Welcome to Sally's Country Home I hope you enjoy your time here. I have links to the books I have written posted here. Along with a few family history links. I have projects we have done and are doing. Some ideas on food storage and other hints. Along with our homestead chatter and crafts.
Yes, in fact we did get rain off and on for the past week. I know for others they have way too much with the floods and all that have devastated areas. But we were very very dry after a winter with hardly any snow. We finally got potatoes planted not all put at least 4 rows of them. We still have more things that need planted.
Grandson Logan graduated High School. Under him on the left is his older brother and on the right his cousin Gavin.
I have even managed to bake a few things in the wood stove, like bread.
Our lilacs bloomed this last week. Also the tulips and the narcissus.
Yes it is an early spring for us. It spit snow on us this past Saturday and only had one night of frost in a week. We have been getting some rain here and there this past week and we REALLY needed it. We have a raised bed box replaced around the asparagus bed. We still have the spring tilling to do to get the garden in.
The next thing was a nice thing, we brought down the old kitchen cabinet we found nailed to a wall in the barn. I have been putting old things I have found buried in the ground on the bottom shelf.
Then the Electric Co. came and took down the tree that was leaning over the power line and Dh got it cut up and we cleaned up the area and took the wood up to the barn area to dry for next year.
Dh took the tractor and even out the ground in both lean-tos so we could get the gravel in them.
He also started clearing the area where the metal building is going to go.
Then the gravel came.
In-between things we worked on the old wood cook stove, I was hand sanding but it was taking forever so dh took pity on me and used a wire wheel and thedrill :) We had to drill out the dampers for the wood box and son dh Jr. helped with that as he and the two teens were here from Sunday night to a couple of hours ago.
I cooked supper yesterday of chicken cacciatore, noodles and biscuits on and in the cook stove. Works super.
Dh and dh Jr. worked on the big dead tree out by our back fence line for about 3 hours.
Last but not least our apple tree bloomed this week. It doesn't look like the frost last week bothered it :).
We may have seen the last of the snow for the year. This was a 4 or 5 days ago.
Since then we have even had daffodils popping out.
The tree trimmer from the electric company came in to start on one of our trees that is leaning towards the lines. He said he would be back with the big truck to take that top part off.
he also took down some of the branches that were overhanging the lines to the house and found a big part of that mountain maple is rotten. :( We are hoping we can take the rotten part off without taking all of the tree down. It really helps shade the house in the summer.
Hubby started to get it cleared out of our yard. Something extra to do of course. There is also a whole lot of big branches around that back pine to take care of.
And of course my almost two decades wash machine died this past Saturday. Today I had to hand wash a few things and dh helped wring them out and hang them up. You can only go so long without washing under things. We have a new wash machine coming but it will be two weeks or more. I was shocked at the prices they are now, eeeeek.
Good thing we don't have to pay for it all at once or I would be washing clothes by hand all summer.
We got more beans taken out of the dry pods a couple days ago to. These are the yellow eyes I did last week.
The corn is a done deal also. :) I have some Indian sweet corn in the bucket as well.
Sheesh, didn't mean to be away for so long, If it wasn't one thing it was another. Here are a couple of pics from last week.
I also noticed we were low on some things I normally keep extras of, Semi sweet Chocolate chips for one :). I know not REAL important but good to have around.
I have also noticed at this time of year we go through a lot of tissue, between colds and allergies it goes fast. So each time we shop I pick up 3 boxes. I was only doing that about once a month and it kept us up by 4 boxes.
Yeah handkerchiefs do the job, I grew up using nothing put them in times of colds and etc. but as long as I am able to pick some up it makes life easier. Yes spoiled, just like loving hot showers.
I have been looking on the Paleo foods and some of it really looks interesting and better for me with the health problems I have but don't know how well hubby with like some of them. Some of this cooking like Paleo I see I have already done some of for many years. More or less how I was taught to cook. But I got away from much of it.
The weekend went well. Ours starts on Fridays. It was a busy one as usual. Dh cleaned part of the chicken coop out. (his back didn't like that.) But having the tractor helped. At least it didn't have to be wheelbarrowed off. And also fill the feed barrels.
The wood rack had to be filled also. We did bills, then went to town to mail things off and do a bit of shopping along with picking up granddaughter K before heading home. Saturday a bit of rain came in. K and grandpa played bubbles for a bit in between bringing down his motorcycle from the barn to get it on the battery charger and other Saturday work.
Doing the bubble stump. It sprinkled mostly and more towards the end of the afternoon. Dh had meetings and I watched K until her mom picked her up. I wasn't feeling real well so I didn't go to tonights meetings so I could go tomorrow. Her mom Ka is ill, she just can't seem to get rid of a deep cough and all over not feeling well. Her jaw has started to hurt when she coughs, headaches etc. Around 10 PM it really started to rain hard. Thank goodness. Homemade Honey Mustard at this site or Food.com: http://www.mylifeasamrs.com/2010/03/outback-honey-mustard.html
Outback Honey Mustard
1 1/2 cups of Mayonnaise- the REAL stuff (she used
1/4 cup of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard (do not substitute any other type of
1/2 a cup of Honey
Weather peeps say 50% chance of rain today and 60% tonight, we hope it does rain. It has been a dry winter for us. Not the wet one like was predicted. WE NEED MOISTURE. Our creek is already starting to slow down to almost nothing and that is way too early. Our building comes in May and hubby has been looking over the blueprints, the end of April will be the time to have good weather as he has to do the footers and other concrete work to have it cure before he starts to build on it. Here is the link to what they are: http://www.futurebuildings.com/?utm_source=adcenter&utm_medium=cpc&fs_ppc_ext=1110
This is more or less what it will looks like inside. It will be so great to have the tractor inside that instead of in my outdoor kitchen :). Maybe we can get the kitchen finished this summer also when that building is all done. We also have the kitchen and bathroom floors to do. That means moving everything out of the kitchen and taking out everything in the bathroom as that floor needs lowered. The former people just kept adding layers to the floor. (He has been talking about starting these this coming weekend.) Since the Mission is being postponed as Dh's new calling in the Church takes precedence, we are thinking of getting a couple of steers so we don't run out of meat. Plus I miss having animals, funny huh. We are talking about going down to lower AZ to visit our daughter, son in law K and the grands, but it will have to wait until he retires in April. We are trying to figure out when to fit it in. We really miss them, as we haven't seen them in over 9 yrs. The grands in Ohio it will be 10 yrs this summer :(. We don't even get to see the ones around here as often as we like either. Everyone is sooooo busy, work, sick, activities etc. etc. and thats us also not just them. Son S and daughter in law Jess bought a travel trailer for going around to the different towns for the kids ball games and etc as last yr they said they spent way too much on motel rooms taking the daughter M to her games and tournaments. I don't blame them one bit. This way they will have it for lots of other things for years to come and it will more than pay for itself. There will be times that they have all 6 children with them and they will more than need the room.
About or Barter Items
This thing is driving me crazy, it just won't go in right :(. Sorry
Rat & mouse poison
Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice,
sage, parsley etc.
We were all ready to go on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and had our paperwork, medical, dental and etc. etc. all finished up. I can say Dave put on the paperwork that we would go where ever we would go. Well, last Wednesday we were called to meet with the Stake President and Dave was called to be the First Counselor to the new Bishop to be. We are not disappointed in the least because we are willing to be and work for the Lord wherever he wants us to be. This last 1 March 2015 the changeover in the ward went well. Dave was very happy to have 6 of our children plus spouses and grandchildren come to see him called to be part of the Bishopric. We took up a large section of an area. :) I really dislike thieves :(. We had our credit card number stolen and for a week have been trying to get that straightened out. All it took is ordering something through Amazon for it to happen, first time that has happened with using them. As for the weather we did get 2 inches of snow a few days ago, which is pretty well gone and it is snowing today. I handed out a paper for Canning meat safely. If you go to the link at the bottom it has pictures.
Canning Meat Safely
Let’s go over 23 things you need
to know to can meat safely!
1. First and foremost, you absolutely must use a
pressure canner. Meats are low acid foods and require temperatures higher than
boiling to kill dangerous bacteria. Pressure canning is the only
safe method of canning meat.
A pressure canner is NOT the same
as a pressure cooker, by the way. There are, however, pressure cooker/canners,
such as the All
which will do both. Never try to can in a standard pressure cooker.
2. Always follow an approved recipe for
canning meat. Never try winging it on your own. There is a science
behind the processing times and pressures necessary for killing bacteria. The
Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving is a great resource for tested and approved
3. Make sure your canner is in good working
order. Before you even get started canning, go over all of the various
parts of your pressure canner to make sure nothing needs to be replaced. It
would be a bummer if you had a malfunction in the middle of processing your
Turn the lid upside down and
inspect all of the holes for blockage. Clean the vent by running a string or
pipe cleaner through it to clear the airway. If you have an older model canner
with a dial gauge, have it checked at least once a year for accuracy. Your county extension
be able to help with that. If your canner has a rubber gasket, make sure it
isn’t cracking or otherwise damaged. Replace anything that needs to be replaced
before you use the canner any more. A faulty gauge could mean you aren’t
reaching the correct pressure which puts you at risk of food poisoning.
4. Only use jars in tip-top shape. Older
canning jars are fine to use as long as they aren’t damaged. Always look over
your jars before you begin canning, making sure there aren’t any nicks, chips,
or cracks in the rim of the jar or elsewhere. Even the tiniest chip in the rim
of the jar can prevent the lid from properly sealing.
Also, don’t try to reuse old
spaghetti or mayonnaise jars when pressure canning. I have had success using
these types of jars in the water bath canner, but they might not hold up in a
5. Proper sanitation is a must.
As with any time you are preparing food, it’s important to be careful not to
expose your meat or equipment to bacteria or cross-contaminates.
begin with fresh meat, or meat that has not been thawed for longer than 2
meat as cold as possible until you’re ready to start canning it.
any bad or bruised spots from the meat before canning.
your jars and lids in hot, soapy water. You can run the jars through a
dishwasher if you’d like. Keep them hot until you’re ready to fill them
all cutting surfaces before you prepare your meat.
your hands well before handling the food, and after touching raw meat.
meat as soon as the jars are filled. Only fill enough jars for one canner
load at a time.
6. Remove as much fat as you can from the
meat. Trim the fat and gristle from chunks of pork, beef,
chicken, venison, etc, and drain as much grease
as possible from meats that you brown before canning. Fat can actually climb
the sides of the canning jar and interfere with the lid’s seal, potentially
causing seal failure down the road and spoiling your meat. Get as much of that
fat removed as possible. If you notice a layer of fat on the top of your meat
after your jars have cooled, don’t be alarmed– a little is okay. Just be sure
to check the lids to make sure they’re still properly sealed before you consume
the contents. You should not be able to remove the lid easily without the use
of a tool to help pry it off.
Note: while you’re trimming the
fat you should also cut the meat into uniformly sized pieces, so that they are
all heated equally.
7. When filling jars always ensure proper
headspace. Every approved canning recipe includes a specified
headspace- the amount of space between the food and the rim of the jar. For
meats this is typically one inch.
It’s important that you measure
headspace closely. If too little headspace is allowed, the food may bubble out
of the jar during processing, leaving food or grease on the rim of the jar and
preventing a proper seal. If there is too much headspace, any meat sticking out
from the liquid in the jar could possibly discolor, and/or the lid may not seal
properly because all of the air wasn’t driven out of the jar.
8. Don’t over-pack the jars. Packing
meat too tightly in the jars can cause them to boil over during the canning
process. When filling jars with raw meat, a loose pack is recommended for best
results. Firmly tap the bottom of the jar with the palm of your hand, or place
a towel on the counter and tap the jar on the towel to cause the meat to
settle. Never press or cram meat into a jar. 9. Remove air bubbles before
canning. When canning meat in a brine or hot liquid, use a plastic or
wooden utensil such as the back of a wooden spoon to poke around in the jar and
remove any air bubbles trapped between the pieces of food. This will ensure
that your jars are heated adequately throughout and allows for proper
Don’t ever use a metal utensil,
steel wool, or wire brushes on canning jars. These will scratch the glass and
cause etching, which can weaken the jar and potentially cause it to break
during the canning process.
10. Clean the rim of the jar well before
affixing the lid. Any particles of food or droplets of grease
remaining on the rim can prevent the lid from sealing properly. It’s imperative
that the rim be wiped clean and every particle removed. I’ve found that using a
cloth dipped in white vinegar is the best way to cut grease and
ensure a tight seal.
11. Never reuse metal lids. It can
be tempting, especially if they appear to be in good condition. But standard
metal canning lids are not designed to seal more than once. Even if you do get
a good seal after 24 hours of cooling, there is a good chance the seal will
fail several weeks or months down the road, exposing your meat to air and
causing it to spoil.
If you’d like to save money on
lids, invest in good quality re-usables such asTattler Canning
Lids, which are
designed to be used indefinitely.
(Screw bands are okay to reuse as
long as they aren’t rusty or bent.)
12. Follow the manufacturer’s directions
for your specific canner. This is extremely important. Not
all canners work exactly the same way, so it’s important that the steps you
take are as directed for your particular pressure canner. If the canner you
have is quite old, you might be able to find directions for it online. Or you
can contact the manufacturer and request a manual if you don’t have one. If
it’s so old that you can’t find a manual, it’s time to upgrade to something
13. Be sure to adjust pressure at
higher altitudes. If
you live above 1,000 ft in elevation, you will need to add 5 extra pounds to
the pressure called for in the recipe. For instance, if the meat recipe you are
looking at says to can it at 10 lbs of pressure, you will need to increase that
to 15 lbs of pressure*.
*Exception: If you are using an
older model with a dial gauge use the following guidelines:
– 2,000 ft : 11 pounds pressure
– 4,000 ft : 12 pounds pressure
– 6,000 ft : 13 pounds pressure
– 8,000 ft : 14 pounds pressure
– 10,000 ft : 15 pounds pressure
14. Properly vent the pressure canner
before you start timing. Most models need to allow steam to release or
“vent” for 10 minutes before adding the weight and starting the timer (please
refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions). It’s important
that the air is driven out first so that you don’t have air pressure as well as
steam pressure inside, which would give you a faulty gauge reading.
15. Wait until you’ve reached the proper
pressure before starting the timer.People mistakenly believe they can begin
timing the canning process once the lid has been secured on the canner. Do
not begin the timing process until the canner has had a chance to vent for 10
minutes, you’ve added the regulator weight, and the pressure on the pressure
gauge is reading the appropriate pressure for your meat.Once the canner has
reached the correct pounds of pressure according to your manufacturer’s
instructions, you may begin counting processing time. Each specific recipe will
tell you exactly how long you need to can your meat for, and at how many pounds
16. Never walk away from a pressure canner
while it’s over a heat source. This kinda falls under #11, but is
worth re-emphasizing. You must keep a constant eye on the pressure gauge, and
an ear out for the regulator weight (or “jiggler”), and adjust the heat
accordingly. Allowing a pressure canner to greatly exceed the proper pounds of
pressure can result in the lid blowing off the canner. Yes, it would be
extremely hard to do this with all of the safety features built into newer
pressure canners, but it is still a possibility. Keep an eye on it!
17. Never remove the pressure canner’s lid
until the pressure has fallen back down to zero. Becoming impatient or
forgetting to pay attention to the pressure gauge and removing the lid
prematurely can cause a serious accident. Once the pressure has dropped to
zero, remove the weight and allow the canner to rest for 10 additional minutes
before removing the lid. Always remove the lid away from your face as there
will be hot steam escaping.
Never try to cool a pressure
canner down quickly; allow the temperature to drop naturally.
18. Use care when removing the
hot jars from the canner. Never
lift the jars by the lid, as this can cause seal failure. Never place a hot jar
on a cold surface or in a cold draft or the glass will crack.
19. Always test the lids to make sure
they’ve sealed properly. Once you’ve taken the hot jars out of the
canner, allow them to cool for 24 hours before testing the lids. Never assume
the lids have sealed without testing them to be sure. Unscrew the band and
gently pull up on the metal lid. It should not come off. If it does come off,
you need to put that jar in the fridge to be eaten right away, or freeze it.
You can also reprocess the meat in a clean jar with a new lid, but the meat
might not have a desirable texture and you will lose more nutrients as a result
of the excess processing.
20. Remove bands and wipe lids clean before
storing. Once your jars have cooled and you’ve tested the seals,
remove the bands from the jars and use a clean cloth to wipe the lids clean.
Oftentimes, grease or food particles which have escaped the jars during the
canning process will adhere to the lids and cause rust to develop over time.
Rusty lids compromise the safety of your canned meat. Wipe the lids clean
and dry them thoroughly.
You can store the jars without
the bands, but if you prefer to keep the bands on your jars wash and dry them
before screwing them back on. Be forewarned, bands left in place may become
corroded, making the jars difficult to open.
21. Properly store your home canned meats. Canned
goods need to be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Light
hastens oxidation and destroys vital nutrients. A damp environment will cause
the metal lids and bands to rust and corrode, potentially ruining a good seal
and spoiling your food.
It is best not to stack jars
directly on top of each other. Instead, put a piece of cardboard between
layers. This will help prevent damage to the lids on the bottom row.
22. Examine home canned meat before
consuming it. Although botulism cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted,
there are still a few things to look out for to make sure your canned goods are
safe to eat.
and foremost, it is imperative that the meat was canned for the appropriate
time and at the correct pressure using a pressure canner. If there is any
question whether or not it was done properly, don’t eat it.
the lid is bulging, leaking, swollen, or otherwise damaged, throw the
the jar is cracked or otherwise damaged, throw the contents away.
the jar spurts liquid or foams when opened, throw the contents away.
the meat is discolored, moldy or smells bad, throw it away.
best to follow the rule: “If in doubt, throw it out.”
23. Always re-heat meat for 10-15 minutes
before consuming it. Bring it to a boil over the stove, or you can add
the meat to a baked dish and heat it thoroughly in the oven.