Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free Pears

I have hit the pear jackpot!  Every day as I go back and forth to work, I pass a farm that has 2 huge pear trees at the end of their long lane.  Every day for at least the past year (when I realized they were pear trees) I saw those trees and wondered if anyone ever used the pears.  Late last fall, when it was too late to do anything with the pears, I mentioned it to David.  He told me his mom knew the owners.  She gave me their number, and I called them and asked if they ever used the pears, and if not, could I please pick some?  She told me I was welcome to them, because they never used them.  Yay!  So I went down one day after work and picked 2 of the green round buckets full.  They're small pears, but that didn't bother me. 

Then, I was out driving around for work one day, and saw another old farm with several pear trees that were just loaded down with fruit!  I happened to know the farmer, so I called him and asked if they ever use them.  He said I was welcome to them, because nobody was living in the house and they didnt' want the pears.  So I went out and picked another green bucket full and the two black rectangular trays full. 

I read up on pears first, and learned that pears rarely ripen to perfection on the trees.  They will ripen from the inside out, which means most fruit will end up with a rotten core and mealy texture.  I'm fairly certain I picked these at the right time, because the trees were starting to drop fruit, and the fruits I picked came off easily but were still very firm.  I've got most of them in the fridge to chill, and hopefully once they're ripe I can use them.  I'm planning on canning some, making pear sauce, and maybe trying some pear butter! 

Hooray for free fruit!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our First Pork

We picked our pig up from the butcher shop this weekend.  I was so excited when I got the phone call that it was ready that it was hard to not jump in the car right then and go get it.  David reminded me we'd waited 3 weeks, one more day wouldn't kill me.  I wasn't so sure about that, but turns out he was right. 

We got a ton of meat back.  We got 18 1lbs of bacon, 14 lbs of sausage (Sage, Sweet Italian, and Maple), 2 packs of spare ribs, 20 packs of scrapple, 2 Boston butts, 14 packs of chops (4 per pack), 1 whole ham, 2 small ham roasts and 6 center ham slices (from the other ham),  2 packs of hocks, 2 packs of feet/ankles, a pack of ears (for the dogs?), and 2 bags of fat for lard. 

The kids took turns posing with the ham because it was so big. 

We decided to grill up some chops for dinner, for our first taste. They were great!

And this morning we had tried the bacon and scrapple. 

The bacon was delicious.  We're already making rules on what meals are "bacon worthy."  We've decided if bacon gets added to anything, it'll be purchased bacon.  Our home grown bacon is for eating whole only!

Our breakfast:  eggs from our chickens and bacon and scrapple from our pig!    Have you ever had scrapple?  Scrapple is a combination of scraps of meat and seasonings and often corn meal is added. It looks like it might be the texture of sausage, but it is very soft. It's not my first choice for breakfast meats, but it's pretty good I guess.  I like mine sliced very thinly and cooked until crispy.  David likes his thicker and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  I think we have enough scrapple to last us a lifetime, since we don't eat a ton of it.  I guess we'll eat more of it now.

Our pig was 200 lbs hanging weight, which means she was probably between 250-300 lbs live weight.  I'm not sure exactly how many pounds of meat we got back...I'm guessing around 140-150 maybe?  The bill for her processing was $172.20.  There was a $15 kill fee, plus $.60/lb for fresh meat and another $.60/lb for the cured meat (bacon and ham).  I need to figure out how many bags of feed we bought for her, and then I can come up with a rough estimate of how much per pound the meat cost us.  I know it was definitely worth it. 

We still have the 2 smaller pigs, and one will be BBQed very soon.  Looks like we'll be selling the second one, which will help offset the cost of the big pig.  I really enjoyed raising the pigs. I'm not sure if we'll raise another pig next year or if we'll take a break for a year.  I'm leaning towards taking a break.  They're great to raise, but I'm looking forward to cutting back on my chores a bit!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Must Be Somthing in the Water

Lots of my friends are having babies this year!  I just sent off a pair of hats to a friend who had twins (but I forgot to take a pic!), and I just finished this little legwarmer and booty set for another friend.  She's one of my best best best friends and my roommate from college.  She's due in late September and she had her baby shower last weekend.  I made these legwarmers using the Purl Bee Baby Leg Warmers for Mila pattern.  I cast on the 48 stitches the pattern called for, but they were HUGE so I frogged and decided to cast on 32 instead.  The booties are absolutely adorable.  I used the Saartje's Bootees pattern.  I'll definitely be making more of these booties for other babies too, because they're just too darn cute.  Have I mentioned they're cute? 

Here's another pic, but sorry it's a little blurry.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I entered my dried tomatoes in the fair almost as one of those "oh why not?" decisions.  I got the grape type tomatoes from a coworker, because my tomatoes aren't doing well this year.  I cut the tomatoes in half and dried them in my dehydrator, then stuck them in a jar.  Wouldn't you know, they won a champion ribbon at the county fair!  Each division has a champion, so I got the champion out of all the canned/preserved food entries!  A champion ribbon for dried tomatoes!  Who woulda thought?  And I even got a nice pewter cup!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Feeling Crabby

Maryland is famous for its blue crabs.  Have you ever had them?  If not, you are missing out!  Since we got a boat this year, we have been crabbing every possible spare minute.  Just kidding. We actually just went out yesterday, crabbing for the first time since we got the boat.  Wait, David and his dad went out on Father's Day, but David and I just went out for the first time yesterday.  We've been fishing plenty of times, but not crabbing.  So we loaded up the boat with crab traps and headed out into the river.  After about 2 hours we had about a dozen crabs that were big enough to keep. We saw a TON of little baby crabs too. Hard to believe crustaceans can be so cute. 

We ended up losing 2 traps.  One because I tossed it into too-deep water and the string wasn't long enough to let the float come above the surface (oops), and one because the string was old and broke when I grabbed it to pull it up out of the water! 

So after we crabbed for a while we tried our hand at fishing.  We caught 3 decent sized catfish in a fairly short time, but after the third one we decided we were sufficiently sunburned and dehydrated and headed back home. 

We got home and cleaned the catfish and were overwhelmed with the amount of meat.  Just kidding. We got enough for a decent sized serving for us.  We fried up the catfish, and steamed the crabs.  Then I decided we needed some french fries, so I cut up a few potatoes.  Is there anything better than home made french fries? 

After we showered and got rehydrated, we sat our butts down on the couch, turned on an episode of The Andy Griffith show (we're watching them all on Netflix!) and pigged out.  What a great meal after a great day on the water!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

County Fair Goat Show

 We took the goats to the county fair goat show on Monday.  We had a great time and the kids (and goats) did really well and had a great time. 

I had to trim Ida's hooves at the last minute.  Have I mentioned I'm a procrastinator?

Here is Devin showing Ida in the dry yearling class. 

And since it was Kylee's first time showing, I went in to help her out with June.

Ida and June both got first in their classes, and June took Reserve Champion AOP doe.  AOP stands for All Other Purebreds.  Since Oberhaslis aren't very common, there are usually not enough to get their own breed classes, so they're lumped together with other less common breeds (like the Lamancha doe on the right of the picture below).

Now we just need to get the girls fattened up for breeding season!  Oh yeah, and I supposed I'll need to find a buck since I sold mine last year!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Honey!

 Happy Birthday to my husband, David!  I hope your birthday is as wonderful as you are!

Hope you have a wonderful day, babe.  XOXO
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...