Tag Archives: freezing

Chores When It’s Really Cold

21 Jan

The really cold (but not quite stupid cold) weather we are having right now adds another level of challenging to doing chores.   Part of that is because the animals went from pretty mild temperatures to really cold temperatures.  They have to have time to adjust, and they didn’t get that.  Even Odie is acting a bit cold.

Odie

I worry about Wanda with her fur not completely grown back.  The greenhouse is a bit warmer for her than the main barn.  (The hazy look is my breath steaming.)

Wanda and Aphrodite (and Athena’s body)

Caroline is her typical brat.  Not even the cold can change that.  You’ll notice Anubis on the shelf below her because Zeus is still kind of pushy.

Caroline (Anubis below and Zeus’s back)

I’m glad it did this over a weekend when I was home to check everyone more frequently.  I’m also giving them an extra feeding of hay.  This would be easier if we hadn’t had the ice that froze my door down.  At least I can open the top and throw my bale of hay out and then climb over.  It’s just another level of fun.  Although, I have gotten it chipped away so I can open it enough for me to sneak through now.

Moose

This extra feeding helps me check on everyone.  If someone is not getting up to eat or is just standing there shivering and not eating, they need to be moved.

Cupid and Cutie

That’s why Stormy got moved to the garage on Saturday.  She was lying in the barn shivering, refused to get up and wouldn’t eat when I put hay right in front of her.  She’s doing much better now.

Stormy

Sunday, Dolly joined them.  I have a couple more old ladies and the young kids that I’m keeping a close eye on.

Antigone and Dolly (Pistol across the front)

The front door to my garage is also frozen shut, so I have to carry hay through the milk/soap rooms, or I can climb the fence and go through the buck room.

Xerxes and Hilda (the door that will open between them)

Poor Xerxes still is the biggest chicken on the farm, but he’s also hoping I bring him lots of grain.

I’ve also been breaking the ice off my cattle tank.

Penny

The heater is working, but it is warm and the steam freezes, and it just keeps freezing until it’s completely iced over.

Luckily, the cold is supposed to break tomorrow, and I can put my old ladies back out of the garage.  Of course, with the warmer temperatures comes the threat of more rain, ice, and snow.

I Quit

30 Sep

The second reason I did not take many pictures this past weekend is tomatoes and milk.  Seriously.  I’m not getting much milk from the girls right now, but it still adds up.

That means, I started Saturday by making three batches of mozzarella.  I also had to deep fry the mozzarella sticks that we made last weekend.  They’ve been in the freezer all week taunting me.

Then I switched to tomatoes.

This is my canning total for Saturday: 13 pints and 2 half-pints of roasted sauce; two pints and four quarts of cold pack tomatoes; and six pints and three quarts of tomato juice.

My basement is full. I’ve already given away two dozen pints of sauce/salsa.  I quit.  I refuse to do any more tomatoes this year!

That means I moved on to other garden items!  I chopped and froze some okra.

I started preparing and freezing butternut squash.  I did some for me and some for my uncle.

Someone had to check out the squash after I put the skins in the birds’ bucket.

Sky and Snickers

Snickers decided that it tasted yummy.

I pulled the last of the beets and shared them with my nephew.  I roasted and froze mine. Since my peppers didn’t do well, my sister sent me a bucket.

I’m still working on getting the peppers done.  I did take a break though, and made three batches of soap Sunday afternoon.

That includes a new fragrance–crisp apple rose.

Preserving the Harvest

8 Aug

I’m at the time of year when my garden keeps me busy.  I’m lucky that the weather has been good here for keeping the weeds out, and I’m also grateful that I have water close by so that I can water the garden.  We’ve been horribly dry for the last six weeks or so.  My trees are losing their leaves because of the dry conditions.  I’m kind of worried about a couple of my old oak trees.

I’m still getting a few cucumbers and zucchinis despite the dang squash vine borers.  I’m working hard at preserving the harvest.  I have been making and freezing zucchini brownies and bread.

I’ve also been freezing zucchini patties.  When they are frozen, I’ll switch them into a ziploc bag, but they stay separate by freezing on the baking sheet first.

I think I’m going to move on to zucchini chips next.

I have already canned green beans for me and my mom.

Snickers has been my expert helper.

Snickers

Now I’m playing with green bean recipes.  I must say the balsamic roasted green beans were yummy.

The tomatoes are just starting to get ripe.  That means I’ll soon be canning roasted tomato sauce, cold pack tomatoes, and tomato juice.

I’m also making lots of mozzarella cheese to grate and freeze for winter use.  I also plan on making and freezing more mozzarella sticks.

If I find time, I still want to make more yogurt, buttermilk, chevre, and feta, too.

Edit: Here is the recipe I use for my Mozzarella.  It is exactly as a friend sent it to me.  I do use liquid rennet, so I had to make the notation at the top.  I decided 1/4 tsp. in the 1/4 cup of water works best.  You might only need to heat it twice in the microwave.  When it is glossy and stretchy, that’s good.

Just a reminder, if you use store bought milk, you might need to add calcium chloride.  You can read all about that HERE. (Just scroll down to where it talks about processed milk and click on the calcium chloride tab).