125 posts categorized "Food"

hello

Thedonald

How are you all?  We are well into the month of January and it's been a few months since I've posted.  We stayed home this winter instead of going to Texas, Jim was hit very hard with pneumonia this past October and it actually had taken a few months to finally get his strength back and is finally almost 100%.

We got 15 chicks this past September and they are doing awesome and are 17 weeks.  When we got the 15 chicks Jim was hoping that one of them would be a rooster.  Well sure enough, I informed him after feeding them one morning that I think he got his wish, one was indeed a rooster, one of the Delaware's was a roo and he seems like a very nice fellow and should work out just fine.

Donald

We have gotten down to 0° during the night a few times and they did just fine.  I actually think raising chicks in the fall/winter months is much nicer.  We do not heat our chicken coop and don't believe in doing so, it's just how we feel about it.  If you do that's fine you have to do what works for you and your chickens. 

Feedingtime

We plan to integrate both the "bigs" and "littles" as we call them.  Right now they are separate, but they have been able to see each other on a daily basis looking at each other through the fence.

Feeding2

Last spring when we got our batch of chickens we got 6 roosters but one of the hens ended up being a rooster.  Our plan was to pick a rooster to keep so that we can hatch our own chicks and the others we would butcher and put in our freezer.  After seeing how the roosters did one-on-one with the hens we ended up with the rooster we have now and we named him Rudy.  Long story short, we cut up two of the roosters (they weren't that big) and I made chicken stock with what was left of the carcass.  There is nothing more tasty or nutritious than stock you make yourself.

Canning1

Chickenstock

Let's see what else has been happening since I've posted last.  Our cook stove isn't looking so new anymore and I will say it makes an awesome woodfired pizza.

Cook stove

I wanted to grow pumpkins so that I could either can or freeze the pumpkin to use later in the year.  I ended up with only 2 pumpkins and probably got 6-7 cups of puree, but I was able to make a couple of pies with it over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and still have some in the freezer to make something else with it.

Pumpkinpie

Back in August we drove to Iowa to pick up this beauty.  The top of the cabinet needed some work on it, and Jim with a little bit of help from me got it looking pretty nice.  We cleaned and oiled it and she runs like a top.  I couldn't believe how nice she sews and I can't wait to start sewing on her.

Treadlemachine2
Life is treating us pretty good here.  We have totally embraced winter and even read a Little House on the Prairie book called The Long Winter, out loud to each other.  That was quite nice and I couldn't imagine going through a winter like they went through.  I recently bought a t-shirt from The Prairie Homestead which is a place I love to visit, but the shirt reads Old Fashioned on Purpose, and that is how I live my life now, I'm Old Fashioned on Purpose.

You all have a wonderful day.


todays happenings

I don't usually use sugar in recipes, so when I find a recipe that uses not only maple syrup, but only has 4 ingredients in the whole recipe I just have to try it. These are called Blue Dory Cookies. I have to say these are a pretty good cookie. I did cut the recipe in half, figuring that we didn't need to have 40 cookies around the house tempting us.

Maplecookies

Are you getting tired of seeing eggs or chickens on the blog yet? LOL...Today Jim found the tiniest of eggs in the chicken run this morning after letting them out of the coop.  It was the absolute cutest egg I had ever seen.  I did crack it open and the whites were there and just a little bit of what was the yoke.  I had researched why it happens that a hen lays a very tiny egg and it just happens.  One website called it a fairy egg.

Small egg

Still on our lock down over here.  Just read tonight that we had one death in our county.  I'm not sure if it was related to Coronavirus or not the details of the death are not released yet.  It's starting to hit pretty close to home, especially when we live in such a small location.

Stay healthy everyone.


hunkering down

Sunset

Sugarbush

Bottleone

Cornedbeefdinner670

Outside670

How are you all doing? Sugaring is in full force up here on the ridge in Southwest Wisconsin, we are also now hunkering down now that the Coronavirus has made it's appearance here in the United States.  We are well stocked here and just planning to stay put for awhile.  Nope we didn't go crazy with the toilet paper, we are good on that. 

You could almost say this was mud season as well as sugaring season (LOL) but last night we got some snow after most if not all of our snow had melted, not sure if we can call it a sugar snow.  We have gotten some really good syrup so far though and we are quite happy about that.

St Patrick's day came and since the bars and restaurants in Wisconsin are closed and only doing take out (by the way we don't have too many restaurants to choose from near us anyway) so I decided to make corned beef and cabbage at home instead of not doing it.

I hope you all are staying home and healthy.  It seems our lives for what we once knew may be forever changed.


spring is in the air

It's a few days into March already and spring seems like it's just around the corner.  I'm sure though we'll be getting another snowstorm at some point before winter decides to make it's departure here in Southwest Wisconsin.

Tea670

Are you a tea drinker? I only started drinking coffee about 15+ years ago and did not drink tea, that is until I had a cup over at a friends cabin in upper Wisconsin, and I have been hooked. I'm not a fan of just straight black tea or green tea.  I love the one that we've been drinking in the evening. It is a bit more spendy but seeing that we only drink one cup in the evening I figure I deserve that pleasure.

Crustytop

Twoloaves2

Oh my goodness, I am totally in love with the whole sourdough baking process.  I have finally started to master sourdough baking.  I don't use any commercial flour in my bread recipe, we grind our own flour, which has actually taken me a while to figure out.  The bread I made the other day I used half fresh ground rye and half fresh ground wheat, with the sourdough starter.  Both breads turned out absolutely beautiful and delicious.

Gathering1

Sugaring season is upon us and it's going to be the first time without our Sadie running around the sugar bush, or trying to drink up the sap that is running over the side before it hits the ground as Jim is pouring it into the tank we use to gather the sap.  Sadie loved this time of year as well as the snow, she was a good companion out in the bush.  Especially like tonight when the sun is going down, and darkness has crept up on us, and hearing the coyotes in the distance, I definitely feel the void with her gone.  We sure do miss our Sadie girl.  Despite missing Sadie it feels really good to be sugaring again.  It feels so good to smell the air after being cooped up in the house during the cold winter days that sometimes prevented us from venturing outdoors, at least preventing me from getting outside as much as I'd have liked to.


sourdough whole wheat bread

Here's an update on my sourdough starter that I had started.  As things were progressing along or not progressing I made a few adjustments.  My starter on the right is a totally new starter and it's made with Wheat Montana unbleached all purpose flour. The one on the left is one of the original starters that I started with, the flour was 1/4 cup Wheat Montana unbleached ap flour and 1/4 cup of our Wheat Montana berries that I freshly ground each time I fed the starter.  But, it wasn't moving a whole lot, it was starting very slowly.  I figured it out though.  Many people said that they would weigh the flour and water and many people said that there was no need to do that.  I did a bit of checking on the amount of flour I was putting into the starter and was adding a lot less flour to my starter.  I'm guessing I wasn't adding enough flour for the wild yeast in the flour to start moving.  When I started to weigh my flour and adding only my fresh ground wheat and no all purpose flour my starter really took off.  Last night it had risen so high I put it into a bowl incase it overflowed, it didn't but I will be putting it into a larger container from now on.

Sourdoughstarter

Last night I started an easy overnight bread dough which is much like the crusty bread I had made a few years ago. 

I love the bowl that used to be my grandma's bowl that she used to make bread in.  I think of her every time I use it for bread.

Restingbreaddough

Yummy bread, I can't wait to try it.

Baked bread

Whole wheat crusty bread

Slicedbread

So this is my results of making sourdough starter and the results are wonderful.


cooking venison

We have been known to grill in the winter months around here.  With the deer Jim got he grilled some steaks from the backstrap and they were absolutely delicious.

Grilling

Venison steaks

I wasn't always a fan of deer meat when I was young, maybe it was just the way it was cooked.  I always felt it was tough to eat.  I made a tamale pie with the ground venison and it was so tasty, we are getting a few meals out of it which I love.

Tamale pie

I've been finding some really good recipes but the thing is they are all on YouTube, so I have to write them down.  I have this notebook that I've been logging what we've been canning and the amounts.  I thought why not put recipes into this notebook as well. 

Notebook

I love to hand write my recipes in pencil, just incase I need to change things in any of my entries.  I got this tamale pie recipe from Lori over at Whippoorwill Holler.  It really is the best tamale pie.

Tamalepierecipw

We don't have really much snow right now, we got a dusting the other night, but we have definitely had some cold temps, so with cold temps I love to cook.


in the kitchen

It's been really busy here around the homestead.  Jim's been working outside doing odds and ends, getting rid of the burn pile that has grown over the year.  It's always good to burn it before it gets too big and the fire ends up being too huge.  Stacking wood by the sugaring area for when it's sugaring time, we definitely don't want to be low on wood when we're boiling sap.

I stayed in and did some prep work for a recipe I wanted to make this week.  I had to go to town to get a couple of the ingredients that I didn't have on hand, one being chili sauce.  Now, I'm a label reader and if it has high fructose corn syrup in it I won't buy it.  Well the two chili sauces that they carried both had it in them...ugh!  I just couldn't pull the trigger to buy either of them.  So, I pulled out my phone and looked up homemade chili sauce and I found a recipe for a maple chili BBQ sauce, okay I could work with that.  When I got home I made the sauce and made another one that is actually chili sauce, and they both are delicious.  Instead of vinegar I used apple cider vinegar.  I just may end up using them both in the recipe I'm making.

Sauces

A few days ago I started 3 sourdough starts.  I'm actually experimenting with starting them with different flours, all purpose flour, our fresh ground flour and I did two yogurt and buttermilk starts with all purpose and fresh ground, just to see how each of them do.  It looks like a science lab in my kitchen right now :)

Here I am ready to do the first feeding on one of them.  I mixed 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup fresh ground whole wheat flour together and added that with 1/2 cup room temperature water to my sourdough starter, covered it up and put it back to do it's work for another 12 hours, which then I will feed it again.

Sourdoughstarter2

See the beautiful action that is going on here?  You can also see where the starter had risen at one point then fell back down.

Sourdoughstarter3

Here are my two yogurt/buttermilk starters, not much action going on with them, they take a bit longer to get going I'm told.

Buttermilkyogurt starter

We woke up to 0° here in Southwest Wisconsin this morning, hubby says it's cold out but no breeze of any kind so he says it's quite beautiful out.  I'll just believe him and stay in my nice cozy log home with the fire burning in the wood stove :)


canning season

Our canning season is still going strong.  We went to the apple orchard this fall and bought some honey crisp apples.  We usually get the seconds as they are cheaper in price.  I received an email from the orchard we usually go to that they had a BOGO sale going on, which is buy one box, get one box free.  Since it was busy here this fall, but who am I kidding, it's a ALWAYS busy here, but since I was busy I didn't get to the apples right away so we lost a few to rotting.  BUT, I was able to make applesauce out of the remaining good apples.  We really didn't lose that many but it sure seemed like it at the time I was going through them.

Applebowl

This time before I cooked the apples I peeled them.  Oh my goodness, I will always and forever do that when I make applesauce again.  

Potofapples

It was so much easier when I was putting the apples through the sieve, I was not fighting the peelings.

Sauce

Twenty-four pints of delicious applesauce ready to be put down with all the other canning we did this fall.

Applesauce

I not only canned the applesauce, Jim and I canned more venison stew from the deer he got and the potatoes, onions, and carrots we grew in our garden this year.

Earlier in the fall we canned our peppers and potatoes and made tomato sauce with the tomatoes we picked.  When I say we, I do mean both of us.  I am very fortunate to have a husband who enjoys canning as much as I do.

Peppers

Tomatoes
Potatoes

Onions
It really feels good when you do a garden, and come harvest time it's very exciting to preserve the food we've grown.  It's a lot of work but so worth it in the end.


german vs finnish

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I found this yummy German Apple Pancake over at The Red Feedsack.  Yesterday I made it for breakfast, unfortunately I thought I only had three small apples, because of that there wasn’t much apple filling.  I also didn’t put powdered sugar on it so mine was pretty ugly to look at but we did put our fresh maple syrup on it...YUM!  

It’s much like the Finnish pannukakku I make and Mr seemed to like the German Apple Pancake much better than pannukakku.  I liked them both, tho the German one did fill me up longer than the Finnish one does.  It was a special treat to the end of our sugaring season which was a huge success in both quantity and quality. 


elderberries

Elderberries5

Elderberries2

Elderberries1

Elderberries3

Elderberries6

Elderberrysyrup

I will confess that I had no idea what an elderberry looked like.  I have heard of elderberries however, but having grown up in the "city" I've not seen elderberries, blueberries and thimbleberries yes, but not elderberries.  Well we found some and have made elderberry syrup and elderberry tincture, both have wonderful health benefits.  We also dried some of the berries for later use.

I get so excited when we find things like this and it appears that not many folks around here use the berries for anything, because now that we are aware of the elderberries, we see the bushes all over along the side of the roads here.