Day 22 – April 9th – Sledding + Enchiladas
Today we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and go sledding. After a slow morning at home playing with the chickens outside and doing chores, we packed a picnic basket full of sandwiches, hummus, berries and pretzel sticks and headed back up Cedar Pass. The hill was still covered in snow and we had a nice family day out of the house. That evening back at home, we took some time to relax. The kids were exhausted and wanted to get in the Jacuzzi and I wanted to listen to my audio book and lay in bed with a cup of tea. After I recovered from the day, I began preparing dinner. As I was going to make green enchiladas I decided to surprise everyone with a pitcher of citrus mango margaritas. It was actually frightening how fast they went.
Dinner was delicious and enjoyed around the table by candlelight – the enchiladas were filled with a mixture of rainbow chard, kale and collard greens from the Modoc Food Hub sautéed together with sliced red bell pepper, onion, spices and garlic. Heavenly! Julie brought over her mixed green salad (also from the Hub) and it was the perfect meal. After we cleared the table and put the kids to bed, we played a game of Rummikube. Such an addicting game!
Day 23 – April 10th – Puzzles + Dough
Today was pretty uneventful. I started a new puzzle and the kids did their work in the morning and in the afternoon they just ran around the front lawn while I did house chores. Wiley prepped the bread dough to bake tomorrow and I put in our next order for the Modoc Food Hub. All in all, a slow day that was spent mostly in the warm sun.
Day 24 – April 11th – Seeds + Bread Making
In the morning, I worked on my puzzle while the kids finished their schoolwork and Wiley made yummiest crusty sourdough loafs for us. Later on, our neighbor Julie gifted the children with their own apricot trees! Though they are still just tiny sprouts, the kids are so excited to care for them and eventually plant them when the weather allows. It’ll be so fun to watch the kids grow alongside them. We also planted a ton of seeds this morning in a couple green house trays my mom picked up in town. We planted loads of flowers (sunflowers, nasturtiums, azaleas, lupines, marigolds, and cosmos), salad fixings (butter lettuce, bibb lettuce, arugula, kale, and radishes), pumpkins, squash, beans, collard greens and herbs (dill, thyme, parsley, and basil). Fingers crossed we successfully grow them all! Between the chickens, the seedlings we are tending to, and Wiley’s bread making we’re starting to turn into a proper little homesteading apocalypse family.
Day 25 – April 12th – Easter Sunday
The kids woke up so excited for Easter! They ran downstairs while it was still practically dark out to see what the Easter Bunny had left them. Two baskets filled with candy and little gifts were on the dining room table waiting for them. We made them wait until 10:00 for the egg hunt, as we wanted to have the brunch ready to go so we could all sit and watch them. They were so cute flying around the yard with their baskets racing to fill them with eggs.
While the kids ran around like loons, we stuffed ourselves on pancakes, a glorious leek quiche made by our neighbor Julie, and a green salad. SO yummy! The rest of the day we spent being lazy (considering we all had champagne with breakfast) and we just milled around the house and started cleaning out the shed in the back that will be our future chicken coop.
Day 26 – April 13th – Exploring the Warner Mountains + High Desert
After our homeschooling in the morning, we decided to take the kids out of the house and explore the Warner Mountains. We wanted to try to see if the van could make it to a little sledding spot we’ve visited in the past but unfortunately the snow wouldn’t let us get to it. We will have to try again after another couple weeks of sun. As we made our way back down the mountain we decided to turn right towards Lost Lake but after not even a mile into the six-mile dirt road we had to turn around due to the road being too muddy and flooded for the van.
After that, we continued down into Surprise Valley and across it to the base of the Hayes Mountains where we let the kids run around the desert landscape. While there, we came across the most adorable Desert Horned Lizard that was so slow and fat we were able to pick it up and show the kids. They loved seeing such a cool little lizard so close up. After that, we headed home for the kids to have some hot tub time with Dada while I made a sushi dinner.
Day 27 – April 14th – Research!
Today I spent the morning researching the area and fun things we could do as a family project. The three things I decided on were:
- Foraging Wild Mushrooms: Up in the Warner Mountains they supposedly have a lot of Morels, Shaggy Mane, Matsutake and Bolite Mushrooms so I thought it’d be fun to learn the different types and go hunting for them. The Morels are what I am most excited about as they are supposed to be out now and they are very distinct looking so that’ll make it easier hopefully. We shall see!
- Search for Buried Treasure: I came across the story of Holden Dick’s Lost Loot and was very intrigued. You can read up on the story here. Supposedly there are several hundred pounds of gold ore in a cave in the lower elevations of the Southern Warner Mountains, extending west from Eagle Peak (so basically the mountains directly behind us). I also have my eye on a very pricey metal detector but sadly it’s too expensive for us to splurge on in these times.
- Making Gin: I never realized this but you can make gin by starting with a high-end neutral base spirit (like vodka) and infusing it with Juniper Berries and other botanicals. As long as juniper is the dominant botanical it can be considered gin. This recipe calls for vodka, juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, dried orange peel and dried lemon peel. Sounds yum! Next time we head over to Sage Meadow I’m going to bring a basket with me to collect juniper berries.
Day 28 – April 15th – Adventures in Alturas
Today was exciting as we needed to go into the “real world” to get food. It’s been a couple weeks since we last did a food run in Alturas and Wiley and I were giddy to get out the house – and to have some kid-free time together. First we stopped in Cedarville to pick up our Modoc Food Hub Order which consisted of two alpine strawberry plants, 30 ranch eggs, two jars of jam, two banana breads, rainbow chard, kale, fresh thyme, radishes, and mixed greens. After that, we headed over Cedar Pass into Alturas (taking in the magnificent site of Mount Shasta covered in snow as we came over the crest of the mountain). Once down the hill we got straight to business, loading up our car with food first at Grocery Outlet and then at Holiday Market. After that we picked up some fresh hay for the chicken coop before heading back home. It was an exhausting day but it so exciting to get out of Eagleville for a bit.
And that concludes our first month of SIP in Surprise Valley, California. Thank you for reading! Will start working on the next post for Week 5 tomorrow 🙂