Showing posts from October, 2012

This Week’s Menu

This week’s menu is short.  On Friday my family and I will be heading to California for my daughter Emily’s wedding and will not be back until Sunday. 
Monday Asian chicken, rice, salad (Leanne’s is cooking this night)
Tuesday Sautéed sausages w/onion & mushrooms, baked potatoes, salad
Wednesday Taco’s w/all the trimmings, chips & salsa
Thursday Spaghetti, french bread, salad
Friday to Sunday Out of town..   :)

Becoming an Empty Nest

A while back a nice lady sent me an email asking me to write a a blog post on how I handled the difficulties of watching my children leave home and my thoughts on the empty nest topic.  At this point I’m not an empty nest yet, but I see it quickly approaching. After raising 8 children the thoughts of soon being down to the last 2 at home makes the empty nest much more of a reality. In this post I’m sharing my thoughts on this subject.

I was 18 when I had my first child and 33 (almost 34) when I had my 8th and last child. I have loved having a big family. I’ve spent my life devoted to raising them, caring for them and educating them. In the years that all of them were at home the thoughts of them someday growing up, beginning their own lives and moving away from home, honestly never occurred to me. I felt like the life I was living would go on forever; which was ok with me. I enjoyed it. Then my oldest son moved out. He had a job in the city and was going to college full t…

Enchiladas Using Home Canned Foods

I made enchiladas for dinner tonight. I used my home canned beef (that I shared in my last blog post). I also used some leftover brown rice pilaf from dinner a couple of days ago. I made the enchilada sauce using a quart of my home canned tomato puree. Here is what was needed to make the enchiladas…

I usually make enchilada sauce according to this recipe:  But for these enchiladas I used 1 quart of my tomato puree. I put the puree in the blender and added the cornstarch and spices according to the recipe. I heated it on the stove and let it simmer for a few minutes…

To make the enchilada filling I opened a pint jar of roast beef and broke it up to shred it a bit. I added 2 cups of leftover brown rice pilaf and mixed it together.

I quickly fried up a dozen tortillas in coconut oil just until soft. I then put a large scoop of the tortilla filling in the center of a tortilla and topped it with a bit of cheddar cheese….

I f…

This Week’s Menu

Monday Hot dogs, tomato soup, salad
Tuesday Enchiladas, chips & salsa, salad
Wednesday Meatloaf, mac & cheese, salad
Thursday Leftovers
Friday Clam chowder, crackers, salad
Saturday Lasagna, french bread, salad
Sunday Leftovers

Canning Beef

Now that I’m done canning my garden harvest my goal is to stock my shelves with more home canned convenience foods. Today I canned beef. Canned beef can be used for so many things. I will use it in soups, stew, enchiladas, casseroles .. the list is long.

I purchased 15 pounds of beef and cut it all into bite size chunks….

I canned the beef in pint size jars. A pint will hold about 1 pound of meat or a tad more if packed tightly. I put a ½ teaspoon of salt into the bottom of each pint jar and filled the jars with the meat. I packed them in the jar tightly. I did not add any liquid. The meat will create its own liquid as it cooks in the pressure canner.

After the jars were filled I wiped the rim with a clean cloth and put a lid and ring on. I put them in the canner…

I canned the beef for 90 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure (this pressure is according to my altitude. You can find out the correct pressure for your altitude here:…

Garlic Tea for Sniffles & Colds

We have had a cold trying to take hold here at our home. I had a lot garlic in the fridge and decided to make garlic tea to tackle the sniffles, stuffy noses and cold symptoms. Garlic is amazing for fighting colds and flu symptoms. Garlic has incredibly health promoting qualities. It is said to be an effective antibiotic and natural virus killer as well as an immune enhancer, anti-fungal, and so much more.
So how do you take garlic for medicinal purposes? Adding it to your food, lots of garlic to your meals is great. But when the cold season strikes you need a way to get more potent amounts into your body. Garlic tea has been the answer lately.
Garlic tea is very effective. My son Isaac had a stuffy head, runny nose and was just not feeling to good the other morning. So I made him a cup of garlic tea and shortly after drinking it all down he was feeling better, stuffy head and runny nose were pretty much gone and he was much more alert and was back to concentrating on h…

This Week’s Menu

Monday Hamburger bean soup made with my freezer stash.  (I have a quart bag of cooked hamburger & beans, a quart bag of beef stock, a quart bag of cabbage that will go into the soup along with onions and garlic and a few other misc veggies I have in the fridge that need to be used up), french bread and a salad
Tuesday Leftovers
Wednesday Chili, chips & salsa, salad
Thursday Spaghetti , french bread, salad
Friday Mexican chicken, brown rice pilaf, roasted brussel sprouts
Saturday Leftovers
Sunday Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad

Tomato Sauce/Puree for Canning

This is my last post for the season on tomato canning. I have enough tomatoes left to eat and use in a few meals. I am not tired of canning but sure am tired of tomatoes! But oh so thankful for such a bountiful harvest this year.

I made over 60 quarts of tomato sauce/puree. Here is how I made it…

For each batch I used about 45 pounds of tomatoes. I pureed them in my food processor. I did not peel them, but you could if you wanted. After I pureed them I put them in my large roaster oven (you could also use a large stock pot, but I find the roaster oven to be easy and convenient)….

I let them boil and cook until they had cooked down a bit. Actually all 45 pounds did not fit in the pan to begin with. I filled the pan as much as I could and let it cook down until I could add the remaining tomatoes, then let them cook down until the sauce/puree was not so watery. This took several hours.

When it was all cooked down it was time to start canning. To each quart jar I added 1 teaspoo…

Updates from the Homestead

What a busy time it has been lately on my homestead and so many things to share. This will be a long post!! :)

Garden & Canning
We cleaned up the garden as I mentioned in a previous post. However the tomatoes are still coming on. They are almost done and as soon as we have our first frost they will officially be done and I can’t say I will be sorry! I have had a huge bumper crop this year. I am pretty sure I’m up to around 300 lbs picked. Here is what I’ve made so far..

45 quarts spaghetti sauce
62 pints and 14 quarts salsa
45 quarts of tomato sauce/puree (with another 15 quarts to can today)

Plus I’ve given many pounds away and we’ve eaten lots of them!

Here is two batches of tomato sauce/puree I made last week…

When we cleaned up the garden I also picked all of my corn. I did not plant as much this year as I have in years past. I still have some corn (on and off the cob) in the freezer. This year I decided to can what I had. I ended up with 28 pints of canned corn….


This Week’s Menu

Monday Chili, chips & salsa, salad
Tuesday Cajun chicken, macaroni & cheese,  garlic roasted broccoli (never did make this last week…  so trying again!)
Wednesday Pineapple pork roast, brown rice pilaf, black beans, salad
Thursday Leftovers
Friday Chicken soup, crackers, salad
Saturday Leftovers
Sunday Spaghetti (sauce from fresh tomatoes), french bread, salad

Garden Clean Up

Sadly my garden season is pretty much done. I'm such a summer loving gal that it always makes me sad when the season is done.  I left my tomato plants because they are still producing and I left my flowers because they are pretty and I still wanted to look down on my garden and see them :) .

We pulled everything else out and picked the last of the veggies. We had a nice amount of corn. Not as much as years before because I did not plant as many. I still have corn in the freezer from last year. I plan to can up whatever I get from this harvest…

Then I picked the tomatoes, a few squash and one pumpkin I had not yet picked…

At this point the garden looked like this….

Then Tobin & Isaac spread wood ash (from burning wood for heat through the winter). Wood ash is good for the garden. Helps to balance acidity in soil (which is good, due to our abundant rains we have acidic soil), plus adds phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Then they spread wood shavings (from cu…