Saturday, January 25, 2014

Triple Creek Farm, The Vortex Returned, January 25, 2014

It is cold all across the Northeast and will continue for a few more days(?).  There was snow which was very dry, Mr. Bootsie used the small hand blower to blow the snow off the walks around the house.  We received a new electric meter Monday afternoon, digital and this one should be very easy to read.  I am going to check the meter to see just how much we have used.  Once again the inside heat has been reduced to 60 degrees.  The wood stove does a great job and this is not a problem.

With not being able to do things outside, I decided to visit some of the projects I had planned last summer.  I dehydrated squash to learn how I could use them during the winter.  I cut the tromboncino into small pieces like I was using to make the zucchini crisp and dried them.  My thoughts were to rehydrate them in apple juice.  I used 2 cups of dried tromboncino squash and 4 cups of apple juice.  I let this set over night.  I followed the directions for making the crisp with one change.  I cooked the squash with the remaining apple juice and lemon juice.  I was very pleased with the way this worked.  The taste is very close to what I remember when making them in the summer.  Now on my to do list for next summer will be making more dried squash and store for the winter.  This is such an easy way to use the excess squash, storage is easy and it surely tastes good.  You can check Week in Review July 6, 2013 for recipe link.

Time to make the ravioli.  Something about making pasta just upsets me.  I make all kinds of bread and never think about doing so, but pasta is different.  I finally took my fears by the horns and started doing it.  Mr. Bootsie was outside and I made the pasta and put in the fridge to chill.  The next time he went outside I decided to make the sheets of pasta for the ravioli.  I am still learning how to fold and rolled the dough.  How and when to add the bench flour.  He stayed outside and I had 2 sheets made by the time he came in.  I had learned quite a bit.  Just working with the dough and not having to explain to him what I was trying to do made a difference in my

understanding.  I filled the dough, sealed and cut.
Back into the fridge to chill one more time.  Our supper was ravioli stuffed with ricotta and applewood bacon covered with a light tomato sauce sprinkled with Parmeasan cheese, of course just a dash of olive oil.  We did not eat all of these so I stored them in the fridge and a couple of days later made toasted ravioli, Mr. Bootsie ate all of these with a little bit of sauce.  This has given me a better understanding of how to work with the pasta machine and the dough.  I have to brag, not a one of them bust open when I was cooking the pasta.

This has been a week of giving up things.  We took of the eggs from Momma Duck, she did good, there were 3 eggs which did not break, but all of them were frozen.  I will try this again in a few weeks.  I would love to have little ducks but now it is not the time.  The heat was turned off in the green house.  I am sure I will loose my plants but I had to make a decision and when I saw there was another week of this cold, I knew I must turn the heat off. I did bring a few things in the house and am trying to save them.

Water bowls are coming into the house,  being thawed and returned to the barn and coops.  I have never been in cold like this and really question how so many, further north, deal with this kind of weather daily.  I know they are more prepared for the cold weather than I am.  In the past there may have been a day here and there the waterers did not thaw, but we have been dealing with this for a number of days.

Saturday afternoon, the sun came out and the temperature went to about 32 degrees for a short while. We were able to filled grain barrels, gather more wood and let the girls out of the coop for a little while.

I heard on the news Friday night every state in the USA was below 32 degrees.  So, I must remember not to complain as everyone is experiencing and learning how to cope with the Arctic Vortex.  We are posting these notes to help us if or when this creature returns from the North.  I just hope I never have to refer to any of these posts in the future.

All of you be careful!!!  Spring will come!!!  When? I have no idea, but it will be followed by summer and please remind me, to look back and see just how cold this winter was!!!  Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week.