Sorry for the small hiatus in blogging, readers. We headed down to the beach at the beginning of last week and I thought, “I’m going to blog like the wind. This whole trip is going to be great for increasing my creative output.” The best laid plans, eh? We got a midweek call from our house sitter that our chocolate lab mix was critically ill. After several days is doggie ICU and close to $2,000 later, we still aren’t sure what happened and what her prognosis is. Behaviorally she seems back to her normal self, but after another blood panel today, she still has a really low albumin level (protein in the blood that is super important). We go back on Thursday. If, it’s still low then, it’ll be time to panic. And I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when someone I love is sick is google it, which is a horrible mistake. You just scare the crap out of yourself and feel even more worried than you did to begin with. Bad Google!
Needless to say, I haven’t gotten much crafting accomplished since Beanie got sick. I’d like to say that I’m not a worrier. But, man oh man, I haven’t been able to think of much else or do much else besides love on her this week. I mean, look at that face!
Since she isn’t very happy or comfortable in my craft room, I’ve been sticking to the kitchen so that we can hang out together. So, first thing I did was can some peach jam from the 10 lbs. of peaches we picked up from the beach. It’s Todd’s favorite. Hopefully, I’ve been able to recreate the batch I first made two years ago, which he still claims is “epic.”
Upon getting home, I also had to make the rounds and spend some time with the rabbits and chickens to make sure everyone else was doing okay. The rabbits are all doing fine, especially since they all got haircuts before we left for the beach. (I had to have something to spin!). The chickens were so prolific, that I had to make several batches of challah bread in order to use up the surplus of eggs. My recipe comes from the book, “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day”, which has definitely changed my life. If you don’t own this book, rush right out and buy it this minute. It will change your whole outlook on making homemade bread.
My last chore upon getting home was to check the garden. Amidst all the weeds, there was quite a bounty to pick. Our berry bushes are finally getting going.
So many things are beginning to bolt and many more just need to be re-sown. I’m definitely going to need to devote a whole day to garden triage this week. One of the things that is going gangbusters is my kale. While this might seem wonderful, right now it just seems like a chore, what with Bean sick. Since, I haven’t really felt like cooking anything elaborate, I decided to try to make some kale chips. I had seen a recipe earlier in the year by a vegan chef and remembered the basic ingredients. I just went from there. As a testament to the tastiness of these chips, let me say that Todd does not like kale. However, after coaxing him into giving one a try, he had scarfed down a huge handful. These chips are tangy, crispy, and yet melt-in-your-mouth. They are also surprisingly satisfying. So, if you also have an overabundance of kale, give them a try!
Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips:
1 1/2 cups of lightly salted cashews, soaked for 3 hours
3 Tbsp of lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp of dried, minced onion
1 large bunch of kale, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
2/3 cup of water
Add all of the ingredients, save the kale, to a food processor and process until the mixture has the consistency of salad dressing. Then, toss the dressing with the kale, making sure you coat all of the leaves as consistently as possible. Place the coated kale onto food dehydrator trays, or baking sheets, and dry until the leaves are thoroughly crispy. (This took about 4 hours in my old-school food dehydrator). I’d dry them at about 150-170 degrees in an oven. Just make sure you monitor them often! Then, put them in a bowl, pop in a good movie, and enjoy your healthy and delicious snack!