Around the Homestead

Cold Weather has arrived…Chili time

It is definitely cooling off here.  Not sure how cool it got last night, but they were predicting 35 for our low.  Out came the Carharts, stocking hats, and gloves.

Friday, I spent the day cooking and cleaning.  I try to get my house cleaned on Fridays so it’s presentable and comfortable for the weekend.  I also made, canned, and froze some homemade tomato soup.  My camera was on it’s last leg in some of these, but on Sunday we purchased a new one so this first one is not-so-good.

All the other photos were terrible, so this is my tomato soup, haha!

Friday evening we were invited to dinner with some friends/neighbors of ours.  They cooked the most incredible meal for us.  Dh and I couldn’t believe how wonderful they both cook.  I even had a couple of bites of steak.  I haven’t liked steak since I was a child, but I must admit he prepared it so well. 

Dh and I have a difficult time finding people (our age) who we can relate to, talk to, and share common interests with.  This couple is probably as close as we have come in a very long time.  She enjoys cooking and does a lot of “from scratch” cooking.  They both tend to their garden and livestock and hope to grow a majority of their food themselves.  They have two adorable little boys to help them along the way.  He is also a great mechanic (as is my husband) so they have traded back and forth in helping each other with projects and mechanical problems.  We will hopefully be spending more time with them and learning from each other as we all strive to take a step backwards in the rat race.

Saturday, we spent the day cleaning out the floors of our chicken coop and one of our sheep sheds.  Yuck, is the only word to describe this task.  Sunday, we ran to get a camera and few other things in a nearby (30 minutes each way) town.  When we came home it was back to shoveling the shed out.  We are estimating it was about 20 years of sheep manure compacted one foot deep.  Some of it looked like we were ripping out OSB or particle boards from the floor of the shed.  The flowerbeds will be appreciative of the new fertilizer come spring.

We HAD to have a camera this weekend because we were supposed to send in a picture for an article being ran in the Texel Times.  A newsletter for Texel sheep breeders.  My mom was in charge of the photo taking.  She does not like to take pictures nor is she very good at it :  )     Everyone has talents and her’s is just not photography.  For example, it took her so long to take each picture the camera would automatically turn itself off (powersave or batterysave mode).  Then, she wouldn’t know how to get it back on so I would have to turn it on for her and run back to my spot.  Funny!  She was great to do it for us though.

This is Randy, one of our rams, Cash, and me.  Cash has a bit of a fence climbing issue we are trying to break, but it came in handy for a photo.

I have corn in my hand, so Miss Piggy is trying to steal a kernel or two.

This is the same ewe as the picture above.  She is so tame and lovable.  We have another ewe we call Ma (like from the movie Babe), but she must have been having a bad hair day or something because she wanted nothing to do with pictures.

Monday, I was up at 4:30 to get dh off to work.  While I was waiting for it to lighten up outside I spent some time organizing our front porch area and closet and also my husband’s closet.  I have morning chore duty on the days I don’t work, so once it was light out I headed out to do those.  After chores were done I had some errands to run in town which always starts my day off bad.  I didn’t get home until 10:30, so I had to hustle to get everything done I intended to have done. 

I like to use my Mondays to prepare food for the next three days since I will be working and like to have something quick and easy (and nutritious) for dinner on those days.  I ended up making a big crockpot full of chili.  Here is how I made my chili:


Soak 4 cups of pinto beans and 2 T of whey 12-24 hours.

Rinse and drain well.

Cook in crockpot, covered with water, salt, and garlic (optional) until tender.

Add two jars of homemade ro-tel, chili powder, and cooked hamburger (and ground venison).

Let this cook another hour on low to blend the flavors.

I usually use red beans, but pinto beans are so easy to buy in bulk I thought I would give them a try in our chili.  We both thought they were great and so much easier than buying different beans for every meal.  We ate our chili with homemade Cornbread with homemade butter and honey or maple syrup.  We also had organic carrot, and cauliflower and cherry tomatoes from the garden dipped in homemade Ranch dressing.  I was followed up with Brownies (minus the chocolate chips on top) straight out of the oven.  Yum!  It was a cold and windy day and my dh wasn’t feeling well, so this was a nice wintery dinner.  Can you tell I like Crystal Miller’s recipes a little?  hee, hee! 

Tonight will be a pan of stuffed green peppers I put togther yesterday to throw in the oven as soon as I get home tonight.

When I make stuffed green peppers I try to use up what I have in the fridge.  These have homemade ketchup, rice, hamburger, venison, pinto beans, and mozzarella cheese.  Easy and healthy!

Wednesday:  Much to my disgust, we will be having Chili Cheese Dogs along with a salad fresh from the garden.  My dh loves hotdogs and since he has been so great about my “healthy” food choices and trying some new things with our diet, I do not ask him to give up the one food he really likes.  Unfortunately, they are hotdogs :  )

Thursday:  Taco Soup (for the most part I follow this recipe, but sometimes use collard green broth if I have any leftover to cook my beans in since alot of the nutrients from the collards cook out into the broth)

For the Taco Seasoning I’m going to give the recipe a whirl.  The one I use is okay, but I’m going to experiment a little.  Here is where the understanding husband comes into play, when I “experiment” with new recipes :  )

 Hope everyone is having a great week!

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