Food storage, Meat Animals, Recipes, Vegetables

Duck Broth

A few weeks ago, River helped some friends slaughter meat ducks. We got a duck, yummy, the necks for broth, and the livers, hearts, etc.

River loves liver, usually we invite my grandmother over who also loves liver when we make something like this. The boys and I don’t care for it.

Using my insta-pot, I put leek greens from our garden, parsley from a friend and duck necks in the pot and added water. I don’t usually add salt or pepper until i am using the both in a recipe. I covered my pot, made sure the vent was closed and set it for an hour.

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This will be broth soon!

When it is done, I will strain the broth and store it in 1/2 gallon jars in the fridge. This time of year, I make one or two soups a week. It always tastes good on a chilly day and I heat some up for River and #1’s lunches and put it in a thermos for them, so nice to have a hot lunch when it is cold outside.

Duck necks have a lot more meat on them then chicken necks! I think there were 6 necks in the bag and I got almost a quart of meat from them.

Yummy, nutrient dense, broth in an hour. I had already cooked some pumpkins that were not going to store in the pot this morning and roasted some of them in the oven. On the docket for dinner tonight, Roasted pumpkin and black bean soup. I will be putting the steamed pumpkin in 2 cup jars in the freezer for future pies and puddings, muffins or anything pumpkin!

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Roasted Pumpkin
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Steamed Pumpkin
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Food storage, Vegetables

Green Tomatoes

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The inside of these tomatoes were so beautiful, I couldn’t help but snap a few photos. 

We had about 40 pounds of green tomatoes from the garden at the end of the season. In the past I have often let them ripen (slowly) on counters, etc. Taking over the house and being in the way. This year I decided not to do that, I couldn’t handle the coverage of every horizontal surface in the house with tomatoes.

What to do with all the tomatoes, we couldn’t let them go to waste, enter Green Tomato Relish and Green Tomato Salsa. I wasn’t sure about using green tomatoes, they aren’t sweet like a red tomato. I have to say the Green Tomato Relish is delish. The salsa is okay. Not as good as the salsa I made earlier this summer.

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Green Tomato Relish, ready to be stirred up in our gigantic pot. 

The spices and add ons in this recipe were very fall looking. And now the relish is ready to be served up with our pork and chicken. Last night we had one of our ham steaks, so delicious!

Come to the farm for your Chicken and Pork needs! We have you covered!

Food storage, Recipes, Vegetables

Filling up the pantry and a Salsa Recipe

This year it is taking me awhile to fill the pantry. I have had an over abundance of summer squash so I have made about 21 jars of summer squash relish. In the past I made zucchini relish, but alas, only one zucchini this year (for real, only one and on a volunteer plant)

I made Mustard Pickles with an old family recipe, it calls for little onions and cauliflour. I did not have either of those so I just made it with cukes, I am sure my grandmother would be horrified by this, sometimes you just have to use what you have and go for it…

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I have celiac disease so I just omit the flour in the above recipe. This recipe is from a booklet of recipes that were given to me when I married Trace’s dad from the Lynch side of the family. Many great family treats are in here, some of the recipes actually say call your Nanny Lynch for additional instructions. All well and good, except that my grandmother has passed on.

I also have our five quarts of peaches, I am still annoyed by the lack of peaches on the shelf, they have already been earmarked for birthdays, I actually wrote names on them so there would not be any confusion.

I have also canned 25 quarts of applesauce. We have already eaten some of this so clearly we will need more. Saturday is supposed to be apple picking day for us. Hopefully we will get all the apples we need for another 75 quarts of sauce. 100 quarts is our goal this year as we didn’t have a lot of peaches or blueberries.

I got a fantastic recipe for salsa from Eli at Mahalo Farm, it is the best salsa I have ever canned, yummy! I canned 21 pints of salsa, we also ate quite a bit of salsa that I didn’t can.

The original recipe was from a cookbook, I just have a photo copy which Eli and I have both modified to make a super tasty snack.

Basic Tomato Salsa

Makes about 4-1 pint jars (obviously I made about 6 times this recipe)

6 cups tomatos (about 3 pounds)

2 cups yellow onion (about 2 medium onions)

1 cup chopped red bell pepper (1 large pepper)

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/8 cup sugar

3 jalapeno peppers

4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 cup fresh cilantro

I put everything that needed to be chopped into the food processor and pulsed it. The kids love that part. The original recipe is to just chop it all. In a small batch that is okay, when you are making a big batch it.takes.forever. save yourself some time and agrivation and use the food processor,using it on pulse makes it a little more chunky.

Combine all ingredients except the cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil. The original recipe says to simmer for 10 minutes. Both Eli and I found that we needed to simmer it for much longer to get all the flavors to combine nicely. I would say simmer and taste until the texture and taste seem to be what you are looking for.

I am not going to give all the canning directions here, just the time in the canner, the recipe calls for a 15 minute water bath for a pint jar.

I forgot to add sugar to my second batch, the salsa is still good, but it is lacking a tiny bit of the pizzaz the first batch had.

Enjoy the last bits of summer and the cooler nights! Can on friends!

What is your favorite thing to can?

Food storage, Recipes, Vegetables, What’s For Dinner

Roasted Pasta Sauce

I made my first batch of pasta sauce yesterday. I usually have more than this made by this time, my tomatoes have been ripening so slowly that I have been cutting them up and freezing them until I get a nice big batch.

This batch I made with fresh tomatoes and red peppers that I bartered for from Eli at Mahalo Farm, she wanted summer squash so she could make fresh ratatouille to freeze. Since we are tired of eating summer squash at this point I was happy to make a trade! We have many peppers coming along, but we have only had one red one so far and the red ones are far tastier then the green ones in my opinion.

A few years ago i discovered that I did not need to boil away my sauce, I could cut the veggies in big chunks, roast it, pour it all into a big pot and use the stick blender since my boys prefer smooth sauce to chunky sauce. This tasted so good that I have not tried to make it another way since.

Since I am a fan of using what we have and not having to buy what we don’t, this batch of sauce had tomatoes (a mix of heirloom, paste and whatever else was ripe in the garden), Mahalo Farm red peppers, garlic, basil, a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I gave it all a rough chop and tossed it in the pan, stirred to distribute the olive oil and put it in the oven at 450 for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent burning.

Ohhhh the house smelled so good. When I have lots of tomatoes earlier in the summer, I use the back porch kitchen so the house doesn’t get too hot. This time of year, having the oven on feels really good, we have a small house and just making the batch of sauce today warmed it right up.

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Seconds! Because I forgot to take a picture of the firsts!

I didn’t even bother canning this batch, we had pasta for dinner last night and I am going to make the rest into tomato soup for lunch today by adding some milk and cream. So delicious! River said it was so yummy he didn’t even miss the meat. That is saying something lately as I have been very distracted and my meals have not been up to my usual standards. I actually burned baked beans the other day folks….that took some doing let me tell you!

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This is after we ate dinner, there was a lot more sauce in the pot.

How do you make your tomato sauce?

 

Greenhouse, Vegetables

Saving Spinach Seed

I am trying to save as many seeds this year as I can. I have saved spinach seeds, some seeds from mescluen mixes and I will save some leaf lettuce seeds too.

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After drying…

To save the spinach seeds, I let them get a little dry in the garden, then hung them on the porch. When they were dry, I took all the seeds (they are the nodules on the stem) off over a pan. When I planted my garden this year I had two kinds of spinach and I didn’t plan to save seeds so my seeds are a mix of what worked in the garden this year.

Farming, Fruit, Vegetables

What’s growing in the garden

This is a little update on our garden and what is growing right now.

We haven’t had a lot of success with fruit this year, only 5 quarts of canned peaches, no blueberries and no apples, apricots or plums on our trees this year, so I was thrilled that our Musk Melons actually grew to an edible size this year and thrived! We have eaten one delicious, juicy melon so far and there are several more on the way! So exciting!

Also exciting our delicious ever bearing raspberries, this variety, that I cannot remember the name of is sooooo sweet. My friend Kaite said it is one of the sweetest raspberries she has had in a long time.

 

Our peppers are exploding with yellow, orange, green, purple and jalapeno peppers galore! Some will get chopped and put in the freezer for stirfries and some will go in tomato sauce.

Our basil is going like crazy even though we had some wet and humid weather. I have dried quite a bit of it for gifts and use during the winter. I have also frozen quite a bit of it with garlic, but not cheese and nuts. This is my first year with really booming basil plants. I have been very excited about this success.

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Our weedy beets. They are growing great, even without a lot of attention.

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I was trying to avoid my winter squash plants growing all over the garden this year. I managed to get help with one trellis for our squash, I needed at least 4. I love how well it seems to be working in this section. It has kept many of the pumpkins contained and I can’t wait to see how they look when they turn orange. It will be so pretty. Next year more trellis before these beautiful plants take over the garden!

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What I was hoping to avoid was the squash taking over the overgrown raspberries so I could fix that bed how I wanted it this fall, hahaha. Clearly not going to happen right now!

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As you can see, the squash is temporarily taking over the raspberry bed and the pathways in the garden at the moment. My trellis idea would have worked really well if I had gotten the rest of it up in time. It is at least a two person operation to get it up and it wasn’t a priority this year. It will be next year to keep me sane!

We have been eating a lot of summer squash this summer. I thought I had one zucchini plant and three summer squash. It turned out I had four summer squash plants and no zucchini. I did end up with a volunteer zucchini plant in the beans. We got one zucchini on it. Better then nothing I say!

 

I have swiss chard and kale up the wazoo, but my salad greens didn’t come up this time, too hot perhaps?

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One of my favorite garden surprises was the tomatillo plant that was gorgeous, but not producing. I have it on a large trellis and thought perhaps it needed a buddy to make fruit. The other day we were in the garden and noticed that there are some fruits growing! It is just a late producer! So strange, but so exciting, I can’t wait for tomatillos to make salsa!

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Our carrots, planted very late are looking good, it has been a struggle to keep the children from eating them all now!

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We also have cucumbers, yummy! Number 2 likes them straight from the vine and Number 3 only likes pickled cucumbers, Number 1 doesn’t care for them at all, so it is a mixed bag around here!

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Tomatoes are starting to come in like crazy, yeah for tomato sauce, ketchup and salsa!

 

Our leeks are looking well too!

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Sweet potato vines are growing well, the true test will be when we dig them up to see if we have vole damage like last year. These are the vines I started this year, so I am excited to see how they produce!

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Our garden this year has been late, but beautiful, some things have been disappointing and others have been exciting and unexpected.

Every year on a farm brings new challenges, we learn from them and hope we are able to improve our knowledge for the next year. We are always learning and always up for the challenge even though it can be exhausting!

Farming, Food storage, Vegetables

Blight

Things have been really busy on the farm, it is amazing how many things need to be done at the same time! Our most recent adventure in farming involves a potato blight. My research has led to the conclusion that this blight is related to the Irish Potato Blight that led to the Irish immigrants coming to America. Potato blight is caused by a fungus called Phytophthora Infestans.  Humid weather plays a huge part in the blight taking hold of potatoes, and the last few weeks have had several days of over 90% humidity so I am not surprised that we have gotten blighted. Blight is carried through the air so unless your crop is completely surrounded and covered to keep out any breeze, you are lucky to avoid the blight. We planted 70 pounds of potatoes in a new field this year and I was hoping we could avoid the blight here since no crops had been grown recently. No such luck. We got it bad. I spent three of our hottest, humid mornings last week removing all the potato stalks from our plants and putting them in trash bags so we can hopefully preserve the potatoes in the ground.

I had noticed some brown on our plants and deluded myself into thinking it was just from the potato bugs that were showing up. No such luck, I dug some potatoes, they tasted great by the way, then I noticed a couple of rotten potatoes in our storage bin. Hmmmm. they had been perfectly good when I dug them up, then I realized that some of our stalks were looking soft and squishy, aha, the blight. Awesome.

Some people burn the stalks as they start to show signs of blight. We don’t have the equipment to do this so I cut them and threw them away. What I have read is to keep the potatoes in the ground for three weeks to try to prevent the blight from taking a hold of the actual potatoes. Cross your fingers, I am certainly crossing mine!

I have had late blight on my tomatoes for several years and I have managed to control it and still keep a crop by removing any infected leaves, keeping vines off the ground and mulching with either plastic or hay. I spent Saturday removing blighted tomato vines from the plants and throwing them away. I also trimmed back a lot of the lower vines to keep them away from splash back off the ground. My tomatoes are just starting to ripen this year so I am desperate to keep it from taking hold which means a trip to the tomatoes every day to remove anything suspicious looking.

Ahhhh, I dream of really cold weather this winter. Be gone blight and ticks!