Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Very Busy Summer!

I love summer!  I love the heat and lots of sunshine!  I love things growing even if I do have to mow/weed eat my day away!  But this summer I feel like I'm getting pulled 5 different directions all at the same time.  We're living from the garden and getting lots of stuff put away for winter time too!  I've written off all peas and will let them mature and dry out and save seed for next year.  Got salad greens replanted and choosing out the ones I want to go to seed so we can have it next year also.  Last year I waited until fall to start saving seed and most never fully matured so was worthless to try and save.  This year I will save early in hopes I will have most of my own seed to use next year.  Someone told me I could let early broccoli go and flower out and it would then go to seed even though its a biennial.  I'm not convinced it will work but I will try it this year and see!

Today I needed cream of chicken soup and can't use any store bought soups due to my food allergies.  I am using white bean flour with hot water, chicken bouillon and chicken.  It looked so good I went ahead and made 3 batches so I had what I needed tonight and have 9 pints in the pressure cooker right now so I have it on hand.  I used 1 pint of chicken for the 3 batches and it has way more chicken than the store bought stuff ever had!  I had some old navy beans in my storage so used those to grind for my flour and they worked great going through my Wonder Mill!  

The recipe I got comes from a great book I've had for years!  "Country Beans" by Rita Bingham  ISBN 1 882314 10 7.     I had used her tips and ideas to sneak beans into so many meals but never once noticed or tried her instant soup recipes!  Now that I am so very allergic to dairy and gluten these recipes are saving my life!  No need to try and figure it out myself, she already had tried and true recipes for me to use! 

Cream of Chicken Soup

6 cups boiling water
1 cup fine white bean flour
2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable soup base
1 cup chicken dices (opt)

Whisk bean flour into the boiling water and then stir in the soup base.  Stir and boil 3 minutes and add chicken if using.  Serves 3 to 4.
I got 3 1/2 pints from this.  Made 3 batches and got 9 pints and enough to do make a casserole up for tonight's dinner. 

I turned our 6 week old chicks/turkeys loose today after spending 2 days locked up with our 3 year hens/ducks.  They have finally begun venturing out close to the chicken coop and least little thing they all run back in and hide.   I don't remember our 3yr old hens being so shy but it's been a while and the kids mostly took care of them.  I guess after a few weeks they'll start venturing a little farther out.   I did at least remember to lock up the dog today.  He loves to run in the middle of the hens and watch them fly up and bark.  Our hens are used to it but figured our 6 week old's would do better without Sammy the dog playing with them!

So working around here and in the garden and trying to get some outside things added in and running almost faster than I can trot anymore!  But I'm here and loving this hot summer weather.

Take care and hope you are able to get lots of stuff laid in this summer!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Just stopping by for a little chat

I haven't posted much lately because I am running all the time and when I sit down I tend to fall asleep!  I've just about got the garden fully reclaimed.  I have 6 beds left to plant and still have to pull weeds all around the fence and in a few aisles.  I want to save at least 4 beds later this summer to plant oats in.  It would be great if I can grow my own Gluten Free oats.  They get planted late in the season and winter over and get harvested the following summer like winter wheat does.  I think I will also try growing some dry beans this year.  Never have before as they are so cheap to buy but the prices have been climbing so fast I guess I ought to try my hand at it.

Early in May I got 33 baby chicks and 7 baby turkey's.  I actually paid for 30 chicks and 6 turkeys but they sent extra because the mail delivery had been taking up to 5 days.  I got mine the very next day so all but one turkey has made it so far.  We had one baby turkey that just didn't seem to know how to find the water or the food.  Pecked at the side of the container or at their droppings and finally died.  A friend told us to put shiny marble in the water and feed dish to draw it there but it didn't work on this one.  Anyway I moved them into the girl's rabbit playpen and gave them twice as much room as they had had.   Supposedly by next week they'll be ready to go out side but I think they need to be twice as big as they are now.  But the way they are growing they might just be that big next week!  Still no clue on how many roosters we got.  Looking forward to getting my son's hens out of here even if he is hoping I'll hang on to them until late September.

My son is getting married on September 8th so wanting to wait until after then to deal with them.  At least by then we'll sure know the hen's from the roosters!  Before winter sets in I'll butcher the rooster's and the old hens and fill my canning jars up with home grown chicken.  I got a smaller bred of turkey so they could reproduce and hopefully we can get a new crop of turkeys next year from them.

I have been harvesting snow peas like crazy from our garden.  I collect them and then work them up and blanch them and put them into freezer bags and freeze them.  I don't like to freeze very many items but I sure love my snow peas in salads and in stir fries!

Well I'm still here thriving.  Hope you have a good garden this year too!