Learning to Basket Weave…

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As you might know, I’m a weaver.  I love to weave on my big floor loom and smaller inkle looms.  My daughter started a company to make tools and looms.  We raise our own sheep for fiber for fiber arts.  So, yes, we’re quite invested in our weaving arts here at our little homestead.

However, there has been one form of weaving that I’ve never really given a try to!  Basket weaving!  So I purchased a kit from Amazon to give it a try.  I thought that is the best way to give it a whirl, see if I like it and not spend too much money on tools and supplies.  IMG_2893

I picked a melon or egg basket from various simple kits from a fine company called Commonwealth Basket Mfg. Inc.  It came with everything that I needed.  And the instructions are very easy and perfect for a beginning weaver.  The steps were simple and in a hour or so, I had a beautiful little basket!  I am hooked!  Here are some of the steps that I took pictures of…  In the end, I really recommend giving this a try!  The kit was like $15 and it was very well organized with plenty of materials so you can make a mistake or two!

Enjoy!!!

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Our First Completed Yarn!

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It took almost 9 months to get it back, but our first batch of mill run yarn from our sheep has come back!  We sent in 10 pounds of fiber from our sheep and goats and got back 25 skeins of a beautiful, soft fingerling 2 ply yarn!  It’s fairly thin, not exactly what I normally work with, but I’m working on a little scarf with it and it’s so delicate and beautiful.  IMG_2790

Now, we have sent our fleece off to be made into roving, which is the first step in making actual yarn.  And once that comes back, I’ve been spinning it myself and also selling some of the roving as well.  But just never had a mill finish it all off.  It’s not cheap.  25 skeins cost us $160.  That’s $6.40 a skein before you figure in a lick of feed, care or shearing costs.  Considering it takes a year to grow a fleece, I would say our cost is nearly $11 to $12 a skein!  Wow!  IMG_2793

I know some folks would say that it’s not bad considering all the input and time invested.  I just think that we won’t be going this route again because if we double it again to actually make a little for our efforts, we’re looking at $20 to $24 a skein!  That just sounds a little high to me.  When we do all the processing ourselves, for our small flock, it’s an enjoyable task and we can sit and watch tv and spin or card and thus sell the yarn at a more economical rate and still make us a little coin for our effort as well as the enjoyable task of creating the yarn.  IMG_2794

But, that being said, it was wonderful to see how our flock’s fibers could compete in a commercial market and how lovely the yarn would be!  I can’t wait to dye some and perhaps give it a spin with some other fibers and make 3 or 4 ply yarns!  How lovely!!!  What a cool experience…  IMG_2795

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Farmhouse Quiche…

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Our friend Kerry taught us all about the joy of quiche!  Believe it or not, we had never had such a wonderful thing!  She brought us over a pair of them one day as a gift and we have been making them ever since!

Our recipe is easy.  Fresh farm eggs, homegrown pork sausage or bacon and good veggies from the garden!  Add in a little butter, and a lovely pie crust and you have all the makings of a wonderful dish!

When we have a lot of eggs, we make quiche. Simple and easy. I’m sure there are much more complicated recipes but this is how we do it.

1 Package of ready to use pie crusts

Veggies of choice… (Onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, green onions, hash browns…)

Meat of choice… (chopped, fried bacon, little chunks of ham, crumbled sausage)

Cheese of choice… (shredded cheddar, swiss, colby, colby jack, mozzarella, or mexican blend)

Lots of eggs
A little cream or milk
Butter

Spray the pie pans with a little butter spray, helps to get them out cleanly.

Lay your crusts in the pans, one for each. You can pretty up the edge if you’d like.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Chop up your veggies and add to the pie pans. You want about 2-3 cups of goodies. Kind of fill the pans.

Sprinkle meat on the top. When we do two, we will use one 16 ounce package of bacon, fried and crumbled, split between the two…

Add your cheese. A good handful, as much as you’d like really. It’s very easy to make. I usually just kind of cover up the goodies with cheese.

Crack and whip the eggs with a good dash of milk or cream. Like you would do with french toast or scrambled eggs. We usually use at least a dozen eggs, up to 14 or 15 for two pies. I usually start with 10 and see how that goes. You just pour it into the pie pan with all the goodies. If it looks a little shallow, add more.  :-)

Sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper.

Slice a half a stick of butter on each one. Thin slices, dotted all over it.

Pop in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 350 and cook for about 25-30 minutes more. Just watch that they don’t brown tooooo much.
If you overfilled them, you might want to put a cookie sheet under in case they poof up too much and dribble over.  :-) Usually, they don’t but sometimes, they can, if you were a little overzealous with the goodies.

Let cool a bit and slice and consume!!! Keeps great in the frig and also freezes well! We often will slice and freeze slices individually for quick yummy breakfasts!

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