Turned trashed into a pumpkin roll

I have been collecting any pumpkins that are unwanted. We have collected right around 150 so far! We have also rounded up a few mums, bales of hay and ears of dried corn.

Pumpkin drop off!

I posted on Instagram this picture of pumpkin number 100!

Isn’t it beautiful!

Well a sweet soul informed me that I was holding a fantastic variety called Galeux D’Eysines.

A close up view! (And on my school books, since I was showing it to my students!)

This is a nice heirloom variety from France that has been grown there since the 1800’s. It wasn’t brought here until around 1996! Galeux is French for mangy or scabby, so not a delicious sounding name! 😆 But, it’s a delicious variety. So, I pulled this beauty out of the chicken food bin and roasted/puréed it!

It was the brightest orange inside!
Beautiful pumpkin purée!

Then I followed this easy recipe: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pumpkin-roll-recipe/ and the pumpkin was transformed into a delicious and enjoyed pumpkin roll!

My first pumpkin roll ever made!
Look at that slice!

And you know that I saved the seeds! I have already shared some with a few friends!

Big, healthy seeds!

So, sorry chickens! This one wasn’t for you! I’m planning on making a couple more pumpkin rolls and a few pies! Happy baking, and I enjoyed telling the Mr. that he was eating a trash pumpkin roll! 😆

I laminated something!

As a teacher, you’d think that I’m talking about sandwiching something between two layers of plastic. But, I don’t use that kind of lamination. I’m talking about laminating sourdough!

So, what is laminated dough? It is the layering of butter and dough to create the flaky layers. Perfect for croissants! Here’s how mine turned out. (By the way, this is a couple day process. So, patience grasshopper!)

First up was making the dough
After making a butter pat, I folded the dough around it. And then fold it into thirds. (then put in the fridge and rerolled 3 times in all)
After rolling and folding into thirds three times with resting in between, cut into triangles. You can see the layers!
Rolled and stretched into crescents
After proofing for 4 hours, into the oven they go!
After baking for 20 minutes at 425 degrees!
Lots of layers!
Here’s my chicken scratched recipe that I pulled from a couple recipes!

This weekend was spent baking so much sourdough everything! I hope that you have a great week! Keep blooming!

You’re right, we aren’t living on Little House on the Prairie

Last month I had an unkind message sent to me saying that I needed to stop pretending that I live this little house on the prairie life. That hurt. It didn’t really hurt because I thought that I am living a lifestyle like that. It hurt because someone took time out of their schedule to to try to hurt me. But, good news, it gave me time to reflect instead.

So, even though we don’t live that yesteryear kind of life, we do have some similarities. (Weirdly enough)

1.I’ve always been transparent that we don’t have much land, but use what we have! We have less than an acre, but managed to grow and harvest over 1,000 pounds of food this summer!

Our main garden
The huge cushaw squash we harvested
Honey from our hives

2. We also don’t have a large amount of farm animals, so that’s true. We raise hens for their eggs and have a couple ducks for the same reason. We use our eggs, share some and even use them for making deliciousness like egg noodles!

Thanks ladies!

3. We don’t live solely off of our food, but we did can over 100 jars of food. Plus, we spun lots of honey, made so many loaves of sourdough bread, homemade noodles and lots of other yumminess!

Homemade bread!
Over 100 jars canned this year!

4. Everything we own isn’t homemade. But, the Mr can fix almost anything and he has been forging a lot! I have been working on teaching myself skills and I have been quilting, crocheting, making salves and lip balms and sewing in general.

All made by the Mr
I love our new curtain rods
Homemade gathering apron
Calendula salve
Crocheted dishcloths

5. We don’t have beautiful fields of wildflowers, but we do have a pretty certified wildlife habitat/monarch waystation/pollinator garden.

Pollinator garden
Raising monarchs
Sharing some blooms

6. I don’t have to cook over an open flame or wear an apron. But, I do wear an apron in the garden. I also hang my laundry anytime that I can. And, I’m big on reusing what we have avoiding anything disposable.

Sunflower gathering apron
Clothes drying the old fashioned way!

So, I figured I would end this up with my homestead kind of life photo:

So, let it be known that I do not live on a prairie, I live in a small town in Appalachia. I don’t have a huge garden or farm when compared to others, but it provides well for us. I own less than an acre, but use what we have well.

No matter what you have going on, who you compare yourself to or what others think about you, keep blooming where you are planted! 🌸❤️

Revitalizing Sourdough Starter

Over on our Facebook page we are doing a giveaway of our dehydrated starter. It’s so much easier to ship and already contains all the right things to get your starter going faster! I will be adding some of our dehydrated starter to our Etsy shop soon too!

Dehydrated Sourdough starter

So, here’s how to have starter to use in about a week, step by step:

Day 1: Add dehydrated starter, 1.5 Tbsp. water and 1 Tbsp flour and cover loosely for 24 hours

Day 2- add another Tbsp. Flour and 2 tea. warm filtered water. Mix well and cover for another 24 hours

Still not much to look at!

Day 3- look for little bubbles! Then, add 1 Tbsp. Flour and 2 tea. water

Fermentation in action!

Day 4- it should be smelling more like bread! Add 1/3 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water. It should rise and fall!

By day 4, I recommend having it in a quart size mason jar or larger container

Day 5- you should officially have a starter! Always leave behind at least 1/2 cup starter for the next time baking! (By the way, now is a great time to give your starter a name!)

Happy starter

I keep my starter refrigerated between uses and get it out to warm up the night before. Then, I feed it the next day!

To feed the mature starter, mix 1/2 cup starter to 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water. It should be doubling in size before baking with it!

Yummy!!

Fair warning, sourdough baking is addictive and delicious! I plan on sharing tested and enjoyed recipes!

2020 Goals update

I’m proud to say that even though our life has been much different, we have still been able to do so much! Here’s where we are at since the last update:

1. Get rid of more, use less and be more minimalistic– Since the last update, we have put work into cleaning up the garage. I have also been letting go of a lot of clothes that I have no idea why I was holding on to them. Over covid break the Mr. lost about 20 pounds and I lost 10. So, goodbye lots of poorly fitting clothes!

2. Do good, be a good person and spread kindness– Masks, masks and more masks. I made and gave away a ton of them. The money that I did receive will be going towards creating a free seed library for our town! I’m so looking forward to seeing people enjoying growing their own food and flowers!

I made hundreds of masks and many scrub hats too!
The future seed library! I’m so excited about this idea!

3. Grow food, flowers and enjoy new plants– This year I definitely had a bounty! My best growers were the cushaw squash, but I did get a monster Dickinson pumpkin! Plus, the pollinator garden turned out beautiful. I actually starting clipping blooms and sharing their beauty! Overall, I grew around 1,000 pounds of food!

We grew about 5 that size!
What a huge pumpkin!
Our beautiful blooms!

4. Be creative! Craft, forge, sew and do whatever makes our creative souls happy!– I spent so much time sewing masks, that I took a long break from sewing! I started baking everything sourdough, and I love it! I also started making my own calendula salve from my blooms! That’s fun too!

Sourdough bread
And the Mr. has been making so much in the forge too!

5. Travel, spend as much quality time that we can with our ever growing teen. Time is precious. There were no big trips, unfortunately! We spent most of our time here, enjoying sitting on our newly created patio. We did get to go to Northbay and do zip lining and a ropes course. That was a great time!

Our little patio that we made!
We had so much fun!

Secret goal! We accomplished this a month or 2 early! We are debt free! We are super excited about this! Read about it: https://littlellewellynhomestead.com/2020/02/16/were-debt-free/

Even though everything has been strange and different, the garden brought me to my happy place daily!

Never a dull moment in there!

The world is weird right now, but I know that we have found a lot to smile about!

Keep blooming!

Amazing photo of my sulphur cosmos by tydrew photography!

Sourdough, my new favorite obsession!

Since March, bread became scarce, yeast impossible to find and eating at home the norm. So, I decided that starting to make sourdough should be on my to do list!

It turns out that getting a starter going takes more work than I thought it would. After so many weeks of failure, we finally got one going! And, the results were pretty great:

Yay! Bubbly and good smelling starter!

Next up was gathering the supplies that were necessary. There’s a long list of things that make it easier, but I just needed a food scale, bread and whole wheat flour and a cast iron combo cooker. Here’s my go to: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Cooker-Pre-seasoned-Skillet-Convertible/dp/B0009JKG9M

I love this combo cooker!

I also eventually bought a banneton basket. But, you could just line a bowl with a floured kitchen towel and it works the same!

Some dough with a banneton

And to safeguard my awesome starter, I dehydrate some. It took too much work to go back to making starter again! (And it’s easier to share this way too!)

Dehydrated starter!

After many loaves of bread, I have noticed that every single one is unique. The scored line changes the top of the bread and sometimes it cracks right through the scored line and other times it doesn’t. Regardless, I think they are the most beautiful loaves of bread!

Such a pretty loaf!

I’ll be reopening my Etsy store by the end of the month and sharing sourdough starter, along with some hand forged bread lames that the Mr. made!

I love mine!

I’ll be sharing my recipe that has been created from other recipes on here soon too! Happy baking and keep blooming!

Yum!

Finally, a new post!

Wow! June was my last post! I am back and hoping to start sharing more of what I have been up to!

Over the summer, the garden produced all kinds of huge fruits! I grew cushaw squash that were over 20 pounds:

Monster cushaw

My Dickinson pumpkin plant decided that one pumpkin was enough, but that pumpkin is close to 50 pounds!

It was so heavy!

And my newest hobby, after taking way too long to get it started, is making sourdough bread!

So delicious!

Over the weekend, I met so many people who wanted to learn more about our way of living. They asked questions about plants that we grow, questions about honeybees and chickens. They wanted to know how to grow more plants for the pollinators and how to grow milkweed. I loved talking plants and sourdough!

I met so many great people at the craft show this weekend!

I’m looking forward to get back to writing about how our goals have been coming along. I want to share some of our exciting plans for next year. And I want to start sharing more of my favorite things that we have been up to around here!

Keep blooming friends!

Walk through the garden 6/30/20

It’s the last day of the month, so I wanted to share what’s going well and what’s a work in progress!

View from the bottom (and newly added green bean teepee)
The onions are some of my best
Only a couple pretty tomatoes, so far.
The beans are flowering!
Cucamelons are enjoying the cattle panel
Delicata squash coming along!
A bumblebee kicked back enjoying the squash bloom

The San Marzano tomatoes are growing the best. The cucumbers are growing well, so far this year! I will totally admit that I am not a great cucumber grower! The flea beetles are being terrible pests this year.

What’s growing great in your neck of the woods? Are you dealing with some pests? Keep celebrating the positives and know that every year something will be a challenge. And, keep blooming! 🌼

Walk through the garden 6/25

Does anyone else see other gardens and then get worried that yours isn’t great enough? Like garden envy? Turns out that social media is pretty great at only showing the pretty pictures! So, before I show my pretty pictures, know that flea beetles are trying to eat everything in my garden. It has taken me replanting several squash plants so many times because either they didn’t germinate or something are them. Oh, and the ants are trying to farm aphids on everything. EVERYTHING!!!!

And now, here are my pretty pictures!

Pole beans (with lots of weeds in the background!)
Cantaloupe
Delicata squash
My first ever kohlrabi
San marzano tomatoes
Rows of Bush beans
My onions actually look pretty good!

I think the last several days of rain have helped to get the garden growing! Today my goal is to dig up the garlic! Anyone else dealing with some pests? Do your best to keep blooming!!

Flowery Friday! 6/19/20

The pollinator garden is starting to put up some beautiful blooms! Yarrow was all that bloomed here for a while! Now, more beautiful blooms are popping up! They are gorgeous!

Butterfly weed (milkweed)
Blanketflower
Pow pow echinacea
Columbine
Purple coneflowers
Rain battered first borage bloom

I haven’t seen too many pollinators, other than my honeybees! Hopefully I will see a monarch soon! What’s blooming where you are?