Another busy week is flying by. I always forget that Friday means a lot to the rest of the universe. With J's weird work schedule and no other agenda besides homesteading, I lose track of the significance of days. Chickens don't care about weekends and no one told the woodpile what day of the week it was either.
You can tell autumn is here. The work is partly frantic (shut of outdoor water! Chop wood! Stack wood!), partly leisurely (poke around in the chicken coop. Till under the garden, take down portable greenhouse).
Between frantic and leisure, the coop was mucked and prepared for winter, lights were put on timers (to keep hens laying), water spigots winterized, wood chopped, wood stacked, more wood hauled in. Sticks and stumps from land clearing were collected, and with burn restrictions lifted, set on fire. In the evening, when the autumn sun and crisp air make work really feel like a chore, the burning berms make for a good bonfire with marshmallows roasting. Summer's busy pace gives way for the opportunity to sit on the porch with a cup of tea with my sweetheart and watch the kids play in what's left of the evening sun.
The chickens are finally putting out in decent numbers! We have been getting between 4 and 6 eggs a day, and plenty more hens are starting to look ready.
Um... They look "ready" when their combs are large and red and, *ahem*, when they start letting the roosters do what they do best.
And they do it best... In the time it took me to feed and water this morning (5 minutes, tops!) Ricky Bobby had mounted three hens, and was chasing after more.
Thank goodness I'm not a hen. That could wear a gal out!
Monday is going to be the official butchering day. We'll be putting up quite a few birds. In preparation for freezer space, I have been busy in the kitchen putting up jam. I had about 30 lbs of fruit in the freezer. That takes up quite a bit of space. I currently have 8 pints of "Handful Jam" (a handful of this and a handful of that), and 10 lbs of blackberries waiting for counter space and sugar for pie filling and jam.
Liz- if J will relinquish some of the moose, I'm gonna try that jerky! And we should be able to try the breakfast casserole this coming week, so I'll let you know!
The house is hot and steamy from canning all morning. The breeze outside and balmy and calling to me as the girls take an afternoon nap. Time for tea and knitting on the porch while the house cools down.
whatever fruit you have on hand!
Today's blend in the Moose Nugget house was:
8 lb strawberries
15 plums or pluots. I can't remember what I bought!
1 1/2 apples (for pectin!)
4 cups sugar? Maybe more?
Cook and cook and cook until it starts getting jam-ish. Can In the waterbath canner.
If you want smaller batches, I usually use half the amount of sugar to the amount of fruit I have on hand.
You can HALVE the recipe if you want. Or even quarter it.
Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!