Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homemade Relish

I made squash relish today. It tastes really good & can be used in the same way you would use sweet pickle relish.

Squash Relish

10 cups finely shredded squash (I used zucchini & yellow)
3 T. salt

Wash squash & cut out most of the seeds. Then shred it. I put mine through the food processor. Then put it in a bowl & sprinkle with the salt. Allow this to set in the fridge overnight.

Next day- Drain off the water. Put it into a big pot & then add:

1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
5 cups sugar

Stir & bring this to a boil. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Then put into clean jars.
You may water bath can this, but if it's boiling and you get the seals & bands on it will seal on the counter.

This made 11 half-pint/jelly jars full.

Attention Congress...

Wouldn't it be nice...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My experiment...

We had about 40 small tomatoes so I washed them up. Cored them, and threw them into the blender. Then poured all of the juice into the crockpot. Turned it on low about 3:00 yesterday and let it cook for 24 hours. I stirred it now & then. So at 3:00 today what did I have??? Tomato paste. Now it wasn't quite as thick as the canned stuff, but pretty close.
I let it cool & poured it into a gallon size freezer bag.
The reason I freeze it is because when I use tomato paste I only need a little. So I just take out my gallon block of paste & chizzle off a little chunk.
Why you may ask do I need so much tomato paste? Mostly because when I make homemade spaghetti sauce it's not quite as thick as I like it so I just add a little chunk of the paste & it thickens right up!
So, was it worth a 24 hour cooking? I guess because I don't think the crockpot uses too much electricity. I do know that I have healthy, homegrown, organic tomato paste & I found another way to use up my tomato excess!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


No, this is not my house...the yard is way too well-kept! LOL I saw this on the internet & got a little laugh so I thought I'd share it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday around the homestead

The thunder is rumbling right now & I'm hoping that the rain will reach us today. My pumpkins could use a little shower.

I've got quite a bit done already today. Laundry done, kitchen cleaned, dinner started (crockpot), school room turned craft room cleaned, & cut out some quilt squares. Now here I sit in front of this box with my other box on too. I've got on something about the dust bowl on the history channel. Wonder why when it is that I have time to watch a movie or something, nothing seems to be on.

I only got 6 eggs yesterday from the hens. As I was about to walk out I got a slight fright. Yep, a big old nasty snake! I ran in & got hubby to shoot it. It had obviously already made a meal out of a few eggs. What gets me is I noticed the last 2 days the egg count was low so he was probably already out there. ~shudder~

Even though it's just hubby & I here this week I put a big pork roast in the crockpot today. Seasoned it with a bit of chopped garlic, salt & pepper. We'll eat some tonight with potatoes & corn & then eat on that for the rest of the week. I like to shred some up with some sauted onions & add a little bbq sauce for sandwiches. mmm...

Hope ya'll have a great day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Boy, it's been really hot & dry around here. It's all just about's been a great season with many, many jars on the shelves. Another summer garden come & almost gone.

So, plan for next year???

~Will plant half the tomato plants as we were WAY over on them.

~Plant more onions (and at the right time)

~Plant more corn

~Plant more potatoes & try the idaho variety (we've always just done new red potatoes)

~I found green beans quite a hassle. So to be honest I'll check prices at the stores & stands and may just buy those.

My pumpkins are starting to grow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Warning this will probably raise an eyebrow...

I watched a show last week about Uganda & the laws that they have there on homosexuals. It was a bit eye-opening for me. --It, among many other things talked about how they believe that being gay still makes you a human, but it's not a human right. Make sense? Well, it has me thinking how this nation, America, really isn't a Christian nation anymore. It's become so accepting of such non-biblical things that it's just the norm now. I personally believe that is why we are having such of the problems we have now. Many people here believe that there is no restriction on ANYTHING. Spending, religion, race, television shows, movies, and things of a sexual nature. The BIBLE states what the rules are. I for one will follow the rules set by GOD. Do I hate homesexuals? No. Do I disagree with them...definately. I think they are just lost in the confusion of the world we live in. The world where people keep saying "If it feels good then do it. If you want it then take it. You deserve it."
The day after I watched this program I happened to see a commercial for a new movie coming out. I won't even say the title, but it's about 2 homosexual women who have 2 children & they are looking for the sperm donor who got them pregnant about 12 years before. It's set up with nice music & all & they comment that it's a family film for the new family.
All I can say is please read what the Bible says about this. Does the Bible condone any sin No. However what I read is when we sin we must repent and ask the Lord to forgive us and stop the sin. If someone is sinning ongoing every day how can they truly repent?
I understand that God loves us all but how can something so cut & dry as being a homosexual be so distorted? I just don't get it.
If you look on youtube & other sites you will see where even school teachers are teaching that it's "Ok to be gay."
Be careful & try your very best to make sure your children are getting the message you know to be true. My very favorite line of a song is "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." If you do not teach your children, I assure you there are pleanty of devils out there waiting to.

Keep on Truckin'

Today is one of those days where my body is telling me to just go curl back up into bed. However my head, and children, are telling me it's time to finalize everything before they leave for vacation. In other words, they need to go shopping...NEED??? Where do they want to go.....ugh it's an ugly 4 letter word......M...A...L...L...!
Anyhow, I just took some advil & am drinking a giant cup of coffee so I'm thinking I just need to suck it up & get on with our day. I'm really hoping to feel better soon so we can make it a fun time.
Take care & hope ya'll have a blessed day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Un-fried jalapeno poppers

*Warning- if you like spicy you will make these often because they're really, really good!*
Amounts will depend on how many peppers you want to make. For this big tray full (about 20 peppers) is what I will give the ingredients for.
Un-fried jalapeno poppers
20 med-large jalapeno peppers
1/2 lb ground sausage
1 package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
First, carefully slice peppers in half & seed.- Set this on a baking sheet or grill pan.
In a skillet brown the sausage.
Then add the cream cheese & stir until melted & smooth.
Then add the cheddar and mix.
Spoon filling into peppers.
Then either bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes OR put on the bbq grill until peppers are tender & filling is bubbly.
*on another note, be sure to wear gloves when slicing & seeding your peppers. I was canning some this year & thought I was being careful to not touch the seeds but about an hour after I was done, my hand felt like it was on fire! Really. I soaked it in milk, rubbing alcohol, etc and finally had to walk around with a ziploc baggy filled with ice to lay my hand on. So take my advice & wear some gloves. No gloves? Try baggies on your hands. Anything would be better than nothing.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last week...

Well, it's the last week before my children leave on vacation with Grandma. I think we've got everything they need & will start packing the suitcases this week. We pack by usually leaving a suitcase open by the foot of the bed so if there are things they forgot they will need it can go right in. BTW...if you have an Academy Sports nearby they had teen/men's nice levi's shorts on sale for $19.99. (My son loves them) They also had a bunch of nice tennis shoes on sale. (Kids both got a pair) Also water shoes for only $4.99. (They are hard to find elsewhere because some stores have already taken alot of summer things down)

So...I have a couple of big projects lined up for myself. Mainly getting our old schoolroom cleaned up & making it more into a craft room. ~Perhaps I will call it my studio as I've heard people on tv referring to a room or area as their "studio." LOL

Around the homestead, we're hoping for as much rain as possible. We're so anxious for our pond to fill up, but who knows when that will be. We're thinking of having a well dug next year if we need to. My husband has also come up with a really neat idea, all by I really want to share this, but I'll keep it to myself for the time being. When it's in the works, then I'll share...

Today we have one of my niece's birthday parties to attend. For the present we got her a magazine supscription. I think for presents for Christmas this year we may just do that too. I placed our order with Amazon as they sometimes have discounts. We bought the first issue at Wal-mart along with a cd & Abby wrapped it all up in a cute bag. They are serving a taco dinner so no cooking dinner for me tonight!

I do need to make some bread and some type of sweet to go with lunches so I'll need to figure that out.

Well, I'll end now. Going to enjoy my coffee & other people's blogs. ~Take Care~

Friday, July 16, 2010

In desparate need of an adventure

Anyone ever wish to just sell everything & pick up and move far off? I've had the itch lately. -Actually I've had the itch for a few years now. Alaska? It looks so beautiful on tv. So, I've been day-dreaming and looking up real estate there. It's much, much cheaper than around here. Of course I have no idea about job situations and things there, but it sure would be a big change from Louisiana. Would I really leave all of our stuff & what we know? You betcha!!! You know, it never hurts to dream!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I have a small home and in my small home there is not much room for storage, therefore there is quite a bit of clutter that if left for even a day or two seems to throw the whole house off! It doesn't look like we will be building our new house anytime soon (ugh) so I'm left to reorganize this one...again. So now I have a few things that I need that will help me. So I'm starting a list of things I want & need:

Plastic bins for blankets to be stored in closets(need several)

Big bookcase/shelf/armoir to hold board games, dvds, videos, books in hallway

New clothes baskets for kids rooms

Bigger projects to do in house:

Lay wood floors in living room, hall, & kitchen

Paint living room

Get new or used kitchen table & chairs (ours is pretty much shot)

Pannel kids rooms

Fix porch

I do not need all new things, I have been checking craigslist just about every day. I went to look at a kitchen table a couple weeks ago & it was not at all as described. I don't know if they thought I'd give them my money & take it anyway or what, but I'm not paying for something that's not as described.

Anyhow, today will be spent around home getting things together. Hope ya'll have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Green from the Garden

Now all nicely sliced up & put into gallon size freezer bags. I did keep out a couple for stuffed peppers that will be on the menu for tonight!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers (or 1 per person depending on size)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 lb ground meat (beef, venison, pork)
1 can tomato soup
garlic powder
onion powder
salt & pepper
In a bowl combine rice, meat, & spices. Mix well -I usually do this with my hands. Next stuff this meat mixture into the peppers. Lay them meat side up in a lightly greased casserole dish. Then pour tomato soup on top of the peppers. Put about 1/3 cup of water in the dish & cover with foil. Bake at 350 for about an hour.
We like this served with mashed potatoes & a tossed salad.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Speaking of books...

Here are a few that we own & have learned much from. The pictures I copied from amazon & are available there or at some other stores. Most of ours came from Tractor Supply.

My all time favorite one is:
Our little homestead is set up very similar to the one they have drawn out in this book!


Fellow book lovers will understand the joy's of the UPS gal knocking at the door...Bliss...
Here are a few of the books just waiting to be eaten up by me and the children for the new school year!

“Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents."
--John Taylor Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We're going to plant our pumpkin seeds today. I usually get a small pack of seeds every year and never get around to planting them :( So, this year will be different. I have some jack-o-lantern ones and some mini seeds. I am hoping to throw a fall party this year for some of our friends where we can provide the pumpkins for decorating. I also LOVE fall decorating. I think it's mostly because I love fall weather. I detest these 100* humid temps we have here this time of year and can't wait for it to finally get cooler. Less mosquitos, sitting around an outdoor fire, etc. Even the farm chores become more fun when it's not so darn hot!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baking and Cooking Day Around the Homestead

Yesterday we all went out to the lake for the day so nothing got accomplished at home. We did have a pretty good day though.

Saturday is not always the day I do cooking & baking, but that's what's on the plan for the day.
I need to make & put up:

Fresh salsa
Peach lunch box pies
2 loaves bread
hamburger buns

When hubby wakes up we will run by the produce stand to get a watermelon for our fruit for the week!

Here's our list of dinner meals for the coming week:

cowboy beans, rice, zucchini cornbread, watermelon
sloppy joes, macaroni salad, corn on cob
pork chops, baked taters, green beans
venison fajitas, pinto beans
hamburgers, fries
apple pork roast, mashed potatoes, brocoli
smoked sausage, pinto beans, salad

With those fairly big dinners we will make enough most days for left-overs for lunches. If no left-overs we'll have tuna or pb sandwiches, chips & salsa, watermelon. Breakfasts either raisin bran cereal (was on sale), pancakes, eggs, or oatmeal.

Well, soon as I finish this cup of coffee I'll get started! Hope ya'll have a super day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Apple Butter

This was the first time I've tried this & it turned out really well.

First peel and core your apples. (Would be much faster if you had one of those neat crank peeler things, but we don't.)
Then slice them & put into a crockpot. I really didn't count how many apples, as they were on the small side. It filled up my 5 qt crockpot to over the top.
Then turn on high and allow to start cooking down a little. The lid just sat on top of the apples for about an hour or so and then it started going down.
When lid can fit right, sprinkle with 1 T. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp salt, & 4 cups white sugar.
Stir occasionally & turn on low. Allow to cook for about 8 hours or so until it looks brown & tastes yummy.
Put into jars or freezer containers. Refrigerate or freeze.
It is pretty thick, but really yummy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Life's filled with possibilities
that challenge us each day
To take a chance, try something new
see things a different way
And it's thru these special moments
that we learn to change and grow
To explore the special gift
of who we are and what we know
For it's not until we try
that we find out what we can do
So don't wait until tomorrow
to discover something new!

What a lovely sight

A view from my Mom's kitchen...
Good lookin pickles & tomatoes!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Food Storage...

Hubby helped me put the food up yesterday which made it much easier & fun. So we can now add to our list:

4 pints + 4 half-pints Apple butter

3 gallons Sliced peaches (frozen)

5 Quarts + 1 pint more pasta sauce

9 pints more enchilada sauce

Today I'm going to shred up the zucchini and put into freezer bags. I do this in 2 cup portions as that is the amount I use for soups, zucchini bread/muffins & for zucchini cornbread.

Zucchini cornbread (or could be called fritters)

1 c. corn meal

1/4 c. flour

1 level tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. soda

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. buttermilk

1 c. shredded squash (1 cup if fresh, 2 cups if frozen & squeeze all the water out that you can)

Mix dry ingredients real well. Add enough boiling water to make stiff dough. Add buttermilk and squash. Mix well. Drop by spoonfulls into a hot cast iron skillet with hot oil. Cook until golden on both sides.

This is great by itself or served along side a bowl of soup, red beans & rice, or beef tips & rice!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Harvest

Today will be spent dealing with this harvest!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A simple home-cooked meal

Last night for supper we had a great meal. Just about the entire thing was grown by us, again...I'm not bragging, I just love saying that!
Pork cutlets in tomato gravy, mashed potatoes, & corn on the cob.

Pork cutlets in tomato gravy

1-2 lbs of boneless pork cutlets (you could also use round steak)
about 1/2 cup flour (enough to coat the meat)
salt & pepper
1 can of tomato soup
1 can or cup of milk

Pound cutlets so they are fairly thin.
Roll in flour & sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Fry in a little oil in a skillet until there is a brown "crust". They won't be all the way cooked.
Then lay them into a long casserole dish.
In a bowl wisk together tomato soup & milk.
Pour over the meat.
Cover with foil & bake for about 1 hour.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Long Weekend

My husband is off of work until Monday so we're looking forward to a long weekend spent together.
Today I need to make a trip into town to do a couple of errands & then back home.
I gave away a bunch of tomatoes the past couple of days so no canning for me today. I am guessing that in about 2 days I will be doing some more though. I'm thinking I will do pasta sauce or perhaps try ketchup. I would need to find a good recipe though as I've never made that before. Not sure if it would be worth the trouble as ketchup is pretty cheap. Of course, there would be the non-preservative/chemical benefits though so we'll see.
I am trying the best I can to keep things we cannot pronounce or don't exactly know what they are out of our meals. My mom has been telling me about the dyes in food having bad effects on children. ~My children aren't hyper or anything, but if it's not good for some kids it's probably not good for any!
I'm also going to get out my good old Nurishing Traditions book & plan out some of those. They are a bit time consuming but when you do some of the things for a while you see it's not that big of a deal.
So hope ya'll have a great weekend...I know we will! :)