Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Sheriff's Farewell

Well, folks, it's sure been an October to remember on the Homestead...

Haddonfield, NJ from October, 1912 
(Courtesy of the Historical Society of Haddonfield/The Haddonfield Sun)

We took our boxes of CSA goodies and showed 'em who was boss!

And The Sheriff was proud as punch to see it was a big enough steer to get herded up into the second MoFo Round-Up, Taco Tuesday!

And got in a whole heap o' trouble...Candyin' Cowboys, Hornswagglin' Salads, even Homesteadin' up a Hoagie, that The Sheriff had to pay us a visit!
It's a good thing The Sheriff stayed in town to keep an eye on things since I had to go out on the town!

Haddonfield, NJ October, 2012

Had to get me a snack, too...

And don't ya' know? Me and The Sheriff were in the ol' black and white!

The Sheriff could relax and toast his boots, while I got to workin' my way through those big, beautiful boxes of CSA produce, freezin' everything in sight

But, then there was trouble on The Homestead, Miss Sandy was headin' right for New Jersey. The Sheriff don't like that kinda stress, so he fancied up those Candied Cowboys real good...

He felt a little better, and he spruced right up when he met 'Pa and got a present!

'Pa and The Deputy 

Still, even the cat needed help gettin' through the storm...
We all did.

A whole lotta folks in New Jersey need our help right now.  Don't forget 'em.  

Farewell, Aquarium! We will never forget you!

Stay safe, stay warm, be kind to each other, and I'm sure The Sheriff will come back for a visit soon.

It's been a real pleasure, folks.

The Sheriff

Homesteaded' it October 1st through October 31st, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tumbleweed for the Cat

She ain't no common barn cat.  She found herself a catnip mouse that revealed itself whiles I was cleanin' the Homestead, preparing for Sandy.  So, I refilled it with fresh catnip.  

Cat needs a bit o' tumbleweed to weather Sandy, too. 

 Them eyeballs is all a' bulgin'!

 Ollie gets all tangle footed* when she’s indulgin’ in the nip.

Crazy face.

One cat post is mandatory for MoFo.  Here's my cat post from last year.

We'll see how Sandy treats us, and hopefully The Sheriff'll see ya'll for at least one more post!

Homesteadin' it October 1st through October 31st, 2012

*tangle footed or tangle legged=drunk & stumbling 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shine Your Saddle and Fill Your Saddlebag!

Member makin' those Candied Cowboys the first week of MoFo?

Course you do!  And you also remember I said we were gonna use 'em in a celebratory drink at the end of MoFo?  Well, now's the time with Sandy comin' right for the Homestead, ya'll may not be hearin' from The Sheriff for a little bit, so we's gonna celebrate a bit on the early side of dawn.

Well, here she is, in all her glory…

The Shiny Saddle and The Candied Sunflower Raisin Saddlebag! 
The Shiny Saddle: Ketel One Vodka, Candied Cowboy Juice, Candied Cowboys.  My, that horse sure is spunky.  She must be takin' part.

To make your own Shiny Saddle, you need:

Candied Cowboys (candied jalapenos).  A teaspoon of her juice, a few of her peppers.

Two Hosses.  

Two Ounces of Ketel One, this ain't no tarantula juice*!

Shake vodka and cowboy juice in a shaker with ice, put a few of the peppers in the bottom of the glass.  Pour nice and slow now, don't disturb those boys at the bottom!

If you do it right, the little one’ll get all sleepy on ya’!

The Candied Saddlebag: 
1/4 Cup of Organic Sunflower Seeds, 3 Tablespoons of Dried Squash Seeds, and 2 Tablespoons Organic Raisins.  Mix yer seeds with about 2 teaspoons of that there Candied Cowboy Juice, and about one Tablespoon of oil.  Toast yer seeds on low heat in a cast iron pan, about 5-10 minutes until nice and golden.  

Mix with them raisins and you got yerself A Saddlebag!

Now, drink one for me because the whole Homestead's closed until Wednesday 'cause of Sandy.  

Homesteadin' it October 1st through October 31st, 2012

*Tarantula juice=cheap whisky

P.S. This is also my entry into Vegan Iron Chef, yeeeeehah!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Guess Pa's Present: It's a 'Fo-away!

Pa gave The Sheriff a present!
Pa & Me

This thing here:
What is this thing and what do you use it for?

The Sheriff thinks it's a cattle brand!
Brandin' her own hand?
 What in tarnation??

What is this thing and what do you use it for?

No cheatin', now, The Sheriff wants everyone to play according to Hoyle.  

Most entertaining, side-splittin' answer wins one fine prize...your choice of any vegan cookbook on amazon under $13 buckeroos and must also be eligible for "Amazon Prime."  The Sheriff has his limits!

These should get your juices flowin...

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day by Tami Noyes & Celine Steen
 The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Joni Marie Newman & Celine Steen
Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner
Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton
The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage

Tall hog at the trough wins! Show The Sheriff you got more under your shirt than sweat!

Leave a comment on this post with your tallest tale of what this thing is and what the heck it's for and The Sheriff will pick the one he fancies best by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday October 30th.  We'll see about Miss Sandy and if we've got 'lectricity on the Homestead, o' course, but she should be all dried up by then.
This contest is for U.S. shipping only, but The Sheriff wants to hear from all our friends!

The Sheriff's got himself a winner! It was tight scroungin'* but greyout's macabre tale of the "man brand" wins it!  The Sheriff's emailin' ya now,  greyout, and congratulations!

The Sheriff's hopin' Sandy's a toad strangler* and not a tornado!

Homesteadin' it October 1st through October 31st, 2012

*toad strangler=heavy rain

*tight scroungin'= tight squeezing, something difficult to accomplish

Twister's a Comin'!

I was much more prepared for Irene last year: 

 Been since drank the bubbly, ate them figs (and none on the tree, now!) and the weather radio done been broke by my youngin'.  Had to order another one today!

My youngin' was even well prepared last year!

At least I still got my chainsaw and her gasoline!

Again, last year.  That was about 5 days supply of fresh water. Today Wegmans is totally out of water and batteries.  Last year's batteries and the weather radio were in the amazon boxes on the brown table there.  Radio's broke and batteries are all used up!

We was ready for a nice, candlelit dinner last year!  This year, just hopin' Sandy goes out to sea!  

P.S. Now, looky here, I just found a whole boatload o' comments that were awaiting moderation but that cottonpickin' Blogger did not alert me to them to my email or to my moderation page, they just all appeared today for some reason (from throughout MoFo).  They are all posted now, and are much appreciated, thank ya'll!

Well, I'mma do a special post tonight, God willin'.  Crackin' open somethin' we made earlier in the 'Fo and fancyin' her up right.

Homesteadin' it October 1st through October 31st, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Frozen on the Homestead: A freezing tutorial!

It's still a balmy seventy degrees above zero on the homestead, so, if we're gonna talk about freezin' we gotta talk 'bout 'lectricity and fancy ice boxes!   Freezin's my favorite way to preserve all sorts of chow: fresh vegetables, roasted veggies, fruits, sauces, pestos, ginger, cookies, cakes, even avocados and tofu!  We'll get to all those characters in a minute.

My icebox looks like a barn after a tornado!

 Bottom drawer of freezer.

Top drawer!
 Top drawer's a damn mess!

Gotta make her as clear as the plains after a dust storm so we have room for all our stuff. Making room was mostly removing ice packs from Hurricane Irene last year. I had way too many ice packs in there taking up precious space.  This new gal, Sandy, better not make her way up north!
 Continuing to organize that bottom drawer...Once you know where all your horses are and the pigs are in the pen, then, you can add more fellas to the barn.

Freeze that grated zucchini (see it near my ice cubes, below?) You can use it for zucchini bread or soups in the winter!  Press your freezer bags full of goodies nice and flat, get the air out, and stack 'em real neat right in your freezer.  Like stackin' dollar bills at the bank!
 Freeze those bananas (above, right)!  It ain't warm enough here to have your own banana tree!
When bananas are ripe to overripe (brown speckled at least), peel and put in your freezer bags.  Roll or fold the bag gently over the bananas and squeeze the air out.  Air's the enemy of your frozen stuff!  You can chop them or freeze them whole, no matter.

 The ol' veggie burger & veggie sausage bin!

 I still have a nice slice o' Isa's Seitan Roast from last Thanksgivin' and I'll bet she's still good!  I wrapped her nice and tight, gonna have to give her a try soon.

Peppers and Onions: 
Cook them first and let them cool.  Pack into freezer bags, squeeze the air out, and stack in your freezer with your zucchini :-)  Use later for soups, pasta sauces, pizzas, etc.  If the consistency isn't to your liking when thawed, just blend 'em up into sauce!  I roasted my farm fennel and added that to the roasted peppers below.  YUM!

There are the peppers, below, on the left.  Below them is a bag of frozen roasted butternut squash mash.    After you roast, cool, scrape, mash and season your squash, just stick it in a bag and freeze.  I figure I can also use that in soups and sauces, and maybe even in a pie, later in the winter.

And see that big green bag in the center? That's my veggie stock bag. Veggie scraps good for making stock go in there, when it's full, I make stock.  Looks pretty full!
Always keep your Daiya cheese in the freezer, too! It lasts months that way, and I just use it right out of the freezer whenever I want it, and it's fine. And I always keep the base of my ice cream maker in my freezer, for ice cream emergencies!

Top shelf of freezer, reorganized!
 I froze some CSA onion stock, too, see it in the bottom left corner?  French Onion Soup, anyone?

Here's what it really looks like b/c I always have tortillas in my freezer for burritos!
I know, not as pretty!

Anyway, here are even more of the things I freeze and how to do it:

Sauces & Pestos: 
I freeze any sauce type thing in an ice cube tray, then pop out the cubes and store them in freezer bags. You could do this with soups to make individualized servings! 

Peel ginger with a spoon (a trick I learned from Jacques Pepin, it works really well! A knife or peeler never worked for me), chop into about one inch pieces, and freeze!  Throw into smoothies, soups, sauces, etc. as needed.  If you have a VitaMix, just pulverize that thing into foam, haha. 

Frozen ginger, ready for action!

Also, every year I make sure to get a case of Champagne Mangoes (Whole Foods has them) because they are THE BEST.  I peel and chop all the ones we don't eat, then freeze them for smoothies (and baking!):
Ready for the freezer!


I could try freezing this--it's my recipe for Tofu Bahn Mi!

Baked Treats:
I also freeze quick breads, cupcakes, muffins, etc.  Just let them cool completely, and wrap tightly in foil (I cut the breads into serving-sized slices before wrapping), and stick in a freezer bag.

You sure as heck wanna make sure you don't waste a sweet piece!

One of the best storage tricks I've learned (I forget where!) is that you can store (unripe or ripe) avocados in the refrigerator!  Then just take them out a day or two before you plan to use them so they can finish ripening at room temperature.  They keep for WEEKS in the fridge with no noticeable deterioration in quality.  I hear you can also peel and chop them and store them in the freezer (like the mango, above).  I eat's my avocados, so fridge is good enough for me.

I keep my nuts in the freezer, too, so they don't go rancid.

Oh, and my cookies:

Put cooked and cooled beans into a freezer bag in 2 cup measures and freeze for easy use in recipes. I do this with leftover beans when I make a big pot in my pressure cooker.

Some people freeze whole tomatoes (the texture changes, obviously, but then they are used for sauce).
I'd rather process 'em into marinara and jar 'em.

You can freeze whole berries like strawberries or blueberries on a baking sheet.  Wash and dry berries, freeze so they aren't touching and don't stick together.  Once frozen (after a few hours or overnight) transfer to a freezer bag and use in sauces, muffins, breads, etc.  

Gollee!  As ya'll can see, I freeze almost everything I can think of.

What's your favorite thing to freeze?  Let's see who'll be the tall hog at the trough*!

Homesteadin' it October 1st through October 31st, 2012

*Tall hog at the trough=a leader, someone with outstanding qualities