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Showing posts from January, 2006

Tuesday and Amusing Animals

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Today is Tuesday already.. Monday chores are overflowing into todayÂ’s chores so I best get at it!!My computer time is almost up!

The weather in our parts is still rain, rain, rain..and did I mention it has been raining??I am hoping it will end before we go sliding down the hill side here.I am quickly reaching the verge of my mud tolerances. But it is not like there is anything I can do about this!!

Yesterday I saw the funniest thingsÂ…There was this lull in the rain and I looked outside my living room window to see our horse Buddy standing and eating grass.Then about 5 minutes later it started getting very, very dark and thunder and lighting came.I wondered if it would bother him, so I looked out again.. there he was still in the same spot eating grass.Then within another 5 minutes there was this torrent of hail stones that started falling.. I wondered how that would affect him.. I looked out and there he was in the same spot, eating grass and totally not intimidated nor bother…

My Favorite Granola

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One of the things I did today was to make a double batch of granola.My son Jacob just loves granola.I am sure he could eat it 3 meals a day!LOL..I thought I would post my recipe.It really is the yummiest granola!Hope you enjoy it too..


My Favorite Granola
Crystal Miller

12 cups uncooked oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup powdered milk
1 T. cinnamon
1 ½ t. salt
1 cup light olive oil
1 1/3 cup honey
1 T. vanilla
2 cup raisins
2 cups nuts of your choice, chopped

You will need a very large bowl for mixing.Combine oats, coconut, flour, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt well in the large bowl and mix well.In a saucepan heat the oil, honey and vanilla until just warm.This helps the mixture pour easily.Pour this over the oat mixture and stir well.I start out by stirring it with a large spoon, but end up mixing it with my hands to insure that everything is evenly mixed.Spread this in a thin layer on 2 to 3 large cookie sheets and bake in the oven at 300 for 45 to 50 minut…

Pastry Flour Question Answered

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First off I would like to answer Brandi’s question on what ‘pastry flour’ is.You can usually buy whole wheat pastry flour from a health food store.

Here is a little info from my site on this topic:

Whole-wheat flour can be a bit confusing because there are a few things to understand before you use it in order to have good success in your baked goods.There are 2 basic types of wheat.Hard and Soft.We use hard wheat for any baked goods that have yeast added to them.Hard wheat has a higher gluten content and this is what gives the bread it elasticity and makes it rise so beautifully.There are two different types of hard wheat available, red and white.Red is darker in color and has a strong taste.White has a nice light color and light taste.Hard White wheat has become my most favored in bread baking.Soft white wheat, also know as Pastry Flour, is used in all baking that requires baking power or soda (quick breads) for leavening.This flour will not give your baked goods that dense…

Our Breakfast for Wednesday and Whole Wheat Honey Scone Recipe

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I made some whole wheat honey scones for breakfast this morning and they were so good!!I found a scone recipe that I liked, that used honey, and I adapted and made changes to the recipe to be made more whole foods friendly.

I made a double batch of scones, cooked up 1 pound of farm fresh bacon in my new cast iron pan, then Emily scrambled up 14 farm fresh eggs while Leanne made orange juice and filled a pitcher with our own goatÂ’s milk.


It is times like this that I really feel a lot of homesteading satisfaction!!

Now for the scone recipe:

Whole Wheat Honey Raisins Scones
Crystal Miller

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 T baking powder
¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt
6 T butter
1 cup raisins
¼ c honey
2 T yogurt
2 eggs

In a large bowl mix together the pastry flour, baking powder, soda and salt.Chop up the butter into squares and add to the flour mix.mix in the butter by using your fingers and working the butter into the flour mixture until the mix looks like coarse crumbs.In a 1 cup measuring c…

Pics of Ellies Pups...

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Our Pomeranian dog Ellie had her pups almost 3 weeks ago. If you read my other blog I posted pics in there shortly after they were born. 
Here are the updated pics of her 2 babies..
The little boy (we have not named them as we are going to sell them)


The little girl


The two of them looking so cute!!

HONEY!!

Well I have read several websites on honey lately and have learned new things.  One of my most enjoyed websites was this one:http://www.honey.com/index.html

It is put out by the National Honey Board (whoever they are.. :)  )  But what I really enjoyed was all the recipes they have!!  Granted you will have to tweak them to more whole foods, because most seem to use a lot of white flour and such.  But I think anyone wanting to find more honey recipes will enjoy their selection:http://www.honey.com/recipes/index.asp

The next thing I enjoyed on their site was the links to several booklets (pdf format) filled with even more honey recipes!  You can find those downloads here:http://www.honey.com/recipes/broch/index.htmlI found several that I liked and printed them off. 

Hope you enjoy all the links and I can't for my gallon of honey from Azure to arrive on Thursday!!  :)

Homesteading Homemakers Diary

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I have this idea to write down what my days look like.Every day seems different in some way and so I was thinking it was hard to come up with what a typical day looks like for me.But then it dawned on me, really the variety of what is accomplished each day and what things are done ARE what make a “typical” day for me!So periodically I will be posting a “typical” day’s diary from my life on my homestead.

I am calling this little series my: Homesteading Homemakers Diary

Here is a day I wrote down last week:

Tuesday January 17..

Got up in the morning (very early), made my coffee and unloaded the dishwasher while the coffee was brewing.Went back to bed with my fresh cup of coffee and did my Bible reading for the day and praying.

Computer time, spend time at my message board

Kids are up, animal chores, breakfast (oatmeal and toast)

Fold 2 loads of laundry, make my bed, clean up my room

Pick up the living room and have Sierra fold the throws and fluff the cushions on the couch …

Manners of the Lady & Manners of the Gentleman

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I thought I would share this all with you today.. a look at times long gone..that is for sure. I got it from an email group quite awhile back. I enjoyed reading it to my children.Some of these will certainly make you smile and give a little laugh but wouldnÂ’t it be nice to see some of these manners come back?? HoweverÂ…I still want to wear my pearls in the morning.. LOL..

The following comes from a book called: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by: Daniel Pool

This book is an enjoyable read.. after reading these my daughter found the book in the library and checked it out.It was a fun look at this time period.

Manners of the Lady

1. If unmarried and under thirty, she is never to be
in the company of a man without a chaperone. Except
for a walk to church or a park in the early morning,
she may not walk alone but should always be
accompanied by another lady, a man, or a servant.

2. Under no circumstances may a lady call on a
gentleman alone unless she is consulting that
gentlem…

The Roosters are in the Freezer!

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Well I am so happy to say that the other 9 roosters are now in the freezer.We did the deed on these guys on Friday later afternoon/evening.Tobin, being the handy guy that he is, made a ‘killing cone’ for me and he did all the killing part.The cone made it a pretty easy job compared to tying the roosters up feet first.Less traumatic for everyone!

If you donÂ’t know what a killing cone is it is a metal funnel similar in shape to those orange road side cones you see when roadwork is being done. You hang them upside down and put the chicken in head first.Tobin attached a 2x4 to the cone and hung it up on our carport.You can see a pic of one here: http://www.countryhorizons.net/poultry.shtml(scroll about half way down the page).

After Tobin did that part, I scalded the bird and my daughters and I plucked the feathers.Then I transferred the birds to one of the two ice chests I had waiting with cold ice water in to sit and cool off while we did the next bird.

After that Tobin and I b…

Details, Details, DetailsÂ…

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After all the questions I got on butchering my first chicken I will share a bit about that with you..BUTI am no expert!!LOL..So if you are looking to me to give you step-by-step instructions.. sorry!!I canÂ’t do that.I am still learning this one!

I can recommend Carla EmeryÂ’s book, Encyclopedia of Country Living.It is a great book and I refer to it all the time for all my country living questions.

For my rooster, I read all the options I had and ended up tying his feet together and hanging him upside down (I used a low cross beam on my wood shelter to tie him to) and cutting his head off with a very sharp knife. I had a bucket right under him to catch the blood.

Before I even started I took a large pot (14 qt size) and got water boiling in it.When it reached 185 degrees my daughters brought the pot outside.I dipped my bird in this hot water for about 30 seconds.

I pulled him out and 2 of my daughters and I began plucking feathers.The feathers pulled out very easily.It took us mayb…

Butchered my first RoosterÂ…

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In this continuing saga of my chickens/eggs/and roosters I thought I would share with you all the latest updatesÂ….

Well yesterday afternoon, surprisingly, there was no rain.I decided the time had come to tackle butchering my first rooster.I have never done this before.Always my dad would come and do this for me.My dad died last year unexpectedly.So as I looked at my 10 (CROWING) roosters causing me nothing but headaches and I knew the time had come (actually it was overdue).It was time for me to take another homesteaders challenge..

Now mind you less than one year ago I helped my husband slaughter and prepare 5- 300lb. pigs to take to the butcher.So you would think one little rooster would not have been such a big deal, but it was, taking a life, even a chickens is sobering. However I am happy to say that I did it!!It was a good experience and one I could do again.. in fact a friend of mine will come over to help me do the other 9 later this week.

The final result was a rooster that…

Canning Questions Answered

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Canning Questions Answered

I posted a couple of days ago on canning your own homemade convenience foods and was asked a few questions and I wanted to comment on a few comments!!

1. Intimidated by pressure canners?

In the old days pressure canners were more dangerous than they are today.My grandmother had one blow up on her and she received burns because of it and would never again use one.For years after that she canned everything from fruit to meats in a boiling water bath.Knowing what I know about botulism and other bacterial problems I would not do that today.The pressure canners of today have different safety features such as rubber release stoppers that will pop off to allow the steam to escape in the case of any types of emergencies.But more importantly than that is to make sure you have a pressure canner checked periodically by your local extension service to ensure your pressure gage is working correctly.The next would be not leave a canner while you have it on the stove.I usuall…

eggs, eggs, eggsÂ…

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Well it is amazing what a few changes in the coop can do!AND maybe the warmer weather or perhaps my complaining about the lack of eggs did the trick?But whatever it was the eggs are rolling in now..here is a pic of some of them from the last few days(the rest have been eaten!)Â…

Frontier House

I realize I am a bit behind the times.The PBS series Frontier House was aired a few years ago.But last night my family and I watched the first DVD of the series for the first time.I rented it for us to watch.

This series takes 3 families and sets them on their homestead land with only the ability to live with what people would have had in the late 1800Â’s.No modern anything.They are given a bit of training (which was very interesting to watch!), and some supplies and then must go and live for 5 months in the Montana wilderness.One family had a cabin already built, another had one half-way built and the last family had to build their own.

I have had so many thoughts going through my head on this.Not just about the show and the interaction between the families (which has been interesting to watch) but on life at that time.One of the things that interested me was the list of supplies that those in the 1800Â’s would have carried along with them.It was such a simple basic list! I tho…

Canning Your Own Homemade Convenience Foods

Canning Your Own Homemade Convenience Foods

You have finally gotten to the point where most of your meals are cooked from scratch.You are seeing the savings in your grocery budget and are so pleased to be able to feed your family wholesome health building foods.

But, it would be so nice to once in awhile be able to make a fast and easy meal without compromising health and without busting the budget.

What is the answer to this dilemma??Canning up your own good quality foods so they are sitting on the shelf ready to eat!

You can also freeze your own foods, however freezing requires that you defrost the food first and that is one extra step that makes it not quite as convenient as it could be.

The first thing you will have to have is a pressure canner.You can not use a boiling water bath canner for this.Purchasing a canner is a big expense.But like so many other homemaking tools it will pay great dividends in the years to come.I have 2 pressure canners and have had them for 10 or more years.…

Update on My Chicken Saga..

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I was shocked to learn from my daughter that today we got 10 eggs!!The most ever in one single day since we got these birds.AND they were all in the nest boxes!So these birds with the slow learning curve are figuring things out!!!

We booted all the roosters out of the coop.That helped a lot.The hens seem calmer.. Thanks for that tip Spininggrandma.

We (my daughters actually do most of the chicken duty as it is there little project so to speakÂ… They hope to sell eggs one day!)..They recounted all the hensÂ… 20+ and 10+ on the roosters. We originally ordered 40.A few died in the first couple of weeks, the rest we still have.

To answer LeahÂ’s questionÂ…no my hens had not started laying when the days got shorter.They have really not laid at all (we did not get ANY eggs at all until a couple of days after Thanksgiving)..Funny I never thought of feeding a chicken bird seed..

We do feed layer pellets and leftover scraps of veggies or grain or anything else from the house that I t…