Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wandering Wednesday

Enter if you dare!
 It's been a really cool summer here. We've yet to reach triple digits around here which is pretty unusual for the end of July.  I'll take it though.  It's sprinkling now and the weather man's calling for rain up to two inches this afternoon and evening with temps in the 70's today.  Crazy!!

I don't think the tomatoes know exactly how to act. I haven't been covered up in them like I was last year. I noticed yesterday there were some more blooms set.  I haven't been able to put up any salsa yet, I keep waiting till I have enough tomatoes to make a big run of it.  I just want to be able to put up 12-14 quarts for the year. 

Random Lilly Picture

 I've been making up some Ro-tel with the tomatoes that are getting overly ripe. I really don't like doing them that way because there's really no consistency of taste between the batches. It's just that I'm not getting enough ripe to do a big batch yet either. It looks like after the rain clears out and it dries up a little I should have enough for them. One thing I do have plenty of is peppers.

Speaking of peppers I went out yesterday and picked almost a five gallon bucket full of jalapeno's, Serrano's and hot banana peppers.  There are enough still left out there in the garden to fill another one. I've got a couple of trays of each out in the dehydrator right now.
Another random flower picture for Sandy
It seems every year we get a flood of peppers.  Of course that's because I've been buying the plants rather than starting them from seed.  I've had very little luck starting peppers.  And when I buy the plants they come in 4 packs.  Which means we end up with enough peppers to feed the incoming masses of illegals flooding across the Texas border.

 I've been thinking of talking to the Mexican restaurant in town to see if they might be interested in buying some Serrano's and jalapeno's.  I've got two jalapenos plants that are putting out these gorgeous large peppers just right for stuffing. 

We need  to do some grilling soon so I can toss some stuffed ones on the pit.  Yummy!! Which reminds me...  I need to start saving the ones that are turning red so I can make some more chipotle peppers.  Those really turned out well last year and I've only got a tiny bit left from last year.

I didn't plant nearly as many onions as I did last year and now I'm regretting it. We use tons of onions around here and I find that I've not planted even 1/4 of the onions we need for the coming year.  Why?  I just wasn't paying enough attention to the time of year it was when I was able to find the onion sets. Before I knew it they had all disappeared from the feed stores and even The Evil Empire.  I'm hoping they'll show back up again for a fall planting but I don't really think they will. 

  I don't know why but folks around here just don't really plant fall gardens.  Weird, really. But then who am I to talk.  We haven't planted a fall garden since we moved here. It is hard to drag myself out in the sweltering heat we usually have to plant anything.

This year just might be different!  I planted another row (100 ft) of purple hull peas yesterday and have planted more lettuce and some spinach. 

 Once all the vine type plants keel over I'll work on getting some things in those areas.  It shouldn't be much longer as most are starting to die back already.

The corn did ok this year. It just takes so much room for so little corn.  We aren't big corn eaters around here anymore because most all corn these days is GMO.  I'll leave that discussion for another day. 

My dad sent this seed to us and has been growing it for a long long time.  It's wonderfully sweet and juicy.  We put up 8 bags (2 cups each) of cut corn and about 30 whole ears in the freezer.  We also found out that the rabbits LOVE corn.  I wish I'd have taken pictures of them devouring it.

OK that's enough to bore you to death for now.  I sit down sometimes and can't think of a thing in the world to write about.  Then once I start I can't seem to stop!  I've got some cucumber chips drying and they should be about done.  I've not done them before and am curious to try them. If they turn out good I'll let ya'll know!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Day To Enter GIVEAWAY.

 The Forsaking Home Book Series   GIVEAWAY. Click here to enter.   Contest ends at midnight tonight.  Good Luck to you all!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A New Disease Discovered.

Preservitis- A New Disorder Identified?

There is a newly recognized disorder that has come to the attention of people across the country.  Although this disorder has been around for many years and for awhile having almost disappeared 
it now has an identifiable name.

 That name is Preservitis. Symptoms include, but are not limited to the uncontrollable urge to can, dehydrate, freeze or otherwise preserve every fruit and vegetable that come across the path of the affected individual.  This disorder may become more intense as the summer garden season winds to a close.  Person's with this affliction have also been known to try unconventional recipes so as to save every known part of said fruits and vegetables.

   There is no known cure for this disorder at this time.  The prescribed treatment is to let the symptoms run their course.

To alleviate symptoms, it is recommended to allow the affected individuals to pursue their urges to can, dehydrate freeze foods until the symptoms have dissipated.  It appears that once they have found that all fruits and vegetables have been attended to, the affected individuals return to a semi-normal state of mind.

Studies have shown that symptoms will usually ease off as the summer winds to a close 

WARNING-  In most patients these urges WILL return year after year.   Researchers believe that Preservitis will become more prevalent as society begins to sense a growing need for self-sustained living.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Forsaking Home Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

I really wanted to sit down and take the time to properly review the first book of The Survivalist Series written by A. American.  The fourth book in the series  is now available at Amazon and on the authors website. There is a kindle/electronic  version too if you prefer using an e-reader. 

 As busy as I've been with things here on the home front I almost passed up the opportunity to read this series. I like reading post- SHTF books.  I'm half way through the second book "Surviving Home" and I have to tell you it might even be better than the the first book  first book in the series "Going Home" which is a real page turner as well and will leave you ready to crack open the next book in the series.

The only thing that had me wondering through the whole first book "Going Home" was Morgans "get home bag"  That thing must have weighed a ton what with all the supplies he was able to carry in his pack.  This book reminded me somewhat of the James Rawles first book which was really descriptive but  with a deeper look at just how one might react being stranded 250 miles from home.  All in all I'm really enjoying reading this series.  

Here's the amazon description of the newest release. ( I'm looking forward to reading it too.)

Book 4 of The Survivalist Series
They survived the collapse, but can they survive the aftermath?

Morgan Carter has weathered the weeks after the collapse of the nation’s power grid, reuniting with his family and ensuring their safety, but his struggle isn't over yet. Carter must focus on survival in an increasingly unstable society—but the challenges he faces are beyond his wildest imagination.

Meanwhile, the enclosed quarters of the nearby government-run refugee camp make for an environment where injury, assault and murder are the norm. As Jess creates trouble within the camp, Sarge and his crew plot to take down the entire establishment.

From the author of the hit Survivalist Series books, Forsaking Home is an action-packed adventure that depicts the harrowing possibilities of a world gone awry, and the courage it takes to protect what matters most.

EDITED (PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY)  I tried to make this as easy as possible folks.

 If you would like a chance to win the entire series it's really simple to do.  Just hit the "follow" button here on the blog and leave a comment. The button to push is the one just under the Popular Posts.  If you are already a follower of Bacon and Eggs (that means you have hit the follow button before, folks) just leave a comment letting me know.  Make sure you enter before this coming Friday July 25th for a chance to win the entire series.  I'll be picking the winner on Saturday. 

If you are the lucky winner you will need to contact me no later than Monday July 28th with your name and address.  If you miss the due date I'll be picking a second winner.

This is a US and Canada only contest.  Hey I didn't make those rules....  Good Luck everyone.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Outdoor Canning Station

Since it's raining today I get one of those things called a day off!  What it really means is that I've got time to show you guys the "new" outdoor kitchen site Mars put together.  He moved it off of the old houses porch and back behind it instead because it gets shade there most all day long. The back side of the old porch also works to help as a windbreak from the southern winds we get in the summer.  I was having problems with keeping the stove lit when the winds were blowing even with the "windbreaks" he added to the stove.  Those are the sheet metal parts hung on the front, back and side of the stove.
He used some of the  bricks left from the old house to make a pad for the stove. 
Leveling out the ground to get started
 This way not only is the stove level but it won't be sinking into the dirt in the long run.  
 The black mat came from the bed of the diesel truck I wrecked
It makes it easier to walk on if for example it's been raining and the grounds a little wet. 
 I've been needing a table for some workspace for awhile.  I've looked around several places for tables and even the camping tables many places carry now, but on an income of $900 a month even though they really aren't that expensive there was always something that we needed more.  

Mars decided to make a work table from one of the pallets he'd been saving.  Notice the whole top has slats unlike most pallets.  The legs are part of one of the old cedars that we cut down here a couple of years ago.  He set the posts and also used the top of the porch for even more stability.
   I just love this stove.  With the high pressure BTU's it heats to boiling in no time at all and stays at pressure like it should.  The old set up I had worked but it took forever to heat to boiling and then I was constantly adjusting the fire to try and keep it at the correct pressure for canning. 

   Oh and the table is totally level too! (Mars wouldn't have it any other way) The table makes the whole canning process SO much easier!  I just get everything prepped and ready, get all the jars, lids, rings, etc lined up and it's good to go.  
We use a tarp to cover the stove in the summer when it's not in use and move it to the barn during the winter. 
 The outdoor sink is just a few feet away but  there is also a hose I can use to fill the canners, wash my hands, rinse off stuff, etc... so I set up a hose right by the table.  

 There is talk about building a clay oven someday.  That would be cool!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Checking In

Hey Susan... kymber....  See the weeds now?
I know I've not kept up with the blog lately but like lots of other folks the garden is keeping me busy.  And I mean 12 hour days every day.  Well almost every day since it rained like crazy a few days ago and that always gives me sort of some time off.  Except that there are also tons of things that tend to get neglected when the garden starts coming in.

I'll just run down yesterday to give you an idea of what I've been up to.  Since it had rained a couple of days before weeding is much easier to do.  They tend to come loose (the weeds) without tools.  The intention when I went out there was to pick squash and cucumbers to get ready to do some canning.  When I get out in the garden for some reason I can't help but pull weeds.  Heck I was in town the other day and saw some weeds growing along the sidewalk.  I actually had to stop myself from bending over and pulling them.  Does this happen to anyone else? 

So for those who think my garden looks so "weedless" trust me it doesn't happen by itself and is still overrun in many places.  I actually took some pictures of some of my weeds for Susan and kymber! lol  When you have control of the camera you have control of what you shoot.

I spent the early morning dealing with the rabbits, washing some clothes and hanging them out.  I'm still way behind but at least it's a start.  Then I walked the garden to see what all was coming in.  It seems like most everything is coming on at the same time.  So as I picked squash and cucumbers I weeded where I was picking.  Believe it or not I spent the entire day doing that so I could get the pickles worked up this morning. They are on ice and I'll get them canned tomorrow morning.  Then I washed a bunch of dishes, cooked dinner and sat down about 9 to eat.  While we were watching our evening movie I was shelling peas.

Speaking of shelling peas, I picked 3 six gallon buckets and one 3 gallon one of peas.  The way I get them done is to shell them is that I shell them when I'm sitting down to rest up and cool off.  I shell peas instead of reading in the evening like I normally do.  I shell peas while we watch our evening movie.... well heck, you get the idea.  Any sit down time is spent with peas until I get done with them. So far we've shelled a one gallon freezer bag full.  Not enough to fire up the canner yet. Soon though, really soon.

The tomatoes are starting to turn red.  There are a bunch out there but nothing like the huge amounts last year.  The weather has them real confused and right now there are only a few blooms on them.  We'll see how they do once it cools down a bit.  I just need enough to make my salsa and the homemade Ro-tel's.  I've got my fingers crossed.

This week we also butchered dispatched the 6 rabbits that should have been offed a couple of weeks ago.  Our feed bill was getting ridiculous and to be honest I was glad to get it done.

 Now I can officially be called The Rabbit Killer.  Those of you who have been hanging around with me awhile will understand that one!  lol At least this time it's true.  But this morning I had a real scary moment.  What with the rabbits and all the freezer is over full.  As in there isn't any tiny little space left.  So I had to move some things around to get to the ice bucket.  I can't start the morning without my ice tea.  After that I can get my coffee fix.  So I was pulling things out and all the sudden a big package wrapped in butcher paper (read rabbit here) This big package falls out of the freezer and hits me in the shin.  

Well there was a sharp part of bone that clipped me right in that main vein that runs right up the leg.  I started bleeding profusely.  Lots and lots of blood was just pouring out.  I'll admit I was scared.  Mars was outside and there was no way I could holler loud enough for him to hear me.  Still flooding the kitchen floor with pools of blood first I grabbed a chunk of paper towels that only worked for maybe thirty seconds.  I had sat down on the floor to take any pressure off the leg.  I was able to get to the dish towel drawer and grab a towel and sort of tried making a tourniquet out of it.
 All I could think was apply pressure and oh my God there was a  LOT of blood.  The towel and the pressure made everything slow down and before long the bleeding stopped.  You talk about scared!  WOW I was truly scared.  I don't think I've mentioned it before but I have really thin skin and some sort of blood thing that I can never remember the name of. Thromb something.... Anyway, I bleed real easy.  I've now got a good dent in my lower shin that will be needing daily care but I'm still above ground. 
All this to say that the rabbit got me back from the "grave" as it were.  So the Rabbit Killer was attacked by the very  rabbits that were butchered dispatched.  Kind of funny when you think about it. Revenge from the grave freezer. 

I guess that's as good a place as any to wrap this up.  Lots of canning is in my immediate future.  The green beans, Cherokee beans, Limas, peppers, tomatoes.... Well you get the idea.This time of year is what we work for all season long.  I'll just keep repeating it to myself.

Have yourself a great weekend and I'll try to get back to you soon. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

 And so it begins. Everything up to this point has just been a warm-up for what's to come. What?  My first batch of green beans is sitting in a bucket ready to be cut and prepared.  As usual (for me anyway)  many of them are too large to be anything but tough.  The chickens like them though so it's not like a lost cause.

It seems like once the green beans start coming in  everything else will follow as closely as possible.  Don't ask me why.  I might be wrong but it's the way things happen for me.   

I put up some dill pickles using the recipe that Cristy suggested. I thought I had enough cucumbers ready for a full canner full but only ended up with 5 quarts.  It all worked out though because that was all the vinegar recipe I'd made.  I even made extra so next time it looks like I'll have to double the vinegar mix next time.  I've picked a whole bunch of cucumbers in the past couple of days and it's time to get them prepped and canned.

I also had one of the jars bust on me.  Thankfully it was just the bottom that blew out.  The brand?  It was one of those that Big Lots and Dollar General  carry?  Golden Harvest is the name I think.  It's the first time I've had one of them bust so I don't know what happened.

Miss Kitty has decided that she likes the outdoor sink.
I've got peppers to pick and it won't be long till I have to can them too.  These hot banana peppers are almost as long as this plant is high.  I'm thinking I want to  put some up for sandwich peppers.
The picture doesn't do justice to the size of these jalapeno's.  I'm seeing some bacon wrapped stuffed peppers in the near future.
Mars has a thing for serrano's and so I'm definitely going to have to put some up as well.

The purple hull peas are just waiting on me for the first picking and I'm hoping I can get that done today.  I'll shell them and put them up in the fridge until I have enough for a full canner run.  Of all the beans/peas we eat these are our favorite.  I've got a goal of 52  quarts this year. 

I've also got the same goal for squash but that is probably just wishful thinking.  Slowly but surely those #%*$ bugs are trying to take over. It's an ongoing battle and I'm not ready to fly the white flag of surrender just yet.
There are other things I could share but it's all pretty much garden stuff.  Shoot, many of you are going through the same things as I am.   It's times like these I wish I could move as fast as I used to.  This going on at half speed truly gets old. It's frustrating but hey, we all do what we have to do with what we have to work with.  

The beautiful Day Lilly's up top are a sight to see right now.  This is the first time in three years that they've actually bloomed.  I just love the color.