Tuesday, August 30, 2011

turkey stock, the winding down of summer

remember my turkey i roasted last week?
well it's remains are in the stock pot
slowly simmering into stock for canning
the house is beginning to smell like fall a bit because of it
things are slowly winding down, leaves are all over the driveway, and they have been even before irene came through.
i still have odds and ends to finish up.....
budgies need to be reintroduced (mrs fezziwig and emma were trying to fight to the death so mrs fezziwig was removed, and is in a separate cage)
caulking needs to be done- some trees will be pulled down
potatoes bought and stored
more wood added as well as a tank of backup oil
possibly that generator and lp tank as well
the woodstove still needs to be cleaned, ditto on the chimney
i would like to make window quilts too if i can get to it before the bad part of the winter
at least for the north wall in the studio
and if at all possible i would like to get my studio back in shape and get back to work....
it seems i am just drifting a lot lately

the research continues on food processors, chamber sealers and other stuff i need in the kitchen.....as does the back and forth on where to PUT the kitchen....
so many decisions to be made and i can't juggle it all in  my head

meanwhile life and the seasons go on.

Monday, August 29, 2011

after maths of the storm

we're ok
 how are you folks that were in the path?
here, some branches and leaves down.....
my big and adored sugar maple is almost totally leafless-
but we still have electric and a lot of my friends don't
we got rain......
we got winds
not as much rain or as heavy winds as we feared

we put the ducks out around noon-ish
they were so happy
the babies had an indoor waterfall and swimming pool out in the back pen, falstaff was strutting his duckly stuffs
malcom and the big girls were in the upper pens which got all fresh bedding
the cats were happy with the after storm energy
the budgies too
the chickens not as much

oh and then my hamilton beach 702R food processor broke....
i can't get the part to replace so it's basically a brick now
i am looking at a magimix........
Cuisinart and kitchenaid are now made in china, but they used to be made by the same company as the magimix
i been reading reviews of all of them though
i need a big one, i use it for making 'crumbs' and also pureeing veggies....and now making no knead pizza crust. for the dough function i need a powerful one too.

if anyone has recommendations of one that they bought within the last year, that is big and powerful, that isn't made in china....and they use for dough PLEASE PLEASE let me know

so what is it with the appliances lately?
i realize that the food processor is pretty old...probably like 97 or so maybe even 92
but the sealer is only like 5 years old or so

although i got the part for my vacuum sealer and i'm now happily sealing away
but i am saving for a chamber sealer.....seriously now commercial is the way to go

now in other news, you folks know how much i love the work of ingo jewelry....
well she's having a contest
here are the rules HERE
i do intend on entering......
she is a one person artisan operation......she, herself and her- and she's good.
i love to see folks work hard and succeed
i am hoping some of you folks will enter too as i think if we do she'll get more people to see her work
and christmas is coming.....

well i guess i don't have much else to say
at least not today
i am sitting on the ice pack again
cause i'm all twingy

i hope you folks all stayed safe during this storm
and i hope you all check in

take care


Friday, August 26, 2011

stay safe folks...

we will be keeping the poultry in the house during the storm
i am going to bring in the temporary pen and set them up in the basement..... one pair of girls in each and the drakes in the other two rooms

i wish we had storm shutters for some of the windows in the studio but we don't
so we do have some plywood and tarps just in case
i hope all you folks in the storms path stay safe

there are two big things i worry about for us
our trees
and being without electric to run the freezers and the well pump

we are so getting a generator after this- bernie's been giving me a million reasons why we can't do it
but i have decided that a contractors portable generator is the way to go and we will be doing that soon
and some trees are coming down as well.......(coniferous trees, not my beloved sugar maples)
i know that if bernie had to go one day without a shower after work he'd be right there for the generator.......so we're going to do the generator
thanks to susan's J , i have a good idea what i am looking for...
but i do think that the portable ones run either on gas or diesel not heating oil.
( i so wish we'd put in solar for the well pump)

we have food........(oh boy do we have food)

i think we'll be ok for the most part, i do need poultry feed and cat food
i'll try and get that today

well folks see you on the flip side

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

coming up for air

i got thrown for a loop with a sciatica attack on my right hip/leg
oh man
at one point it was so bad i was afraid i was going to live.....
this started monday late morning........i am just NOW getting some relief
we've been dealing with it.....not very well but what can you do
someone remind me that next time (and there will be a next time......there always is)
i need to get on the ice FAST

so now.........all you folks in harms way with the hurricane, i hope it blows out to sea
and i also hope that if it doesn't.....that you are all prepped and stay safe

i won't stay long, as i have to ice again....
but that's where i am right now
i was totally out of it yesterday due to pain
and believe me if i had access to a pain killer yesterday i would have taken it

it's better today


Monday, August 22, 2011

i swear i thought i saw a fish in the tree

well it's wet enough.

we got the daily deluge yesterday, and in the midst of it (naturally)
we brought the ducks in
i think even my spoiled rotten ducks have decided if you can't beat it.......
cause lilli was in the pond with the rain!
of course the second i walked out the door she jumped out (ducks look so funny when they jump)
and hid under the tarp trying to dry up

and NATURALLY as soon as we brought the ducks in, dumped ponds..... and dried off, the sun came out and the rain stopped
no shit

oh MY!!!!!

amelia is semi broody at the moment.... squeaking around like lilli does
squeaking up and down the hill........yelling at me over her shoulder....does it make me a bad duck mom that i laugh my ass off at her?

now in other news, my vacuum sealer broke....but i believe i can get it fixed.
the next step up would be 800. and it is a chamber sealer.....which is HUGE and i am going to save for but i need my vacuum sealer NOW
i don't want to try and buy another home unit...... and i do too much for a home unit anyway.
bernie and i were talking about it
i use the stove, vacuum sealer, food processor and mixer all the time, and i do multiple things all at once
i mix giant batches of cookies, and doughs..... meatloaf etc. i use the food processor to do doughs, veggies, make 'crumbs' etc, ( we do grating cheese with my parents hand grater that's got to be about a billion years old) these appliances for me aren't just for pretty....they get used, hard use.
so commercial grade is not totally out of the question (except for the cooktop, i can't go gas or the extreme btu's of commercial)
so we are going to save for the chamber sealer and such
i am truly lost without my vacuum sealer though

and a cooktop ..next one is going to be induction, and i need at least one electric burner for the canner.
the next oven is going to be convection i believe... and it's going to be between my shoulders and waist... no bending. i WISH ovens still had swing to the side doors, like in the 20s and 30s .......
or even swing UP door like that one from the 60s on bewitched....
they should consult me on such things.....i'll tell them!!!!!

and sinks with legs no cabinets.....sinks should be self contained cause i keep trashing the sink cabinets!
i'm telling you what i really need is not only a commercial kitchen, but a summer/canning kitchen as well.
and yet we struggle with 'should we move the kitchen to the studio? and give up half..... or keep the kitchen where it is and break into the dining room'

i know we've been talking about an addition, which we do need, but right now with the economy the way it is......we're afraid of spending the money so close to retirement.
(and it's many many people like us with the same worries that will keep the economy not moving, but we can't help that)

anyway, it's time to put my little darlinks out
i'm sure they will be squeaking at me when i get down there....
and i think i need to do something to the leeks while i'm outside

til next time

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the wood cometh........

two more cords, i had thought 4 but really i am not scheduled for that until september...
good thing as maybe by then the almost daily rain will stop?
bernie said that it's easier for him to do two cords at a time anyway. 
he isn't too happy with the new wheelbarrow either, although it's better then the old rickety one that falls over constantly- guess we need a garden cart or wagon huh?

bernie was home yesterday too, ( he doesn't ever take a whole week off anymore....just a day here and there)
he did some odds and ends stuff around
i did dishes and dishes and dishes and recovered from the injury at that pap...NEVER AGAIN
i have chicken to do today 
and some peaches
roast a turkey.....
you know ....stuff!

we slept in......... all of us piled up on the bed...until fawn decided to come wait all of us up...... hahahahaha
the other cats weren't happy about it 
so i am not staying long with you all this morning..... 
we'll catch up maybe monday
i hope to get more batteries for the camera too 
in the mean time
have a safe fun weekend

Friday, August 19, 2011

did you miss me?

well we haven't heard back from the KY sister-in-law so i am going to figure no news is good news.

we were all over for the past two days.
i had two medical appointments.....wen and thurs
bernie took thurs and today off
we got our 120# of chicken
in between medical appointments i packed up most of the chicken

(i got hurt at the first appointment, so doing that chicken was by shear determination)
i have dishes and more chicken to do today

we're getting wood in again today and starting on the rest of the winter preparations

  • wood
  • woodstove/chimney
  • chaulking
  • potatoes
  • snow blower
  • storm door
  • back wall in duckroom

i think we need to prioritize to get them done
but right now i think we're in pretty good shape
now if we get behind on anything of course we're screwed but at the moment it looks good.

so in a few minutes i am going to take my duckies out..... then start my dishes (don't ask but i will be doing them for most of the morning i think)
bernie is going to lowes, for salt, filters and coarse sand for the birds
i am most likely roasting a turkey today for the freezer and the canner
i love my stock in the jars!!!!!
i may do peach and pickles too today

so what are you folks doing?
what's your winter preps look like? and how are you coming along with them?

there is something so gratifying to me to have everything ready for winter- i feel like i can then relax and enjoy the changes of the seasons..... no worries

ok off i go
til next time

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

in what may be a family emergency......

one of my sister-in-laws called yesterday afternoon....
she's going to the neurologist today
unexplained lesions on her brain....
i told her not to panic that it could be anything.
and it could be anything from old head trauma (like i got when the fan fell on my head)
to a bunch of other stuff that is mostly benign
however i get the sense that she's worried. although she said she isn't

meanwhile it's still raining here........and i am worried about subsidence ......i am a bit concerned that our little cottage may end up down the hill in a ditch!
the ducks still don't like the rain
i got a fungus on my finger from weeding in the rain
i suppose we all should be glad this isn't snow
i don't want to be hauling buckets in 4 feet of snow (isn't that what the rain is up to now? like 40 feet or something)
1 inch of rain i believe equals a few feet of snow.....we'd be hard pressed to dig out of that

bernie thinks that he can get the big pen sort of finished.... doors and a roof
so that at least come winter (and ice) i will be able to use that instead of down the slope to the big pen
meanwhile with the rain my pens are all a mucky muddy mess..... you'd never know we just cleaned them not even a week ago...

i think we are in for a very snowy winter

Monday, August 15, 2011

why rain, why am i not surprised?

and ducks that hate rain........is it me? i ask you?

yesterday we ran to town, as it was raining so we couldn't do anything outside much.
i got a pizza stone (20% off so like 14.00)
a new maple cutting board (25$ gift certificate so i paid a lot 35.00 for it)
and some books from borders going out of business sale
(gourmet magzine cookies, savory baking and new york by rutherford)
as we were headed home, planning supper we got a road call
so with a fast stop to bring the ducks in
we were off to philly
no lunch
no knitting
but i survived
we got home and thanks to having done ham ahead (remember when i did the ham) supper was less then 20 minutes
i am still going to do more fast freezer meals......i guess some casseroles too
i am going to do them during the week as i have to make sure we don't have road calls to worry about

yesterday's was brutal due to weather and weekend drivers

meanwhile it is still raining.......still
i got half dried clothing hanging all over the house!

and ducks that still hate going out in the rain

which brings me to ducks.............and rain........
i have to go out in the rain now
and take my very spoiled ducks out to the day pens

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a wood stacking day

yup bernie is stacking....i told him i would help but he said no right now
so i hung the laundry, put the ducks out and i am about to go into the kitchen
the maple turning & dropping leaves
you know,........i spend an awful lot of time in the kitchen

i did pizza last night......it was great
we split it
i got heartburn, i think it's sauce........i think i am allergic to tomatoes and peppers!
today is chicken breasts and some leftovers
i am trying to decide what tomorrow should bring.....
i would love to rotisserie a chicken...........
meanwhile bernie got his dvd of nanny mcphee
the ducks got new grain pans
new hay and everyone got another sack of pellets............so everyone is happy.

so far it looks like the fall/winter preps are on schedule so to speak...... well at least we'll be done by the cold weather with the most urgent stuff.

i also gave the front door trim it's second coat yesterday......and i can't wait to do the actual door!
then get the storm door
i also noticed that we are starting to get cucumbers......so hopefully we'll have enough to have them pickled soon

ok that's about it for now because i have to get in the kitchen



Friday, August 12, 2011

a fallish preview

it''s nice out..... about 57
wow that is nice
leaves are falling
my driveway is spangled with maple and sumac leaves
and i hear the cicadas at times

soon we may be able to finish some painting?
how do folks manage down south in the semi tropical areas to paint houses and such?
i still have a chandie to paint! not to mention the front door, it's trim and the windows out on the back of the house

i also have budgies that need to settle their differences and get back together....in the big flight
or one budgie needs to be rehomed
which will upset me greatly
so they need to settle their differences

i just popped out on the deck, it's blissfully cool out there
i think if it holds out we'll be able to eat out there again
during almost all of june and july it was just too hot and too humid
we need to turn that into a three season i swear

now i have to tell you folks, i am trying to take pictures for you
but the batteries in my camera keep dying
brand new fresh batteries..... i've changed them twice already
so either i have a bad batch
we got ghostly activity going on
which would not surprise me considering i've been talking a lot about some of my friends that have died.
so meanwhile i had gotten some pictures for you folks....
fall leaves, my new shawl pins...
i didn't get all the pictures i wanted or promised due to the batteries dying after two pictures!

but now i can't get them out of the camera!
oye, so i need a usb card reader next
maybe it's just time to get my tower fixed?

til next time


Thursday, August 11, 2011

waiting for the coffee

i got up a bit late today, fed the cats, gave fawnie her meds...
watered the budgies
poked around the net.....now i am waiting for my coffee
i got the back door open, as it is blessedly cool and it appears maybe........less humid?
i hope so as i need to hill up my leeks again
NEXT year i trench them differently..
my little garden is not very productive this year.. it's overgrown with weeds as well
i think i'm a bit tired of struggling against the shade.
and with all those rains it sort of got away from me this spring

i do however have a spaghetti squash vine growing and so far no sign at all of borer! i planted the seeds july 1....so i am going to start doing squash and pumpkins like that.

bernie is off a few days next week......which means we get some wood stacked... and a few other things.
i am planning 10-12 cords but i am not sure where we are going to be putting some of the cords.
i will also put diatomaceous earth under the cords, and also a weed barrier- i found that when i do that we don't get too many ticks in the house in the fall.

we were planning on running down to the purveyor saturday but i realized that since bernie's got off......and the purveyor has thursday/friday only sales....we'll go when the sales are on...this way too he can help with some of the chicken

we're about ready for fall and winter....after the wood and the chicken, all we have left are the potatoes..
normally we get 100 pounds of yukon gold, and 50 of the russet bakers. i think this year we'll get 50/50/50 reds, golds, and bakers. i think i am going to dry and freeze a bunch right in the very beginning of the season.
i always feel much better when this stuff is all done..... like winter can come on and we'll be able to meet it head on...

we also could use bedding straw, i wish i could get a good price on 15 bales. i know it's not full load, not like a 100 bale load but at 7 a bale....it's a lot.....out at the farm, feed hay was 3.45 a bale... i could use a good deal like that.
did that all just make sense?

now that i have my coffee...........
maybe i will be more coherent now.
or maybe not

we got a few more mice in the traps in the kitchen... i am hoping we get some more of the house holes filled.. but with a field stone foundation.... that may not be the easiest thing to do
and i am thinking that the partial dirt floor doesn't help
but we got a few more.
i am going to get the stuff for the attic next month...... that should also help
maybe  a duck in a diaper in the house would help the most....ducks LOVE to eat mice
much more then my former barn cats ( laperms were originally barn cats)

ok off i go
if the weather holds i am going to take pictures that i know i owe everyone
prepare then for days of pictures!

ok off i go

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

a short discussion of cookbooks

as some of you may remember, i recently had a field day at Better World Books
they have a wonderful sale bin and free shipping....
and the more you buy the less each book costs
so hence the field day

now i have a sort of partial review of some of those books
and a few recommendations for  anyone who cares to listen
(not necessarily in that order) ***and i am not affiliated with anyone..... no one pays me...i wish they would! hahahaha so this is based on my opinions, if you trust my opinions, you maybe would like to pick up these books ......used if you have to***

first off...... if you are a new cook, or just starting out  or just want to know the real nuts and bolts of cooking
i have two recommendations for you

the joy of cooking 1975 edition (although i hear that the new 75th anniversary edition is wonderful and just as good as 1975)
Good cheap food by Miriam Ungerer

these two together in my opinion are the true MUST HAVES if you aspire to any sort of cooking
i got the joy when it first came out in paperback in 76, from an aunt who worked at scholastic.
she brought home a set for me and a set for mom...(this was in 2 volumes)
i read that book over and over and over, it's burnt on the cover now...i don't remember how that happened (could have been from someone i lent it to)
but for anyone, this is a total college course in food

the ungerer book is another must have..... she's practical, down to earth and a good read......PLUS she teaches you in plain and entertaining english what pots and pans to get and how to get them
another book i read over and over- i credit her with my money saving exploits in the kitchen.
this one i picked up in texas in 1980....and again at a library sale here....

now there are a few other books i would suggest if you decide to really get into a whole cooking as the center of family life lifestyle

another one would be Fancy Pantry, and Better then store bought: a cookbook by helen witty.
those would be (IMHO) the very minimum of books to have on your shelf
after those you can fill in if you want with julia child, craig claybourne, etc......
depending on your niche 
or interests

now out of the ones i picked up....... 
Betty Crocker Whole Grains: Easy Everyday Recipes don't bother with this one
a much better one is 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains

i also like 30 day gourmet...... which since i do this anyway, i figured i would compare all the freeze ahead books.... 
i did NOT like 'Once a month cooking' nor the friendly freezer.....

if you decide you need a book for freezing and cooking ahead.....get the 30 day gourmet- either the books or the software 

now something i would like to remind you folks of.....in case you forgot
or didn't know in the first place
but every industry has a promotional agency for the most part

even food industries here are some of the meat ones
they have recipes and facts and all sorts of things for you....
you can easily put together a file of recipes and ideas from their websites alone

now as some of you know.....i am also a canner, so i always have the ball book (the newest edition is the anniversary edition) i also like to get really old ball blue books, war years and prior..... just because

and i dehydrate a lot of stuff so i got a few of the dehydrating books
i can't really recommend any of those at this time because right now off the top of my head i can't remember the titles!

the last book i am going to recommend (because i just think it's the coolest most satisfying book about food, home and homemaking in my opinion) is The Pantry (see my link to it on the right)
i loved this book.... and if you are at all interested in how food was stored all those many years without electricity.... you WANT THIS BOOK....... it's eye candy and history and wonderful.
it did not get the audience it should have ........
again i am not affiliated with the author but i just loved this book- i would LOVE to see her do a matching book on summer kitchens......

so there you have it for today

let me know what you folks think ok?


Monday, August 08, 2011

and the humidity just keeps on ........and on.......and on......and on

our load of wood is saturated
and unstacked
i am aggravated beyond what i can say
so we won't talk about that

we'll talk about deviled ham salad........

where in you put some mayo, mustard, a few drops of green tabasco
some honey....... and some finely chopped cooked ham (use the food processor and pulse until it's almost a paste)
all together and boom.........
you can't stop eating it

on crackers, by the spoonful, as a spread......
i can see this dropped on slices of fresh cucumber with a tiny shrimp and sprig of dill

we had the fresh cucumber but not the mini shrimp and dill
i already had a few spoonfuls this morning
it would be good pipped around a deviled egg or pipped into half of the deviled egg....with the other half the yolk
pretty versatile
ok so the ham is done and the bone is in the stockpot and that is simmering
today i am going to finish up some odds and ends in the kitchen
then get ready for the chicken....
i have to get the stock into the fridge too so i can get the fat layer solid and off it
i think i am going to be cleaning the fridge too

i been thinking about our fridge...... bernie reversed the door and ever since the gasket is open at the top
we can't seem to fix it either
and it's caused some rust on the fridge......which is 17 years old
i don't think it's truly time to replace it but it is time to start to think about it......and i am thinking that it would maybe be a good idea to get something that is about 11 cubic feet, and all fridge.....something like an under counter only built in above...... with maybe one freezer drawer for ice and icecream....since we have the big freezers downstairs
i know there is stuff like that in europe.....(they have ALL the fun)
but here?
the land of the bigger is better? i don't know
anyway a quick search doesn't kick up anything either close to what i had in mind or affordable

you know if i ever get this kitchen settled it will be a miracle....

well today is 92% humidity.....which if you folks come from drier areas means it's like breathing through a warm wet towel......you'll get some air but not much
and you'll sweat
but it won't cool you down as it won't evaporate.......
that would be about right
even being in a pool won't help much
nor will multiple showers as you will sweat the second you get out
you won't be able to get dried off

just the day to hide in the ac no?

poor bernie is working in this.....on diesel rigs...... cause even though he's management he's working management.... and he is such a perfectionist he'd have to get under the hoods anyway...to make sure it was done right...
he'll have a good supper though.... i'll make sure
and i'll chill some fruit for him too...... so that will help
he took his gatoraide
the heat's put him in a vile mood...i can't blame him really, i have issues with this extreme heat and humidity too

maybe in a few days some of the humidity will be over and then i'll start to stack as my wood is soaked now
and we're to get 4 more cords in two weeks! then another 4 two weeks after that!

anyone want to come stack wood in a steam bath?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

and a ham to can and freeze

i know a while ago i posted about how i do big batch cooking and freeze it
i've been doing stuff like this since we were married.
because i was either in school and working or working and working (a couple jobs usually at a time)
we used to go food shopping once a month, so the FIRST thing we saved up for in our decent (as opposed to crappy icky cheapo) apartment was an upright freezer 16 cubic feet......
manual defrost and i still have it and love it and use it
then a few years ago we got a 16 or 20 (i forget now which one) chest freezer also with manual defrost
and that's helped a lot

ok back to the batch cooking thing
i always get what ever is on a good sale....
it has to be a good sale, and i don't like to pay more then 1.99 a pound for meats
so yesterday we were after .99 a pound ham
and chicken thighs
while we were there we also found chopmeat for 1.99 (and 15 pounds followed me home.....i should have gotten 40)
now today i am going to start on one of the hams
i was supposed to do a lot more but bernie got what started as a road call so we just froze everything really fast....
except sauce, one ham and some chicken
today i will pack the sauce for the freezer,
and package the ham

this is how i am going to do the ham

slices...... for ham dinners
small cubes for ham and noodles
ham and potatoes and ham and bean soups
the bone is going to be simmered for stock which will either be frozen or canned....most likely canned

ham in small quantities is pretty useful to have around- don't be afraid to use it as a seasoning..
a cup or so of diced ham is great to add to so many things.... over salads
into casseroles, soups, stews,
in pilafs
rice/grain dishes
add to cream cheese for a dip or spread
chopped up with cheese and stuffed into chicken or layered between boneless chicken breasts
added to a chicken based cheese sauce and put over chicken..
add to eggs for breakfast
and so on......
so getting a few hams and cutting them up would be a good thing to do if you get them at a good price
it doesn't take too long to break down the ham into lots of smaller sizes if you have a decent knife
make sure you do... a nice sharp one
i use a long bladed boning knife for around the bone

i also am thinking of boning out some of my chicken thighs and stuffing them with ham and cheese then freezing them....
i figured that would be an interesting variation
i do'nt have broccoli in the garden thanks to the groundhog or i would stuff with broccoli and cheese
(maybe i should try chard and ricotta?)
i will most likely dip it in my coating mix before i freeze it

now today i am very tired....i had a rough time taking the ducks out- it was super humid, they were uncooperative and i sweated so bad i need to change clothes
then i had french toast which is a carb load and a half.............

also i am pretty sure i didn't drink enough fluids yesterday
i had two cups of coffee and a glass of water
so i probably need to do something about that as well

anyway i am going to start in the kitchen now

at least with the sauce and then work my way through the rest

if i'm not back by tuesday.......send in the hounds

Friday, August 05, 2011

butter cookies

i baked them!

i am going to be baking a bit more
then doing doughs for the freezer so bernie can slice and bake when he wants them
i am trying to decide what all else to bake for the freezer....
pound cake?

ok the cooking baking frenzy is pretty normal for me, but really i just realized.....if i have all this stuff cooked, baked, canned and frozen ahead.....there is no reason we can't yank the kitchen apart and redo it is there?
i won't need it for a while if i got all this stuff done ahead....
(takes me awhile huh?)

after all he did tell bob when we were up to their house that the kitchen is getting done this fall....
i keep hoping...since that's what we said this past spring...( the kitchen planner sucked if you all recall......depressed the shit outta me)

now one of my other friends pointed out to me, that if i had a decent kitchen i would be so fearful of messing it up i may never cook again.....smart ass friends that i have

another friend said i wouldn't be nearly as funny if i had a kitchen that was good.... that the jokes i make about it would disappear....ok there is a point there....

of course i would dearly like to find out....
but i keep changing my mind about where we need to put the new kitchen.....where the OLD kitchen is...or by the deck and then enclose that to a three season room....?
(that makes the most sense no?)
if we do that we can expand the studio too and make a closet (imagine that ......a real CLOSET....don't you love old old houses?)

ok meanwhile i am waiting for the first of the winter wood to come
ed called.....he'll be lot cutting until after 2 but then look for him

bernie finally realized i have to get the wood in NOW.....
so wood is what is happening for the next month and a half or so.....(in smaller loads so we can stack before the next one comes)
i am going to help stack cause he's really busy at work.....i told him he needs to put in for two more guys to be hired..
so far he's not done that
he will though i think soon.... as the company expands further and further out.
he's also got a few days off coming up.... he's never really fully off as folks call him but at least he will get to sleep late..
i think he's planning on helping me strip the front door so i can repaint it
or doing the woodstove
i told him if he wanted, i would call the sweep this year but i think he prefers to do it.... we'll see

lilli is clingy again......she's following me around like a puppy....she doesn't want to go out to the day pens....i am trying to get her and her sister phoebe together again so they can share a pen and a pond
right now i got malcom out far back with the little girls
phoebe in the pen malcom was in yesterday and falstaff in the a frame
i may rig a temporary movable pen for which ever duck is currently having pms....
(like LILLI........)
lill won't be happy to be penned though.... she really would rather just follow me around.

ok well i'm going back to the kitchen
i have to decide on supper.....
i don't want homemade pizza
my lettuces are bolting due to heat
so salad is sort of out.......(the cuc's are coming on so pickles and cucumber salads soon)
maybe grilled chops?
i took pork out but if i can figure something else that would be better.......
i have to make sauce this week if i can get around to it
we could have baked ziti (cause i am way too lazy to layer lasagna)
any ideas from you guys?

meanwhile i'm off to bake


Thursday, August 04, 2011

rain how novel......

since yesterday......
ok so i should be thankful we ain't in texas right......?
actually no offence to folks from texas but i am always grateful about that

vicki, no i did not brine it.......(i don't think our deli's up here do that)
i did once brine a turkey and while bernie said it tasted good and was moist etc........i tasted salt......
and i love salt
but it was too much for me

i put together a butter cookie dough last night....... i told bernie 'there is butter cookie in the fridge'

he rolled it in cinnamon sugar.....and the said to me
'why didn't they flatten'?

ah, bern, they are BUTTER cookies not snickerdoodles.....that's why
so i'll roll them out later and just cut them into squares
oye oye

he also got to watch 'nanny mcphee' last night.
i bought him the dvd from amazon, and with some dvd purchases you get a 24 hour rental free, so he got to watch it last night
he's been in a vile mood lately, i think cause of the heat.....who can blame him?
but i don't think it helped him to see malcom just walk into the crate with no drama for me last night, as that sort of blows his theory that malcom is nasty.
malcom is also lonely
i stuck my head over the deck rail yesterday, malcom was up here in the temporary pen to take a pond bath....
i called him he started to answer...
he stuck his little head around the over hang of the pen.....and looked up to see if it was me....
hi mom
he got into the pond so he could really see me and started to talk and bath for me
'malcom, do your wings'
malcom did his wings
i wished i'd had the camera, i would have videod him talking to me
to show you guys
cause he was a riot
it's raining today so i cant' take the camera out there (it isn't water proof)
but if it does lighten up on the rain i hope to get a video of him doing that
cause it goes to show you
really even though he is a horny stud duck
he still is pretty personable.........

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

rotisserie chicken is the bestest!!!

i got that baby george table top rotisserie the other day from an ebay auction i won......
and dug out a small (4.45#) whole fryer from the freezer (bernie stuck it on the bottom which is why i didn't know i had it..damn i need a better system)
ok first off

  1. 4.45# is too big for this unless you truss it
  2. please be ultra careful with the spit unless you (like me) need a partly crucified hand
  3. keep the kids, peoples, and animals out of the way, just in case (cause i read some bad reviews AFTER)
  4. maybe get a larger one that will take two whole chickens or a turkey?

now if you do OAMC or bulk cooking or you do anything for freezer stocking, seriously this is helpful.
i partly plan on using this and my 18 quart roaster for do ahead stuff for freezing and canning. ( the roaster is for making beans to can)
now i have a pretty small kitchen however with the roaster i can set it up in the living room on the table..... dito on a crockpot which will help when i am getting stuff done in large amounts

ok back to last night's chicken...
it was good
the skin was great, it wasn't greasy,  it was crisp and just the right amount of brown.
and it's all gone!
things went from 'get a rotisserie like vicky's'
through, 'why did you buy a rotisserie we got no room'
 to (today)' make a pork roast on the rotisserie?'

oye gotta love bernie and his MAN memory *** only remembers what is convenient to him to remember, or concerns his stomach.***

this all brings me back though to the bigger issue......... i really do need a much better kitchen then i have....bigger, with more counters and more storage
(of course actual storage in this house is a joke)

now lately i am in a nesting cooking stocking up mood
(ok so i am usually always in that mood, but just not a cleaning mood, but i am going to force myself a bit)
i am gearing myself up to do 120 pounds of blsl chicken for the freezer
that usually takes me about two days to do (all by myself)
and i need to do some pork and i would love to do a LOT of beef
(if you are asking yourself how i do this all plus can plus dehydrate plus cook and bake, make soap etc in my tiny kitchen from hell.....let me tell you, folks 100 years ago did..with less electrical help then i have....and the drive to stock up for winter is so strong in me that i can't NOT do this)

in the meantime i also am planning on defrosting first one freezer then the other.
somehow i putter through
i don't get the bathroom sparkling...... but i putter through the 'keep you alive' stuff

so anyway.... if you have the space, i would say a small rotisserie is pretty good..make sure it's easy to clean and holds enough...
now about that rice cooker....i am still on the fence with that one


who is debating on ditching the microwave

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


well i found out today that my wood guy raised his prices.....not to bad, like 16$ a cord.... i realize his expenses have gone up too
it also makes me realize how right i was when i told bernie we should have put in 10 cords last year
naturally bernie didn't listen to me and gave me an argument
his comment today?......
'how much would we save if we bought logs and a splitter'

well that won't help us this year... but we need to do that for next year now.....
anyway i am going to be calling the wood guy thursday and start getting wood in
every two weeks i think, we'll be getting a load until i feel secure.....
that should be about 10 loads......
yup ten loads should make me feel secure no?

and then i start pricing log splitters
now MY question is.....when will bernie have time to cut and split trees?
he doesn't do yard work NOW
not a hell of a lot outside really at all
so when will he do logs?
is he willing to take a week off to cut and split up say....oh 6 cords worth of full sized trees?
and in the meantime where are these full sized trees going to be dumped so he can split them up?
we got property but not easily accessible property
and where is the log splitter going to live when it isn't splitting up logs?
same place his extremely expensive snow thrower is living?
(when is he going to admit we need a garage? and that he either needs to do something about that or, he needs to let me do something about that)

anyway back to the wood
i spend most of this year arguing with bernie that we needed to get the wood in
it's august!
this stuff should have been stacked in april!
we will most likely save 3-4K in heating costs over oil this year...(about what we save every year)
and while it's hard work it is the way we chose to heat ......or felt we could afford to heat
it's also dirty and messy
but it's secure
no worry about power outages
that's what made the final decision of wood vs pellets or coal

so anyway, now i am trying to figure a wood shed of sorts
we got a lot of land but damn it's not all easily usable

who is going to cook and bake today.....rotisserie chicken coming up

Monday, August 01, 2011

homemade pizza and waiting for cucumbers

i been making homemade pizza lately........ actually it's a great way to use some leftovers up
chop it all fine
slap it on a pizza
cover with cheese........
it's always good

i had an uncle that used to make pizza (actually he loved to cook and made a LOT more stuff then pizza) my last memory of him was he was making me a pizza..... it was great!

i don't make as good a pie as my uncle but i dont' make a bad one either
except i need a pizza stone
and we are going to get one as soon as bernie can get me into town
(don't ask about my van, he tells me i need a new one but i love MY van....i don't want another one, that one is MINE)
i have a flat and a gas leak.....oye

in other news my cucumbers are coming on...i got one about 2'' long now
and i got vines loaded
so i am very excited that pickling will start soon
i love my kosher dills and my garlic dills
the dill isn't quite large enough though yet...but maybe for the end of pickling

i got my little rotisserie in the mail today (which is how i found out that i have a flat and a gas leak in the van..... AT THE POST OFFICE)
i got home, put the box on the table
walked into the studio for a second
and heard a CRASh
thaddeaus (you know.........DA BOY) had thrown the package off the table
oh man

i love that boy but sometimes........just sometimes

ohohohoh and fawn is responding it looks like to the thyroid meds
we got the last of her mats off.....her new fur growth is normal... it isn't sticky feeling like her old fur felt
but more like when she first came here
she seems so much happier too
and she appears to have gained a pound back!!!!

anyway the rotisserie is here and i dug a fryer out of the freezer......i was hoping for a roaster
but we'll see what we see tomorrow
i love rotisserie chicken and i won't buy it...... i haven't had it in YEARS
*mom had a rotisserie on the BBQ for a while*

i got leftovers planned from it already!

ok i have to run