Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My version of fast food

I was working outside this morning and when I came in for lunch I didn't have anything pre made and ready to eat.

There was some thawed goat meat in the fridge, and since my hunger wasn't overpowering, I decided to make a nice noodle dish.

I quickly cubed the goat meat and fried it up with some onions and various spices to make a tasty meat and gravy sauce. Very simple and quick.

As the sauce simmered I started making the fresh egg noodles. I added some garlic powder and pepper to spice it up a bit.

Normally I let the dough sit for a little while before I roll it out, but the smell of the meat sauce was spurring on my hunger, so I kept on moving.

Roll, cut and boil ... as quick as I could.

Et voilĂ ! It took 64 minutes from walking in the door to sitting down to eat .... that includes the time it took me to decide what to eat and to clean up from being outside.

On the 100 meter diet that's considered fast food!

A year ago I couldn't have whipped something like this up so quickly .... and have it taste good at the same time!

I love what this diet has transformed me into ... I'm no chef but I'm no slouch either. I can hold my own in the kitchen ... I'm proud of that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pita Recipe

I've made so many pitas over the past year that I think I could make these in my sleep. It is one of my most used recipes on the 100 meter diet.

I've experimented with various different types of flour but I have now settled on a pita recipe that I like the best.

Here it is ....


2.5 cups of whole wheat flour
2.5 cups of spelt flour
1 cup of red fife flour
2.5 cups of whey (water can be a substitute)
1 teaspoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil


Dissolve the yeast in a bowl of warm whey and then add the mixture to a larger bowl with 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Stir well, cover and leave it to sit for several hours. I usually do this step early in the morning and leave it to sit until early afternoon (or later .. there's no rush).

Next, add the salt, olive oil and the additional flour and knead well. The dough should be moist and sticky. Leave the dough to mellow and rise for several more hours.

Divide the dough into 16 equal sized balls. Use a rolling pin to flatten each ball to a size that will fit your cast iron pan. I use a liberal amount of white flour for rolling each pita since they are fairly sticky.

Pre-heat your cast iron pan to a medium heat. Then carefully drop a pita into the pan so it lands flatly. You only get one chance ... it's nearly impossible to correct for a badly placed pita.

Flip the pita after about 10 seconds (before it starts to bubble). Watch the pita to make sure it doesn't burn. The pita should rise on it's own but you can help the process by lightly pressing the pita with a spatula. You can flip the pita as required so it doesn't burn on any one side.

It may take a bit of practice to get all the pitas to puff up perfectly or to find the right temperature for the pan. Once you have the knack to pita making it gets a whole lot easier.

Making pitas is a great way to spend some family time in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Getting to know the pigs

I've been spending a lot of time outside with the pigs lately so I've had a great chance to get to know them quite well. I've found them to be very playful, extremely quick and I now appreciate what it's like to "eat like a pig". These two are eating machines.

They are also powerful bulldozers. Their snouts can turn over a patch of ground better than a pitchfork.

As a result, I've had to stop letting them free range with the goats and chickens. They were rooting up the pasture like a tractor with a plow. I wasn't expecting that.

Now, every morning, I lead them to the fenced in garden so they can spend the day rooting to their hearts content. They are saving me hours of labour and they're doing a great job.

At the end of the day, I lead them back to the barn for the night. It only took them a couple of days to learn the routine. They follow me out to the garden and back without any trouble at all.

Every couple of days the kids and I go into the garden and pick up all the weeds and stones that they have rooted up.

It shouldn't take the pigs very long to get the garden ready for planting.

I'm not sure where I'll let the pigs root around once the garden is planted. I'll likely have to build them their own fenced in yard ... we'll see.

Until then they still have more work to do ... but for them it's probably more like fun. It's certainly a lot of fun to watch them work.

Friday, April 15, 2011


The big day finally arrived ... Lucy had her kids yesterday!

She had triplets and we named them Bambi, Thumper and Flower (two girls and a boy ... Thumper is the buck).

I just happened to check on Lucy as the first kid was being born. I knew the big day was near but l was still caught unprepared.

When I saw the tiny hoof and nose emerging I ran back in the house to get some towels so I could help clean off the kids as they were born. I was quick and made it back to the barn just before Flower made her arrival.

Flower was the smallest of the three but that didn't stop her from being up on her feet within four minutes. She's a very cute little goat and she looks strikingly similar to Lucky, our first goat born last spring.

Next to arrive was Bambi. She has a beautiful light coloured coat with a dark black stripe down her back - absolutely gorgeous.

Lucy instinctively cleaned off the kids while I helped where I could. I thought she was done when Bambi was born but after a few minutes Lucy started pushing again. I thought she was trying to deliver the placenta until I saw another tiny hoof poking out.

Thumper was the largest of the three kids to be born. He has a slightly curly haired coat with similar colouring to Lucy.

I was extremely lucky to be able to witness the birthing process. The entire event was over in less than 10 minutes.

Lucy and the kids are doing just fine.

She has accepted each of her babies and they have all successfully nursed a few times already ... a very good start.

Lucy was getting so uncomfortably big ... I'm glad the waiting is over. This morning she looks like a deflated balloon and I can almost detect
a smile on her face. I think she's happy that they're out!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Goat milk and egg yolk soap

2015 Update: Check out my YouTube video where I make goat milk soap from scratch ... :)

PeskyChicken's Goat Milk Soap Video

Original Blog Post:

I've been making a lot of goat milk soap lately so I thought it was about time to post a soap making update. I've modified my recipe slightly so I can make bigger batches of soap. Plus I've added egg yolks to the recipe ... I haven't actually tried a bar of this new soap yet but I expect that I will be happy with the results.

My new ingredients include:

2 pounds lard
2 pounds coconut oil
2 cups goat milk
4 egg yolks
0.6 pounds of lye crystals
Scented oils

It's a very simple list of ingredients ... nothing fancy. If you want to add other oils the following link will help you determine the amount of liquid and lye you will need.

I add the lye to frozen goat milk (frozen in ice cube trays) to obtain a cream coloured soap. Add the lye to the frozen milk in small amounts and stir constantly. Once the milk has completely melted, and the lye is dissolved, set aside for use later.

Lard comes in 1 pound boxes so I simply drop two bars in a large stainless steel pot.

Next, weigh out 2 pounds of coconut oil using a standard kitchen scale. Add the coconut oil to the pot and heat the lard and oil slowly on low heat. Once the oils are completely melted remove the pot from the heat and leave the pot to cool to 100 F.

While the oils are cooling you can prepare the egg yolks. The rule of thumb is to add 1 egg yolk per pound of oil.

My eggs come straight from under the hens so the yolks are warm and drain nicely. If you are using eggs from the fridge you may want to let them warm up to room temperature first.

You only want to add the egg yolk ... not the egg yolk sack. Carefully hold the egg yolk in your hand and puncture the yolk sack with a sharp knife. Allow the egg yolk to drain into a bowl.

Once the oils are cooled down to 100 F you can start to temper the egg yolks so they don't end up getting cooked. Slowly add a little bit of the oil mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk and repeat several times until the egg yolks are well mixed into a cup of oil.

Add the egg yolk mixture to the larger oil pot and stir well.

Finally, slowly add the lye solution to the oils and mix using electric beaters.

I find that it takes about an
hour or more to get the oils to trace.

Once the oils trace, pour into your soap molds and leave them for a day to set. After the soap has set you can remove it from the mold, cut them into soap bars and leave them to cure for about 6 weeks.

Soap making is a bit of an effort but the results are well worth it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

End of March Update

Recently, I made the decision to look for a job closer to home. I'm happy to say that everything has worked out extremely well and I have given up my lengthy GO Train / subway commute into Toronto for a much shorter drive into Kitchener. I'm extremely happy with the change since it cuts two hours off my commuting time each day.

Truly amazing.

To top it all off, I am going to take the entire month of April off before I start my new job. I'm looking forward to spending all of my time around the house and the barnyard. I should be able to get a lot of spring chores checked off my list, although that might be difficult because it's a very long list.

It's funny how ones perspective changes over time. Four years ago I was happy when I made the decision to accept a job offer in Toronto and now I'm happy to return to working more locally.

I don't regret any of the time I spent working in Toronto. I think it actually helped set me on the course that led me to 100 meter diet. For that I am thankful.

As for my weight at the end of March ... it's 160 pounds. I'm eating more lately since I can better gauge how long my food needs to last. No sense ending the diet with food in the freezer!