Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dutch Potato Soup (Good Food for Winter Weather)

This is an awesome (yet time consuming) soup to make. It has a lot of prep time that goes with it.
I like it too because it uses a lot of household staples. No fancy ingredients just wholesome goodness.
 You will need the following:
1 large onion-chopped finely
1 lb. bacon- cooked/crumbled
2 tablespoons of saved bacon grease
1/2 cup flour
Enough cut and diced potatoes to make 8 cups full
1 tablespoon thyme
2 cups milk
6 cups water (will need exact amount)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook down the onions in the bacon grease.
This is what they will look like. Brown and tender.
Bacon fried and grease saved.
8 cups taters diced
Place the water, thyme, and taters into a large soup pot. Boil until tender when inserted with a fork.
Drain taters.
Save the water.
Reserve half of the cooked taters and mash.
Mashed taters.
Add the flour. Mix well with the taters.
Pour the reserved water into the taters/flour mixture and mix well.
Add onions.
Add bacon.
Add the other half of the taters.
Pour in the 2 cups milk and stir.
Bring to a slow boil. It will thicken slowly.
All done!
This soup is not super thick. Enough though to be able to dip corn bread into and sup up!
Add cheddar cheese on top before serving. YUMMY!
Matthew 6:33

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Keeping Potatoes Without Canning Them #2

We have experimented again this year with keeping potatoes without canning them. We usually keep them under the house. That has worked well but they seem to get softer than I like which is normal. So this year instead of digging for them in July when they are ready to be dug, we left them in the ground.
We just dug for the taters as we needed them. They are still in the ground to this date. I went out and dug some the other day and found beautiful little taters just ready to be eaten. There were a few that were mushy but 98% were firm.
We are able to do this here in southeaster NC because our temps. are mild during the winter,Average high of 50* and average low of  32*. The potatoes are deep enough down that the cold nights haven't seemed to bother them.
Now some of them started to seed again in August and that bought on a new batch with the old ones. Not sure when I did dig down, which one's I am getting. They are good though.
Here is the bag I dug for the other day. Going to use them for some Dutch Potato Soup later this week.

to see the post # 1 on keeping potatoes without canning them. I think I like this way even better!
Matthew 6:33

Home Grown Food From the Homestead (Literally!)

Here is the final product from butchering the roosters yesterday.They were totally homegrown and raised from day one. We had a hen go broody (for the 2nd) year in a row this past summer. We ended up with 9 new chickens. One was killed at night by an unknown predator and then we ended up with 3 roosters and 5 hens. What you see above are the roosters. We didn't need anymore roosters so off to be butchered they went.
Here they are all bagged up and heading to the freezer. That's 3 extra chickens I won't have to buy for the next month! Happy Dance!!!!!!! They are not very big but I look forward to getting enough broth from them for soup and dumplings.
My daughter ended up with 3 also but hers were so much bigger. Had I planned on butchering them before hand (a last minute decision) I would have fattened them up some. I am pleased with the results though and can't wait to try them.
At least I have someone who is willing to help butcher our birds now (Hubby will not even think about it.) I may even try a larger batch this spring. We'll see!
Matthew 6:33

Which Egg Came From the Homestead?

Can you tell which egg came from the homestead?
It's the one on the left. The other one is  a store bought egg. Our chickens aren't laying much this winter ,which is normal due to a lack of sunlight. But since the days are getting longer, LORD willin', we will start getting more of these golden goodies.
We feed our chickens corn and some laying mash. Most of what they get comes from what they find while out and about. They are free range and all over our 5 little acre homestead.
Yep, I miss those golden beauties.
Matthew 6:33

Friday, January 2, 2015

Homestead Chore #14 Butchering Chickens (Graphic Yet Real Pictures)

Well, we finally butchered some chickens on the homestead. I had only previous helped one time before with a friend who was more than willing to show me the process. So taking the little knowledge I obtained and having an AWESOME son-in-law who needed to do his birds too, we commenced to butchering.
Justin with one of his birds. Getting ready to string it up to get its head off. He tried slicing it first to drain the blood but found it easier to just cut its head off. So I held onto the chicken (with a string on its legs) while he cut off the head.
Strung up. Head coming off to drain the blood. He was not going down easy. HE was a strong chicken!
Head gone and ready to b dipped into boiling water to get the feathers off.
Heads up! Or should I say down?
Dipping the chicken in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.
Plucking begins.
More fine detail on the plucking.
Time to *gut* the chicken.
Ever wonder what the insides of a chicken looks like? Here ya go!
Notice the corn? Must have had his craw filled! EWW!
Angel (daughter) *singeing* the fine hairs off the chicken.
Washing it out and putting it into the cooler full of ice water.
We did it! one down and 5 more to go.
Justin and I were splattered with blood. Truth here! Butchering chickens as any other farm animal is a messy business! Smelly too!!!!!
Yes, I wore flip flops to butcher. Feather and chicken blood.Made me realize that I need a good pedicure!
All done! Awesome feeling knowing that one can raise and process one's own food.It's a dirty and smelly job but the rewards are amazing!
What's on your table tonight?
Matthew 6:33