Friday, September 30, 2011

Jalepeno/Onion Ferment

Thanks to Megh on her blog, Yolks, Kefir & Gristle, I decided what to do with the 13 ounces of Jalapeno peppers I picked this morning. She and her husband started with nine pounds of peppers, so mine had to be a mini-version. Please hop over to her blog and see the nice tutorial and beautiful photos of her Jalapeno pickles project. Taking off from her recipe, here is what I did:

Here are the peppers, washed:

I cut off the stem ends:

I also added one large onion and sliced all of it in a food processor. Then I put them in a stainless bowl and added 2 teaspoons unrefined salt and 1 Tablespoon kefir whey:

I rode my bicycle down the road to where some wild grapes are growing. I don't have any grape vines of my own, so this was the next best thing:

While I was retrieving the wild grape leaves, the other vegetables were sitting in the bowl and I let them sit for about 1/2 hour so the juices could come out more easily. Next, I put 2 of the leaves in the bottom of a quart jar, added the vegetables, pressed them down to get the juices to cover them:

and then I put the other two leaves on top and put two clean rocks on them to hold the vegetables under the juice:

Then I added a lid with an airlock in it:

Within 2 or 3 days, I expect there will be signs of fermentation. Then I will remove the airlock, put on a lid and store it in the refrigerator. I am thinking this is going to be delightful on my homemade burritos and a bit thrown into a bowl of soup and.... oh joy!

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday #64.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

.... that sat down beside her, and...

Today was the day I decided to plant the greenhouse for our winter vegetables. I cleaned out the beds, added compost, watered it all well and planted 2 kinds of Swiss chard, mache, Italian Dandelions, spicy greens mix and 2 kinds of kale.

When I first started this kind of gardening, I tried all sorts of things, but now I know what I like and what we will really eat, and this short list is it! Except...

I saved about 50 onion sets in a little bag in the refrigerator from this Spring:

Here is a view down inside the sack. They look rather sad, but most of them WILL grow:

Here are a few poked into the soil. They are so very easy to plant. Just push them, root side down, into the moist soil and cover.

It is all planted now. All I'll have to do is keep it watered until everything comes up nicely, and then water once in a while and discourage a few weeds that will volunteer.

Look down in the far right corner. See that big green thing?

That is a Mullein plant that came up on its own this year. It is so pretty, I don't have the heart to pull it up. Mullein is a biennial, and next year will send up a flower stalk. It is a medicinal plant and also good for dyeing wool a pretty yellow color. Isn't it glorious? Living in this protected environment seems to make it very happy.

And then, I saw this:

An impressive garden spider! And here is her beautiful egg case:

I was very careful not to disturb her and it will be interesting if I get to see when the babies are born next year.

My daughter made this pretty planter of succulents for me a few months ago. I moved it into the greenhouse too for some extra protection:

Once I dig up the rest of the Irish potatoes, the garden chores will be nearly done for this year. Soon I can go into Winter mode. :)

This post is liked to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recipes for Posterity

Not long ago, I told one of our granddaughters that I would like to know if there is anything she'd like to have when I die. Her immediate response was, "Your Recipes." So, I've been thinking it over, how best to do this, and I decided to refurbish my recipe box system. On eBay, I was able to find a very nice METAL recipe box. My old one, that I've had for 40 years, is metal, and although it looks horrible, it is still perfectly serviceable Here they are, side by side:

I am copying the recipes onto the larger 4" x 6 " cards and putting them in plastic sleeves to protect them. I also bought (at Wal-mart) a set of stiff plastic dividers that had the letters of the alphabet on them, and have attached labels over the letters for the various categories ~ i.e. breads, cakes, poultry, etc.

Here are a few of the dividers and a package of ruled index cards that I am using:

And here are the little plastic sleeve protectors. Current used to sell something called "recipe savers." This is the same thing:

Going through my recipes has sent me on a trip down Memory Lane. Many of them have the names of individuals that shared them with me and the dates I got them. Some of them are in my mother's handwriting. Those few (the old copies) I will keep for myself in my dresser drawer. Some were written by my girls before they could spell very well, and I will save those also.

I plan to go through my cookbooks and pull out the frequently used recipes to add to the collection, and also I have some 3 ring binders of recipes that I've kept. I will add the ones I really use.

When it is all done, I will put her name on the top with instructions that she is to have it when we are gone. This has truly been a labor of love.

I shared this post here at Simple Lives Thursday.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I have had a bumper crop of Jalapeno peppers this year. I've cooked a lot and dried some in the dehydrator, sliced, but when I picked these, I just used a needle and some sturdy thread and strung them, through the stems, and hung them up to dry!

I can drop one in a pot of soup, or rehydrate them to add to omelets, or fresh salsa or whatever I like. In any case, it looks pretty hanging in the kitchen. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The advantages of being "poor"

Recently, we've fallen a bit on hard times (no sympathy required, Gentle Reader.) Looking over the budget, it became obvious that we could no longer afford to keep 2 milk goats, so someone had to go. Now, goats are herd animals and do not do well alone, so they really need a companion. It does not have to be another goat; it can be a sheep, horse, or some other likely animal.

We ended up trading our Gracie for this little guy. He is a Boer wether, 3 months old, sweet and cute as a button, so I named him "Button."

He probably already weighs 30 pounds at least, so I didn't hold him like this very long. :)

I think we'll be great friends.

The neighbors came to meet Button:

It made me very sad to give up my Gracie, but I had to grow up. Sigh......

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Bed Bug Book - Please read!

The Bed Bug Book: The Complete Guide to Prevention and ExterminationThe Bed Bug Book: The Complete Guide to Prevention and Extermination by Ralph H. Maestre

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book in just two sittings. It is fascinating, informative, IMPORTANT, and alarming! I had heard that bed bugs were making a comeback, and so when I saw this book at the library, I got it. I am SO glad I have read it. Now I know what is going on and what I can do about it to protect my home. Everyone should read this book!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crushaw Squash Harvest 2011

My husband thinks that we grew approximately 400 pounds of Crushaw squashes in the garden this year! That is from 5 seeds. Amazing. I haven't cooked any yet. I did give some away, though. It kind of reminds me of a time, many years ago, when we were driving through southern Idaho, where the landscape is very dry and bleak. We saw a billboard that said, "Sagebrush is free. Stuff some in your car." :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Day in My Life....

I will now walk you through a "quick" view of a day in my life.

The night before, I put a batch of milk kefir to drain and here is the whey waiting for me in the kitchen this morning:

Milked the goats:

Fed the milk foam to Badger:

Washed the milking buckets and things:

Cooked and ate breakfast:

Washed the morning dishes:

Hung up some laundry:

Prepared several packages of kefir grains to mail:

Rode my bike to the post office to mail them:

Admired the day lily plants waiting to give to my daughter:

Admired the hens and chickens from my daughter:

Quit lollygagging around and pumped some iron:

Picked the tomatoes:

Ate a tomato:

Dug a few Yukon Gold potatoes:

Picked some basil:

Picked some peppers:

Picked a few shell - out beans:

And some Swiss chard:

Dug a few sweet potatoes:

Prepared everything to make vegetable soup for lunch:

Made the yummy soup:

Ate lunch:

Washed up the lunch dishes:

Studied scriptures:

Practiced on the piano:

Took dry laundry off of the clothesline and folded it into a basket:

And hung up a few more things to dry:

Put the extra vegetable soup into jars and into the pressure canner:

And washed up the dishes:

Put a comfy chair and a book in the kitchen so I can keep a careful eye on the canner pressure:

Started the canner and then made a batch of chocolate pudding from the recipe my daughter invented 3 years ago:

Took the jars of soup out of the canner:

Washed up the dishes:

Cleaned the bathroom:

Did a little ironing:

Tidied my sewing room:

Ate a little snacky supper:

Washed the bit of supper dishes:

Folded and put away the dry laundry:

Cleaned my house kitty's litter box:

Time to go milk the goats again:

On my way to the barn:

Feed the outside kitty:

Gracie is waiting for some hay:

Abby is all ready to be milked and is eating her grain:

I am sitting on the milking stand, waiting for Gracie to finish eating. She makes a LOT of milk, so it takes her a while to eat all of her grain and I must wait. If I leave the barn, she'll get lonely and start calling me instead of eating. When you milk an animal, you really do get into their emotional life and I have a bond with my girls. Here is my view from where I am sitting:

Reboot the milk and water kefirs:

Wash everything up:

Watch a movie with my husband and drink kefir soda:

Admire the collection of seed packets that came in the mail today from Renee's Garden:

Now for "The Gentlest of All Duties."

Good night everyone. :)

This day in my life is linked up to Simple Lives Thursday #61 !
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