Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Home Canning and Fresh Eggs

Some of the the goodies from the garden have been coming in nicely. I've had squash, cucumber, okra, banana peppers, and tomatoes. I expect the tomatoes to come rolling in over the next couple of weeks and have my empty canning jars ready. I plan to make spaghetti sauce, salsa, and stewed tomatoes. I've already canned squash, and made both sweet and dill pickles using fresh dill from my garden. This was my first attempt at making pickles and I am anxious to see how they taste later on. I've been getting brown eggs just about everyday but no white eggs in awhile. I pickled some eggs for lunches and pulverized all the shells I've been collecting lately. I rinse the egg shells, pulverize them, put them in a jar in the frig and add them to the chickens dish a couple of times a week. They gobble them up when they are mixed with a treat and it's good not only for their digestion but puts needed calcium back in their little bodies. Pictured above are various pictures of "the girls," preparing for canning, and various other pictures of what's been going on around here. I wish I knew how to add my pictures with captions under them and disperse the pictures throughout my text. However, I have not figured out how to do that yet. I welcome any tips on how to do that.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

So Peaceful

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Time Goodies from the Garden

The squash is coming in fast and furious and I have had many requests for my Squash Cornbread recipe. It's a really simple and healthy recipe containing a fresh picked vegetable and delicious, smooth cottage cheese (mmmmm). Let me hear how your family likes it.
<div>Squash Cornbread
2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
14 ounces small curd cottage cheese
1 stick butter (I use unsalted)
4 cups crookneck squashed, sliced thinly
3 large eggs, whisked
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter.
In large mixing bowl, combine cornbread mix, cottage cheese, milk, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Pour into 13 x 9 baking dish or distribute evenly among three loaf pans. Pour melted butter over top and bake for 30 minutes or until edge start to turn golden brown.
Variations: add crumbled bacon and/or grated cheddar cheese to the mix.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coop Sweet Coop #2

Work on Suite Coop #2 is just about finished. It still needs a little trim work where panels meet, but other than that, it's dreamy (for Paddy Cakes and Marty McFly anyway!). The house itself is smaller than Coop #1 because I realized a second coop did not need as much space. The size of the coop is 4 foot by 4 foot by 4 foot. I wanted something that I could reach well (I'm totally claustrophobic!), airy and light. For two little girls, this size is just perfect. We used project 2x3's, T-111 siding and PVC corrugated roofing (Clear View). The roofing turned out to be a most excellent choice as it lets in so much light. I probably would not have chosen this if this coop were not in the shade because the sun shining in the roof most of the day would probably be too much. The run is 6 feet tall, 5 feet wide, and 8 feet long. It is built of pressure treated 2x4's and 1-inch chicken wire. After construction was completed I did some painting and landscaping. I added some Japanese Painted Fern, Vinca, and rocks. I plan to paint the run soon in white to match the house trim (and the other coop) and will add some more shade plants around also. Again, I am really really pleased with the roof of the house. It lets in lots of light and extends the daylight inside for better egg production (I hope). I will supplement that with a light bulb in the dark days of winter just like in the other coop. Paddy, of course, has been laying since September and I expect Marty to begin in September as well. She is still too young to lay and is the youngest in the Blue Moon neighborhood. The new diggs turned out real cute and "there's just one thing left to say. Welcome home family, welcome home." (Ty Pennington could not be here).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fireplace Mural Project

What started out as a blank wall now has become a beautiful and fun focal point in the living room. The artist who designed and created this mural, especially for me, is Beth Whitman. You can see how it started and progressed and a picture of the artist. After she finished the mural I started on my first ever tile project. I am quite pleased and the whole thing turned out even better than I was expecting. Beth you rock! Beth is available to create a beautiful mural for your home too. Just contact for more information.

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