Pink Slime…It’s What’s For Dinner

No, I don’t mean the delightful concoction served in McDonald’s the world over. I mean what I made last night, using nothing but pastured, organic, locally-grown, custom butchered and all together fancy pork steak. Read this as very expensive.  Ugh. 

pastured pink slime

It’s been a rough week for farm learning for me.  This morning caught me sobbing hysterically that nearly all my seedlings had died, even though I carefully watered them and followed all of Dr. Google’s instructions (give me a break, I am nearly 10 months pregnant. Hysterical sobs, although rare, are just par for the course.) I just feel so inadequate – this is my full time job at this point, and I can’t even keep a couple of seedlings alive. 

Since most of what I’ve done professionally and studied has been my strengths (reading, analysis, research, etc.) it’s shocking and feels appalling to me how bad I can be at some things that involve feel and experience.  Like making the planting medium (most likely why the seedlings failed) – the instructions say in the consistency of putty or concrete. This sent me for a touch of a tailspin, because I just couldn’t quite figure out if my soil mix was concrete, or more peanut butter?  How much water, exactly, do I need, for a soil mix that I created and is therefore not exactly like any other soil mix out there?

planting trees in the garden

After my episode of hysteria, that definitely involved some cuddles from a patient husband and a confused dog… 

confused dog

I was ready to throw the whole thing out and give up. However the nice and hard thing about our life now is that really isn’t an option.  For the first time, we’re choosing to rely on ourselves to create our food, even if it’s only 2% this year. If I give up until “next year,” that 2% will never grow.  So, I started again, and I made more soil blocks with more water.  This time, they stayed put.  We’ll see how they go. 

Oh, and the pink slime? I now know that if you want to ground sausage in the vitamin, you need to do it in very small batches on a low speed.  Also, that anything with lots of spices and salt tastes pretty good when mixed with sweet potatoes or thrown in a soup. Also, that my sweet and incredible husband will eat anything if it’s called sausage, and will tell me how delicious it is.

sausage

What’s your most recent kitchen disaster? Come on, make me feel better 😉

Shabbat Shalom

As I’m writing this, sipping a glass of champagne (Why? Because Ant got his visa to America!  And…because!) I am so grateful to just take a moment to honor my impending weekly holiday, of Shabbat.

shabbat

As a Jewish person, I don’t necessarily practice in a typical way. I eat some treif and shell-fish, for one.  I haven’t been to synagogue for a few years, now.  Our Rosh Hashana celebration was 30-3, non-Jew to Jew.  

However, Shabbat is so precious to me.  I don’t observe all the laws around it, but I do try to turn off my computer and mobile, light candles, and drink wine.  We try to make the meal a special one, to get dressed decently (out of pajamas, at least) and celebrate our love for each other and this precious, precious life. 

Ant and Kat

I spend my week researching all things homesteading – from reading books about canning, to planning projects for the blog, to sewing and crafting and cooking and cleaning (sort of.)  I look at properties that we could eventually call home as a hobby, and craigslist-scavage possible compost bins in my spare time. 

It’s so important to take time off from this pursuit, to celebrate the art of being, not always doing.  That is part of the homestead lifestyle that draws me closer each time – the idea of waking up with the sun, working in my garden, and being with the animals all connect me back to G-d and the reflections he creates in every living thing. The idea that the day and time of rest is not a luxury, but a valuable part of the lifestyle. Except, of course, to the goats.

Next week has some exciting projects coming up – a second way to make mayonnaise, the mayonnaise “was it worth it” and making reusable shopping bags from stuff you have lying around.  But for now, I am going to relax with my future husband, light our candles, and sing our prayers.

Shabbat shalom, friends.