Saturday, July 23, 2011

A start on the pickles

We love cucumbers around our house, the girls like to just eat them plain, sliced into little coins, my husband and I like them in salads, and also in a vinegar mixture with onions and tomatoes. But you can only eat so many fresh... so of course we have to have pickles!

I did two different kinds, one that are just whole, and the other that I call hamburger dill ( because most people use them on sandwiches and such). Somehow those didn't make it into the picture, but here they are all sliced up and ready to go.

So we ended up with some yummy canned goods. We love to take pickles with us when we go camping.
So there are 8 jars in the picture, then I did 3 more jars of the little dill slices, bringing me to 11 jars of pickles so far! I forsee more in the future though.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Things I just like...

My birthday is coming up and my husband has been asking me if I would like a gift. We typically don't do gifts for birthdays for each other, but it has gotten me thinking about some of my favorite things I have around the house that helps me on my "Homesteading Quest".

Ice Cream Maker:
- I would love an old fashioned hand cranked Amish one, but for now I do enjoy my little electric one. We enjoy homeade ice cream basically all year round, not just the summer.

My Ball Canner:
-I love my canners, I have an old pressure canner from my aunt that I use a lot, as well as just my good ole' water bath canner. I started out with a stash of jars of assorted sizes from my mom, and have picked up many more through out the years from yard sales. Many people will say "just take 'em", while many others I have found for a dime or a quarter.

Compost pail:
-This is totally not necessary, you don't need a compost pail, but I got one last year from Lehman's that I love. It is a very nice bamboo one with a plastic pail inside with a handle, that has a nice top with a charcoal filter. It looks very attractive on my counter and most people never would even know what it is.

Wheel barrow:
I'm not sure of the brand or anything but I love my wheelbarrow. We have one large one, then one kid sized one that the girls use. We use these all the time.

Magazine subscriptions:
- I really love my mags... I subscribe to several and I enjoy getting them in the mail and reading them, most of the time cover to cover. Some of my favorites are
- Mother Earth News
- Organic Gardening
- Vegetarian Times
- Hobby Farm
- Hobby Home Farm

There are many more things, but this is a good list. What about your one " must-have"??

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Into the freezer we go....

At the first of the year you may recall that I set a rather lofty goal of putting up 600 "somethings" this year. It could be pints, quarts, baggies, etc. It hasn't been going to well. There has been tornadoes, storms, flooding, and drought, and things aren't doing as well i would like for them to. Add in there me being due in September and not having energy after running after two other little ones, and that's where we are. Anyways, the point of this post was to show my corn. My beautiful corn. Our family loves it. This year, no one around here really made much corn due to the afore mentioned weather related issues, and what was selling last year at the farmers market at 8 ears for $1 is ( prepare to be in shock) is now selling for 3 ears for $1. People around here just didn't have their corn make. Including us. What we did have though we have been eating for supper, but today I froze some.
After I shucked it, I put it in the sink and washed it some more. We don't like any silk at all on our corn! Then I simply put it into freezer baggies, in multipes of 4-5 which is what it takes for our family for one meal. I got 6 bags out of it. It's a start for sure, and hopefully I'll run across some more corn to put up, as 6 bags of corn won't last very long around here. Some people did do a late planting, so hopefully those will be more abundant and I'll get some more corn!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

The Fourth of July is such a great holiday around our place. It really is a celebration of all the things that we are free to do here in our country, especially freedom of religion. We have several family members serving in the Armed Forces and we appreciate their sacrifices and all the others that are away from their homes and families working so hard to keep us free. We have so much to be thankful for here in America.

We started our Holiday Festivities last night at church when we had a special service for the evening revolving around our Independance, then we had a good ole' fashioned ice cream supper! YUMMY.

This morning we woke up to find a pesky oppossum in our live trap we had set out in our chicken coop after something had gotten 4 of my daughter's Silkies the night before. After feeding all the animals, we had a nice breakfast of pancakes with strawberries and blueberries. Then the girls wanted to go fishing. We have several ponds on our properties and although they do have some larger fish like catfish and bass, those aren't near as easy or fun to catch, so we settled on trying to catch little perch. The girls ended up catching a pretty good sized Red Ear a peice. My father had caught a nice mess of crappie last night, so we just added our 2 fish to that. It's so cute to hear them say " This will be yummy for dinner!".

Then we had a small lunch outside under the big tree. The girls swam in their little pool, and we had sandwiches and chips, and homeade ice cream. My Aunt and nephew is up from Texas and everyone else came outside to hang out for a while.

Then it was nap time. Then we ran down the road to the fireworks stand and each girl got $3 to spend on stuff. They each got a few sparklers, and a few small fireworks.  Now we are just waiting on dusk so we can do some fireworks.

It's a nice day to spend with the family. We are blessed.