Inching Along Towards …..

Carrot Cake
February 14, 2021, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, it’s been a cold and blustery week here in Iowa.  Temps have been in the single digits and today it is going to get no higher than -5 F. Windy, but always seems to be windy here.  And it’s snowing again.  Even if it only snows an inch, the wind will push it to fill all the places that we have already cleared.

The cow is that dark, out of focus blob in the shed 🙂

The poor cows stay in their shed most of the day now, only coming out when they think it is time for some grain or if one of us heads out to check on the chickens.  They get snow on their backs when they are out for long, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.  Good thing we bought the larger water tank and new tank heater at the end of January, because even disconnected and stored in the garage, the hose is frozen solid.  We’ve moved it to the basement, near our sump drain hoping it will defrost so that we can fill up the tank this afternoon.

I haven’t let the chickens out for a few days and I am surprised that they are laying again since the coop is pretty dark. Some of the eggs freeze and crack before we can get to them. The days have been so gray that their solar powered light is not recharging and it’s not all that bright to start with. I’ve started leaving my battery powered lantern on in the coop while I tend to the cows so they have a few minutes respite from the dark. They usually hop down from their roost and have a snack during that time. I have added a small flat panel heater to hopefully bring up the temp and their door is closed to keep out the worst of the cold North wind. The coop is far from airtight but they need the “airflow” to prevent a buildup of moisture from their respiration. I added the heater after it looked like one of the girls had a frostbitten spot on her comb.  I’ll need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t rot and become infected. They have a heated waterer as well, but don’t seem very fond of using it. Their rubber water bowl is only useful for a short time in these low temps, freezing in an hour or two.

My work hours are longer now which isn’t too much of a hardship given the weather. I would like to get out and stretch my legs by walking on lunch, but it’s much too cold, even at midday.

The block heater on H’s truck went out, which makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to start a diesel engine at these cold temperatures and he attempted to replace it last weekend, but now the truck is leaking something.  Of course, now it’s too cold to work on it as even pulled into the garage, the truck is too long to bring the door down, and the temp in the garage is hovering at about 28 on top of the workbench. I assume it would be colder laying on the floor.

I finished up my garden plan and ordered some seeds today.  Spring is really something to look forward to! Right now my garden plot is under at least a foot of snow and I can’t even see the strawberry bed.

The strawberry bed is about 4 feet to the left of the shepherd’s crook. Poor Mary never made it in this winter. I hope she makes it through ok.

We have fruit trees coming at the end of March and we have fingers crossed that the ground will soften up enough for us to get holes dug before they arrive.

The tires on my garden wagon have all gone flat, not for the first time.  I’m debating between having H put solid tires on or just getting a new garden cart. Does anyone have a garden cart brand that they would recommend?  If so, let me know in the comments.  Thanks!

Friday was our 39th anniversary and H gave me some lovely flowers

But, of course, we didn’t go out. Between Covid, cold weather, working all day and a lack of conveniently located eateries, we had plenty of excuses to stay home.  I don’t even remember what we had for dinner.  Oh wait, I think I had a bacon and avocado sandwich. No idea about H. We did order some Chinese takeout on Saturday but it was a little disappointing.  After not eating out in so long, my taste buds seem to have changed.  I do wish I could find a good Thai restaurant within 20 miles, but that’s just a pipe dream.

Now, about that carrot cake. Two weeks ago was my birthday and my cake of choice was a carrot cake because 1) I had a bunch of carrots, 2) I found a recipe that used no butter (rations) and 3) I like carrot cake.  Well, for whatever reason, I didn’t get carrot cake for my birthday and so H made it yesterday. No reflection on him, but the recipe yielded a very dense cake. It took forever to bake and was not overly flavorful. A disappointment but oh well. H said not a keeper. I’ll put a sticky note in the cookbook to remind me not to use that recipe again.

With regards to my rations project, still on target with my sugar, butter and coffee. I had to give up a week’s worth of sugar for the carrot cake but I still about 2 cups stored up.

Remember these from my February “points” purchase? 

I thought they were seeds to snack on, but they are in fact a ground meal. Disappointing, but I will add them to a bread or cake recipe to use them up. If I try the national loaf again, in they will go.  I still have my national loaves in the freezer.

The rest of today will be a variety of small tasks around the house.  The biggest is figuring out what to do with these –

I’ll probably caramelize and freeze whatever I can rescue. I guess it was just too warm in the basement. It always feels cool to me down there, but apparently was not cool enough. Or maybe the variety just wasn’t a “keeper”.

Have a great week and Happy Valentine’s Day!


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