Friday, August 28, 2015

Free Garlic Seeds... again!

My garlic is harvested and dried and now I have a lot of garlic seeds to give away.  Originally, I received the seeds from an internet friend that lives in Finland.

If you would like some, leave a comment with your email address.  I will NOT publish your email address.  Then I can email you my mailing address.  When you get that, mail me a self-addressed stamped envelope with TWO first class stamps on it, and I will send you some seeds! If you live outside of the USA, I am not sure what to do about postage.  It would cost a lot more I believe.

Then, when you get them, plant them and in two years you will have your own lovely garlic to eat.  After that, you can plant the cloves and have garlic every year.

It is a wonderful variety.  I still have some, just sitting in a basket in my kitchen from last year and it is still perfectly good.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

The chickens are molting... so what can I do?

Like I've mentioned before, sometimes I just like to play.  Lately, the chickens have been molting and dropping lots of feathers.  I like feathers, so I picked up some of the nicer ones and even found a crow feather the other day.  I thought maybe I could make a "Dream Catcher."  I worked very hard yesterday, in the barn and garden, so I'm a bit weary today and have been just kind of taking it easy, so today was the perfect day.  The frame of the Dream Catcher is from a mulberry tree sapling that I had to remove.  I peeled off the bark (and fed it to the goat) and bent it into a frame.  The cording is some of my handspun Jacob's sheep wool.  I like it.  What do you think?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

This morning in the kitchen...

I get up in the morning at 6 a.m. every day.  The days are getting shorter now... so it's dark then.  Here are two pictures I took in my kitchen this morning.  :)

I love early mornings...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Salsa 2015 !!!

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I posted my recipe for "Millenial Salsa" that I have been making since the year 2000.  Today, I came up with a new recipe after looking at the recipes from 2 friends and adding my own experience.  This is just called ~

SALSA 2015

Here is how I did it.  You will need a 2 gallon stainless soup pot.

The following ingredients are minced in a food processor.

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled of course
20 smallish Jalapeno peppers, stem ends removed
4 cups minced yellow onions

Put all of that in the pot and then add ~

8 teaspoons sea salt
3 Tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups lemon juice (I used bottled)

Next, you will chop fresh tomatoes, coarsely, in the food processor.  I only used "grape" tomatoes, because that's what I had. Roma tomatoes would be an excellent choice.  It took about 1/3 of a bushel.  Put them in the pot until it is nearly full.

Carefully bring it to a simmer, stirring often.  Add ~

4 small cans of tomato paste and stir well.  Heat through.

I processed all of this in pint jars for 40 minutes in my steam canner.  (A water-bath needs the same time.)

I got 15 pints.  Here are some of them:

It's very good.  Of course, you can play with the recipe according to what you have on hand, but do add the vinegar and lemon juice at least.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Windfall Apples... the rest of the story

I worked through all of those apples and ended up with two apple pies, that I will freeze to bake later, and 7 pints of nice organic unsweetened apple sauce. The goat and the chickens got all the scraps and were very happy.  :)

Do you see that old jar lifter in the second picture?  I've been using that since 1976!

Windfall Apples...

About 18 years ago, I planted two apple trees.  The poor things have been almost totally neglected.  I think I've only pruned them maybe 3 times?  And I have NEVER sprayed them.  So, the apples are visited by many interesting (?) creatures and sustain a lot of damage.  Nevertheless, I can pick up the ones that are "sound" and cut out the bad parts and use the rest for whatever I like.  Today, I picked up a big apron-full and plan to make them into applesauce.

Years ago, before someone got the bright idea of growing our food with poisons, I suppose all the apples were like this.  Maybe they had fewer pests back then, or maybe not.  In any case, I am sure you could crush these, just as they are and make some wonderful apple cider, worms and all.

I once read a book by a lady who had moved to a South Sea Island with her husband.  This was many years ago.  Conditions were fairly primitive.  There was no "packaging" of food.  She wrote, "I soon learned that all that crawls is not garbage."

Every year I toy with the idea of spraying the trees.  Maybe they would be healthier, but I don't think I would.  I am so grateful for these apples!  They are sweet and crisp... and safe.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Breakfast musings.... bread & milk

Go into any grocery store in the USA and you will find a dizzying array of "cold cereal" choices.  Breakfast - made easy!  And many of them we find to be quite appealing, i.e. our beloved Cherrios, Fruit Loops, and even Shredded Wheat!  Ah.... no cooking, very little cleanup, kids and hubby are happy!  So, what's the downside if there is one (or more?)  Well, first of all, they are expensive.  Very expensive.  At our local Walmart, an 18 ounce box of Cherrios is $3.52 today.  27 ounces of Fruit Loops is $3.98.  15 ounces of Shredded Wheat is $2.48, and you can feel so virtuous eating this "healthy" choice, right?  Sorry.  It's not healthy. Read on below.

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation's website:

" Cold breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. Grains are mixed with water, processed into a slurry and placed in a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a tiny hole at high temperature and pressure, which shapes them into little o’s or flakes or shreds. Individual grains passed through the extruder expand to produce puffed wheat, oats and rice. These products are then subjected to sprays that give a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch.
In his book Fighting the Food Giants, biochemist Paul Stitt describes the extrusion process, which treats the grains with very high heat and pressure, and notes that the processing destroys much of their nutrients. It denatures the fatty acids; it even destroys the synthetic vitamins that are added at the end of the process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially damaged by the extrusion process."

Well, now that I've shot down your delusions about breakfast cereal.... (sigh), what can we do?  I mean, look, most of us not only are moms or dads, but we work full-time too.  Who has time to cook breakfast every morning? I have an idea for you.  You may never have heard of this.  It's called "Bread and Milk."

 What in the world is "Bread and Milk?"  Ah... I thought you'd never ask. Here is how you make it: Get a bowl, a spoon, some of your favorite bread, some milk of your choice, honey, raisins or other sweetening or chopped up fresh fruit.  Break the bread into little pieces into your bowl.  Drizzle on a little honey, and top with cold milk.  That's it!  I use homemade bread because that's what I have, but any bread is good and if you want a little more crunch, then toast it first! 
I not only love this for breakfast, but sometimes have it in place of other meals.  It's always available, quick and comforting.  I know... the kids are going to miss their extruded, overheated, denatured grains, but when did we, as parents, start making our decisions based upon what the children want.  Look, they don't want to brush their teeth, and they probably would choose to eat candy and drink soda for 3 meals a day.  Nope.  Not gonna happen on my watch!

When I was a young girl, whenever I would get sick, like with a cold, or mumps, or measles or Rubella... (yep, I had all of those) my sweet Daddy would make me something called "milk toast."  He would toast a slice of bread, heat some milk with a little butter and pepper and salt in a saucepan and pour it over the toast on a plate.  That was very appealing to me and so sweet of him.  I miss my Daddy very much.  So, there's another variety of bread and milk.

I am certain that you, my Gentle Readers, can come up with lots of other similar ideas. 
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