Welcome! I'm happy and humbled you've stopped by.....Cozy up and follow along as I share my attempts at simple living with you.

Monday, October 29, 2012


At our house, we're hunkered down
waiting on Sandy's arrival.

(She's headed directly for us!)

I think I may take Josie's lead....

and just chill!

O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Making Sauerkraut

There are several store bought foods that I just can't stomach. Mostly, because once you've had  homemade, you just can't eat the store bought version.  

One of those foods is

(Red beets and applesauce are also on that list)

We make our own sauerkraut every few years.
And this was the 
Year of Sauerkraut.

Making sauerkraut can be time consuming if you're making a lot.
But oh so worth it.

To begin..

We grew lots of cabbage!

 Unlike years past, it was just me and hubs left to do the job ourselves this year.  (It's one of the few disadvantages of an empty nest.)

We set up "shop" in the garage because making sauerkraut can be quite messy.

 The heads were cut (trimmed off unusable leaves), cleaned and soaked in salt water.....

they were quartered....

.....Shredded, using the Kitchen Aid.

and stomped.

Hubs made his own stomper in
the workshop.  He's tricky
like that!

Hubby stomped the kraut with each  tray of shredded cabbage I added to the crock.  He added a sprinkling of  salt with each layer. 

 I can't give you any exact amount of salt.  

We just stomp, salt, and taste!
Salt is required for the fermenting process.

When the crock is filled (do not overfill)
we add a layer of large leaves (that were remove from the cabbages) over top of the shredded cabbage and  place a dinner plate upside over the cabbage leaves. Then we fill the bottom of a garbage bag with water to create a  kind of bladder to seal the top of the crock.  The seal keeps bugs out but at the same time, allows the crock to release some gas.

Store in a nice warm place.  We left ours sit in the garage for about 3 1/2 weeks. I know this sound gross, but it is necessary for the kraut to "work."
In my experience, sauerkraut tastes best when made in warmer weather.   

 You can taste test it if you wish.  
But be aware, it will taste differently than store bought.  
As with all fermented foods, taste will vary according to external conditions and length of time allowed to ferment.

Homemade sauerkraut can be eaten raw or canned.

I saved some of mine in our extra fridge to eat raw.  Fermented foods are super nutritious.  

But the majority of it was canned and will last a very long time.  

I used my pressure cooker canner .

I packed the sterile jars with sauerkraut.  Packing the kraut down in the jars will create more juice.  Keep the juice poured off until the end.   
(A little juice will be okay.)  

If you've never made your own sauerkraut, I encourage you to give it a try.  It really is good.  You can make a small batch the first time.  My son in law has had success making it in a food grade 5 gallon bucket.  

There you have it.  Sauerkraut 101.  I hope you'll consider growing enough cabbage next year so you too can enjoy 

Homemade Sauerkraut!

linked to 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Man on Campus

I've got a new man running around the ol' homestead!

Scrapbook page from 2009 of our Homestead

I can promise you, 
a new man was NOT something I was looking for.

But Hubs had other plans.

Don't you just love how husbands volunteer you for things he's conveniently forgotten to discuss with you first?!  

Sunday afternoon, I saw a truck pulling into our driveway.  

I Went outside to check it out....

...And there he was.....

Already making himself at home with my girls!

Yep, it was a rooster.
And not just any rooster.

A Rhode Island Red.

A friend of a friend had 2 roosters that didn't get along.
So Hubs was so kind as to offer one of the boys a place to stay.
Kind of him, eh?

I didn't want any roosters.
I don't think the girls did either. (they told me so;)
Life was good without a rooster.
The barnyard was quiet all summer
with the exception of some
"I just laid an egg"
And the 
"Hawk Alert"

We've had a variety of roosters over the years.  
And I've had a few favorites.

 Here's my very first rooster (above), many years ago.  He was an independent agent.  He kept to himself, usually outside the fencing, and yet somehow he still seemed  able to maintain his harem.  His name was 

Eugene... often referred to as Eugenious

Oh, did I tell you he was named after my favorite chicken dinner at a local restaurant?  

Don't hate me!  

Take this handsome fellow......

his name was Cham
(he was named after my ornery grandpa, whose nickname was Cham)

I'll give you one guess how he got that name?

And then there was this guy.....
his name was Nutsy.....because....
Well, he was nuts!

Let's just say his elevator didn't quite go to the top!
...very entertaining!

This big old boy was our own

But unlike the original Foghorn,
he was a beautiful 
White Jersey Giant.

But if there is one thing that I learned very quickly,
it was that 
where there's a rooster.....
There's always going to be trouble!

Take this Auraucana,  he was a bully!

In fact, he killed our beloved
Polish Silver Crested Rooster, (dopie) Opie.

Opie was handsome (but not very smart) and that nameless Auraucana knew it!

And then there was this guy..
..he had a mean streak too.
He took out his frustrations on anyone who dared to enter the chicken coop.
Can anyone say
Chicken soup!

 So all I can say is....
This rooster better be well behaved.

So far, so good.

The girls are keeping him in line.
He's outnumbered you know, 29-1.

In our coop, the pecking order is apparent when it's time to roost.
The old girls get the top rung. 
Younger/new girls can fight over the lower rungs.
So far, Mr Roo hasn't made it passed the bottom rung. 
I watched tonight when I put them to bed.
He tried to move up the ladder,
but girls just pummeled down to the ground.

If you'd like to read the story of how we got to be chicken people, you can check out our story, here.

The place where our chicken love began

So now begs the question...
What shall we call this new man on campus?

If you have any catchy names for this guy 
PLEASE leave me a comment.
I'd love to hear all your ideas.

 'Cause frankly,
I'm just plum out of ideas.

This post is linked to



Blog Widget by LinkWithin