Never Trust A White Pickle

That is the conclusion my grandkids have come to.

Last year somehow without knowing it, I picked up "white pickle" seed. (I'm sure it has a name but I have no clue what it is.) It just so happened I hadn't perfected my pickle recipe yet, and all those white pickles got canned with a very "vinegary" (new word) recipe.  It'll make you pucker.

Later in the summer, someone gave me a bunch of green pickles and I canned those with the "best pickle recipe ever".  My grandkids loved them.  They loved them so much that I am now done canning pickles in pints -- it's all quarts from now on.

They loved them so much that all the green pickles are gone.

I tried to pass off the white pickles as the green one's two Sunday's ago.

My kids didn't raise no dummies.

There's probably about 20 pints of white pickles in the pantry.  I'm not eating them!
(I made sure to buy green pickle seed for this year's garden.)

.....dr momi

Linked To: Homestead Barn Hop #56
Linked To: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways #21


Need A Funny Caption

So sorry to everyone who checked in last Wednesday only to find out I skipped a week!  I think that was only the second time I've done that.  I was just a little overwhelmed last week.  I sure appreciate your loyalty  :-)

What's your caption for this week?

2 Weeks Ago:

'mirror, mirror, on the wall!
who's the fairest of them all?'

Last time's caption is by TexWisGirl over at:

The Run 'A' Round Ranch Report

Couldn't get much more perfect Tex LOL!

Please hop on over to her blog to see her photos of Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks.
They are so cool looking.   ....and if you haven't entered her March Giveaway
(at the top of her right side bar) do so!  Who wouldn't want that
beautiful picture of original art.  You are talented Tex!

Other Captions Were:

"It went over here." "No, it's down here...see?!?"
by gtyyup over at:
Life at the Rough String 

"Hey, I think we're being followed!!"
by Candy C. over at:
Lazy J Bar C Farm

"Does this tail make my butt look big??"by kare over at:
Onyx Rose

Have you tried that new straightening shampoo yet?
Works wonders on my tail feathers.
by Michaele over at:
Sproutin' Wings Farm

"Aw shucks...I bet you say that to all the ganders"
by Dicky Bird over at: 
Dicky Bird's Nest
(this is a link....why oh why won't it let me make it red!!!)

Sprucing Up.
by Sandie over at:
 Chatty Crone

This is a picture of Canadian Geese over at
the N.E.W. Zoo near me.  It was taken on a bridge
 looking down into the water.  Made for some neat reflections.
Thanks for playing everyone!
.....dr momi


Sunday In Pictures

You know it's Spring when....

....the boys start digging worms to go pan fishing.

....the Forsythia seems to blooms overnight.

....the apricots start to bloom.
(Way too early this year I might add -- it's going to freeze tonight)

....the chicks get moved from the garage to their outside shed.
(The bigger ones are Cornish Cross meat chickens,
and the smaller ones White Plymouth Rocks -- layers for next year.
They are not all the way feathered out yet, so the light stays on.)

....the over-wintered geraniums have been planted.
(How I save my geraniums every year here)

.....dr momi

Linked To: Farm Photo Friday
Linked To: Week In Photos


My First Wind Egg Ever!

      Aka, a fart egg (gross), a dwarf egg, a cock egg, or a luck egg. 

      A wind egg is itzy bitzy, even smaller than a pullet egg.  It looked like a quail snuck into the chicken coop and layed an egg.  I can not remember ever having one of these in all the years I've had chickens.  I haven't opened mine yet, but I understand that they have no yolk.  Evidently it is caused by a piece of reproductive tissue breaking away which stimulates egg production.  Cute little thing!

The egg collection today.

.....dr momi


Born This Afternoon

My Granddaughter, Delaney Jane.
Born this first day of spring.

7 lb. 8 oz.
Being weighed by midwife in training, Korina.

19 1/2 inches long (not her head)

Born at home, with.....

Midwife Jane, who also delivered my son Tyler (Delaney's Dad).
Tyler's birth was the 174th delivery for Jane.
Delaney's birth was the 1517th delivery for Jane.
So special.....

.....Grandma Jean

Homemade Cheddar Cheese

     It's been 2 months.  I tried it in macaroni and cheese, and an egg bake on Sunday.  I was a little scared to use it full strength, because I thought it smelled a little sour.  Maybe it need to age longer? Maybe I didn't have the right humidity down in the pantry? I used 1/2 homemade and 1/2 aged cheddar cheese that I bought - everything tasted great!

Homemade Farmhouse Cheddar. It looked good :-)

It shredded pretty good....would it melt?

It melted just fine.  Yay!
The egg bake was great, but the macaroni and cheese
was even better -- so good I forgot to take a picture :-)

          I made this cheese with raw milk.  Raw milk cheese needs to be aged at least 2 months to be considered safe.  I now want to be putting up enough cheese to have a good rotation going from the pantry.  The goal...never buy cheese from the store again :-)  The 3 cheeses I would like to perfect are: cheddar (I think the farmhouse cheddar will work just fine for that), mozzarella, and parmesan.  That covers the cheeses we use for meals we make off and on.  It makes it sound like we have cheese everyday....hardly.  But, I sure am glad I know how to make it -- and I'll keep practicing to perfect it.  That being said....anyone out there that makes cheese know why it had that "sour" smell?

.....dr momi

Linked To: Homestead Barn Hop #55
Linked To: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways #20


Maple Syrup Totals

If you've never had fresh maple syrup, there is no
 way to describe to you how good it tastes!

      I had people interested in our totals for maple syrup, especially with the weird season.  Total for this year, 3 gallons of syrup.  Two gallons of which, were given to family and neighbors.  Thank goodness we had 10 gallons last year and still had leftovers.

      From what we have heard, if we had tapped in Feb. we would have gotten some of that early flow and had a better harvest -- but, who knew?  Those who did tap in Feb., (very few) had a pretty good season.  There were sugarbushes (stands of maple trees usually tapped for maple syrup) that the trees never got tapped this year!  They missed the whole season.

     This year has been an eye-opener to making sure you have enough syrup stored for two years worth.  When you have a good season  -- put it up!  You never know what will happen next year.

.....dr momi   

Linked To: Homestead Barn Hop # 54


Pulling The Maple Sap Taps

My grandson Logan helped
 Grandpa take down the taps today.

There was no looking up he....was concentrating on not tripping!
Short sleeves and shorts -- it tells you
WHY we are pulling the taps.

Of course little sister Zoe had to get in on the act.

I wonder if Logan will inherit his
Great-Great Grandfather's maple taps? 

.....Grandma Jean


Canning Jam With Stevia

    This is my personal opinion....I don't like it. :-)  I've been trying to get ready for the Canning 101 Strawberry Jam post, but all the strawberries in my freezer got me experimenting first.
The first batch of jam was with strawberries, lemon juice, Stevia in the Raw, and low sugar pectin.  I followed the Ball recipe and used 2 cups of stevia instead of sugar..  It was so sour it was inedible. The second batch was with strawberries, lemon juice, 4 1/2 cups of Stevia in the Raw, and low sugar pectin.  Not as sour, but just lacking a good strawberry taste.

    Here is my beef.....I can't get the after taste out of my mouth!  Is this what they mean by bitter tasting? (that's what most authorities say canning with stevia tastes like) So, second batch inedible!  I am of the opinion it is better to can the jam without sugar using low sugar pectin, and then add the stevia after you open it up.  That's if you need to go sugar-free.   It's the heat that supposedly makes the stevia bitter.

     Using low sugar pectin and about 1/2 the sugar most recipes call for, is probably the direction I will be going.  Sugar actually brings out the flavor of the jam and helps preserve the color.  No one around here is eating gobs of it.

      I also had a terrible time with foaming and floating fruit.  There's no way I'd try to sell these at the Farmer's Market.  Has anyone else out there tried canning with Stevia?  What were your results?

.....dr momi

Linked To: Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop # 49


Need A Funny Caption

What's your caption for this week?

Last Week:


This week's caption is by Jacky over at:

I laughed right out loud Jacky!
Jacky was nominated for the Liebster award,
hop on over and check out the blogs she nominated!

Other captions were:

i'm not a rubber ducky! i don't have a squeaker!
by TexWisGirl over at:

Help! Shes gonna squeeze the poop right out of me!
by Jennifer over at:

What?!? I took out an ad for a personal assistant..Polk-a-dot Coat
Girl here is the only one who answered the ad!
by Melodie over at:

When I said, "Quick! Duck!" That's not what I meant!
by Patrice over at:
Everyday Ruralty

I prefer stripes and earth tones, but if you insist on bright dots, well...

i'm seein' spots...
by mountain mama over at:
mountain mama

You must tell me who dyes your feathers
by jonette

Stripes and polka dots.
by Sandie over at:
Chatty Crone

Loving all the captions everyone!
This is a picture of my granddaughter holding a baby duck.
It may look like the ducking was a little squeezed in,
but I assure you, Gracie was just as gentle as could be.
Look how calm the duckling is! :-)
I particularly like her polk-a-dot coat and the touch of
fingernail polish on her nails :-).

.....dr momi


Sunday In Pictures

The ducks are out enjoying a sunbath.
That would be after they  took a puddle bath in ice cold water!
Down feathers must be very warm.
It got to 61 degrees today -- that's a heat wave in Wisconsin March.
That's Shawano Lake in the distance, where my husband does all his ice fishing.

Maple sap has been cooking all day in our
crude works.

What a difference a week makes.
These are the ice puddles the ducks are puddling in.

The pussy willows are blooming and.....

the first batch of meat chicks are in the garage.
Now I think it's spring.
The last thing my daughter said to him when she
put him down was, "Grow big"

.....dr momi


Canning Maple Syrup

     I knew people did it, but; I wasn't sure it was safe.  So, it was a question I asked twice at my Master Food Preserver class.

     Me...."so you can can the maple syrup just by putting hot maple syrup into the (hot) canning jar, and putting the lid on?"

     Barbara Ingham (head food scientist for the state of Wisconsin)...."yes"

     Me...."so, you can take the maple syrup out of it's pan, fill a canning jar, put the lid on it, it seals, and then you can put it on the shelf?"

     Barbara Ingham...."yes"

     Think of the freezer space freed up!  That's how we do it now.  Just like a bazillion other people in Northeast Wisconsin. :-)  I guess after it has cooked for so long, it is considered safe.  I don't understand how with it being an alkaline food it can be canned this way, but evidently, no one has ever died from canned maple syrup.  Using it to sweeten your canned goods though, is not wise.  Again, because of it's alkaline nature, it changes the pH of the jar you are canning -- that can be dangerous.

     So, sterilize your jars, keep them hot, fill with hot maple syrup to 1/4 inch, put on a warmed up lid, screw the band on to finger-tip tight, and sit back and listen to them seal!

Do not look at the headspace on these jars! :-)


Linked To: Homestead Barn Hop # 53


Need A Funny Caption

What's your caption for this week?

Last Week:

Can ya eat it?

This week's caption is by Leigh over at:

Please hop on over and take a look at
her blog.  Soooo much good info.
She's done some calculating on energy self-sufficiency.
A little eye-opener.

"Ready, set, GO for that worm!"
by Mama Pea over at:

HEY! Who laid that egg?
by Jill over at:

 Henny Penny clucked, "I TOLD you the sky was falling!"
by labbie 1 over at:

    Hmm, have you ever seen a hen lay something like THAT before??
                                          by Kim over at:
                                         Millie's Mats

Let me tell you a secret...the next one to take my egg is gonna get it!
by Jacky over at:

It looks like she is telling them some kind of story
"...and that is why the chicken really crossed the road."
by rugosarosefarm over at:

Now children, while looking closely you'll have an opportunity to use
those talons of yours. Be ready. Scratch and peck, scratch and
peck. Its all in the timing...
by DebH over at:

                            A worm? Wheres a worm? I don't see no worm?
                                                                       by Jennifer over at:
                                                               Our little Farm

Your going to plant that?
by Nancy over at:

I remember when I was a kid, back before X-Box ...
by Dean over at:

Come on girl. Lay another egg. You can do it. Give us one more for
the kids. Just one more little egg.
by Ronda over at:

Get back, that worm is mine!
by jonette

A super thanks to all those playing -- and even to those who comment
without a caption--you know I love it!

This is a picture of my daughter weeding the strawberries.
When she would find a worm, she'd yell, "gusano!" (worm in Spanish)
The little boys would come running and so would the hen, LOL!
I love the little boy butts in the air :-)

.....dr momi


NOW I'm Complaining

Remember this picture from Sunday??
     On Monday the snow melted off the roof quite a bit.  The salt got washed away.  Enter 6:00 in the evening -- everything froze.  Oh shoot, my Kindle is in the car yet. (Do you know where this is going?) Yup, I ran out the door hit the ice and both feet went out from under me.  I came down hard on the edge of the first step with my bum, tried to catch myself with my left arm -- how it got behind me and wrenched I don't know.  Man it happened so fast.  OK, I'm old!! I ache today!  Nothing is broken, but I expect a real nice black and blue spot on my butt (it's already yellow), and my shoulder makes for putting a coat on very hard.

     When we built the house we opted for no rain gutters because our roof had such long overhangs.  We never thought about melting snow and the back porch.  This is about the 3rd fall (all different people) on the icy back porch.  Before we end up with a broken bone or concussion, something must be done.  Rick agreed.  Whether it's gutters or a porch roof, there will be some kind of construction this summer.

.....dr momi


Sunday In Pictures

My back porch.
That stuff in the front....salt.
Ask me what my floors look like.

Things are looking  really grey around here.

Except for the touches of blue in the woods.
(No dripping going on.)

Oh....., and the touch of forest green on my driveway.
The ice shacks had to be off the lake by tomorrow.
I now get to look at it until the snow melts enough
to get it "parked in the back".  Yeah.

Then there's this color in the woods.
Any guesses???

I get asked every winter what this is about.
It's right along our driveway.
The young neighbor kids were playing with
colored electrical's been there for 3 years.
I like it :-)
And the trees seem none the worse for the wear.

I guess this has a little color left, but.....
it's still winter here folks. Not complainin'.

.....dr momi