Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apple Coffee Cake

I forgot to include my Apple Coffee Cake recipe on my last post. Here it is.

Apple Coffee Cake

2 medium apples peeled, cored and cut into small chunks (you could rehydrate 2 C of dried apples in boiling water)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 C butter or margarine
1/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle cut apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time and beat well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding dry ingredients and the milk to the butter and sugar mixture. Add vanilla and mix well. Grease and flour a 9 inch square cake pan. Pour batter into pan and top with the cut apples. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon topping mix and sprinkle over the apples. Bake at 325 for 40-45 min until done. Enjoy!

Trudging on...

It's been one of those weeks where you are dead beat tired but there is so much to do. To top it off, I'm battling a cold. It started last week with just being busy. Then Saturday I spent my entire day with a family picking and pressing apples for cider. Sunday, I canned the cider up and dried some apples and tried to get caught up on laundry, bills, etc. Monday evening my husband and I attended a Care Net Banquet fundraiser. Tuesday I was my youngest daughters 17th birthday and my 18 year old came home from school sicker than a dog with a 102 temp and slept the rest of the day. Also on Tuesday, a dear old neighbor from Oregon showed up for a wonderful visit and stayed a couple of days. I also stayed up past my normal bedtime in order to visit, so I'm not complaining, but it left me tired.

Wednesday rolled around and I'm pretty exhausted but still trucking along. Report cards are due next week, our class party is Friday and I still have planning for the following week. Got my hair cut on Thursday and worked out. Well, Friday my oldest has not gone to school and sounds horrible. She said her lower back is killing her and she hasn't urinated all morning. I'm thinking kidney issues and make an appointment with the doctor, explaining to the triage nurse that she has been sick all week with a high of 102, stuffy, aching, coughing, and now lower back pain and not peeing. Well, I'm at school working so I can't go with her, but she is 18 anyway, so she can start to take on these kinds of responsibilities. She gets to the doctor and they don't even take her temp. or her blood pressure. The diagnoses: a back strain. Yeah, I was pretty peeved that we had to spend money for him not to even look at her. She's just been laying in bed and getting up to go to the bathroom or get a drink and bite of something to eat. We're praying for a quick recovery and back to her normal school and work routine.

Today, I didn't work out but went to town and found a pair of pants for work. I got home and started some apples in the dryer. I would dry at night, but mine dry in about 8 hours, so I don't want it running all night or all day while I'm away because I don't want them over dried. So I'm doing 2 dryer loads over each weekend. I have an apple coffee cake in the oven right now. It smells delicious! Our neighbor who came up over the week bought us some kielbasa at a local Italian deli while he was here and we are having it tonight. I can hardly wait to try it.

So this weekend I am going to try and lay low (sort of) and get laundry caught up and bills paid. The lawn needs mowing and we haven't winter fertilized it yet. It got down to 20 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday night, so the couple of apples that were left on my trees are not good. But I picked all the decent ones and got tomatoes picked and in the garage. I need to do something with them tomorrow. Either make salsa, tomato sauce or can them up whole. Not sure yet. That's about all we've been up to around here. Busy as always, and just trying to get by.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I don't know if cidering is a word or not, but that's what I had the good fortune of doing all day Saturday with some dear family friends. I have never cidered before (is that a word?) and I had a great time. We picked apples, Emperors, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and maybe a couple of other varieties. We loaded them into one of those large wooden bins that holds 1,000 pounds of apples. It was on the back of a 1950 Ford tractor which was straining to carry th load. The bin was probably 2/3 full. Next, off for a break for lunch and then off to press apples.

There was a job for everyone aged 4-89. From washing the apples to putting them in the crushing hopper, to turning the crushing crank and then turning the pressing crank. It was a very old cider press and it was hosed down the day bfore so the wood would absorb the water and not the cider we would be making th following day. Next, filling 5 gallon pots with the cider and putting it raw into gallon containers, or heating it up to pasturize it. Each family was able to take home some cider and apples. It was a great treat.

Sunday, I pasturized the raw cider by heating it to 200 degrees for 10 min. You don't want the cider to boil as that can negatively affect the taste. Next, I poured it into quart jars and processed for 30 min. in a boiling watr bath and tried to keep the water from coming to a rolling boil. Again, we don't want the cider to boil. I canned up 13 quarts and we still had over a 1/2 gallon to add cinnamon and lemon ginger tea to. It was wonderful!I dried one batch of apples, as well.

We also dug up our potatoes. Many potatoes had been a tasty snack for our resident gophers. If you have been following me, you know that we lost a lot of potato plants so our harvest was down. And, unfortunately, we had to put our eggbound pullet down, as we were unable to save her. A busy weekend. Thank you to my newest readers and wishing everyone a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Prolapsed Pullet

Yesterday afternoon I went out to feed the chickens and put them up for the night when I noticed one of my Buff Orpingotns was not herself. She had a huge bulge coming our of her rear end, and feces smeared all down her backside. Oh, no! I went to read up in one of my chicken books and sure enough, her oviduct is prolapsed. It is protruding outside her body, and it is large and hard so there is probably an egg stuck inside. It was like there was the membrane covering the egg, because you can't see the egg, and I don't know how to get it out. We tried to work it around a little, but with no luck.

Hens that have prolapsed and that are left to the natural instincts of flock members, will be picked at on their exposed tissue from the vent. This will result in hemorrhaging, shock, and death.

We isolated her last night. I leave before daylight so did not check on her. My DD said this morning she wasn't moving and is dad going to shoot her when he gets home? Well, I get home 2 hours before DH, so I got a garbage bag and the .22 and headed out to the barn. She was alert and had eaten. The bulge seemed to have reduced in size and I find it hard to kill an animal that still seems to have life and not be suffering enormously. I gave her some more food and checked her water. I will see what DH says when he gets home. Even if she lays that egg, she will never be the same and will be prolapsing often.

Now I know which chicken has been laying the gigantic eggs, sometimes with 2 yolks. While it may seem cool at the time to be getting such large eggs, the downside is that it is ultimately going to cost us the life and egg laying of one of our flock. She is beautiful. She is slightly larger than Rhode Island reds and has golden yellow feathers, with slightly darker feathers around her neck. I know that if the is not put out of her misery tonight, it will be soon. I will keep you posted.

New Computer and Welcome

Welcome and thank you to my newest followers, Xa Lynn, Mamma Bear, and Pioneer Preppy. I appreciate your reading and your comments.

I got my new computer and can't believe how fast it is. My old one had 4 battery cells, or something like that, that were blown on the mother board. A result I am told because the tower was on carpeted floor. The dust is a killer. Lesson learned. The new one is on a stand. I knew ours was outdated (a 2003), but now there are so many things that won't work with the new equipment. Like my printer. Quicken. And some others. KA-CHING! Yeah, more money. I just posted about Never Ending Expense and forgot to add the expense of a new computer to my post. Isn't it always something? Thank God I have a job to be able to pay for this.

Oh, and my youngest just received a bill in the mail today for her college class. She's in high school but will get college credit. We have Running Start and Cornerstone at the high school. Plus, if you take an AP (Advanced Placement) course, you can take a college test and if you pass, get college credit for it. Another $250 out the door. Sigh...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Never Ending Expenses

I think our family is like most. It just seems that just when you've gotten on top of your bills, some unforeseen pops up. We're always saying, "It's always something." I was laid off earlier this year and we were watching every penny anticipating that my income would be substantially less. But we tried to save enough to pay our property taxes and water bill which are due on the 31st, as well as stock up on the three B's.

Fortunately for our family, I was blessed with a full time job. It is a commute, but I am lucky to share the drive with another commuter. We alternate weeks, and we work within 4 blocks of each other so it works out great.

Now I have to say that I have a shopping compulsion that may sometimes create a very tight budget by months end. My DH is okay with that. Only because I buy food, not clothes. Although, really, I do need to add to my sparse wardrobe, especially since winter is coming. I need 1-2 more sets of pants, and a sweater would be nice since I work in an old, cinder block building with a boiler for heat in the winter, which is sketchy from what I hear. Plus, I work on the north (cool) side of the building.

This month our property tax and water are due. I have almost enough saved but am $300 short. My full time job can cover the gap on payday. But, we need to heat our house this winter and need 2 tons of wood pellets. We have about 1/3 of a ton from last year, but need to buy at least 1 and 1/2, and my youngest needs snow tires and wheels. Plus, I need new studs, too.
KA-CHING! Did you hear the money fly out the door? DH works four 10's. He worked 2 extra days this week to earn money for a down payment on snow tires. We can put the pellets on our bill at the feed store and prayerfully come up with the balance. I bet you won't see these Occupy (Dependent) Protesters working extra hours to keep their family warm and safe on the road. Oh yeah, I guess if they had jobs, they wouldn't be squatting on public property with the local law enforcement and Obama's blessing. Have you noticed this past week how gas prices have risen sharply? The expenses just don't stop.

This week I hit the store because there were some great sale ads (on food). I have never gone to this particular store and seen the shelves so empty. Tillamook cheese, $4.88/2 #. I grabbed up the last 2 out of 8 remaining from the end aisle because the main cheese section was wiped out (wished I could have afforded all of them). Butter- $2.00/#. Sold out but you can get a rain check. TP and paper towels-$4.88/12 double rolls. GONE! Are you seeing these kind of sales being sold out where you live? People are realizing that their dollar is not s t r e t c h i n g like it used to and are compensating and buying whether or not they understand the gravity or our nations (and world's) situation.

It just seems that in our household we just seem to get level with our money and get the savings building up again, when, POOF!, all your expenses hit at once, or an unexpected expense robs you dry. It is hard to be stocking up, saving, paying down bills, buying necessities, etc, especially when manufactured inflation, and Soros funded world events are working to destroy our Constitutional, American, Republic way of life. God, help our nation. God, bless us all. God, help us. We need You.

Oh, and about Quaddafi. Al Qaeda is poised and ready to take over. Are you ready? The door to terrorism has been opened even wider. And Obama praises this.

Dependent Protesters Deprive Worker's of Livelihoods

Have you noticed how these Occupy protesters are very dependent on government handouts? They scream for work, but then deny people the right to sell their goods and earn a living, so they can then turn around and pay taxes, so the protesters can get a handout. Occupy (Dependent) protesters squatted on property used by vendors to sell their wares, displacing them. I lived in Eugene, OR for over 20 years and this action does not surprise me at all since it is a very liberal area. Eugene, OR vendors had to move their market across the street in order to make money to put food on the table. These protesters were trespassing and the local law enforcement broke Eugene's city rules by allowing the protesters to commit trespassing and stay while displacing hard working people. So, they say they want to work. Really? Then why on earth are they denying others the right to work an honest job to earn money to feed their family and pay their mortgage? And to pay taxes that feed these low lifes?

This Farmer's Market started in 1975 and has been downtown every Saturday from spring through the fall. It then grew to have a produce only section. Now, the market is on Tuesdays as well. But thanks to these selfish idiots, real people are displaced and losing family income. They are screaming for government jobs, government housing, government food subsudies, and anything that they can get their lazy hands on. Obama has stated that he supports these protesters. I bet he does, because hasn't he said he wants a civilian security force. He also wants to expand civilian community service opportunities. Well, that sounds an awful lot like what happened with the Nazi's. Put people to work through reeducation camps. If you don't follow like sheeple, you don't get food, clothing and shelter. Obama may just give these people what they whine for, but there is a steep loss of freedom price to pay. Lookout.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Donations Up For Obama?

Fox News has a headline this morning that indicates that more people are supporting Obama with donations. I don't believe it for one minute! Two weeks ago Obama was shaming supporters into making donations. How is he getting more people to donate to support him when his job approval rating is the lowest of his career at 45%? It doesn't make any sense. Does the government really think that if they tell us his donations are up that we will puppet along and think that he's not doing so bad a job after all? I mean, if so many wise people are donating for his cause, he must be doing okay, so then I should donate, too. Right? Not!

Are you getting ready for the storm?

A shrewd man perceives evil and hides, while simpletons continue on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3 NAB

What Are you Seeing Where You Live?

Pioneer Preppy has a great post illustrating how dire our nation's situation is becoming. Give it a read.Small Holding: Politics of the Tribe - Just Passing Through His post echos my remark about 2 neighbors being robbed of farm tools and equipment. I'm wondering how it is going to look around my neck of the woods when the city people come over here and are looting and squatting on private property. It is going to get ugly.

We're seeing small protests in larger cities where we live. And some people are buying more. We even know someone with some remote property that they visit every month or so to prepare for TEOTWAWKI. Even friends that we don't discuss politics with very much have timidly mentioned their uneasiness about the state of things. When I mention stocking up, they say well, we have a pretty full pantry and we're going to Costco next month...

Time is of the essence.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hijacked Daughter's Computer

We purchased a laptop for our oldest when she graduated from high school this year. And since my computer is not in service, I was able to cajole her into letting us borrow hers. I am finding out that I cannot type nearly as fast on this laptop and make numerous typing errors, so this will be short.

The economic and political situation here and around the world is moving in negative ways at lightening speed. Turmoil is happening in large cities and it is only a matter of time before smaller communities have rioting. We live out in the country and 2 neighbors that we know around us were recently burglarized, taking tools, equipment and other items. That is how it starts. Wait until people are hungry and then it will get really ugly.

How are your provisions? I bought a case of mac and cheese for .33/box. I also bought meat and am canning it right now. Tomorrow I will can salsa and get potatoes out of the ground this week, hopefully. I am going to try my hand at dehydrating eggs from Scifichick. I will let you know how they turn out. Be prepared, my friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Will Be Out of Comission

My old computer is shot and I am having a new one ordered and built. I am hoping to have the new one up and running by next weekend and will post then. Have a great week and be sure to stock up on a few items. The storm is on the horizon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gone Plum Crazy Here!

I talked to a friend yesterday and she said she had some Italian prunes for me. They have 4 trees, I think, and her family is grown and out of the house so she doesn't do as much canning and preserving as she used to. She is very generous with her fruit as we picked plums from her other plum tree in August and I made some jam from them. The jam is a dark blush color and has a very light taste.

After church I drove over to her car and in the back she had two huge boxes of Italian prunes. Wow! Jackpot. Now, I have never processed plums before this summer and only did so because I was blessed with her bounty that she had shared. I rarely buy plums in the store because they are never very good, can be mealy and have little flavor and I don't like the texture. The plums I made jam with from her first tree were very good and we ate our fair share. But I had never in my life had Italian prunes before. They are outstanding. They have a dark purple skin with yellowish-gold flesh, and are about the size of a medium egg or smaller. They are sweet, tasty and wonderful.

So, this afternoon I have been pitting plums. They pit very easily like a freestone peach. I canned up 14 quarts in a light syrup. The juice after they have processed in the canner is a pomegranate color and looks lovely. I then proceeded to pit more but left them attached as I didn't cut all the way through. I put up 3 gallon size freezer bags full and then I had some leftover syrup from canning and quartered some more and put up 2 pints with a light syrup for the freezer.

I am now drying 6 full trays for prunes. I hear they are superb. I still have about 2/3 of the second box left to process. I'm not sure what I will be doing with them but will probably dry some more and make some fruit leather. I love that these don't need any pretreatment as this moves the show on a lot faster.

Since I have never had canned plums before, does anyone have any suggestions for their use? I have thought about making a plum crisp, but I don't have many other ideas. Also, suggestions for the frozen plums would be appreciated. Well, time to get rest of the kitchen cleaned up before dinner and take the few unusable plums out to the chickens.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bean and Rice Casserole

Here is another great dollar stretcher. It is filling and tasty. Add some cornbread and green beans or a salad, and you have a satisfying meal. It is even better reheated the next day for leftovers.

Bean and Rice Casserole

Preheat oven to 350
Saute in a large skillet:
2 TB oil
1/2 C chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 C chopped celery
1/4 C chopped green pepper (optional)
1/4-1/2 lb. hamburger, sausage, or chopped ham (you could use chicken, too)

When the meat is brown, stir in:
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 1/2 C cooked beans (any variety), or one 15 oz. can
1 10 oz.can tomato soup, or 1 8 oz can tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1 C hot water
2- 2 1/2 C. cooked rice

Heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Place in a greased casserole and bake for 45 minutes. Top with grated cheese return to oven until cheese is melted.

Frugal Biscuit Mix with Recipes

We have all been to the grocery store and are keenly aware of higher food prices and our eroding dollar. We really need to stretch our food dollar and be making more food at home. Here is a Master Mix Biscuit Mix with many variations that you can make with it. It is cheap and versatile. From biscuits, coffee cake and cookies, to taco pie and lasagne, this is a handy mix to have on hand. I have made many of the recipes, but am not fond of using biscuit dough for cinnamon rolls. I got these recipes when I was first married from the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Master Mix Biscuit Mix

9 C flour
¼ C baking powder
1 TBSP salt
1 ½ C non-fat dry milk
1 C + 2 TBSP shortening
Blend all ingredients with a pastry blender or in food processor. Store in airtight container for up to 9 months. I store mine in a large coffee can.

Master Mix Biscuit Mix Recipes

2 C. mix
2/3 C. water
Knead 15 times on floured board. Roll ½ in. thick, fold in half. Cut with biscuit cutter. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 10-12 min. Option, add more water and make drop biscuits.

Coffee Cake
2 C. mix Topping: ½ C. flour
½ C. sugar ¼ C. brown sugar
¾ C. water ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 egg 21/2 TBSP butter, cut into bits
½ tsp vanilla extract
2/3 C. blueberries or chopped apples with dash cinnamon (optional)
Mix batter just until blended. Pour into a greased 8 in. square pan. Mix topping and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min.

Shortcake (preheat oven to 475)
2 C. mix
2 TBSP sugar
1/3 C. heavy cream
1/3 C. milk
1 TBSP melted butter
Mix dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients. Turn onto floured board and pat into a ½ in. rectangle. Cut with a biscuit cutter and put onto greased baking sheet. Turn oven down to 425 and bake for 12-15 min. until light brown. Split, butter and serve with fruit, cream etc.

English Muffins

2 C. mix
2/3 C. water
Knead 15 times on floured board. Roll ½ in. thick, fold in half. Cut with biscuit cutter. Dust with cornmeal. Cook in frying pan over low heat, turn and cook other side. Split and toast.

2 C. mix
1 C water
1 egg
Mix together. Fry on greased griddle, flip when craters form.

2 C mix
1 ½ C water
4 eggs
Combine in blender. Pour ½ C batter in buttered 8” fry pan until dry on top. For crepes, flip and cook other side. Remove and place between sheets of wax paper. Fill as desired.

2 C mix
2 TBSP melted butter or vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/3 C water
Combine all ingredients. Bake in waffle iron until done.

Cinnamon Rolls

3 C. mix
½-2/3 C. water
2 TBSP sugar
Knead 15 times on floured board. Roll to ¼ in thickness. Spread with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (raisins optional). Roll up, cut into ¾ in. thick slices and bake at 400 for 10-15 min.

Pizza Crust
3 C mix
¾ C water
Mix together to make dough, roll or press out. Put on pizza wheel dusted with corn flour, or press into a greased pan. Add your favorite toppings and bake at 450 for 10-15 min.

Meat Roll Ups

3 C. mix
½ -2/3 C. water
Mix ingredients. Knead 15 times on floured board. Roll into a rectangle to ¼ in thickness. 1 C leftover meat, chicken or fish. Chopped onion & celery (optional). Spread over dough. Cut into ¾ in. slices and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 12-15 min. Serve with cheese sauce, white sauce or gravy over top.

Pizza Pockets or Pasties

3 C mix
½-2/3 C water
Meat, cheese, vegetable, and white or tomato sauce of choice.
Blend mix and water. Roll out onto floured board. Cut into 8x8 rectangles. Spread with meat, vegetable and sauce of choice on one ½, fold over and seal edges. Prick with fork. Bake at 375 for 12-15 min.

Peanut Butter Cookies

3 C mix, 1 C sugar
1/3 C water, 2 eggs
1 C peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla.
Mix ingredients, drop by teaspoon onto greased baking sheet, flatten with fork. Bake at 375 10-15 min.

Oatmeal Cookies
3 C mix
1 C sugar
1/3 C water
2 eggs
1 C rolled oats
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix ingredients until blended. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10-15 min.

2 C mix
¼ C sugar
½ C water
2 eggs
½ C molasses
½ tsp cinnamon,
½ tsp ginger
Mix ingredients until well blended. Pour into 8x8 in greased pan. Bake at 375 for 35-40 min.

Basic Muffin Recipe
3 C mix
½ C sugar
1 C water
2 eggs
1 add-in (3/4 C diced apple & dash cinnamon, or ¾ C blueberries, or 1/3 C cooked, crumbled bacon, 3/4 C chocolate chips + 1/2 C cocoa powder, or 3/4 C mashed banana & dash nutmeg)
Blend ingredients until just moistened. Use liners or grease 12 muffin tins. Bake at 400 for 20 min.

Flip Flop Pizza
1 ½ C mix ½ tsp basil
1 # ground meat 1 ½ C grated cheese
½ onion, chopped ½ tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced ¼ tsp pepper
1- 15 oz can tomato sauce 6 TBSP water
½ tsp oregano
In oven proof skillet, brown meat, add onion & garlic and sauté. Drain off oil, Add tomato sauce, herbs, 1 C cheese, salt and pepper. Simmer 10 min. In bowl, add 6 TBSP water to master mix, shape into a ball and knead 5-6 times on floured board. Roll into circle the size of the skillet. Place on top of meat mixture and bake at 450 for 12-15 min. Let rest 5 min. Flip skillet over onto baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Or, serve from skillet and sprinkle cheese on top.

Layered Tostada Bake
1 C mix ½ C cornmeal
1 # ground meat
½ C chopped onion ¼ C milk
1 pkg. taco seasoning 2 eggs
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce 2 TBSP oil
½ C sliced olives 2 C grated cheese
1- 16 oz can refried beans 1 cup sour cream
1- 4 oz can green chiles
Brown meat and sauté onion, drain. Combine taco mix, tomato sauce, olives, beans and chilies; stir into meat & set aside. Stir master mix, corn meal, milk, 1 egg and oil, beat until moist. Spread into greased dish, spoon meat mixture over top. Combine cheese, 1 egg and sour cream, spread over meat. Bake at 375 for 30-35 min.

Taco Pie
1 1/3 C mix 1 ½ C milk
1 # ground meat 3 eggs
½ C onion, chopped 1 C grated cheese
1-4 oz can green chilies chopped lettuce and tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning
Brown meat and drain. Combine meat, onion, chilies, and taco mix. Sprinkle into pie pan. Blend together eggs, and master mix. Pour over meat mixture and bake at 350 for 50 min. Top with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.


2/3 C master mix ½ tsp salt
½ C cottage cheese ¼ tsp pepper
¼ C grated parmesan 1- 6 oz can tomato paste
¼ C cheddar 1 C grated M. Jack cheese
1 #b cooked ground meat 2 eggs
1 tsp basil 1 C milk
1 tsp oregano
Grease pan. Mix cottage cheese, parmesan, and cheddar and spread in dish. Combine meat, herbs, salt and pepper, tomato paste, and ½ C jack cheese- spoon onto cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining jack cheese. Blend master mix, eggs and milk. Pour over ingredients in pan. Bake at 400 for 30-35 min.

1 C mix ½ C mayonnaise
12 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled 1/8 tsp salt
1 C grated swiss cheese 1/8 tsp pepper
3 eggs lettuce and tomatoes
1 ½ C milk
Place bacon and cheese in a baking dish. Blend master mix, eggs, milk, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and pour over bacon and cheese. Bake at 400 for 30-35 min. Top with lettuce and tomatoes.

Fall is Here- Time to Winterize

Have you noticed how short the days are getting? It is much cooler here in the PACNW, although we had a very cool, wet and windy spring and summer, it is getting cooler very quickly. Last weekend the night time temps dipped into the lower 30's and I started to panic because 2 years ago I lost my crop of apples to an early freeze in September. I do not want to lose another crop of apples, or my tomatoes for that matter. So last weekend, when the guy at the gas station said we were going to have frost that night I was like, "really?" So when I got home I checked the weather and it was only supposed to get down to 40 degrees. I'm safe I thought. Well, the next morning the temp outside was 34. Oh my gosh! Did I really screw up again? I checked and my apples had not froze. Ah, safe! And the tomatoes were fine as well, although, very slow ripening. In fact, I have only picked about 6 ripe tomatoes so far.

Well, it was supposed to get into the upper 30's this week for the low and I am determined to pick my apples and tomatoes this weekend. This morning, it is 33 outside. Panic! Whew, they are all okay. I am picking all my apples and my ripe as much as they are tomatoes. I will make salsa, and get the apples into the fridge for now.

Other items on our list of winterizing to do chores include putting Molemax around the base of the apple trees so the voles don't eat the roots and destroy the trees. I lost 3 apples trees to voles over the past couple of years,and now I only have 2 trees left. Also, putting winter fertilizer on the lawn, digging up potatoes and letting them cure before storing them, getting the potato storage can sealed, buying wood pellets to heat the house, cleaning out the chicken barn and putting down fresh shavings, and checking all water heaters for livestock. We need to put patio furniture away by November along with our patio fireplace. Gosh, the list goes on and on. Let's see... covering outside faucets with covers, draining the pipes that irrigate the garden, mulching plants, worming the horses and more. What is on your list for winterizing? It seems there is so much to do, not to mention fall sports, open houses, and the day to day chores. I also need to inventory our food and stock up on low items.

I love autumn. I love the cooler days. I enjoy being outside and getting chores completed for winter. I somehow just really like the change and the feel in the air. Apples, cider, and harvest time. Fall is here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Smoked Salmon

I love seafood and I really enjoy salmon. It probably helps that I grew up in Alaska and we regularly fished for salmon, halibut, flounder, Irish Lords (sculpin) and clams. I remember one year my father and his hunting partner caught so much sockeye that my mom and dad not only canned and it froze it the whole week long, but smoked it and then canned it as well. Delicious!! There are many brining recipes out there but I have adapted a simple, basic recipe that suits salmon well.
Here it it adapted from Luhr Jensen.


1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 C non iodized salt
1 3/4 C soy sauce
1 C water
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 C dry white wine, or apple juice
Mix thoroughly to dissolve before adding salmon.

Cut dressed, chilled salmon into fillets, steaks or chunks. Brine in non reactive bowl overnight in the fridge. Rinse well, pat dry with paper towels, and place on drying racks for an hour or more until a tacky glaze coats the fish. This is important, because too many times I was impatient and wanted to get the fish in the smoker. It does not smoke as well and have the proper texture. It makes a difference, so don't rush it.

When it is tacky, preheat your smoker for 15 min.then load racks of fish into the smoker. Use 2-3 pans full of wood chips, refilling as needed. I like to use alder wood with salmon. Leave in smoker until drying is complete to your likeness. We like ours a little drier, so it may take longer. Of course, as the fish is drying, you want to make sure it is coming along okay, so be sure and sign up for quality control to taste test sample pieces throughout the drying process.

Now, very important if you want to can the smoked fish. Lightly smoke the fish before canning. By this I mean, use only one pan full of wood chips and only smoke for about 1 hour. Salmon that is cut into steaks work best for packing into canning jars.Then pack the fish into 1/2 pint jars and process for 1 hour and 40 minutes at the pressure for your altitude. You see, I have canned up smoked salmon that was completely smoked, cooked and done. After canning, it came out like little smoked rocks of salmon. My husband gnawed on them and told me how good they were, but really?? Anyway, it did not go to waste, but I have learned that when the directions say to lightly smoke before canning, do just that. If you would like more detailed info to brine and smoke salmon, please let me know.

I have some salmon in the smoker, and the salmon from the first pan full of chunks is in the canner. I have eight 1/2 pints of smoked salmon,and three 1/2 pints of plain salmon in the canner, and some salmon in the freezer, plus I am waiting to sample the fish in the smoker. Yum, yum, I can hardly wait!

Thank you to Shar and Johnnybgood for following my humble little blog. I appreciate your reading my blog and your comments.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Time to Stock Up!

If you haven't already done so, or if your supplies are dwindling, now is the time to be stocking up on food and supplies. One of our local grocery stores is having a case load sale on canned goods. I bought some canned goods and some toiletries between 2 stores today. At .42 cents a can for corn and green beans, and .79 cents a can for fruit, I knew I didn't want to pass up a good sale. At least, it is a good sale in my neck of the woods. You may have better prices in your area. I also splurged and bought some sockeye salmon on sale. I hope to have the energy to brine and smoke some this weekend and then can it up. Otherwise, it will have to find its way into an already over stuffed freezer.

Don't forget candles, oil and dry goods. A lot of these items come on sale around hunting season and before Thanksgiving, so put some money aside if you haven't already, and buy what you can afford. Also, be on the lookout for toiletry items like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, first aid, and personal hygiene items.

Milk is still a reasonable price here ($2.59/gallon) but cheese and butter are rising regularly. Buy some canned meat, beans and rice. Be sure to include seasonings on your list, because heaven knows that rice and beans need some flavorings if they are to be palatable. Cake mixes are still cheap and will be a welcome treat when things tighten up. If you can find some bulk or cheap pudding and jello mixes, those are handy to have as well.

Make room for your supplies. If you need to, utilize space underneath beds, in closets, and seldom used rooms. Sources everywhere are predicting dire straits ahead and to be prepared. We need more first aid and health items. Where are you lacking? Skip those lattes the next couple of weeks and buy some non-perishable food to feed your family. If money is tight, but one extra of different items and put those aside as your reserve. Don't use them when you run out, but go and buy 2 more. Keep doing that and you will slowly build your storage. Canned goods, rice, beans, flour, sugar and any basic food item are worth their weight in gold. What are you waiting for? Stock up!

Obama Promoting Conflict Between Church and State

Obama is working hard to divide the country between Christians and secularists. CSNNews reports"Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has written a letter to President Barack Obama warning him that his administration will “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions” if it does not “end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom.” It is a grave concern that the government is setting up any opposing view of gay marriage as illegal, and thus punishable. This is thought control and censorship.In the letter he states, "the comprehensive efforts of the federal government—using its formidable moral, economic, and coercive power—to enforce its new legal definition of ‘marriage’ against a resistant Church would, if not reversed, precipitate a systemic national conflict between Church and State, harming both institutions, as well as our Nation as a whole,” says the USCCB analysis."

"The other front is over regulations the Department of Health and Human Services proposed on Aug. 1 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—the Obamacare law—that would compel all private health plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all-FDA approved contraceptives including those that cause abortions."

This is a set up against all Americans with Christian morals. Anyone who opposes gay marriage, contraception, or abortion, will be a target and possibly convicted of a hate crime for having their own thoughts and opinions. The government is trying to force those with moral convictions to choose between their conscience and federal mandates.

It is a shame that our country has come to this. I am concerned that this is one avenue the government is going to use to weed out those that oppose the federal mandates. By setting up the law abiding citizens of America to go along with unethical and immoral decisions, or face fines and punishment is outrageous. Because you have an opinion that goes against the liberal agenda you or your employer could face dire sanctions. I'm sure these two areas of concern are going to inspire reeducation camps for those of us who are too stupid to adopt these viewpoints. God help us.

Obama Speaking at HRC Promoting LGBT Curriculum For Children

The title of the group, Human Rights Campaign, sounds innocent enough and even helpful and caring. But look beyond the facade and verbiage of what their name implies. The HRC is working to destroy your rights as a parent to raise your child in a Christian and moral society. President Barack Obama will speak on Saturday at the Human Right Campaign’s (HRC) annual dinner in Washington, D.C. – the HRC is a pro-homosexual lobbying groupTheir Welcoming Schools program, outlines how U.S. public schools should adopt policies to be LGBT inclusive, starting in elementary school. Part of their program of indoctrination includes:
Curriculum must be LGBT inclusive starting in elementary school for the following reasons:

“Students learn more effectively when they see themselves reflected in the curriculum."

“Pressure to conform to gender roles can limit social and academic development. From children's first years in school, when classes often take ‘the family’ as their curricular focus, right through high school, there are many moments when LGBT issues are appropriate and relevant to the curriculum. For example, lesbian and gay authors and historical figures can be included in English and history classes; and the LGBT movement, itself, can be germane to civics and social studies courses. Students stand to gain significant advantages in those schools that have LGBT inclusive curriculum."

Our children face unimaginable pressure at schools to agree with, accept and adopt destructive and perverse lifestyles. The HRC is destroying your child's right to an education free from socialist, left wing brainwashing. It is imperative that we work hard to instill sound moral teachings in our children and the courage to withstand the pressures of our secular society that we live in.