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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Freezing Peaches

Peaches are in at the Farmers Market and your local fruit stands!

Why not freeze some so that you can enjoy them during the winter?  I chose “cling free” or “freestone”  peaches. I try to buy locally grown if I can.  I chose this variety because the fruit releases from their pit much easier…I learned this the hard way!  Freezing peaches is easy to do and are great when you just want a taste of summer during a cold winter.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

Select fresh freestone peaches that are starting to feel soft but are still firm

Wash the peaches. Set on towel to dry.

You can put them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and place them in ice water.  Then remove the skins.  (I don’t mind the skin so I did not do this step.)

Cut the Peaches in half

Then cut into quarters. Remove from pit.

As you are cutting the peaches, remove any blemishes, bruises or overripe parts of the peach.

Place on trays to freeze

Place in freezer until frozen

Label your bags. Place peaches in bags. Return to freezer.

When you are ready to use.  Remove from freezer; place in bowl to thaw in refrigerator.  Use in peach cobbler, smoothies or over ice cream!   The nice thing about freezing this way is that you can use the whole bag or only what you need. They do not freeze into one glob!!! YUM…Enjoy!

 

Posted by on August 28, 2010 in How To, Recipes

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Saturday Morning!

I love Saturday mornings!  It is my time to relax.  I start with a cup of coffee or tea.  Check my emails, twitter accounts, catch up on what friends and family are up to on facebook and discuss the plans for the day with Jim.  We compile a list of goals for the weekend.  Discuss what we caught our interests this week.  Then we usually have some fresh eggs and start our day.  Today the weather will be cooler than it has been so we will hit the NC Farmers Market then work on the yard!  No wine tastings today (One of my favorite Saturday activities!!) because we are not having any sugar, grains or dairy for 31 days!!!  We will see how long that lasts… I will try to post either a recipes or pictures sometime this weekend.  Enjoy today and every day!!!

 

Posted by on August 28, 2010 in Carol's Corner of the Farm

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Building the Square Foot Gardens

Everything we do with the square foot gardens comes right out of the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Just go ahead and buy it – you will use it for reference for many years to come.

A standard size for square foot gardens is 4 feet by 4 feet. We chose to use untreated 4 x 6 lumber for this project. We just purchased 2 8-foot sections for each garden, cut them in half and used deck screws to hold them together.

You don’t have to clear the ground beneath it – you can just cut the grass real short – but we did anyway because it needed some leveling. First lay down some ground cloth (keeps the weeds and grass out, but lets the water drain), and then set the square garden box on top.

Putting the gardens in place

Put down ground cloth before putting the garden box in place

Garden boxes in place - ready for soil

Next step is to mix the soil. It’s called “Mel’s Mix”. It’s 1/3 course vermiculite (we got it from Logan Trading in Raleigh http://www.logantrd.com/), 1/3 Peat Moss (also from Logan Trading) and 1/3 mixed compost. Compost can be bought from Lowes or Home Depot in bags, but you should really have a good variety. We bought ours from Olde Country Produce & Mulch on Poole Rd. in Knightdale – just got a scoop of it dropped in the back of the truck. Lots of leftover, but found various places around the yard to use it. In the future, we will use our own backyard compost, but that’s another post for the future.

The ingredients

Ready to mix

Mix the soil by putting the ingredients on a tarp, then keep folding the tarp back and forth until it’s mixed. Then pull it over next to the garden box and shovel it in.

Fill the box with Mel's Mix

Spray a little water while filling to keep the dust down and help it settle

Fill the box all the way to the top and level it

We highly recommend slats of some sort every 12 inches. That way you can easily see that there are actually 16 distinct squares within the garden, and it’s much easier to keep up with it. You can also plant completely different, unrelated plants in each square.

We used a table saw to rip 2x4 untreated lumber in to ~1/4" thick slats

We used short nuts and bolts to hold the slats together

We used 4 short deck screws to attach the center slats at each end

First year - 4 gardens with a 2 foot path between each

Now they’re ready to plant. You can either use seeds or pick up flats of your favorite plants from your local garden store. We did a combination of both. We will do a separate post for planting.

 

Posted by on August 24, 2010 in How To, Square Foot Gardens

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First Chicken Coop Project

Portable Chicken Coop

We decided to build a chicken coop and get some backyard chickens in the spring of 2009. We purchased the plans and got some great advice from Dave at Catawba ConvertiCoops.

All the Materials

Just getting started

Mike measuring for the deck

Deck and chicken wire installed

Handles installed. Beginning of the roof

Brent putting the sides together

Finished side (it slides both directions or can be lifted up and removed)

Ends installed (Square Foot Garden in background!)

Finished product. Two people can easily lift it up and move it around the yard.

First chickens – One Jersey Giant and one Black Star

Got the chickens on a Saturday and the next day (Easter Sunday!), we got our first eggs.

We used cedar chips for the nests at first, but have learned that’s not the best choice. We’ve also tried Pine Shavings, but Straw seems to work best for us.

 

Posted by on August 23, 2010 in Chickens, How To

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Freezing Fuster Cluck Pears

About a week and a half ago, Daddy & I picked pears from our backyard pear tree. We had read that it is best to pick pears before they are completely ripe because they ripen better off the tree. We let them sit in a bag for awhile on the dining room floor, and every day I would touch them to see if they were getting any softer. On Thursday night, I noticed that a few of them were starting to get soft, so on Friday morning, I woke up with a mission. Luckily, I had a great website to help me with my first true pear experience: www.pickyourown.org .


I washed all of the pears in cold water, then started on the adventure of peeling and coring them.

After that, I sliced them using an apple corer/slicer. I put them directly into a FruitFresh and Water Mixture. For those of you who aren’t familiar with FruitFresh, it is an Ascorbic Acid powder that prevents fruits and veggies from browning. (Check it out! http://thekitchenstore.com/bafrprpr.html … it’s also available at most grocery stores)

I kept slicing and peeling for what seemed like forever, and finally I had enough to fill up a cookie sheet. I lifted the pears out of the bowl, making sure to shake away any excess liquid, and spread them out in a single layer.The next step is to put the pears in the freezer. I ended up making three trays. The next day (you really only have to wait a few hours), I took the pears off the cookie sheet and put them into a labeled Ziplock bag. Easy, Right? Well, now we have a bag and a half of pears, and we still have more pears. Sounds like a good project for later this week! Here’s a pic of the finished product: Frozen Pears

Thanks for reading!

 

Posted by on August 22, 2010 in How To

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Hungry? Try one of these!

I’m going to put up some pictures of a few recipes I have come up with recently. I took pictures with the intention of posting recipes, but I never got around to it… So I figure I can just give you a little information about each one, and if you want the recipe, just comment! It’s my first post, so let’s see how it goes.

Marinated London Broil... grilled to perfection!

Fresh Asparagus... Roasted in the Oven

Onion, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash. I grilled these as Kabobs.

Chicken Kabobs with Curry Grill Seasoning we picked up in Tangier, Morocco.

No-rice Stir Fry... Chicken, carrots, broccoli, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, and onions!

If you think you might want to try one of these, just comment and I’ll post a recipe!!! 🙂

 

Posted by on August 22, 2010 in Recipes

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Corn Dip

Corn Dip Recipe

2  cans of white corn drained

1  eight ounce block of cream cheese

1 stick of butter

1  can of chopped chili peppers undrained

½   teaspoon of garlic salt

In a medium sauce pan melt butter and cream cheese.  Stir while melting.  Stir until creamy.  If you are have trouble getting this to blend together, try whisking  it.  Transfer into a bowl.  Add drained cans of corn, chilis and garlic salt.  Mix well and serve with Fritos Scoops.

Step by Step Corn Dip

Butter and Cream Cheese in Sauce Pan

In a medium sauce pan melt butter and cream cheese.  Stir while melting.  Stir until creamy.

Cream Cheese and Butter starting to melt

If you are have trouble getting this to blend together,

try whisking  it.

Whisking until creamy

Transfer into a bowl.  Add drained cans of corn, chilis and garlic salt.

Adding Corn and Chilis

Mix well and serve with Fritos Scoops.

Yum!

You can even serve this as a side dish!

 

Posted by on August 22, 2010 in How To, Recipes

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Step By Step Cooking Beef Brisket in Crock Pot

While at my niece Jenn’s new home, we made a Beef Brisket in the crock pot.  We had a lot of things planned for the day so we cooked the brisket in the crock pot so it could cook while we played!  We have included step by step instructions.  We apologize for not having exact measurements but I will try to give a guess on the amounts used.  My thoughts about cooking are if it doesn’t turn out we can always call for a pizza or have peanut butter sandwiches! Hope you enjoy….more recipes and thoughts to come!

BEEF BRISKET RECIPE

3 to 5 pound Beef Brisket

1 jar of BBQ Sauce

1 cup of red wine

1/2 cup of brown suger

2 Tablespoons chili podwer

2 Tablespoons of (Sea Salt, Course Ground Pepper, and Galt Salt/equal parts)

Rub Beef Brisket with brown sugar.  Covering entire brisket.

Then sprinkle with chili powder and Salt Mixture.  Rub into brisket.

Heat grill.

Sear on all sides.  (Heat until has a nice coating and is brown)

Transfer into crocker pot.  Add half of the BBQ sauce and all of the red wine.  Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.  When the meat is tender, remove and cut against the grain.  Drizzle remaining BBQ over meat.  Serve.

Rub Beef Brisket with brown sugar.  Covering entire brisket.

Rubbing the brown sugar into the brisket

Then sprinkle with chili powder and Salt Mixture.  Rub into brisket.

Chili Rub Down

Salt, Garlic and Pepper Rub Down

Heat grill.

Searing the Brisket

Searing All Sides

Sear on all sides.  (Heat until has a nice coating and is brown)

Remove from grill once searing is complete

Transfer into crock pot.

Transfer to Crock Pot

Add half of the BBQ sauce and all of the red wine.

Adding BBQ Sauce

Adding the Red Wine

Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.  When the meat is tender, remove and cut against the grain.

Slicing the brisket

Drizzle remaining BBQ over meat.

Finishing the brisket with BBQ Sauce

Serve. Enjoy!

 

Posted by on August 19, 2010 in How To, Recipes

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On Vacation

Sunrise at my Jenn's new home in southern Ohio

 

Posted by on August 19, 2010 in Carol's Corner of the Farm

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Colors of the NC State Farmer’s Market

Cone Flowers

Red and Yellow Peppers

Huge Bags of Peanuts

Egg Plants

Peppers of Every Color!

 

Posted by on August 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

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