Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My First Homemade Sauerkraut Experience's :o)

When I wake up in the morning there is no telling what I'm going to get into! And that's the truth..I seem to have the job of rolling with the punches, in order to stay up to a task...I usually have a "first thing to do" on my list so I don't forget the important things that I could leave behind...So on that list (after taking my B/S and drinking a Zero coke :o) is mashing down my Sauerkraut and making sure it's still has water on top of it..That's after I have a quickie breakfast.
Well, yesterday I got a whiff of a Oder that told me "taste me, I may be ready" so I did.
I hadn't followed the instructions clearly, (used two times more the amount of salt I should have)  and quickly wrote Kelley to question "What next"..As I waited for an answer ( I was impatient) I took the bull by the horn and started "desalting" I put the whole mess in some cold water, swished it around..and then did it again...tasting it again that did the trick for me...Soooo,I decided I'd get it in a pot cooking for the next step, when it was good and hot and still looking good, put them into jars (6) and did the 15 minutes H2O processing..and low and behold!  Here are 5 (the 6th was put on the side to be first :o)
We had some today with Hot dogs and was so greedy we didn't wait to take pictures.
Cecil already claimed Hot Dogs with homemade sauerkraut again for tomorrows lunch, that's just fine with me...the kraut is better than what I've been getting at the store..
You may notice some dark green, I used the leaves too and they are good to go, nothing is wasted but the core. There must be a use for them too!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Getting back to Mixed Greens "Again"

I'm going to get off the subject of Greens soon enough , but for now I'm enjoying it.
This morning there was nothing pushing us, yesterday Cecil worked out the garden where we had the Collards planted (there in the freezer now :o) and another small plot of Broccoli Rabe. In the meantime it rained Tuesday and it seemed the Plot with the Mixed Greens just kept on growing and growing. When we picked them, we just snapped off the leaves and also I like to add the tender buds and some of the tender yellow flowers, I think  they give off some bitterness and we both like that taste in our greens..Cecil wondered where he got all that strength from yesterday to do all that digging..Greens, baby, greens :o)...We could very well dig up that little plot, but why should we! We are getting so many pots of greens from it every time it rains they grow more...l sit on my little orange stool and just pick at my leisure :o)..The little tubs ($1. at the Dollar store) come in nice and handy to use for both oof us...

Today I'm cooking too big pots greens we picked this morning to have for the whole weekend...when your hungry just get a plate and microwave...l made some cornbread too...get a slice  (I'll probably have to make more, we have eaten up half already , this was Lunch :o) yeah! right) it's going to be dinner, snack, breakfast and whatever else you want to call it ..I'm frying some chicken and that's it...(for now anyway, I need to rest).

This is the little plot that just keeps on growing and growing, it seems the more we pick, then it rains and she keeps on 
growing like the energized bunny :o) , for a while we are just going to let her keep on growing  until we are ready to plant something else in that spot ..after we till it up and give it something nice for all it's efforts :o).They say if your good to the land it will be
good to you...Well, Amen to that one. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ginny and the last of the Collards :o)

Is this "Tobacco Road" or not :o)  And is this a "Country Girl" or  a "City Chick" :o)  Boy! if my friends could see me now :o)  Don't I look good? or are you looking at my Collards?
When I was gleaning the Mixed greens yesterday I saw the Collards needed to be gathered and In a hurry before the warm weather bugs came ...Well, by this morning they had started to whittle at them ..so tired or not I had to get my butt in gear... Here they are being washed and cut up outside saving my kitchen...
Just in case you all hadn't noticed, I'm wearing a special Apron that I always feel "Smart" in :o) it's one that was made for me by "Ladydi" she loves doing a lot of quilting and sewing and does beautiful work , (by the way my Apron is reversible :o). It seems when I wear it, I do a good job and don't get too tired, maybe because I think I look cute in it. :o)
Also take a look at the other neighbors "crappy" fence. They moved in , put up a fence and moved out (good riddens, they were slack). since then there has been 3 "renters" now the Bank owns it...The other neighbors put shellac on their fence and it looks better. You can see the grass is just beginning to turn green and filling in..the Ornamental Pear trees are in bloom, (wish we had thought to plant pecan trees instead).
UPDATE: which sounds like more 6 1/2 lbs or 6 1/2 quarts  well , that's what I ended up with :o)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

It seems the more I pick the more they grow :o) Every time it rains a little the greens take off again, and greedy little me picks them again! Today one pan goes into a pot , and the other two go into the freezer ( I ran out of jars). The Collards will have to be picked this week also, and they too will go into the freezer ( and a couple of neighbors), some are almost beginning to go to seed, and can't be saved through the summer. Although once I had some that lasted 3 years...I won't push my luck with these..they have multiplied themselves greatly for me.. Guess I don't have to tell you what I'll be doing today :o)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hooray! Spring has Sprung!

We have been waiting for Spring this year with great anticipation!  Our heads are full of idea's and we are hoping the bodies will do our bidding's :o) Cecil said he was going to wait for rain so the ground would be softer for digging! I think watching me work one of the Boxes put him in the mood to try it today...and it was working so good he couldn't stop :o). The Sun is shinning and it's just  a pleasant day to work in the yard. Notice the Peach Tree blooms in the upper right corner of this photo, we are all smiles about it.
Year before last we had some beautiful Canna's growing down that line ...but somehow last year they didn't make it , I think it was just too cold so this year we decided to use that area and try our hand at planting some potatoes, they should do well there. Nothing like every thing beginning to bloom up to give encouragement to work the land..The greens are going mad in the garden, I will have to put them in the freezer..who thought I'd be putting up greens in March!  No matter ,I'll put them up and work the land for other veggies.
Now we are happy the neighbors put up that fence, this way they keep their dogs in their own yard.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Genes Continue on with the Name

Say hello to Cecil the 4th Generation
Here he is finally! Labor with this one was tough, now he is here and looks like he may be a handful ..he's a big guy already ,at least his Mama can cook , and if he is anything like his Father, grandfather (funny to realize my son as grandfather :o) and great grandfather he is a good eater ...Can't wait to see him in person and I know he will look entirely different, they change every day until they come into their own. I can still see both of his parents in his face even though he is just a baby still! My oh My, we have been blessed to be here to see him...I think I'll go pick some greens to celebrate his arrival again :o)
Took just about 10 minutes for Cecil Sr. and I to pick these two pans of Greens :o)
In no time to wash them (twice because we "cropped" the leaves :o) and into the pot. A nice batch of my fried corn bread with Jalapeno peppers, onions and chopped country ham (fried to season greens, which I only used a little they were good enough! The joys of eating greens from your own land at our age is better than s** :o) (well almost). hehehe

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today was another very busy day!

Slicing Cabbage for Kraut
First thing today was take the collards out of the box and fix them for dinner and tomorrow get the rest out of the garden and put in the freezer, since I'm all out of jars.
Then I got quite busy with making Sauerkraut. Every since Cecil and I had the Ribs cooked with potatoes and kraut we have been itching to have it again...Next time I said " we will make our own Kraut" and so today was the day (Cabbage was on sale, but next time I'll have grown my own :o). It didn't take long (20 minutes) to slice up the cabbage with today's new gadget..and my only problem at first was "Where's my Old Fashioned Crock"? When I moved , did I leave it? Was it broken and no one said anything? was it in the shed? none of the above...So what can I do ugh!
Make do, is what you do! So I used one of the many flower pots I just had to have :o)  and it worked out just fine..It's Ceramic, doesn't leak, it's pretty too :o) and it holds a lot of cabbage..Your looking at three very large cabbages (including the leaves),and they didn't fill the pot up, so that just shows me how much to make next time :o)...nothing but Cabbage and salt..(kosher salt I used).
 I covered it with a pillow sham that fit the top just right with a large rubber band..I'll change that into a string to tie..( I got tired and had to sit) inside I have a plate covering the cabbage with a weight to keep it down in it's water..I told Cecil when it starts to ferment it will smell, neither of us cared if it did :o)  don't have a basement anymore. I got the instruction from my new friend Kalle..visit her at her blog and see all the good things she

Friday, March 11, 2011

Last Years Greens getting better every day :

Last year we planted mixed greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, slick greens,Broccoli Rabe and collard greens in the garden.They did pretty good but the mustard's were planted too late and didn't get ready before it was too cold for them to grow up  (We had a hard time finding them) Anyway I canned  a few jars of Broccoli Rabe and Collards before the weather got too cold for more growth or get out and pick more  during the fall..and I figured whatever I didn't get in 2010 , I'd make sure to plant in 2011 :o) Well, it seems to me there's somebody up there that likes us because we have been eating greens now for about a month, planted in 2010 that are still trying to grow. Each time we are thankful for a pot with some cornbread...Today we got greedy and picked twice as much :o)  This was dinner  with corn bread, last night was just fried chicken and I could tell you more about that but I have no proof, it's gone with the wind :o), take it from me..I had it marinating for an hour and it was a 13 :o)  (my son in law says a good meal is a 10, well Cecil kicks it up a notch or two to say how good it was to him...I'm agreeing with him :o)..I don't want to destroy the windfall as yet, besides they are too tasty to take up and put something else in their place...maybe later , but for now..good eatin.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Venison Meat Loaf, Spinach with mashed potatoes and gravy :o)

Today was my first experience in making Venison Meat loaf from scratch! :o) A new friend gave me a couple of Venison samples to try..they were all frozen and I forgot to ask what the marked symbols meant! one she explained was no fat.. I remembered tasting Deer many years ago...and I didn't want to taste any "wildness" least it turn me off ever eating it again..Sooo, I added spices galore (even added  my yellow tail wine :o),  Cecil complimented me more than once while he partook of the meal and kept going back for seconds (or thirds) :o)... To tell you the truth, I thought I'd be a little squeamish if I tasted that "wild" taste...but it wasn't there!  the meatloaf tasted great, only thing I think I didn't let it rest long enough because my slices fell apart on me, Cecil's seconds did not. I had enough Fried corn bread to add to the meal..which ended up being really delicious.Now I know what my Blog friends are talking about that eat Venison regularly. I think the leftover Venison and Gravy will be lunch tomorrow it was that good.  I'm beginning to think I can cook more than just a little bit :o)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Where did the time go?

Say hello to Avery again, who is now a big girl :o) Walking, talking,  chewing her food and dancing :o). I can't wait to give her a little squeeze... I never thought I'd live be a great grandma..and see my fourth generation!. In her face, I see her father, and my fathers cheeks, my hair coloring and looking closer I see my daughter (her grandmother)..Boy! Genes are something else..I can also see her own Mother (Renee), you all saw them in an earlier post when she was Carrying Avery..:o)  I'm sure Renee see's all of her family in Avery's face too.  Remember all the good looks comes from my family side :o) 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bargains at the Dollar Store"

I decided to stop at the dollar store since they had seeds 4/$1. last year, and I was too late for many.. The cheapest I've ever seen them was $.99  so I figured why not give it a try. I picked up a few (boy! if I had more than "Almost an Acre") There would be no end to my canning :o)  Here it is March and I have still been canning since last month..(potatoes, chicken_).. I told myself I had to strike while the iron was hot.;o) Canning Jar prices are going through the roof and they are getting scarce come canning time, especially wide mouth, they are so much easier to fill.
I don't know if these seeds will just go into my "Side Garden" some seeds call for more Sun than it gets around there...I think I need (have to) get another box , yes another box, next to the ones that aren't on low ground...walking the hill is a pain in the butt, besides Cecil is getting very picky about me taking some of his garden space :o(  I can't get him to even think about a larger farm :o(  I'm itching to get started but it's still too cold here, and I don't have enough Sunlight in the house to help seeds along...Now I don't think downsizing was a good idea..this house is too big to clean and not big enough for my plants :o)...
In these bunch of seeds I have some Spinach Mustards< I never heard of them before so I thought I'd give them a try...anyone ever raised them?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recipe for My Country Fried Corn Bread

   Requested Recipe for My Country Fried Corn Bread ;o)
I use "House Autry" (yellow Self-Rising corn meal mix)  if you can't get this brand, I think any self rising corn bread mix will suffice (or add some baking powder like 1 tsp. to a cup + 1/4 tsp baking soda)
(The following is written on the bag of corn meal i buy)
    Recipe for Basic Corn Bread, Corn Sticks or Muffins
1 1/2 cup House -Autry yellow self-Rising Corn Meal Mix
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon oil
 1 Cup milk
"Ginny's  Kick"
 Then I add my own kick to it....One Small diced Jalapeno pepper seeds removed.
One half to one whole onion...(I like the small white sweet ones)
And  if I have it, I will add finely chopped (or finely ground
country ham or bacon that I've fried to flavor my greens. I put some cooking oil in my iron frying pan and wait until it's good and hot and add spoonfuls of the mix, when she bubbles on top like a pancake, then I turn it over to the other side to finish cooking, don't sit down they will burn easily...Enjoy
The Autry recipe says: Preheat oven to 425 Spray pan with cooking spray measure corn meal into mixing bowl Beat together egg, oil and milk. Stir into corn meal until thoroughly mixed. Pour into greased muffin , corn stick or 8-inch square baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until done..makes about 9 servings. Enjoy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Walk through the "Almost an Acre" Garden :o)

Just a look at my Garlic still growing , it was planted September 2010 :o) I understand I have to wait until about May for their Harvest ..No need in saying I'm really excited and I bet they will be good and fat :o)

In spots some of the Garden , Mustards that I planted are growing and looking so tasty I had
Straight from the garden waiting to be washed :o)

to pick a little crop for "Lunch" :o) Next picture shows how they shrink in cooking but getting nice and tasty :o)
                                        Mustard Green cooking down in some Country Ham to be just a  mouthful of delicious ;o)
What good is some greens without some Cornbread :o) this is the Country kind, fried and laid to the side :o) There was no meat for lunch! Who needs it with these delicious greens. Maybe I'll have cornbread with grits and Country Ham for breakfast :o) just the thought makes me Smile. I haven't been to the "Side Garden" in a couple of weeks, but I was assured by Cecil that those Collards were thriving as well. Oh Happy Day when Greens are growing on my land. :o)  This is about half of the Corn bread recipe frying up , of course I add my little "Kick" to them :o)...