Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Easy easy easy homemade ice cream!

I ran across this recipe online, and of course now can't remember where...  Take a pint of heavy whipping cream and using an electric mixer, beat it until it forms soft peaks.  Then, pour in a can of sweetened condensed milk and mix that together.  Pour into a dish and cover with plastic wrap or put on a lid and freeze for at least 6 hours.  It is creamy, wonderful and delicious and rich!  You can flavor it however you wish.. this batch included 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.  My first batch had 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 chopped up Hershey milk chocolate bars in it.  It is SO easy and SO good!

The girl up there is our granddaughter, who is visiting us right now.  She made a batch of sausage gravy last night for us:

She really loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

At home, she has 4 pet gerbils that she enjoys very much.  :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tonight's stir-fry!

It's so nice, this time of year, when some of the early things are ready to eat in the vegetable garden.  This morning, I went out there and brought in some things to make a vegetable stir-fry for our dinner.  There is Jericho lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, green onions, rhubarb, chives, and radishes. I will add some garlic, too, and saute it all in coconut oil, serve it on brown rice and use Tamari for seasoning.  Too bad it's only lunch time now....  ;)  If you let me know you are coming, I'll makes some extra rice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mulberry Jam!

A dear friend, who lives close by, invited me to come and pick mulberries.  Her tree is enormous and it is loaded with sweet berries this year!  I came home with about a gallon of berries.  I decided to make jam, and looked in my cookbooks, but couldn't find a recipe.  I looked online and the information I found was all so contradictory that I decided to make up my own recipe from what I had read.  So, here goes...

Mulberry Jam

Before you begin, gather your jars, lids, rings, cloth for wiping jar rims.  Wash the jars and have them sitting on a cookie sheet in a 225 F oven.  Pour boiling water over your lids and let them sit until you are ready to use them.  Then...

1. Pour berries into a colander and rinse well and let drain.
2. Spread the berries out on some sort of tray and check for stowaways (i.e. bugs)
3. Quickly crush the berries in a food processor.  You can use a potato masher, but the processor works much better.
4. Measure the crushed berries.  In my batch, I used 8 cups.

 5. For each cup of crushed mulberries, add 1 cup of sugar.  It took 4 pounds of sugar for my batch.

6. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg (for this amount of berries.)
7. Stir and bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

8. Skim off the "foam" that rises to the surface as best you can before it is fully cooked.

9. Ladle into sterilized jars leaving 1/8 to 1/4 inch head space.  Carefully wipe the jar rims. Put on the lids and rings and tighten finger tight.
10. Turn the filled jars upside-down and leave them like that for 2 minutes.

11.  Turn them right side up and allow to cool.  That's it!

I know this is not the approved method... that is, I didn't process in a water bath canner.  My experience has been that if I work quickly, and have everything sterile, my jam does not get moldy. It really is delicious, and mulberries are incredibly nutritious, being rich in vitamins, minerals and the important phyto-nutrients. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Some pictures from today...

I spent 7 hours yesterday and 2 hours today fighting weeds and fertilizing our vegetable garden.  I'm all caught up, now, and just waiting for the next rain.  We need rain.  Then I'll start all over again!

Here is Heidi and the chickens.  I take Heidi out once a day so she can munch on green things.  It takes about 20 minutes for her to get a tummy full.  :)

See that big black thing there?  We got a heat pump!  It's really nice.  I've never lived with central air conditioning before.  I feel quite spoiled now.

Here is where I milk Heidi - 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The milking stand is inside of this structure.  My husband made it for a hay shed.  Now that we only have one goat, we have more room for other things.

The front of our trailer.  The skirting is not on yet because my husband is still working on plumbing and electric projects to make it nicer for us. I really love our new house.

I let some dandelions grow and thrive in the vegetable garden.  I like to use the leaves in my egg noodles.

So, that's what is happening here right now.
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