Monday, September 30, 2013

Someone....stop me...

OK, So a few weeks ago I said " I am finished canning green beans" That was when I think I had 45 or so pints. I just picked green beans 3 days ago, and then again today....there are now 65 pints and 7 quarts ( in the canner now) for the pantry. SOMEONE STOP ME! I have left SEVERAL of the nicer looking beans go to seed...just looking at those long fat beans just starting to yellow on the vines...does my heart good. I am SURE there are enough seeds out there for at LEAST 2 years worth of, I feel I MUST pick what keeps growing. I think it is time to face a fact.... I am a food hoarder. OK, not a hoarder like...those people on that show, American Prepper. Nope, I don't have 10 years worth of food, and enough seed to completely supply gardens for half of America. However, I DO know what it is like to have REAL hunger pains...and know there is nothing in the home to you drink a lot of water. I know that pain, that fear...from my childhood. Hey, times were tough in the late 60's and 70's. My mother had 5 of us kids to feed, and mostly by herself. She did what she could...there were a LOT of meals of bean soup...or biscuits and gravy...but, there was food, maybe some times there was not a second helping...but here I am...alive....Thank you Mom! So, with that behind me....when I walk past my garden, and see those long green beans....waving at me....taunting me ...I MUST PICK THEM! And pick them I did. We might have to survive on pork from the 2 hogs we had butchered...and green beans...but we will survive the winter! Hey, there is ALWAYS the good old back up of bean soup or biscuits and gravy right? :)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Corn as high as an Elephants eye!

OK, so I goofed....I THOUGHT I planted sweet it grew.....and grew....and grew...I realized I had grabbed the wrong bag of seed. I had planted White Sure Crop. Well, not ALL is lost...although it is not enough to get all of the animals through will help. Today I set out to get the corn brought in. Making bundles of the hang in the barn so I can feed the sheep and goats off of it through winter. Here it is after I got it all pulled...into a pile.
Wrapped into sections...
Of course I had to give some to the sheep and goats...they were watching me gather it, and waiting patiently at the fence...
They sure were happy that I gave them some...fresh! I also saved a bit for the deco for Fall.
I have gourds and other deco I will add later... I'm telling ya...THAT is some TALL corn!!
And a bit strange..... From a patch of garden....maybe 20 x 20....I ended up with about 2 bushels of feed corn.
And enough for them to snack on for a few months.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cowboy Candy anyone!?

OK, so this year has been a great year for peppers of all kinds. Jalapeno's , Banana peppers... we had more than we really could ever use. The hubby had taken at least 10 pounds of mixed peppers to work and passed them out. A friend of mine posted a recipe for "Cowboy Candy" or.. Candied peppers. Personally...I do not like anything super hot, that will make me sweat when eating it, or make my mouth go numb. Hubby on the other hand, " The hotter the better!" So when I saw her recipe for Cowboy Candy, I decided....why not? So here is what I did..... The recipe..... ( Yield - 9 half pints) PLEASE WEAR GLOVES!!! 3 pounds Jalapeno peppers. ( I mixed Jalapeno's, Banana peppers, and those super hot Habenero's) 2 C. Cider vinegar 6 C. Sugar 1/2 tsp. Turmeric 1/2 tsp. celery seed 3 tsp. granulated garlic 1 tsp. cayenne pepper Clean and slice your peppers....toss the tops, keep the seeds in them.
In a large pot combine the vinegar, sugar, Turmeric, celery seed, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add peppers and simmer for EXACTLY 4 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop the peppers out and into your clean, sterile jars. ( use a funnel to keep the rims clean)
Turn the heat back up under the pot, bring to a hard boil, and boil for 6 minutes. Ladle the syrup into the jars. Wipe rims, add your lids and rings,( that have been sitting in HOT water for at least 15 minutes) Do NOT throw out the extra syrup. Put it into jars as well, and process with the peppers.
This can be used for many things like brushing on meats for the grill...add a little to your chili for that little sweet/spicy flavor..or whatever you want to add a sweet spicy kick too. Process in a hot water bath..1/2 pints for 10 minutes and pints for 15 minutes. The recipes calls for the jars to sit in the pantry for a few weeks, hmmm, not sure my hubby will let that happen! So...I had a few hand full's of green beans I planned to put in a pot for supper. There was a bit more than we needed for ONE I put some in a few half pints, and put the syrup over them and processed with the peppers. Not sure how they will turn out..but I think hubby will like them.
So, thats what I have been up to today...well, other than cleaning the family room..and regular farm chores.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Greedy or good?

OK, lets get a little serious here....just for a minute. I was trying to fit the "last" 6 pints of green beans into the pantry. I had to move this, re-organize that, to make them fit. So, I had declared " I am finished with green beans" I have to say, we HAVE been blessed with a fairly good harvest this year. So, this morning I headed out to get the last of the tomato's, at least, I am pretty sure it will be the last. As I walked by those green beans...I noticed there were so many left! Still blooming! Then I hear this little voice in my head..."Even tho you have enough to get yourself through winter, pick them, process them, you will need them" I have already let several of them go to I picked...and picked. I am not sure if this is my greedy voice in me saying, "don't let them go to waste" or some how God speaking to me saying " There will be others you will need to feed" Either way...I picked them and will can them this afternoon. I picked about a half bushel of tomato's and maybe 3 quarts of Jalapeno peppers. As soon as I find my gloves, I will slice and can those peppers for later use. It was a bit chilly this morning, mid 40's. Brrr. Too early for this weather. It was pretty cool in the house, my Macaw, Nikki was sitting in the corner of her cage, flipping her wing.....letting me know she was cold. So, I did it...I started a fire in the wood stove. Just enough to take the chill off the air. I moved Nikki closer to the wood stove. It wasn't long before she was talking up a storm. Going through her entire vocabulary. She has quite a large vocab. too! She really cracks me up sometimes. A few nights ago, she was sitting in her house, ( she doesn't like it to be called a cage) and she asked me...Cracker? I said...No, Nikki, no cracker for you. She looked straight at me and very loudly said HU!???? I cracked up...then she laughed...then I laughed harder. She is a smart bird...If she see's me getting my shoes on, she will say...Bye-bye. When she is lonely, she say's "Come here baby" Yep, we love our Nikki. Time to get these tomato's cooked down and canned. Before we know it...those white flakes will be in the air. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Green Beans and Bumble Bee's...OH MY!!!!

Remember that cute little childhood song....I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee?? you read these next few line....think of that little song....... I'm in the garden picking my green beans Oh how these will be yummy in my tummy, I'm in the garden picking my green beans..OUCH something BIT ME! I'm running from the angry bumble bee why is he so angry with me? I'm running from the angry bumblebee, hurry, its catching me! I'm spilling all of my green beans here and there all on the ground behind me, I'm spilling all of my green beans darn, there's so many!! I'm dabbing on the mud from the bee sting ouch I say as on and on I'm dabbing I'm dabbing on the mud from the bee sting Ahhhh, that helps me. OK, so seriously....You have to give respect to the little black and yellow bumblebee. I mean, seriously, think about it....I am at least 1000 times BIGGER than it is...yet it goes after it's foe...without fear. And I RUN!! If only I spoke bee...or it understood English. I could have explained to that little black and yellow insect from hell that I was NOT after the blossoms in the bean patch. I only wanted the beans... *sigh* I was able to go back out later and collect my prize...without the bee seeing me. Oh, I looked around...I quickly scooped up my little green gems and back to the house. I picked about 6 or 7 pints. I needed to get the tomato's, but I fear that by now he has called for backup...and they are waiting out there in the garden, hiding under the leaves, waiting to ambush me. So I decided I would grab the weed eater and head to the goats pen. Since my girls are So spoiled....they feel eating weeds are below I must mow the weeds down. *sigh* I have not used the weed eater is as long as I am tall...and I am 5 ft is heavy...loud, and vibrates like crazy!! But, I sucked it up and got out there and took care of that I can barely feel my hands. I was soaked in sweat...literally. It looked like I had jumped in the pond. Wearily I took the weed eater back to the shop and hung it in it's spot....let it rest...It deserves a good rest after what I just put it through. I came inside...changed into dry clothes, after rinsing in the shower quickly...grabbed my water and I am resting, sipping water. Oh, and I am eating my brunch...a big hunk of chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing! Oh how I love being a grown up! After my hands quit shaking....I will head up to the kitchen and can the apple butter I cooked down all night. Then I will finish up with the green beans. Two loads of laundry on the line..I will try to get one more out there. It is almost noon...and I am already worn out, sore, and have battle scars! What a day already. I think since today's weather is going to be miserable, mid to upper 90's with matching humidity..and the "real feel" in triple digits, I will work inside today. Maybe work on making newspaper fire logs. Yeah, that is a good plan, sitting down, in the AC yet being productive!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Filling the pantry, a little at a time.

So last Monday, a friend called me and asked if I "needed" some corn. Well, yeah, don't we ALL "need " corn!?? She and her husband had gone to a fruit and vegetable auction and bought a LOT of corn. I am not sure how much, but she had 20 DOZEN she " could let go"I being a good friend, relieved her of 10 dozen. Well....the last few days slipped away from me, so today I HAD to get to that corn! Whoa boy, that is a lot of corn! After morning chores, feeding, watering, throwing hay...I decided to drag water hoses out to clean and fill the 5 duck pools and the pigs pool and trough. Then I had to get really busy. Off to the garden...I picked green beans. There wasn't too many, I ended up with 6 pints. Not too bad. Then my neighbor came over, and she and I shucked the first bag of corn. 5 dozen! I ended up with 16 pints and 7 bags of corn on the cob. Whew! Busy in the kitchen all day! Yesterday I canned up 8 pints of carrots. They sure will be good this winter, and they look great in the pantry. Filling it a few jars at a time.
Tomorrow I plan to finish the last 5 dozen ears of corn, and hope to get the tomato's worked up into sauce. Then I have a few potato's to get canned....only about 30 pounds. But, a few more jars in the pantry! We have been blessed with a good harvest this year...a lot of work, but worth it to know we have food to get us through the winter.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day!? I think NOT !

So, today is Labor Day. The last big hoorah of the summer. No big plans here, but definitely NOT going to "labor" After morning chores I came in and made breakfast. Sausage patties from our pig. Oh my!! They were so good!
This is one of the things I LOVE about home grown pork. There is hardly any grease in the pan and the recipe our butcher uses is wonderful! With a full tummy, I retreated to the family room to relax a bit. One of our son's came over and brought the 3 grand kids. I just LOVE spending time with them. I have to say, I have the CUTEST grand kids on the planet! We went outside for a bit and went to the garden. The oldest one, our grand son is almost 13, ( WOW!) He helped me pull a few weeds in the garden. Not really trying to be productive, just looking for tomato's in the weeds. This is the small garden, with volunteer tomato plants. We filled a small basket with delicious tomato's. The 3 yr old grand daughter was having so much fun picking tomato's. I sent her home with one for each hand. Not sure they will make it home...the last time I sent her home with an egg, for helping me collect them. That egg didn't have a chance...neither did the carpet in their car. Ooops! After they left to go home, the hubby hopped on the riding mower...I came back relax. Yep...that is what I have planned for the entire day....relaxing....Well..I still have the morning and evening chores...and I weeded the big garden this morning...and some of the small garden with the grand kids....cleaned the kitchen and I am planning to make thick ham steaks on the grill. But that is not really "working" Maybe I will head over to the pond, and drown a few worms, see if the fish are biting.