Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011

All I can say is  YEAH!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

OK...Time to get blogging.

This is my post from over on my scrapbooking blog... The breakdown of those goals are over there if you want to see.  I don't know if I will post pictures of all the pages I complete as I know there will be tons of them...right? right?  YES!  Right. But I will do better at posting on all three blogs in 2012.  Afterall, it's on the 101 list!

So...finally, I am working on my 101 in 1001 for my scrapbooking goals. I am trying to decide my plan of attack for the scrapping. I have a very aggresive goal, but with everything else needing to get done in my life, I think it may be too aggressive. So I've tried to modify it also.

I have been trying to it better to just work on one year at a time, or kind of "scattered"? I thought I might try scattered, that way I'm working on various ages of our son and not be "bored". But I am afraid I may not be organized enough to pull that off.

So here is my plan: I must get AT LEAST number 1 & 2 done each month. My modified goal is to get numbers 1-4 done each month. My out of control goal (which I realize will not happen-even though I secretly hope...) is to get 1-16 done each month (except the months where there are 17...then...)

January will be getting the room set up. This is a BIG goal in itself, but I think I am ready. chart doesn't show up I will break it out in months....on different posts.... .  You can check out my "plans" for other scrappy / photo related goals over there!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's not that I'm not blogging....'s that I've been blogging stuff that will ultimately be Christmas I can't actually post them until after the recipients have received them.....

Here's a sneak peek...

In the meantime....
The siding guys worked a WHOLE day yesterday!  Two walls are today they are not here.  Here's the progress...

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The 106 year old original siding...and look a porch exactly where I've always wanted to put on...even with the apex as I imagined!!!  Do you see the primitive star on the house?
For the last two years, my landlady has said that she wanted to put new siding on the house.  WooHoo.  But, of course, the way things didn't get done in the summer, fall,, first they pulled out our two picture windows the first week of December and put in new ones (And fixed all the around the window where I could see the blue sky outside from the termite damage!!).  That only took two days.  Then the siding guys came on Friday, December 9th.  The coldest day so far....all pulled off all the 30 year old siding and brittle 30 year old aluminum house wrap.  The house wrap fell about the yard and because the cold front was blowing in....all over the yard.  So it looks currently like redneck tinsel.

They couldn't make it back until Monday.....the heat from the woodburner went directly out all the walls! Half of the downstairs was rewrapped, and 1/4 sided.  Then it rained.  So they didn't come back.
End of Day 1...yes...that's all folks!

Then they came back again....yesterday, Friday the 16th.  They got the downstairs wrapped and most of the way sided.  Upstairs....not so much of well, anything.  I haven't seen anyone today and suspect I won't see them until Monday.  I'm a bit peeved.  And COLD.  What a waste of wood!  All the heat just flows right out of the house.  So it's snowing currently.  My prayer is that they will have the house back together before Christmas Eve, but at this pace, it will likely be spring. I feel like a copycat.

Two weeks ago I started a tutorial for here for my made from scratch challenge.  But you know me, I'm slow, so today I sat down to do it, only to see that Pioneer Woman did it on her show today :(  So I don't seem interesting or original at all.  BOO!  But seems to be the story of my life...someone else faster, better, smarter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I've now had the 3rd person ask if I am going to write my annual Christmas "novel"-you know I am too wordy to be just the Christmas letter type :)  I read through last year's and yup...quite wordy.  I can't imagine that anyone really wants to know that much minutia

Honestly, I am having a hard time this year. Oh, I'm doing everything right on schedule (well as close to "on schedule" as I get).  And while I am truly grateful for all the good in my life, I am having a hard time seeing past the struggles.  Man said it best last night..."You could say the best part of this year is that we made it through all 52 weeks of it!"  So there you go...we made it...and now...on to more.  I ready someone's blog that was talking about any time spent on THIS side of a "dirt-nap" was good...I think they really don't get it.  The prize, the good is on THAT side of a "dirt nap"  and Lord, I am ready for it!  It is hard to be lonely and homesick for home...when you are home.  And I know so many would be more grateful than I for what I have,  But what I LONG for is Heaven.  I long to see my Heavenly Father, my Redeemer.  Nevermind that whole new body thing!  Anyone that thinks that the Hear-an-Now is what it is about is well, basically, either clueless or an athiest.

But how do you nicely put that into a letter...especially when you wonder about so many on the list. With me, Clueless, God-less.  And how do I say what I want to win the God-less, clue in the Clueless, and encourage the ones With me???

So, I will spend the next day, writing about the everyday on a semi-working farm wishing I could really articulate what I wish I could say, but don't have the words or the eloquence to write.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


So much to do...the days seem so much shorter.  I got so much done when I worked outside the farm...course there's that whole pesky sleep thing, that I"ve discovered I love!

Man's business is very busy right now...the joke is we are "Santa's workshop-South Division"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kristl...the 3-legged wonder-dog

Kristl did very well with her surgery a few weeks back.  She had 3 weeks of tripping over her leg that didn't work, so she was already used to walking on three legs.  She came out of the anestesia (sp?) well and was able to come home the same day as the surgery.  We've had her back to the vet to have her stitches out and all looks well.  The fur is already starting to grow back and she doesn't cry very often.  There are a few things she has some difficulty with (jumping up on the bed-but that's not allowed anyway!) but overall she is doing great.  Here are some pictures:

And with this...

...we will call #9 of our 101 list officially DONE!  I made 6 loaves of bread last week and already have 2 going for this week.  The challenge actually became a habit and only about 5 times in the past 10 months have we bought bread. Actually, not included in the counts are the homemade pizza crusts that have made me known (not necessarily famous) with Boy's friends as the best pizza maker.  One even confided that I make pizza better than his mom, but "don't tell".  So it's our secret!

Sadly, my wonderful Wondermill is having issues.  The switch won't stay in the on position.  The company said, no problem, send it back and we'll fix it....but....but...but....that means I'll be without it for untold days and weeks....and what will I do??  And during Christmas baking season?  REALLY? (cue hysterical sobbing!)  OK, now that I have that out of my system.  I could grind ahead and put it in the freezer...but the freezer is FULL!  (This is a great problem to have!)  So I will wait a week or two and then ship it out and wait to do a happy dance when it gets back.

I'm so excited to finally mark something off the list.  I thought it would take almost 2 years to make 71 loaves of bread. Giggle.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So much...and yet so little

It's been a month since I've posted.  So much has happened and yet when I try to think of what to post, so little comes to mind.

The change of weather has me down.  My conditions are so much worse in the cold and wind.  Nevermind the lack of daylight.  I'm ready for March...ok, well, I suppose I can wait until after Christmas at least.  I've been in the mindset "If you can't say anything nice...don't post at all." Grin.  So pretty much that is the end of THAT subject...but on my health...I had a MRI, EEG, and blood work done a few days ago.  Results later this week.

Kristl had her amputation surgery and is doing remarkably well.  It was by God's grace that everything came together for her surgery.  I emailled about that, but didn't get much of a response so it may only be amazing to me.

Thanksgiving was spent at friends.  Good food.  Nice fellowship. 

Did Black Friday.  Spent too much.  Still want to shop.  (I love retail therapy! Unfortunately, my budget and my limited space don't)

Was blessed today with some Freecycle Revere pans.  My man offered to get me a brand new set of pans for Christmas (and in fact did) but I told him, I really just needed the smaller pans that go with the big pans I already love (Revere).  A lady posted on Freecycle that she had some that were her wedding gifts (25 years ago) that she wanted to rehome.  He emailled and I picked up exactly the pieces I had been wanting!!  WOOHOO.  Now the pans I had bought can go back and the money is no longer spent (Bringing the total $$ back down to a more reasonable-over the budget-amount).

The gift I am making for my friends and family is coming along nicely...

We're supposed to be getting new siding on our drafty ole farmhouse soon.  (It's been scheduled and put off twice now, so who knows when)  Already we've had the front two picture windows replaced.

My mom is not doing well.  It looks as though she will need surgery on her back.  She is having some of the same pain issues I had before my 1st spinal surgery.  I'm so sad for her.  I know what it's like and it's not fun.  Say a prayer for her.  And for my's hard to stand by and know there really isn't anything you can do to help.

I'll try to do more posting in the next days leading up to Christmas.  I have lots of neat recipes and such that I'd love to share.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What a blessing friends are....

Today I am grateful for friends.  Friends that touch our lives in so many different ways. 

We had dinner on Monday night with a family that we are friends with.  We so rarely go anywhere that this was a huge treat.  The moms had mom time, the dads had dad time, and the boys!  We'll these are my boy's best buds so they had a blast!  Thank you so much!  It may have been a just little get together and a meal, but already I am seeing that it may be an answer to long awaited prayers!

Then are the friends that I don't get to see and talk to very much, but I never doubt their love.  I know if I needed it, they would be there in an instant!

Just today, I went to the mailbox and found love in it.  Two homeschooling friends sent notes along to my boy with money FROM THE KIDS to help with Kristl's medical treatment.  We are getting closer and closer to being able to have her amputation surgery.  But we are also in a quandry.  As much as we love Kristl, we have been wondering and praying if this is the right thing to do.  The money we've raised could go to other worthy things....two other good friends are raising funds to adopt from Ethopia and China.  These are children that will be brought up in God's love...which is more important than a mere pet (as much as we dearly love her).  So what do we do.? We went to a different vet yesterday and the leg definitely needs to go...we did get a smaller estimate ($500-$750), and we are starting to get donations and selling treats.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Good afternoon!

What a good Saturday morning it's been.  I've not gotten ANY thing done on my to do list....but.....

I found a bunch of great "foodie" blogs and have been pouring over them!  So many great ideas.  For lunch today I made homemade, freshly milled wheat flour tortillas.  They were yummy.  I won't post a recipe quite yet.  I've discovered that I need to try a recipe 3 times before I feel like it wasn't a beginners fluke that it turned out.

I also found what I am going to make to give for Christmas gifts. I would love to share...I'm bursting to tell...but most (if not all) of my readers are on my gift list.  So.....for now I'll just have to keep it to myself.   But it's totally unique...I wouldn't have thought of it on my's so cool!!  (Can you tell I just want to spill??)  I think this qualifies for SOMETHING in my 101 list!!  OK, no more !!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The counts.....

Peaches: Quarts: 24
               Pints: 5

Tomatoes: Quarts: 68

Green Beans: Quarts: 6
   (Frozen Quarts):34

Salsa: Pints: 9

Tomato Soup: Pints:9

Tomato Juice: Quarts: 2

Dill Pickle Spears: Quarts: 1
                                Pints: 3

Bread & Butter Pickles: Pints: 7

Sweet Relish: Pints 5

Concord Grape Concentrate: 4 Quarts

Yellow Tomato Jelly: Pints: 3

Jelly/Jam (half pints)
Yellow Tomato Jelly: 3
Concord Grape: 15
Mixed Berries & Rhubarb: 11
Peach: 8
Huckleberry: 5

Other Frozen:
6 Quarts of Lima Beans
3 Quarts of Shredded Zucchini
1 Quart of Huckleberries
3 Quarts of Asparagus
6 Quarts of Cauliflower

Of Course....

I guess it's been a while since I's time for the canning "round-up" 

Final Count: Summer 2011: 189 Jars canned.  This doesn't include the Foods frozen.  That count is 47.

I suppose that is alright....I thought the number would be much higher.  I didn't do nearly as much jelly/jam as I did last summer.  Geez, you would think with my being off of work I would have had a higher number.

Total jars in the cold cellar: 524, 314 are jelly/jam.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boring would be alright....

Seriously....I'm ready for someone else's life to be full of drama. I'm done!

As you saw below, our doggie is hurt. We think she was hit by a car on Monday. The damage to her front leg is serious. She had two very, very deep cuts and is not able to feel the leg or foot so she is still "walking" on it. This is bad because she is "walking" on the front (where the wounds are).

We did take her to the vet. And right now it is a "wait and see" period. The vet believes that she either strained or tore the tendons (ligaments??) in her "arm pit" and has no sensations in her leg at all. The hope is that after the inflamation goes down, it will start coming back and she will heal. If it does not, she will likely need to have her front leg amputated (or worse put down).

This is a very difficult time. Financially things are not great here. With the economy, Man's business is very slow. My short term disablity is over and we are currently appealing my denials for long term disablity and SSDI. So I have $0 income. The pesky light company still want their money and don't really seem to care if your doggie is 'sick'. So....we are doing some fundraising. If you can help, we'd appreciate it. If you can't, that is totally fine too. I'm just hoping that 240 of my fans (um...I realize there are only maybe 3 of you!) will contribute a couple bucks. Or hit their fans up for some!

We will also be doing Kristl Kakes and Doggy Yum-yums for sale to raise funds as well. The Kristl Kakes are for people and cannot be shipped...however the Doggie Yum-yums can. I will be working on a flyer or my spare time. Grin!

Kristl's Chip In for Surgery

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is that smell???

That would be our Pyrenees dog....skunked!  UG!  After a whole day of my kid being ill (on the floor x3, in appropriate places x4),  I went out to do chores. 

Good news and bad news.....the bad news is...well, Iona is skunked.
The good news...the rabbit that has been loose for 2 months was sitting in it's cage, just as nice as you please, so I just latched the door.  Rabbit caught.
Bad News...we've lost all three of the youngest chicks (the ones hatched in the nest box).
Good News...the three older ones, the two guinea chicks and the two ducklings are still doing great.

It's been cold, but today and the next few days are supposed to be warmer, so we've got lots of outside chores to do to get ready for the cold days ahead....

Bad news...I think I may have what the Boy had....that or just the smell of the skunk-dog is making me sick.
Good news...I didn't spend any money today!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dreary Monday

So I woke up this morning, raring to go (despite not sleeping well), only to find out that my Boy is feeling ill.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt (even though I thought it was because he stayed up too late, and frankly didn't want to do school today).  I made him brush his teeth and told him to go back to bed....only to have part of last nights dinner end up on the bedroom floor.  UG!  So, yup...tummy troubles.  This does change some of the plans for today.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Month of Nothing - October 2011

We're off to a good start.  I have the freezers inventoried (and even made a spreadsheet-ooooo), I'll go down into the root cellar and get a current count of the canning done this summer in a bit.
I have already spent!...but the budget for our family is set at $50 per week.  This is for groceries, gas, etc.  I do already have a few extras I see coming up.  I've committed to three fairly local "mystery shops".  That will add expenses this month, but will be reimbursed with a small "pay" next month (plus, we can have a sub for lunch one day, a coffee another, and a fast food sandwich the third-actually all this week!)

After going through the freezers and planning menus, I discovered that we needed hamburger and cheese.  We also needed vegetable oil and our sodas (Big K-gotta pop that drop!).  So after spending a little under $40 (I also needed chocolate to get my mood regulated-grin), we're ready to go.

Menus for this week:
Sun: S:Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Apples

Mon: B: Oatmeal with Peach Jelly or Syrup
L:Turkey Wraps, carrots
S:Cheesy Fish and Chips Cassarole, Zucchini Slaw

Tues: B: Homemade Granola, Apple Slices
L: 1/3 Sub Sandwich, Chips
S: Bacon wrapped Chicken, Oven fries, Green Beans

Wed: B: Corn Flakes & Milk, Bananas
L: Meatloaf Sandwich
S: Spinach Chef Salad

Thur: B:Oatmeal with Cinnamon & Apples
L:Other Myst. Sandwich or Turkey Wrap
S: Cranberry Pork Loin Chops, Steamed Broccoli

Fri: 24 Fast before Yom Kippur

Sat: B:Bacon & Eggs, Toast & Jelly
L: Hot dogs on grill, grilled zucchini, pasta salad
S: Homemade 10 layer Lasagna & Salad

I do actually have all the menus planned for 22 of the days this month.  Before the day is over I should have the rest figured out. On my list for tomorrow is to get granola made.  And homemade granola bars.  I know that when it's here, we will eat it.  The granola bars don't last long!  I'll post a recipe when I make them. (if you are interested).

I'll also put up a link, button or something going to any ebay, etsy, craigslist if you want to shop.  (Shop may pay for YOUR Christmas gift-grin! Or it could BE your Christmas gift!)

Comments and suggestions ENCOURAGED!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Change is in the Air

Officially, my favorite season is fall.  However, I still need brought into it kicking and hollaring because summmer is a very close second.  It's now fall and frankly the past few days have been feeling long past the beginning of Fall and quite close to Winter (my least favorite).

So with the change of the seasons, it's time to put new goals in focus and shift gears. On my 101 list, I've listed two "Month-of-Nothings" per year.  The year is almost over and we only had a half of a "M-o-N" back in April.  With my disablity pay ending and the economy looking worse and worse, October is declared "Month-of-Nothing PLUS!"  This will make up for the unstellar show in April.  This month we will be frugal PLUS hit another goal of making some money on Ebay and Craigslist.  (Oh, and I kinda hit another goal, in a sideways way, I did post on Etsy last month, but under a new account for Man's business).  But I will post in Etsy on my account too! 

Other goals that we will be accomplishing (like the positive thinking) by doing MoN:
  • Menu planning
  • Going after Debt
  • Clean out Barn (gotta have room for the cow/goat!)
  • Inventory freezer and pantry (get count of what was canned!)
This would be a longer post, but my friend down the road and I planned a "Road Party" for our two Country Roads to get to know one another and it is taking place in just a few hours.  It may be two families, it could be 42 families.  We'll see.  It's really nasty out today, so our hopes of having an outdoor party is pretty much a bust.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Freezer Camp

New Leghorns & Mallard 9/25
Today is the day...sad day!

Duck Stew (younger drake) and Hen, and 8 of our older layers (including our 1st Buffy) are all going to freezer camp.  We are very solemn about this (despite how we describe it) as we know these wonderful birds will feed us this winter.  They have been loved (mostly) and we hate to see them go.

We also picked up from really inexpensive roos and hens from a lady about 20 minutes away, yesterday.  They are white leghorns (white layers).  The roos will also go to camp, and the hens will go into the flock.  She also gave us a cute mallard cross.  That brings the duck breed count up to 3.  I need to update the sidebar count. 
Boy & Mal

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweet and Savory Yellow Tomato & Basil Jam

makes 3-5 pints

4 pounds yellow tomatoes
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil

Cut cherry yellow tomatoes in half, or, if using larger yellow tomatoes, chop them into smallish pieces.  I actually boiled my cherry tomatoes and put them through the food mill to get the skins off.  I also blanched and peeled the tomatoes.  You can leave them on if you prefer.  I also used a few of my "hillbilly Mr. Stripey" tomatoes, so I have a few spots of red in my jam.
Yellow Cherry Tomatoes (Sun Gold & Pear)
Yes, I should have wiped the counter before taking the picture...but I'm all about keeping it real!

 Combine chopped tomatoes with sugar in a large, non-reactive pot and stir. Let sit for at least one hour, or until the tomatoes release their juice.

When ready to cook, prep canning pot and jars and place jam pot over high heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.

Cook at a boil for 40-45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and the syrup has gotten thick.  Because I used cherry tomatoes, I had a bit more water and had to cook for about an hour and then it still was somewhat runny.  Once you’re satisfied with the set, remove the pot from the heat and stir in  chopped basil.
You should pick the basil, wash, and tear it up (or cut it) BEFORE you get to this part of the recipe!

Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
Use caution, as you can see from the steam, it is hot...and if you are multitasking and, say, talking on the phone at the same time.....I'm just saying!

When time is up, remove jars from pot and let them cool on a kitchen towel. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use promptly. All sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Aren't they lovely?  And the other red tomatoes I canned today as a backdrop.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kitty Love....

So if you've been reading with us for awhile, you know that both of our guys are allergic to cats.  You may also remember that we ended up with two kittens dumped on our road that we took in.
Tim is also camera shy!
Well,  both are doing very well.  Tim is truly a barn cat.  He is not one to be petted or loved on.  He will get within a few feet of you, but that's about it.  He does come out when I call, but doesn't "come".
Tom, however, is quite the ham!
Now, Tom on the other hand is my little love.  He comes when we call.  Is frequently (now) found sleeping on the chair on the porch.  Follows me around in the garden and wants to be petted and loved.

Both of the cats are used to hunting, but also seem to enjoy the vegetables that I bring out for the chickens.  Both eat tomatoes, and chicken food.  They have left all the babies (chicken, duck, guinea) alone.  And since Tom has started coming up to the house...we haven't seen any mice in almost 2 months!  These are GOOD cats.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall is in the air...

I didn't do as well as I wanted with the recipes for the lacto-fermenting.  But since so many have been purchasing them and coming here for recipes, my goal will be to post a new recipe....every week, let's say.  I like to try them before I put them up, so we don't again end up with the ickiness that was the green cherry tomatoes.  Someone actually did it successfully, so I might have to try it again.

In all the work/excitement of doing the farmer's market every weekend and getting lots of crops in and canned, I haven't been blogging the homestead happenings as much.  I have heard from you that this is not a good I will try to get caught back up and let y'all know what's been happening here.

We've had a lot of babies hatched in the past few week.  We've had ducks hatching most of the summer, but the mama's were walking them all over the 2 acres that they free-range on, and I think they would get worn out and then we'd "lose" them.  However...out of the last clutch of 11, we've had 2 survive and thrive.  They are about 6 weeks old now and doing pretty well. 

We also had baby chicks hatch in the Asparagus bed about 6 weeks ago.  We had 4 hatch, and lost 1 to the water trough.  The three that are left are a really good size now.  Two look like golden comets, and the other like a barred rock.  Then about 2 weeks ago, we had 3 hatch out of a clutch that was being sat on in the nest boxes.  Those three look like golf balls still, but two are a golden color and the third is white with brown  and looks like the mama Americauna that hatched them.

Our two female guineas sat on a nest that they laid in the middle of the zucchini patch.  They had 30 eggs altogether.  I wasn't sure if we even had a male guinea (I do!).  We had 6 of them hatch.  We've lost 2 in the past two days...I think for the same reason as the ducklings.  She has them all over the yard.  They are growing quickly, so hopefully we won't lose anymore.

Both of the female rabbits "missed" this time as we should be getting bunnies (a week ago).  I'll let that go for a few more days and then try them again.  We have one female rabbit that has been loose in the yard most of the month.  We see her on almost a daily basis and she stays near the front of the barn (or in the grain barn breezeway), but haven't been able to catch her.

We added a new grown turkey hen about 2 weeks ago, so Thanksgiving now has a girlfriend/wife.  She is a Bourbon Red turkey and her name is Reba.  With Reba, we also received two Runner ducks.  Runners are funny to see because they are not down low like regular ducks.  They "stand" upright.  Boy has named them Trot and Sprint.

With Fall coming on, there are still lots to do around the homestead.

  • We need to get the chicken coop ready for winter.  This involves (hopefully) putting up a new back wall.  Putting plastic up over the windows.  Pulling out all the old 'dirt' and putting fresh sawdust in.  Putting straw along the walls to help insulate it from the cold.  I would also like to put up a better fence to keep them near the coop, rather than on the porch.
  • Still harvesting and putting up the tomatoes for the winter.  Replanting the few cuttings that do not have blight so maybe I can keep them going in the pump house for a few more months.
  • Digging the potatoes.  I think that's still about a month away.
  • I replanted green beans in July, so those are just starting to come on.  They are a big seller at the farmer's market....and we love them too.
  • Shoring up the big barn to try to keep it warmer this winter.
  • The landlady says they will be coming to put new insulation and siding on the farm house.
  • We still have farmer's market until the second Saturday in October.
  • Looking for further streams of income as my short term disablity has ended and we're not sure what is going to happen next.  I am still only able to do things for short periods of times and then have to rest.  My seizures are somewhat under control with medication, but the medication makes me a bit of a zombie.  (OK, so I was already an airhead before...this is not a long trip.:) )
  • Fall cleaning to get things ready to be stuck in the house for the winter.
I'm sure there's a bunch more...but typing this has made me realize...I must go get busy!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I don't recommend...

The recipe for the pickled green cherry tomatoes.  Usually, I try the recipe before putting it up, that way the ones that are 'duds' don't get passed on. 

I really, really didn't like all!  Now you might try it and get a better batch, but I'm not even sure I'm going to take the time to do it again to see if maybe it was just a bad batch.

Enough said.

What recipes are you trying?

Saturday, August 13, 2011


One of my wonderful readers let me know that my blog was unavailable for quite a few days this week!  Upon checking, I discovered that I had received a huge amount of spam comments and Blogger had pulled down the blog for me to confirm that it hadn't been infected with malware, etc.  So all the recipes that were scheduled to come up....didn't.  And I "lost" them.  I am working to recover all the posts that are missing (from Wednesday-Friday)

We had a very busy day today.  The farmer's market did great today.  I had at least 5 people ask me if I could sell them some salsa!!  Also, a wonderful lady told me that I should put our jars up on Etsy.  Hey, that is part of my 101 in 1001.  So tomorrow I will work on that along with more recipes.

On Wednesday, I went to a friend's house and taught her how to can peaches.  We had 2 bushels to put up.  We only got 1/2 a bushel done, then (6 quarts & 10 pints that we split) then we each had another 3/4 bushel to put up on our own.  My wonderful gus knew that I've really been hurting for the past few days, so they pitched in this afternoon and we got the rest of the peaches done.  14 more quarts and 9 1/2 pints of jelly!! Yeah!

I also put another quart of salsa in the lacto-ferment jar! I still have 2 quarts of blackberries to do...and 20 pounds of zucchini...and 10 pounds of tomatoes...and a big basket of polano peppers that were gifted to me from Dragonfly Farm (at the market today). 

Lacto Fermented Green Tomato Pickles

1 wide mouth quart preserving jar

enough green tomatoes to fill the jar to 1 inch below the lid (only use tomatoes that are totally green, the ones that made you crazy at the start of the summer) I actually used green cherry tomatoes from the branches of the tomatoes plants that I needed to trim!

1 dill head or 1 fresh dill sprig or 2 Tbsp dried dill or dill seed)
1 hot pepper with the stem pulled off (optional)
1 large or 2 medium or 3 small cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp canning and pickling salt

4 Tbsp whey - I use kefir milk whey(or substitute an additional Tbsp of canning and pickling salt)

Filtered water

Wash the tomatoes and remove their stems and place in the clean wide mouth jar to 1 inch below the rim. Add the garlic, dill and hot pepper between the tomatoes and add the salt and whey, if using.

 Fill the jars with water to 1 inch below the rim and screw on the airlock lid. Store at room temperature for 3-4 days (3 days when kept at 72°) before placing on the top shelf of your fridge. They can be eaten after the 3 - 4 days but are better after a month of storage. It's normal if the brine is fizzy or there is white foam floating on the top.
As a full disclosure thing, the green tomatoes in the photo are not fermented yet. When done they will be more of an olive green color, and the brine will be cloudy. I  wanted to post this while there were still green tomatoes for people to use.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Corn Relish

3 cups fresh corn kernels
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 pablano pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey

In a large bowl mix all ingredients.  Pound lightly with a wooden pounder to release juices.  Place in a quart-sized wide-mouth mason jar and press down with a pounder until juices cover the relish.  The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 ince below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly with airlock (filled to the line with filtered water) and keep at room temperature for about 3 days.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lacto-fermented Sauerkraut

1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespood sea slt
4 tablespoons whey (if not available, use an additional 1 tablespoon salt

In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, sea salt and why.  Pound with a wooden pounder (we now have some of these available for sale--the wood turner at the farmer's market made some for us!!) for about 10 minutes to realease juices.  Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with the pounder until juices come to the top of the cabbage.  The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 ince below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly with the airlock lid.  Put filtered water into the airlock and keep the jar at room temperature in a dark cabinet for about 3 days.  The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lacto-Fermented Salsa

4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (personally, I don't mind the seeds)
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild (I bought some beautiful pobano peppers yesterday at the farmer's market)
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
1 bunch of cilantro (I will have to use dried)
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried cumin
juice of 2 lemons (I prefer lime)
1 tablespoon sea salt (pickling salt or Himilayan Pink salt)
4 tablespoons of whey
1/4 filtered water

Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar.  Press down lightly with a wooden punter adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables.  The top of the ;vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly with the airlock lid.  Keep at room temperature for about 2 days before tranferring to cold storage.

Pictures forthcoming...have to go and actually make it!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pickled Pearl Onions

I'm  was going to post two versions of this recipe.  We did it very basic and loved it. I was going to post the "Nourishing Traditions" version but I can't imagine cinnamon with onions...maybe after we try it I will post it...until then....

For our version we filled the jar with peeled, whole white pearl onions from the farmer's market

You could use red pearl onions also. 

Fill the jar to the top, leaving 1 inch head space with 6% salt water brine.  Put on the airlock cap and wait.

We have also done it with cucumbers and onions (as shown on all our literature, above, and on the homepage of the website (they look like eggs, but are actually onions).

This is a short one today because it is Saturday and Farmer's Market day!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lacto-fermented Beets

You will need:
  • naturally-grown beets – peeled, quartered and sliced
For each jar full of peeled, quartered and sliced beets (fill the jar up to within 1-inch of the top), you will need:
  • 1 cup of pure water with 1 tablespoon of sea salt –OR– 1 cup of pure water with 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt and 4 tablespoons of homemade whey (dripped out of kefir or yogurt, or from raw cheese-making)
  • additional pure water
Note: If this ends up too salty, soaking the veggies in water for a time draws off the salt, making them tasty. One could also use less salt, but experimentation would be necessary — you need enough salt to suppress the putrefying bacteria.

Start by peeling, quartering and slicing the beets.

Then fill your quart jars as required to use up all the prepared vegetables. Press down on the veggies to make sure they’re packed in well and don’t fill up higher than within 1-inch of the top.

Mix the sea salt and water (and/or whey) together so the salt is mostly dissolved. If using water and sea salt, add 1 cup to each jar. If using water and sea salt with whey, add 1-1/4 cups to each jar. Then top off each jar with more pure water to cover the vegetables

Put the airlock lid onto your jar and place in a dark, room temperature place for about 3 days. Watch the bubbles and soon they will be done. Then place in your cold storage.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sour-Sprouts (the Wallace version of Sauerkraut)

This one is takes a bit longer in one way because you need to sprout your mung beans.  Well, I suppose you could buy mung bean sprouts...but...

Anyway, if you buy the beans, this is really easy.  If you've eaten up your Dilly Beans, you can just put the sprouts into the same brine and spices and put the airlock on and in 3 days you will have some of the most delicious sour-sprouts.  We call them this because it tastes a bit like really good sauerkraut, but they are crispier.  Also, mung bean sprouts tend to have a bitter-ish taste to them.  By fermenting them, it takes the bitterness out.
Mung bean sour-sprouts and veggie medley...the radishes give it the pink color.
Now, if you haven't got the brine left over, here's the whole recipe from beginning to end.

  • About 2 cups of mung bean sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons whey (if not available, use an additional 1 tablespoon salt)
  • 1 cup filtered water
Rinse sprouts well and place in a quart-sized wide mouth jar.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the sprouts, adding more water if necessary to cover the sprouts. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.

Cover tightly with air-lock cap and keep and keep at room temperature and out of UV light for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pickled Green Beans-Our new "Chips"

These pickled green beans make a tasty snack anytime of the day…I like to grab a few straight from the jar and munch on them….betcha’ can’t eat just one --just like chips ;)

  • 3/4 to 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons unrefined sea salt
  • 2 cups filtered water (Or you can use the brine that we made before)
Other Items you will Need:
- 1-quart sized wide-mouth jar with an air-lock lid

- Pot of boiling water
- Bowl of ice water

Place half of the sliced garlic to a clean quart-sized mason jar, followed by the red pepper flakes and dill.

Snap off the stem-end of green beans.  (We've done it both ways and it works either way. I go towards the less is I haven't blanched the last two batches ) Blanch green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water until no longer hot. Drain the blanched beans well and pat dry with paper towels.

Add green beans to your jar, stem-end down, packing them close together….it helps to lay the jar on its side at first. Fill the jar completely with the green beans, but do not pack them in too tight. Sprinkle remaining garlic slices on top of beans in jar.

In a bowl, or large glass measuring cup, mix together the water and salt. Pour this mixture into your jar of beans to cover, being sure to leave 1-inch space from the top of the jar for expansion. (If the brine does not cover, simply make up another batch using the same ratio of salt to water.)

Place air-lock lid on the jar tightly.. Allow to ferment (culture) for 3 days at room temperature, checking after day 2. When they are done, the beans will smell and taste “pickled”, but they should still be slightly crisp.

Remove air-lock lid and replace with storage lid — transfer to cold storage.

Makes 1-quart.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Running late! I need to KETCHUP!!

I will have to post the Ketchup pictures and recipe tomorrow.  Had a new development in my life today, and also had to deal with almost 10 pounds of cherry tomatoes (low acid, yellow ones-YUM!)

Here's the recipe...
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
2 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP whey
3 to 4 TBSP Maple Syrup, to taste
1 TBSP unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, or more to taste
1/8 teason cayenne
1/8 ground all-spice
1/8 teaspon onion powder
1/4 ground cloves
1/4 to 1/2 filtered water (to desired consistency0

Place all aingredients, except water, in a large bowl.  Whisk together.  Add 1/4 cup filtered water and process until smooth.  If needed, add additional water until desired consistency is reached.  We used about 1/2 cup of water.

Place ketchup in yur quart glass jar, cap with the air-lock lide  All to ferment, at room temperature and in the dark, for about 3 days.

Remove air-lock lid and replace with storage lid. Keep in the refrigerator for long term storage.

Makes 2 cups.

We transferred our ketchup to a cleaned plastic ketchup squeeze bottle once it was done.  Here's a tip, the ketchup will keep fermenting in the fridge.  If the plastic bottle is closed will be a bit blown up from the gas.  Here's the it with caution with the opening towards the sink...otherwise you will be washing the ceiling...ask me how we know :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy August!

Welcome to my month of "Lacto-fermented" recipes.  We have been doing really well at the farmer's market in the next town over and I've been directing folks to our new website (..that I still need to get built...yikes!) and there we are going to also be posting the recipes, so check it out (in a few days-sheepish grin).  Hopefully, our new customers will come over and become new readers of the blog as well.

Our first recipe is going to be the basic pickle with the lacto-ferment process.

Lacto-fermentation is how our grandparents kept food.  It was put in a salt brine and then kept in the Cold Cellar, where it never got really, really cold, or very warm.  Lacto-fermented food does best stored at 50* or less. So if you have room in your refrigerator, that's perfect for storage.

What you will need:

Wide-mouth Ball (Kerr) Jar
Lacto-Ferment Trap Lid (available at the Sunbury farmer's market or online on our site)
Zipper bag-sandwich sized
Measuring Cups & Spoons

Filtered Water
Pickling Salt
Pickling Cucumbers (6-7 pickling or 20-30 small gherkins)
3-6 cloves of garlic

I didn't take pictures of all the steps(...because I am lame and forgot! You'll have to use your imagination on those)

First you are going to make your brining solution.  We use a "6%" solution which is 8 cups of filtered water to 6 tablespoons of pickling salt.  We have recently switched over to Himilayan Pink Salt as it is reported that it contains all 84 minerals that the body needs.  For this first recipe, however, I just used regular canning/pickling salt that is readily available at the store.  You can use less salt, but don't go less than about 2 Tbsp for 8 cups of water. 

Also in most of the lacto-ferment recipes, it calls for whey.  You can get whey from the top of your yogurt cut (plain, please) or in our case, I use kefir whey.  When I am making the kefir, it naturally separates (isn't that convienent).  The whey is used as a bit of a starter of the probiotic bacteria.  If you don't have whey...don't worry!  You can just add another tablespoon of salt to the brine.

Now, normally, you will have a LOT more cucumber slices than I do.  We usually do quart sized jars.  Unfortunately, the cucumbers I got from the farmer's market had already started to 'turn' and were getting a bit on the slimy side.  You want to use the freshest and best produce you can.  So, I have a pathetic amount of slices and used a pint jar instead.

Put your cucumbers, 2 Tbsp whey, garlic (I smash and dice one clove and then leave the others peeled but whole.), dill (about 2 Tablespoons fresh, 2 teaspoons dried--at this point the measuring spoons are mostly a decoration...use the amounts that you like) into your clean jar.  You will fill the jar to about the "shoulder", or about an inch from the top.  At this point you can add a grape leaf (wild is fine) or an oak leaf to help keep the pickles crisp...or you can use alum or "pickle crisp".

Pour your brine to cover your cucumbers.  They will float a bit, so use your sandwich bag and put some brine in it to sink the pickles down.  Some people will use marbles in a bag instead.  Carefully close the bag so it doesn't have air in it.

Now, you will add your lid with the airlock fermentation trap on top.  Screw on the lid so it is snug and then put the airlock firmly into the grommet.  It is not going to go down very far...this is correct!

Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filtered water into the airlock (there is a faint line that you fill to)

Finally you will want to keep it out of UV light.  The UV will kill the fermentation process.  So put it into a dark cabinet or cover the jar with a dishcloth.

In just about 24 hour you will start to see bubbles in your brine.  This will go on for about 3 days.  When you tap on the side and  you don't see bubbles, it is ready to get recapped and put into your cold storage.  You can pour your pickles into another jar with a lid or just replace your fermentation lid with a regular wide-mouth lid (1 or 2 piece is fine).

Your pickles will get stronger over time and a bit "fizzy-ish" but not terribly so.  Your nose knows.  If it smells like something you wouldn't want to eat...feed it to the chickens! (Or the dog or the trash). 

Lacto-fermentation generates the good bacteria that your 'gut' needs to be healthy.  It's the same as eating yogurt or "Activia"tm.  At first, you may experience a bit of digestional upset.  Pickles are a condiment and not a "main dish"  (I am not a doctor NOR do I play one on TV....)  Over time, though, your body will not only adjust, but be healthier for it!  (And so will your chickens and dogs!)

Tune in tomorrow for.....lacto-fermented KETCHUP!  Be sure to tell me in the comments what you would like to see me make...and send your friends over to read too!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I just saw that a local u-pick has peaches....for $50 a bushel!!! What?!?!

I will be planting peach trees this year...just saying.

Have you had my peach salsa?  (Recipe gifted to me by the wonderful KimV) It is just the end all!

OK...taking a deep breath....back to our regular programming.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Zucchini Spread

Everyone I know is currently overrun with zucchini!  This is the first year I have had this "problem"  I have always lamented that "for once" I would like to be the one with WAAAAY too much zucchini...rather than having to go buy some.  Well, God answered my plea and we have zucchini everywhere!  I grew both green zucchini and the golden variety.  So in searching for fun ways to eat the stuff (we love it grilled, but after a week, we need to try something new) I've found some outstanding recipes.  Of course, I usually take recipes as a my variations are somewhat different.

3 pounds zucchini, cut into a 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
5 garlic cloves, gently smashed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4-5 turns of a pepper grinder

Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and allow them to melt together. Roughly chop the smashed garlic and add it to the pan. Add the zucchini cubes. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the zucchini has begun to soften. Strip the thyme leaves off their stems and add them to the skillet
Reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring often. The goal is to melt the zucchini into a spreadable paste. The goal is to cook the liquid out of the zucchini and intensify the flavors without reducing it to total mush. If at any point, the zucchini starts to brown, add a splash of water (or white wine if you happen to have an open bottle-I don't know how it happened...I didn't have any wine to add) and reduce the heat a bit more.

Total cooking time should be right around an hour. Three pounds of zucchini typically yields around two cups of spread.

Once cooked, the spread will last up to one week in the fridge. Serve on toasted baguette rounds or crackers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More beans....and it is HOT!

We are still harvesting beans and zucchini and anxiously awaiting tomatoes and peppers.  I am disappointed with the amount of cucumbers we've gotten this year.  Usually by this time we have had cucumber and tomato salad about 47 times....only twice this year....Sheryl:  The secret to the salad is to premake it and leave it in the fridge for about an hour (at least)...and sssshhhhh the secret sauce is.....italian dressing from the packet made up instead of from a bottle.  :)

It is supposed to be 98* today...with I think 150% humidity.  I don't mind heat it's the "stupidity" I don't like!!  But we need a few heat days so the tomatoes will start changing color. So....

The juvey chickens are doing well as are the young turkeys.  I let them free range yesterday and they came back to their coop last night.  We haven't had any more raccoon killings since the dogs have taken their posts.  I think it may be time for the cats to live near the house....I keep hearing mice in the house, and we've caught 2 in the past two days.  I have seen Tommy carrying a mouse so I know they are doing their job out in the barn.  Timmy (formerly Molly) is very shy and that's perfect for a barn cat.  Tommy is shy in the morning...but then in the evening, he'll come up to the gate to wait for us to come out and do chores.  He will climb up on the wood pile and get up onto my shoulder (I'm the only one not allergic, so I'm the one they climb on.)

Funny thing is that now Drake (the older male duck) is now following us around when it is chore time.  If you were afraid of ducks, this might freak you out as their way of communicating is hissing.  So he is always bobbing his head and hissing at me.  But this is not because of meanness....he wants dog food.  He will eat the "fowl" food....but yumm....if he can have some kibble....his life is complete!  So I made the mistake of feeding him some as I took food to the working dogs...and now every evening when we are getting everyone put to bed....he follows me everywhere...and I give in and give him a few morsels...pretty much guaranteeing that he will be back tomorrow!

So I get to go pick up my kid from camp in about 2 hours!  Woo Hoo!  And then we have a day of running around town doing errands (not his favorite thing to do....but I'll get to hear everything about camp!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life on the Farm

It's gotten really busy around here! I've been mentally blogging as I do other things, but dont' seem to get it actually down.  Geez, whoever can come up with a mind-to-type system has my $$

So it's over half way through the summer and what is happening.....

Today my boy is at sleep-away summer camp.  I'm praying he has found a friend.  His buddy that was supposed to go with him ended up staying at his grandfather's for over 3 weeks. His friend's"Pap" was involved in an accident and the family stayed with him and Grandma while Pap was in the hospital.  "Pap" is doing better, but it was a very serious accident and he has a long road to recovery.  Praying for them!

So, luckily for this overprotective mama, the camp is just past the corn field across the road.  We can hear the kids in the evening when they are singing in Chapel.  This is the same camp he went to last year, so things are at least familiar.  He'll be home on Wednesday.
We lost our beloved Arica last week.  We're not sure exactly what happened, but Arica and Buffy both started limping. I checked their feet, but couldn't find a sore or cut.  She was still eating, but couldn't get around very well.  She was staying in the yard near the "pond".  Well, something got her.  I found her feathers and distinctive beak yesterday...sigh.  Boy put Buffy in the moveable coop with the juvey birds to keep her safe.  He is not happy that we are planning on sending her and a few of the other older girls to "freezer camp." 

We have two broody chicken of which is sitting on TWENTY eggs! She made a nest in the middle of the overgrown asparagus. The other has about 5-8.  Then we have two ducks that have started setting eggs too.  I can't get to their nests, so I have no idea how many eggs they are on.  The funny thing about my Comet chicken sitting on the 20 eggs is that all the books say the Golden Comets are NOT broody birds.  Apparently she hasn't read any of the books :)

The garden is doing very well in the bean and zucchini department. The first crop of bean plants are almost done...maybe 2-3 more pickings, then we'll have to pull those plants out and put more in.  I've started another few rows already where my kidney bean experiment failed.  We have tons of green tomatoes.  It is supposed to get in the 90's this week so that will likely start the tomatoes turning.  We also have 5 of the cutest watermelons.  There is one Kohlirabi that I need to find out how to fix.  And we have harvested 3 acorn squash for the winter.  I'd leave them on longer, but the chickens like to get into the garden and that seems to be their favorite thing to eat.  Funny thing is we have a nest of guinea eggs in the middle of one of the cucumber trrellis squares.  Occasionally we find a chicken egg in there too!  The tomatillos are set. We have peppers of all kinds starting out...they seem to be taking longer this year.

My Man has started a new hobby that has really taken off!  It started with my Kefir.  (Which is still going very well).  It is "Lacto-Fermented".  He was reading Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions and came up with a newer way to lacto-ferment food.  It's basically pickling things in salt brine, but instead of using crocks that take awhile and get a "scum" that you have to scrape off, he made a new lid that makes an airlock.  The CO2 and other gases come off the food, and bubbles out of the trap and oxygen can't get back in to spoil the food.  It takes about 3-5 days to ferment the food, and when it is done it is VERY good for you.  Because it is not heat processed, the good bacteria is not killed off.  So basically it is probiotic (like Activia!:) )

So far, we have pickled: Cucumbers (of course), a medley of veggies including cauliflower & radishes, zucchini sweet relish, beets, green beans, onions, eggs, and most recently KETCHUP!! Oh, and the mung beans that we have been sprouting...we did those and they turned out like a crisp sourkraut.  We had hotdogs yesterday...with home fermented ketchup and "SaurSprouts" and DELISH!!!
cucumbers, cucumbers & onions
So what is going to happen in August.....I am going to have 31 days of Lacto-Ferment recipes.  I will try them out, share the recipe, and tell you what I really think about the taste.  Tune in...tell your friends!  Some of the first recipes we are going to try are lacto-fermenting Pizza (at least the sauce) and Jelly! (of course)

We took his "creation", the lacto-ferment jars to the farmer's market on Saturday...and sold out!  Plus, we have become friends with another local lady who runs the only licenced cannery in Central Ohio.  She bough some before the farmer's market...and She sold out!  She bought 10 more that we need to get to her today because she is having a "pickling" class this evening and she wants to show both methods...and the Big City Newspaper will also be in attendance.

I also sold out of green beans, and half of my zucchini...and would you believe...I took the camera and forgot to take a single picture!!!  I was so mad at myself.  I took it specifically so I could blog and keep you in the loop. NUTS!  Well, I think we will do the market again this week, so I will take pictures.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 pounds of beans today

Monday, July 11, 2011

Home Educating Family Publishing

These folks have a really neat site! They are also giving away some Junior High and High School curriculum. Be sure to check them out and if you have a older homeschooler, be sure to enter their contest!

Home Educating Family Publishing

What needs to be done in / for the garden...13 weeks before frost

Sow Outdoors:

Bush Beans
Lima Beans

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fun with Beets

OK...before you go running away...stay with me here!

It's time to expand our horizons.  Time to quite turning up our noses at things we wouldn't even consider as kids.

So tonight I needed to try the beets we bought at the farmer's market today.  The farmer and wife we got them from was telling us that you can use the greens in salads just like lettuce.  I read online that Aussies & Kiwis both put sliced beets on their hamburgers like tomatoes or lettuce.  I also read on a recipe site that you can cook the greens like kale or spinach.

Well, I've been eating spinach from a can like I was popeye lately, so...we had raw beet greens and sliced beets on our hamburgers.  Also, sliced beets.  Then I cut up the greens and stems.  I cooked one slice of bacon in my pan, added diced red onion (also from the market) and about 2 Tbsp of water and then the greens.  Put a lid on it to wilt and steam the greens.  Gave it some salt and pepper and stirred it around....


To be honest...sliced beets are still not my favorite....HOWEVER....I am loving the cooked greens!! And the raw greens are good too!

From left to right: Hamburgers, Yellow & Green Zucchini (garden), lettuce (garden) Beet greens & onions (market), sliced beets (market).  Our supper was 85% local!  WOOHOO!


Yeah!  Last year my beans were a dismal failure and I think we ate green beans out of the garden only once,  and then I bought a bushel of beans from an Amish farm market to can.

So far...
4 pounds today
7.5 pounds yesterday
4 in the first harvest

I think I should start a "bean ticker counter" and see how much we get out!  The beans doing really well are the "contenders".  The Kentucky wonder beans...not one bean yet!  Beautiful plants.  Also, the Brittle Wax are doing better I can't think of the name.  I put them on the row markers so I would know what beans were the best.  I've planted another few rows of contenders to extend the season, too.

We also got some yellow zucchini and green zucchini out yesterday, a few cucumbers and another acorn squash.  Oh, and found a nest of guinea eggs in the middle of the squash patch.  Man picked a few of my pepperocinis.  He's been doing some lacto-fermented pickles.  I've asked him to write a "guest post" as he is really excited about this and it is becoming a neat hobby.  He talks about it at the farmer's market and everyone is anxious to try it once he is done fact some of the other vendors have been trying to get him to set up a table....well see.  I picked up from another farmer 26 pounds of cucmbers yesterday...keep tuned on that! (I don't normally care for sourish all....and I LIKE these!!)  He also pickled some of my green beans yesterday!

Today was the farmer's market day, we love the farmer's market we go to.  Everyone is so friendly and shares "secrets".  The jelly lady gave me some great ideas to try and even told me where to find the recipes.  Today I bought a bunch of beets...I am growing beets but they aren't big enough yet...and frankly, I don't really know what to do with them once they are the farmers selling the beets told me the best way to process them and where to find good recipes. Same with the guy with the rhubarb.  (I bought a plant last week, but I can't pull stalks off of it until next I bought 8 big stalks today.

 Hopefully more posts, pictures and recipes coming up.  Oh, and we are thinking of something cool for the chickens...I'll update on that if it works out.  And if I does...will I have a story to tell and pictures to much so that I may actually get more than just the beloved 3 readers I currently have

Monday, July 4, 2011

What needs to be done in / for the garden...14 weeks before first frost

Sow Indoors:


Sow Outdoors:

Bush Beans
Lima Beans

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Big Harvest

Today we had our first big harvest out of the garden...Green beans...with a few wax beans for fun.  Also we picked the first set of cucumbers.  I have a few acorn squash that are close to being ready to pick! 

We got about 4 pounds of beans and 2 pounds of cucumbers.  I snapped and blanched the beans and packaged them to freeze, except a pound for dinner.  Two of the cucumbers were cut up for cucumber/tomato salad for dinner.

We went to the farmer's market this morning and despite the downpour (that said was going to stop at 9am--it didn't) we had a great time.  I talked to a lady selling jelly and have some great new ideas and recipes!  And...I know there are a million jars of jelly in this house...but I bought 2 more.  We also purchased a rhubarb plant so I can use it for jelly next year, more pickling cucumbers for Man's lacto-fermentation process, early tomatoes (in tonight's salad) red onions, and yellow squash (grilled for dinner), OH, and homemade horseradish!!  Very yummy on my hamburger!!

Came home from the farmer's market and went back to bed.  I am still really wiped out a lot of the time.  The spirit is willing and all that!  I have been wanting to write blog posts and actually plan them out in my mind, but the time it takes to get them down....well, let's just say, I finally understand the appeal of the limited characters on facebook!