Saturday, November 11, 2017

At this time of year we are gathering up the remains of the harvest.I don't harvest potatoes or pumpkins until November. Here are my grandsons in August 10 yrs ago digging up supper for that evening.

Pumpkins need to be gathered in and when I can get to it I will can up pumpkin pie filling.

This year we got a potato plow attachment for our tractor. Of coarse my hoe worked better. Out of frustration my husband dropped the tractor shovel & scooped along the ground.  A few potatoes got creamed but the rest were dislodged from their tight soil spots and we scooped them up & dropped them into a bag.

(Gus loves to pose for pictures.)It's 17 degrees out tonight.Dog gone cold.I brought  all the remaining pumpkins , apples and potatoes into the dining room to store for now, wherever I could find a spot. That room is closed off with french doors from the rest of the house and has no heat unless I open 2 sets of doors to allow the heat from the woodstove to flow warm air to it.The kitchen still has another 12 gallon crock of sauerkraut fermenting. The harvest is at it's end and I am so relieved. Then I can take a nap and start sewing for Christmas presents when I wake up. (:>

Sunday, October 15, 2017

 I love old farm machinery & gadgets.... the manual sort, not powered by electricity or gas or kerosene.Pictured here is a corn shucker which quickly removes dried feed corn off the cobs.I kept it on my porch next to my kitchen. My hen laid her eggs right by my kitchen door under the corn shucker as payment for her breakfast. She's no fool !
     There is a great old book from 1909 that is available in print again, as of 1996 by Rolfe Cobleigh called HANDY FARM DEVICES and how to make them"    ~ to MAKE them !  I originally found it as an online book that you could download FREE .Maybe it still is but I wanted one on my bookshelf with my other "  JUST IN CASE TSHTF " books .
     Consider the value of these .A scythe will cut down hay .A pitchfork will rapidly scoop it up as you run along the rows of cut grasses and bind it into sheaves. Horses will be needed once again to plow. Their manure will be our fertilizer. I try to think of the resources that my own land  or a neighbor's that can be bartered for. Horse drawn plows are still available in our area at a few antique dealers & market places.
     I'm not impressed by Faraday boxes to try to protect electronic devices from an EMP. For what ? Will you be able to use them afterward ? I think of long term use.
    Once propane tanks fizzle out their gas, they can't be refilled in the event of an EMP attack. Propane,oil, coal,gasoline & Kerosene will be limited in supply.Wood & garbage will be the only available  fuel that will be accessible & easily replenished.(Plant black walnut trees & maple. Oak takes 50 years to become a mature tree).

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Who remembers Grandma using old monitor wringer washing machines in the kitchen?

Who remembers Grandma using old monitor wringer washing machines in the kitchen?

You would roll the machine off the back porch into the kitchen, hook it up to the sink and begin your wash. I remember my grandmother's hands reaching into the hot scalding water she heated on the combination coal/gas stove . There was no hot water heater in the house or a bathroom. It was cold water in the kitchen sink. That was all.Her hands were reddened with the scalding water and shiny. Veins were dilated and she would reach down into the basin and pull up laundry to be fed into the wringer. The drain went into the sink and cold water for rinsing hooked up to the faucet. It seems that most women had some story or other of a trip to the doctors for crushing injuries and lacerations of fingers that were accidentally pulled through a powerful wringer requiring stitches and throbbing pain afterward.

My grandmother was widowed when my mother was 17 yrs old.She used this larger machine while her home was still active with family members, but as the house emptied of family she began to use the smaller model.

Easy to store and used for smaller  loads.Then out to the backyard clotheslines held up by white birch tree supports.Neat memories!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Apple Cider Time

November apples after the frost are sweet and perfect for cider making. It makes for a great family get together when the back porch is filled with bins of apples after several car load deliveries from the trees on our properties.

We wash the apples 

Crush the apples

after they have been quartered  by "Ye Old Apple Cutters Guild". 

After a slice of fingertip  was treated (Mommy kiss and make better)

We fill up buckets and pass the crushed apples to "Ye Olde Apple Crusher Guild".

Master Apple Crusher, Danny 

Citric acid gets sprinkled into the buckets . It prevents excessive browning of the apples.

These are jars of the same cider with citric acid

This is a batch without citric acid. Darker brown but the same absolutely delicious taste.

Jamie still washing. I said ....   "I'm leaving to get another carload of apples ".

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Doing the WASH

A few months back my washing machine broke down and I had to wait 3 weeks before it could be repaired. Delays in parts arrival, etc. And so it was that I did the laundry for 3 weeks in the sink. I drained and replaced the water until it ran clear and agitated with my hands .HELLOOO !!  My socks came out cleaner than ever before !  Well, that was a revelation! 
 Saturday I was in my little local market, about the size of a 1 1/2 car garage when I fell upon this handy dandy washing machine!!  Never again would I fear prolonged power outages or a parts arrival!   I asked my husband if I could get it as an early Christmas present. He thought about it and said "Yes". HAH!!  In case of an EMP attack over Unityville we will have clean clothes. We shall do laundry without batting an eye !  
I washed the inside with that great smelling cleaning fluid that you can make yourself out of vinegar, sodium bicarb, lemon juice, water and Dawn dish washing liquid. It leaked for awhile but finally the wood swelled once again with the hot water.  I already had a wringer since the 1970's so I just set it on the rim and it fit like a glove. It's been a very long time since it's been with it's washing machine.

I scrubbed down the outer bucket and it said "The Queen"   made by the Purnell Mfg. Company in Reading, Pa.  I think I'll shine this baby up a little bit.  (:>

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to make KIELBASA

Or "kabasy", as we pronounce it.This recipe is the absolute very best kielbasa I have ever tasted. 

First comes the marinade over night.You will need a pork butt 5-6 lbs and a beef chuck roast, about 2 lbs. Cut into 1 - 1 /2"wide strips , do NOT grind them yet. I remove the fat from the beef but use ALL the fat from the pork.Do not use a pork is too lean. You need to have a liberal amount of fat included in the kielbasa mixture. Beef fat is hard and NO good for you. Pork fat is soft, gives GREAT flavor and is also no good for you.Beef fat is worse.

Here is the recipe for the MARINADE : 1 pint of water    6 garlic cloves (minced fine)   1 TB  garlic powder  (NO, it will not be too much)   4 TB kosher salt   1 TB ACCENT seasoning  1 TB  white sugar   2 TB ground coarse black pepper    1 TB  SWEET   paprika  (not regular paprika)  1 TB  marjoram.   Boil the seasonings in the pint of water then let it cool.  Place your pork and beef strips in a large bowl and pour the cooled mixture over it. Mix it well in the marinade, cover and refrigerate over night or even 24 hrs.
 You now grind your meat using the coarser holes attachment  and knead, knead, knead the meat as it enters the bowl beneath. It blends it well and the meat comes out soft and very tender afterwards.
 You will need hog casings. These you can buy at country mom & pop grocery stores or butcher shops.I ask for them and my local shop orders them for me. During hunting season  they are usually in stock.They come packed in salt water and you can freeze them and they last FOREVER.Cut the casings in 4 ft lengths and place them in a bowl of warm water. First I place a food strainer in the sink and run a stream of water through the casings to flush them and remove the salt.Rub a little olive or vegetable oil over the nozzle of the sausage stuffer so the casings slip easily over it.Push the casings gently over the horn. When you get to the end,don't tie it UNTIL the meat arrives at the end of the sausage stuffing horn. Otherwise air gets pushed through and the casing will fill with air.Once the air has passed and the meat reaches the end of the nozzle , place a tie on the end.As you shove meat through the sausage stuffer, keep air out of the chimney as you feed the ground meat into it.YOUTUBE has many demonstrations on sausage making. I wanted to share THIS recipe with you. It is the BEST kielbasi I have ever tasted.

Hold your hand against the nozzle as the meat enters the casings and exert light pressure so that the casing fills well. If you get skinny & irregular fillings, stop the machine and work the meat down the casing by gently squeezing and sliding the meat downward. Then work the slack in the casing back up onto the nozzle. As you keep working at this you will become better & better. If an air pocket forms that you can't work free, make a pin hole to release the air.

Place your finished masterpieces on platters in the refrigerator or a dishpan overnight to dry.Flip them over to dry the moist underside.Bag'em up and freeze them.

When it's time to cook them, I boil mine first then gently fry it to brown it. YUM !!!   It will be pale in color because it's not smoked If you smoke it , it comes out red. You can add liquid Smoke  to the marinade if you prefer a smoked flavor but don't have a smoke house.Enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It is time to start little peat pots . Don't spend large sums on starter pots. That's baloney!  Instead, crack your eggs open at the tip when you cook them.You now have an excellent starter pot that will leach calcium into the potting soil.I cut my egg cartons into single rows. That width fits perfectly on my windowsill. These eggshell peat pots are 2 weeks old and the tomato plants are doing just fine.