Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Got Eggs (again)? Make Quiche!

Yep, we're still in the middle of an egg glut, and still trying to find things to do with them.  We still can sell the extras, but many of them are still so small, so we leave them for us to eat.  Enter the creativity!
First, I made pasta.  Tons and tons of pasta (which is delicious, by the way), and I'll probably do it again, because it came out so well and it was fun to do.  But yet, I was looking for another way to use up a whole bunch of eggs.  Quiches are a good way.

It took me three days and 6 pie pans from the dollar store to do.  One day was spent cooking the separate ingredients and then refrigerating them after they'd cool.  Another day was spent making the crusts, refrigerating the dough and then forming the pies.  The third, all of it went together and then in to the oven to bake.  The result? 6 bacon, onion, mushroom and cheddar cheese quiches.  Yum! 

If you've never thought of using excess eggs in this manner, let me volunteer that it's fantastic.  With a pound of bacon, a pound of mushrooms, a bunch of onions, a little flour and butter and water, some herbs and salt and pepper and a lot of cheddar cheese (what good is quiche without a lot of cheese), you can have a number of meals.  Very inexpensive and easy to do.  It took me longer than I would have expected, but that's because I could only do a little each day.  I think I could have cranked them out in two days, easily.  Best part about them?  Not only are they delicious, they used 9 EGGS EACH!  Remember, the eggs are still pretty small.  But it did help me go through my stash. 

Bake these babies up and wrap them and freeze them well.  Anytime you need a meal, it's there.  Just warm them in the oven. 

Just another idea for eggstra eggs!
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last of the Season

Since we've been expecting hard frosts here (which I haven't seen yet, though some nights have gotten pretty chilly), it was time to bring in the last of the harvest.

Peppers, peppers, and more peppers.  And yes, those are some tomatoes in there, but they were picked long ago and just now ripened in the house, so they don't really count as much.  Anything we get makes me happy, so yeay!  Now to tally up the yield for the year. 

Percy says he's pretty sure that none of those things in there are food. 
I had a kid tell me in my class today that we're going to get three feet of snow tonight.  Huh.  I'll believe it when I see it.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rainy Fall Day

It threatened most of the day yesterday, but didn't materialize, but today the rain is finally here.  A nice, constant pitter-patter, which means nothing will get done out of doors.  Time to head to the sewing room.

I haven't spent a day in the sewing room in many months, if even then.  I think it could be longer than that.  But, as my son needs his Halloween costume done for Friday (which was news to me), I'm in for the duration.  Of course, I am completely procrastinating.  There's something about having to do something that just makes me not want to do it.  Ugh.  I'm a bad mother.  Okay, you've twisted my arm.  I'll get to it.

But before I do, let me show you what I made this morning...

A Halloween door hanging!  Can't really call it a wreath, can I?

Unfortunately, yesterday when I came home from work, I had found that my fall wreath had sort of exploded.  Ok, not exploded so much as disintegrated and fallen in large chunks onto the floor.  Bummer.  So I took that as a cue to make a new wreath for Halloween.  But as I started, I got another idea and went with it.

I like it.  And it goes with the rest of the decorating, too.

Now on to the Halloween costume!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Cheep Labor

The time has come to put the garden beds to bed.  The last things producing are the beans and the peppers, so they'll stay a bit longer, but the rest of it is done.  Time to call in the rototillers.

A really good way to do this would be to move the portable pen over a bed, put a few chickens in it, and let them have at it, but the pen's WAY over on the other side of the property, and it's heavy, so not today.
Instead, I opened the door to the garden, called them all over, and sprinkled the area with bread crumbs.  That got them to working. 

They probably worked for 45 minutes or so, and even the geese got in on it (weed control) for a while.  I'll try again today.  I think I'm still going to have to pull out the rototiller, which isn't thrilling, but if they can even get the area started, that's something.

Hooray for cheap labor!

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Little Boy, Little Boy

Conversation while driving home.

Me:  "Did you know that Megan lives in an apartment?"

Little Boy:  "Yeah, she told me."

Me:  "Which one is it, the yellow one or the white one?"

Little Boy:  "The white one.  She told me."

Me:  "Cool."

Little Boy:  "I don't know which one that is, though."

Me:  "I'll show you.  We're going to pass it in a minute."

Upon passing the house/apartment...

Me:  "There it is."

Little Boy:  "Right there?"

Me:  "Yep."

Little Boy:  "Oh wow.  She really has done very well for herself."

If I could bottle him and take him out on bad days, I really would.

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Last Man Out

In the summer, we simply have whole BATCHES of these guys flying around overhead.  We can sit on the deck and watch them go over our heads like air-traffic controllers.  By this time, though, not so much.  This is the last one I've seen around.  The cats caught him, and I got him away from them, only to have them catch him again.  I couldn't find him after that, so I thought they ate him, but then I saw him a few minutes later, flying right past me.  Guess he got away himself.

He is one cool customer, all right.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

So It Turns Out....

I'm fairly allergic to bee stings. 

While trying to flip over the inner cover on the hive on Saturday, I tripped and banged into it, causing the bees to come flying out at me, ready to sting.

Man, they were angry.  I wonder if they are still reliving the honey stealage from the other day.

Anywho, I got stung 9 times; 5 on my back, once on my head, once on my eyebrow, and once on each arm.  I look like a boxer who went too many rounds-one eye is fairly swollen.  My arms blew up and they ITCH.  My joints hurt.  The side of my head is all puffed out, and my back is nicely bumpy.

Good times.

I'm going to need another plan of attack if I plan on keeping bees--which I do.  I'm thinking armor?  Having my husband do it?  Keeping a doctor on retainer?  I haven't decided yet.  Stay tuned for a solution (I hope)!

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Put 'Em Up

As I type this, the last batch of apple butter is being processed in the water bath canner.  It's a good feeling.  After a very long day yesterday, and a shorter-long day today, I can say I've put up the 50 pounds of apples we picked on Saturday.

The result?
  • 9 quarts of apple sauce
  • 3 and a half pints of caramel apple butter
  • 3 pints of sweet cider apple butter
  • 4 half-pints of no-sugar apple jam for my dad
  • a whole bunch of dried apple rings
  • a bit of apple leather for the kids

Not enough.  I can't wait until our apple trees produce in a few years.  I will be putting up so much more, making cider, all that good stuff.  But I am thankful for what we had this year.  You can't beat fresh apple sauce, no matter how much of it there is. 

In addition, because I like to get as much use out of one canning session as I can, instead of doing lots of little canning sessions, I put up
  • 3 and half pints of concord grape jam
  • 3 pints of green tomato salsa
The nicest thing about this year's canning was that there was no waste.   The apple pulp I made to get the juice for my dad's jam was given to the chickens, who were more than happy to eat it.

The peels and cores that I did not give to the chickens went into making apple cider vinegar.

Basically, I just threw all the peels and cores into this bucket, topped them up with water, put some muslin over the top, and tied it with an unused shoelace (because that's how I roll).  In two months I should have vinegar.  Or a smelly mess.  Good thing the compost pile doesn't care either way!

With that done, it pretty much signals the end of canning season for me.  Once the apples are in and put up, the canner goes away.  Now I will be drying whatever tomatoes I can force to ripen in the newspaper in the house (because it's getting cold and they refuse to ripen any further outside), possibly making (and freezing) a jar of sauce here or there, stringing and freezing the peppers I can nurse along under the frost blanket in the garden, and if I come across a pumpkin or two, like this mama one,

I'll render it and freeze it.  But that's about it.  The year winds down.

I did a lot of canning this year, and a good amount of drying and freezing.  I am starting to feel like this farm is producing the way it should.  It still has a long way to go, and I know, when my birthday comes around next month I'll be making my resolutions as to what else I can do with it.  But for now I am pretty satisfied.  It's been a pretty good run so far.

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