Thursday, August 20, 2009

What a wonderful time of year. I am sure everyone is busy harvesting their gardens. We have plenty of cucumbers, squash, green beans, onions. I tried my hand at garlic this year, I love the fresh garlic. Being able to walk out to the garden and get what I need is wonderful. My chiles are about two weeks behind. Hopefully I will get a good crop starting the first of September. I get goosebumps just thinking about the smell of chiles roasting. We got several boxes of fresh Colorado peaches this weekend. My goodness, I think I go to bed with visions of peaches in my head. They are so good.

Jam and jelly and more jam is where I seem to be this week. First it was strawberry, now peach. The grapes should be ready to harvest in about a week then hopefully plums will be ready the week after that. There is nothing to compare to homemade jam and jelly. I feel like it is opening summertime in every jar.

When I was younger, my grandmother, mother, sisters and I would make jam and jelly. We would make homemade bread every time we made jam or jelly. There is nothing like that combination. Even though my grandmother and mother have passed away and my sisters do not live close by, I feel like they are here with me every time I make jam. It is like a trip down memory lane. My husband and sons get the reward of my trip.

I hope you are enjoying this time of year as much as I am.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We extended our time off to include last week also. We came back with a new attitude and totally refreshed and caught up on everything on August the 10th. It took some time, but we went through every closet and drawer in the house. I can't believe we keep so much stuff! We filled a dumpster! All the clothes and shoes that were too small and in good shape went to a clothes and school supply giveaway sponsored by our church.

The only thing I do not give away is cowboy boots. Over the years, we have kids and even adults that come to visit that do not have or wear boots. They decide to ride horses with my kids(or me) on the spur of the moment, but don't have any boots. We have a good selection of used boots in the closet. Problem solved!

We also got all the school supplies we need for school. With two high schoolers, it varies with the class loads. I have a senior this year. Does this mean I am getting old? I have already had one graduate, so I guess so. Oh well, I just hope I get to grow old gracefully.

We also had everyone's eyes checked. All good. We did change one from glasses to contacts. That way he gets to show off his gorgeous eyes to the "ladies". We were very fortunate to only need a few pairs of new jeans and two pairs of tennis shoes and two pairs of football cleats. I got off very lightly compared to past years.

Good luck with all of your back to school endeavors. I have been there and know how it goes.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We are taking a break for the next week. We need to catch up on some things at home, go to a few doctor appointments, get new glasses, etc. I will be back, hopefully totally refreshed and ready for action on August the 3rd. I am not sure how I will handle being away for that amount of time, but I guess we'll see.

See you on the 3rd!

Friday, July 17, 2009

We have had a week of high temperatures in the triple digits. For all of you that don't understand, 100+ temperatures. There have been some severe thunderstorms coming across our country. This is a picture I took of a thunderstorm at sunset. Luckily, we have not had much hail. My garden is just going good, I would hate to lose anything to hail damage. The storms have been very spotty, so some people are getting some, others not much. We have not gotten much, as you can see by the grass.

It is Friday!! We are ready for the weekend. Everyone needs a little time off now and then. We can go the country and relax in the peace and quiet. That is if the kids and animals will keep it down! Somebody is gonna have to shut up the rooster that crows at least fifty times a day if we are going to have any peace! Have a great weekend yourself!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apparently my husband thought I was giving away too many of his secrets. Writing about his hand mixed steak rub was just going too far. Maybe he thinks he will make his secret rub and sell it across the U.S. So you are not going to get his secret recipe for steak rub. I can tell you that it had a lot of different seasonings in it. It was very flavorful and not hot.

Anyhoo, back to the farm. We will move along. Everyone has a basic hot roll recipe, so I won't bore you with another one.

This last weekend we had some friends that came to visit that like to camp. We have the perfect place to camp. There is a stand of mulberry trees that have been there since the homestead days. There are some large tree stumps underneath that are used for seating. We have dug a nice fire pit surrounded by rocks. We can then put a grate over the rocks and cook most anything. This time we had a campfire breakfast. We made biscuits with sausage gravy and scrambled eggs. I did cheat and make the biscuits at home. I took them along in disposable pans covered with aluminum foil. That way I could heat them up on the edge of the grate and not have the cooking time of a dutch oven. I always make gravy over the campfire with canned milk. I don't have to worry about carrying milk in the cooler. Just make sure you have some water.

Sausage Gravy

2 lbs. pork sausage, mild or hot
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cans evaporated milk
2 cans water
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage in deep skillet breaking up all large pieces. Do not drain fat. Add flour to sausage and fat in skillet. Cook until all sausage is coated with flour. Add milk and water. Bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over split hot biscuits.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For the seafood boil, we put about 1/2 cup of Old Bay Seasoning in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Add smoked sausage, about 1/4 lb per person, and boil for 15 minutes. The sausage will help flavor your water. We added two small new potatoes per person and boiled for another 25 minutes. Then we added an ear of sweet corn per person, broken in half, and boiled another 15 minutes. Then we added easy peel shrimp, 1/2 lb per person, and boiled 5 minutes. The trick is to make sure everything else is cooked before adding the shrimp. They do not take long and will turn to rubber if overcooked. We then dipped a strainer into the water and removed all the contents and served large trays in the middle of each table. You could add any kind of seafood you would like. We served with butter, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and ketchup (mainly for the kids that don't like cocktail sauce).

We covered our tables with newspaper for easy cleanup.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dessert is first this week. I am behind. I am posting the recipe for a flag cake. That is sooo last weekend. I'll try to move forward.

Flag Cake

1 1 lb. pound cake
1 6 oz pkg red gelatin of your chosen flavor (cherry, strawberry, mixed fruit, etc.)
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
16 oz. Cool Whip
1 container fresh strawberries
1 container fresh blueberries

Dissolve gelatin in 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water. Place in refrigerator until partially set. Spray a 14 x 10 x 3 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Slice pound cake into 1/2 inch slices. Lay in a single layer in bottom of pan. Pour gelatin over the top of the pound cake. Refrigerate until set. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the top of the firm gelatin layer. Refrigerate until serving time. Right before serving make a square out of blueberries on the top left hand corner of cake. Slice strawberries in half and make stripes for your flag out of the strawberry halves. Cut into 24 squares to serve.