Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Homemade Yumyums

So I started taking up baking again with the idea of eventually getting a table at a Farmer's Market and selling baked goods.

Figured since I've been told they look really good I'd share them.

Lemon Bars
Almond Bars

Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake with homemade Buttercream frosting, blackberries and strawberries

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stroganoff Recipes for Beef, Deer, or Duck

I was thinking about putting some of these up, and since it's the middle of winder and it's a nice time to cook I figured why not.

This is how to make Stroganoff, three different types, all in the crock pot.  All measurements are season to taste.

All meat should be defrosted before you use it.

The base for all of these is the same: 
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4- to one full small onion chopped finely OR about 3-4 tablespoons onion flakes (or more if you really like onions.)
1 small can of mushrooms, or one small container of fresh sliced mushrooms.
1 beef bullion cube (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Enough water to cover the meat in the slow cooker.

For Beef:
You need about 2 pounds of stew meat.

For Deer:
About 2 pounds of deer meat.
You may add more then 1 beef bullion cube if the deer flavor is too strong for you.

For Duck:
On the bone, 1 full duck is placed on the bottom of the slow cooker and the other ingredients are added on top.
You may also add more bullion cubes here, but duck cooked this way usually has a beef flavor by it's self.

Place in slow cooker, and cook for 8-10 hours on low till the meat is well cooked or 6 hours on high, depending upon slow cooker temps.  You may leave it in longer on low, just make sure on the deer meat that the meat is cooked fully.  I usually cook it till I can separate the deer with a fork.

Want it extra creamy? Add a bit of sour cream.

This is wonderful served over egg noodles, and makes a yummy, warm winter comfort food.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Spoiler Free Star Wars: Force Awakens Review

This is really not farm related but I wanted to post a review of this movie in case anyone I know is interested in it and wants to see it.  And since nothing is going on around the farm right now because it is winter...

Spoiler Free Star Wars: Force Awakens review-

=contains no character names or anything to give you a clue what happens=

=May have less spoilers than actual trailers=

If you like Star Wars go out and see it.  I was afraid with how much I hated Episode 2 this one would fail for me but it didn't. The director did a good job and didn't let me down on this.  It had one spot with falling action where the movie felt like it was wrapping up, but it quickly picked back up, almost like the movie was giving you time to pause and catch your breath before the next adventure.

I do have a few problems with plot points but it could just be stuff that bugs me personally because I am picky about some things in the universe and it kinda seemed like those spots where not really done well plot consistency wise.

 Be forwarned though, one of the light saber fights did get a bit weird to watch (like it bugged my eyes.)  This had to do with camera angles and how they focused on the light sabers.  I think if it had been back a bit instead of focused so closely on the characters it would have taken care of the issue.

Rewatchablity: Not as high as episode 4,5,6, but I do plan on getting this and re-watching it when I can.  I'd like to actually spend a week and watch episodes 1-7 when this gets put out on dvd.

Friday, August 14, 2015

So We Got Some Bees

The last few months here have been rather crazy, having one thing after another thing happen.

In the middle of all of this insanity in May we got a hold of someone locally selling 'nukes' (the center part of bee hives that contain workers, some honey, and eggs.)  From the nukes the new hive can be started.

We installed the nukes in hives on my parents farm near the chestnut trees so they would get more pollination for the trees.

The bees seemed to have settled in over time and filled out the boxes to the point we needed to get them a super, so last week we did.

Below are two unpainted 10 frame super boxes.  We'd just gotten them together when I took the photos.

And painted.  They are painted white and drying in the sun.  The hives need to be painted to help protect the wood.  The most common color is white though I've seen them in various colors before.

Some of the frames together and in the box they will sit when it's fully together.  And below a single frame outside of the book so you can see what they look like on their own.

And a frame with the foundation on it, ready to be put into the box and added onto what is now the brood chamber of the box.  We use wax foundations in our hives for a few reasons but one is when we decide to harvest honey (from another super we'll add next year) we'll be able to sell on the comb honey.

The next step is simply to take the boxes to the super and open the hives (my husband did a hive inspection since he had them open) then add the boxes on top of the other, put the lid on, and let the bees work their magic.  My husband told me the bees were a bit upset when he started to mess with the hives, but as soon as he added the new supers they flew back inside and investigated them.  (I didn't go with him to the hives because I'm allergic to bee stings.)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Few Chicken pictures

I took a few pictures of the birds this past Easter Sunday and since they came out okay I figured I'd share them here.

Out in the back yard in the still not cut grass having a snack.  I've been asked if I free range my chickens, which yes I do.  They are much happier being out in the yard instead of locked up in pens.  Plus they help keep the ticks under control so I don't need to worry about getting attacked by creepy crawlers when I go outside to do farm work.

And (below) my silver laced rooster, standing pretty in the wind.  He's in the area right in front of the coop where the chickens have already eaten all of the grass this spring.  One other advantage to free ranging, they keep some of the grass cut for me.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bees and some trees

I suppose one minor advantage of taking an interest in bee keeping a few years ago and starting the learning process has been that I've been slowly taking note of what the bees love and what the bees tend to avoid.  Right now we've got a number of trees flowering (I'm in fact watching bees hit the peach tree outside of my kitchen window now.)  We actually have a wild hive of honey bees somewhere on the farm, so we've been able to interact with bees ever since we've moved in.  I don't actually know where the hive is but that hasn't stopped me from referring to them as 'my bees' when I talk to people (I explain they're wild and not the hives we're getting that we will be harvesting from.)

I've been keeping an eye on what the bees love, and what surprised me the most is boxwood.  We have a large bush of it by the front porch, and a smaller one near the other end of the porch and every year as soon as it starts to flower it seems to come alive with the sound of bees buzzing.  This year I'd actually started to worry cause I hadn't seen the bees since we got a cold snap but as soon as it started to flower I woke up to the sound of happy bees.

I haven't really seen the bees working anything other then the flowering crab apples and peach trees yet this year, though I suspect they already hit the ceder trees before the box woods started.

In June, from past years observations, the bees also go nuts over chestnut flowers.  The chestnuts seem to come alive every year with bees, and other pollinators grabbing as much pollen as they can in the few weeks the trees are covered in blossoms.