So four weeks later into my promise to blog weekly,here we are.
4 WEEKS LATER.
So remember when I told y’all September was just going to be surviving, and treading water: a) get through the preserving harvest and b) basically try to get us into our new routines. So when I say “barely surviving September”? yeah, it pretty much was touch and go. Our morale was low. and by “our” I mean “Mine”. I felt a little overwhelmed and a lot like I just had to keep adulting over and over again until I died. It was not my favorite feeling and I vowed to ground myself more by making some life changes. Stay tuned 🙂
I owe you a blog but I feel the menus I’m posting are still relevant and can be used anytime. It just gives an overview of menu ideas when “things happen”, the main thing being life and children. It is the super blog, and the mother of menus.
The other thing we’ve been busy doing is finishing up harvest time. So harvest time right now is apples, pears, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins. I’ve been making apple pie filling, applesauce, dehydrated apple chips, putting apples in bags tossed with just cinnamon and sugar and freezing, so we can quickly take and pop into an apple crisp or something like that and that’s basically what I do with apples.
I also have been preserving jams and salsas. I had ground cherries this year galore so we’ve been popping those into salsas. I was not able to get many red tomatoes as I took down our small makeshift hoophouse when hurricane Dorian hit in order to make sure things didn’t blow in the yard or somebody ended up with a post through their window. We let the tomatoes sort of chill which meant that there was some overhead rain on them but they were healthy enough by this point didn’t cause any issues with blossom rot or blight. It just really meant it wasn’t warm enough for them to turn red in our area, so I got very few red tomatoes but what I did get were amazing, They were roasted and made into spaghetti sauce, jarred and frozen.
The rest of the green tomatoes are going to be made ( I have OODLES) into chow chow and salsa Verde (a Green salsa )The other thing I’ve been preserving is carrots hauling them and chopping and blanching and putting them in the freezer.
I also did peach jam and am hoping to do a few more preserves up as well as some more vegetables blanched and chopped for the freezer. Carrot cake took center stage for our thanksgiving birthday cake made with grated carrots from our garden. And I always do up an extra grated batch to freeze for another cake or muffins later . I use Martha Stewart’s recipe and it never disappoints.
I already did peas as well as corn on the cob which I bought four dozen from the Valley,boiled them up and cut them (with a wonderful little tool from Pampered Chef that takes the corn right off the cob!). They went into 4 cup bags and popped it into the freezer. I popped it into the freezer to flash freeze it on a cookie sheet so that allows me to take out what I need at the time. The corn I froze into 4 cup bags because I LOVE to make Pioneer Woman Roasted corn dip https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/roasted-corn-dip/and it’s so much better with fresh frozen corn. We love our dips !! I’ll also be finishing up making salsa now because I had so many green tomatoes I’m going to have to purchase some red tomatoes from a farmer I know. I still think it is worth it to have all that home grown goodness and fresh tomatoes fresh peppers and fresh onions into a jar it also lets me have control over the sweetness the chunkiness of the vegetables and allows me to make sure that it’s not too hot and as I am not a spicy salsa person and neither are my kids or anyone else I know (my sister Jody is anti-spice everything )
The pigs have already gone to processing, so the freezer is full. The turkeys are in the freezer as well. We had thanksgiving a week early as we thought we had hockey and horses but a nasty bug sidelined Charlize that weekend.
Thirty meat hens have gone to the processor which will feed us for the winter till next spring when we do another batch. Some people don’t feel like real farmers or homesteaders unless you process (kill, pluck, and gut) them yourself. If you do that’s great however My husband has zero interest ( ha I can’t even picture it), and I grew up with my family butchering our own food, so I could do it and get help. However I work full time and want the process of raising them to be enjoyable, safe and stress free for both of us so off to my good friends Kevin and Karen at Thousand Hill Farms who are so reasonable in price and Dept of Agriculture inspected. My time and peace of mind are valuable, my friends, so this works for us .
So the freezers are getting full to provide for us all winter. The biggest bright spot of September is full freezers and canning cupboards, and beautiful weather.
Our new Ram sheep Buddy, is settling in beautifully although he’s really really eager to meet the girls (and has already gone through one fence) Which is good as that means he has the drive however I need him to hold off a little as I do not want February lambs . So I’ve actually been keeping them in separate pens, which will allow me to have March lambs if he is able to get the job done this year. I am not sure Tyger, my oldest ewe, is still cycling in order to have that opportunity (she is 13) however it does give me peace of mind knowing that should something happen to Tyger, Willow (her daughter ) will not be alone, and there is all that WOOL ❤️ We just finished up our farmers market and I sold out of wool dryer balls many times over I’m just getting another fleece washed and dried now.
Thanks for sticking with me as I stumbled through September and free fell into October. It is my birthday month and I turned 47, and I have truly LIVED every minute of my life. Which means I felt deeply the good, the bad, the joy and the sorrow. Nothing could be more satisfying as a whole. I am feeling much less overwhelmed and feel good about where I am heading. And one thing I have learned over the years, if I am good, the rest of the homestead is good. Take care of you <3
PS I am so very blessed to share a picture of my cutie pie grandson Owen grandson on his 4th birthday party. He is obsessed with keys and locks right now:)