Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

10.28.15 – 12.6.15

I can’t believe it’s already December! The year has gone very quickly. I suppose having much to do, and not getting it all done, makes it seem so. And, since that’s always the case…..

Thus far, we’ve been blessed to have mostly good weather and very tolerable temperatures.

The days have been a little crazy but in, mostly, good and bountiful ways. Our Thanksgiving as wonderful! Filled with so much thanks and good food. Last Friday was my birthday, a grand day! I’m now 52 and proud to be so! I got a jar of pumpkin butter and two new shawl wraps. Puuurrrfect!

52 years old with bags under my eyes from a long day  :)

Nik got his first deer on his second hunting day. I feel terrible for the deer but we’re so very thankful for the meat!! And I’m so proud of Nik!!

Nik and his friend Jared and their deers, poor things

We’ve had no milk or eggs for a while now. We’re down to 9 hens and all are molting. And as for milk, I traded our old milk goat for fence posts and firewood. Our other does are, hopefully, pregnant. So, I’m having to buy eggs and milk and it always seems so weird to do so.

Goatwise, we have 3 new ones over the last month or so. A full little Nigerian Dwarf buck with blue eyes and very pretty coat with reddish skin, which I didn’t want but took because he was part of the deal. I estimate him to be 8 to 10 months. Turns out I’m very glad we got him. He’s very sweet and a beauty. I named him Cedar. I’m still not sure what I’ll do with him but he gets along great with our other ND buck, Hickory, and the does… Poppy, Ivy and Willow.

Ivy is the second goat we got and may be bred to Cedar. She was believed to be full ND as well but I’m certain she’s a mini Alpine (half Alpine and half ND). She’s 2 and may become our second milker, we’ll see. She’s a lovely thing and has a good temperament but is a queen. I bartered Ivy and Cedar from a friend..

All were wonderful boons but the 3rd one was particularly a boon. A sister-friend emailed and asked if I was interested in buying a doe from them. I needed a good full sized Milk doe for my hands but figured I wouldn’t be able to buy one until next summer. But I’m going to be able to make payments and we got to bring her home now. Her name is Poppy, she’s 1 1/2 and she’s a beautiful full blooded Alpine. Sweet and gentle temperament and, hopefully bred to a full LaMancha. I believe Poppy will be our new family milk cow and she’s become very special to me.

We still have our ND blue eyed buck, Hickory (bartered for fall 2014) and our full ND doe, Willow, (bartered for early summer 2015). All the does are believed to be pregnant with Willow due in March, Poppy due in January and Ivy due unknown. This is both a boon and a drawback. I didn’t want anyone due until April (breeding in late Nov.) but life had other plans and we’ll hopefully have healthy births all around. It will be Ivy’s 2nd kidding and Poppy & Willow’s 1st.

If Poppy has a doe we’ll likely keep her but sell the rest for homestead income. My current goat goal is to raise a few quality ND kids and maybe some mini Alpine and mixes to sell each year and have a couple of milking does for our milk and dairy, dairy for some of the animals and some to sell as well. We took a big homestead loss in 2013, when I got so sick and we lost both our goats which also took our dairy and kid sales. Now we’re getting back to it And so, our goatherd is renewed.  :)

Also in bartering I got two big boxes of sewing stuff. One had supplies (stuffed full) and one had fabric. Tons of elastic (which I was very low on), all sorts of Rick Rack and edging, trim, Velcro, buttons, clasps, sizing, heavy wonderful old pinking shears, a rotary cutter with extra blades,  snaps, hooks, pattern book, patterns, crochet book, and fabric including several yards each of two different gauzes (excellent for summer skirts, dress and curtains).

I’m making Irish Bog shoes for 2 friends and started cutting out the first pair today. When I’m more confident and have more experience making them, it will go very quickly. But for now I worry about ruining the leather so always take a long time. I’ve made moccasins before but never these wonderful Bog shoes, so easy and useful. I’ve started on the bigger of the two because it’s close to my own size. I can’t wait to get the hang of it and start making them to barter with!

I’m also working on bags with round bottoms, that stand up on their own, somewhat. 2 new skirts, one to keep, one to barter. Large sized reusable shopping bags. A dress and a top. Moonpads. And a bright Holiday tablecloth.

Not much more going on except that November was a weird money month….. 
But I can’t even really complain about those things. They’re so small compared to other things and we’re so incredibly blessed.

Thanksgiving table

Teaching myself to crochet

-Harvest  –
Black walnuts
Hickory nuts
Grasses and seeds
Thuja tips
Cedar tips
Pine nuts
Pine tips
Violet leaves

-Barter –
Huge spool of Crochet thread
Hank of rolled rag for rag rug, pot holders etc.
Elastic for skirts etc
Manual crank juicer
Old Mortar and Pestle juicer
Antique black leather lady’s gloves
Nigerian Dwarf Doe
Nigerian Dwarf Buck
Antique French fry cutter
1 box of fabric
1 large box of sewing things
Alpine Doe
Fence posts
Electric stove with oven

-Gifts –
a jar of delicious pumpkin butter (birthday gift)
2 beautiful, second hand, shawl/wraps, 1 heavy camel and 1 light eggshell (birthday gifts)

-Working On-
Tarp barn for hay storage over winter
Space in barn in case a doe kids in bad weather
Sewing – moonpads, 2 skirts, a dress, a top, a tablecloth, larger shopping bags
2 Spirit Dolls

*Tilapia salad sandwiches on potato flour bread with pepper, onion, celery seed, real mayo. Farm raised tilapia.
*Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and copper penny carrots.
*BBQ ham on homemade rolls with organic corn and local squash
*Biscuits and gravy
*Creamy wild rice soup (recipe below)
*Oatmeal – Irish oats with our elderberries, dried cranberries, local honey, organic cinnamon served with homemade wheat bread with cow butter
*Vegetarian soft tacos from …. Spanish rice – rice steamed in tomato sauce then add onions, peppers, garlic and spices. Refried pinto beans (milk is the secret to creamy beans). Leftover organic corn and a mix of commercial and homemade shredded cheeses on a homemade tortilla. With shredded dandelion and violet leaves, homemade garden salsa and sour cream.

*Our own pumpkin seeds, roasted with sea salt
*Homemade tortilla chips with homemade garbanzo bean dip
*Our dried apples
*A mix of roasted sunflower seeds and pine nuts

-Evening Tea- (dessert)
*Walnut scones with caramel sauce
*Baked apples
*Pumpkin cake
*Homemade chocolates – Dark chocolate filled with homemade caramel and chocolate pine nut clusters.

-Sunday Dinners-
* Kielbasa, wild rice, peas, onions, herbs and spices. with organic hothouse spinach and homemade rolls with cow butter
*Ham, our eggs with our peppers and our onions, potatoes diced and lightly fried in olive oil with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt, homemade flat bread.

*Organic apple juice
*Jasmine tea with commercial creamer
*Lemon spice tea with honey
*Rooibos, rosehips and honey
*Pekoe with cinnamon, ginger, clove and honey


To make caramel filled chocolates…. Make your caramel. The last batch was crockpot caramel from homemade sweetened condensed milk. Allow it to cool until firm. Melt chocolate in homemade double boiler. Use a spoon to drop chocolate on butcher paper or whatever you use. Use the spoon to flatten our like a coin. Drop a small dollop of caramel on each one and then use spoon to cover each with chocolate. My favorite is dark chocolate. I also added a tiny bit of coffee to my last caramel.

To meat chocolate pine nut clusters…. Melt your chocolate and pour a little at a time into a heat safe bowl. Add pine nuts and mix thoroughly. Drop by Tablespoonfuls onto butcher paper and allow to cool and harden.  The ratio of chocolate and nuts or seeds it entirely by taste.

Wild Moon Cottage - Creamy Rice Soup
(cooking from the pantry)

As always, use what you have. I make it differently every time I make it but the base and basics are generally the same. This is how I made it today. All ingredients except for the olive oil, rice and flour came from our homestead …

1 T olive oil
1 T organic wheat flour
4 cups raw goat milk

1/3 c mushrooms (I dried honey mushrooms from the yard and precooked before drying)
1/4 c total of dried greens (I used spinach, lambs quarters, dock and dandelion)
2 to 3 T dried celery
1/4 c dried shredded carrots
2 T dried mixed red and green bell peppers
1 T dried amaranth seeds
1 T dried foxtail seeds
2 T dried yellow onion
1 T dried wild green onions
1 1/2 cup cooked wild rice – (leftovers or presteamed)
Pinch sea salt
Black pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven or pot, start by making a roux, just like for gravy. I heat the olive oil and add the flour, cooking until brown. Lower heat and slowly add the liquid, stirring constantly. When all the liquid is in, continue to stir until thickened, then lower heat to just keeping the pan warm.

Add every thing else except the rice. You’ll lose up to two cups of liquid as the dried ingredients reconstitute. You can add a little more if needed but it may water down the soup. Cook low until everything is cooked and tender. (if the rice is cold, heat it slightly in a pan with about a Tablespoon of water. Just so it doesn’t cool down the main pan. Add the rice and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

It’s easy to make, very easy to eat, nutritious and real. It’s also very easy to exchange for what you have. No rice? Use another starch or grain…. potatoes, other grains or homemade pasta. The liquid can be home canned vegetable or meat broth or a mix of water, broth and milk. To make it heartier you can add precooked meat. I often add venison or chicken. Or tear up old bread or biscuits and add just before serving. This makes the soup more filling for when you need to feed more with very little.

Don’t have homemade? Use what you do have. We do the best we can, I’ve had to scrounge for food on the street, there’s no wrong way. If you can use organic, homemade, homegrown etc… all the better, but if you can’t, no worries! Eat what you have and be so thankful  :)

This soup can very easily be cooked over coals, on the wood heat stove (where I do most of my winter cooking) on the fire, in a fireplace, on a grill etc…

It’s great served in a bread bowl, in a bowl with a wild salad on the side, with a fresh hot butter roll, with fresh tortillas, homemade crackers, How ever you want it. Tonight I had it in a cup, with a fresh warm biscuit :)


1 comment:

Mol said...

I am going to try the Carmel filled chocolates!