Thursday, September 4, 2014

25# Concord grapes, 24# Winter squash, One young and enthusiastic rooster, and lots of vegetables! What a Day!

After the usual morning things, my garden fairy and I went to a nearby friend's home and picked the rest of her Concord grapes. She had used all she wanted and offered.  It was fun and we came home with about 25 pounds!  I will wash, stem and figure out what to do with them.  Stay tuned for that. Here are some of the grapes.  :)

After we got back, we went out into the garden and picked everything that needed picking.  Here are pictures:  This is a Marina di Chioffia winter squash.  (More about this later.)
 Tomatoes, of course...:
Some smallish winter squash and a honeydew melon:
 I couldn't resist digging up one the sweet potato plants!
 I had some onions drying out there.
Zucchini squash:
I dug a small bucket of potatoes to use.
 Ok, so now about the squash.  It weighed 24 pounds.  The bugs had started getting to the stem, so we decided it was time to take it in before it starts to rot.  The only way I could figure out to cut it open was to use my hatchet.  So, here goes!
 That was not enough.  I went and got my hammer to help cut all the way through.
 At last!
 Here it is on a baking sheet in the oven.  It took nearly 2 hours at 350 F before it was all tender.
 Before baking, I scooped out some of the seeds to save for next year.
 Here it is out of the oven with a knife sticking in it so you can see it's very tender.  It was also sweet and delicious!  I ate some with butter, mashed.
On to the sad part of the day.  We have/had a young rooster.  He became a very enthusiastic breeder and hurt 3 of my hens, because roosters grab the feathers on the back of the hen's neck.  My Buff Orphington hens are very docile, and they were getting the worst of it.  See this poor girl?
We've been dealing with this for a few weeks now and made the decision today that our poor, beautiful boy was going to become dinner.  :(
Here is the garden fairy, plucking his carcass:
I roasted him in my clay baker with a peeled onion inside of him, poured melted butter and salted and peppered him and sprinkled on some ground poultry seasoning. 500 F for 45 minutes  Here he is, cooked.
I had to remove the drumsticks before putting him in the clay baker, so he'd fit.  I have to say, his meat was a little tough, but quite delicious.

So, now I have a lot of produce I need to deal with.  It's a wonderful blessing to have too much food.  We had squash and chicken for dinner.  I didn't expect that.  Much nicer than the salmon burgers I had planned.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Got Cabbage? - Easy, healthy sauerkraut

Here is a picture of this year's sauerkraut.  I made it from the cabbages we grew in the vegetable garden.  Sauerkraut is VERY easy to make, and if you don't can or cook it, it is full of enzymes and other lovelies that will benefit your body.  Besides, it's delicious!  And this will keep for a LONG time.  I have some from a year ago, that I'm going to give to the chickens today, to make room for the new batch.

Some of this was fermented in Pickl-It jars and some in Fido jars.  Fido jars are less expensive, work just as well and are easier to use because you don't have to bother with the air lock.  I was able to buy my Fido jars at Ross for a very nominal cost. They are also available through

Last year, I posted instructions on how I make sauerkraut.  That post is HERE.   Cabbages, at least where I live, are very inexpensive right now. What you see in those jars is about 10 pounds of cabbage, and I'd be able to purchase that much for less than $4 right now.  The only other thing you need is salt and a little time to do this.  Don't be afraid!  It's fun! It's easy!  It's good for you!

By the way, I did NOT add any caraway seeds this year.

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