Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More work for the Non Wearied

I didn't visit the Farmer's Market especially for these Cranberry beans! They are usually hard to find! and when we see them Fresh like this, all caution goes to the wind and so do any other plans we have made, like canning up some Okra and tomatoes (which was our original plans if the Okra looked good), Or whatever was good on this Tuesday. Cecil and I were a little tired but we managed to sit in our "Chair beds" :o) watch the TV and shell this 1/2 bushel.
Not too shabbily done, it took us maybe an hour and a few minutes more or less.
We ended up with These 6 vacuum bags with each 1 1/2 lbs. which will be a good pot with leftovers (maybe).  :o)
Not too bad for a days work,
especially when we both had old Arthur with us today. We were so glad to find these beans since we never find them in the frozen food section, only dried and we never like them like that, Frozen we eat them up , they lose their red stripes and stay white when frozen and cooked.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Good Stuff :o)

Do I have to remind anyone that I love greens (especially with some hot buttered cornbread)? I think the answer for those that know me...No
I will remind you that every woman has a bag of tricks to use when she wants something that the mate cares less about  LOL :o) Well, I used one of those tricks and got that second box that I wanted and I planted some Collards in it and also some Basil that I bought for a dollar and kept in a glass near the window and they rooted like crazy so I added them to the new box , since the ones in the first box didn't do much (I think it was the soil I bought from one of those dirt places (it was lousy) anyway I got some new Soil in the bags from Lowe's and it seems everything just took off! The new box was planted almost three weeks and I think it's doing great
Greens jumping out of the box :o)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another five Jars of "Prickly Pears"

The first 6 Jars of "Prickly Pears" were so good I decided that I should take the rest of the fruit off the Cactus and make more..while I was in the mood, and while the fruit was there. You never know what next year will bring (I'm judging that from last year) and besides when something taste good it doesn't stay in this house for long..and I thought  I'd better "Strike while the Iron was hot" :o)

With the second batch I added my own thing ...I used several leaves of Stevia that I grew,and about 4 whole Anise seeds (I hoped for more flavor) I also used less sugar with this second batch (on purpose) To see if "Stevia" would make a difference while using less sugar..I'm hoping it will also Gel as nicely as the first batch..If not I'll use it as "Prickly Pear Syrup" :o) waste not want not! .
I didn't take a picture of the second batch until I can mark the first ( to remember the difference). One day I may show the "Canning Closet" :o)
I will say I did the second batch in less time and with less effort...first I picked them off the Cactus...Singed them...and right into the sink full of cold water..Washed them with the brush (with gloves on :o) then put them right into the Food Processor and puree them seeds and all...then used a  Bowl like strainer to sit on top of a nice  size bucket so I could spoon it around and the juice would fall to the bottom (slime and all :o). I got 8 cups of juice to work with. My hands stayed clean and I was done at my leisure. I'm really earning my keep around here..

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wheat thins with Prickly Pear Jelly (Jam)

I should have moved the jar over to get a brighter picture of the Jelly...(Jam) the crackers are sitting in the shadow..no matter , it is delicious! Even sceptic Cecil ate a few and liked them..The recipe called for lemon juice and I can taste the tartness it gave it..Next trip to the store will call for some cream cheese..won't that be a treat for an addition...
By the way, after simmering the seeds for so many hours, the color Majents is like a dull pale grey!   At this point I don't know what I want to do with it.. (I may throw it out).
I do know that I'm going to harvest the rest of the Prickly Pears and put them into the freezer and make more Jelly (Jam) when I have more time and not so anxious and tired.
All in all, good project, excellent results..I'm the Woman :o)

Six Jars of tasty "Prickly Pear Jam"

Here is the results of Half the labor!  Six jars which I will call "Prickly Pear Jam", because it has a thick consistency and is without seeds.
I was a little disappointed that I only got six pint jars of it, especially with the labor that went into it, and the expense of the Pectin it called for..( I had to follow the recipe in order to do it right, since I never did it
The seeds that I had separated and put into the fridge for another day's work (this day).

Has given me quite a surprise! I added about two or three pints of seeds to one of my stock pots..and filled it a little more than half water..and put it under a low flame, while I reclined in my "chair bed" tired and still pooped from yesterday's labor..Well, so far what a surprise! Those seeds have actually "Melted" you heard me!! they have mostly melted, there are a few still swimming around, and whatever I make Jelly or juice wouldn't be any harm., but my plan it to strain it.This project has been a real teacher first Jam then Jelly or maybe  Juice cubes! :o)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Still working on the "Prickly Pear Project"!!!

I thought I'd be a little further along today, but that's not the case! Ever start something and get so far you can't give it up, least all your effort go to waste?...Well, that's this one here,me and the prickly pears.. I have one suggestion..don't start the project unless your really committed!!
\First I started out with my old friend my "Champion" I had the receipt stapled to the cover of the book (Jan 6. 1973) it is still is in good working order but my hands aren't (pushing and pulling) and I had to switch to my Modern gadget and new best friend :o)

So far I have a pot of slimy gook and cheese cloth that I'm going to let drip in between the squeezing to get more gook! I'm hoping that slimy gook will make me some nice jelly or jam! and I'm going to boil up the seeds that I saved and I'm sure I can make some juice out of it..and use it with my tea and lemonade..I'm told it's good to help diabetics ..we shall see...Maybe I will invent something new and become very rich and have my blog done by someone else all I have to do is dictate  what I want her to say...while I'm sipping on my new found money maker :o)
Now you know I'm tired or something is wrong with me having delusions of grandeur :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Cactus is in full bloom!

Prickly Pear almost picked clean  from Cactus
The summer is at  end and some things are just beginning...like harvesting the "Prickly Pears" to make, jelly , jam or juice to add to different drink! There is so much to do at this time of year..I need another life to get it all done :o) I don't want 4 arms or legs, cause then I'd be a bug :o) So careful wishing for another pair of hands unless they are all on somebody else's body and helping you...Cecil is out! he doesn't want to get stuck by the "gockets" Now to the next step...
Holding the Pears with a pair of tongs and letting the fire singe the little
"glockets" so they don't stick on you...(personally I think they fly through the air because as careful as I was I could still feel several on different parts of my hands)

A nice big full colander all singed washed (with gloves on and old dish cloth to make sure I had removed the "Glockets" :o) I think they look delicious, and I'm going to take my time in how I prepare them for Jelly, Juice to add to tea or lemonade, Do you think I'm a smarty pants? :o)
It's pretty hard to find recipes for the Prickly Pears,but a good source is on the Internet, you just have to find one you think might work for you...I need some Pectin, so I'll have to put off until tomorrow what i meant to do
today,that's probably best because by now I'm tired!...doesn't seem like much, but each step takes time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What I'm up too!

Today was a busy day! Cecil and I got up early (he is always up at the crack of dawn! It takes me a little longer to have the desire to face the day or get out of the warm comfy bed :o)
I made one of my "Big Breakfast" Country ham with grits and scrambled eggs with cheese..(no biscuits this time :o(   it seems to hold pretty good if we have something we want to do, that may make us late to have lunch or something to sustain us.. Our aim today was finding one of the Farms I found on the Internet that was not to far from our area  30 to 45 minutes away.. We knew it was late in the Season to be finding much , but it was good for the "Ride in the Country" and be able to venture into new territory, kind of like finding our own way.  It seems most people that like to do the things I like doing are on the Internet..but anyone living close by isn't into "Homesteading or Farming" the way Cecil and I are at it.
So after Breakfast and with my water bottle..off we went into the wild countryside :o)...We were able to follow the directions that took us straight to the farm, where we were able to purchase some nice Okra, Sweet Potatoes and a nice fat watermelon..on the way there we saw a nice field of greens..on the way back we stopped and got Three pounds! they were more than enough for one meal so I stuck half in the freezer to eat the weekend...I forgot that some farmers pick the greens for you...and this one just picked the leaves < I hadn't had that done since I left NJ.  at the "Spector Farm" that's why I had so much. We chatted with the farmer for a spell..and came home happy and contented that we "Found a Farm".
Should I tell you the greens were divine :o) the taters were good too! I was too busy cooking to take a picture..it would have only made you hungry .. My greens and collards are down (planted) and I'll be showing the harvest when its time :o) that's the only reason I bought those today, until mine are ready...they were picked fresh out the field while I watched and waited...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Avery (our little Angel with Wings)

Avery will be having her First Birthday Party this month..the time really Flew by..
We are happy to be here to see her grow..
Especially since this time last year that was a doubt..God is kind with his Blessings

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Composting is part of Farming, even at "Almost and Acre Farm" :o)

This is the back of the "Compost"

You know when you don't hear from me I'm up to something :o), Well, We've been up to something alright :o), one season is done and now it's time for another...that  means, fresh Broccoli Rabe, Collard greens etc.:o)  we have been busy getting the  land ready...We started a compost awhile back and it's surprising how much we throw out in the food line that can go on our "Compost"...wish money grew that fast!

This was really  a "Dog House" that we found at a yard sale for $5. We converted it into a "Compost"..Cecil drilled some holes in the bottom of it for the "Liquid Tea" to drain out of (notice we put it on a skid) also the roof is easily flipped over on either side to toss the compost inside..and the little white door can be removed! Hope it works ...