Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sleepy evening on the Homestead

Our days are very busy and full...Sometimes we don't even make it to bed before we wipe out!

Kristl our "tri-ped"

One wiped out Boy!

"Fruits" from the farm...

Here is some of the "fruits" of our labors.  

Weldon Jerky in the dehydrator

Hot "Cowboy Candy" and a cool rootbeer to wash it down.

Friday, September 26, 2014

9/26 "Decanting" the soap

So the actual term is "unmolding" the soap, ut aht is such a boring word...I wanted a cooler decanting..except that is for wine...

So here is the soap we made the other day..

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My turn to make soap!

After Man's test runs on Tuesday (one less than successful, and one successful!! YAY), he said it was my turn to make a batch.  After all, it is MY 101 goal and apparently deligating it out doesn't count.

He assembled everything I needed to complete the task.

And gave me step by step instructions-
That's what this lovely look is all about!

The lye heats up...

You mix in the oils and get it to "trace"
(No, this isn't a true tutorial)

And then scrape it all into a pringles can (Round soap!!)
And smile, another Homestead accomplishment!
(Not to mention, 101--check!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Man's making soap!

In preparation for the upcoming Farm Market, I asked my wonderful Man to research what I needed to do to make homemade soap.  (It is a 101 goal, and also something I thought would be really fun to do, plus, if we do it now and it actually turns out it's something else to offer from off the farm!)

After a few weeks of reading and watching youTubes, shopping on Amazon and at local stores, we (ok, actually HE) has all the ingredients assembled and ready to go.  Now for a day when no one is home to distract him....

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest Post from the Man: Dehydrating Grapes & Bananas

The drier is fired up this morning with sliced grapes (in halves) for making farm raisins and 4 bananas. One tray for 4 bananas means I could make 36 of them into slices and FILL the 9 tray dehydrator. WOW.

I'm really beginning to like dried fruits. No refrigeration, rotting, or waste of money. I don't know about you but grapes are the one thing that seems to get lost in the fridge and will go bad more often than not. Not anymore!
Bananas, grapes, and apples... oh yeah!...

 I just filled the rest of the drier with apples. They were plenty ripe and looks like I still have a couple more trays to do this afternoon. Apparently Gala apples don't last long after picking so dehydrating them is the way to go.

I use an el-cheapo slicer from Harbor Fright (intentionally misspelled) . Beware!

They get a few minutes to soak in Ball Fruit Fresh to help prevent browning...

You'd think 5 bananas would make a lot of chips. Well, you decide. This is a quart jar with all 5 of them sliced and dried. Worth the effort in taste and snacking convenience!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cowboy Candy...and what's in the dehydrator today?!

What is that in the sink?!? Why that would be an entire peck of Jalapeno peppers.
And what am I doing with them?


Cowboy  Candy is candied (jellied) jalapenos that my cyber-bff is always raving about.  I had to make them myself because her family eats them so fast that she can't get a jar away from them to send it.  
Yes, it's that good!!*

*if you can handle HOT!

I haven't canned as much this summer as I would have liked (although Man did a good job preserving food for the winter for us with the dehydrator) but I had a goal to get some stuff in jars, and in less than a month we will be having our very first, on-farm, local farm market and craft fair.  I still have tons of jars of jelly from the last canning challenge, but wanted to add some new Cowboy Candy!

The smell was very spicy and the house smelled like Mexican Restaurant! YUM!

Almost 18 jars later....
It has to "mellow" for a few weeks before we try them. 
 (Although we did sneak a few, and then I had to ask my friend, does "mellow" mean it will get hotter or milder...because OH MY!  HOT!!)

Meanwhile in the dehydrator we have some apple chips (Honey Crisp-YUMMY!) and homemade raisins
Guest post from the Man coming up!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our new kittens!

In the early spring, a friend of the family had two kittens that needed a home.  At the time, Yellow Cat had disappeared and had been missing for quite a few weeks and we were sure that a coyote had gotten him. (and the day I agreed to take the kittens, Yellow Cat showed back up--fixed and his ear docked)

Then Man got the kittens got put on forward a few months.  Our friend asked again if we would be willing to take the kittens in.  I had already said yes, and just the week before there were more mice causing chaos in the pantry so I said sure.

We we went to homeschool gym, knowing we were getting cats.  Knowing and thinking are two totally different things with me.  Did we know we were bringing home cats? Yes.  Did I think to put a carrier, box, SOMETHING into the car to put them in? Um...what do you think?

Did I have other errands I had in mind to do after gym?  Well, yes.  Is our son highly allergic to cats?  Again, Um, yes.  And Man, too?  ?  Then yes, lets just let the cats roam the car as we drive the 20+ miles home...and while I'm in the grocery store.  Sounds like an excellent idea!!

So without further ado....This one is named Molly...but is called Boots (Bootsie)

These cats could not look more different.  The one I'm holding looks like a Siamese.
Her name is Asia.

Yellow Cat (Timmy) is not so sure about these new residents...

And the kittens aren't so sure about Danny...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Super Moon

Wheat in the morning, and a Super Moon the next night!

Our family is really into reading "" to keep track of solar flares, and  "" for other cool stuff going on out there!

Not a great picture,....

...but what an AWESOME GOD!!

Here is some information from

"The full Harvest Moon will light up the night sky on Monday (Sept. 8), and this year it comes with an extra bounty. September's full moon will cap a trio of back-to-back "supermoons" for the Northern Hemisphere summer, according to NASA. 
The moon will reach its full phase when it reaches the spot in the sky opposite from the sun. That moment will occur Monday at 9:38 p.m. EDT (0138 GMT). Monday's full moon is the one nearest to the September equinox this year, giving it the moniker of Harvest Moon by the usual definition.
This full moon also marks the third in a trilogy of "supermoons" this summer. July and August's full moons both fell during the moon's perigee — when it was at the closest point in its orbit to Earth. While the August supermoon was the closest, this month's full moon also falls during perigee."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wheat Sky

What do I need to say??

This morning's sunrise was gorgeous!  With a "wheat sky".

Friday, September 5, 2014

Freezing Corn

It's been over 3 years since I put up corn.
It was the year my Grandma "went home".  I remember that I thought (in my addled state) that we'd need to do about 3 bushels.  

 This spring I used my last package of frozen corn.  (I still have some in jars, but don't like how it tastes as well --better for soup) So corn was not optional.  I found a local farmer and bought 80 ears of corn to supplement what was coming out of the garden (which was not much and most went to the CSA).

We ended up with about 10 packages of corn...that's a bit more reasonable.
And, Maybe...if the garden does better next year, I can again put up a "bushel and a peck"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Boy trying his hand at making Jerky!

"Dad got this great jerky cannon!  I must try it too!!"

Look at that mustache!
Where'd my little boy go?!

Trying both the strips and the Sticks. The sticks are easier. 
Both the extrude...and to eat! (especially since jerky is a distinct No-No with braces.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Making fruit leathers...

Man is enjoying the dehydrator and drying everything we can think of!

This is the first attempt of "Fruit Leathers"
Peaches, Strawberries, Raspberries and Yogurt.
I know it was a pretty good smoothie before it went in....

I think we are going to have to get the special leather sheets.  The plastic wrap is just a pain!