Archive | August 2020

Menu and what we are up to this week!

What’s coming out of the garden: Tomatoes, peppers, okra, melon, potatoes, pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, cucumbers, and full herb garden.

What’s going into the garden: We are planting our late fall crops.  We started seeds inside about a month ago and now is time to put them in the garden.  These are all crops that can handle a light frost. This week we planted; brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, carrots, kohlrabi, kale, chard and beets.

Sunday: We had basic leftovers, everyone for themselves.  I did make homemade sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast with sliced fruit.  Great start to our day!

Meatless Monday: Noodles with a pesto sauce.  We have beautiful purple basil in the garden. I will make pesto with Parmesan and olive oil. It will go great with some slice tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.  I had extra bread dough that I turned into bread sticks. They will taste amazing dipped in that pesto. 

Taco Tuesday:  Same old Tuesday meal.  There is no lettuce coming out of the garden right now, so we will eat it with the spring cabbages that we have in the cold cellar. With some fresh cilantro and pico de gallo, I am sure it will still be an amazing meal!

Wednesday: Roasted chicken with purple sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  I know it is still summer, but squash is coming out of the garden and I am in the mood for a fall meal.  This with some fresh cucumber salad and pears for dessert.  Thankful for the summer kitchen so I don’t heat up the house.

Thursday: Meatloaf, baked potatoes and sauteed green beans.  Our green bean plants were covered in Japanese beetles I assumed the plants were dead.  I like the look of them on the bean poles, so I left them in the garden.  The plants came back.  They have new growth and are producing green beans again.  So fresh green beans are back on the menu! 

Friday: Hobo packets.  This is my daughters meal choice for the week.  She is going to slice potatoes and wrap them in aluminum foil with butter, salt and pepper.  Also on the grill she will cook cabbage wedge packets.  Our meat will be either hamburgers, steak or chicken she has not decided yet.  We will have watermelon for dessert.

Saturday: Steak (or chicken depending on what my daughter chooses), with grilled peppers and quinoa. Simple and quick.  We work in the garden most of the day on Saturday and I need something with very little prep.  

This week we will also be making another batch of cheese for the winter.  I think I am going to try an Italian hard cheese this week.  I am nervous.  The thing about cheese making is you have to wait 6 months to see if it is any good!  At least it delays the failure, right. 

We will also be making another batch of soap.  We use the lard from the pigs to make all of our hand soap, bar shampoo for the boys, and body soap.  This Sunday we made a batch of tea tree oil soap to help with poison ivy.  It takes 4 weeks for the soap to cure.  In the fall someone always gets poison ivy as we process fire wood and clean up for the winter. Next week we will make a batch of lavender soap. 

 

Happy planting, I hope everyone has a great week and benefited from some suggestions for seasonal eating!  Eat local, grow on!

Weekly Menu August 16-22

KIMG1118What’s coming out of the garden?  Cucumbers, corn, peppers, okra, tomatoes, squash, basil, lettuce, potatoes, oregano, thyme, and cilantro from our farm. From Lewis fruit farm apples, peaches and pears.

My daughter is helping me with the menu planning and she wants to make each day have a theme.  It is important to keep the kids involved.  We are slowing building up to the kids cooking two meals a week.  If my husband cooks a meal I get three days off!!!  Wahoo!  As long as the meal incorporate the harvest from the garden I am flexible.

Monday:  Roasted chicken, tomato basil salad, sliced cucumbers and corn. I messed up making butter and had to make butter cream frosting.  So we will have cake for dessert because when life gives you frosting… you obviously have to make a cake.

Taco Tuesday:  With fresh pico de gallo, rice, corn mixed with onions and black beans.

Waffle Wednesday:  We do not have a waffle maker, we are keeping our eyes out for a good cast iron one!  So we will stick with the theme and have pancake Wednesday.  Apple compote with cinnamon.  Shredded zucchini in the pancakes. Pepper and tomato omelets.  Quick, easy and the kids help.  Winner all the way around.

Thursday: Steak on the grill with hobo packet potatoes, roasted okra and cole slaw.  Grilled peaches with fresh whip cream for dessert.

Fry  Friday:  This is a kid favorite, so we will have two beef meals in a row!  Burgers, fries with potatoes from the garden and cucumbers. We will have some fresh pears for dessert.

Saturday:  Calzones.  This week I will be making fresh mozzarella from our goats milk.  I will use the whey to make a dough.  They cheese melts beautify in these calzones.  I will stash some of the ground beef before it is seasoned from the tacos, perfect!  This will have all kinds of veggies from the garden in it and fresh tomato sauce that I have been cooking in the crock pot all week.  Cucumbers and tomatoes on the side!  We are keeping our fingers crossed for a surprise watermelon to be ready from the garden!

I hope this gives you some dinner ideas!  Keep growing, eat local, eat fresh!

 

Trying to Keep Up

God is good!  The garden is producing and the goats are producing.  We are doing the best we can just to keep up!  This is what we have been up to…

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Peaches:  We are trying to capture this summer gold for winter sunshine!  We have canned 12 quarts of  sliced peaches and 24 small lunchbox size jars.  I am so grateful for my mothers help with this.  It is so true that many hands make light work.  Everyone had a job and we were a well oiled machine.

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Tomatoes:  This week we are putting up diced tomatoes in their own juices.  This is an easy job, thankful for the break.  We were able to chop and process 18 pints of diced tomatoes.  I put chopped hot peppers in 9 of those jars so that it would be ready for Queso.

Peppers: Peppers are still producing like crazy.  We shared some peppers with a friend and we froze a gallon chopped.  Last year we did not freeze any peppers so we are thankful for the bounty.

Dairy Processing: We are almost out of yogurt so I made a gallon of that.  I am doing an taste test experiment, to see if we like cultures from our yogurt in the fridge or powder cultures.   I will drain at least half a gallon of this for greek yogurt.  I prefer greek yogurt for breakfast and regular yogurt for smoothies.

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I made a batch of cheese.  It is a farm cheese, kind of a mix between a cheddar and a provolone.  It is great in eggs and melted on garlic bread.  We use it like you would a cheddar cheese.

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We also broke down an cheese wheel that I made 3 weeks ago.  This way it would keep better in the fridge.  This cheese should have aged longer, but it is still good.

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With the whey I  made two batches of bread dough.  I will turn one batch into bread for the week and the other I will make pizza dough for a quick pizza night.

The Herb Garden:  I harvested basil which is in the dehydrator for cooking with this winter.  I also harvest lemon balm.  This is being air dried for hot tea in front of the fire! Tomorrow I jar up all the dried herbs that I harvested last week.  I think we will have plenty of everything for the winter except dill.  I replanted dill and cilantro.  There is nothing like fresh cilantro on tacos and dill in salad dressing!

The food cellar is filling up, the freezers are filling up, we feel so blessed.  It has been a great summer so far, thankful for the blessings we have been given.  We are getting closer and closer to raising all of our food, with a couple exceptions!

Thanks for catching up, keep growing!

Pantry Update

We are really working hard to become as food independent as possible.  We know that we will still need to buy grain products; flour, rice and chips. As well as, baking products, like baking powder and chocolate.

Here is an update on what we are doing this week to get closer to that goal.

The tomatoes and peppers are producing great which mean salsa!  We have put up several batches of salsa.  As of today we have 28 jars.  My boys love salsa so I am estimating that we will need 48 quart jars for the year.  This will be made up of 24 jars of HOT salsa and 24 jars of mild- medium salsa.

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So far we have canned 7 jars of beets.  This is no where near enough.  We are praying for a strong fall beet harvest.  We need at least 15-20 jars of beets for the year.

Peaches are in season.  We work with a local family owned orchard for all the fruit we do not grow on the farm, or we do not grow enough of.  We will have to plant several more blueberry plants to not have to buy those.  Peaches, back to peaches, free stone, yellow peaches are the only way to go.  They are amazing.  The only problem is while I am canning I believe I ate at least 5 peaches one slice at a time.  We canned 7 jars of peaches with two can in the fridge to get us through the week till we go to the farm again.  I see a peach coffee cake in my future! We also froze blackberries.  Can you say ice cream and smoothies!

Our onions did not do well so we had to get a bushel of onions.  I have been using them for salsa as well as freezing chopped onions for the winter. I have frozen 12 pounds of chopped onions.

Peppers have been doing so well that I have been freeing them as well as adding them to salsa.  We have frozen 5 gallons of chopped green peppers.  These are great in the winter for chili, omelets, sloppy joes, and pizza.  We easily can go through 10 gallons in the winter.

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Okra!  This is a new one to freeze for me.  I put away 2 gallons of chopped okra.  I am hoping to use it in stews, soups and sloppy joes for the winter.

There are at least 4 months that we do not milk the goats. So we freeze milk during the summer. Whole milk for winter yogurt.  As well as spun milk for drinking.  The cream from the spun milk gets turned into butter.  I have frozen several pounds of butter.

The summer squash is slowing down. So I am freezing some yellow squash for winter muffins.   I will freeze about 8 cups, which is four batches of muffins. I already froze zucchini for bread.  I may try to freeze zucchini noodles, but I am worried that they will be mushy.  I also froze some zucchini tortillas for tacos.

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Alright, back to chopping!  Happy Harvesting!