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$5 A Week Food Storage Update

Sorry for the quality of the photo, does blogger ever deal you a fit loading pictures?

For the last few weeks I've been adding a canned ham and box of rice to my food storage.  I buy these at the Dollar General store.  The ham is $3.15 and the rice is $1.75 for a total of $4.90.

I think it's important for my family to store some meats that do not require refrigeration.  Purchased canned meats is one solution.  I also stock tuna and will be checking into pressure canning some of my own meats this fall.

Have you been adding to your food storage weekly?

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What's keeping you busy?

Tomatoes! We are getting lots of tomatoes around here. This weekend will be spent preserving the harvest into tomatoe sauce and salsa sauce. I will be trying some lacto fermented salsa as well.

Be sure to check out this great podcast on Lacto Fermenting your fresh garden vegetables.
It has a lot of great information!

What is keeping you busy this week?

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Look what I found on our homestead...

Most people will find a stray dog or a cat occasionally on their homesteads. A few will find a cow, horse or maybe even a goat that has gotten loose.

But not many find this:

A buff orpington hen!

I noticed her at the north side of our property Saturday. I didn't see her all day Sunday and figured she had met her match.

Then yesterday when I got home from work she was there again. Yesterday was very hot and she wasn't walking around foraging like she had been Saturday. I made a couple calls to the closest neighbors to see if they had recently bought chickens and all said "No, we thought you got more chickens".

So I took her some water. Later around 8:00 I found her roosting in one of our evergreen trees.

Not sure what we will do with her yet. But I figure if she is still here in a few more days I better get the smaller chicken coop cleaned out and prepared for her. She looks to be a younger hen.

Ahhhh, the life on acreage in the country. You never know what you will find.

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Garden Fresh Kachumber

I made some garden fresh Kachumber yesterday for my hubby for Father's Day. He loves my Pico de Gallo so I was sure he would like this as well.

He had picked 6 cucumbers fresh from the garden and several small tomatoes. I had some onions drying on the table from our garden and ran out and picked two serrano peppers. The cilanatro and limes came from our local grocery store. I used the lime since I had no lemons on hand.

Here is the original recipe from Chef In You that I changed up a little:

1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1-2 jalapeno chillies (optional, as per taste)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2-1tsp roasted cumin powder (as per taste)
juice of 1 lemon along with zest, as per taste
some cane sugar for sprinkling
salt to taste
few sprigs of cilantro for garnish

I chopped my onion and lime for the juice and zest. I also chopped up about 2 tablespoons of cilantro and added no sugar.

It was very good and spicy! The cumin and cucumber gave it a little different taste from my regular Pico de Gallo.

Don't be afraid to substitute and change things up on your recipes to use your fresh produce from your garden. Hope everyone's gardens are doing great.

Have you tried any new recipes to use your produce from your gardens?

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Aerial view of our homestead

This is an arial view of our homestead. This arial picture was taken about two years ago. It looks a little different now. We have dug a pond and lost a couple trees due to high winds.

When we moved here eight years ago we named it 5 Moore Acres. I'm hoping there will be a new arial picture taken in the near future. It is fun to compare them.

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Carrot Harvest

Sunday I harvested all my carrots. They weighed in at 11.5 pounds with the tops on. I'm pretty pleased with the harvest coming from one 3'x6' bed using seeds from 2009 and 2010. These are Scarlet Nantes and Danvers Half Long. I'm hoping to get them processed tonight. Not sure if I will freeze them or pressure can them. I'm leaning to freezing them.

Although I don't care for the taste of these carrots raw, they will be good in stews and casseroles.

I'm planning on planting a fall harvest of Parisienne carrots from seeds that were shared by Jenny of Simple Garden Made Easy.

I'll keep growing and trying different carrots until we find one that grows well in our area and we like the taste of them raw.

If you grow carrots, share with me what type you like.

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Margarita Chicken

This chicken is perfect for summer outdoor grilling. I love to grill outside so there is less mess and the kitchen doesn't get heated up!

Wonderful served hot off the grill, but double the recipe because it also tastes great cold or sliced at room temperature and tossed into a salad of homegrown mixed baby lettuces. Prepping and cooking once for several meals is another one of my favorite time savers.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed lime juice, and don't skip the zest, it makes it taste a lot fresher.

zest from one lime
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 4 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tequila, optional
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon chile powder
pinch salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 6-8

Place all marinade ingredients in a gallon-sized zip top plastic bag and combine. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Refrigerate up to overnight. I usually marinate for at least 3 hours, the longer the better. Treat grill by brushing with olive oil or cooking spray. Heat grill to medium-high. Cook chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side, until thoroughly cooked.

Tip: If you don't have tequila on hand and don't want to buy a half pint, buy one of the small "airplane" shots. I found mine for .99 and it has enough in it to make this recipe four times.

To top off our dinner tonight these were picked and sliced:


Monday Garden Harvest

3.25 lbs

Patience doesn't always pay off when it comes to gardening. I patiently waited for my beautiful looking broccoli to grow bigger and I about waited too late. It was on the verge of bolting when I went to cut it Sunday morning.

Things I learned this year about growing broccoli:
1) Keep the soil cool, the more mulch the better! Provide shade if possible by means of a row cover. Water frequently as well to cool soil down.
2) Broccoli is a cut and come again vegetable. Once the heads are harvested, side shoots will produce small heads that can be harvested.

1.75 lbs

The bunching green onions are still growing nicely as well as the yellow sweet candy onions. My son wanted to pull the yellow onions so I let him pull two. They are laying on the table to dry a couple of days.

7 lbs

Ever since we had some very high winds, my yukon potato plants have not looked good at all, being on the verge of dying. So we decided to see how well they were doing. We pulled 5 plants and had right at 7 pounds of potatoes.

All the potatoes planted in the "Build As They Grow" potato bins are growing and looking great. Some have started to flower.

The tomatoes are doing wonderful. I have two tomatoes on the 4th of July plants that have already started turning red. They should be ready to pick in a few days. The first tomatoes before June 15th? Unheard of around my garden.

My hot pepper plants do not look good at all. I will be searching for a couple more jalapeno plants today and hopefully can find them with some size to them.

My strawberries are growing great, just wish they would put on more strawberries!

Here is a picture of how dry it is here:

I may have to start pumping water from our pond to water my garden instead of from the hose. Water is expensive in my rural area.

How is your gardens growing?

Harvest Monday is sponsored by Daphne's Dandelions.

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Hot Fudge Sunday Cake

Today is my birthday, so I decided to bake me a cake, one of my favorites.

Hot Fudge Sunday Cake

1 c flour
2 Tbl. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
3/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla

Mix well and pour into a buttered 9x9 pan.

Sprinkle 1 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. cocoa on top of batter.

Pour 1 1/3 c. very hot water over batter. This will make the sauce.

Bake 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until top is dry.

Here is what it looks like just out of the oven...

The hot fudge settles to the bottom.

Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream. Spoon sauce from bottom of pan over cake and ice cream.

This cake is a hit around my house. My mother has been serving it ever since I was a little girl. It wasn't until recently that I figured out why. It's so simple, uses no eggs and everything is basic pantry ingredients.

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