Friday, September 17, 2010

Putting Up and Putting Out

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.

Handful Jam:
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!
4 peaches
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!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are a busy girl!!

Are the girls able to drink smoothies? (yogurt) maybe you can use some the fruit for that, it would be best to eat the fruit raw and in its natural state, but sometimes its fun to eat it other ways also :)

Can't wait to hear how you all like the breakfast casserole and hopefully you will get to make the moose jerky :) I think J can share a few pounds of moose :)

Have a great evening!!

you know we are coming up there in Feb. and we have plans to meet Susan S. we would Love to meet you and your family also.

Moose Nuggets said...

When in Feb will you be up?
Might be here but have some plans in the works... Maybe.
And as long as we dont get too many more stray comments like "Karen" or the Anonymous types, J shouldn't be too opposed to it. I had to cancel one meetup after the whole Karen thing. That set his "crazy person" alert off pretty good.

No smoothies. We are officially back to NO dairy. Nugget got pretty sick again. :(
BUT, coconut milk is a good substitute in that kind of thing!

Can not wait until Sunday... That is casserole day (though minus the cheese!) I'll let you know my subs!

JackDaddy said...

My aunt used to make the best blackberry jam in the entire world. I remember eating the last jar she made and getting very sad.

Anonymous said...

We will be up Feb. 9th thru 15th. We will meet up with Susan Stevenson first then she can tell J we are normal nice I sure hope we can visit some :)

Gloria said...

I personally know Liz and her hubby, and they are very normal and fun! Hope you get to meet them!

upinak said...

Hurry! I have a feeling winter is coming fast this year. No fluff on the top of the fireweed which was weird, so I say snow by Oct. 1st. at the latest for South Central.

Sharon Shannon said...

My dear husband keeps dreaming of moving to Alaska. After living in northern Wisconsin for 9 years, I do prefer the longer growing season down here in southern Missouri, however, I do long to leave this heat behind. I'm glad to find your blog and we will enjoy following your posts!

Zev said...

I hear you with the winter frantics. Are we sure we have enough wood? Did we drain the outside spigots? What have we forgotten that will come back to bite us when the snow comes? We've had about three good snowstorms here in Colorado this season, with some melt in between, and each one shows me something new that I forgot to do. Nothing to do but roll with it. :)