Wednesday, October 29, 2014

They're Rock Stars

Because they got the nasty, stinky job of expanding the grey water drain and they're still smiling. 

Our temporary grey water drain isn't holding up to our demand, and even before the inspector comes back out to check on it, we decided to make it bigger. With rain saturating the ground the grey water isn't absorbing properly and we would rather get this job done before the freezing temps of winter come to only make it more miserable. 

David and Columbus just came home with a load of gravel and David will be putting on his work boots to finish digging, as these two medium sized boys are getting tired. With a possibility of snow on Friday night there are plenty of jobs we are scrambling to get done. 

Hello winter....

And you two boys...I love you and you're both studs. Because you work hard. Because you know how to set aside yourselves for the greater good of your family. And because you still smile when standing in feet of muddy, stinky black water. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

OH MY!! Avocado Hummus!

I'm on a total dry bean kick. I have been for a while, actually, I'm just expanding myself and my cooking into the large world of beans more than before. 

You know how they say "store what you eat and eat what you store?" I totally agree with that statement and always have. And I've always stored dry beans because they are cheap and nutritious. In the past I used beans in our diet on a limited bases, but over the last several months I've been incorporating them into our diet more and more. Some of the kids are more receptive to this change than others, but historically these kinds of diet changes take time, lots and lots of time. I'm not the kind of mom to say "eat it or starve" and I value peaceful meal times, so I don't push new foods hard because I refuse to turn the dinner table into a war zone. I believe that as kids (and their tastebuds) grow up watching the people around them enjoying new and/or different foods that they will follow...and so far that has proven to be (mostly) true.  

I've also been exploring no/low meat, plant based diets for both health reasons and because the cost of meat just keeps going up...and up...and up.  Don't get me wrong, none of us are about to become vegan, but honestly, most Americans consume more meat than their bodies actually require.  We don't need that much meat - it's actually not even good for us, and there are other more healthful, less expensive sources of protein....beans. I'm not looking to replace meat with beans 100%, but I am looking to supplement our diet with a tasty way that we all love.

David and I have actually discussed growing more of our own meat: trying the meat chickens again and maybe even getting a pig, but in the meantime I am experimenting with dry beans.  I picked dry beans because they are cheaper than canned beans and generally speaking I avoid all store canned foods.  There are a few staples that I always have on hand, but as the years go on there are less and less of them.  

Today I tried making avocado hummus out of chickpeas.  I found the recipe while I was searching for a regular hummus recipe and am I ever glad that I stumbled across it!  It.was.SO.good.  So far, I am not the hugest hummus fan in the world, but the avocado hummus I can totally get onboard with!

First, I cooked the dry chickpeas.  Buy a bag ($1.37 for a!!) and follow the directions on the package - don't be afriad of cooking dry beans.  If you can simmer water (who can't!?) you can cook dry beans!!!  Just keep an eye on them and make sure that they are always covered with water, otherwise you could end up with a pot of burnt beans :(

After the beans were cool I threw all of the following into my food processor:

2 cups of cooked chickpeas (if you cooked the whole one pound bag you will have lots of beans left over - find a recipe for plain hummus or put them in a fresh green salad or soup to use them up!)

1 avocado

1/3 cup fresh parsley

2 Tablespoons lemon juice (I actually used a few drops of lemon essential oil)

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (I used a less expensive mix of olive and canoloa oil that I like better than straight olive oil.) 

Then whip all of that stuff together on high until it gets creamy.  Halfway through maybe scrap the side of your bowl because some chunky stuff will get pushed that way and not get mixed in good.

I served mine on some day-old homemade bread that I sliced up and broiled on both sides until it got crispy and brown, and I also topped the hummus with a little sprinkling of fresh cilantro.  It tasted a lot like guacamole, but better because I knew it was made with two cups of beans rather than a cup of high-fat mayo!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life in Pictures - Randomness

Being the youngest of ten means that you learn awesome "managerial skills" early on and you can make your peeps sit and watch Bob the Builder with you for the millionth time and totally against their own will. 

Sweet girl checking on her little people playing outside. 

What homeschool looks like...

And an average lunchtime...

My helper boy. I've wanted the old shower door track off the tub since we moved in over two years ago and finally decided to do it myself, but of course even a simple project got hard and I couldn't get the last screw out because it was rusted and stripped. 

Baby man tried, but he didn't have any better luck...we had to wait for a full sized man to come home and do it for us. 

We have a Russle Stovers outlet candy store in town and it was discovered that their chocolate bars were on sale for .25c...this is what the math for that ended up looking like. 
And the end haul on candy bars. 

He's so sweet when he's sleeping. 

Laundry time. 

He went through a week long phase of refusing a shirt, which resulted in his siblings re-naming him "redneck Boggie."

The little kids asked for homemade playdoh and in my mind that meant I needed to make playdoh for ten because I'm so used to doing everything in large quantities. Needless to say the big kids weren't interested in playdoh and this was way too

Early morning on the mountain...the sun coming up with the frost in the field, a hive of bees in the background, and the chicken doesn't get much more beautiful than that. 

Life in Pictures - Swimming Hole

Our last good trip to the swimming hole, back at the end of August, before the rain and cooler temps came. David and the older boys had gone to the airport to pick up Sassy and Sugar King, so the rest of us headed out for an evening of swimming and cooking over and open fire.