19 August 2010

Bum lambs and zucchini

We got a bit of a frost this last week. The squash are a bit down about it, although you can see a bit of pumpkin peeking out, already turning orange. Amazingly, the corn is unaffected. I keep finding big zucchinis because my mom doesn't like to look too far among the spiny leaves. We've had zucchini casserole, stuffed, fried, pasta, steamed, sauteed, even in tacos. I still want to try a recipe I found for zucchini parmesan. I'm not sick of it yet. The stuffed zucchini was surprisingly good.

It rained during the night last night and most of the day today. We don't often get a rainstorm that sticks around like that. We usually have quick mountain squalls, so it was kind of nice to have some rain actually penetrate the ground. It felt like a lovely day to sit inside and get things done. Then I heard a sheep bleating outside in the yard. Lovely, the lambs escaped, so I head out into the rain to get them back in. They had been breaking out of their pen and visiting the neighbors, so I moved them to greener pastures yesterday. Problem is, they consider the other pasture home and will do anything to get there. A rattle of pellets convinced them to reconsider though.
Dang soggy lambs, crowding around my legs, like three enormous sponges. I am still missing one and I suspect he's in the neighbors property. They don't graze it at all, so it's like a wonderland for lambs. I tried little Bo Peep's philosophy, but he hasn't come home, even though I left him alone. The time has come for them to be turned out with the herd. My kids raised them because they were orphaned, but now they're big and fat and pretty independent. They don't even like the beet greens I gave them... ungrateful little balls of wool. I tell them there are goats that would be grateful for what I give them, but they just step on my feet with their pointy toes and wait for me to give them a treat.

05 August 2010

Monster zucchini!

Yikes! I don't know how I missed this giant, but there it was this morning, peeking out from under a leaf. I don't really know what to do with it. I prefer to eat them much smaller than this. I guess we'll be doing a giant zucchini casserole for dinner tonight.

04 August 2010

Canning time

I love canning season! My sister and I have kind of a deal worked out. She buys the produce, and I can it. I think we canned over 900 jars of food last year. I'm not sure how it will work out this year, since I'm moving two hours away, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. Something I'm wanting to try is the tattler reusable lids. I am planning on buying some before things get too busy, but I'm also hoping to win some from the give away at Homestead Revival. I didn't get them the first time. Maybe I'll get lucky this time.
My latest canning project was my beets -- not a lot there at 1 and 1/2 pints. I'm also canning some chicken to free up freezer space for other things. I caught a good deal on boxes of chicken, so I filled the freezer, but now, I'm wanting the space for other things. I would take a picture of the canned chicken, but it's really not pretty at all. The canned cider from last year is much prettier to look at. It is nice to know I have some meat on the shelf in case we lose power. I find it's also handy to have the precooked chicken for making chicken enchiladas or chicken chili. My husband just found out that I've been using canned chicken for the past year. He never noticed a difference, so he's on board now too.
Soon I'll be neck deep in tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili sauce, fruit of all varieties and anything else we can come up with. I love the feeling of my shelves being full.

02 August 2010

Happy harvesting

I almost had one of those days where I get so much done and it all works out great... almost. I actually got up early today! That's hard for me, but today I did it and I headed out to the garden to do some much needed weeding. I came home with more than I expected. It was such a fun morning in the garden. The peas that I gave up on actually had some pea pods ready to pick. Those wonderful 'one ball' squash had two more for me, I picked a head of lettuce and all my beets --nine total. Not a good beet year. One and a half pints of pickled beets is all I got. We use the greens too. Surprise! One of my mystery squashes is an acorn squash. I don't know much about them. I think it was ready to pick. Do they store well? Guess I'll be doing a little research. I also accidentally broke off some green cherry tomatoes. I doubt they'll ripen, but we'll see.

Garden tended, two loads of laundry, canning, cookies, bread, dishes, dinner started... of course something had to go wrong. Somewhere in there, I killed the bread. It started out so great, but it ended up two ugly, stubby loaves. Not my greatest baking moment.