Monday, March 31, 2014

I Baked Bread in the Sun Oven Today!

      I just love trying new things! And today, I used my weekly bread machine recipe and cooked it in the Sun Oven! It took a little longer than anticipated but turned out delicious! I just miss the smell of fresh baked bread in the kitchen! Homestead cooking never tasted so good! You can even hard cook eggs in the Sun Oven! I haven't tried it yet, but whenever I want to make deviled eggs, I'll give it a go! I'm also going to bake cookies in there whenever I finish this. I need the cooker to get back to 350 so the cookies will bake. I hope they turn out good and I don't have to turn on the oven inside! It's 74 out and the sun is shining in the kitchen! We haven't turned on the a/c yet but we probably will this week as it's supposed to get up to 80! Wow! Last week cold and rainy, this week hot! Good ole Alabama weather for you!

      We did have a couple of nice weather days last week and I got to plant some blueberry bushes and some Concord grape vines. I think the way the blueberry bushes look, they will have berries this year. I bought these at Walmart, then I found a local who sells them from her home. I hope to get a couple of those soon. The kids love grapes so as soon as they produce, they will be gone! Speaking of kids, they were all here the weekend before last, and two were here this past weekend. I was exhausted before they left! I don't like to feel that way! Am I getting older? I try to take care of myself and stay active but I just can't seem to keep up with them! Guess that's why God wanted us to have children in our youth!

      I have been very fortunate that I haven't gotten sick all winter! That has changed as of today! Of all the pretty days! I need to be out there planting the Chinese cabbage I bought the other day, but no, I don't feel like bending over and letting all that sinus drain! I'm glad I could at least fool with the Solar Cooker! I got this from Skylar; he just got over it. It's sneezing, sore throat, low temp. kind of thing. Doesn't last too long however. Hope ya'll don't get it!

      There's a lot more I would like to say but I will have to save it for another day! Just remember: God's Not Dead! Have a great week! Blessings from Bama!

Cool day for a ride!

We have beautiful sunsets everyday here at our homestead!

Funny how babies need babies! Even when jumping!

Blowing bubbles in my 'jammies'!

They do lots of golf cart riding when they visit the homestead.

Don't you just love these looks?

Uh oh! Lulu got her hand stuck! Winterlynn to the rescue!

Lemon thyme, Chinese cabbage, two blueberry bushes.

Do you know what these are? Peonies!

Can you tell this is mint?

One last stand of beautiful daffodils.

Grapevines soaking in water for planting.

Wondering how the two will do.

The bees of our neighbor are doing a good job cleaning the old hives.

First grapevine planted.

Second grapevine planted.

The forsythia is still showing out!

Win loves her big wheel!

She is so fearless!

Pushing baby sister.

A goat will even try to eat swimming pool hose!

Just two girls this time.

She actually walked around with this big shoe on!

Bread rising nice and high. Made the dough in the Cuisinart.

Baking at 350.

I didn't know I was getting a selfie!

Perfectly baked!

And delicious!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Homestead Happenings

      I'm so glad the temps have warmed up today! We are at the 60 degree mark, but with lots of wind! Ya'll know I don't like the wind so I haven't been outside much. I've been walking on the treadmill and jumping on the rebounder for exercise. I love a good workout!

      There's so much to do in this house, I don't ever get it all done! I try though! For the past two days, I've been canning beans. The canner has to be watched closely so the pressure stays at 10 lbs. I have to adjust the temp on the stove quite frequently, so that means I have to be nearby. If I go off in another room, I may forget about the canner and the pressure may go up or down. Either way is not good. I still like canning since I won't have to think about beans for a year or so. It's worth a little babysitting to get that many beans! Plus, home canned beans taste way better than store bought beans! And I bought organic beans at Whole Foods and Publix, which turned out to be the same price as non-organic beans at Walmart! I hope I inspire ya'll to can some beans! They are not hard at all; just plan your time and they are done in no time at all!

      I have some photos of the does. I hope they are expecting! They look like it, but they have been consuming a lot more hay since the boys have been with them. I guess since the boys eat a lot of hay, the girls feel they have to as well. They seem to compete when it comes to food. Unless ya'll can help me, we won't know for sure if they are preggos for another month. By then they should be protruding quite well.

      I've been keeping the bread machine going this week. I made our daily bread and some cinnamon bread. The cinnamon bread isn't sweet except for the raisins, so that's a plus. Of course, Skylar won't eat it since it's not very sweet. But he doesn't eat my homemade bread anyway. Or my homemade pizza cause he doesn't like the crust. I know, typical spoiled teenager! But I love him! 

      I have a pack of ground deer in the freezer I'm cooking tonight. I think I'll make spaghetti or some casserole. I know I should menu plan but I really don't enjoy all that planning! I think about what I want and see if we have the ingredients. I keep the pantry and freezer with things I know we'll eat so it's really not a problem to cook this way. Do you menu plan? I shop the sales each week and that plays a big role in our menu. If I find something worth buying on sale. The sales are not really sales anymore. Except at Aldi. I usually buy several things there each week before going to the other stores.

      The first day of Spring is tomorrow! As many of you have, we have experienced a very long, cold winter! It will be so welcome to see sunny, warmer days! The sun hasn't shined here this week, except for a few minutes this morning! I don't like that! I don't think I would make it up North with all that cold and snow! Maybe by the weekend it will be sunny and warmer! I hope so for you as well! Have a great week! I hope you enjoyed this post! Blessings from Bama!

That's your nose uncle Randy!

So much going on in this picture!

I love to watch her jump!

Canning kidney beans.

Twenty pints, two not shone.
Canning pinto beans.

Fourteen pints pinto beans.

The pear tree with pretty blooms!

Does she look pregnant?

How about Delilah?

I couldn't  resist sharing another photo of this pretty nectarine tree!

The forsythia finally in bloom! We've had these bloom in January!

I wished you could smell these blossoms!

Apricot blossoms.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Few Snippets of Spring on Our Homestead

      With that being said, the temps are falling as I speak! In just two hours, it has dropped twelve degrees, from 64 down to 53! I think it's supposed to get down to thirty or less tonight. Hopefully, tomorrow won't be too cold! The temp got up around 78 yesterday! Such drastic changes in our weather. Even with strong winds today, I worked outside and got quite warm. I came in the house and it felt hot! It was just me of course. I cleaned out the strawberry bed and started putting in mulch that I had to go in the pasture to get. A mixture of pine-straw, horse manure, and leaves. I think the blueberry bushes will like that combo! I left what few strawberry plants were there and hopefully they will thrive under the blueberry bushes. We have a strawberry u-pick farm not too far away if mine don't make it.

      I love that we're experiencing more Spring-like weather! Along with that we are seeing buds and blooms pop out everywhere! The downtown area already has trees and shrubs in bloom! They are so pretty! We have a lot going on here! The nectarine trees are budding out, as well as the peach tree and plum tree. The apricot tree has buds on it too. Yes, I did say nectarine treeS! We have another that has come up from a seed! Randy almost cut it down last year, but decided to see if it was a fruit tree. Glad he left it cause it is! Didn't know they would grow like that just from a seed! I hope it flourishes as well or better than the other one. We will be in for lots of nectarines this summer!

      I am being blessed with an abundance of eggs now! I made a lemon pound cake per request of Skylar, to use up some of the eggs. I still have plenty! That is one delicious cake! He loves it! So that's saying a lot!

      We have some new faces this week. My husbands sister's grandchildren: Jonathan and Rakiah. They are so cute! They really enjoyed their day here with their Nanna! We hope they get to come again soon! There's so much for kids to do and get into here! I am thankful we have such a place to share with others!

      Ya'll enjoy your Spring weather, if you have some, and know that Spring will be where you are soon! Warm thoughts and Spring wishes! Blessings from Bama!

Winn, Rakiah, and Jonathan with uncle Randy taking their first ride!

Why does one child always NOT look at the camera?

Riley and her summer dress.

What does this look like? If you guessed deer tick, you guessed right! Can you believe Ran got this off his knee?

Yummy lemon pound cake. I kind of made the recipe using one for a different kind. I guess I'll call it: Felecia's Lemon Pound Cake!

Seventy-seven inside, seventy-six outside!

Loving these nectarine blossoms!

The old rose bush the chickens used to get under.

More daffodils blooming!

Peach tree budding out.

Plum tree with lots of buds! I wonder if that means there will be lots of plums?

Apricot tree with buds, which hopefully will produce fruit!

I think this is a bridal's wreath. It will have white blooms soon.

White rosebush with lots of green leaves. The forsythia in the back is about to bud out too.

The tomato plants outgrew the grow-light so I put them below the window. They have really grown!

The pepper plants have grown well too!

A few stragglers that are doing good.