Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix

I’m always on the lookout for healthy breakfast recipes and ran across this one a while back; it’s turned into a favorite and is so easy!

 

4 cups white whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

3-1/2 cups old fashioned oats

3 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 cup vegetable oil

 

Grind the oats in a food processor until chopped fine but not powder.  Put the flour, oats and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle.  Mix on slow speed and drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature or indefinitely in the frig or freezer.

 

To make pancakes:

Whisk together 1 cup mix, 1 cup buttermilk (or half plain yogurt and half milk) and 1 large egg.  Let stand for at least 20 minutes.  Heat a lightly greased griddle to 350 (or medium high).  Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls.  When edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface without breaking (about 2 minutes) turn over and finish cooking on the second side.

 

These are so yummy with pure maple syrup and/or any kind of fruit.  I have added mini chocolate chips to the batter at my son’s request.  You could add fruit to the batter such as peaches, raspberries, bananas, cheddar and apples (that sounds like a perfect fall breakfast), blueberries, you get the idea.

I’m sold on Oberhaslis

When we first started researching dairy goat breeds about a year and a half ago, I was immediately drawn to the Oberhasli.  It was a color thing, I admit.  I loved their beautiful, rich red coloring with black legs, belly, face and dorsal stripe.  Distinctive for sure and not at all unlike my favorite horse color, bay.  Being someone who likes something different, I was also drawn to the fact they are relatively rare in the USA, having originated in Switzerland and formerly known as Swiss Alpines, and are listed as “recovering” by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  And to top it off I was consistently reading about their milk being sweeter than other dairy goat breeds.  I wanted one!

My quest to find an Ober fell short.  There really aren’t that many breeders out there.  A local Alpine breeder had a couple Oberhaslis in her show string but none for sale.  Since logistics were an issue, I went with my second choice breed and what was available and bought 2 Alpines.

Fast forward to 2012.  My Alpines gave me 3 bucks and 0 does this spring.  I anticipated needing more milk in the future as we build our soap business and to keep up with our daily consumption, making cheese, etc., so I was really hoping for doe kids.  I contacted my Alpine breeder and as luck or fate would have it, she was selling one bred Ober doe this spring.  It didn’t take me long to make that decision.  We bought Fannie about 2 weeks before she kidded and she gave me a beautiful doe kid, Basil.

When we first tasted the Ober milk we were sold.  Don’t get me wrong, the Alpine milk is delicious, but the Oberhasli milk is so much sweeter, almost like gourmet milk.  It’s what we all reach for when we want a glass of milk.  Fannie is giving about 2-1/2 to 3 pounds of milk right now, with me milking her once a day in the morning.  Basil gets all the milk she wants during the day and then she and the other kids have a “slumber party” every night in their own stall so I get the milk in the morning.  Obers are sweet natured and quiet, a perfect fit for a homesteading family or anyone who wants their own dairy animal–I just can’t say enough about them.  My plan is to transition to all Obers over the next few years.

Thyme to Make Jam

It’s strawberry season!  I don’t grow my own, but I do buy from a local farmer who sets up a stand in several surrounding towns to sell their strawberries.  My son has tried 3 days after school now to get them but they’ve been sold out.  Today he came home with them and so tonight I made Strawberry Thyme Jam.  I’m always looking for ways to incorporate herbs into my cooking and this sounded interesting.  Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Thyme Jam

4 pints strawberries, stemmed and crushed (5 cups crushed)

7 cups sugar

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine or 1 teaspoon dried

1 box powdered pectin

1/2 teaspoon butter (optional)

Place strawberries in a 6-8 qt saucepan.  Add fresh thyme.  Stir one box fruit pectin into the strawberries and mix well.  Add butter to reduce foaming.  Bring to a rolling boil on high heat stirring constantly.  stir in sugar quickly and return to a full rolling boil for exactly one minute.  remove from heat and skim off any foam quickly.  Ladle into prepared jars, wipe off any excess jam on jar rims and threads.  Place lids and bands on tightly and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes. 

Yield:  About 8 cups

Happy Chickens

A happy day for the chickens!  They moved from their brooder in the garage to their chicken tractor outside.  They’re busy eating grass and snacking on bugs.  This is my second batch of chickens to raise.  Last year I got Delawares and had great success with them.  I didn’t lose any of the 18 males and 12 females I ordered (as chicks, later I lost a few adults to roaming neighbor dogs).  The males went into our freezer but we were rather disappointed in their size and toughness of the meat.  They were free range birds.  This time we decided to try raising the meat birds in a chicken tractor so they don’t run around as much and develop tough muscle.  Just to try something different I got Buff Orpingtons this time.  Still a heritage dual purpose breed.  I got 25 males and 5 females, but I don’t know yet for sure if the 3 I lost were male or female.  Hopefully not female.  We’ll see how the Buffs compare with the Delawares for egg laying.