Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last Day of April?!

I don't know how time got past me. I was thinking there was at least another week left in this month. I don't have much to say today it was just to beautiful to be stuck in the house. Worked on some house chores but sat outside most of the day and soaked up some rays.

The view out my front door
I did a lot of time looking at the beautiful scenery. But, I had to do a little work too! 
House work! 
But, at least I could get outside every whip-stitch to enjoy the day. I also made a new friend. Meet Charlie.

Charlie was munching on some bird seed that the birds flip out onto the ground! 

Over all it was a beautiful day and I can't wait for many more of them. I hope they don't fly by too fast though.

Have a wonderful day.

~ Farm Girl

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Australian Fish

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets (or any white fish)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons green peppers, chopped
6 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add mushrooms, bell peppers and onion and saute over medium heat until tender.

Rub oil over shallow 4 quarts baking dish and sprinkle with half of the grated cheese.

Place fish on cheese.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add sauteed vegetables and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pour wine over fillets.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes.

Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley.


~ Farm Girl

Org. recipe can be found at Kymmarie on Food.com

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Operation Pig Pen

The past two days have been extremely busy here on the farm. We finally located a few pigs for my son's FFA fair project. We didn't think that we were going to be able to get his project underway but with the help of a few friends and unsuspecting souls it got underway and completed in just two days.

The prime location for the hog pen would of been up in the tree line but that wasn't possible as it stays to wet there and we couldn't have them to far from a water source. The only choice we really had was to remove part of the falling down barn and locate them there. Okay this is probably a blessing in disguise.

Day One:
BEFORE picture. At least 120 year old barn crumbling. 

After picture. 
We couldn't clean up the whole building as behind it is pasture and is holding in one bull that will be going to the butcher shop soon. The building is acting as a fence. Sometime next week we will have to build new fence so that we can remove the rest for more expansion. 

We had to move all the debris from the barn across the creek and to our burn pile. It don't seem like much but, really it was. I know I had a good chunk of it all cleaned up before my son and husband made it back from Farmer Bob's. 
This will be burned. Hopefully very soon.
After having a cleared lot to work with they drilled holes for the posts which was a fallen down yellow locust tree, thanks to storm Drencho last end of June early July. 
Drilling post holes
Measuring for the next hole
All posts set 
It seemed like it took forever to get to this stage of the build. There was a lot of father and son bonding going on too. I hope that our son learned a lot from this build. And now we are ready to start putting up the side boards. The lumber used for the sides is lumber that was timbered off the farm back in 1991 and 1992. It had been piled up in the old shed since then. 

Saw mill lumber from the farm. At least 24 years old.
Add the side boards.
And like any other off the cuff builder some of the plans changed and the bedding area of the pen was moved to a different location. It was suppose to be off to the right but it got put on the back. 
Added bedding area
Thankfully my sons friend showed up after school to help them. It made my work a little easier as I was pulled away to go and work my sons mowing job. I do this from time to time when he has track meets, football practice or camp. Building the pig pen was really important so I tackled the mowing. 
Getting the roof done
They wanted to get the roof done before the extra help was gone. I don't blame them. There was no way I was getting up there to tack the roofing on. 
This scared the ba jibbies out of me. But, boys will be boys.
I think they were having a good time, anyhow.
Last thing few nails before we called it a night.
Not much more light to work in.
This was the finish of day one! We were so thankful to have the Son's buddy to help. My son helped him build his pig pen so it was payback time for him. 

Day Two:
Moved along pretty fast as much of the work was done. We only had to finish putting up the walls and make the door. On this day it was only our Daughter, Myself and Daddy working. Our son has a job at the local stock market with his buddy and they had to go to work. 

We spent the first part of the morning going to the stock market to pick up the piggies. This was our meeting place of choice, plus we had some paper work to do. 
Piggies in the stock trailer. Ready to go to their new home.
So we made it home around lunch time and got straight to work. It was rather warm yesterday and we didn't want them to stay in the trailer too long. We finished up the hut and put the door together and on the cage then turned the piggies loose in the pen while we were finishing up the sides. 
Now that's a door!
Completed hut!
Sissy helping out too!
Completed Pig Pen
Now that we have arrived at the completed Pig Pen. The only thing we have left to do is finish the watering system. Which will probably be completed early this week. We only need an elbow to install the self water. 
This whole pen cost us roughly around 25 dollars. When pulling the old barn down we found some door hinges from the old barn. Our only expense was the gas to run the chainsaw, diesel to run the tractor to drill holes and retrieve the fallen locust tree, and the two partial boxes of nails. Everything else came off the farm. 

This pig pen was probably an over kill but we shouldn't have to replace it anytime soon.

We took a page right out of Eustace Conway book. If you don't know who I'm talking about he is a naturalist. Living on Turtle Island Preserve in North Carolina. He's fighting hard to keep his land and to build and live as natural as possible. I first heard about him on television on a show called Mountain Men on the History Channel. Very, very interesting  man. 

But, back to what my real story is about. 
Meet Forest on the left and Bubba on the right.
One last photo of the happy piggies.

I learned a lot during my time out there with my husband and children. WE all worked together to complete a project that will give us many years of use.

Have a great rest of the weekend my friends.

~ Farm Girl

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dill Pickle Meatloaf

I've been making this meatloaf for a long while now. Every time that I make it there is nothing left in the pan and sometimes a fight will break out for the last little bits in the pan. I need to start doubling this recipe so this behavior stops! Ah but then again its quite a funny sight!! Hope that some of you all try this. Everyone that I have shared this recipe with has totally enjoyed it.

Family favorite! This will get the kids to clean their plates. 

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs
1/2 cup pickle juice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly mix meat with onions, bread crumbs, pickles, egg salt, and  pepper until well blended.

Shape into a loaf and place in a shallow pan.

Combine pickle juice, ketchup, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. (I usually leave out the water and just put in extra pickle juice. We like the pickle flavoring.)

Pour over meatloaf and place in 350 degree oven basting twice with sauce in pan for 40 minutes.

Continue baking without basting for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until meatloaf is really glazed and done.

Garnish with a pickle fan, if desired.


~Farm Girl

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thrifty Shopping

Yesterday while out and about I took a detour and stopped at one of the local Thrift shops. I normally don't go to this one alone as its not in such a good area. Just freaks me out a bit. I stopped and I am so glad that I did.

My total stop cost me $10.58. I got 31 jars and 1 unopened box of lids and rings. I will be sure to stop in more often if they are going to sell the jars for so cheap. Even if I just pick up one or two they will add up for sure.

This was one of my best scores in a long time when it comes to jars. Tonight I'm sure all the jelly size jars will be filled up. As I have a few orders for jelly that I need to fill. 

Happy thrift shopping and canning everyone!!

~ Farm Girl


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Out & About Today

My plans for today have changed once again. I'm going to visit my granny who was in the hospital and they have transferred her to the rest home for some rehabilitation. On my way I have stopped at the local McDonald's on the south side of town. (I'm writing this as I see all these visits unfold this morning). This is the local meeting place for some of the retirees from several area plants. The stories these ole fellers tell just crack me up. It's just so nice to see their faces light up as they see an old buddy they haven't seen in a long while. I sure wish that I had my camera with me today so you could have a glimpse of what I'm seeing.

While I'm out today I'm picking up stuff to finish up my bed for my blueberry bushes and have to get feed for our new animal friends that I will post about later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

~ Farm GirlPin It

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Wide World of Canning

I belong to several canning groups on Facebook and other places. Lately, I have seen items being canned that just blow my mind. Like meatloaf, meatballs, sweet and sour chicken, ham and so on. Now I'm all for convenience and quick meals. I'm finding myself drawn to these things as easy meals for not only my family but things for my husband to take to work in his lunch pail that will take very little effort.

Thankfully, the art canning allows us the opportunity to know exactly what is in our foods. Unlike the quick meals in the stores. I know they are labeled at the stores but really what is some of that stuff we can't pronounce?

So anyhow, I grew up knowing the canning world as my mother and grandmothers have always done it for as long as I can remember. Now that I have been canning for 7 years on my own, many of the things I can is much different from the stuff that they canned. I remember many, many days cleaning potatoes, tomatoes and green beans for the both of them.

I'm so thankful for the Internet and the canning groups that have opened my eyes to the many different recipes and wealth of knowledge that has been provided for me to make such wonderful things. Just so you know I have yet to try the meatloaf, meatballs, and sweet and sour chicken and many other things. But, I'm slowly getting up the nerve to try them.

I now have over 2000 jars so I'm ready to spread my wings and try something new.

What are some of the things you have tried lately that you have thought long and hard about if it was worth the risk?

~ Farm Girl

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rabbitry News

Well its been very busy in the rabbitry here lately. Starting on April 8th we began having baby buns again. For three days it was a wait and see kind of thing. We ended up with a total of 31 new babies and have lost a few along the way. We had a momma not feeling so well due to an infection that I thought was cleared up but wasn't so she lost her whole litter. A few of our new moms lost at least one baby each. So we have a total of 25 new babies.

I'm already getting calls and requests for babies. This makes me very happy. Here's a few photos of our little ones. They are now a week and a half old. Wow time flies bye too quickly here lately.




This is Baps she's not understanding me talking to her...
 Totally a usual occurrence from her. 

We are about to breed our other rabbits for all our fair babies. It's already getting that time of the year. I enjoy our bunnies. We got into the rabbit business last February and it didn't take long to get attached to them.

I'm sure I will be posting news often.

~Farm Girl


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Friday, April 12, 2013

Crabby Cakes

This is a recipe that I have been fixing for a long while. Its my twist on Joe's Crab Shacks Crab Cakes.  I have never eaten there but I found a recipe online and added my own twist to it.I usually serve it with soft fries and a salad.  

2/3 cup mayonnaise
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper (may use less depending on your liking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
1/2 cup parsley, rough chopped
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs, (Italian style Progresso)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 lbs crab meat (may use imitation if desired)

Mix all ingredients together. Add more bread crumbs if too wet.
Form into 4 oz patties.
Coat in flour if desired and fry in deep skillet in 1/2 inch oil. Fry till they have a little crisp to them. Drain on paper towels.

Makes approx 12-16 patties.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm Back!!

I have been MIA for a while now dealing with some health issues and schooling. We took the kids on vacation for spring break and it was a big enough refresher for me to get back in the grove of things. I feel much better and happier than I have ever been. So with that being said I hope to post several times a week again. Meaning more canning recipes, more regular recipes gardening photos as time approaches, its also that time of the year we have more baby bunnies and my regular rambles about this and that. So gear up and send me your questions.

We also went on vacation with some good friends. 
All of our kiddos along the Roaring Motor Trail

One of the places we went. Looking over into North Carolina

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