Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Snow

What a pleasant surprise, snow in October! Not just a dusting but a regular snowfall downloaded from the flour sifter in the  sky.What to do when the pretty white stuff confines me to the house? Make bread and pea soup, of course! The aroma of baking bread is especially wonderful when you enter a house sniffing the air and stomping the heavy white stuff off your boots.

I have an old recipe book from my mother dating back to the 1950's.The cover has been missing for as long as I can remember. I love the recipes in it , especially the bread recipes.The 'WHY' of things are explained in detail.For example , 'WHY' you have to sift biscuit recipes 3 times instead of once~ because unevenly distributed baking powder will leave you with yellow specks scattered throughout the finished product.(And you wondered why Beulah won the blue ribbon in the biscuit contest and you didn't.).

I only have one of the 2 volume set of this recipe book . I should probably search the websites for its' mate.The pea soup below turned out scrumptious.I added a tablespoon of pearl barley to each jar to add substance since I didn't have as many carrots as I would have liked.I cooked up a 15.5 lb cured ham the other day from a pig we had butchered awhile back,divided up the left overs into zip lock bags with gravy and stored them away for future quickie dinners.The ham bone became pea soup and I was able to get 15 qt jars to store up for the winter & spring.Yummy! Hot bread and a bowl of pea soup , sitting next to the wood fire and watching the snow fall. (:>

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I love my Nubian goats. Always shy and peaking around a corner. Unobtrusive. Never the nasty ram of my sheep herd can be.Goats are delightful companions of horses, always getting along....for some reason unexplained. Sheep, on the other hand will be kicked and untolerated.. A goat can shove his head inside the grain pail and not be challenged...or not be killed.. How does that happen??? I don't know.My Nubians can fight their way into the grain pail competing with a horse's head and be tolerated. How does that happen??  I don't know,
I don't understand their reasoning. Three years ago I brought these 2 Nubian wethers home from a goat rescue. I had no info on them. I think, now, they were probably 2 old fellows,Burt died in July. I think Ernie will pass away in the next few days. I shall miss them both. Two lovely friends . 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It is nearly November and of course you know what that means for the turkey crowd.Here is a video of one of my Narangassett hens who refuses to be cooped.She is no dope.Instead she remains aloof  and sleeps roosting atop the roof of the chicken/turkey house.I don't butcher my Narangasset turkeys anyway.They are my pets (:> This little gal is actually a cross between her Narangasset mama and Bourbon Red gobbler daddy which has given her darker brown coloring and can easily be mistaken for a wild turkey.Since it's the beginning of fall turkey season this coming week, I shall have to catch her with a crab net and lock her up in turkey jail until the guns are put away.
Right now she's lonely and is calling upon her friends to c'mon out and play.I shall now take my life in my hands and open the door.................

You have no idea how dangerous this is to my health.Sixteen  to twenty pound birds flying off their roosting posts straight outta the door,over my head.A cacophony  of crazed  turkeys and chickens push and shove and crowd around my legs all trying to gain the upper hand to get first dibs at the grain pail I try to drag the pail upward away from their reach.Five  turkey heads , all flushed red with competitive anxiety ,are frantically pecking and burrowing  into the grain. My coffee can scooper dumps the first pile onto the ground. (SIGH) I can finally get away long enough to leave a trail of multiple scoops several feet apart from each other so that ALL may eat, not just the big bullies with the BIG appetites.Thirty pounds a day over the past three weeks .I have  thoroughly searched every nook and cranny of freezers and refridge  for  freezer burned  goodies.I throw open the grocery cupboard doors and toss boxes and bags of old cereal ,nuts and whatever over my shoulders into bins to carry out to them.It is never enough They are Halloween turkeys waiting to devour.
They peck at my rings, my anniversary ring (:<   I hate that.  If you buy a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey from me , please keep a look out for some shiny stones in your stuffing .

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Whopping Big Train !!

And so, one hour after we expected the train to arrive, Pop Pop came speeding past at a zooming 23 mph !! ( A tree fell across the tracks and had to be cut up and removed so the train could continue down the tracks. ~ the reason for the 1 hour delay)) It was worth the wait. Soooooo~  what's more fun than reading poetry to Nana on Grandparents Day????    Hmmmmmm..........let me think ..................

Last Friday was Grandparent's Day at my grandchildren's school.It's the kind of school that makes you smile and thank God everyday that your kids are able to attend there.The kids love it (:> I have never missed a Grandparents Day special in the past. Each grade in the lower elementary school puts on a special skit with singing and of course my eyes start to sting and blur and my nose starts running as I rummage through my purse for a tissue that's NEVER THERE AT THE RIGHT TIME !!!  I can cry at the drop of a dime but music hits the right button every time (:<   This year, despite phone call reminders and the note under the refrigerator magnet,..........I forgot. I didn't remember until somewhere around midnight afterward..I was mortified and every other ...tified  word that the dictionary contains .I felt HORRIBLE that my grandson's Nana wasn't there for them.So I decided to make it up to them the .Maybe I should buy them a new built in indoor swimming pool (???) Or a pony??? Or... at least a liverewurst sandwich.I decided to spend the day with them and hit the Pumpkin Festival and then buy pizza and then intercept POP POP'S TRAIN !!!   

Sunday, October 2, 2011

This is a picture of last years grapes. I was unable to get a pic of this years' crop before it was finished but I was certainly NOT disappointed . YOU-TUBE is filled with videos on grape vine management . Plan on pruning in the winter or early spring during the dormant season.This year we made jelly and grape juice once again. The yummiest recipe is 3 handsful of grapes, 1/4 cup on sugar, drop each in a qt  canning jar and fill with boiling water. Then can in hot water bath or pressure can on 3 lbs pressure accord
ing to Ball Blue Book.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Digging For Gold

I  figured , with all this rain, that I should check on the status of my potato harvest .Usually I wait until the first frost in November to dig them up , put them in boxes and store them in the cellar.This year has been par-tic-uuuu-larly WET and I was concerned my potatoes might get soggy and rot. I dug up part of a row and was delighted to find the spuds in excellent health and some the size of my shoe.Each plant brought forth a potato family similar to our own.The big daddy potato, the mama size and the big kid,adolescent the little kid and the baby not yet weaned from the stem (:>

I tossed these in a box,with their dirt protective  layer and brought them inside.They will dry and the dirt will protect them from deteriorating for many months to come, as long as they are in the cool cellar.We don't have a root cellar but I have a wood stove upstairs that keeps the house toasty warm but the cellar remains cold but not freezing all winter.Perfect ! (:>