Friday, August 31, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan, fixing to make salsa

This was what was for dinner tonight. I got the recipe from A Tiny Homestead  The eggplants and the eggs used in the recipe came from the homestead.

I oppsed a little. I didn't have marinara sauce. I had Ragu. I used what was in my cabinet. I forgot to mix the parmesan in with the mozzarella. I sprinkled it on after it was out of the oven. I'd fried the eggplant before with the bread crumbs. While it was so tasty, I was put off by the sogginess. I didn't let the slices drain log enough before hitting the oil. This time I set them on a plate, stacked them and added another plate with a weight and left them in the fridge over night. Big difference. The pan is still in the oven, so picks and a verdict after it's done and we eat.

OK, here's the verdict. The good: I liked it. Scott liked it. I'd never had eggplant that I can recall until I planted WAY too much this year in my garden. I ate my whole serving despite feeling full before I got done. I needed to sprinkle more cheese between the slices. I need to remember to add the parmesan before the cooking. The bad: eggplant really looks like something that something else puked up after it's cooked. It's this weird brown-ish green-ish color and it looks mushy. Add the small seeds that were staring to develop, and ewwie. I don't think this is going to make good reheat leftover food. I'm still going to take some with me tomorrow for work.

I had a whole mess of tomatoes sitting and piling up in my fridge. I found a recipe for fire roasted salsa at Hard Work Homestead.

I fired up the grill. Pulled up some onions that were ready to come out of the ground. I did have to buy jalapeno peppers. Mine got frosted this spring after they went into the ground. The did recovers, but the peppers are small and the output was low. I grabbed up some of the banana peppers that have been adding up in the fridge too. I thought I had a lot of tomatoes. After grilling and taking them in the house what I had was a crapload of tomato juice. The giant bowl I'd put the tomatoes in after taking them off the grill was almost full, and took some careful maneuvering just to get in the front door without spilling it all down the front of myself. I'm still not sure how I managed to pull that off. I seeded and skinned the tomatoes into one bowl, and squeezed what was left into chunks in another bowl. All said and done I had half a gallon ziplock of tomato guts, three quart jars, and a two quart pitcher full of juice. I still have to run it through a strainer to remove the seeds and get it into my freezer, but the freezer is more than full. It takes some careful smooshing to get it to close.

The jalapenos are what almost did me in though. I had them and the banana peppers in another bowl to peel off the roasted burnt skins. I honestly had heard people say to wear gloves when you handle them, but like most things, the warning fell right out of my head.I really thought it was so you could throw them away after you were done and not accidently touch something you shouldn't like you lips or eyes, while you had pepper juice all over you. I reached in there and started peeling. I also split them open and pulled out the guts. Did the bananas as well. It wasn't until I was done, had everything bagged and in the fridge before I realized my mistake.  My hands were getting warm. Reaching into the hot dish water while I was cleaning up was getting increasingly unpleasant. I finally got to the point where I couldn't wash anymore dishes because my hands were on FIRE! I tried washing them twice more, though I'd just been washing dishes, so I don't know what good I thought that was going to do. I put lotion on them. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't have enough milk to soak my hands. Just enough left to make my cup of tea in the morning. It really was bad enough I had a very hard tome falling asleep. After my shower the next morning they burned again. Every time I got them wet they burned. I was and groom dogs for a living. That next day was torture. Yes you can say lesson learned. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My house smells like corn and pickles

Today was a long busy day. Went out this morning and spent a bunch of time in the garden gathering veggies and checking the ears of corn and picking the ones that were ready to go. Some of the corn I picked out was ready to go before the stuff Scott picked, but I think his is prettier, bigger, and more uniform. All told I ended up with 52 ears that were ready. I filled a whole garbage sack full of corn husk and silk. The pigs, chickens and horses were so happy to see it. Piggies got the majority of it. All morning and most of the afternoon I spent blanching it five ears at a time, cooling it, and either vacuum sealing three ears at a time, or cutting the kernels off the cob and bagging it to seal after it was frozen. I'm officially out of room in my freezer. Breakfast for Scott and dinner for me was sauteed corn mixed into scrambled eggs with cheese. YummiE with a capitol E.

I decided to try my hand at pickles today. I had all the ingredients to make my brine juice, but I'd also bought one of those already packaged kits for pickles. I ended up using both and still had four pint jars left over sitting on salted water in my fridge. This is really the first time I'm caning more than the three jars of apricot jelly I made last year. I did the pints in my regular sized stock pot. I really didn't have the recommended 2 inches of water over the top of the jars without everything boiling over, but do you have any idea how long it takes for the gigantic pot I have the quarts in to heat up to a boil? The pints are done and the big pot Still is heating up. Oh, it's making all the noises that you'd think says I'm boiling, but alas, it's still not yet. And oh man, what a mess I made. Water on the floor from moving the corn from the pot to the sink. Cats trying to trip me as the clamor for attention. Dogs under foot cleaning up the corn kernels that seemed to leap off the cutting board and go everywhere but into the bags.

I've been running the dehydrator almost non-stop for days. Put in another tray and a bit of cherry tomatoes. Already have a whole quart jar and a start on another one of yellow squash.

I've been doing laundry and laundry and more laundry. I wanted to get all the towels, sheets and blankets on all the beds washed and changed before I go in for surgery.  I couldn't find any towels except for the ones in my dirty laundry and I know I had a Lot more. I was also just knew there was a second set of blue sheets for Teh Spawn's bed and another one for The Boy's. After a little searching I found all of it... In the Boy's closet! Fifteen towels, and three sets of sheet, top and bottom. I've been doing laundry for three days trying to not overload my septic and still keep up on Scott and my clothes. I finished the last of the towels and sheet and a blanket today. I still have three more comforters to go. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Week late

I was supposed to write this last week, but I forgot. Sunday last week Apache got his feet trimmed. Patches got hers done Monday. All the horses got wormed Sunday last week.

Took the boys out for a ride last night. It was great. Ben didn't fight and act like a butt head. Apache didn't take a lame step. One good thing with all the smoke in the air from the more than 40 fires burning in Idaho right now, is it doesn't let the sun bake down over everything, and last night was not too hot. 78 when we headed out, and 68 when we got home.

My bosses at work made my day this week. Earlier in the year they gave me a pressure canner in exchange for grooming their dogs a few times for free. This week they brought me all their old jars. There were even a few new boxes of lids and rings. Score!

The garden is in full swing. I'm getting so many veggies every day I almost don't know what to do with it all. The first ear of corn was ready and I ate the whole thing raw.

The dairy down the road has been kind enough to let me come over and get their waste milk after they are done feeding calves. The pigs love it and so do the chickens. I leave the bucket sit all day and into the next in the garage, and wait for the milk to get chunky. I have a little pan for the chickens outside the pig pen, and they wait for the pigs to scatter their feed close enough for them to reach through the panels and eat. 

And some random pics that were laying around in my inbox from my phone from this year.

My first eggs from my chickens

 The waterer that Scotty made for the piggies. 
 Back when they were smaller


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