Tag Archives: family

Ethel’s Best Pickled Beets

23 Jul

I am not a fan of pickled beets, but I do like to garden, and I do like to feed people, so I will occasionally can my dad some pickled beets.

I am using the recipe his mother used.  It’s called “Ethel’s Best Pickled Beets” on her recipe card.  I assume the Ethel she is referring to is her sister-in-law, my great-aunt.  In other words, this is a family recipe that is quite old.

I pulled some beets from the garden because they needed to be thinned.

When I was ready to make my pickled beets, I trimmed them.  Leave just about an inch of the stems and an inch of root.

Then scrub them as clean as you can get them.  I actually use my green scotch pad to scrub them.

Then you put the beets in a pot of water, making sure you have enough to completely cover them, and boil them for about twenty-five minutes.

Do not discard the water.  Remove the beets and the skins will just slip off.

Now you can cut off the rest of the stems and roots.  Honestly, they will probably just rub off with the skin.  Slice or dice the beets.  If they are small (2 inches or less in diameter) you can leave them whole.

Place them in the jars you plan on canning them in.  I got five pints from those few that I pulled.

To make the pickling, you will use your reserved beet water, vinegar and sugar in equal amounts.  For the small batch I was canning, I used 1 1/2 cups of each.  I had more than I needed.  That is the nice thing about this recipe.  You can make whatever amount works for you; just keep the 1:1:1 ratio for the pickling liquid.

The first time I made these, I was rather disgusted with the thought of using the water the beets were boiled in.  I measured out my water and then decided to run it through a milk filter.  To my surprise, it was clean.  There was not a single drop of dirt in the filter.  If you don’t believe me or just want to feel better about it, you can always strain the water through a coffee filter.  Place your water, vinegar, and sugar into a pan and heat to dissolve the sugar.

Then pour it over the beets, filling the jar to 1/2 inch (another pickled beet recipe I looked at said 1/4 inch) from the top.

Wipe the rims of the jars clean and adjust the lids.  Process the jars (pint or quart) in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.  These are best left for a day or two before eating.

Since I had some of the pickling juice left, I decided to slice a cucumber from the garden.

They became pink refrigerator pickles.

For the record, they were delicious.

The Little Farm Hand

25 Apr

With all the disruptions due to the Covid19 pandemic, I have been babysitting my great-nephew part of the time.

Grady–the little farm hand

It’s been a big learning curve for all of us here.  Rocky is the king of social distancing.

Bob was more mellow about his arrival, and he seems to like the snacking opportunities.

I have to say, Sky has been amazing!

These two might just end up being best friends.

I have to admit, I really enjoying having him here.

2019 in Review

31 Dec

It seems like 2019 has been a rough year, and I got to thinking about the old days when I actually used to link to blog hops and visit lots of blogs.  One of my favorite posts was always the year in review post, so I thought I’d go back and find the list and do one for this year.  Here is 2019 in review.

1. Me. This one comes from last March.  I try to avoid the front side of a camera, but I can’t help but take a picture of Aurora checking out the kids.  She does adore the babies, and I’m glad she’s willing to be close to me.  We’ve come a long way in the area of trust.

2.  I love you.  It was scary to have Leo go through surgery this fall.  He’s been my snuggle buddy for a long time.  I do love him.


3.  Still Laughing.  These girls crack me up.  I really did laugh at them following the hay wagon to eat while we were baling.  It’s not like they didn’t have a whole pasture of fresh grass.  Silly girls.

4. Winter Wonderland. Last winter was one of those years that saw record numbers of snow/cold days off school.  I definitely got in practice shoveling with all the paths I had to make for the goats. But it was beautiful.  I don’t actually mind winter horribly bad as long as I have electricity for water and can manage to get my chores done.  Although, I did get a bit tired of climbing over the bottom of the dutch doors and taking alternate routes to be able to feed everyone.

5.  Birthday.  We have so many birthdays around here, but we don’t do much in the way of celebrating.  I will say, one birthday I wasn’t sure we’d make in 2019 was actually a hatch anniversary. Mama Phoenix turned five in May.  We’ll see if she makes it to six-years-old.  She has certainly had quite the unusual year.

Mama Phoenix

6.  Friends.  These two make the strangest friends.  But they seem happy with each other’s company.

Sky and Bob

7. I Was Inspired.  This past year was certainly one that inspired me to try new things with knitting–hats, scarves, rugs, dishcloths, and all kinds of things.  It has been a lot of fun.  I do think my round rug that I knit with cored yarn from Maybeline is my favorite so far.

8. Spring Fever.  For me spring fever means spring break kidding.  Although, this last year, I was horribly sick while we were kidding, and it didn’t work out well.  Here’s to a better kidding for 2020.  Although, I am also celebrating having healthy kids.  The copper has made all the difference in the world.

Joani’s triplets: Peter Pan, Wendy, Tink

9. Travel or Vacation.  This one is hard.  I don’t travel or take vacation really.  My whole life on the farm is one giant staycation. Maybe I should try to leave the farm at least once next year.

10. Summer Days.  This year, my summer days seemed to be dominated by gardening and scooping manure.  That was a job that I was quite happy to have done.

Dahlia (with Aphrodite below)

11. A Day in My Life. The perfect day in my life is a day in pasture with the animals.

Penelope front (Pepe behind)

12. All Smiles.  I love when the goats smile.  It makes me smile too.


13.  Autumn Harvest.  Farming has been rough the last few years, but I am lucky with how my beans turned out this fall.  But it is the tomatoes that gave me a record harvest. I filled my pantry and gave away a ton of tomatoes and canned goods.

14.  Family or Home.  I did a lot of work on my home this year, but there’s still a lot more to come.  I have to say, I am enjoying the new windows this winter.

15. Celebrate.  One thing I got to celebrate late this month was paying off my garage!  It is all mine.  However, I refuse to call it a barn no matter what.  Even if there is a llama and a goat in it right now.

Haley, Wanda, Cinnamon, Bonnie, Blaze and Tony peeking over

16. Let’s Do It Again!  I had so much fun taking classes at C&M Acres that I plan to do more of them.

17. I Miss You.  Obviously, Snickers is at the top of my list for those I miss this year.  This image is from April.

Snickers Doodle McWhiner

18.  Beautiful.  I need to spend more time wandering with my camera this next year.  I enjoy all the natural beauty out there.

19.  Dress Up.  I am pretty pleased with how my llama coat turned out.  It’s probably not what dress up is supposed to be, but we haven’t played dress up for quite some time around here.  We might have to do that again this coming summer.


20.  Macro.  I didn’t actually do a lot of fun photography this year.  It was just too busy, but I was really thrilled to do the newborn shoot for my great-nephew, Grady.  I love the way this macro collage turned out.  I actually have it hanging on my wall.

21.  Holidays.  I’ve pretty much already decided this will be the image of my calendar next December (2021).


22. My Favorite.  My favorite pasture birds are the bobolinks.  It really makes me happy that they nest back there, especially since our songbirds are in decline.

23.  Don’t Ever Change.  Well, everything changes, but if I could truly pick something not to change, it would be my beautiful farm.  I love the life I have here.

24.  Just Because…So There!  I can’t help it. Pluto is cute and sweet, and I do adore him.


25. Hopes and Dreams.  I really do want to keep making soap and expand my artistic endeavors.  I think getting my soaps and a few other items in the store was a good start.

I guess we’ll see what happens in 2020.