Sunday, June 24, 2012

The best lemonade EVER!

I have to say that I am not a big fan of lemonade.  When I was growing up, my mom would make lemonade from Real Lemon and lots of sugar.  But I decided to make my hubby some lemonade this summer.  Now I used to use just regular lemons and sugar but since we have been trying to use as much local food unprocessed or very little processed, I decided to make lemonade with organic lemons and honey.  Wow what a difference!  I now love lemonade at least made this way.  Here is how I do it:

Honey Lemonade

3-4 organic lemons
1/4 cup raw local honey
Filtered water

Squeeze your lemons!  That kinda sounded naughty didn't it? LOL.  Take them out of the fridge and let them set for a half hour to warm up and roll them on the counter.  This gets more juice out of your lemon.  Cut them in half and squeeze them removing any seeds from the juice.  You can use a juicer if you want to but I just use my hands.  It gets the job done and my nails are so white now ;) though it does hurt if you have any cuts on your hands (ouch!)

You will need about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of juice depending upon how lemony you want it.  Pour it in your pitcher and add the honey and stir.  It will take a couple of minutes to dissolve the honey.  Then add your water up to the top of the pitcher.  Put it in the fridge to cool or if you are really thirsty add some ice cubes and drink up!

This is really good!  Now if it isn't sweet enough add more honey, Honey LOL.  If you really wanted to make it extra special, you could always freeze some of it into ice cubes and then your lemonade wouldn't be diluted.  You can always double and triple this recipe for any picnics this summer.  And since you haven't heated anything up, this will keep your kitchen cool and you haven't lost any of the nutrients from the honey.

Let me know if you try it out and if you have any additional tips to pass on.

Talk to ya later!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Please stop

Dear Blueberries,

No more, please I know you have really had a rough life and you have had a lot of good things happen this year but please don't make any more cause I'm running out of room and recipes ;)

Thank you!

PS.  If your feathered friends want to belly up to the bar, let them.  OK I'm done now LOL.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trying to keep you updated...

On Saturday I canned six pints of pickled beets from the beets I got in Ethridge.  I made extra pickling juice cause it just didn't seem like enough so I made double.  I used the extra leftover juice to make pickled eggs.  And I picked more blueberries...I see a theme here.  I haven't done anything with them yet but I will and will post what I make with them.

Sunday was not a very good day.  It was raining well actually misting and I had the window open cause it was warmer inside than out.  I had a puzzle that I had glued and apparently when it gets humid these things curl up, maybe I should have put it in a frame,  anyway I had it on my fireplace mantel.  It was pretty and it was in back of some breakable things.  Yep you guessed it.  Puzzle curled up and breakable things went down on the ceramic tiles that are in front of the fireplace.  I had glass everywhere.  And to make matters worse, one of the things that broke was a temperature thingy that I got for hubby for his birthday.  It was filled with liquid and had these little globes in it that had a temperature on each of them.  When I started to clean it up it smelled like kerosene.  Yuck.  Then I was worried about the floor.  We had laid a laminate floor not too long ago and all I could think was this liquid whatever it is will eat through the finish.  So here I am mopping it up with my cleaning  clothes.  I almost went through all my cleaning clothes.  I wasn't going to try to clean them what with the glass and the liquid all over them.  What was weird was the little globes did not break!  So I saved them.  Maybe we can use an old jar and put them in regular water...don't know if that will work or not but we'll try it and see.  Guess I'll have to get hubby something else to make up for the broken temperature thingy.

Hanging Galileo Thermometer I found a pic of the temperature thingy but the one we had was on a base but its the same otherwise.  Kinda cool thing and hubby liked it.  It did work too.  Doggone

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What I did on my summer vacation...

We took some time off from work and went on a little mini vacation (just overnight) to Pulaski, TN.  It was nice.  We couldn't stay away too long from home because of the chickens and overnight was a good little getaway for us.  We went to our land so DH could shoot some rounds and then went to the Bluebird Cafe for some lunch.  We then went looking for the motel we had looked up on the internet.  It was on the other side of Pulaski.  It wasn't much just a bed and bath.  Although they did have a microwave and fridge.  The beds were hard as rocks but we were so tired (why is it that driving around makes you tired?) that we didn't mind.  They had Dish on the TV so we got to watch some things we don't get to normally.  Then we went looking for a restaurant and found a wonderful one!  It is called the Rusty Spur and the food was fresh and tasted wonderful.        I had the chicken salad and hubby had to get a complete dinner.  The salad was HUGE!  It had fresh mushrooms, black olives, cheese, onions, carrots along with mixed greens (not all iceberg lettuce like most places) and a big piece of grilled chicken.  We also had fried mushroom appetizer.  Those mushrooms were really big.  I think you could have made a meal out of them as well but we were hungry so we ate the whole thing :)  

We got a paper while we were out to look at our new town's happenings.  When we were out at our land we went exploring.  We found a gun store not too far and a lot of Amish with signs up selling produce and such.  We also stopped and looked a these little cabins and garages in Ethridge.  They were very reasonable and the guy was not pushy.  I hate pushy salesmen.  He even told us to look the buildings over and then check out other businesses that sell the same type of buildings.  He said his were really well  built and after looking them over we agree.

That night we had a real light show.  It rained, it thundered and it lightning'd.  (Is that a word? LOL).  They had extremely high winds and so we really didn't sleep too well.  The next morning we got up and went to the Bluebird Cafe again but this time for breakfast.  We had biscuits and gravy and hash browns.  It was good and filling too!  Then we went back towards Ethridge and stopped at several Amish places to get milk,  cabbages, beets and a few odds and ends.  We came home then.  The next day we still had off from work so we weeded the garden.  I picked blueberries (OK I have enough now you can stop producing LOL).  We cleaned up the chicken yard.  I did four loads of washing and hung them out and then did a load of dishes.  We decided we needed to go back to work to rest up ;)

And that's how I spent my summer vacation...That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cleaning tip

If you use like I do those mesh screens on your sink drain, here is how to clean them.

Use an old toothbrush!  It is fast and easy and keeps all the gunk from gumming up the screening.  Just use hot water and scrub away.

Monday, June 4, 2012

And still more pics!

I think this is the last of them on my camera for now.

DH on the mower.  This part of the land is really stony.  He's already hit a few rocks and will need to sharpen the blades soon.   Oh for you guys out there, it's a John Deere.

Two views of our new land the second time DH mowed.  We've been going out every other week.

My Christmas cactus blooming in May.  I put it outside on my porch every year for the summer.  It loves the heat and humidity but has never bloomed out there.

This is my other lavender.  This is what I use for my lavender jelly.  If you look really closely you might see the bees.  We have a lot of mason bees but not too many honey bees.  That's OK we love all the pollinators ;)

Isn't this pretty!  The blooms have just started on this.  I will try to get a pic when all the blooms are out.

Our grapes.  We need a few more rains for them to plump up.  These are concord grapes.

This is my frog I have in with my lavender...DH got a little carried away with the weed eater.  He came in and said he took the eyes off my frog.  We have a little toad that lives in our backyard and I thought he meant that he had hurt the toad.  I was very upset but then when he showed it to me I just laughed.  The frog is just a decoration, the toad on the other hand eats the bugs.  I love my toad but only like my frog.  Guess Mr. Froggy is going to have to visit the garbage can...LOL.  (Oh and I don't know what happened to his eyes, I couldn't find them.  Maybe the weed eater pulverized them)

Here are my sunflowers.  These are the first ones that I have had that are short and stocky.  I didn't plant them.  These are from the sunflower seeds that the chicks didn't eat.  We had about six come up.  These ones here and three in the chicken pasture.  Needless to say the ones in the chick area did not make it.  They ate them down to nubs.  When these get big enough and start to dry out in the fall, we'll put the seeds into the chicken feed.  I might scatter a few in with the oats DH grows.  Amazing he didn't mow these down LOL.  

These are our blueberries.  They are starting to come off now and I am overloaded with them.  Whatever we don't eat fresh will be frozen to be canned later.  The branches are so loaded with berries they are hanging on the ground.  I pick them every day.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

More pics

More pics - I'm on a roll now...

The girls getting some early morning sun.

This is our new land.  That's my DH out there on the new riding lawn mower.  My official job when he's mowing is picking up sticks and branches and watching him.  It's a tough job but I think I'm highly qualified for it LOL. Really if he got hurt my job is to take him to the ER.  The land has about three acres cleared and the rest is woods.  On the left side of the pic is the woods and then there is a big gully.  It might have been a stream at one point back in the past but not now.  When we first looked at the land you could walk down to the gully and back up but not now.  Those trees and underbrush are thick!  

Finally here is a pic of the dried beans I canned.  Very easy to do and wonderful that when you want to make something with the beans they are already done   so no soaking!  Gotta love that.  These are black beans.  They lighten up when you can them.  I've done kidney beans, black eyed beans, Anasazi beans and northern beans now.  I'm all beaned out!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Raspberries in April.  I have picked most of them  now.

Roxy.  He's our oldest now and a very good mouser.

Blueberries in April.  I just started picking them this week and boy are the branches loaded this year.

These are the boysenberries in April.  I have picked all of them and the branches were really full of berries and this is only two bushes!  These have really big thorns on the branches too.

These are my walking onions with scapes on the tops.  You just pick those off and saute them in a little butter or oil.  Very light tasting onion flavor.  Yum!

My lilac bush (really a tree) that my mom brought  me from PA a couple of years ago.  This is what happens when your DH mows it down the first year you have it LOL.  It actually is about 7 foot tall and has leaves down on the lower half not shown in the pic.  It got flowers on it for the first time this year but they didn't open up.  I think it got a bad frost this spring and it killed them before they could open up.  I'm hoping to get some more branches on that bare middle.  Poor thing she's kind of top heavy and bottom heavy not unlike me rotflmbo....

This is a bush I got at Tractor Supply one year.  It's about three years old now.  I pruned it back this past winter and it really gave me beautiful blooms.  I think it is a weigela (sorry not sure of the spelling).  It blooms in April.