Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taking Advantage of the Sun!!

So the hunter's are off on their yearly sojourn.  They tried on the west side, but there were way too many hunters and not enough deer, so they just arrived in Colville this afternoon and will be hunting there for a while.  

Kara and her boyfriend Tyler carved pumpkins the other night and the one on the left is Tyler's.  If you look closely, you can see he asked her to homecoming.  Very sweet!!!  She did say yes of course.  Unfortunately, the chickens were out the next day and they enjoyed the pumpkins very much, so they don't look quite the same now.  But at least we got photos before that.

Mom and I cleaned all the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins Kara and Tyler carved and dehydrated them with a little bit of olive oil and salt.  They are so very, very yummy!

Here is the pig pack in all their glory.  They are eating and growing like crazy and they are so funny, running from end to end of their pen.  They really liked all the raw pumpkin pieces from the pumpkin carving!  Marty got some too!

On a sad note, last Thursday and Friday, the Welsummer chicks we were raising had an unwelcome visit from an opossum, raccoon or something and well lets just say only two survived.  They are in with the meat birds and are doing fine.  We did lose only one meat bird.

So below, after searching online for chicken types and what we wanted to get to replace the Welsummers, I decided to get Light Brahmas which are a large chicken, very tame, very friendly, and very hardy bird along with the Buff Orpingtons, which again are a larger bird, very tame, friendly and hardy.  We got 11 of each with hopefully at least one rooster per breed.  These were all hatched on 10/05/11 so they are a day shy of two weeks now.  The Light Brahmas have feathered feet and black wings with the Buff Orpington being all, well, buff.  Colored that is.  hahahahahahaha  They are all so cute and very soft!

Mom and I purchased two different kinds of garlic to grow for this next year and planted it yesterday.  We got Italian Late and Chinese Pink which is a very early maturing variety.  We are very excited to see how this turns out next spring.  We also pulled all the pumpkin plants, all but two of the zucchini and have the lettuce that we let go to seed in bags to dry.  Yay!

These are the sunflowers on the side of the house that have all started to open.  Not sure due to weather if we will get any sunflowers off them, but they look so pretty!  And they are huge!!!

All is well otherwise.  Mom and Ray's house is getting together slowly but surely.  They now have gutters, the skirting is being put on today, they had their oven installed, have the washer, dryer, and the fridge also.  They are still waiting on their stove top, though.  Otherwise, they are very happy to be in a little larger space than our RV.  To say the least.

Enjoy the sun while you still can!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cleaning up the Garden and things

So fall is definitely here and summer, well heck not much of one this year.  Rob and Liam are getting ready for their deer hunting season starting in a couple of days.  I went with them to the rifle range the other day.  I have to say it was a little loud and interesting.  

On the left is Rob sighting in his rifle and Liam is looking through the scope to see where the bullet hits the target.  

And, here is Liam with Rob looking through the scope.  Liam actually shot better than Rob did, haha.  Dad taught him well.

So below in front is the pickle relish, middle is apple/rhubarb butter (OMG could just eat this straight it is sooooooo good) and the far box behind has more apple/rhubarb butter and four jars of lemon cucumber pickles.  On that same day, we baked 12 sugar pumpkins and made pumpkin puree and pumpkin/apple/rhubarb butter, all of which are in the freezer now.

This would be the bounty of tomatoes from the garden with the ones on the end of the house still to be picked.  Since they are still green, I am going to try a green tomato relish recipe I found and see how that turns out.  Also found a green tomato soup recipe to try.

This would be the first batch of potatoes we got from the garden,

And these are the second, with more on the deck drying.  A pretty good year all in all for potatoes.  Didn't like how the German butter potatoes turned out, though, some insect really liked them, so won't be trying those next year.

These are the dried beans so far that have been picked.  There is one more row of plants I am waiting for to finish drying.  I think next year would need to plant more than two short rows to get enough though.  lol

And this is our apple cider vinegar experiment.  We took the leftovers from the apple butter the other day, covered them with water and sugar (1 quart to 1/4 cup ratio) and now let it sit for a week covered with cheescloth.  Then strain and let sit for another 2 to 3 weeks again covered with cheesecloth.  Will let you know how it comes out.

Mom and Raymond's house is coming along.  They finished the inside clean/painting last night and today the carpet is supposed to be put down.  Still need to get the skirting, gutters, and backfill around the house, but hopefully they can start to move at the end of this week.  YAY!  They are certainly ready to have a little more room than our 26' RV gives them.  lol


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the kitchen

So have been spending time in the kitchen again.  I think when the weather turns a little windier and cooler, I spend more time in the kitchen, and it's fun to try new recipes too!

The picture above is the butternut squash soup recipe which was OMG sooooooooo good!  I picked up a magazine last winter that had all these fabulous recipes for soup, stews, and chilis in it.  This was the third recipe I have tried and so far they have all be great!!

Mom and I purchased two more boxes of apples and dehydrated some for apple chips as above.  Tomorrow we are going to make some apple juice and apple butter with the leftovers.

This is our chocolate peppermint from the plant we have in the garden.  It smells soooo good.  Can't wait to make my first cup of tea!!

I picked a bunch of our lemon cucumbers and made more relish, different recipe, though than the zucchini relish I usually make.  I used the book, Put Em Up (you can find it on Amazon, I did).  This was the pickle relish recipe made with cucumbers, onions, red and green peppers, salt, cider vinegar, sugar, water, garlic, allspice, peppercorns and celery seed.  It turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself.

Also cut the pumpkins and winter squash for storage.

Mom made the best spaghetti squash and marina sauce for dinner the other night.  It was fabulous!

And today am making turkey pumpkin chili in the crockpot.  Will let you know how that turns out! Will be accompanied by cornbread of course!  Yummy yummy for my tummy.