Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Filling The Pantry

And still I can! Earlier this week more salsa and tomato sauce. Today spaghetti sauce.
Thus far almost 100 jars have been filled and tucked away for winter use. Though it sounds like a lot there is still much more to go. The late tomatoes have set fruit and I will can plain tomato chunks along with homemade Rotel. Also late cucumbers are up and more pickles need to be done. Pesto to be made and frozen, I still have garlic scapes waiting patiently in the fridge and the basil is gorgeous.
The okra has started to produce so of course there must be some pickled and as an experiment this year I plan to bread and freeze some. Wouldn't that be yummy along side a pot of beans this winter?
The Red Ripper crowder peas are ready to start picking and they will go into the freezer too. Busy times here on the homestead!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Adding To The Farm

Last fall we purchased 6 acres that adjoins our farm across the pond. This past week Doug started clearing it to ready the ground for sowing this fall. It is a lovely rolling piece of land, almost mountain like and even though I felt a bit panicky as the trees came down I think it will be quite beautiful when completed.
This is the view from our backyard looking across the pond as they started.
The view looking back toward our house. A mess now for sure but soon fencing, a barn and grass!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Roasted Red Peppers

One of my favorite sauces is a roasted red pepper sauce that is divine over pasta, zucchini noodles, chicken, crab cakes or licked off the spoon! I use the roasted peppers for other things too, but the sauce is my favorite.
Today I was gifted with a huge basket of peppers and since most of ours are still green I gladly took it. I washed and dried them and then coated each pepper with a thin layer of coconut oil. (Use any high heat oil of your choice tho)
 Then I placed them on a baking pan and broiled them turning each one as they blackened.

 Once done I put them in a large casserole dish and covered them with the lid. I let them cool for at least 30 minutes.
Next I peeled and seeded them and laid them on wax paper. They were then popped in the freezer. Using the tip of a sharp knife I pried them off the wax paper and put into freezer bags for use all winter long.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Itty Biddies

I knew she was hiding!
And now I know why.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ziva Goes To School

Ziva has started her off leash obedience. She is doing very well and her trainer is quite proud.
Ziva thinks he is a little nutty 'cause he makes her "place" on strange things!

She has leaned to stay, even when her people walk away.
She still loves big sticks.
She  loves to swim.
and "place" on other strange things!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Storm Damage

A wicked storm blew through last night. Lots of damage and trees down and so today the clean up begins. A total of 4 trees down across fence lines and the drive washed away..again.

The rain was welcome (21/2 inches) as it has been quite dry for the last 3 weeks. The damage not so much!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tomato Sauce and Corn

Many hours spent in the kitchen these days. The paste tomatoes are at their peak and that means I will be canning almost daily until they are done. Today's chore- tomato sauce. Just a plain sauce that can be used for a multitude of recipes. This sauce is easy to make and while it simmers away you can do other things.
Core tomatoes, no need to peel and toss in a blender.
When your pot is full, just set on the stove on low heat and allow to cook for several hours.
 Once the sauce has reduced and is thick can (or freeze) it. I canned mine in pints because that is close to the size of the grocery store cans. To each pint I added a tablespoon of lemon juice and processed for 35 minutes in a boiling water bath.
 Done! 12 jars ready for the pantry.
While the sauce was simmering I headed to the garden to pull the last of the corn crop. A sad crop for sure this year. We had a good bit to eat fresh, with just a small amount to freeze. I cut it off the cob and simmer until the juices start to clear. Cool, bag and freeze.
And that's what happened on the homestead today!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Canning Continues

Lots of good things coming out of the garden. Plenty of tomatoes and a second crop of green beans. The last few days a stash of spaghetti sauce, salsa and 13 pints of green beans were added to the pantry.
A nice feeling when the empty jars are replaced with full ones!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Now I know why I want to live on our VA farm. Today it was 77* and breezy. Everything is lush and green 'cause they get rain there. The peace and tranquility is almost overwhelming. Up there you hear nothing but an occasional plane flying over and it is so high that it is almost unnoticeable. What I do hear loud and clear are Towhees, a bird I fondly remember from my childhood at my grandparents house, a mama cow with a low moo calling her calf, turkeys gobbling in the distance and at night a bobcat on the ridge.
Last week Doug and his crew went up and set the fence posts. He had a driver to pound the posts in the ground. When he got home he said you will not be happy, the posts are crooked because it took us while to figure it out. They call me inspector  # 13...
We got about half of the property line fence run. Doug's brother came up to help, thank goodness as I probably nailed one post to their 3. He left after a yummy picnic lunch and Doug and I finished the brace posts for the remainder of the line. All in all it is about 1100 feet on that side.
And yes some of the posts are crooked but only if you look down the line not at it!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

The only fireworks going off around here today were the ones in my head where I was fighting an intense urge not to strangle my husband. Last night at 8 o'clock he decided we would head to the VA farm and run fence tomorrow. Not such a bad idea except for the fact that I had to mix sourdough right then for the store and deliver it today as we would leave before daylight. To top it off when I reached for the starters in the fridge they had stuck together and came crashing out on the floor along with a carton of yogurt. No, I have not been in one of my better moods today.....
In the end bread was baked and delivered, all 14 loaves and the kitchen cleaned. I mowed while he was out picking up the last of the supplies.

Then we were off to the garden to dig the potatoes. Sis and brother-in-law joined us and we harvested almost 7 bushels. Not our best harvest but good enough.

For supper we enjoyed a freshly dug baked red potato. Oh my, so creamy and moist. Good food and a strong cocktail always make things better. He is forgiven. ;-)