Good morning. It is a beautiful calm Fall morning. We had a heavy dew last night and the steps were very wet this morning when I took the puppy out. HB came home at the same time. We did not need to put a fire on in the house this morning. (which is a change for once) Jill was the first one up after me and she thought Oatmeal muffins would be good for breakfast. Thank God for Cheryl's great recipe. We seem to use it on a weekly bases now. We love them as is but the last 2 times I whipped them up we have added a little something else. From chocolate chips and this morning we added apple. YUMMY! (I used a little of the glazed apple that I done up) We had toast and bacon with them. And I had a wonderful cup of coffee from our new Keurig. (I love hazelnut) but have recently found pumpkin coffee from a dear friend. Thank you Joyce for this little peice of Heaven.
I am often asked about our preps for Winter. What we need to have in our home as we are a little ways out from the stores. I just received 2 more emails yesterday wondering. (I think it has a lot to do with the time of year)
I thought I would explain while I sip away on a cup of Java, a little of what we have in the freezer and what our pantry holds to get us through the winter.
Ok we start back in July when the berries are in season. We pick both wild and tame strawberries and make jams,jellies, and freeze the rest on cookie sheets to put up in freezer bags with my vacuum seal machine.I try and make up a few pies at the time when we pick and make up some sweets with berries and freeze what I can. I do the same a little later on when we make hay with the raspberries that surround the fields where we make hay.
Next on the list is peas, then yellow beans. I blanch and freeze them in my vacuum seal bag machine again. We stack them in neat little squares in the freezer.
When the hay is done and we sell some the money from the hay is used to buy the weeones needs to go back to school but we do take a little to buy our staples for the winter. We buy our flour in bulk 50 pound bags (that the general store brings in for us.) We buy baking goods like baking powder,baking soda, white,and brown sugar in bulk as well. The pantry is filled with not only jams,jellies, and pickles,but also our baking needs for the winter. We stock up on paper towel,toilet paper,tooth paste,shampoo,and all the needs for making laundry soap and other cleaning items are all bought on sale then as well.
We pick hazelnuts and shell and freeze them in little bags to use for cooking throughout the winter as well.
We bottle Ketchup,Barbque sauce, tomaotes, with the tomatoes we pick out of the garden. Then add them to the pantry as well.
We bottle beets, celery relish, hamburger relish, bread and butter pickles, and baby dill pickles adding these as well to the pantry.
Fish is also caught throughout the season and froze along with partridge.
We make our mayo as we need it, and when we get to many eggs ahead we make a big batch of picked eggs and place them into the pantry shelves as well. I also dry a lot of herbs to have as well. We also dry baking beans.
Potatoes are planted and we all help to being in the harvest. The same with turnips, carrots, and many other veggies.
Apple harvest is a big one here, as we make so much out of apples, from juice,cider, desserts,pies,apples in glaze and froze,and bagged apples, baked apples,and my favorites apple butter,and apple sauce.
OK are you all still with me.
Now it is Monday and due to having to get things done here on the farm, I was unable to finish my huge post from yesterday. I was up a lot during the night fighting with a nose bleed. So by the time I finally did get to sleep, it was time to get back up. (GUESS WHAT!) I slept in till 6:55. OH NO! I ran and hauled out the leftover bread and whipped up some grill cheeses and put out some apple juice and leftover muffins. I make up the fastest fruit salad I think I have ever made. I got the lunches while the weeones ate. I finally got them on the go and we ran down the lane of the driveway to the bus stop. Came in tided up and ran the dishwasher. HB worked over time again and only got in at 9. He was so tired he went right to bed. I did the laundry and hung most of it throughout the bathroom as it is damp out and we are expecting rain today again.
I took out some ground beef to make a shepherds pie for supper tonight with toss salad and garlic bread. I also took out a pumpkin pie out of the freezer as well.
Back to where I left off yesterday. We do up our own meat birds. I do cut up some having separate thighs,breasts,legs,and wings. I leave the rest whole for roast chickens. We did our meat birds about a month back and we had 54 to do this year. I left 28 whole and the rest were cut up.
(No gory pics of this ok)
We do a couple of geese at the same time,and meat ducks as well. The turkeys are done too, this year we had 8 turkeys.
Besides partridge if the men get any that is our poultry part of the freezer.
As for pork We do 2 pigs a year. Spring, and Fall. Spring pig is what we call out pork chop pig trying to get as much grilling as we can out of it.
Fall pig is a little different as well try for more ground pork to make sausages both maple for breakfast ans larger ones in honey garlic spice. We do a lot of boneless chops to have in the oven and oh course roasts. Ribs,chops,and pork hawks are also in the freezer.
I also render the fat to use for cooking later and keep some in little squares for my beans.
Beef is pretty much the same as the pork, where we do 2 a year. Spring and Fall. Spring getting as much steaks and ground beef as we can for the grill. Fall more roasts ground beef,boneless steaks,and ribs. We do a lot in ground beef as we also make meat balls up for later winter use.
We have 3 freezers and our own meat room with all the needs to make ground meat, sausages,and slicers,and saw.
There you have it the most of what we do to get through the Winter and although we no longer having milking goats,or a cow, we sure miss it. I am looking once again and am hoping that I will not have to buy a whole lot of milk ahead a freeze it like I have had to do in the past. We also make our own breads,rolls,and only need to go out to the general store throughout the Winter for those things that I can not grow here, like bananas, oranges, and other fruits and veggies.
I do buy frozen fruit and also canned in the Winter as well.
OK Now that you are all waiting for this post to end it is here.
I wish you all a great day and hope you will come back tomorrow for a shorter post.