August 30, 2012

My Kindle

Confession time...  

I LOVE to read.
Yet, I swore I would NOT like a Kindle.
I love the feel of a good book and turning pages.
I enjoy everything about the library...
shelves filled with books and seeing the bindings all lined up...
the smell of 'books', yes, there is such a thing... I wonder if "they" could
make a candle with the relaxing scent of 'books'.  

So, my kids asked me if I would like a Kindle....
I debated it long and hard.
I did my research.
I asked book-loving friends their opinions.
I compared Kindle VS. Nook.

I decided to try it....
I got my Kindle on Mother's Day.
All I can say is.... I LOVE IT!

From Mother's Day (May 13th to today August 30th)
I have 214 books on my Kindle!
The BEST part... I haven't paid for one single book yet!
I found a couple of cool websites on FB that post
free books on a daily basis! (Yes, I'll share the sites!)
I like carrying a library of choices with me wherever I go!
I actually bought a 'book-like' cover... so I OPEN a
to start reading my Kindle!

I do miss seeing the cover & reminding myself of the
title & author each time I pick it up.
It is harder to keep track and remember when I can't see it regularly.

I had a hard time with the page turning for a while
and easily got lost if I touched the wrong spot and the
pages turned without me wanting them too.

It was hard at first NOT to be able to 'dog-ear' the page(s) for a later
date to re-read something or to keep my place.

BUT... I've learned that you can teach an old(er) dog new tricks!

Now to learn to pace myself so I don't deal with book-hangovers!

Free Books from Ereader

You're the BEST of the BEST!

August 23, 2012

Dehydrating Pan Drippings

Here's a new one for you...
(Or rather, it's a new idea to me!)
Pan drippings and what to do with them!
After the pot roast was finished cooking
and I used as much of the dripping as I needed
for making gravy, I continued cooking
down the extra juices/dripping in my crockpot.
(I left an air vent when putting the cover on)

After refridgerating, I scooped off the
fat and those left behind carrots.
It is LOTS easier to 
remove at this point... 

 and then I poured
it onto the solid plastic 'fruit roll sheet'.
This has a lip so nothing will spill out and
nothing will leak through!
 Here's the chicken broth left over from
roasting a chicken ...  I did not cook
this down. I put it into the fridge so that
I could remove the fat easily.
One minute in the microwave and
then poured out onto another
solid sheet for the dehydrator!
(I did them differently to see which
way works the best for me!)
It's suppose to take about 6 hours...
but, I'll let you know!
This is suppose to look kinda like
jerky when it is done. After it's dry,
it will be cut up into roughly, 1 1/2 X 2 inch
strips and stored in Mason jars in the freezer.
These pieces become like bouillon
cubes only better!! NO SODIUM or
CHEMICALS!! Add a piece to
soup for wonderful flavoring or
add to a bit of boiling water
and thicken for gravy!!
I re-hydrated the chicken pieces
to use in gravy...  very tasty!
One thing I would do differently
is to make sure that the pieces
are totally dried! Mine weren't
dried to the point of crispness... I think
there was still some fat in the drippings
so it didn't dry as well as it should.
Maybe I didn't have the temp. high
enough, maybe I just didn't wait long
enough. I will try this again!
This post is shared on
Please go check out all
the awesome ideas!

First Pickling Day of the Year

It took all day, but we got lots done!
First, we tackled the beets! Picked,
cooked, peeled, cut and packed away...
11 pints (OK, 7 pints & 1 quart) of
beets were pickled! Yes, you are
seeing yellow beets!
Pete found some seeds for yellow beets and
had to try them this season! They have the
same flavor... not sure what the benefits are
if there are any. Maybe, it's that they
won't stain everything they touch!
 Then we moved on to the cucumbers!
 Using a favorite old family recipe,
we put frech grape leaves & fresh picked
dill into the jars before the cucs go in...
(washed & cut up of course!)
I ALWAYS invert the jars after adding the
hot brine to the jars. I think it helps with the
sealing process.... maybe it does, maybe
it doesn't, but it is what my mom always
did, therefore I do it too!
Tradition, ya know!

18 quarts all ready for the fall!!
I'm hoping there will be LOTS more
before the season is over!
FROM here, we picked corn... and
when I say 'we' I honestly mean, Pete!
He picked & shucked the corn....
I had the pots all ready for blanching
and another one all set up for the
ICE COLD water afterwards!
We cut the kernels of corn off the
now cold ears and freeze them in
the vacuum Ziploc bags!!
47 ears produced 32 cups
of bagged corn!
(I guess I was too tired to take
any pictures of the corn process!)

August 18, 2012


Have you ever tried kohlrabi?? I tried it years ago... I remember it being an odd vegetable, one that I wasn't too sure what to do with!

This year when we planned the garden and we were looking through the seed catalogs, we decided to try it again! SO... how does one describe this veggie?

I was telling my mom that is looks like a little sputnik and that made Pete & my mom laugh... but it's true, AND we all knew what shape to think of when trying to imagine it! The edible part grows on top of the ground and has large leaves. It has a long root that grows under the ground shaped similar to a carrot!

Here it is.... still growing and here's a bowl of them ready for me to figure out what to do next!! After peeling it, slice it or dice it but definitely taste it raw!! The flavor is a cross between a cabbage, broccoli, celery and has the texture of a cooked potato or turnip!

It's really rather good!! We'll be growing these guys again next summer! :)

What to do with it???  That's the journey I'm on today....   I've had one amazing dish (THANK YOU PETRA!) called rahmgemuse, which is basically a creamed veggie. Today I'm going to investigate the possibility of cooking then dehydrating!!

SOUPS,  KOHLRABI CHIPS, CREAMED....  etc. Just getting my thinking cap back on for the beginning of the fall garden round up!!

When it was all said and done...   I ended up with 1 1/4 cup of dried kohlrabi! This doesn't sound like much, but it should reconstitute to make a 9X13 baking pan of kohlrabi au gratin using the recipe in my book "Making & Using Dried Foods" by Phylllis Hobson.

Round Two

Here we go again!
Round two...

I know, I know!
Yes, they ARE very cute
when they are a day old!

Trust me... they are NOT so cute
at 9 or 10 weeks old.

**Just for the record**

Yes, the hatchery ships them
in these containers, usually 25 chicks to
a section. We order with a few other
families so when I take ours home,
they aren't so crowded.

Yes, they are shipped out at 1 day old.
IE: Hatched & shipped on Wednesday,
we get them EARLY on Friday!!

Yes, God is awesome the way he
designed birds! The chick is formed
from the 'white' part of the egg. Just
prior to hatching, the bird drinks in the
yolk part... all that liquid protein gives
the birds strength and durability to
get out of the shell and have the food
it needs for a day or two!!

Yes, they almost always all survive the
ride and do very well at growing!

Yes, when they arrive at the Post Office 
they are peeping and letting everyone know
that they are ready for water & grain! 

Yes, they really do arrive at the post
office and the post master 
gives an early morning phone call
letting us know they have arrived!!


I remember when I was just out of
high school....  I worked at a local bank
and one morning as I was walking to the
book keeping dept. the bank president
called to me as I was walking by his office....

"Check this out." Mr. Pettingill said to me.
"I got called from the Post Office at 4AM today
that my bees were in! He wanted to know how soon
I could come get them!"  Now, I know I was all bug-eyed
as I looked at the little buzzing box on his desk!!

He had a queen bee and her colony of 

Bees travel similarly to chicks...
1-2 days from shipping to arrival,
and they arrived all safe & sound!

He chuckled at my naive reaction...  he
was anxious to get his new 'babies' home to
their new home too! It's funny all the
things that travel through the mail!

We've thought about raising honey bees...
but, so far, it's just a thought!!

August 10, 2012

My First EVER Ripple Afghan

I wanted to make a lap quilt or a child's
sized afghan using the colors of the
rainbow! Bright & happy colors
for a little girl in Africa!

It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!
I'm really excited to continue on and
make a larger one for myself!!

The next one will be using greens...
three shades of sage green
light, medium and dark and cream.

I'll keep you posted!

'Tis the Season...

... for canning beans again!
I thought I was behind schedule
compared to last year but when I looked it up,
I guess I'm not so far off. Phew...

I have managed to get two pickings into the jars and on the shelf.
Here's a few pictures from the first batch!

Eleven out of the first twelve came out just fine!
Yes, one jar didn't get filled up quite enough,

One jar was an epic fail!!
The glass broke in the canner
and obviously, the beans and jar
was thrown out!! It doesn't happen
often... but every once in a while,
we have to toss one out!

(I did keep the ring for next time!)

End of day today... 23 quarts on the shelf!

August 1, 2012

Ana Sapphira At Soulfest 2012

Ana Sapphira

It's true....  they are playing
at Soulfest 2012
Gunstock, NH
Doug, Austin, John, Jordan and Travis

Austin in the recording studio
June 2012

Ana Sapphira Stickers!

Jordan & Travis
in the recording studio
June 2012
Here's the line up!!
They are playing Thusday,
August 2, at 2PM!

We're really proud of these guys!
They have worked hard
and have a new CD that
will be coming out soon!