Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
2 Tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups diced smoke sausage
1 to 2 chicken breasts diced
4 cups chicken broth
One 28 oz canned tomatoes
2 cups cut okra
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
cayenne pepper chopped fine or you can use 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
In large pot conbime the flour and butter. cook over medium heat stirring constantly until incorportated. Add onion, pepper,and garlic. Saute for about a minute. Add sausage, chicken, broth, tomatoes, okra, and seasonings. simmer over low heat for about 50 minutes until chicken is cooked. Remove over bay leaves and serve over rice.
Sometimes I add the rice to the pot. thi is the way I usually make this dish. I just add about 1/2 cup of rice and I increase the chicken broth. This makes it truly a one dish meal.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I also am finally picking cantaloupes. It has helped keeping the English Mastiff Coon away from them. Our watermelons are looking great. We have about 15 large watermelons that will be finished growing soon. Our okra is on the verge of being ready to pick too. I also have peppers coming out of my ears. I take my bell peppers and I freeze them in freezer bags. I usually cut them in half so I can remove the seeds and stem. These are great for use in the winter time. They also really save money because peppers are expensive at the store. This weekend I pulled up all of our onions. Michael hung them in the basement to dry for later use. I picked a few more cucumbers, but I am thinking that they are done now. Our eggplants have made little eggplants. I am not for sure what to do with these, but I am sure I can fry any vegetable!! That is the southern way when you don't know what else to do!!!
grace and peace,
Of course I have been hot and heavy into canning tomato products all weekend long. I ended up with 5 more pints and 2 quarts of tomato sauce. I should have had 5 pints of tomato relish, but I did a foolish thing. I turned the relish on to heat up so I could put it in the jars. I got sidetracked just for a minute, and I burned the entire pot of relish. This was so frustrating to me because I had spent a lot of time working on that relish. I have moved on, and I will make more today. However, I still get aggravated at myself when I think about it. My chickens did enjoy the mistake!
We are picking about 3/4 of a bushel of tomatoes every other day. They just keep coming!!! I will be canning some more whole tomatoes today as well as making more relish either today or tomorrow. Well, I guess I must get off the computer and get to work. Have a blessed day.
grace and peace,
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Yesterday as I was watching our 10 year practice football, I was chatting with some of the other mothers. I mentioned that we had chickens that weren't laying any eggs and I was contemplating making chicken and dumplings out of them. One of the other mother's said that her chickens weren't laying either, and she believed it was due to the heat. I decided to put a hold on my chicken and dumplings idea...for now. Our family sure has missed the fresh eggs. They make baked products so much nicer. Our children complain whenever store bought eggs are put on the table for breakfast. They just don't taste as good. Often times to cover up the fact that the store bought eggs are pale and tasteless, I sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on the eggs before serving. It helps, but the kids still aren't fooled.
I am once again canning tomato sauce today. I picked well over a half a bushel basket of more tomatoes today. There are many more on the vines almost ready for the picking. Our cucumbers are on their last leg now. I could pull those plants up and feed them to the chickens. I am thankful that I have canned all the pickles that I will need for the next year. However, I will miss the fresh cucumbers in our salads. We also enjoy fresh cucumbers sliced and dipped in ranch dressing. It makes a tasty afternoon snack.
Our neighbor shared his abundance of okra with us last night. I was thrilled because our okra plants got a late start this year. We haven't cut any okra yet, but our plants are pretty. Okra happens to be one of the few vegetables that my kids ALL love. I can never make enough fried okra to satisfy everyone. I also use it in my Gumbo, and we love it that way as well.
It is still blazing hot here in Tn. Our high school postponed the football practice last night until 8:00pm due to the heat. I am ready for a bit of a cool down and more rain would also be a good thing around here.
And yes, it is football season once again. Our three oldest boys are all playing football again this year. The pictures are all from last football season. I had them all put on their jerseys so I could take pictures. I had wanted them to all get their full uniforms on, but no one wanted to play my picture game! Even the little guy jumped into the action! Due to their ages, they all 3 play on separate teams. This will be the last year for this problem. Next year our two older boys will both be in high school and will play together. Up until last year I never thought about our kids getting hurt playing sports. I am not naive, but I just never thought about it happening to our kids. Last year it did happen to our oldest son. He endured a severe broken arm, an ambulance ride, a night in the hospital, and surgery. Now I am so on pins and needles when they each play this sport. Our oldest had a HARD hit recently in a scrimmage game. (If I can tell it was a hard hit, you know it was a hard hit). My stomach sank as I sat there and watch him get up and be dazed. I left shortly after that. I decided I could let his dad be there, but I wasn't feeling so well anymore. I sometimes wish our boys had taken up something a bit more friendly on the body than football. However, all three of them really love playing the game. Now their Momma has just got to get back to the place of really loving watching them play the game!
grace and peace,
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I am still in the midst of canning tomato sauce. I believe I will be at this activity for the next week or so. I don't mind doing it, and I sure enjoy watching our pantry fill up with the work of our hands!
I am also planting fall seeds this week. I will be planting broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and more lettuce plants in the shop. I will be sowing peas in the garden. We still have some beds to clean out to make room, but the things in those beds aren't quite ready to be cleared out yet. They are still producing some, and I want to enjoy the harvest for as long as I can.
We did go to the fair last weekend. Michael and I met up with the local "Bee Lady". We were able to have a lengthy conversation with her. She has over 70 hives now, and she said that she has only extracted about 25% of her usual honey crop this year. Our late freeze was the first big problem for the honey production, and then our drought has added more problems. We still have about a gallon of last year's honey so I am hoping that our bees make enough to get us through until next year. The Bee Lady also gave me a sample of Sour wood Honey. I thought I hated sour wood honey, but turns out that the honey I don't like isn't sour wood. Sour wood Honey is very light in color...almost a clear yellow color. I had never seen it before. It had a very delicate flavor, and I liked it after all. She was able to transport her bees up to the mountains when the sour wood trees were in bloom, and she had a wonderful batch of honey to show for her efforts.
I still have many things to put my hands to this afternoon. I must get out of this chair and go get busy!!!
grace and peace,
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
1 gallon ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped, and drained
1 bunch of celery, chopped fine
7 large onions, chopped fine
6 sweet green bell peppers, chopped fine
4 banana peppers, chopped fine
2 hot green peppers, chopped fine
1 1/2 pints apple cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all together and cook over slow heat until thick. This takes about 3 1/2-4 hours. Be sure to stir often to keep from burning. Put in hot pint jars and seal. Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
grace and peace,
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
"In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand."
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Several days before we worked in the pasture, I had met up with Tnfarmgirl (her blog link is in our sidebar). I purchased a bar of Chocolate Ice Soap, (that soap was soooo good it deserves its own blog post), healing salve, and poison ivy salve. I felt armed and ready for whatever may come our way. That weekend we headed off to the pasture. As we were headed out there, I thought I am sure one of our kids will get poison ivy from this and I will get to try out that new salve. You see I am actually the skeptical customer that Tnfarmgirl refers too. I am always amazed when natural things work. I have actually called her on the phone and said, "You aren't going to believe this but such and such REALLY worked"! So when I realized that my children would be coming into contact with poison ivy, I was actually excited. This was going to be a great experiment for me. I am not allergic to poison ivy so I couldn't try it out on myself, and I was willing to let those darling little ones be my Guinea pigs. By Monday morning, I noticed my neck was itching. By Monday afternoon, my whole body was itching. I had a major case of poison ivy for the first time in my whole life. (God does have a sense of humor)! I quickly put the poison ivy salve on my spots. I was surprised at how much it helped control the itching. I used it frequently, and I noticed that the patches did not spread. I had a large patch on my right cheek and right side of my nose. I was faithful to use the salve on my face, and it helped the itching so much. It had a cooling effect on my face. However, one morning my daughter and I were headed out for a girls' day, and I decided not to use the salve on my face. I did not use any make up that day. After we got home later that afternoon, the poison ivy had spread to the lower lid of my eye. My eye was so puffy that I could see it when I looked down. I promptly put on more of the salve. My kids were suggesting a trip to the Dr. for a steroid shot. I told them that if by the next day it wasn't better, then I would go get a steroid shot. I just wanted to avoid that if at all possible, and I already had confidence in the salve that I was using. By that evening, my face was better. The swelling under my eye had gone down. I was very thankful to avoid a trip to the Dr.
My experiment worked. The poison ivy salve did a much better job than the pink calamine lotion that our family had always used in the past. It controlled the itching, and it helped the patches not grow larger. It wasn't a miracle cure to make poison ivy be gone in 3o minutes or less, but I believe without a doubt it was the reason that I was able to avoid a steroid shot. Plus it helped keep the itching under control. When the itching started, I would go use the salve, and I felt so much better. My medicine cabinet will be well stocked with this salve from this day forward.
My children did get a small amount of poison ivy, but it was nothing like they usually get. I had to ask forgiveness from them for all the times in the past I told them "Just don't scratch and it will feel better soon". That is like saying "Just don't breath, and you will feel all better soon".
And now you know the REST of the story......
grace and peace,
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tomato Basil Salad
Layer a shallow serving dish with romaine lettuce to make a bed for the tomatoes. Slice garden fresh tomatoes fairly thickly. Make a layer of tomatoes on the lettuce bed. Sprinkle fresh thyme and fresh basil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle some dried Italian seasoning and Kosher salt over the tomatoes. Sprinkle slivers of red onion and Regiano Parmesan cheese. Drizzle good olive oil over the tomatoes sparingly. Repeat layers of tomatoes and spices olive oil, onions, and cheese. Make as many layers as needed. I usually just have 2 layers for our family. Regiano Parmesan cheese is the cheese that has to be graded by hand. This is not the type of cheese that comes in a can!
Jacob's Favorite Salad
2 Bunches Romaine Lettuce torn
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
2/3 cups slivered almonds toasted
8 Bacon strips cooked and crumbled
1 cup Croutons
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix dressing in a mason jar. Cover and Shake well. Chill. Right before serving add all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss. Shake dressing and pour over salad. Serve immediately.
I always make my croutons from sourdough bread. I cut day old bread into cubes. Place on cookie sheet drizzle with olive oil. I sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt, and herbs. Place them under the broiler until brown. Flip them over and toast the other side. This takes only a few minutes.
grace and peace,