Friday, October 31, 2008

Independence Days 20th Update

Tracy, over at Ramping up the Garden noticed this is the 6 months anniversary of doing the Independence Days Challenge. I think my personal anniversary is next week but close enough to jump on the anniversary celebration wagon. Tracy's updates are always so amazing that I find I'm encouraged to do more. Happy Anniversary, Tracy!

No Planting right now.

Harvest Something: Onions, potatoes (not many in the barrels), the tomatoes are still ripening on the window seals and kitchen table. I'll go out and get Brussel's Sprouts today, and I picked the corn left on the stalks (now brown and frozen) and took it to the chickens (and they were happy to see the corn again after a break from it). It got too cold for the Brocholli. Oh, the cow is producing like crazy with lots of cream - she's happy out in pasture and the calf is weaned. Today's payday so I'm going to order cheese making supplies.

Turns our neighbor's son had an out of state tag for an elk hunt, took days, off flew in, and then thought the shipping was too expense to take back so their family who didn't really want game. The family took 1/4 of the meat and the neighbors and I split the rest. Several folks stopped by (including folks delivering some freecycle aquarium fish) as I was packing it in and they all left with packages. I'm not sure how much there was, roughly 60 lbs for us. I am just about out of freezer space and have roosters to harvest. This is going to be a juggle. Maybe I'll try jerky again.

Perserve Something: Made 5 Qts of really flavorful spagetting sauce from the tomatoes picked green and ripened inside, 7 1/2 pints of grape jelly. Not so much canning as it had been, the dark evenings seem to slow my productivity.

Prep Something: When I was in the city I went to the thrift stores and found nice wool material in winter white. Now, this material was hiding in the form of skirts and blazers but next it will appear in a quilt for cold winter nights.

I took a sick dog to the vet in the next town over (unnecessary as the diagnosis was wrong and he got better anyway) and bought 25 lbs potatoes dug that day for $6.00.

Manage Reserves: I've been trying to keep up with the tomatoes ripening in the kitchen. They seem about done.

Now is time that I'm trying to juggle the freezer space: get out those short ribs that are a bunch of fat and bone taking up freezer space and baked and trimed and boiled and skimed and what not until I had beef soup (lot of vegies too). The whole thing only yielded a couple of gallons so I didn't bother with pressure canning and will just eat it through the week.

Another dog got sick with whatever gave them such bad belly aches they could hardly stand (actually big Berner couldn't get to his feet). I cautiously waited 24 hours and it passed and no vet bill this time.

Got in replacement globe and have been successful using the oil lamp correctly.

Cook Something New: My new things all fall into the failed category - which means - well expensive learning. I tried to smoke some marinated venison (old veneson from another year) for jerky, but it didn't work out so well - we didn't like the heavy smoke.

I tried to juice the grapes in my juicer but it is more for hard fruits and vegitables and ground up the seeds so finely that it was an aweful mess getting the juice seperated from the seed shards. The seeds particles suspent - neither floating or sinking and have taken hours to seperate.

Made butter in the antique butter churn. Made a big mess, with flecks of paint and old stuff that flecked off fell into the butter (yes I washed it and scrubbed before using). I think I get a denser, creamier, more yellow butter when I use the kitchen aid (it's still messy but maybe not so much so). I think the old daisy churn is going back on 'display' until the electricity goes out.

Learn Something New: I was a guest speaker at a training for advocates, and police. My hour spot was faith perspectives on sexual assault and rape, and I tried to include sources from several major faith perspectives. Its true that the person doing the training probably learns the most. It was an eye opener for me.


Sarah said...

We used to churn butter by shaking it/gyrating it in a gallon jar.

Matriarchy said...

Hey, lady! Thanks for the shout-out. Everyone keeps saying I'm amazing, but that's because you can't see my messy kitchen, currently piled Tupperwasre from the weekend's yard sales. There's a reason I only ever show that same square of yellow countertop in my photos.

I do have a LOT to say about the value of the Independence Challenge model - do just one small thing each day and total them up each week to prove to yourself you are making progress. It really worked for me. It made me want to do more and more.

Of course, I don't have to milk anyone - and I sure don't know how to butcher an elk! You GO, girl!

I hope your doggies all feel better soon!

Robj98168 said...

I make jerky! I find that if I use my meat slicer and get real thin strips it works out great. The marinade is the important part!