Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Odds & ends

Been a week of trying to get little things done, you know the things that always get put off cause bigger things need done.
We moved a lot of the wood from the trees we cut down, I had to help lift some of the real big ones into the back of the truck and Dave got the rest, well except for a 8 foot log and another odd piece that needs cut up behind the chicken coop.
We haven't even started to cut up the 4 or 5 dead trees up in the woods that Dave cut down before they fell down.
Watching Papa throw wood out of the back of the truck. Till she saw Lizzie Dog.
If you look at the right side of the picture here you can see our old wood truck, it needs a transmission it won't go backwards anymore but it will go forward. We had to take out the battery this last weekend and put it on the battery charger. Then the truck started with no problem and we drove it around the farm to make sure all was alright with everything else. There was a mouse living in the engine compartment, not good.
We checked the upper pond to make sure the water was still fine and it is.
It is now very dry with only having about 1/32 of rain this month. We might get some this afternoon 50% chance.
I got a batch of jam made and used my steam canner to process it, I love this thing. You only need 2 inches of water to process fruits, tomatoes and etc.
Back to Basics 7-Quart Aluminum Home Steam Canner
Back to Basics 7-Quart Aluminum Home Steam Canner

I made a Vanilla/Chocolate Swirl cake to enjoy this week.
 Chocolate Swirl pound cake
350 deg. oven. Bake 1 hour or till done.
2 & 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup butter or margarine
3 1/2 cups flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup cocoa to be added to half of the batter once mixed.
Grease and flour a tube pan and set aside. Cream butter and sugar as normal add eggs, mix then rest of ingredients. Take out half the batter and put in another bowl. Add cocoa to half in mixing bowl and mix.
Put vanilla batter into your pan then drop chocolate batter by large spoon fulls on top of the vanilla. Take a knife and swirl chocolate around into vanilla and put in oven.
This is also in our cookbook.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Busy week last week

Was some past week.
We got quite a bit done around the place. Mowed, weed eated (lots of weed eating), most of the logs moved from the back yard. Dave tilled the garden areas that needed it.
We have to water the garden at only 20 minutes at a time or we run the pressure tank dry but we got that done to.
We babysat Kaylee on Saturday and that makes things interesting getting things done :).

I cut the tarragon and it's washed and drying. Dave accidentally cut the Greek Oregano with the mower so that will wait till it grows again lol.

I picked up a book on making paper but I while have to wait for fall to try that. Papermaking Techniques Book: Over 50 techniques for making and embellishing handmade paper
I love learning and trying new things.

The turkeys are growing well and now run out to the fence when you come out side to see what you are bringing them.

 The turkeys won't play with me guess I will take a nap.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New week less work

We started today off cool, after last week a little cool front is nice but it came in yesterday as 20 to 30 mph winds. Which made for a very windy day of butchering Cornish x-rock chickens. We set up in front of the garage ant got the fire going by 6:20 am. Dave even moved the truck over to the east side of us to try and help cut down the wind that was blowing in from the south east.
Since we went in together with our son DJ and friends Brian and Rebecka. They came up to help butcher. DJ was unable to as he is on a different shift now and doesn't have Mondays off.
Rebecka dunking chicken in boiling water to begin de-feathering.
276 pounds of chicken.
They brought their Foodsaver but we mostly used ours. Ours has two motors and was designed to do meats etc. Our son DJ traded us this one and took our older one. Great son or what? :).
FoodSaver Pro III Vacuum Sealing Kit, White

We had lunch about 12 noon with 8 x-rocks left to butcher. I had made lentil, vegetable,yak soup a couple of days before to go with potato rolls, homemade plum and rhubarb/strawberry jams and hot water chocolate cake for dessert; then back to work.

We finally finished up at 4:30, we got their bird put in their coolers with ice and ours and DJ's stuck into the freezer.

Some clean up and B & R were on their way home.

Dave had to shower and get on his way to town to City council meeting.

I showered after him rested for a bit and then went out to collect eggs. Boy had i stiffened up.

When Dave got home a couple of hours later we got everything picked up and put away, well all except for our homemade table which we will carry up to the barn tonight.

I have more rose petals in my dehydrator. Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator 

Back to sweat pants and long sleeve flannel this morning it was 42 degrees this morning.

The elk are here and jumping our back fences and grazing in the next door field.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

That's done.

Last Thursday evening started off with supper after Dave came home from work, than off to the chicken fortress fence.We got 4 more strands of the barbed wire up on the top of the posts on north side.

  We knew we had to as we had a funeral to attend the next day.  One of  Dave's fellow workers at the plant had his mother pass away. So that took most of the day. But we did manage some work on the fencing after normal chores that late afternoon and evening.

Saturday found us back at it and determined to get that fencing finished, which we did.

After the fortress was finished we put in a temporary fence to extend the turkeys territory. It extends into the chicken yard and some of the chickens seem a bit bent out of shape about it lol. Like hey I used to be able to go over there. And a few manage to get in there and then can't figure out how to get back out.

 After the fencing projects was finished we headed to the orchard part of our garden area to pull pine trees so more fruit trees will go in there. He pulled those out with our handy dandy tractor.
We got all the small pines stacked and strapped into the bucket biggest was around 8 feet I'd say. And he hauled them up to behind the barn and dumped them there.

Then we planted a plum tree and a blackberry plant.  That was enough for one day and it was 8 PM.

Hope you all had a nice 4th of July.

Sunday a nice restful day of Church, reading and a nap. That evening a couple we know from Church and genealogy work came up and gave me some Kiefer grains to try out.

Monday found us in another work day, plus we were babysitting Kaylee as the daycare was closed for the day but Kathy had to work.

Dave got started  on the watering system in the orchard area replacing some of the watering ends and little black hoses. We put it in last year and it sure was a big help not to have to do all the watering by hand.  Even if you do have to keep a close watch on how long you have each hose on leading to the different things in the garden. The pressure tank in the well house will only let you water for about 10 minutes before you run it out of water.

Our daughter stationed in Germany called while he was fixing that and he came back to the house because the 2 grand kids wanted to talked to him. They are all packing to return to the states in the middle of August. They are really looking forward to being back in the states after years away.

While Kaylee was down for her nap I got to be gofer and help put the new screen in the front screen door. Yea no more giant fly hole.
Of course Tank the cat was using it to go back outside. He may miss it but I won't.

Dave got the weed eater going this weekend and got all the high weeds along the edges of the creek and house all cut. Did one section of the creek one day and the rest and around the house Monday. He said his hands were numb when he was finished.

 We finished out the day with cutting up the tree he had fell in the back yard and running after Kaylee who loves being outside and then we did egg collecting and other chores. We had 62 degrees for the high of the day. 

I made a peach upside down cake also.

Upside down cake
bottom makes top 
Bake 350 deg. 35 to 45 min. when middle is done.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 large can fruit or enough to cover bottom of pan.

About any fruit works and or a combination of fruit.
I use a number 9 cast iron skillet, just so you have something that can be tipped upside down.
Melt butter in pan or pour in after melted, sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter. Then layer the fruit over sugar and butter.

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar and eggs. Add in flour baking powder and salt. Pour this batter over the fruit in your skillet. Bake and then let stand 5 minutes. Turn upside down on your platter.

I have been baking this since I was 10 years old, this is my mothers recipe and is in our cook book.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Half over

It is hard to believe that the year is half over already; July first wow. It was 52 degrees when I got up this morning. It was 45 when we watered the x-rocks and turkeys last night. We are supposed to get to 68 today with 70% chance for rain tonight. Here they are growing like weeds.

 We will be working on fence I guess again tonight if we are up to it. I will be glad when that is done lol.

I baby sat Kaylee yesterday and she had thrown up before i got her out of bed; poor baby.

Later I heard a racket outside and Lizzie dog was staring at the goose pen. Well it must have looked strange with 2 big bulls standing in it. Their heads were running along the chicken wire we have put up so nothing can fly down and get anything we are raising in there. We open the gate door so the geese can go in and out to get to the creek and pond beside them. I got one bull out rather easy but the other couldn't find the way out and went behind the goose house. So while he was back there I got the goslings and mama inside their house and George ran in and I closed it so they wouldn't come out at the wrong time and get stepped on.  Good thing Kaylee was down for her nap.

Then I managed to trip on a piece of wood in the chicken yard while doing the evening feeding sheesh what a klutz. Hurt several things on me lol. At least I didn't have the egg basket in my hand this time.

I have chives drying in my dehydrator :). It is a Nesco; has a motor that runs a fan and it works great. Mine isn't one of the big ones but I can get 12 trays on it.

We lost one of the baby goslings :(. These 2 that are left seem just fine.

That was enough for one day.

I found the cutest little tea pot the other day at the second hand store.

Here is what the sky's look like.