my revolving passions's

what do you mean, I can only have one

Dumplings December 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 9:23 am

Part of living a local and as close to self sustaining lifestyle as possible, is learning to eat things you have never before eaten.  Two years ago that was swiss chard.  Swiss chard is a green, similar to kale or spinach but has a much bigger leaf and can grow anywhere, in any situation with any kind of weather.  Perfect example….I kicked off 6 inches of snow to pick the chard I needed for this recipe.

We eat creamed swiss chard, stuffed swiss chard, swiss chard gratin, swiss chard stir fry, swiss chard in our eggs, omelets and quiches.  I even canned swiss chard this summer trying to save a walk out to the garden in the middle of January.  So when I saw a recipe for pot likker greens with dumplings in my Tavern cookbook from Colonial Williamsburg, I knew it was something to try.

The recipe is a little involved, and I hate to say that because it always deters me from making something, but ABSOLUTELY delicious, nutritious and worth the effort.  I followed the gist of the recipe and added and changed things, mainly to make it easier and more appealing to the people we were serving dinner to, going so far as to call it Chicken and dumplings and skipping the “greens” part altogether.



Notes:  From the Cook Book. “Pot likker is the broth that come from cooking greens.  Mustard, collard, turnip greens and kale have been a part of traditional southern cooking for years.  This one-dish meal calls for dumplings, an unusual and delicious way to absorb the flavorful broth.”

Notes:  from Rachel.  I added all of the meat from a whole cooked chicken…probably two or three cups worth.  I also didn’t have any turnip, so I doubled the potatoes.


For the Pot Likker:

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock :  Bring to a boil
1 lb or greens trimmed and cleaned:  Cut into wide strips and add to the hot stock

1 large onion quartered
2 carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs chopped                                                   Add all of these to the hot stock and simmer partially covered till
2 heads of garlic halved horizontally                        tender and broth has a full flavor.  About 45 min.
salt and whole peppercorns
several sprigs of fresh parsley

Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked greens and vegetables, chopping all coarsely and reserve for later. (The recipe actually has you discard all of the other vegetable besides the greens,  I just took out the peppercorns and garlic skins)
Add 2 large white potatoes peeled and cut into cubes to the broth, cooking till tender.  About 10 min.
Add reserved chopped vegetables and chicken (if using) back to the stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer.

Now for the dumplings. I have never made anything with dumplings on top, this was so easy, delicious.  You can believe I will be adding dumplings to all our broth soups this winter.

2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup milk or more

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together, blend in shortening with  pastry blender.  Add milk and mix well.  Dip a spoon into cold water and then the dumpling dough, spooning it on top of the pot likker.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.


Hopefully you will give this a try, it was so tasty and delicious.  If it’s not something you will make at home, invite yourselves over for dinner and we will make it for you!


Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree December 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 10:05 pm

Each year we visit a friends abandoned Christmas tree farm to pick out our charlie brown tree for the year.  Since the trees have not been trimmed or cared for we cut down a 25 foot tree, use the top 6 or 7 feet for our tree and Nate uses the rest of the branches to make a beautiful gigantic swag for the whole front of the house.

This year, LJ was really excited to help Daddy cut down the tree, he carried his own saw through the belly-high snow and “helped” once the perfect tree had been picked.
































(That picture is going to make the g-mums happy)

And in case you’ve missed us, wondered what we looked like or needed to see that cute kids parents, here we are.


this moment August 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 7:36 am

A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – via soulemama


the light is waning August 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 11:45 am

This morning on my way out to milk the goats it was dark.  Darker than it had been before, how did I miss that?  

In the evenings the sun is going down a little bit earlier, the dark comes just a little bit quicker. 

Summer’s is on its way out and I still have so much I want to do. 

The end of this summer is the end of so much more than picnics, camping, BLT sandwiches and ice cream.  It is the end of my life in the corporate world.  Fall of 2010 comes with hope, anticipation, plans and even more hope.  Everyday. at. home.

Time to play, cook, garden, minister, serve, mother, eat, visit, craft.

Time to teach, learn, grow and watch it all happen.

Yes, summer is moving on, but fall is coming and I do so love the look of the leaves.


…the problem… July 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 8:36 pm

Here it is, the problem.  The reason why.  The excuse. 

I don’t have enough time. 

I know, everyone of you is sighing and saying,   “Rachel, no one ever has enough time.”
My mother is saying, “ You would have more time if you learned how to say no.”
My house is saying, “Give me some more time and I won’t be nearly so messy”

Let me tell you the story:

Rachel wanted goats.  Dairy goats to be more specific.  Dairy goats that produced milk that Rachel turned into delicious and now cheap GOAT CHEESE.  Rachel and Nater ran the numbers, did the talking, planned the planning and decided–this was not the year, no matter how delicious the GOAT CHEESE would be.

Fast forward 3 weeks.  Some friends  from church approach us about housing some 4H goats on our property for their daughter.  They will foot the bill of the building and fencing and we can do the bulk of the care, but these goats do not make milk for GOAT CHEESE.

Fast forward another 3 months.  Two baby goats arrive to a very big goat shed, nicknamed the Goat Taj Mahal, and lots and lots of grass.  Cody and Molly live in the taj mahal for a few months, gaining weight and not eating any of the grass, in fact we have to mow!  Did you know goats actually don’t eat much grass, they are more of a browser and eat trees and bushes rather than grass.

Now jump to two weeks ago.  Rachel is gone on a missions trip to VA beach and talks with her lovely amazing husband who tells her he is going to pick up two dairy goats that currently have their milk and will be producing milk so that Rachel can make GOAT CHEESE. 

So now, Rachel has two dairy goats that need to get milked twice a day, at 6 and 6.  Producing about 3/4 of a gallon of fresh, untreated, hormone free, delicious creamy goats milk a day.  But now Rachel has to strain the milk, chill the milk, skim the cream from the milk and wash everything incredibly well, not to mention feed the goats, water the goats, muck the goats and more, taking so much time that she has not yet made any GOAT CHEESE! Nor does she have any time to say yes to anything let alone no, nor sweep the floor, scrub the bathroom or do laundry.

The lesson of this story is this:  two dairy goats, an 8.30 to 5 job and an hour of travel time a day does not equal GOAT CHEESE. (or mowed grass)


10 things bringing me joy June 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 12:46 pm

idea is courtesy of Soulemama

1. The anticipation of picking more of these delicious and prolific blueberries, from our own backyard!

2.  This recipe at 101cookbooks and how many adaptations I can make, how tasty they are, and how I love to use my own yogurt!

3.  Bike riding here there and everywhere.

4.  Trading a small pot of herbs, which I think has unfortunately perished, for this logo.  And then to read her thoughts behind it here.  All that this logo means has me so very excited!

5.  My husband.  I know it sounds cheesy and oh so very glib, but I do have an amazing man for a friend, partner, husband and more.  We are only in week two of his summer vacation and the projects he has finished while watching LJ and finishing a class for his masters is astonishing.  I have much to learn!

6.  Clean, line dried, crisp sheets.  They are not on the bed yet, but they will be tonight.

7. Stricklands Ice cream

8.  Winning the quiz at clevernesting!

9.  Lots of night time candle lit front porch tea drinking

10. Knowing that this

will turn into our first tomato of the season


what we’ve been doing June 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 12:35 pm

Rather than tell you what we have been doing in the long time of silence, here is a photo collage.







 smores while camping, road adventures to the greatest bakery, re-design and put in our garden, pickling some rhubarb for coleslaw













picnic brunching with yiz, the goats are here! picking our first blueberries, putting up a rain barrel,












hiking, baking rhubarb strawberry bread, fishing, visiting the vet


a realization May 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 10:46 am

sometimes, in celebrating your motherhood, you realize just how much of a better spouse your husband is than you.

At least that’s what I did this weekend.


night night April 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 10:42 am

Jack is 1/2 way to three years old.  He is an active boy who loves books.

I am 4 months into being 27.  I am an active woman who loves books.

Going to the library is something we love to do together and I hope, something that will continue for years to come.  I can remember going to the library as kids in the summer time.  Spending as much time there as possible before my brother couldn’t handle being quiet anymore.  We would all check out as many books as possible and then trade them between each other before they had to go back the next week.

This week Jack and I rode our bike to the library and while he played I picked out his books for the next two weeks.  In addition to the normal fire engine, trucks, colors, shapes, and train books I also got The Wind in the Willows.  I have wanted to read something that continues on each night.  Something to look forward to, a story to follow along.  I don’t know if this is the right book or not, but for now I am enjoying it and he is enjoying the extended bed-time rituals. 

Anyone out there read to their kids before bed each night?  Anyone have a good book suggestion?

A note:  having read it for 3 nights now, I am thinking it is a no.  I like it, but it doesn’t seem to interest him at all.  Needing suggestions!


Rhubarb….again April 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — myrevolvingpassions @ 9:54 am

seriously, look at this recipe!!  Rhubarb Ice cream!?!  At least my plants are looking like this!

Growing but still really small. 

And yet another!!! recipe that looks good.