Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Howloween!!

Devin is a scary monster/zombie and Kylee is a vampire cheerleader.  I made her costume because we couldn't find a decent one for less than an arm and a leg.  She had the black skirt and I added the red and white striped ribbon.  Then we bought the plain white shirt and I sewed on the red fabric and striped ribbon.  Add in some makeup and black hair spray and a vampire is born!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Family Time

We had a big yardsale Saturday, and the kids helped us out a lot. We told them we'd have a surprise for them today, and we decided to rent a movie and make some snacks. 

"Snacks" turned into veggies and dip, fruit with a yogurt dip (vanilla yogurt and cinnamon), pepperoni and cheese, sausage, popcorn, and pumpkin dip with ginger snap cookies.  We just watched the movie and snacked almost the whole time and it was a lot of fun.  We saw The Croods, which was pretty cute. 

The pumpkin dip is really good and really easy.  It's a can of pumpkin pie mix (not plain pumpkin, the one with the spices added in), and a tub of whipped topping.  It's good on anything...ginger snaps, fruit, graham crackers. 

After a really long day in the cold and wind, it was nice to have a movie afternoon and relax!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I found this recipe a couple of weeks ago at work.  I was bored and actually reading one of those magazines that comes in the newspaper...the Parade maybe?  See, our office has county, state, and federal employees working together in one space.  Some of our employees were out on furlough, and even though there were still some of us there working, we were prohibited from using our computers which are on the federal system.  I had some free time, so I was reading the paper, and this recipe caught my eye. 

It's called Smokey Corn and Shrimp Chowder, by Relish (or by Jill Melton, the website says both).  I went home and made it that same night, and it was so good.  I highly recommend it.  If you don't like spicy things, cut back on the cayenne pepper by at least definitely had a bite.  And I used turnip greens, but any greens will do.

Smoky Corn and Shrimp Chowder
4 ears fresh sweet corn
4 bacon slices
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons flour
2 medium baking potatoes, chopped
5 cups 2-percent reduced-fat milk
1 pound shrimp, peeled (deveined, if large)
4 cups baby arugula or other peppery greens, such as mache or chopped and stemmed mustard or turnip greens

1. Cut corn kernels from cob. Scrape cobs with back of knife to release milk. Set aside.
2. Cook bacon in large Dutch oven. Remove from pan, drain and crumble.
3. Add onions, corn, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to bacon drippings. Saute 10 minutes. Add flour, whisking well and cook 2 minutes. Add potatoes and milk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Stir in arugula. Serve with crumbled bacon.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Messy Kitchen

It's food processing time around here, which makes for a very messy kitchen.  This weekend I'm working on canning and drying potatoes, cutting up and freezing peppers, and processing apples (dried, applesauce, and apple butter).  I also have a half bushel of tomatoes waiting for me to do something with them, but I realized this weekend I despise processing tomatoes.  I don't know if it's because there are too many steps (like blanching, peeling, chopping, etc), or if it's because we don't really eat that many tomatoes unless we're having it as sauce, but I think I'm going to save a few for sandwiches and give the rest to the chickens.  Life is too short to be held hostage by tomatoes. 

We were given a good amount of bell peppers, so I sliced some and diced some to freeze.  The sliced ones will be great in fajitas, and I froze them individually on trays so we can just pick out the amount we need. 

I had the pressure canner going with a second load of potatoes yesterday.  This is my first year canning potatoes.  I bought about 40 lbs of organic potatoes from my friend who owns an organic vegetable farm.  I chopped them and canned them, and we used a jar of them the other night in soup.  It was nice being able to just open the jar and add them to the soup, which saved a lot of time.  I'm also drying some chopped potatoes (which we can add to soup as well), and some sliced potatoes (for things like au gratin potatoes). 

This is the mess near the sink.  Lots of bowls everywhere, and the compost bucket is full. 

Today I'll get started on the apples, since we went to the orchard yesterday.  Hopefully the dehydrator will be finished with the potatoes soon, so I can put in a load of apple slices. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Already October?

I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since my last blog post!  We're already into the second week of October and it's flying by.  Except for this past weekend, the weather has been really great.  This weekend was very warm, but luckily now it is back to fall weather. 

With fall comes breeding season.  The sheep have been in with the ram all year, which is new for me.  Usually I like to keep them separate but this year I didn't have a buddy for the ram, so he stayed with the ewes.  I think I'll see if I can borrow the buck this weekend, and get the goats bred soon.  It's always hard to figure out if I want them to kid early, or later in the spring.  I'd rather milk in the cooler weather, but I don't want to be feeding kids in the freezing cold weather.  If June and Ida get bred mid-late October, they'll kid mid-late March, which is a pretty good time.

I'm expecting 2 litters of rabbits any day now.  These will be my last litters through the winter I think, unless I decide to move the does into the barn for the winter.  I'm still planning on doing a post on the meat rabbits, but I just need to get organized and dedicate some time to finding the pictures....I took them last summer.  It's not like I procrastinate or anything.

Now that it's fall, it's time to do some work in the yard.  Things need to be done, like making sure all the animal shelters are structurally sound for winter. The windows need to be put in the chicken coop, the rabbits need a windbreak, bedding needs to be added, etc.  Seems there's always stuff to do.  The good thing though, is that the weather is nice and cool and you don't get all sweaty!

Some other time, when it's not almost 10pm and I have more time, I'll post some pictures of things that have been going on.   For now, I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the dogs snuggling. 

And a close up...

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