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~

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How does your garden grow? ~ SIL Update ~ Meatballs

This was a post that was to get posted a few days back, and got lost in the shuffle....

The zucchini is on, and the straight neck yellow squash is also on.  I've already started harvesting it.  Cucumbers have blossoms now.  If I planted as well as I think I have, we won't have to plant pickling cucumbers next year.

My 40-some foot row of pumpkins are doing very well  (they have doubled their size since I took this photo).  You don't see the entire row, because I am still weeding it.  Vines are about 4 foot long - two varieties of organic non-gmo pie pumpkins.  Last year, I planted the pumpkins in with the popcorn, and we didn't even get blossoms on them.  That was disappointing, so this year, I planted them in their own area.  There are no squash mounds in the tomatoes this year either.  Hubby tilled them up last year, so I don't even take those chances anymore.

The heirloom grape and pear tomatoes are on, and so are the paste tomatoes.

Everything else is doing great so far, and my late planted collards are up now.  Berry bushes are producing, last year's chard is going to seed, so that makes me happy (won't have to buy seeds next season).  Which reminds me, I'm installing a "pie banger" at the raspberry bushes.  I need to net them, but time and rain are preventing that.

Update on sister "L."  She has pneumonia and if the antibiotics do not work, they are sending her to another hospital.  They allowed us in to see her, but we stayed only for a brief time, and left.  She was very badly swollen, and bruised.

Hubby and I assumed visitors would not be allowed, but while he was at work, I baked a huge batch (70-some) of homemade meatballs, opened a jar of canned hot pepper mustard sauce and made a large crocky of them.  I also filled another crocky (my kids hate it when I use that word, ha ha!  They prefer crock pot) with red potatoes, smothered in olive oil, fresh garden thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, and shallots (creamy Italian crock pot potatoes).  Cream was added at the last hour.  My 18 year-old also helped me by baking up some chocolate chip (nongmo/organic) cookies for a dessert.  I took some einkorn snickerdoodles too.  We delivered it to the hospital where 12-15 hungry stomachs were waiting. It's a good thing we cooked for them, as family from KY had come up and to eat at the hospital is expensive.  Much of the family had their kids with them too (meatball recipe at the end of this long post).

We shared cookies with another family sitting next to us, who had a family member going into surgery for the 6th time.  They greatly appreciated it.

Note on the potatoes:  it was the first time making that recipe, but it was what I had on hand (and we are still on a budget), so I diced red potatoes for it.  It was good, but nothing to totally "rave" about. Everyone liked it.

It appears that if antibiotics take for sister "L" that she'll be there for many more days.  I'm digging through the freezer to make another meal delivery plan if needed. 

The doctors attempted to wean sister "L" off the pump and could not.  She is in a state in which she cannot be moved either.  To our recommendation, many family members went home to rest, while a few others stayed.  They'll get some sleep and return to the hospital.  Hubby and I plan to make another visit to sister "P" as all of the family is again at the other hospital, and we are concerned that nurses are not doing what they should be.

Most family is at work again today, and a few if sister's kids are at the hospital (unpaid leave of work).  While Hubby is working too, I am back in the kitchen configuring our own dinner, so I can deliver meals to my Dad.  

(warning:  this is a vent that is much needed or my brain will explode) My mother is really perturbing me, making comments that I should not "forget my other family" and "I hope you are visiting your Dad today too" all while we are dealing with the situation with both of Hubby's sisters.  More than once. Sending me texts on the same day we thought sister "L" was heading to heaven.  Seriously.  All while she knew what was going on.

There are words that I am holding back.  And some that I am not. There are also family members, her included that could deliver food within a few miles, while I am taking care of Hubby and his family.  I would love to remind her that Hubby's family is my family.  Now is not the time to be reminding me that Dad needs meals I have siblings that are capable and they should be, considering our situation, delivering meals to Dad for me (for him).  It's inappropriate and cold to be treating me like this.  I'm always treated this way, because I don't work.  I am really getting tired of that too.  I work, I just don't get paid.  I'm just tired of justifying it to my (other) family.

I'm emotionally and physically exhausted.  I am trying to stay healthy and feed my own family healthy food and healthy vibes. We are so exhausted that we are on edge most nights and have to remind each other to calm down.

Hubby didn't even know I had prepared the meal delivery to the hospital either.  He texted home that he'd like to deliver a meal, and I texted back, already done - in two crockpots.  He was thrilled and thanked me over and over and over. He told me, "you have no idea how much that meant to me."

My dad would not like the hot pepper mustard sauce anyway.

Okay, rant over.  I'm procrastinating my 5 mile walk....on another note, I had been delivering meals to Dad for years before the family even knew about it.  Hence my question is, where were they all those years?  

Off my soap box now.

It stayed dry for a good part of the day yesterday, so I was hoping to weed today.  Nope.  It rained during the night.  Again.  It's very wet again.  I'll pick peas and zucchini and most likely come in with Frankenstein boots, but the gardening will be enjoyed for dinner and breakfast.  We'd be eating rabbit, but I'm told they are not tasty this time of year.  we got a few more that were in the garden.  Let's just say my target practice is getting pretty good. 

Sharing a recipe that was shared to me from a fellow blogger/farmgirl friend.

3 pounds ground chuck (see notes)
2 cups oatmeal
2 eggs
1 cup chopped onion
13 oz. can evaporated milk (see notes)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tsp. black pepper

Mix well.  Shape into balls (I use a large cookie scoop), place on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, package and freeze until needed (or bake).

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Notes:  I use half ground beef and half ground pork.  Lamb is good too.  As for the milk, I used fresh goat's milk when I had dairy goats, so if you have raw milk that works too.  I use all organic ingredients.  These freeze very well, and come in handy all winter long - meatball subs, spaghetti and meatballs, topped with BBQ or Hot pepper mustard sauce, etc.  I have also used 2 lbs. ground beef and mixed with 2 lbs. pork and it still tasted great (getting about 72 meatballs or so).


Susan said...

It always galls me when people who could step up and help do nothing but send negative energy to the ones who are doing the good work. Deep breaths and ignore them. I swear that you work harder than anyone with a 9-5 job - yours is 24/7! My garden is far behind yours, although I was so thrilled to see squash blossoms! Zucchini! Thanks for the meatball recipe - and it's GF, so I can make them! You are all still in my thoughts. Be sure to take care of yourself, too.

Mama Pea said...

Oh, Kristina, you are truly going above and beyond to be a loving, helpful person in this stressful situation. Considering what you went through last winter, please remember to take care of yourself so you stay healthy physically and emotionally.

Isn't it wonderful to have a husband who is so appreciative and stays as your true partner through thick and thin? Hugs to you both!

Rain said...

Hi Kristina :) We all need to vent, and yours was appropriate. Personally speaking, I'm estranged permanently from immediate family, so is Alex, a great thing we have in common. We had bad upbringings and my mother would have done the same as yours if I were showing more attention to Alex's side than to "mine"...I'm glad to not have to deal with that at all. I'm just sending you positive energy and courage for the time you and your family has to go through. I do hope sister "L" takes to the antibiotics. That is frightening to hear. You are so caring and hardworking. I'm sure everything you do is not taken for granted by those who love you and care and appreciate you. PS: the meatballs look delish!!!

Crikey, a crocky! Lol...I'm stealing that to annoy Alex from now on ha ha!

Vicki said...

I can not comment on your family situation, but I can tell you that a good rant now and then helps keep us reasonably sane. I have been known to drag my soapbox out of the corner once in awhile. We would wish that others could be more understanding, but often times they are not. And there is precious little we can do about that except to go ahead and do what we believe to be the right thing, regardless of the opinions of others. Prayers are forthcoming for your sister-in-laws and for you, asking for the strength to deal with what is on your plate.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Thank you Vicki!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Susan, although totally exhausted, I exercised first thing yesterday. I just walked much slower, and ate well. Thank you for the well wishes.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Mama Pea, thank you. Hubby came home last night and told me he was telling his co-workers what a lucky guy he is to have me. Thank you for the reminder on my health. I made a tea infusion, and will sit for a spell on the porch and watch the water levels. I am praying the storms go right on by today. I plan on making a zucchini/walnut dinner tonight. Only one piece of pie left and we are saving it for Youngest. She is sick, and I am worried. I may need to run her up to the doc if she is not better today.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Rain, thank you for the encouragement and good thoughts. Yes, "crocky" because at my age I have to shorten words to save energy, ha ha ha!