Wednesday Thoughts

Yesterday’s debacle at the Post Office left me thinking…and raging.

I have long been a very vocal supporter of growing your own food, knowing where your food comes from, knowing your farmer, and farm to table eating.
Long before we ever considered moving here, long before I started this blog, I wrote about, and practiced, growing as much food as possible in the space available to you. Hell, I’ve preached about growing your own and protecting your food supply for years.
I am a firm believer in owning as much of your food supply as you can, and supporting those who grow food with the same ethics as you.
Walk softly on this Earth, while growing as much as we can without damaging Her.

But I was caught short yesterday.
I was rather proud of myself to have placed my seed order last week.
Seeds = garden = food security, right?
*IF* you can get them from the post office.
Which I couldn’t yesterday, due to it being shut down.
Oh, signs said “knock loud” and supposedly someone would answer, but we tried on 2 separate tries.
We know the seeds are there, because we got notice of a package and it’s the only thing I’ve ordered that would need to be carded.

But no one is around, no one is answering the phones, and it’s looking like if it doesn’t fit in your mail box, you’re shit out of luck.
Frankly, that’s bullshit.
We’re so goddamn afraid of each other, because we’re blitzed 24/7 about this damn virus, that basics are being lost.
Can’t use cash.
Can’t get packages…hey, what about all those small home businesses that are just barely staying afloat who *RELY* on the mail?
I know of at least 4 that use our post office.
I guess fuck them, right?
Fear wins again.
And livelihoods are destroyed.
I only hope those families have enough financial reserve to not lose their homes through this.
Because wouldn’t that be the shit?
Safe from the covid, but homeless because you can’t pay the bills…

But we’re not supposed to talk about that.
We’re supposed to be good and do what we’re told.
Stay home.
Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary.
And don’t forget to sanitize your groceries when you bring them home.
Do we not see how this fear is rapidly becoming absurd?
I wish I had the face palm emoji…but I don’t because I harvest all the cool emojis from FB and I’m in FB Jail right now for asking a lot of these same questions.
See, not only are there snitch lines for people to phone the “authorities” when others aren’t behaving properly, there’s people snitching on social media and anyone who’s asking questions is getting social media jailed.

But I digress…

My point here is this…
Food security is hella important.
It was before, it is a million times more so now.
And the fact that I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll be able to get my seeds from the post office is infuriating.


Once I have them in hand…whether it’s the ones I ordered last week, or ones I purchase somewhere else (because I might have to *go* somewhere else to get them, as opposed to ordering online)…you can bet I’ll be working on seed saving from a lot of the things we plant this year.
I’m not going to fall into this trap again.
Thinking “oh, I can just order those. I don’t need to save seeds from that”…
Clearly, that’s just not true anymore.

So I’m learning how save seeds from biennials, like carrots (we go through so. many. carrots!), beets, parsnips…
And I’ll be upping the planting of beans, so that we have some at the end of bean season to save for next year.
Beans will actually be planted in 2 spots…1 will be for canning, fresh eating and dried beans for winter.
The other will be for fresh eating, canning and seed saving.
The dried beans for winter patch is a hybrid (most likely…they’re beans we were given to feed the chickens, but I test grew a few plants and they work very well for fresh eating) so seeds saving from them isn’t going to give me a true variety.
My seed saving patch is a lovely heirloom bean called “Painted Pony”.
Perfect for our Farm, since we do love our painted ponies here.

And, over the next 2 years, I’m working on a plan to give us a massive garden expansion.
I’ve signed up for a few online courses/webinars to learn more about how to grow food on a larger scale, in the most Earth friendly ways possible.
I’m looking at permaculture designs that could give us several workable, growable acres of food forest/edible landscaping.
This I can do on the cheap.
While I continue to hatch and grow out chicks for egg/meat production.
I wanted sheep.
I will eventually have sheep.
But the fact is this…
Sheep means hay.
Right now, not knowing how long Hubby’s work is going to be shut down, I’m worrying about having the $$$ for Fall hay for the Merry Mares, let alone adding more animals that eat dried grasses.
And if I can’t feed ’em, I ain’t taking them on.
It’s just that simple.

For now though, it’s poultry and vegetables.
Focusing on securing those sustainable food sources for my family, and hopefully having enough to support friends too.
There’s not much else I can do.

Throwing in a picture of Astrid…because we all need to see her pretty face. ❤

Capture52 Week 10 ~ Eggs

Today happened to be egg washing day on the Farm.

Happens a couple times a week.

Hens lay ’em, I collect ’em, and Hubby delivers them to our customers.


Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Country…because having our own egg layers is one of the many joys we have living in the country.

Busy Day

I feel like I’ve been going non-stop today.

From getting the feed ready for chickens this morning, I don’t think I’ve sat very long at all.
But we have fresh hamburger buns for supper, a chocolate angel food cake for dessert, homemade mayo for next week’s lunches, plus homemade coleslaw and dressing…
Then all the clean up to go with that.
And homemade cream cheese made from last week’s left over milk.

And I’m prepping the pots for pepper seeds.
Then moving things around for the incubators.
Yup, got my 80 eggs ready to set, so gotta get that going too.

At the end of it all will be a nice glass of green tomato wine waiting for me.
Aaaaannnd, I have to get that bottled too.
That’s what I get for complaining that I’m having to wait too long to get stuff going.

20 days to spring!!

Salt Cured Egg Yolks…The Results

Y’know how things sometimes get really busy and you forget you have a project on the go, and it gets ignored for a little while before you get back to it?
That’s what happened here.
The yolks were supposed to be in the salt for 7 days.
Mine went 14.
Just because life got busy.

This Sunday, I used a fork and dug them out of the salt…

Ooooo, so pretty looking!

They definitely were very pretty looking…

All that salt got rinsed off…

With a quick rinse, I got all that salt off, and sat them on a paper towel to soak up any moisture from the rinse.

Huh. Looks just like a regular yolk here.

And then, because I didn’t have cheese cloth, or the patience to wrap ’em up and hang ’em to dry longer, I popped them on a cookie sheet and fired them into the oven. 200* for 45ish minutes.
While it might be cheating, it is an approved method of finishing the yolks.

Last night I tested them out on some homemade pasta and sauce.

Here’s what I think of them:

They were easy to do.
I mean, put ’em in salt, put ’em in the fridge and forget them for a while.
Rinse, dry, grate, eat.
Easy stuff.

They grate just like parmasan cheese.
I used my micro plane grater and grated one in seconds.
1 yolk was perfect for the amount of parma I would normally use.

Taste wise?
Not in a bad way. In a mmmmm rich and salty sorta way.
I did find though, a bit of an aftertaste that I didn’t care for.
Not sure what it was, or if it was a normal thing, or even how to describe it….but yeah.

Would I make them again?
Yeah, probably.
But I’d rather have parmasan cheese.
I *like* parmasan cheese.
But if you’re someone who loves it and can’t have it, this would be a very good substitute!
Especially if you have a whole lot of eggs, or access to farm fresh eggs.

Next to try…

Egg yolk sauce.
Because the best part of a fried egg is a runny, rich egg yolk.

If you’re curious how I started this project, you can read about it in the post Salt Cured Egg Yolks

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Approve.

Salt Cured Egg Yolks

For a while there, I had a crazy amount of eggs.
And I will again as the hens are ramping up laying with the longer days.
Like anywhere from 15-20 dozen in my fridge at a time…then winter hit and things slowed a bit.
But while I had that surplus (trust me eggs don’t last long here, the turn over is fast and furious with amazing customers who love farm fresh eggs from free rangin’ asshole birds 😉 ) I went looking for ideas on how to use any excess.
And found salt cured egg yolks.

I mean, I was actually looking for ideas *other than* angel food cake for extra whites, because with Yule coming, I knew there was going to be egg nog in my future, leaving me whites for days.
I wasn’t looking for more ideas for yolks.
But there it was…

Salt cured egg yolks.

I had to try them.
They’re supposed to be slightly salty, rich, creamy and delicious. Use them anywhere you might use fresh grated parmasan.
Okay then.
I’m sold.

Yesterday I started a batch…

fresh eggs, right from the hens…

I put down a layer of sea salt in my pan…

about 1/4″ thick..made sure the whole bottom of the pan was well covered

Can you tell I take better pictures of horses than food?
Food bloggers have nothing to fear from me!

Then I made divots in the salt with the back of a spoon to lay the yolks into…

starting to add the yolks

Look at those beautiful yolks!

9 is what I could fit in my pan

I did 9 because I already had 3 whites from making mayonnaise and wanted to make an angel food cake.
9 seemed like a good number to start with too…what if I don’t like the cured yolks?
I’d hate to make too many and then not enjoy them.
That would be such a waste of beautiful, tasty, eggs.

and then the covering…

I covered them with more sea salt, making sure there was no yolks showing.
Just lovely bumps in the salt…

ready for the fridge

Then I covered the pan with plastic wrap and into the fridge they went.
Some folks say you don’t have to cover the pan, but I think there is some sort of food party going on in my fridge overnight.
Things get moved around, tossed onto each other, piled and stacked like someone was trying to create a little dance floor in the chill chest…
It’s just safer in my fridge to cover things with wrap if I can.

And now we wait.
After 7 days in the fridge, I’ll fish them out of the salt, brush off any excess and dry.
Drying can be done 2 ways…
Wrap them in cheese cloth, separated with twine so each has their own individual bubble, and hang them in the fridge for another 7ish days.
Put them on a rack on a sheet pan and bake at 200* for 20-40 minutes, until the exteriors are dry to the touch.

I will probably do the bake method, otherwise the sprites in my fridge will be using the length of cloth wrapped yolks to Indiana Jones their way around the fridge all. night. long.
Nobody has the time to listen to *that* going on!
Plus, if I bake them, I can try them right away on some sort of food.
I’m all for trying them as soon as possible!

I’ll keep y’all updated on what they taste like, and if I like them.
Apparently, you can also make them with a mixture of salt and sugar for a different flavour.
Or add spices of your choice to change things up even more…I may have to try a batch with some cayenne pepper in the salt.
I ❤ love ❤ me some spicy foods. 🙂

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Some People’s Chickens 🙄

When your chickens are assholes and insist on hiding eggs even though it’s below 0*c and they just freeze and will never ever hatch…

Why, you asshole birds??

You end up with a cup of frozen eggs that will become scrambled eggs for those asshole chickens’ breakfast.
I just answered my own question of why…because them assholes love scrambled eggs.

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Blessed Lammas

Mid summer already.
Holy smokes, this year…after the slowest passing winter, this summer seems to be flying by us.

Things are kicking into high gear here.
Meat chickens are graduating to freezer camp…the first 10 went last weekend.
The rest go this weekend.
The freezers are being cleaned out of last year’s meats and turned into sausages.
Yeah, I’m really on this kick of making sausages.
The roosters from last year were so flavorful, but not good eating on the bbq. They were just too tough.
We bbq a lot.
But cooked low and slow, they were amazing!
So I figure I’ll take what’s left, grind with some bacon and seasonings and make sausage.
I also have some of last year’s pork left that I’ll do the same with.

We found some bags of chopped green tomatoes in there too.
So the next round of green tomato wine starts this weekend.
As well as a grapefruit one…we got a fantastic deal on MinuteMaid frozen concentrates. I wanna say it was 3 for $1.
Since my lime wine turned out pretty decent (still have to bottle that one) I figured I’d try grapefruit.
And then, I have my dandelion petals ready to start a small batch of Odhinn’s Mead.

I’m still fighting weeds in the garden.
I think I will forever and ever.
That’s just the nature of gardening.
But, my beans are in full flower, the tomatoes are too, and I don’t have any clue what’s in there for carrots.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the weeds sheltered the teeny seeds enough to let them get a good hold on growing, but I’m not really expecting anything.

Ducks have resumed laying eggs.

Which is good because the last nest the one hen sat on was all rotten eggs.
We’ve seen the drake doing his job, so I’m collecting a dozen eggs and firing up the incubator.
I didn’t want to run it again ’til spring, but this is an opportunity I can’t pass up.
I’ll be watching out for a sale on 2nd one too…that way in spring, once the ducks pick up laying after their winter break, I can run batches of chickens and ducks at the same time.

Haying is moving right along.
I’m putting up as much as I can, while I can.
I had the opportunity to purchase a 2nd scythe. One with a longer blade. Oh how nice it glides through the grasses!!
It’s given me the chance to cut an extra area that I couldn’t do with the shorter ditch blade…so I’m a happy girl!

Plus, the longer blade makes 2nd cut here go so much more smooth!
The short blade isn’t meant for those later in the season softer grasses, so it tends to rip instead of cut. No matter how sharp it is.
I do have to fix the tip of the new-to-me one, but aside from that, I’m even making the snath (which is just a hair too short for me) work with a change of posture.

So that’s where we’re at here.
Working, working working.
Prepping for winter.
Thinking about plans for next year already.
I feel like this is all stuff I’ve shared before, but really, day to day right now is a lot of “more of the same” with only small changes.
Feel free to ask anything though, if there’s something y’all are curious about.

Ruby enjoying a nap in the sunshine…