Monday, December 30, 2013

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas ours was great Santa was good to everyone the girls got laptops so now they can do their home work on them instead of fighting over my computer. Andy has also been wanting a laptop to put all the farm stuff on and not have to wade through all my stuff on the desk top so Santa also brought him one (now he just needs to learn how to use it lol). I got a tablet, have been wanting one for a while to put books on and be able to work on things when away from the house. Everyone got a couple more small things so it was all good.

We went to my dads for Christmas eve and had dinner several of my brothers were there (When you have a family this large ot is hard to get everyone together). Then Christmas Morning we opened gifts with the girls then about 11:00 Kayla and Travis came over and we opened gifts with them. A little later in the afternoon we went to Andy’s moms and had Christmas out there. After dinner we played cards till late then came home. Andy had to work the next day. I have to admit I took the day off and didn’t do much since I had been so busy the two weeks before that I was just wore out. We got a little done this week-end. Travis just bought a house so we went to see it. Got a load of wood. Got a few things done around the house. Finally got the hams and bacons to smoking.

I am working on a few new things for the blog this year. I am going to be doing  more with herbs, I will continue the Food Storage Challenge but am going to change up a few things.

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Years I will resume posting on Monday the 6th with some brand new things.


Monday, December 16, 2013

This Weeks Goals and Menu

Didn't get as much done this last week as I had hoped everyone has been under the weather. I have had a chest cold haven't felt real bad but not real good either. Both the girls have had a stomach bug. Friday night Katie started throwing up and did all night long and the next day. So of course Joleen had to get it to so by Saturday night she also had it. They both stayed in bed Sunday. Then Sunday Andy wasn't feeling so hot but he did get some pipe picked up  and a little work done at the shop.

We went and cut a tree Saturday and got Andy's mom one. We helped her get it put up. My sister in law had a ugly sweater party Saturday night we were going to go to but since the girls were sick we just stayed home and watched a movie.

We did get the sausage ground and patties made and froze. Also got the deer meat ground and  sausage made out of it. I still need to get it in the freezer.

I got some lard rendered down.

Was able to get all the fall decorations in the house taken down.

I did get a little shopping done I am making most all of our family gifts but I did need to get a few things for them.

This next week is going to be crazy I have so much to get done. I have to make several batches of soap and bath salts.

Need to make a couple batches of play dough and make some play dough mats.

Get my tree up and the house decorated for Christmas.

Christmas cards out I don't send out a lot but there are a few people That I like to send to.

I have a lot of baking to do but I think I will wait and start that next weekend.

Get gifts wrapped.

And if I have some time I need to work on onions and potatoes.

This weeks menu is

               Breakfast                   Lunch                       Dinner

Mon.      French                        Chicken                    Baked
               Toast                          Noddles                   Spaghetti

Tue.       Waffles                       Mac.&                      Mexican
                                                 Tomato's                     Steak

Wed.       Cereal                         Ramon                       Cheese
                                                  Noddles                 Burger Pie

Thur.      scramble                  quesadillas                  Sausage
                 eggs                                                         Casserole

Fri.          Cream of                   PB &J                     Homemade
                 Wheat                                                          Pizza

Sat.                                                                              Baked

Sun                                                                              Stew

The sides for the lunches, breakfast and dinners are what ever I feel will go good with them.The week end breakfast and lunch are whatever we find or want.

Andy's snacks this week are zucchini bread and  Cheesecake.

Hope evveryone has a great week.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pork Sausage Recipe

We just made 50 pounds of pork sausage. Some time back I showed how we grind our own sausage the link is here I did the recipe for 30 pounds. I am going to give you the recipe for 50 pounds which will be easier to convert up or down, what ever you need.

Pork Sausage
1 1/4 cup Salt
1/4 cup Dry Mustard
1/2 cup Black pepper
1/4 Cup ground cloves
1 cup crushed red pepper
1/4 cayenne pepper
2 cups sage
Just follow the directions here
Hope this makes it a little easier.
I will freeze half into patties, and 1/4 of it into 1/2 pounds and can the rest of it and hopefully it will last a year.

If you would like this in a one pound recipe down in the comments kkezir02 has been nice enough to break it down.

Week 45 Food Storage Challenge

25 pounds Sugar/Garbage Bags

25 pounds Sugar or 5 pounds Honey

Garbage Bags a good thing to have on hand They can be used to line a bucket if you need a portable tolet, We keep on in our hunting packs to lay on the ground or on a log if it is wet aso we can sit on it,and here is a link for 32 suvival uses for trash bags.

Keep putting back water.

Add a little more to your money stash.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dehydrating Celery

I found a real good deal on celery so like always I bought a lot so I could dehydrate some. Its easy to do.
First wash them.
When I use store bought produce I wash it with a little vinegar in the water.
Next cut off the bottoms

and about an inch off the top. You can save these in the freezer for when you make broth you can throw them in.

then just cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. I leave the leaves on and dry them with all of it.

Lay on your trays

and dehydrate at 120 for about 16 to 18 hours.

When you use the dried celery remember that a little goes a long ways the dried pieces are small but  as you can see in the pics they shrink up a lot.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Canning Bananas

This is so easy and frees up space in your freezer instead of having your bananas take up space.

I had Andy pick up some bananas the other day for Banana pudding well he bought a lot. So I just canned  the extra ones, to use in bread,cake, and cookies.

Peel and cut your banana's I use a food processor but you can use a potato masher, blender or food mill they just need to be well mashed with no lumps left.

Almost looks like a smoothie

Put in a pan add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice for each pint ( I kind of figure 3 to 4  bananas depending on size per pint) then put on medium heat bring to a boil. Be very careful since it is so thick it will splatter. Stir often it needs to be hot all the way through.

Next pour into sterilized pint jars and put on hot lids.

Waterbath for 15 minutes (adjust for your altitude I do mine for 30 minutes)

Each pint jar is approximately 2 cups. Just use as you would in bread,cake and cookies. If there is some browning on the top when you open just scoop it off. It also may have a little liquid in the bottom this is OK just pour it into your batter.

Monday, December 9, 2013

This Weeks Goals and menu

It has been so cold and snowy.We were going to go to a gun show Saturday but is was storming and cold and we had so much that needed to be done here so we just stayed home.

Got the lights put on all the animals waters.Lights put in the chicken coop.and a load of wood. Saturday so it was worth staying home.

The Girls were in Denver for a cheer comp.They came in 15th out of 38 which isn't to bad since they had to change the whole routine the day before they left.

I am almost done with my household notebook. ( More on that latter). I am hoping it will make life a little easier and more organized.

I don't think I got any thing done this week that was on my list last week. Got busy working on other things.
So I will try to get them done this week, plus a few other things.
Dry Onions
Dry Potatoes
Take care of the last of the apples
Recan some Nacho cheese sauce
Decorate for Christmas ( I know I should of already had this one done).
Rest of the lessons for December.

This weeks Menu plan. Andy comes home for lunch so he gets last nights leftovers and I fix the kids kid friendly lunches. I also send a snack with Andy to eat on his morning break since he doesn't eat lunch. This week I will send banana Bread and Chocolate cake.
For dinners I add a potato and veg or salad what ever I have on hand and we want.

             Breakfast              Lunch              Snack              Dinner
Mon,      Waffles                 PB & j             Animal            Baked
                                           Apples              Crackers         Nachos

Tue.          Cheese               Pancakes           Apples          Stroganoff

Wed.          Yogurt             English Muffin    Kix's          Smothered
                    Fruit              pizzas                                       

Thurs.         Pancakes      Grilled               Fruit                 Crock Pot
                                         Cheese                                                Pork Chops

Fri                Oatmeal       Mac &        Homemade        Navajo                                            Cheese       Granola Bars        Tacos

Sat           Biscuits                                                             Fireman's
                  Gravy                                                       Christmas Party

Sun                                                                                 Chili

Weekend breakfast and lunch is a whatever.

Hope Everyone has a great week.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sensory Bin for December and what we have been doing in daycare.

This is the sensory bin I made for December. I put rice in the bottom and added a couple small Christmas trees,small presents,stars,some plastic gingerbread men and houses,balls , some plastic peppermints and a couple small stockings. I still want to add a few candy canes and some red glitter to the rice.
Here are a few things we worked on the week before Thanksgiving.
Made Turkey puppets

cut small pieces of tissue paper to glue on the tree for leaves

Made a Caterpillar out of the letter C

and put cotton balls on the letter C

I told a felt board story about cat
I get a lot of my ideas from and they both have some really good ideas to add to what I already have from when I taught preschool years ago.
I am hoping to get a little more organized so I can also show some of the felt board stories, books and songs we are doing.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why Have Food Storage?

Some time back I was asked why have food storage.

When I say food storage I also mean things other then food such as alternative heat sources,cooking sources, and lighting.

 If you are like me you know some people who think food storage is a waste of time and resources, and you know people who think it is a good idea but always have an excuse as to why they haven't started.
I would hate to be the ones who knew they should do it but never got around to it and then have need of it.

To me it just makes good sense. Even if you don't think the economy is going to tank.There are so many other things that can go wrong.

The weather can be so unpredictable look at the people in Colorado during all the flooding there were some who couldn't leave their homes for several days.

And look at all the snow storms we are already having, like the one in South Dakota.

Wouldn't it be nice to know that if there is a major storm you can ride it out at home and not have to worry about having enough food to feed your family. And knowing you have a way to prepare the food and keep them warm. How hard would it be to watch your children be cold and hungry just because you didn't think it was important enough to do a little prepping.

So we have the weather what about or ailing power grid It would just take one major event to take it down,such as an EMP,Solar flare, a massive power surge, and cyber threats, there are already countries that can hack into our computer systems what if they decided to just bring down the grid. You say this is America and that can't happen here. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has warned people to get out of major cities because of the stability of our power grid. As outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was leaving she said it was a matter of when not if. Ron Paul has even warned of this as has many congressmen .So it is something that can happen here.
If we have no power you can't get gas the grocery stores will run out of food, there will be no lights or heat at home. How will you manage?

What if you got sick and couldn't work for a while or lost your job wouldn't it be nice to know that you wouldn't have to worry about putting food on the table for your family.

Then we have the economy our national debt is in the trillions we are buying our own debt with stimulus money that we have just printed ourselves with nothing to back it up.The stock market is at an all time high (what goes up must eventually come down) just like before the great depression. We have whole cities going bankrupt Detroit just did and they are cutting all the pensions by
80 %.
It is not a matter of if but when all this is going to come crashing down and the longer they kick the can down the road the harder it is going to be so wouldn't it be nice to know that you have some food and provisions set back just in case.

Maybe none of these things will happen then you could think of it as an investment, the cost of food is going up every day and the packaging  is getting smaller. If you had bought food four years ago it would be doubled if not tripled in value today.

We have all kinds of insurance for our homes, car, health and life so why not have food insurance. Just think of the peace of mind you would have.

It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. You don't have to get the expensive freeze dried foods in fact you want to store what you eat and eat what you store. In a crises situation the last thing you want to do is introduce unfamiliar foods to your family. When you go to the store just pick up a few extras things to put back for storage. You can look at my post Food Storage Challenge to get some ideas and money saving tips. If money is tight there is a basic list that if you get you will at least have something to eat. Then there is a second list that adds some variety to your storage. Some food put back is better then no food.

So  my question would be, why would you not have food storage?

Week 44 Food Storage Challenge

50 pounds of wheat or flour/ tang or  juice

50 pounds of wheat or flour If you use some of the other types of flour you might want to get a little of them.

Tang or Juice. Tang is a great source of vitamin c and since it is powdered it is easy to store. I have juice that I have canned that keeps very well. I haven't tried to store store bought juice so I am not sure how well the containers would hold up. If some of you have stored store bought juice I would like to know how well it has held up. 

Add some more to your money stash.

Put back a little more water.

With Christmas coming when buying gifts you might want to give gifts of preparedness such as camping equipment and things that they could use in an emergency situation.

Week 43 Food Storage Challenge

5 pounds of honey/ powder eggs

Even if you have a lot of sugar stored it would be nice to have some honey put back honey will last almost forever. If it sugars up just put the jar in a pan of boiling water to liquefy it.

Powder eggs make sure to get the eggs that you can cook with, not the scrambled eggs. Even if you have chickens it would be a good idea to have some powdered eggs on hand.

Do you have a coffee pot that is not electric? It would be a good idea to get a few kitchen appliances that do not require electricity such as an egg beater, coffee pot, mandolin, maybe even a hand crank blender. Look around your kitchen and ask yourself how would I cook if there was no electricity.

Put back more water.
If you are able you might think about rain gutters and a storage tank for the rain water. We do not have this but it is something that I am wanting to do.

Add some more to your money stash.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Recanning Store bought Tomato Sauce

I didn't grow enough tomatoes to can tomato sauce this year so I have had to buy some. I like buying the larger # 10 cans they are a lot cheaper this way. The only problem with this is when you open them you need to be able to use all of it with in a few days. So I can mine into smaller quart and pint jars. It is very easy and doesn't take to long.
Pour however many cans you want to do in to a large pan. ( there is about 12 1/4 cups in a can which is a little more then 3 quarts).
Warm over a medium heat until hot be careful it will splatter when it bubbles up.

I don't know if you really need to do this but I went ahead and added two tablespoons per quart ( 1 tablespoon per pint) of lemon juice to make sure it had enough acid, since I was going to use the  water bath. I put the lemon juice in the bottom of the sterilized jars and then poured the tomato sauce in. Put the hot lids and rings on then water bath  40 minutes for quarts and 35 for pints (be sure to adjust for your altitude I have to do my quarts for 55 minutes and my pints for 50 minutes) You can also pressure can them for 20 minutes.

Now you have doable sized jars of tomato sauce, and they are a lot easier to handle and store then the big cans.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Easy Applesauce for Canning

This is a easy way to do Applesauce. I like to use it in cooking ( bread, cookies, cake cheesecake ect.) but if you don't mind the little bits of skin in you applesauce it is good to just eat also.

I found some apples on sale for 50 cents a pound and since I didn't get many apples this year I bought a bunch.

Wash the apples then
using this handy dandy apple corer core all the apples, you do not need to peel them.

 Put then in the blender (The food processor will not work it won't chop them small enough).

 Add a little apple juice or water then blend until smooth.

Put in a large pan. Add lemon juice I put in about a cup which would be a tablespoon per pint.You can add some sugar these apples were a little sour so I added about 2 cups of sugar.

Cook over  a medium to low heat ( I put mine in my roaster pan you could also use a crock pot) until you have the desired constancy.

Put in sterilized jars and water bath for 20 minutes (Adjust for your altitude I have to water bathe for 45 minutes)

This is so easy and quick.

Hope Everyone had a Wonderful Thanksgiving and this Weeks Goals

We have had heavy fog here for the last three days which is so unusual for our area.

I didn't get to post last week have been extra busy. I did get all my fall deep cleaning done.
Moved some cabinets around and got a new larger cabinet for the mud room.
Got the pantry all cleaned out and rearranged.
My oven finally came in so we went and got it last Saturday.
We got Andy's buck cut up I canned some of It and put the rest in the freezer.
Got the rest of Novembers lessons for daycare planned.
Canned 4 # 10 sized cans of tomato sauce got 7 quarts.
16 pints of applesauce for baking canned.

We had Andy's family over for Thanksgiving which was real nice I haven't done Thanksgiving dinner in several years. While I was finishing up the food Andy, the kids and the guys all went out to shoot clay pigeons. I was hoping to get to go out and shoot but I didn't have time so Andy said we will go out and shoot another day soon.

Friday after Thanksgiving we went to get onions. Got there Friday after noon and was going to go do a little shopping. But we pulled into a convenience store and when we came out the pick-up wouldn't start. My brother the diesel mechanic  who lives up there was down here. We called him and he had one of his hand come over and look at it he couldn't find anything then about an hour and a half of looking he tried to start it it started right up.We decided we had better go straight  to the motel.We got a room and ordered a pizza and watched a couple movies. Another one of my brothers friends came over about 9:00 and put a sensor on the truck to see if he could tell what was wrong all we could figure was maybe the fuel filters. It also started when he tried it. The next morning we got it started we needed to go to a farm store and get some shear pins for the baler, we keep the truck running all day.

 After that we went to get onions, picked up 600 pounds 400 for me and 200 for a friend.They were 9 dollars for 50 pounds (18 cents a pound). Got those loaded then went to pick up Andy's mom.

We ate lunch with his Mom's friends. then we got her loaded up, plus the dog she decided she needed to take home with her. ( She already has two house dogs and several outside dogs). Anyways got all that loaded and headed home.

 Got about half way home and hit heavy fog we hardly ever have fog. It was dark by the time we got her home and unloaded so we were hurrying to get home and get the onions unloaded before they froze.

Got home unloaded onions then decided to go to the fireman's dance. Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving the Fire dept has a dance to help raise money. It was kind of sad this year not many people showed up. We left about 10:00 the girls stayed to the bitter end. They had some other girls spend the night after the dance so we had 6 teenage girls  do you know how much noise 6 girls can make?

I had to run to town the next morning and Andy changed out the two fuel filters on the truck. And he got a load of cows gathered to take out to his moms.  It was his Mom's 86th Birthday so we all met out there to do a dinner.

So hopefully this week I can get some onions done.
Potato's worked on.
Lessons for the month of December.
I need to change the sensory box to the December theme.
I still have a few apples I need to finish up.
I would like to get Christmas decorations up we still need to go get a tree but if I can have everything else done it won't take to long to do the tree.
I need to get some soap made for Christmas presents.
I am trying to use my household notebook a little more and stay on some sort of schedule.

Hope everyone has a great week.