This is what I’ve been up to. I got a load of turkey canned. The purse was put together in a half hour using some upholstery samples. I thought it was pretty cute.

I learned something today about baking powder from the Sustainable Living forum. I found this really useful information and thought I should share it. Baking soad is alkaline and releases a gas when mixed with an acid in a recipe. (honey is acid) The gas makes little bubbles and this is what makes pancakes and such light and fluffy. Baking powder is just baking soda with the acid (cream of tartat) already added. It reacts when it comes in contact with any moisture. This is why baking powder doesn’t store well while baking soda last just about forever. If you want to check your baking soda just add a little vinegar to some and see if it bubbles vigorously.

I just bought two cans of baking powder to add to my pantry. It will last as it’s still sealed in the can and is wrapped in plastic as well but I won’t do this again In the future I will get my sack of baking soda and my box of cream of tartar and mix it myself. You can add some cornstarch if you like. I’ll have to look for the directions and keep them posted in the pantry.

I braved the icy roads last night to go to my permaculture group. It was so worth it. A small group of us are going to meet a bit early and really delve into the finer points of saving seed. This seems like a skill I need to master. I was watching the news tonight and they reported on the solar flare that’s causing beautiful Northern lights. Unfortunately, a flare is also capable of knocking out the grid. Even a week without power would be catastrophic from a food and agriculture standpoint. I want to be sure I am moving towards less reliance on our fragile and complex systems. That means figuring out what my staple foods are and knowing how to save the seeds.

We’re putting in a plant order in two weeks. I’m adding currants, bayberry, quince, persimmons, cranberry, nanny berry and a couple of other berries I am unfamiliar with. They’ll feed the bees for sure and provide us with interesting wines, cordials and jams. We’re also planning a trip to Scott’s Orchard to get scion wood for grafting the apple trees. As soon as we have the time we’ll be pruning the crab apple tree back.

The summer kitchen is just about finished. I’ll be posting pictures as soon as the building supplies are removed and we get it looking more like a kitchen and less like a hard-hat area. We need to finish up as the sap will be running soon and we’ll be using the space for making syrup. I don’t need much. We tend to eat more fruit syrup than maple syrup. I’m thinking a gallon for home use and another gallon to put up in jelly jars for gifts. We want to plan a trip to Florida to see my grandkids but it sure is hard to do that when so much needs to be done around here. Sometimes you just have to say that work will wait but grandkids are only small once. They need to know their grandparents.