Mar 2, 2015

Rendering Lard

There are numerous websites and blog entries on how to render lard.  I've tried to do it a few different ways.  I've done it on the stovetop, in the oven and outside.  Everytime I do it in my home, my honey sleeps in his truck.  :)  He says the smell makes him gag.  I get a bit upset because the smell is perfectly fine for me.  But...Eureka!  I have found a solution that suits us both.  I render the lard in a crockpot out on the front porch.  The porch is enclosed and the dog can't help himself to the fat.  I can't do as much at a time, but it doesn't burn and doesn't have to be watched as closely  as on the stove.
The lard in various stages of cooling.
My "vintage" crockpot.

Crockpots can be picked up at garage sales for next to nothing.  Throw the diced fat into it and go about your day, checking in from time to time. 

Another exciting day on the farm!


Feb 24, 2015

I Found Summer

Let's see a show of hands-everyone who would like a little less cold and a little more sun?  Me too.   

So, today I took my two little charges and met some friends at the botanical gardens about 50 miles from here.  It was wonderful.  It smelled like plants, looked like a jungle and the heat and humidity were wonderful.
The kids could take their jackets off and run round and round.  We walked along the palm lined paths and admired the hibiscus in bloom. 

Then we put on our jackets, hats and mittens and ventured out into the frozen city.  What a blessing to have this resource so close and free of charge.

This was a great way to stop the cabin fever that's been rearing it's ugly head from time to time. 



Feb 12, 2015

The Best Scones

I usually don't like scones.  They're dry and tasteless.  Maybe it's  because I usually buy them at the gas station bakery?  A couple of years ago, while sitting in a tea house, I was served the most delicious scones.  Soft and tender and addicting.  So, now knowing what a scone was supposed to taste like, I went in search of a recipe that would yield such scrumptious biscuits.
And now I would like to share it with you.  This recipe is from "The Old Farmhouse Kitchen" cookbook.
The Best Scones

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp.baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cut into flour mixture like pie crust:
1/2 cup butter

Mix together in a cup:
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add to dry ingredients until soft dough forms.  Roll into 8 inch disk.  Cut into wedges.  Separate.  Bake at 375 got 12-15 minutes.  Best served hot.  If adding berries or chocolate, mix into flour before adding the sour cream mixture.

I also drizzle with powdered sugar icing.  This morning I didn't have any sour cream, so I used warm fresh cream I had setting out to make butter.  It worked just as well.

Enjoy!

Jan 24, 2015

Fire Cider and Numerous Other Things

I think this is one of those things that everyone knows about and I'm a bit behind the times.  I'd never heard of Fire Cider until a friend mentioned it in an email as if I should already know about it.

I looked it up, got a recipe and made a batch yesterday.  I found a recipe at http://mountainroseblog.com/fire-cider/ .
This is supposed to boost your immune system.  It has to set for a month before I can use it, but I'm thinking it might also work for our livestock.  I currently buy a natural immune booster for them.

Since I was on a healthy kick, I started more wheatgrass.
This is a sprouter that I bought over 20 years ago and used it for the first time a couple of months ago.  The wheatgrass tastes great and it's good for us and our cats and our chickens.

I might as well throw everything into this post.  My honey just asked if I'd blogged about his new toy.  So here's a picture.

You can't see it, but there's a grapple hook on the loader and we can haul two large round bales at a time.  Best thing?  The cab is enclosed with a HEATER!!!

Last, but not least, we had a surprise last week...
Praise God, the weather has been warm.  This guy is from a cow we bought last spring and I guess she was exposed to the bull a bit earlier than we thought.  I named the calf Surprise.  He's healthy and jumping around like he should.

Time for a late breakfast.  This is turning into a lazy relaxing day.


Jan 18, 2015

Corn Cob Soda

I've been reading about American Pioneers and learning more new things.  The latest? Corn cob soda.  This was used in place of baking soda.

Corncob "soda" A substitute for bicarbonate of soda, used in the South during the blockade. It was discovered that corncob ashes, especially from red cobs, possessed the alkaline needed to raise bread. After they were burned and the ashes collected in jars, water was added. A teaspoonful or tablespoonful of this mixture was then used in bread-making,

 From The Language of the Civil War by John D. Wright page 72.

Something new to try this summer.  Anyone else ever tried this?

Mar 2, 2015

Rendering Lard

There are numerous websites and blog entries on how to render lard.  I've tried to do it a few different ways.  I've done it on the stovetop, in the oven and outside.  Everytime I do it in my home, my honey sleeps in his truck.  :)  He says the smell makes him gag.  I get a bit upset because the smell is perfectly fine for me.  But...Eureka!  I have found a solution that suits us both.  I render the lard in a crockpot out on the front porch.  The porch is enclosed and the dog can't help himself to the fat.  I can't do as much at a time, but it doesn't burn and doesn't have to be watched as closely  as on the stove.
The lard in various stages of cooling.
My "vintage" crockpot.

Crockpots can be picked up at garage sales for next to nothing.  Throw the diced fat into it and go about your day, checking in from time to time. 

Another exciting day on the farm!


Feb 24, 2015

I Found Summer

Let's see a show of hands-everyone who would like a little less cold and a little more sun?  Me too.   

So, today I took my two little charges and met some friends at the botanical gardens about 50 miles from here.  It was wonderful.  It smelled like plants, looked like a jungle and the heat and humidity were wonderful.
The kids could take their jackets off and run round and round.  We walked along the palm lined paths and admired the hibiscus in bloom. 

Then we put on our jackets, hats and mittens and ventured out into the frozen city.  What a blessing to have this resource so close and free of charge.

This was a great way to stop the cabin fever that's been rearing it's ugly head from time to time. 



Feb 12, 2015

The Best Scones

I usually don't like scones.  They're dry and tasteless.  Maybe it's  because I usually buy them at the gas station bakery?  A couple of years ago, while sitting in a tea house, I was served the most delicious scones.  Soft and tender and addicting.  So, now knowing what a scone was supposed to taste like, I went in search of a recipe that would yield such scrumptious biscuits.
And now I would like to share it with you.  This recipe is from "The Old Farmhouse Kitchen" cookbook.
The Best Scones

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp.baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cut into flour mixture like pie crust:
1/2 cup butter

Mix together in a cup:
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add to dry ingredients until soft dough forms.  Roll into 8 inch disk.  Cut into wedges.  Separate.  Bake at 375 got 12-15 minutes.  Best served hot.  If adding berries or chocolate, mix into flour before adding the sour cream mixture.

I also drizzle with powdered sugar icing.  This morning I didn't have any sour cream, so I used warm fresh cream I had setting out to make butter.  It worked just as well.

Enjoy!

Jan 24, 2015

Fire Cider and Numerous Other Things

I think this is one of those things that everyone knows about and I'm a bit behind the times.  I'd never heard of Fire Cider until a friend mentioned it in an email as if I should already know about it.

I looked it up, got a recipe and made a batch yesterday.  I found a recipe at http://mountainroseblog.com/fire-cider/ .
This is supposed to boost your immune system.  It has to set for a month before I can use it, but I'm thinking it might also work for our livestock.  I currently buy a natural immune booster for them.

Since I was on a healthy kick, I started more wheatgrass.
This is a sprouter that I bought over 20 years ago and used it for the first time a couple of months ago.  The wheatgrass tastes great and it's good for us and our cats and our chickens.

I might as well throw everything into this post.  My honey just asked if I'd blogged about his new toy.  So here's a picture.

You can't see it, but there's a grapple hook on the loader and we can haul two large round bales at a time.  Best thing?  The cab is enclosed with a HEATER!!!

Last, but not least, we had a surprise last week...
Praise God, the weather has been warm.  This guy is from a cow we bought last spring and I guess she was exposed to the bull a bit earlier than we thought.  I named the calf Surprise.  He's healthy and jumping around like he should.

Time for a late breakfast.  This is turning into a lazy relaxing day.


Jan 18, 2015

Corn Cob Soda

I've been reading about American Pioneers and learning more new things.  The latest? Corn cob soda.  This was used in place of baking soda.

Corncob "soda" A substitute for bicarbonate of soda, used in the South during the blockade. It was discovered that corncob ashes, especially from red cobs, possessed the alkaline needed to raise bread. After they were burned and the ashes collected in jars, water was added. A teaspoonful or tablespoonful of this mixture was then used in bread-making,

 From The Language of the Civil War by John D. Wright page 72.

Something new to try this summer.  Anyone else ever tried this?