Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Why I Bake With Spelt Instead of Wheat

Firstly, if you're thinking this post is going to contain scientific proof of the wonders of this ancient grain....I'm actually more here today to simply write about the reasons why I prefer spelt, along with a few tips on how you can use it in your baking.

Now, you may know that I grind all of the flour for my baking fresh. The reason for this is probably worthy of a post in itself, but basically when you're eating whole grain flour it tastes better fresh, has better nutritional value and when you're mad enough to grow your own meat and milk, and attempt to grow your own veggies - why not grind your own flour too?

Before you conjure up a romantic picture of an old European mill, or me lovingly grinding every drop of flour by hand, you should probably know that our grain grinder is a small domestic model, which my Dad being clever at those things modified and made sure it went to the right place to have a little motor put on it. And it lives in the laundry, squished next to the dryer and food dehydrator and usually with a mound of washing I have to step over to get to it. And recently it's started to squeak horribly half way through grinding....

Ok, so now we've got that cleared up, let's move on to the subject this post is actually supposed to be about.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Simplifying Soap Making for Beginners | A Guest Post

Today I'm very happy to introduce you to Liz of Eight Acres. You may already know of Liz's wonderful blog, but if not I recommend you hop over for a read. But first, Liz has a fantastic post to simplify soap making. She's included lots of useful resources and at the end of the post you'll also find links to her own blog.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Sarah x


I know a lot of people would like to try making soap, but are put off by the cost of ingredients and equipment, the perceived danger of using caustic or the complexity of the recipes. Soap making does not have to be expensive, dangerous or complex. I want to share a few tips to get you started with simple soap making, and demystify the process to make it more accessible to everyone who would like to give it a try. You can start with a simple soap and add more ingredients as you get more comfortable with the process.

Why make your own soap?

Commercial soap is full of synthetic chemicals (colours and fragrances mostly) and has been processed to remove the glycerine. I prefer simple homemade soap, because I know exactly what’s in it and I can make sure that it won’t be harsh on my skin. I also like to know that its just one more thing that I don’t have to buy from the shop (and it makes a lovely gift). There is more information about this in a post I wrote on my blog Why use natural soaps and salves? Mostly I started making soap to use up all the beef tallow we had from butchering our own beef cattle, but that’s another story.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

3 Books to Read by the Fire

Brrr....it's the middle of winter and whilst we don't technically get too chilly here in the North, it's still cold enough to light a fire. If you are in the northern hemisphere, curling up by a fire with a book right now is probably the last thing you want. But here winter is making herself at home, and one of my favourite things to do in winter is to read.
There's something so comforting about snuggling under a blanket with a book and getting lost in the world you have entered.
I'm always looking for new novels to read, it can be so hard finding decent literature, and I thought that no doubt you love to discover new books too.
Here are 3 books to read by the fire this winter.


Friday, July 08, 2016

Moving On

This morning my head is quite full of bread - sourdough, that is. I've just finished doing some work on my eBook and at the back of my mind is the thought of keeping an eye on the two loaves rising on the bench.
After a very long day yesterday that was all go from the start it's a slower, two-cups-of-tea type of morning here.
Amongst the busyness of yesterday, we weaned Rocket. He is now twelve weeks old, and whilst that may sound young, he is one very large boy, and being a ram if he wasn't an orphan I would have weaned him off his mother this week anyway. You see, young Dorper rams are ready to work from as young as three months old, so Rocket really isn't a baby any more.
All going well, Rocket will be leaving home soon. We've found a lovely home for him, where he is going to be very loved and well looked after. Since we left him as a ram, I always knew that he would be leaving home around this age and I'm quite ok with the idea. Maybe I wouldn't be, but recently I've already said goodbye to so much of our livestock that Rocket leaving is really hardly anything compared to some of the others. I've sold almost all of the sheep now, with just two wethers left (who won't ever be leaving, as they are destined for the dinner table and we use a mobile butcher) and three young ewes to be sold.

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