Friday, September 10, 2010

7 Random Tidbits to Start the Weekend

1)  Today, I picked up the 24 pounds of canning peaches that I ordered last month through our local grocer.  Do I have a single solid plan of what to do with them?  Nope.  I plan to...can them..., in some way, shape, or form.

2)  We were generously given some peafowl last week.  One peacock(who seems to have vacated the premises) and a peahen with a few peachicks.  I like them.  A lot.

3)  The weather here has been very fall-ish and lovely.  Cool rainy days that smell sooo good and lovely crisp sunny days, too.

4)  I love closing up my chicken coop after dark when it's rainy because the night crawlers are all out doing their night crawler thing.  I just walk around pointing my flashlight at the ground and watching them vwoop back into their holes. 

5)  My sweet Mattie dog was bitten by a rattlesnake last weekend.  She was very swollen and sad, but is much improved now, thank heavens.

6)  I am ready for some football!

7)  Campfires are good for the soul.  A few s'mores don't hurt, either.

top: me, A, and C ~ the fire pit builders!
bottom: Mr. M, my sis Jen, C, me, and A

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Collar for my Doggie

Oh hey.  Remember me?  Good. 

I've made a couple things recently and I've gotta share.  Today I'm sharing the dog collar I made.  Our Border Collie, Mattie(pictured here with a very handsome cowboy I just happen to know ;)),

is such a sweetie.  She's a working dog, so she helps out when we're moving cattle.  She keeps an eye on the kids when they're in the yard and "protects" them from anything: the horses across the fence, the cat, and especially anyone who pulls in the drive.  And when they get too rowdy for her she trots off and does a little gopher chasing, her favorite hobby.

We've had Mattie since the year we got married, so she's seen a lot of changes in the last few years.  And, she's had a lot less pampering.  Which is fine by her, she's just not that kind of dog.  I was brushing her about a month ago and took off her collar.  She has such long hair I usually don't see it at all, so I was surprised that it looked like this:

It used to be red.  And not quite so dirty.  Yuck, poor little doggie.  So, I made her this:

I used the clasps, slider thingy, and d-ring from the old collar.  The old collar was 3/4" wide, so I cut a piece of fabric 3"X22", pressed it in half width-wise, and folded the long edges into the center crease and pressed again.  Then I edge-stitched with some contrasting thread, placed the hardware, and stitched across the width to secure it in the same manner as the original.  Cute, huh?  Much better than the old version.  The next time I do it I'll add some decor-weight fusible interfacing because I noticed it's a little floppy after a couple weeks' wear.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chicken Littles

Because I, apparently, don't have enough going on in my life right now, I ordered some new chicks in June.  They were hatched on June 14th, and promptly shoved into a box and Priority mailed to me.  A neighbor split the order with me and I ended up with 10 little birdies.

Here they are the day I received them.  They spent a couple weeks in the porch, then a few weeks in the garage.  Baby chicks need to be kept very warm until they start to get feathers.  Like, sauna warm.  We achieve that with a nice heat lamp aimed at the brooder.

Here they are in the big coop 5 weeks from the day I received them.  Isn't it crazy how fast they grow?  They're in the feather growing stage and look like a bunch of awkward teenagers.  So far, they're getting along well with the older hens and are really enjoying their new home. 

I cleaned out the coop for the first time in way too long in preparation for moving them out there and it turns out I have a renewed love for my flock.  Chickens are so fun to watch, they're like therapy that feeds you.  Speaking of which, these pullets(young female chickens) won't be old enough to lay until October, so, since the birds take a break in the winter, we might not get eggs from them until next spring.  Which is fine, because we're getting plenty from our few older hens right now.

And here is sweet Miss A holding what looks like a Barred Plymouth Rock.  She's a master chick chaser, which has come in handy on more than one occasion.  And, yes, she's wearing a sparkly gown and tennies.  That's my girl!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"More eyes, please!"

I keep meaning to post my pancake recipe, but keep forgetting to actually measure.  Someday I'll share it with you.  For now, though, here's a fun idea.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Crayons

My big girl and I recycled some crayons the other day.  We've had a bowl of crayon bits for a couple months and we peel them when we feel like it.  Which is not often.

We sorted them by color and put them in a muffin tin.  She did most of the sorting, I offered a few suggestions.  Some of them were appreciated, most were not. :) 

Then, we put them in the oven at 200 degrees F for, oh, 15 minutes or so until they were all melted.  I let them cool on the counter until they were cool to touch, then popped 'em in the fridge for another 15 minutes.

Removed them from the fridge, whacked the pan upside down on the counter, and ta-da! New crayons! 

This was a really fun way to use up crayon bits.  I especially enjoyed watching my big girl's sorting method.  It goes along the lines of beautiful(pink or some variation of pink) or not-beautiful(any other color).  Ha!  They'll be nice for Baby T in a couple of months, too.  Nice and big and easy to grip.  Right now he thinks they're mighty fine teething toys.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Arthritis Story

Hello, my reader friends.  I've missed you so.  I've been absent for over two weeks and finally have such a build up of must-blog ideas and stories that I cannot put this off any longer.  You see, I have a bit of news and a story to tell you, and I've been avoiding it for reasons I can't put my finger on.  So, I'm just going to jump in feet first and get it done with so we can go back to the fun stuff.  You may remember in my heating pad post I mentioned having arthritis, this is a story about that.

We had our third child, the handsome Baby T, last September.  In early November, I was trying to peel some crayons for a craft with the older two and my fingers hurt, so I stopped after two or three.  I didn't pay much attention to it, possibly because I was a bit busy caring for 2 small children and a newborn.  That night I got to thinking.  My fingers had been swollen since Baby T's birth.  Swelling is common, normal, after childbirth.  One of my nurses even said it could persist for a few weeks.  But 6 weeks is more than a few. 

So, the next morning, I did a little googling.  And then I called my sister and asked her to please talk me down, I was sure I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and was freaking out a little.  She calmed me down and told me to hang up and make a doctor's appointment.  So, I did.  This was on Friday.  Over the weekend my fingers started hurting even when I wasn't using them. 

Fast forward through over 6 months of doctor visits, blood work, anti-inflammatories, and prayer.  I finally have an official diagnosis.  It turns out, my original diagnosis was correct, I do have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  As of our last check I was still seronegative, meaning the antibodies in my blood that are present in 75% of RA patients haven't yet made their appearance.  I was last tested in November, shortly after onset.  We'll test again this summer.  It really makes no difference, though.  RA is RA. 

To say it's been a tough pill to swallow is an understatement.  In fact, I think it's still stuck in my throat somewhere.  I am active and independent, I'm busy and a hard worker, and I'm YOUNG.  I have so much to do, so much I want to do.  And this disease is going to change things.  To say otherwise is ignorance.  I may, no, I will do the things that are important to me still.  But, I may have to do them slower or differently than I first planned. 

Right now my feelings are all over the place.  I feel stubborn and strong and ready to fight this disease.  At the same time, I feel scared, unsure of what the future will bring.  Will it bring disability and me burdening my loved ones?  I hope not, I pray not, and I'm doing all I can to lessen my chances of that.  Will it bring this disease to my children?  Oh God, I pray not.  Perhaps it will bring my family closer together.  Or a cure.  Yes, let's hope and pray for a cure, or at least remission.  Other times, I admit I'm angry or least resentful.  It's so frustrating to not be able to open a package or to struggle with tasks I did last year without thinking. 

And, I feel a bit like I've been in the closet.  I'm not ashamed of my arthritis in any way, but I am shy and a bit proud.  I don't want to be viewed as a complainer and have told very few people in real life about my situation as a result.  And, it seems the people I have told aren't really very comfortable talking about it.  People either shut down or act like nothing's wrong.  Which is understandable, but hard.

Also, I don't really think most people know a great deal about RA.  Even with my medical background, all I knew was that it was an autoimmune disease that affected the joints.  I've learned a LOT in the last 6 months.  Recently, I came across and have learned even more.  I strongly encourage you to visit that site and check out her RA Info and RA 101 pages.  Especially if someone you know in real life has RA.  It may give you a better understanding of them and the disease they're living with. 

So, anyway, that's the scoop.  I've been processing my official diagnosis and trying to live life in as normal a way as possible.  I'm staying positive for the most part, but the occasional good cry sneaks it's way in.  And, that's ok, too. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

It's Superman!  This is the first of the sewing projects from my list that I completed.  It's so far from perfect it's laughable, but it's done.  I've had the fabric for almost 6 months, so done and imperfect is better than still sitting in neat little bundles in my sewing room.

Superman (who refers to himself as Supaman, has no idea who Superman and Batman are, and will STRONGLY deny being Batman; both sides of the cape are Superman and that's it!) could take it or leave it.  I actually had to bribe him to get him to wear it long enough to get a couple pics.  But that's ok, he'll like it more when he's a bit older.

I used this tutorial, that I've had bookmarked in my sewing folder for ever and ever.  It was very easy to do and I think that the next one I do will be much better.  Oh, yes, there will be another one.  I think all of my children need capes.  And I probably need one, too!  They would make great additions to Halloween costumes!

If you look closely you'll see that the fabric around the logos is puckered and that my applique stitching is horrendous.  Next time I think I'll just straight stitch near the edge of the felt and call it good.  I actually think that look appeals to me more, anyway.  I tried a plain ol' zigzag and didn't like it, so I switched to my machine's applique stitch with the feed dogs down.  Talk about a learning curve!  Whew, it was a lot of work and more than a little frustrating.  Not at all worth the crooked-y results.  Oh, and a little stablizer probably wouldn't come amiss, either.

The bribery I mentioned.  "You can throw rocks in the pond if you'll leave this on for a minute!"

One final note in regards to Superman's appearance:  Yes, he had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (whole wheat, though, that makes it healthy, right?!) and I didn't wash his face.  Yes, the side of his face is covered in dirt because he fell down.  No, I didn't pick out his outfit.  Big Sissy did, and that t-shirt is Baby T's.  The shorts were a gift from Aunt Gigi, and when I told him who got them for him, he said that makes him happy. :)  So, thanks, Aunt Gigi! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Motivation Monday on Tuesday

Okay, time for my Monday check-in.  I know it's Tuesday, but, in my defense, I was very productive yesterday.  I crossed out a few items and will add a few more in green.  Posts detailing my projects will follow this week.  As will a post detailing a hilarious flop of a project not on the lists.  :)

Works In Progress(WIP) in random order
birthday gift for my baby sister
birthday gift for my big sister
leg warmers
burp rags
superhero cape
quilt - 2 squares done, my first quilt squares ever!
checkbook covers and pouches
baby shoe patterns
mending pile
drawstring bags for helmets

Home Decor
do something about the soffit over the kitchen sink
paint the living room trim
paint the porch/laundry room
paint the upstairs hallway
finish the photo collage frames and hang
paint the dresser in the living room
refinish our bedside tables
hang up the headboard

Things I Need to do to Make Life Easier (not a very short and catchy title, but at least it's vague;))
work with Baby T for an earlier bedtime - So far it's about an hour earlier than it was, but I'd still like to shave another hour off.
wake up before the rest of the family
eat healthy, regular meals
meal plan - I've meal planned through the end of May.  Woot!
design and start using a daily docket including a food journal, medication check list, and cleaning schedule/checklist

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

NoKnead Bread, Meanwhile Style

This is my version of the no-knead bread you see around so much these days.  I've modified it by adding some whole grain flour.  I really like the nutty taste that it adds, and it makes me feel a bit better about eating the huge amounts of it that I want to eat.  I got the original recipe from King Arthur and played with it until I was happy.

3 cups lukewarm water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
*extra flour for dusting

1.  Combine all the ingredients.  You can do it in a bowl, I use an old ice cream bucket.  Just mix them with an wooden spoon for a minute or so until they're mostly mixed together.  You want a gooey dough, but if it seems runny add a bit more(1/4 to 1/2 cup) of either flour.  The ideal consistency is sticky and will spread very slowly.

2.  Allow the dough to rise, covered, for at least 2 hours at room temperature.  Then transfer to the fridge and let it rise there for at another 2 hours.  (okay, I've rushed these steps and honestly not noticed any decline in quality) 

3.  When you want some bread, pull off a piece of dough 1/4 to 1/3 of the total volume.  If it's really sticky, you can sprinkle the surface with a little flour to make it easier to handle.  Plop it on some parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle it with flour.  After an hour to 1 1/2 hours slash the top with a sharp knife.  (This loaf of bread was slashed with a pitifully dull knife and is not nearly as pretty as it should be.  Sorry bread.)

4.  Pick up the dough, parchment and all, and place on a baking stone in a 450 degree oven.  Put a pan or other non-glass vessel in the bottom of the oven and pour in a cup of water, then shut the door quickasyoucan.  The steam is supposed to make the crust chewier.  I like it that way.
5.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf, until it's a deep golden brown.  Remove from oven and devour.
*  Keep the remainder of the dough in the fridge for up to a week, baking it as you want it.
*  Things not to do:  Don't (for example) try to bake half the recipe in one giant loaf in 35 minutes for Thanksgiving dinner.  Because if you were to do such a thing the loaf would be uncooked in the center and you might be embarrassed and, even worse, not have any bread for Thanksgiving dinner.
*  If you don't have a baking stone, it's no biggie.  Just use a cookie sheet.

This bread makes an awesome addition to any supper, and we really enjoy it with spaghetti and soups.  Sometimes I'll just serve it with butter and sometimes I'll roast garlic and serve it with roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Mmmm.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Motivation Monday

This weekend, I worked on cleaning out my craft room so I could actually, well, craft in it a little.  It seems that we've been so busy lately.  It's calving season, the kids have all been sick a few times, especially Baby T, who's getting over a sinus infection.  Our town's Youth Center just had a big fundraiser to benefit the community swimming pool and I was on one of the planning committees.  My mother-in-law has been out of town, meaning that all trips out of the house are with 3 little ones in tow.  Oh boy, am I missing her!  It is such a luxury to have her nearby to watch a child or two when I need to run errands or just get some things done. 

Anyway, we've been so busy that I've gotten into a bit of a rut.  I talked to all of my sisters this weekend and I think I used the word "weary" to describe myself, oh, about 8 times.  Yikes.  It's time for an action plan!  Remember, I'm a list lover, so I'm going to make myself a few lists and check back in every Monday to update you all on the progress.

This is my fabric stash at this moment.  I finally pressed and folded some fabrics that I had bought and washed a at least a month ago.  Relief!  Now, I need to turn these beautiful, tidy little rectangles into things that make me happy.

I also cut out the ivory squares yesterday to use with the floral charm pack in my very first quilt.  I'm excited for this one.

In my never ending attempt to improve my photo skills I drug out our much beleaguered tripod.  Someone (me) let one or more of our children play with it at one(some) point(s) and now it needs a little tlc, or at least a couple screws.

Unassuming pieces of red and black fabric awaiting their transformation into a cape for a dashing little superhero. 

A whole pile of burp rags just begging for a little top-stitching.

And, a pile of knee socks needs to turn into a pile of legwarmers for my wearer of the dresses.

So, now you at least have an idea of the sewing projects.  I'll share more details as I complete them.  Here are the lists.  I have so many more project lists floating around more in my head, but they haven't solidified into anything I'm capable of typing out yet, so I'll share them as they evolve.

Works In Progress(WIP) in random order
birthday gift for my baby sister
leg warmers
superhero cape
checkbook covers and pouches
mending pile
drawstring bags for helmets

Home Decor
do something about the soffit over the kitchen sink
paint the living room trim
paint the porch/laundry room
paint the upstairs hallway
finish the photo collage frames and hang
paint the dresser in the living room
refinish our bedside tables
hang up the headboard

Things I Need to do to Make Life Easier (not a very short and catchy title, but at least it's vague;))
work with Baby T for an earlier bedtime
wake up before the rest of the family
eat healthy, regular meals
meal plan

Ok, so I'm off to work on these things.  I'll check back in and re-visit the lists on Mondays.  And probably add to them.  But, I'll also check things off, and that's what this is all about.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mmm, Murphy Oil Soap

Hello and welcome to my veteran readers and to new friends from New Friend Friday.

I think we all probably have a few products that just make us happy.  One of mine is Murphy Oil Soap Original Formula.  I heart this stuff big time.  To start with, it smells just like heaven, I'm sure of it.  That lemon-y scent that reminds me of childhood wall washing and cleaning of church pews in a good, warm fuzzy type of way.  And, I like that it's so gentle and naturally derived.  I don't worry too much about using it to mop the floors my sweet babies crawl on.  And sometimes eat off of.  They're sneaky little babies like that.

I actually love it so much that I always have an extra bottle on hand.  I need to break down and start buying the huge jugs of it. Murphy's, as I like to call it, is a very versatile cleaner.  A dollop of it in hot water is great for washing walls and cabinets, as well as mopping.  I don't measure it like they suggest, heck I rarely measure when I cook anymore I'm not measuring cleaner.  I also use it with hot water to periodically degunk our dining room furniture, that poor stuff gets mighty sticky.  Apparently, you can use it on laundry stains and cars, too, but I've never tried that.

Obviously, the Murphy people have no idea who I am and are not sponsoring this post in any way, I just felt the need to share the love with you awesome readers.  If any of you Murphy people are reading, though...ahem...maybe we can work something out. ;)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Itty Bitty, Teensy Weensy Calf

As I look out my window at yet another %$#$*@ lovely snow storm I thought I would try to think about warmer days.  Like last week, when the kids and I took a little field trip to visit a teeny tiny calf.  Calves always seem little when they're standing next to cows, but they're bigger and heavier than they look. This little baby was born a bit early, though, and made my 26 and 36 lb kids look like giants.

Isn't she cute?

I have a love/hate relationship with calving season.  It means my husband is gone more and we have less family time.  But, it puts beef on our table (and yours!) and is a sure sign that summer will be here soon.  And signs like that are more than welcome when it's snowing in April and May.  :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Won!

A blog award!

So, Katie from On the Banks of Squaw Creek nominated me for an award. I am sooo flattered! I googled the Sunshine Award(because that's how I am ;)) and it's an award to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world. Awww, sweet! 

I really enjoy Katie's blog.  She lives in an old, old farmhouse, like me.  Her family raises livestock, like us.  And, she's way guessed me :)!  Her wooden puzzle storage idea is BRILLIANT!  And I will be copying it soon, thankyouverymuch!  They raise turkeys and I find the process very interesting.  She has lots of great content and a lot of fun decorating and renovation posts.  And, she does Turkey Tuesday posts with recipes and mouthwatering pics.  Check her out! 

The rules that accompany the Sunshine Award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog within your post.
2. Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received the award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you have received this award.

And, my nominees.  Drumroll, please......

C Mom Cook
Mama Smiles
The Crafty Cupboard
A Few of My Favorite Things
Random Thoughts of a Supermom
My Backyard Eden
Home Sweet Home
The Girl Creative
Sugar Bee - Craft Edition
{jessica leigh}
craft eNVy
I would like to go through each blog and tell you what I love about them, but I'm running out of time today and really want to get this posted.  Check them out and I bet you'll love them as much as I do, they are some very talented and amazing women.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

make lemonade!  And, when life gives you snow(in April) make snow ice cream!

We've had some snowy days - see why I have to start seeds inside?! - and enough snow stuck last night that there was a decent layer of clean, fresh snow this morning.  My munchkins have been sneaking outside all morning to get snow to eat, the little stinkers, so I decided to have them make snow ice cream.

First, they gathered snow in the sand box buckets they got from Grandma and Grandpa for Easter.  Yes, my boy is in his jammies and they don't have coats on.  It was warm, I promise!

They dumped the snow into a large bowl.

I poured a can of sweetened condensed milk over the snow.

And they stirred and stirred, then I stirred a bit.

Until it was a homogenous mixture.

Then they ate a bunch of it and I put some in the freezer.

I think it may not be so delicious, it seemed like an awful lot of snow for that little bit of milk and sugar, but they seemed to like it fine.  I couldn't taste it because it upsets Baby T's tummy when I eat dairy, so I'll ask their Daddy for a verdict when he gets home.  No matter what, it was a fun and quick little project for them this morning.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Second nursery rhyme title in a row.  I must read children's books all the time or something. :)

The older kids and I started some seeds for our garden a couple weeks ago.  We're in USDA hardiness zone 3, so our growing season is pretty short, which limits what we can successfully grow if we don't plan ahead.   We've purchased seedlings in the past, but this way we get to have a little science lesson.  And, we're not limited to whatever varieties happen to be at the store when we make it to town.

We used a homemade setup, but you can purchase kits complete with everything you need to start seeds.  As you probably know by now, I have a few laying hens, so family and friends save egg cartons for me.  I have a mountain of egg cartons.  We ripped the tops off a few of them and put them on a cookie sheet.  Pretty hi tech stuff.

I poured seed starting mix into the cartons and let my helpers smooth it out. 

They each had a row of big and a row of small seeds to plant.  One did butternut squash, the other sugar pie pumpkins.  For small seeds we used yellow pear tomatoes and plum tomatoes.  I'd like to start a slicing tomato or two, but that's what we had on hand.

I showed them how deep to make the hole and they did a great job of continuing their rows.  They covered the seeds, then we misted the soil with a spray bottle.  The package of seed starting mix suggested that and it worked really well the first few times we watered them.  None of that annoying beading up on the surface and running off without even wetting the soil.


This picture was taken about 10 days after planting.  We didn't plant the middle rows, yet.  I ran out of patience so I'll do that a different day rather than crab at my kids.  I'm thinking some herbs for the garden and my kitchen, that slicing tomato, and maybe a couple more flowers.

I had some help watering them, unbeknownst to me, and some of the smaller seeds got washed away in the flood, so we'll replant them, too.

I used a sharpie on popsicle sticks to label the rows.  Cheap and easy! 

As the plants outgrow their little cups we'll transplant them into larger vessels.  I have quite a few plastic pots left over from previous years, and a few plastic butter dishes, coffee cans, etc, that would work well, also.

We planted extras in case they didn't all germinate, so a couple nice tomato or squash seedlings might find new homes with friends or family.   The rest will be distributed around our yard and garden in hopes that we'll be enjoying the fruits of our labors (pun intended!) later this year.

Do you start seeds indoors?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pease Porridge Hot!

Pease porridge cold.
Pease porridge in a pot nine days old.
Some like it hot...

Some don't like it at all.  My children, for example.  I love it, though, and made it for dinner last night with the leftover ham bone from Easter dinner.  And, with a loaf of fresh sourdough bread, it was the perfect meal for a cold, snowy night.

This picture doesn't do this tasty soup justice, I promise! 

Megan's Split Pea Soup

1 meaty ham bone                                          3/4 c. chopped carrot
1 1/2 c. split peas, sorted and rinsed               3/4 c. chopped celery
4-6 cups water                                                1 c. frozen sweet peas
14.5 oz can chicken or vegetable broth             salt to taste
1/2 t. marjoram
1 T dried minced onion
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in 1st column, starting with 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove the ham bone.  Remove meat from the bone, discard bone, and return meat to soup with the vegetables from the second column.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Add additional water or broth as necessary while simmering to achieve desired consistency.  Taste, and adjust seasoning.  Serve, being prepared for immediate rejection by anyone under the age of five.

I made grilled cheese for the kids.  Honestly, I was surprised because they will eat almost anything and  I almost never offer a "kiddie meal" alternative.  But, when my sick 2 year old repeatedly wiped his mouth out with his napkin after a taste, I caved.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quick Tip

Mesh produce bags like this:
make awesome bath toy bags.  They're see-through, free, and allow the toys to air dry.  Did I mention they're free?

P.S.   I'm generally not a fan of navel oranges, but those Cara Cara oranges are deeee-lish.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blown Eggs - the EASY way!

Blowing eggs the traditional way can be a chore.  You have to mouth an egg and end up with two holes in the shell.  This way is much easier and your shell will have only one hole.  And, you won't get light headed unless you hyperventilate from sheer excitement.  In which case, you need to get out more. :)


*  eggs, can be dyed, but must be uncooked
* syringe with large gauge needle or sewing pin/needle and bulb syringe(also known as a booger bulb in our house)
*  some sort of receptacle to catch the egg innards
*  paper towels or old rag
*  mineral oil


1.  Decide which side of the egg you want to display.  On the opposite side, poke a small hole in the shell.  I used an 18 gauge needle and it went right in when I twisted it like a drill.  Then, I used the tip to break a tiny piece or two of shell outward.

2.  Wipe off the bits of shell using a paper towel or rag.  Try not to leave any loose pieces so you can use the eggs once they're out of the shell.
3.  Insert the needle and gently scramble the egg a bit in the shell.  You want to break the yolk up  a little.

4.  If using the syringe, pull the plunger back so it's full of air.  Insert the syringe or bulb syringe and gently blow air into the egg.  As air goes in, egg will come out.  Repeat as needed until the shell is as empty as you can get it.

5.  You have a couple options to clean the remaining egg residue from the shell.  You can use your syringe to squirt water in and blow it out until it runs clear(ish).  Or, you can hold the shell under running water in your sink, then shake the water out.  Both work fine, I did a combo of both using the syringe first, then the sink as I was washing the outside of the shell.

6.  Allow to dry hole side down or bake in a 200 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

7.  Dye or decorate, if desired.  I left my eggs natural, I love the variety of colors my hens lay.

8.  Coat lightly with mineral oil for a light sheen.  Pour a dime size amount on a paper towel, then rub the eggs well.  Allow to sit for a few minutes, then buff off the excess oil.  You could use a vegetable oil if you want, but the mineral oil will last longer.  This step is also optional.

Enjoy your beautiful eggs year after year.  Or until your kids break them. :)


*  If you're using eggs you've already decorated, practice on one you don't love to make sure you've got the hang of it.
*  If you dye afterward, the eggs will float, so you'll have to fill them with dye if you want them to sink.
*  I did my eggs in batches as I needed them over the weekend for cooking and baking.  It only added about 5 minutes to each thing I was making and then the eggs didn't go to waste.


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