Good Morning!!

It’s been a crazy week again.

Finally finished canning that 300lbs of tomatoes.
With a final count of:

39 quarts whole tomatoes
19 quarts basic tomato sauce
78 pints basic tomato sauce
13 pints pizza sauce
11 half pints pizza sauce
and
4 1/2 gallons tomato juice (to add to green tomato wine)
2 lbs of skins to dehydrate

Plus roughly 4 ice cream pails (gallon sized) of seeds and skins that the pigs loved.

It’s been a big push to get it all done before anything started to go bad.
But now it’s done and on the shelf. Yay!
I think we should be ok for tomato products this winter…though I bet we’ll run out of pizza sauce first.
Just a feeling I have. πŸ˜‰

Next up, apples!

Our odyssey apple tree gave us some big, beautiful apples this year.
Not many…by the time the wind was done, and I had a couple to taste test, we had 8 apples left.
But still. That was our first on Farm grown apples and they were sooooo good! πŸ™‚

Since we didn’t have enough for a batch of wine, I put out a call on Facebook for anyone who has a tree, but isn’t going to use the apples, to let us come pick.
Well, friend of a friend got a hold of me and told me she’ll pick out her tree for a couple bottles of wine in return.
DONE!!
So now I’ve got 50ish lbs of apples to process and start a batch of wine with.
Last year’s apple wine was **amazing** so I’m hoping to replicate that this year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday life changed for the remaining birds from the original hatch of 18.
We kicked them out of the coop they were living in.
They’ve been running with the bigger chickens all day for the past few weeks. It was time to get them integrated into the main coop for overnights as well. So when we let them out yesterday, we closed thier coop back up so they couldn’t go to bed there last night.
When we went to put everyone to bed, we found this clump of chickens, with their protective brown duck mama, cuddled up in a corner under a shade over hang.
*Not* a safe place to spend the night, for sure!
So we had to pick everyone up and take them to the main coop and put them in for the night.
The whole time the brown duck mama was kvetching at Hubby for stealing her “babies”.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

This morning, when we opened them up, those poor little chickens didn’t want to come out.
Everyone else, the layers, the rooster, the ducks, they all come boiling out like crazed wasps to get the to food…not these guys. They were so unsure of coming out. lol
They’ll get it. It’s just going to take a day or two.

So now, the 2nd hatch 17 are in the meat chicken house, with more space and a small yard for them to enjoy.
They’ll stay there for a couple of weeks before we let them run free with all the bigger chickens.
And then we’ll integrate them into the main coop too.
By the time Fall hits hard and stays, we’ll know better who’s a hen, and who’s a rooster.
We’re planning on keeping 1 rooster to go with The Highlander, and the rest, well, they’ll go to Sausage Maker’s Camp.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, I did manage to get out at sunrise and take some new pics of the horses.
And this adorable one of my photography helper, MaxCat:


Have a great week folks, and if you liked this post, or any other, feel free to buy me a coffee!

Feline Friday and Being MIA

First, for Feline Friday, a picture of my MaxCat.
Following me around the farm yard, singing me the Song of His People…for no other reason than because he can. πŸ™‚

Every Farm should have a handsome orange tabby, IMO.
❀

And, I’ve been down with the back-to-school plague.
I ain’t blaming The Kid for this one.
Hubby brought it home before she even started back…and then he shared the plague gift with all of us.
Kiddo even missed 4 days of school because of it.
Her and I were both so sick, between the 2 of us, there’s been a total of 3 cups of coffee drank this week.
Sheesh!
That’s just plain crazy.

But, we’re all slowly getting back to health, and now we have to catch up on the things that we let slide while being sick…
So, enjoy this sunrise shot of Ruby from this morning.
Ima go have another cup of tea and do some work.

❀

Uncle Max

Just a portrait of Uncle Max sitting in the sun on the deck…

Max ❀

Max was our very first animal addition to Midnight Calico Farm.
He’s helped raise kittens and Daphne.
He’s the mascot for the pumpkin wine labels.
He’s a spoiled, pampered boy who loves Farm life.
And sticking his feet in my coffee.
πŸ˜‰

Sharing a day late with Comedy Plus for Feline Friday on Caturday.

Pumpkin Wine

I started my first batch of pumpkin wine back on November 5th, 2017.
I bottled it this past weekend.

I’ve had a few people ask about the recipe I used, so I figured I’d share it here, with my review of the bottled product. πŸ™‚

I’m going to assume anyone who’s looking for a pumpkin wine recipe has basic wine making knowledge. If not, trust me, Google is your friend.

Pumpkin Wine

20 lbs of pumpkin
~ I weighed my pumpkin after gutting and cubing. Then, I roasted it to bring out the sugary goodness of flavours.
I also used a pumpkin I like the flavour of…don’t use one of those watery jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Use something like a pie pumpkin, with lots of natural sugars.

10 lbs of white sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulphate
1 tsp tannin (optional…I figured I’d try it)
Water to 23 liters
Yeast

Now, I used a mesh bag for my pumpkin, which makes racking out of the primary so much easier…and cleaner.
I also added the water *before* putting the bag of pumpkin in…so know that you are going to need a bigger than 25 liter pail to start, because once that pumpkin goes in, the liquid level rises.
A.
Lot.
My starting gravity was 1.070 and it finished fermenting at .990
When I racked to the carboy I added 2 cinnamon sticks.
I could have added more, but I wasn’t sure how strong the flavour would be.
I could have doubled the amount easy, or even added 1 stick per gallon.
I also think adding some ginger, either in the primary, in the secondary, or both, would have been beneficial.
I may try that in another batch.
When all was done, I stabilized and back sweetened with 2 cups of sugar.
This, of course, is done to taste, so it takes trial and error with smaller amounts and then…math to know how much to put in the big batch. πŸ˜‰

So, after months of waiting to get to the end product going into bottles, and finally getting a good taste of the wine, what did I think of my pumpkin wine?

This:

Pumpkin wine review…

Now, keep in mind, I like a strong, bold flavored wine. Typically reds and heavy on fruit flavors.
This pumpkin is…interesting.
It’s a white. It’s beautiful. Clear and just plain pretty to look at.
The scent?
Again, not being a white wine person, I find it off putting.
But, there are very few store-bought whites that I like the scent of. In fact, right now, I can’t think of any, sooooo….yeah.
The flavor is nice. It’s not sharp, it’s smooth with a nice finish.
I didn’t back sweeten it as much as I would a raspberry or a blueberry, so it’s drier than I normally drink, but that’s because I found it cloying with as much sugar as I’d normally use.
The flavour doesn’t say “pumpkin” to me, but there is the barest hint of cinnamon to it (I added several cinnamon sticks in the secondary) which makes it interesting.

All in all, it’s not bad.
It’s not, however, one I would personally rave about.
It’s not a green tomato wine, to be sure. πŸ˜‰
But, anyone who likes a semi dry white, I think will really enjoy this.

Now, that said, would I make it again?
Yes.
But I would tweak it.
Add in more cinnamon, leave out the tannin (not sure it brings much to a white wine anyways), add some fresh ginger, and then I’d back sweeten with a fruit syrup or juice instead of just plain sugar. Something that adds a little more flavour to the party.

All in all, I’m glad I made it.
It’s not a favorite, but it’s a good recipe to play with to find what, exactly, I like.
Besides, how can you not love this label??

Arrrr!!
Cap’n Max says this wine is his!!