Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You know it's fall in Hillbilly Idaho when...

You and the spouse start fighting over who's turn it is to vacuum flies off the ceiling in the ceiling in the garage. And not fight as in," I did it last time, it's your turn." No, it's fight as in," Oh that's a whole lot of them
right there, lemme have the vacuum. You did almost the whole garage door already, let me see it for a minute." It's fly season. It's been fly season for a while. I am sick to damned death of the flies. They are Everwhere! Can't go in and out of the front door because they are swarming. Gah, now they're all over the inside of the garage. Forgot to roll up the windows in the truck when I stopped at the dairy down the road to get milk for the pigs, and Gross. I can hear the hum from their wings from five feet away. Thousands of flies. 

We have pigs, chickens, horses. There are three dairies, a milk processing and a grain processing plant, all within two miles of us. More dairies, open corn, potato, onion, alfalfa, and beet fields all around us. These are ALL going to attract flies. Even in town the flies are bad this time of year. When it gets cold they all start looking for somewhere warmer to spend the night. All around the door frame and the window frame of the front of the house. All over the inside ceiling of the garage.

Flies on the frame for the garage door

Flies on the ceiling in the garge

Every time I open a door to go in or out, and that's quite a few times a day depending on what chore or another we're doing, a fly or two gets in the house. Let the dogs in or out without knowing there is a swarm by the front door, and a few get in the house. I go on carcass creating sprees in the living room and the kitchen. They leave nasty little fly specks (POOP) all of the place. I leave partially flattened carcasses all over the place.

I try fly spraying the inside of the garage, the underside of the pig shelter, around the front porch. I have gallon jug traps out all around the house. Fly strips in the garage and in my kitchen. The time I get my favorite revenge on the disease carrying, little flying, garbage munchers is at night when the temps cool down. I take Scott's big shop vac, put this little wedge attachment tip on and go to town. When they get cold they slow down. I place the tip against the roof, or garage door, or the frame and track to the door, and slowly sweep along, gleefully sucking flies up by the hundreds. A shot or two of fly spray down the hose before I turn it off, and YAY!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tasty has an appt at Scarrow Meats. Jalapeno Poppers. Squash bake.

Scott called yesterday and set up for Tasty to go to Scarrow Meats Tuesday next weeks. She doesn't seem to be getting any bigger, and is still just munching us out of house and home. Wilbur will stay another week or two. At least until Andrea decides to take him to her place, or start buying feed for him. Now I just have to find a freezer to put her in when she comes home.

The garden is winding down. We got a little bit of frost the other day. All the tops of the plants wilted and turned black. All of a sudden I can see everything that's hiding under there. Most of what you see is weeds. I was so good pulling weeds the beginning of the season. Not so much lately.

All the corn is done. The 20 or so ears that were still out there got ate by a skunk. I saw corn stalks being pushed down here and there. I thought it was the dog chasing after a feral cat. I've seen her tear ass off into the trees chasing it before. I heard something thrashing in the corn the other night, Ashley was still on the porch with me so I knew it wasn't her. Grabbed the big flashlight thinking I was going to scare off a cat, or maybe the coyote we saw earlier that night. OH NO! SKUNK!! Ash came with me, and I shoed her back to the porch and hightailed it myself. No way I was gonna go in there after a skunk. I thought about going in the house for the 22 and taking care of it, but it was after 11 at night, and all I needed was crazy Mrs. Shirk behind me calling the sheriff out. Besides, I'm still all high on painkillers from the surgery last Mon. Ne reason on this planet for me to be handling a gun. But I did see the skunk lean against a corn stalk till it broke over. The next morning I went out to salvage what was left, and he'd gotten them all.

Earlier this week I went out and picked all the jalapeno peppers that finally grew. Those plants got frosted the beginning of the season and I almost gave up on them. I think I missed one pepper and it's out there the prettiest red color. I made poppers out of the ones I brought in.

Jalapeno Pepper Poppers
  • Half a sleeve of crackers, crushed. I used Club, it was in my cabinet
  • One pkg cream cheese, softened
  • half cup shredded cheese. I used Colby Jack because it's what I had in the fridge
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Enough peppers to use all the filling.
I can't tell you how many peppers to use, because mine were all different sizes out of the garden. More if they were all small, less of they were as big as the ones I got from the store for the salsa? I sliced them in half and it filled a whole baking sheet. Not a lot of help, I know. Anywho...
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Mix the softened cream cheese with all the cheeses, paprika, and garlic powder. 
  • I cut the top off the pepper and sliced in half. It was too much bother to core out the center. WEAR GLOVES. 
  • Fill the peppers with the cheese mixture and place on a baking sheet, cheese side up. Sprinkle with the crushed crackers. 
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until the cheese starts to melt and the crackers darken slightly. 
I didn't eat any of these. I don't like spicy foods, and I don't like the taste of jalapeno even if they weren't hot. I was told by everyone who had them, that I can make them over and over again, anytime They want them. lol. I know they weren't the traditional breaded and fried, but they were a big hit.  No pics. They all got eaten before I had a chance to grab the camera, but here's a shot of the empty pan :)

I made a different version of the Southern Baked Squash. My friend Lacy came over and she can't have gluten, but I wanted to do squash bake again. So we went with cheese. 

Cheesy Squash Bake

  • 3 yellow squash and three zucchini, cubed. Mine here getting pretty large in the garden. You might want to use 4 or 5 smaller. 
  • Half a pkg cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • Half a sleeve of crushed crackers. I used Club, they were in my cabinet
  • 1 cup shredded cheese. I used the Colby Jack I had in the fridge

  • Boil the cubed squash 15 mins or until tender. 
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Spray inside of a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray
  • drain squash, and mash until it had the constancy of mashed potatoes
  • Add eggs, butter and cheeses and blend well. 
  • Smooth mixture into the backing dish and cover with crackers. I left one third of uncovered for my friend
  • Bake in the oven uncovered about 45-50 mins, or until the crackers start to darken, and the squash mixture is bubbly. 

Cute baby cows in the pasture next door to us

We picked the first of the five watermelon that grew this year. We had Charleston Greys. Big watermelon. Scott had to carry it in for me since it's over the limit of what the doc says I can carry. It's a very tasty watermelon. I think we could have left it out there one more week. The white rind was very thick. Most of the seeds were dark brown, but not black yet. Still very sweet though. I'm still waiting on the cantlelope to be ready to eat. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Southern Baked Yellow Squash and Zucchini

In an effort to use up the amazing amounts of squash and zucchini I have growing in the garden, I cam across this recipe at I forgot to take a pic of the finished results, but mine looked similar to the image at all recipes. I did change their recipe and added the zucchini and Italian breadcrumbs instead of plain. I thought it tasted good. Scott said he'd eat it again.


  • 1-1/2 pounds yellow summer squash and green zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dry Italian bread crumbs


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Place the squash and zucchini in a large saucepan, cover with water, and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain the squash well, place in a large mixing bowl, and mash until slightly chunky. Stir in 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, onion, eggs, 1/4 cup of butter, sugar, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined, and spread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle the top of the casserole with 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle 1/4 cup bread crumbs over the butter.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is cooked through and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Salsa success.

After the FAIL at tomato juice the other day, I did a batch of salsa the other day that looks amazing. I didn't try it yet, as I have no chips, but looks and smells are fantastic. I roasted either on the grill, or in the oven, the tomatoes, jalapenos, and the banana peppers. This made 6 pints.
  • 6 cups roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  •  jalapeƱo peppers, seeded, finely chopped
  • 3 banana peppers, seeded, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups bottled lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
Simmered all ingredients for half an hour. I could have gone longer and let the salsa thicken some, but I like runny salsa. Filled the boiled pint jars to a half inch of head space. Screwed on the two piece lids fairly tight. Added to my water bath canner. Filled with hot water to two inches above the jars. I did have to add a a quart jar of water, just to take up space so the pints wouldn't tip over. It does take a long time for my canner to get up to steam. Once at a boil, I reduced the heat to a gentle boil and let it rip for 20 mins. After 20 mins, I took off the lid, turned off the heat, and let the water and the jars cool. After about an hour I pulled them out onto a towel on the counter and let them finish cooling over night. 

Now I just need some corn chips for a taste test. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What kind of mess did I make? and the laziest pigs ever.

So I've been processing tomatoes. I grilled a batch, and last night I put two roasting pans full of tomatoes in the over till they were bubbling in their own juices. I did this twice. I peeled off the skins, and de-seeded. I ended up with a whole mess of tomatoe pulp  and 7 quarts of tomato juice. I tried canning the quarts tonight. Stuck them all in my big old giant pot. Took forever to to come to a boil. The whole time rocking and making horrible noises. I let it finally come to a boil, boiled for 20 mins, took off the lid, and turned off the stove. I have a lot of floaty junk in the water, and when I pulled out the jars, this is the mess I had. One jar looks like I thought they should all turn out. All the jars seemed to have sealed fine, they are all sunk in the middle. I should add this was my first practice run for the salsa and spaghetti sauce I want to make from all the tomato pulp. What is this mess, and what did I do wrong is the question for the Homesteading Today forums.

I get a kick out of watching my piggies eat. How lazy can it get?


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