Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Pig Pen

With one pig pen done, another one was built. Here is the hubby putting a few finishing touches on the 2nd pig pen.
Here is one of my sons bringing the hoses down to the new pig pen.

Now for the boar and the sow to be moved to the new pen:


A drink from the hose after they are in the new pen:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dairy Sheep

The sheep are slowly growing in numbers! What started out as a simple desire to have a few sheep to help with maintaining our 40 acres, has blossomed into several new adventures. Some weeks ago, we brought in a mixture of Painted Desert sheep to add to the few Katahdins and Barbados that we had.
          Well, thanks to Nancy Osborn, we now have 2 dairy ewes and 1 dairy ram. Below are pictures of Malibu (the white ewe), LL (the black ewe) and Ames (the 5 month old ram).


Ames, the "slightly-freaked-out" ram!!
Here is Malibu (on the left) standing by Ames. She is 4 years old and he is 5 months - he will most likely grow out to be a pretty big boy!




Rhino Beetle

Check out the pics of this big beetle we found outside the other day. Someone told me it is called a Rhino beetle.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zucchini Marmalade

     I found this recipe one day as I was surfin' around the internet trying to come up with creative ways to use all of the 18" zucchinis that are coming out of the gardens around here. I'm not a big fan of cooked zuc so, I set out a recipe quest. Well, I'm the kind of person that will try to make salsa out of just about any fruit or veggie - last year we tried cucumber salsa, blueberry salsa and even blackberry salsa. This year, I found zucchini salsa (that's another post in the makes) and then turned up this recipe.
     This stuff is the bomb! What a great recipe this is - it uses up those huge zukes that grow so easily in just about any home garden AND it gets another veggie into the belly of it's eater. We made a few modifications to make it fit our liking.

12 Cups zucchini, grated finely (I don’t see why you couldn’t use yellow squash!)
9 Cups sugar
1 Cup apple cider vinegar
2 large cans crushed pineapple
3  3oz packages Jello, any flavor….strawberry, orange and peach are all good. Raspberry would be worth trying.
Boil zucchini and sugar for 20 minutes.
Add vinegar, crushed pineapple and gelatin and stir until dissolved. 
Remove from heat, pour into hot jars and seal.  Process in water bath for 5 minutes or place in freezer containers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crunchy Pickles

     Last year was the first year that I tried my hand at canning pickles. They tasted good but, they were soft. I was hoping to make a crunchy dill pickle like those refrigerated Claussen pickles that my dad used to buy. Well, this year I made sure that we planted pickling cucumbers. And, I read lots of recipes and instructions about how to make them.
     We have successfully made some good pickles this year now that we have cucumbers coming out of the garden on a regular basis - we are averaging 15 to 40 cucumbers a day!! I think the main difference is #1 - the fact that we planted a pickling variety and, #2 - we are presoaking the cukes in a cold water bath for hours.
     The simpliest recipe, and the one that reminds me of those Claussen pickles is this one:

Refrigerator Pickles
Ingredients:
- Pickling cucumbers - as many as you want to deal with
- garlic cloves (one per jar)
- dill seed
- white sugar
- pickling salt
- white vinegar
- water

1. You can either slice your pickles into spears or chunks. Put them in a large bowl and put a bunch of ice cubes on top of them. Add water so that the cucumbers are covered. Let this mixture sit for a few hours. Some websites say to not let them sit for over 4 hours but, I accidently left some in the water ALL NIGHT until the next day. By the morning, the spears were so stiff, they were almost bending backwards.

2. Take clean canning jars. I use quart jars but, I also did some pints to give away to the grandparents. Holding the jar at an angle, lay the spears in the jar. Fill each jar until it is packed tightly.

3. Add one clove of garlic (cut into about 5 or 6 pieces), 1 teaspoon dill seed, 2 Tablespoons pickling salt and 1 Tablespoon white sugar to each jar.


4. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to each jar.
5. Now fill the jar to the top with cold water.
6. Put a lid on the jar and give it a little shake.
7. Let the jars sit on the counter at room temp for a day or 2.
8. Refrigerate the jars and let them sit to get the flavor stronger. Supposedly the flavor will be stronger in a week or so - I couldn't tell you if that is the case or not since my kids devour them after the first day or 2!
       Oh, one time I added some hot pepper flakes to one jar - it sure made for a good jar of spicy dills. Another time I added a half of a jalapeno - that didn't seem to make it as hot as the hot pepper flakes. Be creative . . . try adding some other things - maybe some onion slices . . . hmmm, now that's an idea to try . . .
      I'll try to get the recipe up for canning pickles sometime here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Salsa Verde

We learned that green tomatoes could be substituted for the tomatillos in this recipe.

Salsa Verde
1 pound tomatillos or green tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (we used a white onion, it was about 1/2 an onion)
1 tsp minced garlic (1 clove is good for this)
1/2 a jalapeno with no seeds (I might leave the seeds in next time for more kick!)
2 Tbl cut up cilantro (scissors work great for this)
1 Tbl Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water

- Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat an simmer until the tomatillos or tomatoes are soft (about 10 to 15 minutes).
- Using a blender or food processor, puree the mixture until it is smooth.
- Makes a great green salsa to dip chips in, or use to make chicken enchiladas or top a baked potato with it - YUM! YUM!
- Pictures to come soon, Lord willing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Problem with Tomato Plants

     I have something going wrong with my tomato plants this year. I was told by one gentleman that it is Black Spot hitting up the tomato plants in the NE Oklahoma area. I also called Roger over at the OSU Extension Office and he said that it is most likely Early Blight or Septoria. He told me to use a product called Daconil to control it. He also said to practice good garden hygiene - at the end of each season pull out and burn or bag up and trash all plant remains.
      Here are a few pics in case anyone has any suggestions:









Any ideas - shoot me an email at kim@goodgoats.net