Friday, December 6, 2013

The Cat and the Mouse (and Thanksgiving and catchup .... again

The cold front arrived last night but so far is showing 28° on my thermometer. We are north of I-44 so could miss the entire precipitation thing....time will tell.

The Thanksgiving holiday is over and I have been in a resting up mode since the last left on Sunday.
All the family was here which was wonderful; it is rare that both can come at the same time. Our granddaughter stayed with us the whole week (her BF lives nearby.......) She may join us over winter break (for the same reason).

DH has been busy getting ready for the possible storm by putting out bales of hay and moving the cows to the field with the in ground waterer that doesn't freeze. He also put a bale of straw in the hen house and filled the nest boxes (I have still been inside in rest mode). I did make oatmeal bread yesterday. I was not happy with the recipe so will keep experimenting until I find one I do like...may go back to some original Hogsdon Mills ones that I began with.

I had a mini disaster in the kitchen yesterday. I was getting something off a pantry shelf when the overloaded shelf slipped off one of the little shelf brackets and dropped down on one side to the shelf below! Nothing broke but some oil spilled. DH came to my rescue and we unloaded everything from that shelving section.

I took advantage of this to get rid of some very old jars of pickles that had gone bad. Now I have the counter top covered with clean canning jars that need to be transported out to the Milk Parlor (I knew I should have bought another shelf!). I had three dishwasher loads of jars.

This clean-up led to redoing the entire wall of cabinets...I have more to do this morning. I also redid a section of the cabinets where we keep coffee, tea and cereals. Be interesting to see how we like this new arrangement.

Next is organizing the freezer portion of the new refrigerator which is already a mess. Having all the company didn't help. I found a bowl I use daily at the top of the my nice son-in-law did that. He was in the kitchen helping a lot. He and our daughter were both a tremendous help in after-dinner cleanup. The grands were attached to their phones................except the older one and she was studying almost the entire time here. I couldn't believe the amount of homework assigned over the break.

I made DH a half-gallon batch of yogurt. He has now become addicted to a dish a day with fruit, mostly blueberries. This is a man who a year ago wouldn't even taste it! I am guessing he saw or read something about the health benefits. I had been buying it for him when I finally decided I could save tons of money doing it myself. I have made yogurt before. I think my last batches haven't been as thick as I would like. I need to research that. He is happy with it though. I will also make my own fruit for it. I bought a jar of Duncan Hines blueberry topping and it is 80% thickened juice with just a bit of whole fruit. I can do better.

What did I learn from my cleaning pantry project? I will never can pickles again....just tomatoes and . maybe salsa and ketchup. DH has been telling me for a few years that I should stop. I will be working on my garden plans accordingly this winter. I am the only one to eat pickles; Vlasic can surely work for me.

I will be milking this morning. My steady girl, Willow (the milk cow) returned to a very vocal heat yesterday and we turned her to the field and saw her bred by one of the senior Angus bulls. The Jersey heifer, Jewel, still hasn't calved. I am sure she is waiting for the zero night due in a few days.

Random Cat Picture

 Prince come down with our granddaughter.  It was time for his surgery.  He paid his way while here!


  1. I often wonder why I still can pickles. Like you, I think I'm finished with them. I think I can manage to eat "store" pickles without feeling guilty.

    I can NEVER get my yogurt thick enough. I usually end up straining it through cheesecloth and then up with a "Greek" (ie really thick) stylek, which I don't mind, but I hate the wasted liquid whey stuff. The chickens don't mind though.

    1. I thought about straining off that green whey but figured there was too much nutrition in it so just stirred it in..DH hasn't complained so I guess I will let it be.

  2. Glenda,

    I'm happy to hear you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family.

    I just started this year canning pickles (sweet) only. They turned out really good but I told myself only can about 6 jars. Because if I did more, no one else would eat them in the house.

    You make your own yogurt, how wonderful. Homemade yogurt must be so much better than the stuff you find in the store.

    1. I do prefer the flavor of my yogurt but that may just be me. I love eating what we have produced.

      I make lime pickles now and again and might keep that up....but maybe not!

  3. Your "resting mode" projects put my "go-get-em" projects to shame! Doesn't an updated and organized pantry make you feel accomplished and more ready to move forward though?

    1. Susan, I do love having the kitchen organized but it usually doesn't stay that way very long. This was a forced issue!

      We have vowed to finish all the outbuildings this year and get rid of anything we haven't used in a long time. We made a start on the shop recently but still have a long way to go. Our daughter is a good influence....she is a neat freak something she did not learn at her mother's knee.......

  4. The Pres has boxes and boxes of canning jars...we them all on shelves he built in the garage. Love that cat pic!!!

    1. I have a couple picture showing the mouse in his mouth but figured I would get angry response to that didn't post them.

      I need to build some wooden shelves on the back porch for extra large pans and things. If you could take a shot of the details of the Pres' shelves and email them to me; I would appreciate it very much.

  5. I missed this one somehow!

    I have made my own yogurt before and it is thin, as well. I've been thinking about buying some of that Greek yogurt and using some of it as the starter. It is SOOOOO thick. I haven't looked on the label to see if there are any added ingredients, such as gelatin. I know when I buy regular yogurt for a starter I have to be careful to get the kind that has active cultures and no added ingredients. You are wise to make your own fruit add-ins, he will get better food value from yours, plus you will have a good use for some of that stockpiled fruit in your freezer(s). Does he like granola in it? You can make that better than you could buy, too.