We got it done. Hubby returned from his week away and the following weekend we got all the birds done in one day. We were only able to do that many in a day because a kind friend loaned us his chicken plucker, and this was no Whiz Bang, this was The Featherman and boy did we get lucky, up until now we have plucked all the birds ourselves. In 6-7 hours we were all done and then it was just mop up work. We did find that although the Featherman did an awesome job plucking the chickens we still had to pluck the Featherman of all it’s downy feathers that got stuck under the projections in the tub. Once we stopped trying to pick them out and got the power sprayer on it, it went much quicker!! The process though does continue, as the outside stuff all has to be cleaned, the stainless table returned to the neighbor and then inside after the birds had rested in the fridge for almost two days, they were checked over carefully, each one, to remove any rogue feathers and then they went in the freezer. Then I went through all the livers, removing some fat and bagging them into 6 different bags. It was amazing to have that work done. Funny, we have one chicken left from last year, so I’d say we made it all year on last year’s Chickens which was my hope!
My good friend came over and we did our annual corn thing. It was very hot out so we shucked the corn on the floor rather than doing it outside. We ended up with about 30 bags of corn, roughly, for each us to put into our freezers. Later that week, I made and canned corn relish, which my friend recommended can be combined with black beans for a great salad. I am checking corn off my list at this point, any corn we get now will be eaten in it’s summer goodness.
Right now, it’s everything tomato!! I have 14 gallons of tomatoes in the freezer waiting for a cold day to make bbq sauce, tomato sauce, and ketchup. It’s a nice way to warm up the house when on the edge of the heating season.
I’ve been drying lots of the cherry tomatoes. They are great to toss into soups, but mostly hubby just loves snacking on them.
When done they look like this.
These here will become roasted tomatoes, with garlic and basil.
When done they look like this and were delicious on this very oddly shaped…
Pizza!!! I love my Pizza stone, it makes the best crust ever!
I’ve also been making loads of salsa. I canned about 12 cans, but last year I read about the freezer salsa method and it worked great. We used the freezer salsa first and then went to the jars. The taste of freezer salsa is great, the taste is halfway between fresh and canned. When you thaw it, you have to strain it, as when it thaws a lot of liquid forms. This is great for putting in bloody mary’s!
This is my 12 pound cabbage, the apple, which is a good sized apple is there to give some perspective to this amazing Cabbage. I see coleslaw, sauerkraut and kimchi in my future!! I ordered two special wide mouth jars with fermenting accessories, and when they arrive this week I will be putting sauerkraut in one and kimchi in the other. I am excited for my package to arrive!
The Italian Frying Peppers have been beyond awesome this year. I cut them in strips and laid them out on a cookie sheet and froze them. I’ve done this several times already. I bag them and put them in the freezer, then I will be able to have red peppers all year to toss into soups, stews or other things.
I now have a Winter’s worth of Spaghetti in my freezer! I love the taste of pasta with sauce, but don’t like how full I feel afterwards, nor do I appreciate the calorie load, so my answer is Zucchini Spaghetti. It is delicious!! It is also very easy to cut on my Mandolin, or as dear hubby called it, a banjo:)
Still working on pickles…the one on the left, are sweet with onions in them – Hubby’s favorite – and the others are extra dill slices. This week I will be getting 10 pounds of pickling cukes from our neighbor, and will make enough dill relish for the year. I like it for adding to potato salad, and coleslaw, and also to use as a relish.
We’ve had a great mushroom year! I have about 8 quarts of dried mushrooms and a variety too, Chicken of the Woods, Pheasant backs, Morels and then the Shiitakes that we grew. I love having mushrooms to add to soups, and to hydrate for adding to other dishes, but my favorite is mushrooms and eggs.
Yesterday was a big day. We sold our first cow. It was great to have the Cattle earn their first cash and since the person buying her has a trailer, I asked them if I lowered the price some, if they would be willing to load our cattle in November and get them to the meat locker, and she said YES! Selling this little girl solved a lot of problems. We no longer have to worry that her Daddy, our only bull, would try to impregnate her next year, and we got one cow off our grass, which we are always a bit tight on, and we solved our loading problem. All these things are awesome. The icing on the cake? Hubby’s load out facility worked perfectly! It does need a couple of tweaks but it went super well, she loaded right up and was off on her way. The woman who picked her up told her husband that she might not be back till after dark, because you never know how loading will go, but she was in and out of here in 15 minutes! A great night, and a cattle success under our belts.