Pioneer Woman at Heart
One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!
One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Meet "Ruby" the Farm watchdog. Hazel is around our feet, where you can't see her, and getting some lovin'.
Here are two heritage breed hogs. These are gilts, and the one in the back is due to give birth soon.
Here, owner Lindsey Graham, shows us around the pasture. He explained how to properly grass feed the cattle, and move them from one area to another. Here is shows us a "tractor" used to house the turkeys. We ordered our Thanksgiving turkey today also.
Here are the cattle, which preferred to remain inside due to the heat today.
Here is a close up of a turkey. They are being moved from their coop to out in the pasture today, according to the owner. They look a lot like a meat chicken, but with a longer neck.
Graham Farms/Omega Meats, offered us this free tour, and insists that his customers come out as well. I went home with 2 lbs. of his bacon. I can't wait to taste it. I guess the pork tenderloin is so good, and has the perfect balance of good fat, that I have to be put on a waiting list for a few.
It was nice for another farmgirl friend to join us in our tour. We later visited The Ludwig Mill, and General Store. We sat in rockers on the front porch and cooled off with some Italian ice and ice cream.
The scene from the porch was so relaxing and beautiful.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
It is so fun! I can't wait to learn more. I checked my handy dandy bookshelf, and found I had a book on Tatting. I must have purchased it at a book sale, as it is a discarded library book from another city. It was written in 1979 by a woman in Iowa. Most of the photos inside the book are in black and white, but have instructions as well.
I also have the tatting needle instructions from Mary Jane's Stitching Room book. As soon as I finish this chain (3 feet), I will move on to learning more.
As I sit and type this update, my two older daughters are outside, teaching our younger goat tricks - hilarious to watch. She sure does love those goat treats. She is doing circles on the top of a stump. I am sure there will be some updates on my 14 year-old daughter's blog soon.
The weather is a teensy bit cooler and I have not yet checked the garden. I am sure there is a few zucchini's out there. Speaking of zucchini, my girls had a "Pamper Party" last night. They made a facial mask with my last zucchini, and they pampered themselves. If my duaghter does not blog the recipe herself (the one mentioned above), I will try to get it posted. Tonight, it's my turn to have a zucchini facial.
Garden update: I visited my garden and UGH. Weeds, weeds and weeds. Next year we are doing more newspaper or plastic. Each year it gets bigger too. In 2 1/2 hours, and with the help of my 14 year-old daughter, we can now see our onions, some green beans, the peas drying on the string fence we made, and I can now see my broccoli (even brought some in tonight). We have not made a "dent" in the garden weeds. Tomorrow, and possibly the next 3-4 days, I will be in the garden. However, I do see more cucmbers that need picked tomorrow.
More cucumbers mean more canning, and I have 3-day pickles soaking for canning tomorrow. I'm not sure how to fit this all in, but somehow we will.
Now.....if I could just get time to get a fence around my strawberries. My barred rocks are having a hay-day in my strawberry patch. Grrr!
I'm looking forward to a zucchini facial.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I also canned 2 more jars of zucchini relish (Thank you Candy! We love your recipe). Our green peppers are coming in fast with all this rain. However, the rain is killing off a few zucchini plants and cucumbers.
I picked 2 nice sized Kohlrabi, which will make another nice garden Frittata.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Yesterday I picked another 27 cucumbers and will be gifting those to others for now.
Yesterday I picked 2 pounds of broccoli, blanched and froze that too.
These are all previous, and very hot (in the 100's) canning days. I took the beet juice and used it to dye some material. It's not the color I was looking for, so I may try tea-bags next, along with canned blueberry juice.
The kids hand cranked the ice cream on one of our hottest days - 102°, heat index up to 115°. They were sweating, but really enjoyed the ice cream. Delicious!
As you can see, we are back to up and running with a new computer tower, and a bit poorer in the pocket book.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I picked over 50 cucumbers this morning, along with a Kohlrabi and a bowl of green beans. I also cut 2 zucchini. After I prepared cucumbers, that later made 8 pints of Bread and Butter pickles, I dug up many beets. Those will make Spiced Pickled Beets, and then I get to cut up more cucumbers to try yet another pickle recipe. And after all of that, I am roasting the remaining picked beets with onion and rosemary for dinner.
Very early this morning, I had already prepared my soaked navy beans for homemade baked beans using locally made sorghum. I will either have to cook up my green beans for another side, or blanch and freeze them too. We are going to be trying our 2 types of canned relishes on hormel hot dogs at dinner also.
And in between all of that, I heated ingredients for homemade ice cream, which we will be hand churning later tonight. It is 100° here today, but the heat index feels like 110°. The ice cream will be a nice treat.
I had to send my daughter to the store for 2 bags of ice. I've had to chip ice 3-4 times a day. We give it to the chickens to keep them from dying of heat exhaustion. When our watermelon is in, I'll treat them to that also. The goats were treated with chipped ice today and they gobbled it up.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
2. Add to Egg Salad
3. Add to Tuna Salad
4. Add to Chicken Salad
5. Mix into mashed rutabega/potatoes/turnips
6. Side dish for meats
7. Mix into cream cheese or sour cream for dips or spreads
8. Mix with mayonnaise to make Tartar Sauce
9. Mix into various ingredients for homemade salad dressing
10. Of course enjoy on hot dogs and burgers (or mix them into your meat to make burgers)
11. Mix into cooked beans
12. Mix into cooked rice, spanish rice or other rice dishes
13.Take some camping and add to foil packets with meat or other vegetables.
14.Use it to flavor meat marinades or glazes
15.How about adding them to soups or lettuce salads?
Got any more ideas to share?
Sunday, July 17, 2011
We made a recipe from Mother Earth News Web site, and it was delicious.
Quinoa - Zucchini Cakes with Summer Herbs
And with a few of my larger cucumbers, I made a cold salad:
Greek Pasta Salad
The salad was okay, but lacked something. I think I may use fresh minced garlic vs. garlic salt. There just seemed to be something missing in the taste, but otherwise good.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I prepared 8 quarts of refrigerator pickles, and still had more cucumbers.
While I sent the girls to town for celery seed, I canned grape jelly.
When the girls returned, I canned my first sweet pickle relish - 6 pints.
And I still have more cucumbers.........
It's 7:47pm and I am done for the day. Now I need to go take my laundry off the line. My three older kids are gone for the night (one went camping for several days), and my husband is gone. That leaves my 12 and 9 year old to help. Guess they are doing the folding for me. It's 89° in my kitchen and I am ready to stop. Tomorrow may very well bring on another canning day.
As for the quilt road trip, I am still waiting for more information, and e-mails back from the historical society.
Friday, July 15, 2011
I'm waiting to find out if my grandmother or my great grandmother made this. I think I was told it was made from old clothes and rags. Back then, nothing was thrown out, so you know this is very old. I was worried about taking it out and putting it on the line for the photos, but wanted to e-mail the historical society.
Which brings me to the "road trip" part. Because of the quilts history and fragile state, I am attempting to donate it to a historical society in my grandparents county. Their original house burned down several years ago, and is not even standing. Gosh that brings back memories. Grandma's house smell, is still in the blanket. I have not washed it, because the material would just fall apart.
Here is a close up of the pattern that was used. The material is a bit faded, but this quilt is by far, heavier than any blanket you could buy today.
As soon as I have more information, I'll be updating on the road trip and where it's going for display.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I finally caved in, and took my tree out. It's now in another container, leaving this home for the relentless toad.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Tonight we are roasting two chickens we raised ourselves for meat, along with garden grown potatoes, and onion. Soon we can add our carrots, but they are not up yet. For a side, I picked a bowl full of green and wax beans. I can season all of the food with herbs for the garden.
It feels so liberating to know I can feed my family without buying something from the store. Although I know that stores need support, there is a limit to what we buy. Anyone can sell anything to make a buck, but it's the buyer who needs to be alert and conscience when choosing what to buy.
While weeding the beets, carrots, more green beans and zucchini, I noticed we have a 3 inch zucchini already growing. It will add to the meals, and desserts, nicely.
Monday, July 11, 2011
This was a bit of a challenge. This type of yarn frays and I had to knot each end, and then weave the ends in. Either way, I made a useful bath rug, and used supplies I already had.
More projects to finish yet. I also taught my 9 year-old to sew a button on, and to hand sew. Now, all she talks about, is when we are going to rent the cabin again, and sit in our "rockers and sew." Ha ha ha! She is such a "mini-me" through and through. Now she wants to learn to do embroidery.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
No matter where we put this toad, including way out in the vegetable garden, it finds its way back to my redbud tree pot. I may have to replant this tree into another container, but that toad will probably burrow into it too. Our best guess, is that this toad is a Mom, and has eggs buried in there. I guess time will tell.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I have been going through old cookbooks, and reducing my supply. I found a recipe for Queen Anne's Lace Jelly.
Instead of cleaning my much needed bathroom, I walked around the property and plucked about 18-19 full heads of Queen Anne's Lace (not to be confused with Hemlock).
I soaked them in water to remove unwanted "guests" and then rinsed them twice.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Here are photos of the milkweed flower buds after I boiled them.
For the recipe: Crustless Milkweed Flower Quiche