Showing posts from June, 2006

NAIS and Its Affect on Small Farms and Homesteads

This morning I wanted to share a piece written by my Mother-in-Law, Nadine Hild .   She is really more like a mom to me and in the past 20+ years her and I have developed a wonderful close relationship.   She has been and continues to be an inspiration to me.   Nadine and her husband Richard (who is our much loved “Granddaddy”) have been a huge support to us over the years.      One thing that Nadine and I have in common today is that we both homestead and we both are concerned about the quality of our food and our freedom.     Nadine is 70 years old, but you would not know it to look at her.   She is an active homestead lady.   She has Dexter cows, Icelandic sheep, Nubian goats, and lots of chickens.   She gardens, grinds her own wheat, bakes and cooks from scratch and actively, daily, helps Richard run and manage their homestead up north in Washington State .   She has been frustrated with the NAIS issues and the potential loss of freedom in this country to raise our animals, pr

Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

  I made this salad last night.   The weather here has been hot and I was in town all day and wanted something fairly easy and quick.   This was the ticket!   My family is pretty good sized, so this recipe will be on the bigger side for a small family..   make   your adjustments accordingly.   4 or 5 frozen chicken thighs (you can use breast, but I don’t because thigh meat is more moist and less expensive) 4 to 5 c uncooked pasta, I used vegetable rotini (the spiral cork screw type) Caesar Salad Dressing (recipe follows) 1 can olives, sliced 1 cup frozen peas   Begin by placing the frozen chicken meat in a pan with a little water.   Bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat to simmer.   Next start water to boiling for pasta.   While the chicken and pasta are cooking make the dressing.   Caesar Salad Dressing 1 c mayonnaise 1 c sour cream 2 t. Worcestershire sauce 1 t chopped garlic ½ t salt ¼ t pepper 1 c parmesan cheese 2 T milk   Set this aside and drain the pasta and rinse with

Tuesday on the Homestead

  Today is day into town.   We are going to leave fairly early so we can be back before the weather heats up.   Yesterday it was around 100 degrees and today should cool back down to about 90!!    Not sure if I will see a difference or not..   but want to be home in time to cool off in my pond!     I am still thinking on dinner for tonight because I am trying not to heat the house up to much.   Last night we grilled some ham steaks and I made potato salad and coleslaw.   We sat on the deck and enjoyed our meal…   Maybe this morning I should put something in the crockpot and put it outside on my deck.   However I am not sure the cats would leave it alone and I wont be here to watch it!   I may just end up doing a big chicken and pasta salad and some fresh fruit for dinner.   And make some pudding for dessert as I have extra milk and eggs to use up.     Well I need to go and get my laundry going so I can get another load on the lines before we leave.     Hope you all have a wonderful

Saturday on the Homestead

Well I have been on the computer spending my time this morning on my message board and now it is time for me to move on to life away from the computer!     BUT I will blog first..      Today we head into the big city to go to my brother-in-law’s company picnic.   He could invite family and he invited us!   So we can meet the people he works with and have a nice afternoon at a park.   The kids will enjoy that.   Then we have errands to run and will get home in time to cool off in the pond.     Before we leave we will hang some laundry out to dry..   I have loved the sunny weather and it is so great to be hanging my clothes out again!   Fresh and sweet smelling laundry from the line is my favorite!!   Gotta love the frugalness of it all too!     Plus, I had plans to cut the boys hair and it has been done..   so I need to do that before we leave!!    I did get Tobin’s cut and he looks so handsome with his hair all nicely cut!     Yesterday all the kids and Tobin (he took care of his

Making Laundry Soap: Step-by-Step in Pictures!

I posted this awhile back on my other blog and today saw someone asking about this and thought I would post it here too....   Making Laundry Soap: Step-by-Step in Pictures!   If you are not familiar with this recipe you can click here:   to read the recipe, what each ingredient is, tips on where to locate the harder to find items AND how much money you will save by doing this!    A few things to explain: In the following pictures my daughter Emily and I are making a double batch of soap, so there will be more volume from all the ingredients than if you were making a single batch.  Also I make my own soap instead of using the Fels Naptha, so my soap is white, not brown.    Now let’s get started and make some laundry soap!    First gather together the needed items.   Washing Soda and Borax:   A soap of some sort:   A bucket. When I make laundry soap I make a double batch and I use a saved Costco laundry detergent bucket from the last

Thursday on the Homestead

  Today hubby is home, he took an extra day off work which is great.   We love it when he is home and he loves being able to get things done around the homestead.   Yesterday I had the nicest visit with a friend.   When she left I made 2 batches of soap.   I had the oils already measured out and the molds ready to go.     Tobin came home and we chatted for a bit and then I made a 3rd batch.   All my molds were filled and I will take the soap out in another day or so.   I did not end up making soup last night, the kids made sandwiches and Tobin and I ate leftovers of salmon patties and potatoes I had made the night before.     Tonight I am thinking we are ready for some homemade pizza..   YUM!!   Today I need to give Tobin and my boys a haircut.   I have to make sure the ever present laundry is moving through the system.   I have bread to make and a kitchen floor to clean.     I will get Sierra to help make the bread today.   With the 3 older girls at home we have such a routine of work

Homemade Pot Stickers

  These are really easy to make.   You can also freeze them after assembling them.   If you want to freeze them make sure to “flash” freeze.   Lay them on a cookie sheet (or 2) and set in freezer until they are frozen.   Remove from sheet and place in a freezer bag and return to the freezer.   This way if you only want a few at a time you don’t end up with a big frozen lump of pot stickers!   Here is the basic recipe, you can vary this add your own spices and play around until you find what you prefer.   ½ lb. finely chopped meat (I run the meat through my food processor), this can be beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, etc..   this is uncooked meat 1 cup (or more) shredded or chopped cabbage, you want this shredded very thin. I use my food processor to really chop it well 1 small onion or a couple green onions, chopped fine ½ t chopped garlic, you can add more if you like garlic ½ t minced ginger, this is fresh ginger 2 T soy sauce 1 T cornstarch Post Sticker (also called Won Ton) W

Wedneday On The Homestead

The first day of summer here in the Pacific Northwest has a promise of being sunny and 76 degrees.   If that comes true, I will be so happy!   It seems like it can take forever for the nice weather to appear.   Yesterday was sunny and about 70..   but that was enough motivation for my kids to go swimming in the pond.   They did not stay in there long because the water is VERY cold.   But they had fun anyway..   I know my kids tolerate that cool (make that cold) water much better than I do!   News from the farm:   My bottle fed baby goats are being weaned and it is a loud process.   They think of any human they see as “mom” and the one who brings those wonderful bottles.   So when they see someone they start making a huge ruckus and they were escaping through the hot wire.   Needless to say they were/are a big pain right now!   But a cute pain!      I did move them to another goat pen just to keep them contained.   They were running through the hot wire (yelling the whole time) an

Delicious Roasted Chicken

  1 large whole chicken 1 large onion, chopped dash of: rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano seasoning salt pepper 3 to 4 T butter, melted   Wash whole chicken and set aside.   In a small bowl combine chopped onion and spices.   Stuff this into cavity of chicken.   Set on rack in baking pan or roaster pan.   Sprinkle top with seasoning salt, salt and pepper, and brush melted butter over all.   Bake at 325.   Baste with butter as the chicken cooks.   Bake for 3 to 4 hours, depending on size of chicken until the skin is crisp and the chicken is done.     You don’t eat the onions, it just helps to add flavor to the chicken meat.   This tastes delicious!!     Serve with potatoes (cooked as desired), buttermilk biscuits and a veggie or salad.  

Strawberry Ice Cream (with ice cream making instructions)

  Strawberry Ice Cream by Crystal Miller   We made this recipe for my husband as his Father’s Day special dessert and he loved it.. well we all did!! My daughters and I have made lots of ice cream over the last couple of years. For $25 I bought a brand new one gallon capacity electric ice cream maker at the beginning of last summer. It was a purchase I don’t regret at all! An ice cream maker consists of a large plastic bucket, a metal can with a lid, a dasher (the mixer that is used to stir the ice cream) and a motor to churn your milk and cream into ice cream. The metal can (that will have your ice cream mixture in it) goes in the bucket (that will hold the ice and rock salt) the dasher goes in the can and the motor sits on top. It is very easy and once you get the hang of it, not intimidating at all. In this recipe you will find detailed instructions on making ice cream. I am basing these instructions on my ice cream maker type. Mine is a Rival brand and I am sure the basics are

Chicken Questions Answered…

After posting my pics of our chickens I was asked:   so they are free roaming.... you put them in at night? Do you have much of a preditor problem?     And:   I'm curious too about whether they get put up at night or stay out all the time.   My answers:   Yes our chickens are free ranging.   They live in a chicken coop.   At night, after they have all gone to bed in the coop we close the door.     In the morning we open the door and let them out.   Yes we have predators (coyotes, raccoons, etc..), but they usually don’t bother the chickens during the day.   So having them locked up in the coop during the night protects them.   And during the day they have access to lots of grass and bugs and this makes good healthy (high in omega 3) eggs.  

Chickens, Chickens, Chickens Everywhere!

Emily and Leanne are raising about 60 to 70 chickens right now.    Twenty of them are currently laying and the rest should start to lay by next month.   We have noticed a few roosters in the second batch of chickens so they will have to go in the freezer soon.     Emily and Leanne sell the eggs, as well as provide fresh eggs for our family. They wanted to talk a little about that in their blog.. at soon as they have the time..   In the mean time I thought I would share a few pictures of the chickens enjoying the summer sun and their fill of fresh green grass, bugs, worms and all that goes into making healthy eggs!           The saved rooster from older chickens:   Those healthy eggs!!  

Isaac's first fish...

Isaac's friend Matthew called him the other day and invited him to go fishing with him and his dad.  So Isaac went and later in the afternoon came home with his first fish.  He was quite proud of his catch and my only disappointment was that I did not grab the camera and take a picture of him with the fish when he came in the door!  But I was right in the middle of making soap..   Tobin helped him clean it up and cook it and he got to eat his little trout.  Here is a picture of him with the fish on the plate after it had been cleaned and he was getting ready to cook it...