Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Garlic Dill Pickles


I came home from town to a nice surprise, a bag of dill and some pickling cucumbers!
A neighbor had dropped them off for our family.

I was so excited that I was going to be able to put up some pickles!

It is a crazy week with getting ready for fair and I wasn't planning on canning,  but I appreciate the gift and look forward to some yummy pickles!

I got out my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook for my favorite Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe, only to find that page missing. I browsed online and could not find one that resembled it.  I did find recipes with pickling spices, onions and peppercorns, but not a simple garlic dill  recipe.
Finally, after an hour of looking I found it!







Garlic Dill Pickles
7 1/2 cups Water
5 cups Vinegar
1/2 cup Pickling Salt
12 cloves garlic
6  Fresh Dill Heads
about 36 pickling cucumbers  (washed)  (3-3 1/2 inches long)

Mix water, vinegar, and pickling salt in stainless pot and heat to a boil.

 Place 2 clove garlic and one head of dill in each quart/canning jar.

Pack cucumbers in jars (whole or sliced).

Fill Jar with Brine , leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Wipe jars and rims. Put on lids.

Process for 15 minutes in a Water Bath. 





-It is best to use cucumbers the day they are harvested. If they cannot be processed at that time, store the cucumbers in the refrigerator.

-I usually leave the cucumbers whole, but will slice them if they are little larger.

-Cut off the blossom end of the cucumbers.

-I wait three weeks before using the pickles.


If you are not familiar with the basics of canning this site is a great resource and can help get you started!
http://nchfp.uga.edu/



-

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Romney Sheep Facts



Years ago when I dreamed of living on a farm I spent a lot of time pouring over farm related books. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted sheep.  I  then spent a lot of time reading all of the books I could find on sheep at our local library.

By the time we moved to our homestead, I already knew that I wanted Romney Sheep! Within months, we had our first four.

Text Book version of Romney Sheep:
-Dual Purpose Breed
-Docile Sheep
-Originated from the Marshy Areas of Kent in England
-Do well on Pasture
-Lustrous fleece
-Finest fiber diameter of the Long Wool Breeds
-One of the heaviest wool producers of all sheep breeds

-cutest lambs, ever!  My personal opinion  :)

Since I have started spinning I can really appreciate their wool!  I think it is a great fiber for beginners!  I am excited that we will once again have  Romney wool available on the farm.

My oldest daughter loves to go out and visit with them. She always held a little bit of a grudge when we decided to settle with just one breed to simplify things, and we chose the Border Leicester.
We are now back in her good graces, as far as the sheep go!











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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pasture Happenings *Weekly Dose*



Yes, I am friendly, will follow you around and like my head scratched!
Romney/Corriedale Ewe



The weather has been cooler this week so we decided to move everyone around. The new ewes went out to pasture and they seem to be fitting in quite nicely.

We went out today and I had to go to three areas in the  pasture to get pictures. I have three mini flocks now. Hopefully, they will eventually make friends and become one flock.






You can see the new sheep are no Spring chickens! The older Tunis ewe is the only one that we went to purchase, but somehow the Romney ewes ended up in the trailer and hitched a ride as well.

 
 



The lambs are starting to not look so much like lambs anymore. They will be separated from the ewes in the very near future. The ladies need a break. The lambs are still nursing and about lift the ewes right off the ground when they are eating!


 
The goats were eating dinner in the Stinging Nettles. Delaney would like to know how they can dive right in  and eat them with getting the "sting".  Ouch!



The barnyard has temporary bachelor pad status. Max and Archimedes are not happy about that. They are just going to have to make due, no winter babies here!




Please do me a favor and don't pay any mind to that overgrown pasture that we have NOT gotten around to mowing.
Thanks!

I hope you all have a great weekend!



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The HomeAcre Hop

Hay Field (second cut)


Welcome to this weeks HomeAcre Hop! Look forward to seeing what you all have been up to!!

We have been busy getting hay put up in the barn and getting ready for Fair Week, which always manages to sneak up on us.


Your HomeAcre Hosts:

Sandra @ Clearwater Farm

Mary @ Homegrown on the Hill

Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead

Nancy @ Prudent Living On The Home Front

Ann @ Summers Acres

Carol @ Everything Home with Carol

Jenny @ Black Fox Homestead

Lisa Lynn@ Self Sufficient Home Acre


Featured Post
Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

 I will admit that it was NOT easy to narrow it down, there are so many great post.

Eight Acres: Growing Forage or Perennial Pasture




Walking in High Cotton: Sheep Shearing Time




City Boy Hens: City Boy Honey Update




Congratulations!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!


The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre


You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it :) There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. ‘Nuff said :)
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button or a text link, and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. :)
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way :)
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/category/the-homeacre-hop" title="The Self Sufficient HomeAcre"><img src="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/really-small-homeacre-hop-button2.jpg" alt="The Self Sufficient HomeAcre" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 

 



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Monday, July 22, 2013

Taco Pizza Recipe

We love pizza around here, and Friday night is usually pizza night. With the hot weather, we have not had a Friday pizza night in a while.

Today the weather isn't what I would call "cool", but it is not as hot as it has been, so I was talked into making pizza!

One of our favorites is Taco Pizza. I use my favorite crust.

Taco Pizza (2 pizzas)

1 Pound of Hamburger
1 Packet of Taco Seasonings
1 8 oz. jar of Tomato Sauce
16 oz. Shredded  Cheese (Taco, Cheddar, or Colby Jack)


Optional Toppings: Diced Tomatoes, Chopped Lettuce, Diced Black Olives, Sour Cream, Taco Sauce.








Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.

Make Dough recipe.  Roll out on Pizza Pans.
Brown hamburger add taco seasonings (follow directions on packet)

On pizza dough,  spread out the tomato sauce. (You could use more tomato sauce if you like more sauce).
Add taco hamburger mixture and spread out evenly on pizza.
Add shredded cheese and place in preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove pizza from oven and add desired toppings.


Serve!

Enjoy!







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Friday, July 19, 2013

Pasture Happenings *Weekly Dose*

Lucky Day...Fallen Tree Branches
 

It has been a hot one this week!  We have been busy playing catch up, that is what happens when you go on vacation for a week. To bad the lawn didn't take a vacation as well.

We have new Sheep that need to go out in pasture but are still in the barnyard,  Max (Ram) and Archimedes (Buck) are still out in pasture and need to get moved to the barnyard. We have a couple of Tunis ewes , and a few Border Leicester lambs that need to get separated so the girls can get serious about getting ready for fair.

We decided to wait until next week when the weather cools down. It is too hot to be moving everyone around. When you move sheep you have to move them all. You can't go out there and handpick one or two unless they have the notion to walk right up to you and let you put a halter on them and then cooperate with you all the way to the barn! Not likely...

Delaney managed to get a few pictures this week. They haven't been moving around much. They stay in the shady spots and come up in the evening for water.

Follow the Leader

Trying to Stay Cool




It hasn't rained in a week. The sheep have been under the Mulberry Trees and hiding out in the rock pile to stay cool,  so they are looking dirty.

Here's to cooler weather in the coming days!
I hope you all enjoy your weekend!


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

HomeAcre Hop

Spinning for the Tour De Fleece Challenge



I would like to thank Lisa for inviting me to co-host the Home Acre Hop! I love looking through the post each week. I always find great recipes, pictures, interesting homesteading tidbits, and new skills.
I look forward to sharing the Blog Hop each Thursday. I hope you join in and share all of that homesteading wisdom you have!

Your HomeAcre Hosts:

Sandra @ Clearwater Farm

Mary @ Homegrown on the Hill

Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead

Nancy @ Prudent Living On The Home Front

Ann @ Summers Acres

Carol @ Everything Home with Carol

Jenny @ Black Fox Homestead

Lisa Lynn@ Self Sufficient Home Acre


Featured Posts!

Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. That means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don’t forget to link back to one of our blogs if you’d like to be featured!) Congrats! If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!  
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/category/the-homeacre-hop" title="The Self Sufficient HomeAcre"><img src="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/featured-button-e1360255973481.jpg" alt="The Self Sufficient HomeAcre" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 

You are invited to share your original posts on:

Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it :) There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. ‘Nuff said :)
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button or a text link, and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. :)
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way :)
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/category/the-homeacre-hop" title="The Self Sufficient HomeAcre"><img src="http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/really-small-homeacre-hop-button2.jpg" alt="The Self Sufficient HomeAcre" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 

 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dirty, Messy Farm Work

We came home to hay down in the field. Sunday it was baled and the wagons were bought into the barn.
I was happy to have a good second cut but I never look forward to unloading and stacking hay,
Unloading hay is messy, dirty work and doing it on the hottest, most humid day we have had this summer doesn't make the job any more enjoyable!

My oldest daughter is home on a summer break from college, she volunteered to help. It has been about 5 years since she has participated in putting up hay.  It took her back pretty quickly to the days when her and her sisters unloaded wagons of hay every summer. I can't believe all of that work didn't help build the work ethic they have today. They were some tough little girls!
We only managed to get one wagon unloaded, two more to go.

I just keep reminding myself how satisfying it will be to have all of the hay we need for winter stacked up in the barn in July. A much better situation than we were in last year.








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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Camp Cooking with Dutch Oven

We really enjoyed our camping trip to the U.P.
When I say camping I don't want to give anyone the impression of roughing it! The kind of camping I like to do comes with electricity and showers.
We choose to camp in Michigan State Parks which have both!

One of my favorite things to do when camping is pull out the cast iron Dutch oven!
Last year we broke down and finally bought one, I had been wanting one for years. It is great to take camping and I love using it! How else can you have lasagna and cake on a camping trip?

I am not an expert, and I am sure there are people that could cook circles around me and have amazing dishes that  they serve. But we all have to start somewhere, sometime.  One of the books that got me started was Camp Cooking. It is a fun cook book with a lot of ideas and recipes for
the camping trip. An added bonus is the vintage pictures. I especially like the one of a woman ironing at the camp site! I don't even iron at home.... :)




I don't like to spend a lot of time cooking while we are vacationing, I would rather spend it on the beach but I do manage a few dishes each trip. One of the girls favorites is a breakfast casserole.

Sausage/Egg Breakfast Casserole

12 slices bread, cubed
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
18 eggs
1/3 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound cooked sausage

Place liner in Dutch oven (you could skip this step and just grease the Dutch oven) Spray with canola oil. Add bread cubes and pour butter over bread and then add shredded cheese.  Beat eggs and milk.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour eggs over the bread and cheese. Place cooked sausage on top.

Cover.
Bake for 30-45 minutes,  using 6-8 briquettes on bottom and 12-14 briquettes on top.

For Dinner the favorite, hands down is Lasagna.

You could really change this recipe around to use what you like such as sausage instead of hamburger, different kinds of cheese or add spinach etc...

This is the recipe I use




Lasagna 
1 pound hamburger
1 jar spaghetti sauce with vegetables
3/4 cup water
1 pound box lasagna noodles (I use oven ready)
1- 24 oz. cottage cheese
1- 12 oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese






Brown hamburger, add water and spaghetti sauce. Layer ingredients in your Dutch oven.

1) 1 cup Sauce mixture
2) Uncooked noodles
3) Cottage Cheese
4) Mozzarella cheese
5)Parmesan Cheese

Repeat Layers. Bake for one hour.
9 briquettes on bottom and 12 briquettes on top


Last, but not least: dessert. The first time I made this I used homemade, canned, apple pie filling. I didn't have any on hand this time, so I used apple pie filling from the store. I didn't like it nearly as much as I did the first time I made it. I am not a big fan of store bought apple pie filling. If I could do over, I would have bought cherry pie filling instead.


Easy Apple Cobbler

1 package cake mix (can use cinnamon, regular, yellow or caramel.
3 cans of apple pie filling (I used 2 quarts when using homemade)
1-12 oz. can Sprite (or other lemon lime soda)

Line oven with liner or foil. Pour in cans of pie filling. Cover with dry cake mix. Pour 3/4 can of soda over cake mix. Place lid on Dutch oven.

8 briquettes on bottom and 15 on top. Cook 35-40 minutes.



Some basic Dutch Oven tips:
When cooking, rotate the Dutch oven about every 10 minutes to help distribute the heat more evenly.
The lid can also be rotated in the opposite direction about 1/3 turn  every ten minutes.

One briquette adds between 10-20 degrees of heat. The briquettes should be place in circular pattern on bottom and checkerboard pattern on top.
I love using liners, it makes clean up a breeze. There is some added cost but to me it is well worth it!

One other camp tip that I wanted to share is Mike's Fire Starter.
He places about 12-15 cotton balls loosely in a baby food jar and adds a couple of ounces of clear lamp oil. He adds just enough oil for the cotton balls to be saturated.  Inexpensive, simple, and they work great!






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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getaway




On a getaway to one of my favorite places in Michigan!
Enjoying the great outdoors with family and the peace and quiet ( except for the little yappy dog in the campsite across the way)
Trying to stay unplugged...
Will be back to the everday soon enough :)
I hope everyone enjoys the week!!

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