Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's all about family...

To me Christmas is all about family.  We open presents together.  We are all in the kitchen working together to create a delicious dinner.  Then we all go sledding.   This was a fabulous Christmas.  Everyone had a great time.  The food was great and nobody got hurt sledding.  Well, maybe somebody got hurt sledding, but they are recovering nicely.  
From our kitchens to yours a belated Merry Christmas!
Thanks for the aprons, Mom!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Weekend wanderings...

 I took Ella for our weekend walk.  I felt a little like Dorthy in the 'Wizard of Oz', when I realized the woods were filled with lions and lions and more lions.  Our resident mountain lion wasn't just passing through.  From the look of the numerous tracks in the area, it is homesteading for a while.  
Despite looking behind me every few seconds, the views around me were amazing.  The clouds, the sun, and the beautiful hills made for a wonderful wander.

I am ready for the holiday's and that was another thing that made a wonderful winter walk welcome.   Ella was happy to be out and oblivious to our peril.  Ok peril is probably pushing it. Still, I kept one eye to the beauty and the other on what was going on behind me. 

Any dangers to consider when you walk?  What do you get to see on your walks?  I probably won't post again before Christmas, so "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Peach ice cream...

I tried to take it easy this weekend, after a busy vacation.  I worked on my newest quilt project. Sorry, no photos.  Since the quilt is for someone who is dutiful about reading my blog, I will only post the project after they receive it.  Please do not expect this as a Christmas present, as it takes about two years for me to complete a quilt.  

It was beautiful out today and I took advantage of it to bundle up my roses.  I am very late this year.  Normally, I do this around Thanksgiving.  The main thing is to get them protected from the spring freeze thaw cycles.  I am a little worried, because my compost pile was frozen solid.  Normally, I put a bucket of compost around the base of the roses.  Then I wrap them with a cage and fill it with protection.  I have tried straw, leaves, and this year evergreen boughs.  I will never use straw again.  That stuff was always full of weed seeds and then I'd spend the next summer trying to get that mess under control.  The leaves worked great last year, but I was too slow this year.  We shall see how the pine and spruce boughs do.

My only other project for the weekend was to make some peach ice cream for my husband.  He asked for it a long time ago.  It took awhile, but I got around to it.  The peaches were canned this year.  It turned out fabulous.

Summertime Wintertime Peach Ice Cream
1 pint of canned peaches in juice                                       1 (3.75) oz. package of instant vanilla pudding
1 c. sugar                                                                           1 can sweetened condensed milk 
1 can evaporated milk                                                        4 c. half and half

Pour the sugar over peaches and let sit one hour.  Blend pudding and evaporated milk then add rest of the ingredients.  Pour into ice cream maker and let her go until she stops.  Pour into an old ice cream container and freeze.  
I got the recipe from:

What is your favorite homemade ice cream?  Do you wrap your roses?  Hope everyone had a peaceful weekend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Vacation? This is no vacation...

I took 4 days off from work.  Not to relax mind you, I had stuff to do.  I have been putting things in the freezer to deal with later.  Now there is no room.  Christmas is coming and I enjoy sharing.  I used vacation time, but it has not been a vacation.  I spent two days cooking, a few hours putting up Christmas decorations, and a day Christmas shopping.

 I sliced up 14 lbs of bear and deer jerky.  I love jerky.   I looked around to see if I had any moose meat left, but I think I jerked the final bits last Christmas.  
 I then took out all of the tomatoes that I kept throwing in the freezer and roasted them for 2 hours in the oven.  Then I used the awesome food mill my sister gave me to separate it into soup.  If you are concerned about the black spots they are not burned tomatoes.  They are actually blue tomatoes.   I added some salt, garlic, rosemary, onion, and made a wonderful tomato soup.  Yumm.

I then took all the leftover pieces of meat and ground them with some bacon.  Using the High Mountain Seasoning I made summer sausage.   That is currently cooking for four hours in the oven.  
When it was all said and done I had:  8 pints of canned meat, 4 pints of peach salsa, 3 pints of tomato soup, 8 jars of raspberry jam, 14 lbs of summer sausage, 14 lbs of jerky, and 7 bottles of crabapple wine.   Egads am I ever tired.
 I wasn't the only one tired.  My faithful culinary companion was pretty wore out also.

To top it all off I put up the Christmas Lights.  We are a bit light on lights, because last year most of my lights died.  Didn't have time to think about adding on.  

I think I am finally ready for Christmas.  Thanks to my husband shopping is completed.  Now I just need to wrap.   I am pretty pleased with my harvest this year.  If you look at the left side of my blog towards the bottom it shows my harvest for 2015.  I save them every year and I must say this was a very successful year.  Especially, with my tomato and our bear harvests.    I still have a day off.  I will be mailing some packages, starting on a quilt, and enjoying some quiet time in the whirlpool tub.   

What was your most productive harvest this year?  Are you ready to enjoy Christmas?