Saturday, November 30, 2013

Of Frost and Fog

Woke up this morning to a wee bit of frost and fog.
So... I decided to take a couple of pictures.


Chairs that my honey made. He is just learning and I think he did a wonderful job. The one on the right is constructed mostly of pallets.

You can see the wonderful old Cottonwood tree on the ridge line. It is just beautiful in Autumn with it's bright yellow leaves. In the Spring, it is the meeting place of Starlings.

Frosted webs. Isn't the intricacy of the frost crystals amazing?

The Lord's creation. We give thanks and praise to Him alone.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings to You and Yours

Happy Thanksgiving!

We all have so much to be thankful for.


I for one am very thankful for My God and King.
I am tremendously blessed by His saving grace and lovingkindness.

May each and every one of you come to know His love and 'Give thanks always for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus'

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spice up your Thanksgiving

Hello all :)

It appears that Thanksgiving is sneaking up again and Christmas is following closely behind.
I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you

The first is for Turkey Brine. My honey and I concocted this recipe while experimenting with Brine. Gooseberry Patch actually featured it in one of their books: The Harvest Table

Since we submitted the recipe, we have added 1/2 teaspoon of Juniper Berries.

Here is the recipe:

Turkey Brine

1 cup Coarse Sea Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Dried Orange Peel
1 Tablespoon Dried Apple Bits
1Tablespoon Dried Cranberries, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Black Peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Sage
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Dried Juniper Berries
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
3 shakes Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or 1 Dried Red Chili Pepper(or to taste)
Maple Syrup to taste (optional)

Combine contents of turkey brine to one gallon of boiling water. Cool thoroughly and refrigerate until chilled.
Place thawed turkey, brine mix and an additional gallon of water into a large container so that the turkey is submerged. 
Keep refrigerated or on ice for 12-24 hours.
 Before roasting, rinse well with cold water and pat dry.


The following Poultry Seasoning is reminiscent of Bell's Poultry Seasoning.

 Isn't this a cute ad? I found it in an old Family Circle magazine 

Poultry Seasoning

1 Tablespoon Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Marjoram
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Sage
1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Mix ingredients together. I use a coffee grinder for mixing them well. Just clean coffee grinder afterward by running dry rice through it and wiping clean. Use for poultry dishes and stuffing.
Store in a cute jar.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Gift for Mom

This Christmas will be a tight one for us. But never fear!
While perusing my craft supplies I found nearly all of the supplies I need for making Christmas gifts :)

I had all the supplies I needed for making some earring for my Mom. She moved in with us last year and it has been a blessing. She also loves her jewelry so I thought it ideal to make her some earrings.

I did not have any boxes to place them in but decided on making cards for the earrings. I had some blank cards which I took a punch to, I glued some vintage sheet music on the inside of the card. 

I am one to save Victorian Trading Company catalogs (I love their graphics and items!) and used a couple of images to glue on the front of the cards. I made slits for the earrings and think that they came out rather cute! They will be placed in the coordinating envelope and wrapped with ribbon.

Now onto the felted wool!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Adventures in Pig Raising

Pig raising. A new adventure for us :)

My honey has always loved pigs, he even has
some figurines he calls "Pigurines" :)

We have been wanting to venture into animal raising, my hopes were Mini-Jerseys, but Michael had his heart set on hogs.

After a year or two worth of researching different varieties, we settled upon Large Blacks. That is the breed name, not just how they look.

Large Blacks are a heritage breed and also critically endangered on the list for the Livestock Conservancy website.

They are originally from Cornwall, England and are known for having a docile temperament, great mothering skills, their large ears (and sensitive hearing), and their size. A mature Sow can get as large as 600-700 pounds and the Boars 700-800 pounds. Their meat is marbled like beef and is a darker color than regular pork. We plan on breeding the Large Blacks not only for the freezer but to keep the breed going.


Our Large Black Boar. He is such a lover! He gives me cuddles whenever he sees me :)


Okay, now you are probably wondering why she isn't black :)

Rosie is our rescue pig :) We found out that pigs are herding animals and we weren't able to get a Large Black gilt right away so we picked up Rosie so Endeavour would have some company. She has a different personality, that's for sure. When we got her she was not very healthy. Really we should have left the place we purchased her from. My husband felt sorry for her so we brought her home. It has been great seeing her thrive and she is so much healthier now. Rosie is a Hampshire/Duroc cross.


Trudy is out Little One but growing fast! She squeals like you wouldn't believe and is finally getting more comfortable around us. When we brush the other pigs she comes over whimpering for attention and sounds like a squeak toy at times :)

I used to be afraid to raise livestock since neither  my husband or myself had any experience. Not even chickens! So far, we are loving it.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hawthorne Jelly

My honey and I are very blessed to live in an area where we forage.
Last month we were able to forage some Hawthorne Berries, which make delicious jelly by the way.

Hawthorne Berry Jelly 
(or Thornapple Jelly)

  5 cups prepared juice from berries (discard stems, sort and wash. Place in a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-20 minutes. Strain juice through jelly bag or cheesecloth)
7 cups sugar
1 package  (1 3/4 ounce) Sure-Jell powdered fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter

Prepare fruit to make juice, place in large saucepan. Stir in one box of fruit pectin. Add 1/2 teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to a full  rolling boil on high heat. Stir in sugar quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim any foam.

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling 1/8 inch from the tops of jars. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2 piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars in water bath canner. Process jelly 5 minutes. Remove from canner and listen for ping :)

*Don't forget to adjust for altitude :)

Jelly may not set right away, mine set after 2 days :)


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Noisy Family

I found this cute vintage postcard last year. Little did I know exactly how noisy pigs can be.

They give a whole new meaning to the phrase

"Squeal with delight"

at mealtime.