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The Fowl Miracle.

Remember our devoted pair of Egyptian Geese, Ra and Cleo? (If you don’t, visit the original post about them here)

Ra and his lovely lady, Cleo, joined the farm a couple of years ago and I’m not going to lie, I had visions of cute little Egyptian goslings running around. 

Ra, being the  devoted and dashing rogue that he is, tried his best to make that happen.

He romanced Cleo. He whispered sweet nothings in her ear. He even showered her with bouquet after bouquet of flowers. . . . Okay, so maybe, he didn’t go that far, but I’m sure he did do the Egyptian Goose equivalent to that. 

But I digress. 

Cleo, being the blushing bride of Ra, naturally led him on a merry chase and played hard to get. But it was no luck. 

Month after month, year after year, Cleo didn’t lay eggs. And as we all know, you can’t have super adorable, bouncing baby birds without eggs!

So, I wrote them off, and decided that Ra and Cleo, no matter how sprightly they acted, were a lot older than I’d been told.

Then, a miracle of the fowl-ish sort. Eggs!!!! Cleo laid eggs this year!! And a few weeks later, yep, you guessed it! Those much longed for Egyptian Geese babies. 

20160226_154037Which leaves me with an important lesson. .  . Egyptian Geese are really good parents. Loving. Nurturing. And very, very territorial. Do not even think about picking up one of the babies. Nope. You’ll find yourself facing Kung Fu Goose. 

And photographing them? Well, the ‘rents aren’t too crazy about that either – perfect example: that dirty look Cleo is shooting me in the above photo. 

P.S.

I’m actually a little late posting this, so those babies are in reality a little bigger than that now. 

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DIY Bath Truffles

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Bath truffles are a new-ish addition to the Maiden Hill Farm lineup (visit the Etsy shop here), and let me tell you, they’ve been really popular. 

With good reason. Imagine a bath bomb (or fizzy, as they’re somtimes called) with a boatload of skin nourishing cocoa butter added to it. What does that make? A bath truffle!

So, how do you make these little truffles of goodness. Well, it’s as simple as three ingredients. 

No, seriously. There are three main ingredients in them.

Baking Soda. One.

Citric acid. Two.

And cocoa butter. That’s three.

Of course, if you’re like me and dream in bling-tastic, add a little fragrace (or essential oils), a bit of color, and the ultimate in bling, glitter, and you’ve got the bling-iest of bath indulgences. 

Okay, so maybe that’s a little much on the bling wagon, but these babies are seriously cute. 

Pink Champagne

So, let’s make some. . .

Ingredients:

5 oz baking soda
2.5 oz citric acid
3 oz cocoa butter
0.17 oz fragrance or essential oil (I used Strawberries & Champagne body safe fragrance oil for this batch)
1/4 tsp Pink Mica Powder mixed with vegetable glycerin (optional)
Silicon Ice Cube Mold

Drizzle on top:
2.5 oz baking soda
1.25 oz citric acid
1.5 oz cocoa butter
.08 oz fragrance or essential oil

Cosmetic Grade Glitter (optional)
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (optional)

Directions:

First, I should mention that all ingredients (other than colorants, glitter, etc) are measured by weight. 

Weigh the citric acid and baking soda into a heat safe medium sized bowl.

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Use a fork or your hands to break up any clumps and to also mix the two powders together. Set aside.

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Weigh the cocoa butter into a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat in 30 second bursts until completely melted, making sure to not leave it unattended. Handle with care when removing it from the microwave as it will be very hot.

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Slowly pour the melted cocoa butter into the citric acid/baking soda mixture, using a fork to completely combine them.

At this point, you can add in the fragrance and/or essential oil (I used Strawberries & Champagne for this batch). M It’s very important that you only use body safe fragrance oils. 

You can also stir in colorants if you’d like. To get a beautiful soft pink color, I used an eighth of a teaspoon of pink mica mixed with just enough vegetable glycerin to dissolve the powder. 

Spoon the mixture into the mold of your choice (I use a silicon ice cube tray – similar to this one)

Allow to harden for about 24 hours before unmolding. 

To create the drizzle on top, make a second smaller batch of bath truffle mixture, following the same instructions above. But instead of spooning it into the mold, place it into a plastic storage bag, snip one corner off, and drizzle a little on top of each bath truffle square.

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Then, add a little cosmetic grade glitter (regular glitter won’t work and can irritate skin) and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt and voila!

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Directions For Use:
Drop one in to a warm bath (or foot bath) and enjoy.

Please note: Bath truffles may make floor slippery, so please use caution.

DIY Pink Champagne Bath Truffles

Ingredients

  • 5 oz baking soda
  • 2.5 oz citric acid
  • 3 oz cocoa butter
  • 0.17 oz fragrance or essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Mica Powder mixed with vegetable glycerin (optional)
  • Silicon Ice Cube Mold
  • Drizzle on top:
  • 2.5 oz baking soda
  • 1.25 oz citric acid
  • 1.5 oz cocoa butter
  • .08 oz fragrance or essential oil
  • Cosmetic Grade Glitter (optional)
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Weigh out baking soda and citric acid in a heat safe bowl. Combine completely with fork or hands, breaking up any clumps. Set aside.
  2. Weigh out cocoa butter in microwave safe measuring cup. Melt in a microwave in 30 second bursts until completely melted. Don't leave unattended and use care when removing from microwave as it will be hot.
  3. Slowly pour in to baking soda/citric acid mixture, using fork to make sure it's completely combined with no clumps.
  4. Stir in fragrance or essential oil and colorant if you're using any.
  5. Spoon in to mold. Allow to harden for about 24 hours before unmolding.
  6. Drizzle:
  7. Once the bath truffle squares have completely hardened, remove them from the mold and set aside.
  8. Weigh out baking soda and citric acid in a small heat safe bowl. Set aside.
  9. Weigh out the cocoa butter in a microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave in 30 second bursts until completely melted. Handle with care when removing from the microwave as it will be hot.
  10. Slowly pour the melted cocoa butter into the baking soda/citric acid mixture, using the fork to make sure it's completely combined. Stir in the fragrance and colorants if you're using any.
  11. Spoon into a plastic storage bag. Snip one corner off with scissors and drizzle on top of each bath truffle square.
  12. Top each square with a sprinkle of cosmetic grade glitter and pink Himalayan sea salt. Allow to dry for a couple of hours.

Notes

I can somtimes unmold the bath truffles a little earlier than 24 hours later, but not often.

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Talking Soap.

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to do a soap demonstration at the Claybank Master Gardeners Club meeting.

By the way, a big thank you for inviting us! We had such a wonderful time!!

We (Mom and I) had so much fun talking soap and goats and all of the benefits you get when you combine them (soap and goat milk, that is 😉 ). And of course, making soap. 

Cotton Pickin’, one of my favorites to make because of the pretty blue color.

20150820_195755

I think it turned out really well (find it listed in the shop in about two more weeks).

IMG_4869

 

If you’d like to have us do a Soap Making Demonstration at your event or club meeting, feel free to visit the Contact Me page. 

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Pickled Jalapeno Peppers.

While I’ll never qualify for any gardening awards (lack of green thumb, here), there is one thing that I do know how to grow. In abundance. 

Peppers. Specifically, jalapenos. Which leaves me with one problem. What to do with them. 

First, I tried adding them into a few salads. A marinade or two. Grilled jalapeno poppers. But I quickly realized, it wasn’t enough. There were just way too many peppers.

Then, in a moment of brilliant (if I do say so myself 😉 ) ah-ha inspiration, the answer emerged. . . pickling!!

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

 

Now, my pickled peppers also have the addition of chives from my garden (mainly because they are also growing in abundance this year), but you can totally leave them out if you want.

Wash the jars and lids thoroughly. Fill your canner or a large pot with enough water to completely cover the jars. Place the jars in the water, tilting them to fill up with water. Bring to a simmer. In a small saucepan on low to medium low heat, place the lids and rings in warm water.

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Slice the peppers into 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch rings and discard the stems.
In a large saucepan, pour in the water and vinegar.
Add the sugar, salt, peppercorns, and garlic. Bring to a boil.

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Add the jalapeno slices and the chopped chives. Remove from heat. 

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Allow the jalapenos to cool while sitting in the mixture soaking up all of the flavor for 10 or so minutes.

Carefully remove the jars from the canner, emptying them of water. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, fill the jars with the jalapenos. Pour the vinegar mixture into each jar leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Then, insert a chopstick or skewer down the sides of each jar to remove air bubbles.
Wipe the rims of each jar with a damp paper towel. Using a magnetic lid lifter, remove the lids and rings from the warm water and place a lid and ring on each jar, tightening until they’re snug or fingertip tight. 
Using a jar lifter, carefully return the jars to the canner, making sure they are completely covered by water with at least 1 inch of water above the tops of the jars. Process in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the water. Set on a kitchen towel or cooling rack. Don’t place the hot jars directly on the counter. Allow to cool undisturbed for at least 12 hours. You may hear a pinging noise as they cool.
After 12 hours have passed, check to see if the jars have sealed by pressing the center of each lid. If there’s any give, the jars didn’t seal properly. Either reprocess them or refrigerate and use immediately.

IMG_4812

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped (optional)
  • 2 - 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 - 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups vinegar (2 cups white vinegar and 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Wash the jars and lids thoroughly. Fill your canner or large pot with enough water to completely cover the jars. Place the jars in the water, tilting them to fill up with water. Bring to a simmer. In a small saucepan on low to medium low heat, place the lids and rings in warm water.
  2. Slice the peppers into 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch rings and discard the stem.
  3. In a large saucepan, pour in the water and vinegar.
  4. Add the sugar, salt, peppercorns, and garlic. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add the jalapeno slices and the chopped chives. Remove from heat.
  6. Allow the jalapenos to cool while sitting in the mixture soaking up all of the flavor for 10 or so minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the jars from the canner, emptying them of water.
  8. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, fill the jars with the jalapenos. Pour the vinegar mixture into each jar leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  9. Insert a chopstick or skewer down the sides of each jar to remove air bubbles.
  10. Wipe the rims of each jar with a damp paper towel. Using a magnetic lid lifter, remove the lids and rings from the warm water.
  11. Place a lid and ring on each jar, tightening until they're snug or fingertip tight.
  12. Using a jar lifter, carefully return the jars to the canner, making sure they are completely covered by water with at least 1 inch of water above the tops of the jars. Process in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  13. Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the water. Set on a kitchen towel or cooling rack. Don't place the hot jars directly on the counter. Allow to cool undisturbed for at least 12 hours. You may hear a pinging noise as they cool.
  14. After 12 hours have passed, check to see if the jars have sealed by pressing the center of each lid. If there's any give, the jars didn't seal properly. Either reprocess them or refrigerate and use immediately.
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