Monday, May 28, 2012

The Perfect Summer Salsa

I've been meaning to blog about my favorite salsa recipe for a while but I kept forgetting... Alas I remembered to take a pic of it this morning as I was getting ready for a family get together.

Black Eyed Pea Salsa

- 2 15 oz cans of black eyed peas ( rinsed and drained)

Then really everything else kind of depends on what is in the garden right now but here is what I did

- half of a red bell pepper
-half of a yellow bell pepper
- 3 serrano peppers
- half of a large purple onion
-3 garlic cloves
- 1 large sliced tomatoes
1/2 c. Seasoned Rice Vinegar ( this is what makes it YUMMO)

Dice all of the peppers/onions/ garlic / tomatoes and put in the bowl with the peas. Then pour the rice vinegar over the top, stir and chill for at least an hour.

I love this salsa and everyone always requests it. It is so cheap to make and I typically have all the ingredients on hand. Make is spicier by adding jalepenos or more serranos.
I'm telling you this stuff is fantastic!

Linked to Monday Homesteading Barn Hop, What's Cooking Wednesday, Consider the lillies

Monday, May 21, 2012

Keeping it real: Realistic expectations about your homestead Part 3.

Keeping it Real: Realistic Expectations about your Homestead Part 3

I've written two other posts about this subject, you can find Part 1 here  ( about Working, Land and School ) and Part 2 here ( about Food)
This post will focus on animals, and I'll have to have a Part 4 about Frugality.

I want a huge farm. I really do. I have always loved animals, and even as a child dreamed of marryinga  rancher and moving to a secluded farm in Montana and my job would be to feed the animals and keep lambs have babies.... Of course I didn't realize what hard work that actually was, but hey I was like 8.
I think that as a homesteader wannabe, I envision rolling meadows with frolicking goats, and a beautiful barn with an old milk cow named Bessie, a flock of chickens that stay at my feet when I'm hanging out the laundry, a couple of sheep I can shear and make my own yarn, maybe some turkeys gobbling in the distance. Ah yes..... that is what I want.

REALISTICALLY though we don't have the time or space to deal with that many animals. We have a flock of 18 chickens which give us plenty of eggs for our family , plus enough to share and even sell a few dozen every now and then. We've had guineas and a peacock or two through the years, and have tried our hand at ducks, but for now we are happy with the chickens.

I honestly don't even like goat's milk or goat's cheese. I do like the goat's milk soap though, so I might could justify having that I could make some lavish soap with goats but honestly I don't know if that is justfication enough. We do have a goat. His name is Clifford and he is a Nigerian Dwarf. He's a fun pet, but that's about the extent of his contribution to the homestead.

Here is a picture of him out in the snow this past winter.

We have 2 rabbits, but again they are pets. They are fat and lazy and won't hop away even if they have a chance. We have guinea pigs too. And a dog... and a cat.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it is OKAY! Not every little slice of homestead heaven has to have a milk cow, you don't have to produce all of your wool, you don't have to raise pigs ( which is fine with me by the way). It's important to realize your limitations and just start small.

I think chickens are a great place to start when looking to be more self sufficient. They really do make nice pets, and the eggs from free range chickens are amazing. Plus I probably have one of the only 6 year olds on a planet that begs me for boiled eggs and takes one to lunch everyday despite the other kids at school telling her it smells funny...

So what have your experiences with animals been? Are you to your "threshold" yet of animals on your place? What are you looking to get in the future?

Happy Homesteading.....

This post is linked up to the Monday Barn Hop and the Morris Tribe's Blog Carnival.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawberry jam? Yes please!

Ah strawberries. Yes it's already that time again. Time for the temperature to start to warm up, everything is blooming, birds are singing and active and gardens are all put in and just awaiting the time to be harvested here in a few months. Around here that also means STRAWBERRIES!!
We eat quite a bit of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches around here. My girls love them and they are great to take on picnics or as snacks. I have one daughter who will only eat homeade muscadine jelly, but the other one, as well as myself and the husband love us some strawberry jam.
There is nothing like freshly picked, sweet, juicy strawberries. We normally eat just as much as we put into our buckets.... But some do make it inside to make our beloved jam with.
Nothing  like the sweet smell of spring....
I love the small little jelly jars. I try to pick those up at yard sales and stuff. So we are starting the year off with 4 pints of strawberry jam plus 2 half pints. Then I ended up freezing 4 quarts. I use those for my famous Strawberry cake :) I'll have to post about that next time I make it.
I hope to do at least one more batch before the season is over.

This is linked up to Morristribe's Homesteader Blog Carnival. and The Prarie Homestead and TALU Tuesdays

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A camping we will go

We are lucky to live in a beautiful country, and even more specifically a beautiful state with lots of  state parks, nature trails and hiking areas.
We went camping this past weekend and had a great time. I love to get the kids outside and playing with nature.

The girls loved the sign that said "Bear Country". We did not see any bears though. I think they were half hoping we would and half hoping we wouldn't!
Here is hubby and little guy hiking. His hat is as big as he is! It was a little cool though so we made sure to cover his ears. We have purchased a hiking carrier for him, it just wasn't in yet. Normally we don't lug him around like this. Poor fella...
We made it to the top though. Highest point in Arkansas thank you very much. This picture kind of cracks me up. The oldest one is blowing a bear whistle in my ear, the middle one claims the sun is in her eyes and won't look at the camera , the baby looks fine though.
The views were spectacular though.
It's great to see animals and insects and bugs. We saw a few squirrels, and some coyote poop ( we suspect) , we saw about 7 deer one night right behind our tent. There were tons of birds and butterflies out too!
Finally little guy had decided he had ENOUGH, and out he went. Great memories with a wonderful family!

Do any of you have plans for camping this Spring/Summer? What are some of your favorite activities?

Happy Homesteading.....

Linked up to Monday Homesteading Barn Hop and The Morristribe Blog Carnival.