Tag Archives: freezing

A Season for Preserving Food

7 Aug

I swear all I’ve done the last couple of weeks is prepare food for the winter.

That includes a lot of mozzarella cheese for me and the family.  I still have to do mozzarella sticks.  I’m also making chevre.

I have plenty of sweet corn frozen.

Some of the goats have taken advantage of my corn shucks being tossed out. Everyone else was still out in pasture.

Dolly and Cookie

Cookie in particular has been good about coming up early to sneak a treat.

My tomato plants are dying; I lost a lot to rot from the hail; I am picking them early to preserve every drop of liquid in them, but I am working on canning the tomatoes that are left.

I have cold pack tomatoes.

I am making sauce for the family now.

I have also been chopping and freezing okra and hot peppers.  This year I decided to try canning my roasted beets with a honey rosemary glaze instead of freezing them.

I just need the Habanero peppers to turn orange so I can make my son’s salsa.

Just as I finish this summer canning, I’m going to move on to the fall stuff because I’m seeing orange in the garden.

I think I might be ready for the first frost this year.

Notes on the Garden

27 Jul

This year has not been the best for gardening.

The garden

I have some luffa gourds on the vines.  I put the panel up for them to climb on because the last time I planted luffa gourds they were horribly dirty and difficult to clean.  I thought this might help them stay clean.

luffa gourd

My sweet corn is not ready yet, but look at all of those ears!  I’ll certainly have enough to eat and give to the family and freeze for the winter.  That is as long as my electric wire keeps the raccoons away.

sweet corn

The weather has not made it easy–from late freeze to cool and rainy to hot and dry.  My poor tomato plants are dying.

tomato

When I planted, we were fairly cool and getting rain nearly every day.  They didn’t put down deep roots.  Now those roots are so close to the surface that the heat we’ve had is just baking them.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much I water them.  I’m hoping that the tomatoes will finish turning even if the plants do die.  I’ve quit weeding in hopes that the grass will provide a bit of shade because the tomatoes are getting horribly sunburnt as well.

I picked a few ripe ones the other day, and I’m seeing quite a bit of hail damage.  Some of the places have scarred over, but others are rotting.

hail damage

I did have enough ripe tomatoes that I decided to play with the new saucer.

tomato juice

It came out as a perfect tomato juice.  I did want sauce, so I decided to drain some of the liquid using cheese cloth.

That helped, but I still had to cook it down for a while.

That takes forever, which is why I went to roasting tomatoes to make sauce.  Anyhow, while I was waiting for it to cook down, I washed, chopped and froze a bunch of hot pepeprs.

jalapino and Anaheim chili peppers

Then I snapped and washed the small bucket of green beans that had finally set.

green beans

After about two hours, my tomato sauce had cooked down enough to add spices.

By the end of the evening,

taco sauce and green beans

I had canned eight half-pints of taco sauce and five pints of green beans.

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.