A week of kitchen & coop on the homestead is where our focus was! I spent the week with my hands pressed in flour this week. It was a wonderful slower week with downtime.
My tiniest tot is starting to talk a bunch. She just hit a year and a half and we have been doing all sorts of fun learning activities at home. Working on her color recognition and simple request phrases. Her personality is a hoot and we have such a fun time together. She did a lot of high chair hanging in the kitchen with me while we worked on words and munched on snacks while I cooked away.
Another big focus was getting my oldest into the kitchen more. She has a lot of interest in cooking and baking and we have been working on skills over the past couple of years but it was time to start showing her the ropes on bread making!
So we spent a couple of afternoons covered in flour and laughter while we sipped tea together.
Really, these are my most favorite moments of motherhood.
I recently purchased a beginner cookbook for my oldest daughters and we hadn’t had a chance to get into it yet. So we took a little time to check it out and find some fun recipes to do soon together while our bread was rising.
This book is packed with beautiful tips for beginners. Honestly, I bet I will find some things that will help me in the kitchen too. It is vibrant and fun and there are illustrations for every step of each recipe. I know for those young eyes, this will help so much in her journey of finding her niche in the kitchen.
The book is Usborne Start to Cook and although it is from the Usborne company and you can buy it directly if you know someone who sells Usborne books or you can also purchase it right on Amazon.
Interested in that adorable little cooking utensil set? I got that on Amazon too! They are silicone and easy to clean. They work perfect for the beginner bakers!
Getting into what we chose for a recipe wasn’t actually from her book. I wanted to show her one that I have been using frequently lately. It is easy to do and the end product is scrumptious.
I have to tell my family that we can’t eat an entire loaf in one sitting and boy is it hard for them, or myself, to restrain.
It is the perfect loaf to pair with anything or even just break off a bit to munch on mid day. Kind of dangerous but in all the most delicious ways.
That recipe is The Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Make.
It really is, like it says, easy! Except what you end up with tastes like the most beautiful handcrafted bread. Yum!
This was a great recipe for my girl to learn, too. It is simple enough to not overcomplicate the teaching process but still shows the simple and crucial parts of bread making. Like how yeast works and how long rising takes.
It makes two loaves as well which is perfect for my family of 5. If you don’t have as large of a family as me, it would work perfectly if you were planning to take bread to a dinner party….because you could keep a loaf for yourself too!
We focused on upgrades and security plans to our coop this week. We have gone through it with predators to our flock.
In the last 3 years we have lost flocks in their entirety with a combined effort of bear, coyote and fox. It has been devastating to lose our hens as we hold so much love and gratitude for them and what they provide for our family.
We recently brought home a new flock of laying hens as well as a male and female duck….Buck & Autumn. This group is quirky and fun and we have fallen in love with them already.
But, with a new flock comes new troubles. We have been working tirelessly to find ways to keep them safe and sound.
Now, our coop? Well we repurposed half our shed to house our crew. In this article Repurposing A Shed Into A Chicken Coop you can get an insider look of how we did that AND still kept half of our shed for storage purposes.
It was incredibly easy and it is sturdy! It works wonderfully for keeping predators out and for keeping our birds happy during the harsh Vermont winter elements.
The outside needs attention. Recently we had an owl come in and scuffle with our birds. I ran out like a crazy chicken lady in my bathrobe and defended my girls…and Buck. There was a poof of feathers and a few drops of blood shed but my girls handled themselves bravely and we didn’t lose anyone. Thankfully!
So now….we have plans. Materials will be purchased this weekend and we are getting to work in covering the top of our large outdoor grazing area. This will keep our birds in and those overhead prey birds OUT! Phew.
Next, adding a zap to our fence! It is just necessary at this point with how far out in the woods our homestead is and how common and understandable it is that we have predatory animals lurking.
We need to keep everyone safe and sound. So, we are doing all we can to improve our homestead.
One day at a time, one step at a time.
Happy homesteading to all my fellow kitchen & coop families out there! I hope you enjoyed your free, fresh egg this morning. You deserve it!
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- Raising Chickens for Meat
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- How to Protect your Chickens from Avian Flu
Love, light and a little grace…
Olivia Whalen is mama to three young girls who is devoted to creative learning, exploration and free range imagination. Olivia enjoys thinking outside of the box when it comes to preparing homemade baby food or meals for her family. She most enjoys allowing the little minds in her life to flourish and with that you will see her write about creative kid crafts, recipes that fit a family budget and keep everyone asking for more, tips and tricks for a tiny babe, and beginner homesteader fun! Some of her hobbies include gardening, hiking, reading, cooking or just basking in motherhood.