Category Archives: In the House

As Promised it’s Raining!

I don’t often get very excited about rain when I have yard work to do. But this rain is different, we need it very badly. We have had no snow cover all winter to speak of and so far this spring very little if any rain. The garden beds are bone dry dust at this point.  The chickens are loving them to dust bathe in. Glad I can make them happy. Outside fires have been banned for several weeks and wild brush fires have been reported. We don’t often have brush fires in these parts.

I’m not worried about our water supply, we have an artesian well that pumps out more than 60 gallons a minute. We also have a hand dug well that is currently full to the top.  But I do worry about other’s wells, I would hate to see them have to buy tankers of water to put in their wells. Water troubles are almost unheard of in these parts of the woods.

Anyway I traded that rake in and stayed away from that attack rose bush and took out my shiny bright red Kitchen Aid mixer and put it to good use today. Daisy and I baked 2 loaves of pound cake.  Pound cake has been on my mind the past couple of weeks with the abundance of fresh eggs I have, 14 or so a day now. My old stand by recipe has shown up missing so I went looking on line for another recipe. To my surprise my friend Mitchel has recently posted his recipe for pound cake and it is WONDERFUL, a breeze to make and did I mention yummy with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. If you need the recipe to use up a few (8 eggs!) eggs this is a perfect one to try, you will not be disappointed with it. We ate one with dinner and the other was put in the freezer. I will do this again soon to stock up on baked breads in the freezer. They will be handy later in the summer when it’s too hot to turn on the oven and fresh strawberries are ready to pick in the garden.

I also put up another batch of Red Beet Pickled Eggs for snacking on this week. Over the weekend I will can up a batch of regular pickled eggs for the pantry. They are yummy in potato salad, tuna salad and for a side dish. I know – I know…many will tell you canning pickled eggs at home is unsafe and there is no approved method to do this if you don’t keep them refrigerated. I do it, have always done it and will continue to can pickled eggs.

And I had another treat today, Dick took me shopping for a new skirt and blouse. We have several Lodge functions soon and he wanted me to have something new to wear. You all know how well I like clothes shopping…not….but I found a nice organic cotton skirt and blouse that will do nicely.

We also stopped at the new feed store and I picked out 10 pounds of Yukon Gold seed potatoes. Being able to pick out your own is something new for me, usually the only way to get seed potatoes is to order them on line or purchase them from a local farmer. Well these are local and it was good to pick out just the ones I want. I always feel cheated when seed potatoes arrive in the mail and they are huge with only a single eye on them. Happens more often than not. I picked the smaller ones with several eyes that can be cut into chunks and still leave a good amount of potato with it. I feel it was a good, no a VERY good deal at 69 cents a pound. On line a single pound is $10 plus shipping. Think I will go back tomorrow for another variety, I didn’t want to push my luck with Dick, he hates standing around while I look and make up my mind what I am getting. We had already worked our way through 3 clothing stores, and he didn’t say a word about it or the feed store. He is sweet.

This will also give me the chance to look over the fencing supplies there. I would like a few cattle panels for the garden.

The attach Rogusa Rose last summer

Lastly I finished up a new batch of laundry soap and finished up the laundry for the week. So how did you weekend go? Hope it was a good one.

 

 

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Contentment

I’m feeling quiet as I finally catch up and wait quietly for spring to arrive. There is another Nor’Easter coming in tonight to dump spring snow on us….again

A week in review

We went out for a ride and almost ended getting shot at for stopping in the middle of the road and taking this picture. The “back woods Gentleman” was perturbed I took a picture of his property, he was very suspicious and wanted to know exactly why I was taking pictures of his property…makes me wonder what is actually going on there…

Asked Son #1 to bring down the saw horses to start the spring seedlings for the Summer Kitchen Garden. Looks like spring to me 🙂 ?

Miss Daisy nibbling on graham crackers for an afternoon break from school work.

A review of our sight words this week. 

Spring Butterfly, Bumble Bee & Dragonfly in Sweet Pea, Blueberry and Jamacian-Me- Crazy… Sitting pretty in our bathroom on one of my favorite Depression Glass plates. The pattern is called Ribbon.

and lastly this one Daisy took of her favorite kitty…Dudly

Hope your week is going as well as mine is.

Another Convenience Food-Farm Style

Sweet Pea and Calendula soap ready to be cut into bars

I know I talk about this all the time but here I go again. Some times I don’t feel like making a huge mess or spending lots of time cooking. There are other fun things to do but everyone has to eat right? And everyone like good home cooked meals over some boxed stuff, right?

Last night was one of those I don’t feel like cooking nights. So our fast food was a hot bowl of pea soup, corn bread and for dessert we had peaches. I had exactly 2 pans, 4 spoons, 4 glasses, 4 bowls, 1 knife and a wooden spoon to clean up. I warmed up a jar of pea soup I had frozen last fall, a quick corn bread recipe that took all of 5 minutes to measure out, and I stirred together right in my cast iron frying pan then baked and popped the lid off a jar of peaches I put up. The corn bread recipe could have been even faster if I had the recipe minus the liquids and eggs premeasured in a container with the recipe written on the side.

gardener's soap with cranberry seeds

The secret to these meals is that it all started months ago when I purchased a nice smoked pork shoulder. We had a wonderful family meal with close friends the night I cooked it. I saved the left over meat in small packages and froze for things like quick omelets, mac and cheese and even toasted ham and cheese sandwiches.

Meal two came with the ham bone a few night later, I made into a nice large batch of pea soup. This was a don’t even think about it meal. I put the ham bone in the crock pot and covered it with water, set it on low and forgot about it until the next day. After it was cool I removed the bone and other undesirable pieces, leaving the loose ham bits in the water. To this I dumped in about 4# of dried peas and a few well diced carrots. I turned the crock pot back on low and forgot about it again until later in the day when it was dinner time. Turned out perfect. A quick batch of corn bread and a fresh salad from the garden and dinner was served.

To freeze the leftover soup for another quick meal, I used regular quart canning jars and lids to freeze meal size portions in. These were not new lids, this is okay because I didn’t pressure can the soup I froze it. Make sure to leave plenty of head room as this stuff does expand when it freezes. No pressure canning needed, I simply put the band and lid on and put it in the freezer. I sometimes use other sized jars and their lids in place of the canning jars, it depends on the size I want to freeze.

After dinner last night I stopped into one of my favorite Blogs, to say hello to Rhonda Jean over at Down To Earth and was quite pleased to see she too is talking about pork shoulders and how handy and economical they are. You can read about it from her, here. Her photo of her dinner makes me hungry all over again for another cooked roast.

will be in our Etsy shop soon...Smells like spring to me...

So now on to the corn bread, like I said I was in no mood to spend lots of time cooking so I mixed my corn bread right in the cast iron frying pan and tossed it in the oven to bake. My recipe calls for corn meal, I decided to use up some I ground last fall while preparing for our 7 months of eating from our pantry. The recipe also called for a small amount of white flour, I used ground oats and a bit of bran flour. There is also a small amount of “liquid fat” my recipe calls for so I used flax oil with a splash of sunflower oil. It turned out yummy. * here is another little Karyn is not into cooking tonight tip…the recipe needed a cup of milk. Since I am doing my baking with powdered milk to cut back on the fresh milk ($$ & running to the farm down the road) I didn’t bother mixing the milk first I tossed about 3 TBS of the milk powder right in the flour mix and added a cup of water with the oil and egg.

20 minutes and very little dishes later we were stuffed full of our convenience food…farm style. Now to decide what is for dinner tonight. I think it will be a “farm house buffet”  (leftovers for those of you who are wondering). We have some Shepard’s pie, pea soup, potato salad and fresh spinach that need to be used up. Almost forgot the brownies and chocolate chip cookies…

So whats for dinner at your house tonight?

Potatoes A Convenience Food?

Well farm style…. I’m not talking about store bought frozen dinners or prepackaged food here. Well yes I am talking about prepackaged food only the packaging is farm style! I mentioned a bit about it in my last post but it got me to thinking about how much of the food around here can be just that…made for convenience when there is no time or energy to cook yet still eat healthy.

 New canning jars-now full of pizza sauce

The return of a pressure canner to the farm has been so helpful. I don’t know what I was thinking when I gave my other one away. Well yes I do, I thought here is a family much larger than mine and could use the help more than we could at the time, so I gave it and all the jars to them. To replace them ended up to be quite a bit more money then when I originally had purchased mine well over 20 years ago.

I put up all sorts of produce from the kitchen but recently one of my favorites has been the potato. Yes, potatoes, our family eats a lot of them and loves them. The pressure canner cooks them while they are processing so they are ready to go when you need them. There is no peeling or cooking needed. Fast, convenient and they sure beat the instant out of a box that taste like water and cardboard. The dry instant potato does find its way into our pantry as well.

Here are a few ways we have been using them lately:

  • Mashed to top casseroles
  • Toss with seasoning and breadcrumbs roasted in the oven-drain and rinse them first
  • Added to soups and stews
  • Fried in a pan with dried herbs from the garden-drain and rinse them first
  • Mashed for making potato pancakes
  • Heated with butter and sour cream

I think for our family growing potatoes is good to teach Daisy how to grow them and the resposibility of caring for them. It’s good for her to see and be involved with the food she eats from seed to her plate and the processes to get them there.

The lady bugs like them too...

Since our garden is small I will grow a small amount of them but the bulk will come from the farmer’s market for putting up to bring us through the winter next year. This year I have planned some sort of finger potatoes to grow since they are more costly at the markets.

So do you have other ways you use your home canned potatoes in a recipe?

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