rise in a stainless steel bowl.  It messes with the wee yeasties.  Transfer over to a ceramic or plastic container.  Your dough should be a slightly sticky mass.  Allow to rise for 6-8 hours or so. (You can't really go wrong here.)  Stick it in your fridge.  When you are ready to bake follow the baking instructions found here.  Or get creative.  Today I made calzones and cinnamon buns! 

UPDATE: I followed the directions in the link for making an artisan loaf. I handled it minimally, just gently shaped.  And I let it sit out for about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs before baking. And baked it at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.  It was the BEST loaf of artisan bread I ever made in. my. life.  And that says a lot.  The picture above is that very loaf.  Delicious-o!

(free sourdough starter)


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Orphans Calling

This has been sitting heavily on my mind the past 12 hours or so.  I am grieved.
It is something I heard yesterday... from a Christian...

"My daughter and son-in-law (both "devout" Christians) want but can't have children... and they don't want to adopt and inherit another person's mess... I guess not everyone is called to adopt." 

I don't know about you... but this sits heavily on my soul.  This makes my heart hurt.

What if God said that about YOUR mess?! 

Hanna?  She's a complete train wreck.  I don't want to inherit THAT!  Let's turn away from that! Out of sight out of mind!

What if HE said that your mess was too big for Him to adopt YOU!?
Thankfully, our God NEVER abandons us as orphans.  He is involved!  He has adopted US as his own children.  He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Eph 1:5)  We can cry out to Him, "Abba! Father!" He makes our mountains of messes into tiny little molehills. Walls come crumbling down. Evil, diabolical rulers fall at God's command.

Did you know that if less that 10% of the Christian population adopted, there would be NO orphans. Only 1 in 10 of us need to adopt. Christians, caring for orphans is NOT a calling.  It is commanded.  You can not cry out for the unborn and then abandon the resulting child.  Turning your back on the orphaned is the SAME thing, the VERY same evil as cutting an unborn child from the womb of it's mother.  Stop using the vast excuses of the enemy and step up!  BE the Church.  Care for the fatherless.

So how do you care for orphans?  
1. Adoption, Foster Care or Orphan Hosting (New Horizons for Children)
2. Fundraise or donate to people who are adopting or hosting.
3. Advocate. Pray. Stop allowing our American self-centered comfy Christian culture to sit and do nothing.

Do you think I'm being dramatic?  Here only a handful of the Bible Verses on Caring for Orphans...
Psalms 82:3-4 - Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
James 1:27 - Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Galatians 4:4-6 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
Psalms 68:5-6 - Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.
Psalms 10:18 - Defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
Psalms 10:14,17-18 You are the helper of the fatherless. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
Isaiah 1:17 - Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
Deuteronomy 10:17-18 - He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
Proverbs 31:8-9 - Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Matthew 18:5 - And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
Matthew 25:40 - I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!
Hosea 14:3 - In you the orphan finds mercy.
Exodus 22:22-23 - Never take advantage of any widow or orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I will hear their cry.
Romans 8:14-16 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
Job 29:12 - Because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our First Herd Sire!

Kalamalka Pirate's Blackbeard!!!
Isn't that a great name?  I wish I had a website to link to the Crandall's who bred Blackbeard.  Laine Crandall was a lovely person to correspond with while figuring out if this was our guy.  Blackbeard's sire, Pirate, is Little Orchard bred.  They have excellent lamanchas and I am super excited to see some little goat kids out of this guy!  Blackbeard will be owned by Jocelyn and boarded on our homestead for part of the year with the promise of breeding rights.
Super excited to have found our first buck!  Can't wait to have him here!

Here is his full brother's Pedigree!

This is his Dam, Kalmalka V&V Lily. 89+EEE

Lilly's udder before milking.  She's the first one with the spots.
Blackbeard's Sire: Little Orchard SC Pirate 88VEE
(Maternal brother to the #1 lamancha buck on the ADGA sire summary list,
 Blackbeard's Sire's Dam (Grandma): SGCH Little Orchard PL Pure Joy  EEEE92

Friday, August 31, 2012

Growing goats

My goats are growing and getting sleeker and healthier.  But my worry over them does not seem to be any less.  I keep worrying that one of them are going to die on me!  I am such a newby and EVERYTHING is a learning experience at this point. 

This week goat sprains were an item of learning.  Minnie sprained her knee.  It grew to the size of a tennis ball.  I immediately was SURE that they were both CAE positive and were going to die within the week.  I am only slightly dramatic in real life.  But as a goat owner I am a bit of a freak drama queen worry wart.  So after a bit of settling down by Jocelyn and Charleen, my goat friends, I got put on my big girl pants barn boots and got to work.  Apparently goats can take aspirin when they have a sprain.  So I bought baby asprin.  Which Minnie devoured.  She loved the stuff.  I also learned that willow is nature's aspirin.  Thankfully we have 2 willows.  A weeping pussy willow (which was already quite pruned from Minnie) and a regular pussy willow.   Minnie got a couple of knee hose downs with cold cold well water and in 3 days she is nearly good as new.  Still a bit swollen, but she's not bothered by it.  Thank God!  And now I am educated on goat sprains.

Now.  Enjoy some pretty goats' pictures...
Tilly, who would NOT stay still.  Would not keep her legs back.

"Nice width and height, especially at the escutcheon."
An afternoon stroll with my goats through the back field.

Minnie the Milker.  She's a great milker for being such a little thing.  A wonderful guinea pig goat.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

BrightStar Chantilly Lace

This post is mainly for my own reference.
 While, some of you goat lovers might enjoy this, I fully realize
that this is a complete bore to the rest of you.

BrightStar Chantilly Lace

CH Marshmeadow Sky Sequined Veil  (Tilly's Mom) 87VE+V
This is Tilly's Dam as a yearling milker. She ended up an ADGA Champion (that's the CH in front of her name.) To be a Champion you have to win 3 Grand Champion awards under at least 2 different judges at ADGA sanctioned events. So pretty much, she won 3 goat beauty contests. LOL
When we saw Veil at BrightStar Farm, where I bought Tilly and Minnie, she was a shadow of her former glory, poor old lady. Age. It happens to the best of us. I was so happy to find this picture when I searched her Pedigree name. Those Googles, they sure are helpful!
Tilly's Sir is Brookwood Bastile Andre 86VEV bred by Brookwood Lamanchas.  BEAUTIFUL goats.  If you look at the website anything with Bastille in the name is related to my Tilly.  Likewise, anything with Prowler.

I have high hopes for our Little Tilly.  I hope she is the start of something great!  I hope she is a great doe birthing mother.  I hope she is a great milker.  I hope she nurtures a love of goats and animals in my children.  I hope she doesn't purposely tip over the water bucket like Minnie. 

Mostly, I hope God may be glorified in this goat raising endeavor.  I am realizing that He put this pastoral yearning in me.  I feel peace while taking them for walks through the trails in our fields. (We don't have a pasture yet.)  I feel joy and purpose when filling a milking pail with substance that will nourish my family.  I feel fulfilled when I make cheese to fill my children's bellies.  This IS the abundant life.  And I give thanks.

Matthew 7:11
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Please Welcome...

The newest additions to our family (farm)!



(They are LaMancha Dairy Goats.)
More adventures in homesteading coming soon!

And a little Bible Verse that made me chuckle.
Proverbs 27:27
You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.

Monday, January 23, 2012

LOVE each other

In the past 12 hours 2 verses have come to my attention, through my SOAP Ephesians study, and through Erasing Hell, by Francis Chan...

Ephesians 1:15-16
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you remembering you in my prayers. 

Matthew 5:21-22
You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgement.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.

Francis Chan (Erasing Hell) gives this commentary about Matthew 5:21-22
Have you called your brother a fool lately? On a blog? On facebook? Have you tweeted anything of the sort? 
So often these hell passages become fodder for debate, and people miss the point of the warning.  Jesus didn't speak of hell so that we could study, debate, and write books about it.  He gave us these passages so that we would live holy lives.  Stop slandering one another, and live in peace and brotherly unity.  Jesus evidently hates it when we tear into our brothers or sisters with demeaning words, words that fail to honor the people around us as the beautiful image-bearing creatures that we are.

Wow, God.  That was timely.  You see I have felt pretty attacked lately by fellow believers whose views vary slightly from mine.  I have not slandered in retort.  BUT OOOOOOH how I have WANTED to.  I have really really wanted to.  I have written the words in my head.  Put together with the Ephesians verses this is the heart change I have come away with.

~Love ALL saints.  Even when it's not easy.
~Give thanks for each other.  EVEN when you don't want to.
~Pray for each other.  Prayer keeps the enemy at bay.  We need to lift each other up, instead of cutting each other down. 

Dear Lord, I am guilty.  I may not have vocalized it, but I have thought it.  Lord help me to have a tender heart.  Help me to lift my fellow Christians.  Help me to Love all Saints.  I give thanks for each of your children and the different ways you have sculpted us.  Help us each to hear YOUR voice, YOUR call, and obey YOUR will.  Help us to be a reflection of your heart.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Footnote:  There is a difference between cutting each other down and holding each other accountable...
One is done in frustration and anger.  One is done in love.