Archive for the ‘Canning’ Category

Last week, I boiled one of the chickens from the second butchering at the farm. The chickens were tough and not really good for anything but canning and soup. After a few hours in the pot, I ladled a few gallons of stock into mason jars and picked the meat off of the bones.

The stock will go into the freezer. Aaron and I will use the meat in sweet and sour chicken and BBQ dishes. The bones I gave to my cat…and whatever she didn’t eat off of went into the chicken pen at the farm. That’s a lot of bones for one cat and Alley has a habit of disappointing me when I give her something I think she will really like.

Aaron and I had a good Valentine’s Day. I woke up at around 9:30 due to the fact that Aaron put a Styrofoam board under our memory foam mattress, needless to say I slept quite well. We watched Mutiny On The Bounty. I walked on the tread mill, while he worked on trim. Then went out to eat at Ponderosa.

After that we drove around the countryside, through Oil City and back up M 20. We went nice and slow. I like it when Aaron takes me for rides. He checks out what the farmers are doing and I comment on the houses and people’s gardens. We went by a place that had work horses and I exclaimed “Oh!” when I saw a few geese nibbling at the ground, at the edge of a fence.

Lately, I have been reading up on different livestock. Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Pigs , Goats and Cows. I have read a little bit on sheep but I don’t think I will really get into sheep. They are pretty, but I read and heard about how they can get sick very easily and that they are so batty that they could die of a heart attack from just hearing thunder. Plus, Aaron hates sheep.

If it were up to me, I would probably get some type of fowl and maybe a pig or cow, if I thought I were able to handle raising something for slaughter. Aaron has been kicking around the idea of getting a few steers to raise for meat. Whenever I find myself thinking that I might not be able to handle it, I try to think about Genesis and how man is supposed to rule over and care for the beasts.

When Tuxedo died I was heart-broken for a few reasons, one was because he was my pet. But livestock are different, you make a living by them, one way or another. I was reminded of that when I was watching Sarah, Plain and Tall on DVD and Sarah was upset because a coyote killed a lamb, and after a bad storm Jacob said that they might have to sell the sheep.

A few weeks ago , Mom Cook asked me what color calf I would like. I didn’t think it would be wise to choose a color I liked if it was going to get slaughtered anyway, but if I were to pick one for milking I probably would pick a Jersey because of their big eyes or one with a unique coloring and I would probably give it some stylish old lady name. I would ask Betsy about stylish old lady names because she works at a local nursing home.

That seems to be the habit with me, whenever I think of getting animals someday it goes like this…

What are they going to be used for? If for slaughter, then I would get a breed suited for that, give them no names, etc. Like, if I were to get chickens- If I wanted eggs I would get the black and white barred kind because they are so pretty, but if I wanted meat I would probably get the white ones like what Libby had.

Like most of my musings I have this all written down. Where else would I be able to keep track of all the ideas I get? These all aren’t immediate plans just notions I get and store away for later. And like some, I don’t like to share, sometimes I think my ideas are impractical, consider yourself fortunate that I posted this much. J


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What I love about our house,

It’s OURS.

Although it does present it’s challenges, it is such a pleasure running your own home. It gives you a sense of comfort and accomplishment when your husband tells you that he feels loved when he comes home.

Furnishing our home with things that I have made or collected, putting up food, even something as simple has making the bed gives my a little spring in my step to move onto my next chore whether it is an enjoyable one or not.

A few days ago, I harvested what I assumed was the last of the herbs. I am giving them a rest and when the frost becomes heavy I will be covering my more tender plants, such as rosemary, to try to winter them over. I brought in my stevia and the sweet marjoram that Betsy bought for me for my birthday. Though they might peter out because they are annuals I plan on seeing how long I can keep them. There is something about having herbs that is so enjoyable. They are forgiving plants, and they love you right back.

Aaron put up shelving in the closet of the unoccupied, unfinished front bedroom. It felt good to organize the filled jars. I told him that I loved his quality of being so handy, he warned me that I might not think so at times when he wants to fix everything. As of now I think that it is much better than being lazy, leaving projects unfinished or things falling apart. Along with the shelving, he fixed a wood horse shaped swing that my Grandpa made, and a bench that has been begging for his attention for a long time to be repaired. I am really looking forward to spending more time with him this winter.

Alley and Tuxedo have been well. They love goats milk. I give them  a small bowl full when the milk is close to a week old and is getting a more goaty taste. This is nice because I don’t feel bad for having it go to waste. Aaron only has milk on his cereal in the mornings, and I am not a big fan. The last few samplings I have had have been goaty. When I taste it I immediately think of Merry, the ‘boss’ of my brother-in-law Brian’s small goat herd.

I haven’t been online in nearly four days. I like this release, it’s freeing.

Happy Tuesday Readers!

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What I have been doing.

Monday I clambored through my in-law’s tomatoe patch, picked ripe tom’s and discarded the no-good ones. After getting rained on, the rest of my day consisted of processing them. My result 25 quarts of whole tomatoes squished into jars. 🙂

While the pressure canners were doing their end of the job I went over to my neighbor’s house and told them that Aaron and I talked and we could keep their cat and one of her kittens. Taylor, the oldest daughter, walked me down to their grandparents farm where the kittens were living in the straw mow. I picked out the one I wanted. I named him Tuxedo. And that is what he looks like a little guy wearing a tuxedo He even has a little spot where it looks like he is sporting a black bowtie.

Canning is starting to slow down for me the produce I have left are squash, pumpkins, apples and dry beans. The dry beans I don’t have to do right away so that’s nice that I can have a little break.

Other than that and the normal wifey stuff, I am collecting gifts and gift ideas for soon-to-be-newlyweds, two new mothers-to-be, christmas presents and house warming presents for two sister-in-laws.

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Squash Girl

Butternut – Check

Buttercup – Check

Sweet Dumpling – Check

Acorn – Check

Pie Pumpkin – Check

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Yesterday I went up to Clare to a flea market with the Lang’s and the Taylor’s. There was so much to see. There were rows and rows of vendors. At one of the tents there was this butter churn that I would have bought if I had more spending money. But I settled for a dollar package of nail brushes and a dollar package of pot scrubbers. Jimmy bought an old sturdy ice cream churn. The girls chipped in and bought a little gumball machine.

When we go next year, I will know to bring more money in case I spy a steal. After that we went to the hardware store, bulk food store and ding and dent store. I bought castor oil, soap, and the Healthy Choices Cookbook, of which I am so happy I bought, because it has recipes for REAL food, not 705 recipes for grain burgers and granola. If healthy food has left a bad taste in your mouth, then I suggest thumbing through this cookbook and seeing if you find anything that you’d eat.   At the bulk food store I bought iodonized salt, wheat bran and wheat germ. At the ding and dent store I stayed in the car with Carmen, Bekah, Abigail and Hosanna. Hosanna ate and fell asleep, while the other girls listened to Odyssey.

Aaron and I went shopping last night I told him that come this winter I would like to start sewing dresses. But first things first, I need to make myself some bloomers, patch his jeans and work on his ripped coveralls.

I am starting to look at canning less enthusiastically. I have been doing it for weeks, and now that I have both kinds of canners in my possession I will be doing it at home. Having a small kitchen has been kind of hard for me. Space gets taken up so quickly. I am trying to keep in mind of how my work will pay off in the winter when the ground is covered with snow and I will again be itching to do some gardening.

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Latest Tally.

Canning plums- check.

Freezing corn – check.

Yet to can:

Pizza sauce

Salsa, because it is soo good on beans and rice.

Spaghetti sauce (low priority)

Dill pickles, now I have all of the ingredients!

Tomatoes, just plain stewed tomatoes. I wonder if seconds will taste any different…

Peaches, I was going to go in on peaches with my in-laws, but that didn’t happen, so they next peck I’ll bring home will be of peaches.

Apple products, sauce, pie filling, cider, juice.

More squash

Pie Pumpkins!

Dry beans

Meat products

Soups & Stock

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Canning my brains out.

This week I have been canning my brains out! I have done green and wax beans, then bread and butter pickles, next is squash. Next week might be dill pickles, plums, and tomatoes. 🙂 The week after, might be mostly tomatoes. Further ahead will be pumpkins, squash, apple products, and dry beans.

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