Homestead Happenings

July has been busier than a humming-bird on crack.  I can’t believe the month is about over already. We’ve been very busy on our little homestead with gardening, feeding, canning, cleaning, building, clearing and all the other ings it takes to have a homestead.

The gardens are coming in strong.  The cucumbers have been a good harvest too.  I’ve put up 24 pints of bread and butter pickles.

We finished up with the spring green beans and ended up with six gallons in the freezer.  The Z Man has planted more green beans for me to can, but we aren’t sure how well they are going to do.  Between the rabbits and the heat, they aren’t looking too great.

The sweet potatoes and the butternut squash are looking great!  Cant wait for those.

The pigs are growing and the chickens are doing fine, but none of us like this heat.

Chickens 1

Our tomatoes are finally coming in and I canned 8 quarts of tomato juice last weekend.  Perfect timing too as this week I opened my last jar from last years crop.

This weekend I’ll be canning salsa.

The Z Man’s pumpkins are really amazing this year!  Is it bad that I am ready for fall, football and pumpkin everything?

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!!!

Pumpkin 2

We’ve had some really strong storms lately, but some don’t seem to mind….

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It’s true, rain is a good thing…. it keeps everything growing and green.

Front Yard 1

We are so blessed… Thank you God for loving us.

And thank you to the Z Man for all of his beautiful photography.

I hope y’all are having a wonderful summer.

Till next time,

Lori

 

 

Herb Time

I use a lot of herbs in my cooking which makes it important for me to take tender care of my herb garden.   Ha, actually I mostly neglect them all year long except for early spring and late fall when I clean their beds and perhaps the Z Man gives them a fresh coat of mulch.  Herbs are very forgiving and are the easiest thing to grow.

Well, except for cilantro!  I have the hardest time growing cilantro which really stinks because I use a lot of it in cooking and when canning my salsa.

In the early spring I always have some pop up in the garden voluntarily but it doesn’t last long.

This year the Z Man transplanted some of it into pots for me and they are looking pretty good (for now).

Cilantro 1

All the other herbs (rosemary, thyme and mint) made it through the winter and are growing nicely.

I’ve already made the first round of cuts on the herbs and have hung them to dry.  I like to try to get 3 cuts dried for winter use.  Especially the sage, I use quite a bit when we grind our pork sausage in the fall.

My oregano is going crazy this year, the first cut didn’t even make a dent in it.  I’ll need to do another cut this weekend.

Oregano 1

The sage is a little slower growing, but I managed to get two good size bundles hung.

Sage 2

Here is a picture of the sage before I cut it.  This sage plant is probably 5 years old now.

Sage 1

To dry my herbs all I do is cut them, wrap a rubber band around the base and hang them in the kitchen for a few months.  Looking at them hanging during the summer months gives me this kind of old day medicine woman feeling.  Which reminds me I want to share my rose toner with y’all when the roses start blooming.

I once saw Jamie Oliver on a cooking show going nuts over finding some dried oregano that was still on the stems in a little specialty food store.  Look at me having that in my kitchen all summer long… 🙂

Herbs are good for you and add so much flavor to meals, you may even find yourself using less salt in place of fresh (or dried) herbs.

If you are new to gardening or perhaps have limited space, try growing herbs.  You can make your flower beds multipurpose by planting herbs in them.  And, think about all the money you’ll save by doing it yourself.

Have fun and have a great day!

Till Next Time,

Lori

 

 

 

To The Love Of My Life

Today makes 365 days that the Love of my Life put down the cigarettes.  In his words the decision was because “in 15 years I want to feel good and be able to do the things I’m going to want to do”

My husband, the Z Man is a very active man.  He enjoys being busy, whether it is chopping wood, working in the garden, tooling around on an old car or just piddling around the house.  Sitting still is something we rarely do because we like to keep busy and trust me there is always something to keep us busy on our little homestead.

Over the years we have both tried to quit smoking and have failed at it.  But I can honestly say in my heart that we’ve got it beat this time.  I am certain neither of us will pick up the smokes again.

That’s not to say that we don’t have the occasional craving for a cigarette, we do.  But the thought of actually smoking one pretty much disgusts us now.  You can read more about that here.

I also know in my heart that if the Z Man hadn’t decided to quit, I probably wouldn’t have.   Even after he quit, I still continued to smoke for many months.

This is where I need to tell you that my husband is much more patient and gracious than I am.  How in the world he managed to stay quit while I was still smoking…  I don’t know.

What I do know is one of his greatest strengths is determination.  He will figure it out, he will make it work, he will fix it and he will succeed.  That’s my husband.

One of his classic Z-isms is “I’m thankful that God gave me the ability to learn how to do many things, sometimes I just wish he wouldn’t test me so often”  I last heard that as we were pulling the well pump out of the ground to for repair.

So today (if you will obliged me, please)  I want to take time to make sure that my husband knows that he is the best part of my life and every day I thank God for him and for loving us.

To the smartest Man in the world, from the luckiest Woman in the world….

Thank you!

wedding pic 1

I LOVE YOU FOREVER,

Lori

 

What’s Cooking 4/19/16?

This week is going to be a use it up week for meals.  I noticed this morning that I have 6 dozen eggs in the refrigerator.  We need to eat some eggs y’all!  I made a batch of deviled eggs this weekend that we really enjoyed with our hamburgers and I think hamburgers has become our new favorite meal.  SO GOOD!

Clearly eggs need to also become our favorite meal.

Deviled eggs it shall be….

Several years back I got into grilled cheese sandwiches.  I experimented with all different types of cheeses and breads.  I think our favorite was a grilled gouda cheese with an awesome fig jam (that was given to us) spread on marble rye bread.  I think typing that just made me hungry!  Again, SO GOOD!

I’m going to start experimenting with deviled eggs (like I did with grilled cheese) instead of making the same recipe every time.  I saw one recipe that included caviar.  That is not in the budget, and honestly I’ve had caviar and wasn’t impressed really.  What would be fun is for y’all to share your favorite deviled egg recipes with me to try.

What’s Cooking 4/19/16?

  • Breakfast: Kashi autumn wheat cereal
  • Lunch: tuna salad with whole grain Wasa crackers, deviled eggs
  • Dinner: sausage and potato hash with either fried eggs or I’ll make it into a strata with a salad on the side.

Here is a pic of the eggs I boiled this weekend.  I heard on some cooking show that the tell tell sign of an over cooked egg is the green ring around the yolk.  No green on these eggs.

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I love my chickens, they bless us with the most beautiful eggs every day.  Like the Z Man says, “the best eggs you’ll ever eat”

Here is a picture of my favorite crackers that I’m having with my lunch today.  They are plain and simple, three ingredients and only 40 calories, and good too.

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What do y’all have cooking today?

Have a great day!

Till Next Time,

Lori