Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grape Jelly, Storage and Making Friends on the Farm

Almost 42 jars of grape jelly this year. Heavenly...absolutely yumminess. The grape jelly is a mix of grapes we've planted and wild grapes from around the fenceline of the farm.

I've also run out of storage in the kitchen pantry shelving. So I've started storing underneath the bed in our room.

This isn't an entirely bad problem to have. But I still have apples and tomatoes to process as well as corn and the farmer still has honey to do so hopefully the kids don't mind a couple of boxes of food under their beds. Maybe it'll keep the toys from getting piled up under the beds. Although I could see the 2 year old using the canning jars as stacking blocks to make towers for his trains...okay, scratch that thought!

I found a friend for Red and will be making a trip this weekend to pick him up. At first the farmer told me he didn't have anymore live turkeys he was selling and tried to sell me a butchered turkey for Thanksgiving. After explaining our story of why I'm looking for a live turkey when its almost October, he told me he could spare an extra one.

And that is why I love farm people. Not only do they understand why I have a turkey that's now a pet, but also why I'd try to find a friend for that turkey and also why I'd be willing to drive almost a 100 miles to pick up said turkey.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Losing Farm Animals

Losing farm animals is part of living on a farm but no matter how it happens or when it happens, it's still sad. I've nursed baby turkeys, feeding them with a dropper to have them die in my hands. I've bottle fed lambs curled up on a haybale to have them thrive one day and pass away during the night. And of course we've had our favorite chickens, ducks and geese over the years.

The saddest lose is when its caused by a preditor because it's viciousness. Last week, Red (Bourbon Red turkey) lost his friend Dude (Narragansett turkey). We've had these two guys for five years so they were no longer farm animals but pets. We had six young turkeys that all died over the course of the summer either from just not being strong enough to being killed by the coyote we've been seeing this summer. We also lost our white female turkey (the other female Narragansett who came back from living with the wild turkey went back to rejoin the wild turkeys).

So now it's just ol' Red wandering around the farm. He's kinda sad so I'm looking for a friend for him (which isn't easy this time of year).

We also lost Megan the Mule over the weekend. Megan came to live with us this past spring to live out the rest of her life and died of old age but I'm glad she was with us while she was.

Kinda a mellow week around the farm.


Monday, September 26, 2011


We've slowly been getting ready for winter. Finishing up the garden and building up the wood pile. I picked the brussels sprouts and cabbage yesterday. The cabbage will be making it a trip to my dad's house since for some reason yet to be discovered, I can not make kraut.

Lots of brussel sprouts this year! YUM YUM

The beginning of the sweet potatoes.

Winter squash - I'm the only one who eats it so YUM YUM for me!!

Fall work - lots more to cut over the next couple of weeks.

BUT! The main reason there is so little posting is that this little man keeps me on my toes and absolutely exhausted. He is 8 months old today and spends most of his day trying to figure out how to climb stairs. While his older brother was noisy so I knew everything he was up to. This one is silent. So I may very well think he's in the living room having his nap when low and behold I come around the corner and find him halfway up the stairs. We do have a gate on the stairs but the kid's bedrooms are upstairs along with all of their toys so the majority of the time the gate gets left open.

And he also thinks its hilarious to get halfway up the stairs and then lay flat so he slides all the way down the stairs.

And he's teething so we spend lots of nights rocking and rubbing gums.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apple Onion Grilled Cheese

Do you ever get in food ruts? I do, constantly. I'm trying to keep myself and the farmer and kids from getting in those food ruts so we've been quite adventureous in our meals lately. Surprisingly with great success!

This morning I made a tomatoe-spinach-cheddar cheese egg scramble (lazy mom's omelette) with whole wheat toast. Quite yummy!!

For lunch the kids wanted grilled cheese. Our standard grilled cheese is colby-jack with jelly. Seriously, if you haven't tried jelly on your grilled cheese (grape or apple are our favorites), stop wrinkling your nose and give it a's kinda like putting cheddar on your apple pie.

So to kick up our lunch a little, I jacked up the grilled cheeses. For the kids, I carmelized some thinly sliced apples in butter and a little apple jelly. For myself, I carmelized onions and apples in butter and a little apple jelly.


Comfort food all jacked up. Can't beat it on a rainy fall day!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup was a hit last night for dinner. I don't have a picture because, well, it's gone. The farmer and grandpa were even feeding it to the baby who couldn't get it feed to him fast enough. I served it with a simple salad and warm Rye bread.

Pumpkin Soup
1 large onion
2 carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp each thyme, sage, and nutmeg
1/3 cup flour
1 cup apple cidar
3 tbsp butter
4 cups vegetable stock
1 30 oz. can of pumpkin (fresh would be better but I used what I had on hand)
3 cups milk (I think plain yogurt would be nice also)
8 oz. grated farmers cheese (white cheddar)

Sweat onion, carrot, thyme, sage and nutmeg in olive oil about 10 minutes. Add flour and butter and stir to coat. Add vegetable stock and apple cidar and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add pumpkin and milk. Blend to break up carrots and onion (this wouldn't be entirely necessary but the farmer doesn't like carrots so I was trying to hide them and I wanted a smooth soup). Slowly add in cheese and simmer until melted.

Serve immediately. A little sour cream would be nice but it's perfect plain also.

Since it's not fair to have a post without a picture. Lil' Babe got his hair cut last week. It was a sad moment for this mama.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tomato Canning

I've been canning tomatoes all day and will have more to do tomorrow. Beautiful red tomatoe sauce!

Today I made two types of salsa and a batch of spaghetti sauce. Instead of peeling and seeding the tomatoes, I send everything through the blender. My spaghetti sauce is usually a mixture of whatever I feel like putting in it. I usually put basil and garlic and a little brown sugar and olive oil. Today I also added an onion and a zuccinni to the mixture (a great way to sneak in those vegetables!). This batch was a mixture of Roma and yellow and red cherry tomatoes.

Now time to go clean up the kitchen a little. Processing tomatoes is messy work!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Garden Update

We picked a watermelon yesterday.

There a certain little baby who loved it. Not sure if it was the taste or how it felt on his sore little gums!

Tomatoes GALORE! Wow did we have a bumper crop this year. We picked another four basket fulls today and I'll start on salsa and more tomato sauce and some stewed tomatoes.

Sweet corn was a bomb. We should have picked it already and quite a bit of it had already started to dry out.

We are still picking cucumbers. Will have a couple more batches of pickles and relish to make.

Some of the cabbage is ready, some could go another week. There are some that I planted late that will go for another month or so. I have a tendency to ruin kraut. I do exactly what my dad does and my spoils. So when the cabbage is ready, I'll be taking it to him to make my kraut this year.

Picked a wagon full of carrots. They smell SOOOO sweet. They certainly could have stayed until frost but the kids were excited (me too!). I'll freeze those since I'm the only one who likes carrots and that's the one I like them.

Everything else is either starting to die off or finishing it's ripening.

Fall is slowly coming upon us. I always wish for those lazy fall days but there are so many that rush by with trying to get so much stuff ready for the garden.

We'll butcher chickens in a couple of weeks. Oh yeah what fun...did you hear sarcasism? :)


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pita Pizzas

The last two weeks around our house have been nuts. I started my part-time job and the farmer's helicopter at work needed major work. Between our two schedules, there was actually a three day period where him and I did not see each other. I, also being sleep deprived from working overnight shifts, apparently did not have much common sense at the grocery store one day since there are honey buns, chips and dip, licorie, and other junk food items on my kitchen counters along with soda pop in my van. Luckily for me, the kids wanted things like pancakes and french toast for their dinners because I was so tired, I may just have agreed to honey buns and chips and dip if they had asked.

Homemade pizzas is one of those things that just make me cringe. I love it but it's so time consuming and least in my head. Em saw pita pizzas in a magazine and since she is my lover of making anything and everything, asked if we could make them. Me, being in a sleep-deprived, guilt phase, readily agreed (The night before as I was leaving for work, she had to be peeled off of me as she was screaming, "I just want my mommy, I'll tell Santa I don't want any toys for Christmas.")

Well now, aren't these just about the easiest things in the world to make. And I figured out the cost, $4.10 for four individual pizzas. Also under 400 calories for a sausage pizza. That's a whole lotta pizza for 400 calories. I even have enough to make another batch. I just froze the leftover sausage and pizza sauce. The calories could be less by simply cutting the pita in half and using turkey sausage. One pita makes a nice thickness but cutting the rounds apart would make a nice little thin crust pizza. I cut up strawberries and salad and we had a nice little dinner with lots of leftovers.