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.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Friday, July 29, 2016

Book of Herbs, Weeds, Flowers, and Trees ~ Tidbits

I've been looking for a complete book on herbs, medicinal and culinary for a long time now.  I am pretty sure there isn't a "complete" book printed, but this comes closer than some others I've read through.  It's pretty thick too.

Our library only has a 1996 edition of this book, but it's pretty close (but not yet complete) to a good resource.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beam me up Scotty!

I lied.  We have red tomatoes already.  I was hoping for a small break in between what is harvested, but God has another plan, ha ha!  

I've been so tired, and worn out, and have not even had "tea time" on the porch lately.  Today, I'm making time.  I need the energy restored.

I was walking from the coffee pot to the computer with a cup of coffee, and said to myself, "beam me up Scotty."  My 19 year-old was shocked, her eyes went wide, and she asked, "what did you just say?"  Ha ha!  She was surprised I knew a Star Trek catchphrase.  

If you are wondering, I made two batches of homemade flour tortillas.  I made these with 8 tortillas per batch, so it was a bit time consuming, but delicious. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Flower Fail ~ Tiger ~ Eggs! ~ Preserving

It's been pretty humid here.  As you can see I can't get great photos due to the lens fogging up.  My zinnias did not do well this year, and I planted almost all my seeds.  These should be double the height.  Only three more areas came up, and all have stunted growth due to lack of rain.  I'll have to see if I still have the person's name who gifted me her Michigan seeds.  I had been saving them year after year, but this year I won't have much to save.  I have zero zinnia color in the very front of the house.  Kind of depressing, but it's been too hot to sit out there anyway.   I do love the color in my garden. Maybe next year it'll be nice and bright.

I went to check on the laundry status yesterday, and found Tiger sleeping peacefully in the hamper.  Ha ha!  I didn't have the heart to wake him up, so I did the laundry later.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Random Tidbits

In order to make bread pudding the other day, which is what the whiskey butterscotch sauce was for, I had to bake the bread.

This is apple pie bread pudding.  I bake it in a pie pan.  I've only made this twice, and each time tweeking the recipe a bit.  It's a bit dry on top, and not like the ooey gooey apple pie filling.  It's simply apples, brown sugar and corn starch.  However, when we top this with whipped cream and whiskey butterscotch sauce.....oh my!  It was my special surprise for Hubby.  He's back on days now, but struggling to adjust to sleeping at night.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Heat Wave ~ Milo

I had a date with Swiss Chard.  It's growing well, despite heat and drought.  The next day it was kale.

Bread is still getting baked, despite turning the hot oven on, on a hot day.  Yesterday I think it got up to 95°.  Dinner is PB & J on homemade bread.  I have little time to cook, and there are typically no free burners or space at the stove for a dinner.  I was canning again at 6pm.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Rain! ~ Random Tidbits

We finally got another rain shower last night.  I haven't checked the weather forecast yet today, but it's wet out.  I'm running behind today.  I'm just plumb worn out, and needed the rest.  Don't we all?

The humidity yesterday morning was thick.  My camera continued to fog up.  Here is Timmy resting in the heat.  See that pot?  It was one that was ravaged by a raccoon (or two or three), and there are green starts in it.  In fact, all but one (horehound) are showing signs of life, despite them getting turned over so many times.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Homestead Happenings

The title should be "what's not happening" ha ha!  Hubby is still working 12 hour shifts.  I see him for about 2 hours from when he wakes up to when he returns to work.  Yesterday, I woke up early (surprisingly) and noticed he wasn't home.

I texted that I was a bit worried.  He texted back "working till 10."  I texted, "can they do that?!"  That would be a 16 hour shift, and he has a one hour drive home.  Let's just say I was wide awake at that point.

In the meantime.

I have put 6 cups of shredded zucchini in the freezer.  It's not a lot sadly.  We need rain.  I can water with well water and some with rain barrels, but a good soaking is so very badly needed.  I put up about 2 more pounds of green beans too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Greens, Beans and Raspberries

Today is the fifth day in a row to pick green beans.  I planted two rows of two different organic varieties, both of which stated were great for freezing.

Not including day one (I might have picked 3-4 pounds that day) we put up 12 1/2 pounds of beans so far.  The first variety is yellow (buried in the basket), and other green.  I have the names written down somewhere around here.  I've lost track of putting this information into my "homesteading journal."  I'm just so busy, and my mind is just focused on getting it put up without waste.

UpdateI located the names of what I planted - Strike Bush Beans, and Gold Rush Beans (yellow).  Both from High Mowing Organic seed company.  Both are delicious and high yielding.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Unwanted Guests

Sometimes walking a dog (or two, or three) can take me to areas of the property I haven't been to for a few days. 

I was out walking King yesterday, and he kept pulling me (bad habit of his) to the walnut tree.  I thought, "okay, maybe your scent will keep the squirrel out of my fruit trees."

So we walked directly over to the black walnut tree.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Random Tidbits

It's been a whirlwind of routine changes.  Hubby was switched to nights (temporarily) and is home sleeping all morning now.  I have to change my work load, and we have to be very very quiet. 

I have to take my laundry out the front door and around the house, so I don't wake him up, going in and out the door.  

Also, I have to have dinner done by 4pm.  That is impossible.  So....each dinner (done by 8pm now) is Hubby's next day meal to take to workAdjustments made.

This basket of goodies was from day two of picking green beans (and peas and cucumbers).  Today is day three.  I'm thrilled to be filling my freezer once again.  And of course we ate a lot at dinner the other night.  I also cooked peas one night.  Oh my gosh they smelled so good when I boiled them!  I have had to buy these in stores for two years now, and am so thankful for this bounty.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Garden ~ Herb Garden

The zucchini is doing well, and cucumbers are just now starting to come in.  Our hot peppers and green bell peppers are behind, and we do not have any broccoli yet (oddly, it's usually the first).  I'll be out picking peas, and maybe green beans today.  It all depends on how well this last small bit of rain did.

Picked our first cucumber this year.  Delicious!  We only had one ripe one, so I am hoping we get many at once to can pickles.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zucchini Salsa ~ "Million Dollar" Salsa

What did I do with all that zucchini?  First, I canned zucchini salsa.  We love this stuff. 

I pre-plan and order my organic/non-gmo vinegar over winter, so I have it when canning season starts.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of it.  This is not sold in stores anywhere here.  Hopefully, with my suggestion, one store will start selling it.

Here is the, very late, and promised "how-to" in a sort of quick fashionable way. 

Over the years, I have made several different types of salsa.    We even had a "salsa party" to try them all.   And out of all the ones I canned, zucchini was not one of them.

All recipes were for canned salsa too, not freezer salsas.  I canned zucchini a few years later.  Out of all the recipes I tried, the most liked here, is zucchini salsa.

It's not a Ball recipe, but I have seen several similar variations to the one I make, found online as well. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A mini-break

Last night I enlisted the help of two kiddos.  I invested in a second hand chopper, but realize now, that I should have purchased another cutting board too.

Anyway, one kiddo chopped the onions.  Another chopped up the bell peppers and hot peppers.

I chopped 12 cups of zucchini.  I'll have more details on this tomorrow.  It had to sit in the fridge overnight before canning today.

My ladies and Sparta got the end treats and seeds from the zucchini.  Kind of a nice treat on a very hot day.

My break yesterday?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Garden Goodies!

In my best sing-song voice, with "Welcome back, welcome back, wellll-coooome-baaack!" 

The zucchini exploded while we were gone.  I got a handful of shell peas, but their vines are loaded for a good harvest I believe.

My first day back to "reality" was a busy one.  Hubby texted me "you ok?"  He had not heard a peep from me all day.  I was so durn busy.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Island Trip

The camping trip was not the end of Hubby's vacation.  He planned out the entire week, and made sure we had a few nights to ourselves. 

Sort of.

He took me to the island.  The Yurts were booked, so this time he got us a very nice Bed and Breakfast to stay at.

We actually got the chance to see the sunset on the island this trip.  It happens on the west of the island where there is just one marina and restaurant/pub.  You can see all the people that walk all the way out and get photos of it.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Camping Trip ~ Campfire Mac n' Cheese

We've been "off line" for a while so these are posts will catch up all up to date.  Hubby took us camping!  Oh the fun!

This is the fire ring that we cooked on.  We bring along a tri-pod as well.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 4th Fun

I was so excited to hear Hubby could take a little vacation time, so I started doing laundry, watering houseplants.....oh the fun that awaited.

First the garden got a good watering.  Hubby took to the vegetable garden, and I to the flower and herb gardens.  

With dogs and farm animals vacationing is a bit tricky.  I'm glad a few adult kids cold help out. 

Hubby surprised us and booked a hotel near a large firework display.   We stayed overnight and watched the show from our hotel window.  They had music to go along, via the radio station, and we listened and watched from the 6th floor.  It was a very nice show.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rascals ~ Kitchen Happenings

This post should have been up a few days back. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.  I'll have an more current update in a few days.  Until then....
If you have been following my blog, you have heard about the raccoon that was taunting me.  We'll several days have gone by with nothing getting into my pots, so I replanted my organic medicinal seeds (I had to reorder all of my seeds).

A few days went by and the pots where untouched, until this happened.  Grr!  So frustrated.  I'll be buying whatever herbs do not make it this year.  I could put them all inside until they start, but I really don't want to buy seeds a third time.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lemon Extract ~ Tinctures

I drained the last jar of lemon extract I had in the making.  this will last about a year or longer in our house.  It's not used as much as vanilla extract, which we go through a lot faster.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Sweet Cherry Jam and the Strawberry Saga

First, I have to tell you about the strawberries.  We have one plant that survived last year's monsoon, so we have zero strawberries.  Some years it's just how it goes.  We planted everybearing, and we did not like them anyway (small harvest, small berries, and never enough to can jam).

There is a place about 25 minutes or so from our house which sells very good strawberries.  This place is known for their strawberries.  They are huge and tasty.

I called, and found out that they were selling for only for one more day, and were picking that morning, and were to start selling at 9am.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Peas and Cauliflower for Breakfast ~ Mixing up Herbs ~ Timmy

Shell peas are slowly coming on, so I decided to take the first picked bit, and toss it into a breakfast frittata.  I did not have enough for a meal for all of us, nor enough to freeze.

This time I used cauliflower, potatoes (sliced), and peas. 

I had one green bell pepper ready to pick, and one hot banana pepper.  I tossed all of that into my cast iron skillet (cooking all the vegetables first), and did not add any other spice/herb.  I just added salt and pepper and it was delicious.