more than just cute kittens

don't disturb the kitten

as many of you know if you are readers of my personal blog, we got a kitten this summer while we were in the states. we got her at st. mathias farm, which is near brainerd, minnesota. we were there with lisa of lil fish studios, who was felting small sheep at the celtic festival that was being hosted on the farm that weekend.

our kitten, molly, is awesome, but i wanted to tell you a little more about st. mathias farm, because it's a very inspiring place. the farm is 80 acres and they cooperate with local restaurants and schools, as well as other farmers. they provide fresh, "seriously local" (their motto) produce to the schools, restaurants and also to their CSA members.

at the celtic fest, they invited local artists and farmers to do things like shear sheep, spin, felt (that's why lisa was there), show how stone fences are built and the like. there was music and local food and beer. it was a joyful day and if we hadn't had an 8-hour drive ahead of us, we'd have stayed all day, not just 'til noon. they had their own alpacas on display and i'd love to have adopted one of them as well as a kitten.

it's precisely the kind of thing i'd eventually like to do, tho' we have only 17 acres, not 80. but it's so inspiring to visit such a place, learn all you can (i do wish i'd asked more questions and had more time), take in the sights, the well-curated (there i go, using that word) antique store/garden boutique and atmosphere and dream.

i really wish we were going to be there as pumpkin season approaches.

you can read more here (be sure to read the comments - there's a complainer and a very good response from the farm themselves). they're also here on facebook.


An experiment

As soon as August comes around I feel like making my vinegars again so that I some sunshine during the winter. This year I decided to start really totally from scratch. Never made any vinegar from scratch before and therefore I started reading and reading a little bit more. Some information showed lenghty processes while the book you see in the picture made it as easy as it could be.

I had to give it a try. I peeled the apples, put it in the jar, poured over some water and left it for 3 weeks. Yes, that's the method and magically vinegar appeared. It is no balsamico by any means but the fun I have while trying makes up for that. I used very green apples for this experiment. Next time I want to find deep red apples and see if that influences the colour and taste of the vinegar.

Did you ever made your own vinegar from scratch? If yes, please share.