Old Fashion No Bake Mudpie Cookies Recipe

Welcome to our Christmas Cookie Round up!

mudpiecookiesrecipe

This is a childhood cookie for me ( I started being allowed to make these around the age of 8 or 9) It was easy fast one pot cookie that everyone in our family loved!

Old Fashioned No Bake Mudpie Cookies.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4th cup butter
  • Half cup of milk
  • 3 tbsp. of coco powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 and half cups of oatmeal

Place the sugar, butter, milk and coco Powder into a heavy bottomed pot and with a whisk or a spoon stir it as it melts and heats up.. bring to a boil, stirring the whole time, Boil for one min, then add the vanilla, salt, coconut and oatmeal, mix well..

Drop by small teaspoon onto wax paper.. allow to cool and harden before eating.. (but don’t worry, we all eat at least one hot, juggling it back and forth between hands)

Its like a candy treat these are very sweet chewy treats.. Enjoy!

Now on to the Christmas Cookie Round up.. 

Oh my goodness these Lemon Crackle Cookies  look amazing..  coming from Jenlynn401 blog.. 

Super simple recipe and another old fashioned one that uses a cake box as a base to this recipe but with extra’s that make it pop.. great color for the cookie tray.. one to check out for sure.. head on over and see these bright and lemon flavoured cookies and the recipe for them!

Next up.. Peanut butter and Chocolate! What a combo.. we all know it and love it! Head on over to Megan’s Simply Rooted Farmhouse to find out more

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies: A Simple Heirloom Recipe..  those cute little chocolate buttons on that wonderful Peanut butter bottom.. a great cookie for the Christmas plate for sure.. this is one that we all know that kids of all ages will enjoy. 

 Making Delicious Chocolate Crinkles for the Holidays

15 Acres Homestead is bringing us both Chocolate and Crinkle Cookie combo! She has a great looking recipe and if you have little ones around, we all know how much they love to help mom or grandma on the rolling in the sugar or using the cup to press them down to get that o so pretty crackle top.

 

O my, heading over to The Farm Wife Blog will be bring another amazing old fashioned much loved cookie to the table.

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

Everyone loves a good spiced cookie and add in oatmeal and its a family favorite for sure!

Festive Raspberry Linzer Cookies

What a pretty cookie, red and white is just perfect for this time of year and that star.. this recipe is delightful!

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Pandemic Pigs

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This spring trying to find a weaner piglet or two was for many peaple a huge challenge, just like the run on chicks.. meat chicks sold out hard and fast locally..

Thankfully I had my name down on a waiting list for 2 heritage piglets from a lovely pure tamworth breeding and i was able to get a very nice brother sister set of pigs.

They were healthy, good temperments and never gave a moments issue.. this past weekend, I woke up after setting my mind the night before to being in the zone.

Out I headed with my rifle/knives and it went as well as it can.. As homesteaders we all talk about one bad day or the freezer camp.. but lets get real, its death.. I was killing my pigs..

All kills are hard.. pigs are very hard, never ever let anyone tell you that pigs are not smart and very VERY MUCH there.. they know their names, they have favorite treats, they clean (having a bathroom corner) they fluff their beds just so and they learn that myself and the other humans bring food, treats, garden offering, hay, bedding and rump rubs.. I have never meet a well socialized pig that does not view us as ear scratchers or rump rubbers..

We all want it to go perfectly, picture perfect! Thankfully more often then not, someone will help you learn and once you have the basic’s you will get the job done.

However the larger the animal, the more it needs to be done just right because most homesteaders will not have the equipment that larger will. Its worth noting that the goverment federally and provinally also has rules in place and you had better know them..

They will tell you where you need to shot, the degree of power you need and what choices you have to do it per stock.. what is needed for lamb is NOT the same as what is required for a 18 month old steer..

So when I say, that it went well, I mean it.. Training is key.. teach your animals a routine and do it well before you need it.. My pigs had been raised in the croft as littles and big barn but I needed them up close for the butcher.

We created a small pen to train them in for the D-Day..

in my case I would call them to the front and I had set it up that they had a space to put their head partly into which gave me the right view and ability to get the right angle.

the male was the leader of the two and he went first.. its was so perfect, he went back two steps and dropped (didn’t even get a kick) the female took about 20 to 30 second to line up and she was done..

From the time of saying good morning to both being down.. under a minutes.. eye checks done then washed feet, slide out of the pen to clean ground, washed necks and then cuts from side to side to where done

They both came in around 250 to 275 live weight and thank goodness for hunting gear, in went the hooks, onto the pulley and up they went for washing skinning, cleaning and quartering and then break down for hams, bacon, chops, stew and ground.. fat to be rendered down

It was a long work day but it was so worth it..

Did you raise pigs this year? Did you send it out to be done? or did you home butcher? Did you also cure your meat into hams, bacon and making sausages?

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Dollar Store Challenge Day 3

I woke up today knowing that it was the last day of the challenge, that my basket had lots of food in it still and that if I was to ever do this again, that I would shop for it very carefully and differently.  If hip roof barn decides to do it again.. I have thoughts on it that’s for sure.

Well, that upset tummy meant that I was up for a while in the night if you know what I mean folks..  So lesson number one learned..  while you can go from eating a low sugar, low carb, high fiber, fresh organic home raised fruits and veggies, grass fed farm raised meat, fresh eggs and raw milk to store crap.. but you will pay for it..

Not just in tasting the chemical’s in the food, not just in tasting the difference between sugar and corn syrup in the food vs the non-gmo sugar or local honey i normally use. or my local maple syrup..

Really if you have to go from eating whole foods to some of the lower cost foods, this is not the way to do it!  H and hip roof and even silver did so much better because they were able to find rice, grains, dried beans and oatmeal at their dollar stores..  This is where I would start if I could do it again.. at the most basic of whole foods you can get and I would go with as much dried food as possable

I saw that Hip Roof made a soup on day 2 with one of my favorite soup blends and she didn’t much care for it..  now this is a blend I keep in the house always, I throw a handful in soups, stews, even chili at times, I use it in my canning jars, a heaping tbsp added in dry with 1 cup of mixed veggies with 3/4th cup of ground meat, and broth over and pressure can and go.. its a staple here.. but I stopped and thought about it, as it was cooked in a broth, it was done in a way as a side dish, ok, a bit of a soupish side dish.. and no on its own, I can see why she got it down and went nope..   I can’t see myself wanting to eat as a solid full only it in broth meal either.. totally understand..

Hubby is sitting across from me enjoying bacon and eggs with homemade cheese.. fresh yogurt and blueberries.. sigh..  I am still holding off because other then meat and kippers I do not want anything in there..

This honestly could be a water/coffee breakfast type day..

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Ok so my official breakfast was the tin of salmon and the rest of the canned pea’s.. I fried them up in the coconut oil with salt and pepper..  It was one of the  better meals I have had so far.. but kippers are still the favorite!

Snack- Apple cup

Lunch -One can of the mushest aspagus spears Blended with almond milk, a tsp of coconut oil and 2 heaping tsps of cheese whiz with lots of black pepper and salt to taste.

All blended together and simmered till hot? Not bad.. not bad at all..  it was tasty .. I give a solid 5.5 out of 10..  so far we are doing better today for meals..

supper -Mixed the rice pudding with the tapioca pudding and the last two fruit cups and added a little salt and pepper and eat it cold!

Hubby chopped up onions, peppers, mushrooms and more beef and used up the last can of chili with extra spices added..  lol

For sure a costly day of eating..

Breakfast  Salmon 1.50 Peas 1.00

lunch – Aspurgus 1.25, .75 worth of almond milk .50 worth of cheese whiz

Supper -Rice 1.25, Tapico 1.50, fruit cups X 2 83 cents

Apple cup .35 cents

Coffee 1.00

Total cost for the day 9.45 cents.

Calories 2480 for the day..

I still have a number of things left in my basket! It was a learning curve for sure and I can’t say that I am glad to have eaten like this for the 3 days but it was eye opening thats for sure..

The biggest thing I learned is that if I was to do this again, I would pick totally different food items..   there was box’s of a “oatmeal bar with fake strawberry jam in the middle: and I would get two boxes of them for a total of 8 bars, eating two or even three if needed for my breakfast with coffee and sugar.. lunches and suppers would be dried veggie based knorr soups, and I would have gone and bought 6 or 8 of the little seseme seed snaps..   Maybe it would not have been as “balanced as I tried for” but it would have been easier to get, healthier in the long run and had much less chemicals..

I can all the time, I do not understand why the canned food was so poorly! but its done!

Do not forgot to head over to Hip Roof Barn or Silver to see their updates for day two and day three..

.

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Dollar store Challenge Day 2

Breakfast : 2 fruit cups and one tin of kippers black Coffee with sugar.

I had slept well but woke woggy and fog headed, my body is not happy with something I eat yesterday as my fingers are swollen, I can tell that my whole body feels heavy and cranky..  I do reaction this way to MSG so I am guess there is some in the beans and franks.

The fruit in the cups is delightful but again so sweet, its in what we canners would call heavy for the syrup.. I poured it into a glass, added water and drank my fruit sugar water.  The kippers are as always good.. and I am so glad I bought 4 tin.. I remember thinking 4 might be to many and now I can see, should have got more.

I have already figured out that I have made a mistake, I should have gotten more of the knorr brand dry soup mixes and less of the tinned food..  while I did not have milk for some of the choices, there were a number of the soups blends that work with water..

I remember thinking.. I can have a bit of freedom with the tins, not needing to cook.. boy was that a mistake.. BIG mistake!

Silver over at Silveryew has posted her day one.. Go check it out! loved her use of jam on oatmeal!

Hip Roof has her  and H’s Day on up as well. I liked that she baked and that bread and butter..  H’s meals look great!

I spent the morning breaking down the back half of a pig into what will be ham’s, roasts, pork chops, stew meat, sausage grind and fat to be rendered as well as split pea ham bones for canning up soup.

Lunch

I enjoyed my bitter black sweet coffee but looked at my basket and  passed on snacks..  However by 1 for lunch I was hungry.. I took out can of my mild chili and opened and stuck my spoon in and tasted it.. hmmm.. not bad.. 4 out of 10.. into the pot it goes.. and my head goes hmmm.. its got flavour.. got back to my basket.. grab a can of the beans and weaners, add it to the chili.. then grab the can of mushrooms, open, turns out its whole mushrooms, diced them into bits using half the can.. add a little pepper to the whole brown mess of beans, simmer it slow till fully heated up.

And its not bad! Its my lunch and I enjoyed two small bowls of it..

Supper

I am going to take the leftovers and add half a can of pea’s to it, reheat and call it supper, wishing once again that I had rice or instant potato’s or bread to go with my stew..  Its tasty and its hot and I force myself to eat it..    my tummy is upset with me.. its rolling but good!

Big old coffee so good!

So the girls really broke down their costs and calories..  so today I will go a little more detailed and I will update the Day 1 post as well

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The day’s foods

  • -Kipper 150 calories
  • fruit cups x 2 140 Calories
  • chili 424 Calories
  • Beans 520 Calories
  • Mushrooms -30
  • Coffee-Sugars -120

Total  1384 calories

Cost Today is 6,50 cents.

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Dollar Store Challenge Day 1

Breakfast :Coffee, Rice Pudding and Apple Sauce.

So first off almond milk is grey.. milk should not be grey.. and its thick and odd textured, I gagged trying to drink it as is.. however in a coffee its like a almondish milk flavour.. it fine and if I get tired of it, a will just drink my coffee sweet and black!

** I have tried twice.. forget it.. I will drink black with sugar.. I expect that the almond milk will stay on the shelf in the fridge till the 18th and then go to the dogs on their food maybe.. or the compost pile.. yuck!!! I drink fresh raw milk, I would raither go without!

Hubby kindly left me bacon (which I could not have lol, so he eat it) and I opened my first of two tins of rice pudding.. its good but o my gosh sweet.. so freakin sweet, so I went and got a half cup of unsweetened apple sauce and put it on top and mixed it to help cut the sweet..

*clearly I am getting used to my no sugar meals because that was just wow!

After chores I came in very much wanting more.. my body was like.. protein so I had a can of kippers.. hit the spot, a bit salty and smoked lightly.. so good..

So it was pointed out to me that I had gotten a larger package of short bread style cookies in small package on this shopping trip and from the food isle, I had gotten them so I would have premade safe each person could have their own for my big pig butcher day but only one package was used, leaving 7 that are whole and as they were bought in the food isle and in the same trip, that they came home as part of the basket.. I am going to take it.. it gives me something to put my cheese whiz lol  its a sweet shortbread type UK cookie so its odd to think about using it in place of a more normal savory type cracker.. but its doable..

lunch -1 can of beans an franks..  I had high hope to enjoy these cold.. nope, for sure they need to be heated and bland is the word..  so I took out my salt and pepper which had been a package.. between the two, its better but once i could open them, I would like to point out that the salt is only 3/4th full and the pepper is only 50 percent full. this was covered up by the packaging and I can honestly say that when I buy salt or pepper at the regular stores.. its a full shaker..  is this dollar store thing.. package in the right size but not fill it? seems shady to me for sure!

Today we have had sleet, freezing rain, hail, and rain.. but we got alot done in the yards none the less.. so I am beyond grateful for hot coffee and just hot water to sip..

After a afternoon of working outside around 4, I was tired and cold.. and went to bed.. slept though dinner, work up at 9:30..  so no supper..

!0pm, second half of the rice pudding from breakfast and water..

Putting me at 4.75 for meals costs today and 1 fruit portion, no veggies.. meat and carbs and way to much sugar! FUN!

On the end of day one, I can honestly say I did eat enough to feel full but I did not enjoy eating from the cans, I did not enjoy not being able to adjust my seasonings.. and I am being reminded just how spoiled I am with my farm fresh food..

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Dollar Store Eating Challenge Nov 15th to 17th

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Hip Roof Barn offered up a blogging challenge which caught my eye.. and I have decided to join in on it.. Silver also joined in from the UK as well as H and family. This is a good as it gives us a snap shot of different areas and different dollars stores.

The goal was to fully shop from your own local dollar store for all your meals an snacks for a full three days. Hip Roof Barn did not give us a limited budget so that was nice.

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The idea being two fold.. A) its recommended that you have at least 3 days of shelf stable food for a emergency on hand and b) a lot of of peaple live in food desert area’s and the local shop is the dollar store, a lot of elderly, or lower income do their shopping at the dollar stores as it allows you to buy small portions with limited heating required on most things and many are also pop the top or microwave an go

So the first thing I had to decide was which dollar store I was heading to.. I do not have a dollar store at either of the two closest villages.. and so I used Google maps to figure out which of the “next” over bigger towns was closer.. I will admit that I WISHED I go to the one with the dollar tree as its all 1.25 max but the dollarma was the closest store to me and it ranges from 1 dollar to 4 dollars per item

I headed into town and the first thing I figured out is that I never shop that row, i mean I do like to pick up the norway fished and packed kippers and fish and I do poke my head down it by 3 feet around christmas time to pick up some amazing UK or scottish cookies normally and that’s it..

So I was truly coming at this with fresh eyes.. the fact that I was to try for a balanced diet within reason while buying all shelf stable seemed and was a challenge for sure..

I do not know if I hit a bad day at my store but I came home with no bread, no crackers, no rice, I could have gotten potato chips but not in the food isle.. there was pasta and pasta sauce and some dried knorr soups that I passed on.

in the end for drinks, I got coffee, sugar and almond milk (I have never had almond milk unsweetened, so that is a new thing for me) i could have gotten powdered creamer but it was a massive bag and I just could not make myself buy it.. I had a choice between almond milk or oat milk.. anyone know both? should I have gone oat?

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the meat section was lean, so I got some of everything they had, my canned kippers, one can of salmon, one can of white chicken breast meat chunks and one can of a version of spam.. again the shelves where not full..

Veggie spot.. I got one of each thing they had which is one can of aspargus tips, one can of peas(the last one on the shelf) black olives and a can of mushrooms.. the lady in front of me, snapped up the last cans of corn, pea’s and carrots, and green beans. I watched them go in her cart with a sigh as I waited my spot back

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Fruit was easy.. they had fruit mixed cups and apple sauce.. that was it, so that was what in my basket.. I looked up and down carefully.. this was the only fruit I could find. I was sure I should have been able to find dried fruit, fruit roll ups, fruit gummys for kids lunches.. nope..

so as I stood there thinking breakfast and supper with a frown on my face, found my saving graces on the highest shelve and down the way on the lowest.. Breakfast, high up was cans of rice pudding lots of it and one last can of tapioca pudding.. snap!

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Down low, beans and franks so many cans of beans and franks and two lone cans of mild chili.. it will do.. it will do..

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I have to admit that I have a feeling from what the other folks have written that I might have gotten the short end of the stick at my store on choices.. I could see that many things were missing, empty areas and there was a huge stack of boxes waiting to be unpacked onto those grocery shelves

I certainly have enough to eat and I expect some things will be left over so I will let you know total cost at the end of each day and at the end of 3 days. I have cheese whis but nothing to put it on and I have coconut oil as my fat.. but again.. nothing to use it with.. and for my spices.. I got a set of salt and pepper..

Money wise I was pleased at least.. the almond milk was 2 dollars but everything else was 1 dollar or 1.25 each.. still costly in the end but better then I expected.

We will see what is left in my basket the morning of the 18th..

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Lest We Forget – The Monument by Jason Sharp

11 November 1908: North of Manaus, Amazonas del Sur

“Passing through?”, the homesteader asked, his rifle resting in his arms.”Yes”, the traveller replied, his rifle dangling off his right shoulder on a strap. “I was told there was a veteran building a monument around these parts. I thought I’d go see it.”

“You’d be talking about Oscar”, the homesteader confirmed, his stance relaxing somewhat.
“I don’t know his name – just that he’s around here somewhere. I’d appreciate directions if you can provide them”, the traveller replied.

“I can do that”, the homesteader replied, kicking an uprooted sapling towards a brushpile. “You a vet?”
“Yes. You?”
“Yeah”, the homesteader confirmed. “Oscar’s about three miles that way. You can’t miss his dogs.”

“Everybody’s got dogs”, the traveller observed.
“Everybody’s dogs aren’t the same as Oscar’s dogs”, the homesteader replied. “Just keep in mind that Oscar’s still in the jungle.”

The traveller nodded. He’d heard the expression a fair bit in the past two weeks. Vets scarred or broken by the experience of fighting skilled fanatics amidst the humid heat of the towering, predatory rain forest were still in the jungle, even if the trees around them had been felled by settlers carving out fields for crops or grazing. “I appreciate the advice. Have yourself a good day.”The homesteader nodded back. “Safe travels.”

The traveller continued on his way, rifle dangling, revolver in unclipped holster, knife in unclipped sheath. The Anahuac had been vanquished, but not wholly exterminated, after their defeat three years earlier. Every few months, it seemed, a pack of them erupted out of the greenery to slaughter whomever they could find before the local militia tracked them down. Any traveller with a hint of common sense went armed, if only to assure himself the quick, painless death that the Anahuac would deny him.

The trail was two yards wide, nothing more than flattened grasses and saplings broken by the wheels of carts and the hooves of horses and oxen. The traveller assumed, correctly, that it was one of the old trails broken by the army in order to move supplies up to the frontlines. Nowadays, settlers and homesteaders used it as a highway of sorts. He’d already passed several fortified villages along the way, and knew of two or three more further on, and had indeed passed a few wary locals along the way.

Perhaps two hours passed before Oscar’s dogs revealed themselves. The traveller had assumed from the homesteader’s remarks that Oscar’s dogs were larger and more formidable than most. They were, in fact, six or seven tiny moppets that raised an irritating, high-pitched racket as soon as they heard his footfalls. “Okay, yes, I see him”, a man’s voice called out from a stand of brush. The yipping continued. “Yes, I see him. Thank you. That’s good.” The mongrels, perhaps half the size of a house cat, continued their assault on the ears. “God in Heaven, enough!“

In the ensuing silence, their owner appeared, wiping his forehead with a filthy rag. “Hello. Can I help you?”
“I hope so. I’m looking for Oscar”, the traveller replied.
“That’s me”, Oscar confirmed. “What can I do for you?” He was, like so many in these parts, polite and respectful, but wary – logical behaviour given that virtually everybody carried at least one gun on them at all times.
“I heard you’re building a monument. I was hoping I could visit it.”
“Well, it’s not really a monument”, Oscar replied, as the tiny dogs pranced around his feet. “But you’re welcome to have a look. Don’t mind these little buggers. They’ll jump all over your knees, but they’re all bark and no bite.”
“I believe it”, the traveller stated with a slight smile.

“Come on, it’s back there”, Oscar said, beckoning past a log shack and adjacent shed. “You must be a vet. Civvies don’t come out here to see me.”
“I was based in Manaus during the war”, the traveller replied, falling into stride beside his host. “Didn’t get out of it often.”
“I’ll try not to hold that against you”, Oscar replied humorlessly. “I marched through it once and never saw it again.”
“Never?”
“No interest.”
“How about San Sylvestre?”, the traveller asked.
“El Dorado, you mean. It’ll always be El Dorado. No way am I going back there again.”
“Fair enough”, the traveller replied. “Can’t say I really want to either.”

A cross came into sight: two rusty wagon axles, chained at right angles. “Didn’t have any trees around after we burned the bush”, Oscar commented. “We had to improvise.”Noting a small glass jar filled with metal tags at the base of the cross, the traveller asked, “How many are here?””Seventy-three of my mates. Out of a hundred and six that started out.” The traveller swore quietly. Oscar grunted in response. “Yeah, it was a rough week. Word came down from Brigade that the savages had established a strong point on a small rock ridge out here – which is funny, if you think about it, there’s not a lot of rock around here. Just red clay. Anyway, the Eye was using it to run raids on our supply train, and it was really cocking things up. So the old man told our captain to clear the place out.

“We tried to burn them out. Set fires when the wind was right. It worked, at first – they bugged out when things got too hot around the ridge. Soon as we had a route that weren’t burning, we went over and took the ridge. About two hours later, they started dropping arty on us. Guess they’d zeroed in the ridge as a precaution. There was no cover, and we couldn’t dig in at all, so we pulled out.”

The traveller noted that, by the standards of the Amazon, the trees were relatively small around here, not more than three or four years old.

“We went back the next day, but the bastards were back on the ridge already, with a machine gun. Waited until we were out in a skirmish line in the burn before they opened up. Those of us weren’t cut down by the rounds just dropped where we were – which didn’t help so much considering we’d burnt most of the cover the previous day. I spent the whole damn day curled up behind a stump, making sure my head and my ass weren’t sticking out.” Oscar pointed out a streak of white hair along his left temple. “Didn’t quite manage that. Still, I scampered back to our start line come nightfall, which was damned lucky, as they went out and caught two of our boys that had stayed put too long. Had ‘em screaming all night and into the next morning.”

The traveller winced knowingly. It had been established very early in the war that it was better to die fighting than to be captured, considering what would come afterward. The traveller had issued the order himself more than once.

11 November 1908: North of Manaus, Amazonas del Sur“Passing through?”, the homesteader asked, his rifle resting in his arms.”Yes”, the traveller replied, his rifle dangling off his right shoulder on a strap. “I was told there was a veteran building a monument around these parts. I thought I’d go see it.”
“You’d be talking about Oscar”, the homesteader confirmed, his stance relaxing somewhat.
“I don’t know his name – just that he’s around here somewhere. I’d appreciate directions if you can provide them”, the traveller replied.
“I can do that”, the homesteader replied, kicking an uprooted sapling towards a brushpile. “You a vet?”
“Yes. You?”
“Yeah”, the homesteader confirmed. “Oscar’s about three miles that way. You can’t miss his dogs.”
“Everybody’s got dogs”, the traveller observed.
“Everybody’s dogs aren’t the same as Oscar’s dogs”, the homesteader replied. “Just keep in mind that Oscar’s still in the jungle.”
The traveller nodded. He’d heard the expression a fair bit in the past two weeks. Vets scarred or broken by the experience of fighting skilled fanatics amidst the humid heat of the towering, predatory rain forest were still in the jungle, even if the trees around them had been felled by settlers carving out fields for crops or grazing. “I appreciate the advice. Have yourself a good day.”
The homesteader nodded back. “Safe travels.”


The traveller continued on his way, rifle dangling, revolver in unclipped holster, knife in unclipped sheath. The Anahuac had been vanquished, but not wholly exterminated, after their defeat three years earlier. Every few months, it seemed, a pack of them erupted out of the greenery to slaughter whomever they could find before the local militia tracked them down. Any traveller with a hint of common sense went armed, if only to assure himself the quick, painless death that the Anahuac would deny him.
The trail was two yards wide, nothing more than flattened grasses and saplings broken by the wheels of carts and the hooves of horses and oxen. The traveller assumed, correctly, that it was one of the old trails broken by the army in order to move supplies up to the frontlines. Nowadays, settlers and homesteaders used it as a highway of sorts. He’d already passed several fortified villages along the way, and knew of two or three more further on, and had indeed passed a few wary locals along the way.
Perhaps two hours passed before Oscar’s dogs revealed themselves. The traveller had assumed from the homesteader’s remarks that Oscar’s dogs were larger and more formidable than most. They were, in fact, six or seven tiny moppets that raised an irritating, high-pitched racket as soon as they heard his footfalls. “Okay, yes, I see him”, a man’s voice called out from a stand of brush. The yipping continued. “Yes, I see him. Thank you. That’s good.” The mongrels, perhaps half the size of a house cat, continued their assault on the ears. “God in Heaven, enough!“
In the ensuing silence, their owner appeared, wiping his forehead with a filthy rag. “Hello. Can I help you?”
“I hope so. I’m looking for Oscar”, the traveller replied.
“That’s me”, Oscar confirmed. “What can I do for you?” He was, like so many in these parts, polite and respectful, but wary – logical behaviour given that virtually everybody carried at least one gun on them at all times.
“I heard you’re building a monument. I was hoping I could visit it.”
“Well, it’s not really a monument”, Oscar replied, as the tiny dogs pranced around his feet. “But you’re welcome to have a look. Don’t mind these little buggers. They’ll jump all over your knees, but they’re all bark and no bite.”
“I believe it”, the traveller stated with a slight smile.
“Come on, it’s back there”, Oscar said, beckoning past a log shack and adjacent shed. “You must be a vet. Civvies don’t come out here to see me.”
“I was based in Manaus during the war”, the traveller replied, falling into stride beside his host. “Didn’t get out of it often.”
“I’ll try not to hold that against you”, Oscar replied humorlessly. “I marched through it once and never saw it again.”
“Never?”
“No interest.”
“How about San Sylvestre?”, the traveller asked.
“El Dorado, you mean. It’ll always be El Dorado. No way am I going back there again.”
“Fair enough”, the traveller replied. “Can’t say I really want to either.”
A cross came into sight: two rusty wagon axles, chained at right angles. “Didn’t have any trees around after we burned the bush”, Oscar commented. “We had to improvise.”Noting a small glass jar filled with metal tags at the base of the cross, the traveller asked, “How many are here?””Seventy-three of my mates. Out of a hundred and six that started out.” The traveller swore quietly. Oscar grunted in response. “Yeah, it was a rough week. Word came down from Brigade that the savages had established a strong point on a small rock ridge out here – which is funny, if you think about it, there’s not a lot of rock around here. Just red clay. Anyway, the Eye was using it to run raids on our supply train, and it was really cocking things up. So the old man told our captain to clear the place out.

“We tried to burn them out. Set fires when the wind was right. It worked, at first – they bugged out when things got too hot around the ridge. Soon as we had a route that weren’t burning, we went over and took the ridge. About two hours later, they started dropping arty on us. Guess they’d zeroed in the ridge as a precaution. There was no cover, and we couldn’t dig in at all, so we pulled out.”
The traveller noted that, by the standards of the Amazon, the trees were relatively small around here, not more than three or four years old.

“We went back the next day, but the bastards were back on the ridge already, with a machine gun. Waited until we were out in a skirmish line in the burn before they opened up. Those of us weren’t cut down by the rounds just dropped where we were – which didn’t help so much considering we’d burnt most of the cover the previous day. I spent the whole damn day curled up behind a stump, making sure my head and my ass weren’t sticking out.” Oscar pointed out a streak of white hair along his left temple. “Didn’t quite manage that. Still, I scampered back to our start line come nightfall, which was damned lucky, as they went out and caught two of our boys that had stayed put too long. Had ‘em screaming all night and into the next morning.”

The traveller winced knowingly. It had been established very early in the war that it was better to die fighting than to be captured, considering what would come afterward. The traveller had issued the order himself more than once.

“We worked through the brush to the north two days later; they had an ambush waiting for us. We fought through it, but it cost us the day and the captain.”

Oscar’s little pack of toy dogs scampered past them, heading down the trail at what was, for them, break-neck speed. “Not your typical Amazon dogs”, the traveller ventured.
“I found the bitch and the stud while we were going house-to-house in El Dorado. I reckon a French ex-pat must’ve brought them in. Can’t imagine how they managed not to get eaten”, Oscar replied. “They’ve had two litters since; four pups have made it.

“So, I was saying, we regrouped that day while senior platoon commander took over the the company, trading fire here and there with any Anahuac that would show themselves.

We’d lost a lot of guys, and the CO was concerned about the company routing. He collapsed us down to two platoons, since there was just one other lieutenant left, and we pushed on. It was like basic training all over again – advance a few feet, take cover, provide cover for your mate while he did the same.

“The Anahuac figured out that we were split in two, and raided the other platoon that night. We joined in on the melee soon as we could. Total pandemonium. Spearpoint to bayonet in total darkness – stabbing at smells, sounds, movements of air. I jabbed somebody, somebody else nicked me. Eventually, our CO just shouted for us all to stay still, shut the hell up, and kill anything that moved.”

They’d arrived at the ridge, Oscar and the traveller. About eighty feet long, twelve or so feet high, it was a pitted grey, covered in fungus. “Come dawn, we found that there were still thirty or so us left. We were over there, to the north, about one hundred feet away. We didn’t see anybody over here, and there were enough of them lying around to believe we’d gotten them all, but I think we were all too damned scared to confirm it. Wasn’t until mid-afternoon that Corporal Rodriguez got impatient and made his way over. He found one wounded Anahuac, shot him dead, poked around a while, and called the rest of us over.”

“So you took the ridge”, the traveller said.
“Yeah. And a few days later, the Anahuac pulled back to another line of defence anyway. We went back to the rear and got merged with another company that had been cut up. Kept fighting.”
“Afterward?”

“I took up the cantonment offer soon as I heard of it”, Oscar said. The army had come up with the initiative to encourage settlement – self-defending settlement – of the central Amazon post-war; several thousand veterans had accepted it. “Wandered a bit, and found myself back here. Cleaned around the grave, repaired the cross, and decided to built this.”
Before them, at the foot of the ridge, was a small pile of rocks, perhaps two feet high.”I’ve got a little book in a tin can in the foot of the pile. Any time a vet stops by, I invite him to sign it. Would you like to?”, Oscar asked.”I would”, the traveller replied. Oscar dropped to his knees, popped the lid off a rusty biscuit tin, and pulled out a small notepad and pencil. He reached up to hand them to the traveller, who flipped the notepad open. Sixteen names were listed on the first page. The traveller grunted, put pencil to paper, and wrote:

Geolog, Santos Soublette; Commanding Officer; Army of the Amazon

He closed the notepad and handed it and the pencil back to Oscar, who secured them in the tin. “Thanks.”
“Thank you”, Geolog, the traveller, responded.

Oscar shrugged, got back to his feet. “I know it’s not much yet”, he explained, “But I’m adding to it everytime I find another rock on the property. I’ve got lots of time, and I’m not going anywhere. Join me for some eggs?”
“I’d be honored”, Geolog said.

Two hours later, Geolog spied the homesteader, leaning on a shovel while the brushpile smouldered and streamed white smoke into the thick jungle air. He waved; the homesteader nodded back. “Back so soon?”, he called out.

“Yes. You were right about the dogs.”
“Like I said, no missing them”, the homesteader remarked. “How was the monument?”
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Really? It was just a little pile of rocks when I was there.”

In his mind, Geolog could see Oscar tending to his friends’ grave and cross, could hear him telling a perfect stranger about the most horrifying week of his life.

After a moment, he replied, “My friend, if you just saw the rock pile, you didn’t see the monument.”




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Liver Pate Duck

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Recipe

  • 1 Tbsp of butter to melt to start the pan
  • 1/2 a cup of finely minced onion
  • 1 tsp of finely minced garlic
  • Half a cup of fresh duck livers chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp of ground dried red pepper
  • 1 tsp of  dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of keens hot mustard
  • 1/4 cup of good Sherry
  • 1 tbsp of butter to finish.

In a cast Iron Pan or your good pan over med heat, I melted the first tbsp of butter, added the onion, garlic and the liver.. Cook them till the livers are just done, add your spices and your sherry, simmer them together.

Take them off the heat, pour into your blender add another tbsp of butter and blend, you can blend it course, med or smooth.  I choose course today, but if you blend it to smooth, it will be almost fluffy whipped in texture, sometimes that’s nice, other times , you just want it to be a bit more meaty. Scrape out of your blender and into a bowl to set up as it chills.

serve with crackers, pickles, bits of fresh veggies, a great choice to add to a holiday starter board.  it is a flavour that works so well with sour dough

Posted in Charcuterie, Duck, On farm Butcher | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Krazulya Pear Tree

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Photo credit to Bernie Nikolai who is growing this out on the very cold canadian Praires

Arriving well wrapped and ready for late fall dormant planting where a few more very HARDY fruit trees. One of these 3 year old fruit trees is Krazulya. Krazulya is Russian for “Beauty” and it is the most flavourful and hardy of all the early ripening pear tree varieties. Hardy to Zone 3 and being tested in Zone 2.

I picked this pear tree for a number of reasons, first that its crazy early.. mid aug for fresh eating, not much is ready at that time of the year pear wise, so I figure its great for us, and that one fully producing, a few can be sold out to friends for that perfect week of fresh eating..

The second reason is that mid-aug is a slightly slower time garden wise so its good timing for canning this pear not hitting me being ready in that heavier fall push..

The third reason I picked it despite the smaller fruit, is that it will be ready and can be juiced in 2nd and 3rd week of aug giving me one of the sweetest pears with good spice flavour to use to help can up our summer peaches in a fruit juice with the lightest amount of sugar possable.

So many others will be ready to late to help me in the canning kitchen, so while some is for fresh eating, most if for juicing for the canning use and the left over fiber and skins will be used for fodder.

“Krazulya is a very attractive looking pear, hence its name “Beauty”. The fruit is yellow with a bright red cheek. It is the best tasting early ripening pear, being very sweet with a hint of spice. In flavour tests, Krazulya received a mark of 4.7/5, which is exceptional among pears, and even more among hardy pears. The flesh is juicy with a buttery texture and the shape is more round than the common pear. Its skin is tender, smooth and glossy. Fruit is about half or two-thirds the size of a Barlett, weights ranging between 90 and 120g. It’s ready for harvest mid to late August and should be eaten quickly as it does not store particularly well (1-2 weeks).”

Thank you to the Hardy Fruit Tree company out of Quebec, I hope to add a few more russian produced hardy pear trees in 2021 or 2022.

Creating pear tree varieties is a lot more difficult than apple tree varieties and finding a flavourful and hardy variety is a huge and lengthy task that requires a lot of patience. It took many decades for Russian scientists and researchers to develop the Krazulya variety by way of  hybridization and selection techniques. It originated in South-Ural research institute of Fruit & Vegetable Growing and Potato Growing from a cross between Pozdnyaya (that means “Late” in Russian) and Malenkaya Radost (which means “Little Joy” in Russian). The author of this cross is E.A. Falkenberg.

Posted in Climate Change, Food Forest, Food in jars | Tagged , | Leave a comment

3 Tons of Grain

122331368_656785541701083_1895759599883326995_nA ton of Barley Wheat and Oats have arrived on the farm this week.. beautiful local non-gmo grains grown locally by a wonderful farming family about 15 min up the road.

Now that is close and that is local and that is community support.. buy local when you can and the prices were fair and on target for the whole grains on the market. I wish we had a area that we could just have the big bags driven into and placed but at this time we do not.. so they arrived and where placed on new clean dry pallets and tarped down in a fresh new heavy duty silver tarp and we will spend hours (many hours moving then into the croft and into the grain storage area.

Moving 6000 pounds by hand is a steady job for sure.. the trade off between paying for equipment vs hard manual labour..

Its going to be hard honest work and it give us enough grain for all my livestock needs for the next 310 days, not quite a years worth and there is a bit of flex on those days depending on how many lambs born, ewes in milk for the house, how hard the horse’s are worked and how many ducklings and chicks are hatched out.

The barley will be used in part for sprouting, and the oats will in part be used as a garden green cover and the oats and wheat will both be used as seed out for any areas that need extra coverage in the spring from winter wear.

I already have my pasture seed for the next three years to use for snow spring seeding, as well as have a order in for planting for higher intense pasture grazing.

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We are planning on getting a ATV next year and with it I can use a number of my horse drawn equipment as well some extra things like a trailer and a few other things we will see..

I know its not nice to say but by next year there is going to be a flood of peaple that will be looking to sell “extras” for cash in hand,, it will have hit the “just a few more weeks, just a few more months” peaple that it is in fact going to be at a min a 3 to 5 year event and a 5 to 10 year global recession.

However at least here in canada, we are very much at the moment and I think for the forsee able future in a K..  the whole country will BE EFFECTED but that back half of the K is huge for how each area and each family will feel it..  those with steady work from home jobs, those with steady in need front line jobs, those who meet the need of keeping things going.. will be on that upper heading up arm of the K and they will be doing a mix of great.. never had more money in the bank..  not eating out, not needing to buy the suit or the dress of the party, not paying for the kids in sports and so on..  then there will be the others that are doing well, but feeling the effect of the pushes and pulls in so many ways..

And then there is those that will be on that downward part of the K.. and they are going to struggle.. they will be selling off toys and extra’s..  right now in my neck of the woods, on the market place we can see this already just not in the way we will next year..

Top big ticket items folks are trying to move.. Pool tables, huge dining room sets, full spare bedroom sets, hot tubs, smaller second hand commute cars, and of course the moterhomes and extra fridges (but a freezer is hard to find, they move by word of mouth at this time)

By next year we will start to see the ATV’s, the motor boats, the canoes, the smaller moterhomes and vans (anything that really takes the gas) Ski-doo’s and more..

While we have always done things by hand and we will continue to do so in many many ways, we are both 48 and we are giving the farm the long hard look at what needs to be repaired, replaced and what would be the best way forward to age out on the farm in the best way possable..

I know its asking a lot but we want the best of both worlds.. planning and using some of the modern things so many take for granted but having the full in use backups in place and still be worked.. a prime example is that we are planning to drill a new well and that well will be on power grid and will be used to put in drip lines, keep the pond full and put in auto water for all year long for the livestock making things so much easier in so many ways..

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But we are keeping the back big barn drilled well and getting the repair work needed done and moving from the smaller hand pump to the old fashioned huge big pump on it..   Making our life easier but keeping the hands on no power ability of the farm alive and well..

So back to our ATV and my planned uses.. one of which is to continue to improve pasture but also to flatten, seed out and plant out fodder stripes in the front pasture in rows that will be done with hot lines within a new food forest type layout.. but I am going to use as much of my land as I can as things are planted and grow in layers..  more on that at a later point..

So did you bring in larger amounts of grain if you are small holder or homesteader..  are you buying monthly from the feed store or did you bring in skids..  What are you seeing for sale already in your neck of the woods on your local for sale sites?

Posted in 100 mile diet, Critters | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Sweet Potato Lentil Sausage Chowder Style Soup

This is a lovely heavier “chowder thick” soup and it can be served at two points.

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Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup.

  • 2 cups of peeled cubed sweet potato
  • !/2 Cup of green or brown lentils
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of powdered ginger
  • 6 cups of veggie broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook till the sweet potato are starting to fall apart on the edges of the cubes and the lentils are softly cooked though..  It took me around 40 minutes at med heat.. Take off heat and let it come down from the simmer and using a metal or heat safe hand mixer blend it in the pot carefully or can blend in blender.. again.. careful.. its hot..

Can stop right there, adjust your salt and pepper and serve up thick and hot with a big spoob of sour cream in the middle with a some chives if you want.. or a swirl of cream on top with some crushed chili flakes.

However as much as I personally adore smooth soups.. Dear hubby does not!

Sweet Potato Lentil and Sausage Soup

In a fly pan at med heat with a touch of your choice of oil cook up..

  • 1 med peeled and finely diced onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 or 2 precooked diced sausages or you could take raw out of the casing and make bits of it..  If you are using precooked like I did.. I sliced it in half and then down the middle giving me many small bite size bits of sausage..
  • Cook till the onion is just starting to get clear and meat is getting some crisp bits and edges or if raw, is cooked though..

Add these the Sweet potato and lentil soup base, mix though and enjoy..

This soup recipe made 4 meal size portions or it would make 8 smaller soup starters or side soups. Its a great way to use up a single leftover sausage and turn it into a whole meal.

Posted in Recipes from the Root Cellar, Soups and Stews | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Dear Hubby Health and Diet

Early this Late summer/fall, we had heart health scare and issue with Dear Hubby, requiring some trips to emergency,  medical treatments and daily medications.

Combined and or in part due finding out that he is now type 2 Diabetic.   He is on two kinds of meds, a very strict diet that needs to be a combo of Diabetic/Heart health and unlike most Diabetics he does not have weight lose.. in fact he needs to stop losing weight, hold steady and start building more muscle mass.  For him because he does not have weight to lose, he needs to work the excess sugars in his blood by exercise.

Both a very good thing and a challenge given he does not have his standing desk at home like he did at work.. this puts him in his chair for longer timings then I would like, at some point, we will see if we can figure out or build a space that can be used as a standing desk.  We are looking into the idea of being able to claim a good percent as we have a full room that is going into office working space.  We are hopeful that we will be able to get the right T4 paperwork to claim some of the costs from working from home.

While the first part was VERY hard, I really like our medical doctor who cheerfully pointed out that we are lucky that DH is so healthy and strong.. this was a total HUH moment for me I will still running on empty from days of little to no sleep.. as she explained that he ran a full running race heart wise for about 5 hours and never slowed down and didn’t throw a heart attack that in the end after 3 IV doses to finally bring that insane heart rate down.. he said.. my heart feels tired.. According to her, most peaple can only have the heart rate he had for 15 to 20 minutes before they throw a heart attack or get the meds to slow it down..

I am beyond grateful that we had a doctor who feel that part of the reason he has no internal damage on any of the tests, scans and so on is because of our food on the farm and understood that while I would need to make changes, that eating whole food, fruit, milk, eggs and grass fed is the way to go!

We had a month were the allowed carb count was crazy low for the whole day never mind the meals.. but as his blood sugars are getting stable in the low and mid 6’s, instead of his worst highs are being given a bit more flex in our carb counts in the main meals..  after his next 3 month testing, we will see if we can go to the more standard carbs per main meal and 2 snacks..

I grew food for our storage that does not work but can go to friends or livestock.. so many winter potato’s.. its a good thing the pigs and chickens and such love them so much once they are cooked..   I have tried 3 times to use even the smallest amount of spuds and he spikes each time.. for now at least.. no more potato’s a staple that must be replaced in our gardens, pantry, canning and cooking..

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I will be bringing in heavy homemade sour dough rye bread back this month and we will see if in small amounts we can have some or if it will cause spikes.   So far Ryvita does not and as its rye based and as sour dough long slow rise bread is the favored way to go, we are going to combine the two of them..

Hubby has a “medical order” for 5 days a week of X amount of walking, which works well for many things but as winter is coming and we are still in a modified stage 2 lockdown locally, we are most certainly not leaving the farm to go anywhere indoors to be able to get his required “this much heart rate” for this long. Poor guy has to stop and do jumping jacks off and on to get his heart rate up higher on his walks/hikes .  so we will be getting one indoor piece of workout equipment..  Still in research mode on that at this point..

Clearly the goal is to work to get those numbers down and to get him off the meds as much as possable..

Stress and worry and a month an some of the new eating and I have lost over 25 pounds myself..  which I certainly can stand to lose.. it will not hurt me at all..  but I am finding myself very tired indeed..

Winter is coming and things will soon give me time to sleep more.. but not yet.. there is things to do and prepare..   In keeping with this, there will be even more whole food, lower carb meals, with lots of Soups, Stews, Chili’s.. more use for Beans, Lentils and Barley..

We are moving from the sweet side to the Savory flavour profiles which is a interesting challenge for me in the kitchen..

Posted in Health, Homestead Diabetic | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Friday Rambles Nov 5th

Friday's Rambles (1)

Normally Friday rambles is a mix of fact, personal views and some good snark at times.. I normally pick at least one or more related current events news and away we go..

But lets deal with the big one.. regardless of your own personal view on the disease itself (which i have heard ALL the view points and I am not touching it with a ten foot pole here on the blog)

The lockdowns, the phases and so on are effecting all of us, even if you live in a area with no cases, and the Canadian north has done a outstanding job at keeping it free of issues.. the eastern provinces in my country are in a locked in bubble with each other and they are also doing amazingly well..

Quebec and Ontario are the most effected and I live one county away from one of the main province hot spots of ottawa and about a hour from montreal (quebec)which is another crazy high hot spot.. my own area is very min in terms of cases and even less in regards to related deaths. However our health unit is in step with the big city in most ways as there is a lot of movement between the city and my county..

My own personal family out west are doing very well in having been in very quiet and or uneffected zones in terms of cases.. The numbers are climbing in their province at this time

So that would be my first question? Where are you currently in regards to lockdown, color codes and or phases.

So far our farm has been under both federal and province wide emerg acts and we have had in order..

-Modified Semi lock down- if you can work from home do so.. but really pretty much all stores and more are open..

-Lock Down.. Everything closes down tight other then food stores, feed stores, modified but still available medical and vet care.. This was a hard full on lock down and we left the farm once a month only though it.

Then we moved to Phases, that did a slow openning up..

-Moved to Phase 1, where you could get your eyes done, your teeth done.. but really phase 1 was just a bit of a modified version of a lighter lockdown, it was still very tight and heavy..

-Moved to Phase 2, patio eating openned up and so did many stores and so on as long as they had their own doorways and so on..

Moved to Phase 3- gyms, bars, event places, schools, even sport teams all came back online.. it was a short phase 3 before the local numbers went from under a hundred a day to within 6 weeks over a thousand a day.

Back into phase 2 lockdown.. but now they changed it again.. to color coding.. Now we are in orange, with red a full lockdown again.. yellow in warning and green good to go..

Regardless of how I personally feel about some of the choices made and when above, that is what we have to work with and we are coming into fall with higher numbers, they “say” we have untraceable 35% spread.. which means in lay terms we are going to be in versions of lockdown moving up and down all winter and into 2021.

Are you in one of those area’s that is low case or are you in a area of highly effected? Share if you are willing..

Here is the big things I want to dig into, are you preparing for the winter? Have you put away extras in the pantry? Do you have a plan in place for if or when your emerg act (if you have one in place) is going to tilt your world again.

We are finding some things are very hard to find, example I am currently in the hunt mode for the wool replacement part for fixing the lining of my dryer drum.. its a 15 dollar part with around 45 min to take the broken one off and replace with the new one.. but I never thought to put a extra away.. and so here we sit..

Now I have the outdoor cloths line and the indoor drying racks and can throw up a indoor drying line if I want.. but its just one small but real example of how limited supplies are effecting the global supply chain which is effecting what we are seeing on store shelves and even online.

I am way to frugal and stubborn to “go buy a new one” for something that can be repaired.. I will make due and we will see how long it takes the part I had to order online takes to get to us..

We are fully expecting in our area to be in red mode lockdown again by christmas and into the new year.. We are planning and preparing for it.. but in truth coming into fall, the pantry is full, the fruit/veggie freezer is full, the meat freezers are filling rapidly and the canning shelves are filling up.

The farm continues to produce our own milk(sheep) and milk products, fresh chicken eggs, Duck eggs are pretty done for the year.. we have lamb, mutton, chicken, duck, pork and we bought a whole long yearling from a grass fed farm down the road..

Many of the layers I have spent years building into the farm and gardens all paid off this year in giving us a leg up on planting, growing, harvesting and preserving the harvests..

Are you coming into fall feeling like you are prepared for the coming winter? If so why.. if not why?

Posted in At the kitchen table, farm journel, Friday Rambles | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

If there was ever a time for a couple good dogs!

Farm Dogs.. Needed more now then ever..

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My farm dogs over the past years (other then our old lab that moved to the farm with us) have all been on the smaller side, with the females ranging between 26 and 32 pounds and the boys on the high 30 pound range..

The last two older girls are retired into true house dogs and are coming 13 which leaves me with Dezzy..  my 28 pound 5 year old that is great in some ways and quirky in others.. (they are all right)

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Just not big enough for what is all coming.. I had been planning on adding in a new pup.. but fate stepped in and we ended up with two amazing boys.. I do not recommend getting two pups this close in age even though not littermates.. its a lot of work to raise one pup.. never mind two..  but it can be done.

I had already planned on getting a larger dog with a much deep woof to help me with the coy-wolf pack and I wanted a natural born farm and guard type dog but one that would still bond tightly with his peaple..

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Remmi ((catahoula) is just that.. he is 50 plus pounds at 6 months, is already everything I hoped for and more.. he should come in around 90? pounds full grown.. Adore him to bits!  Having said that.. he has already proven very good at backing peaple up and holding them down on the driveway and or off the deck..  he has some lovely clear different barks which I love that they are so easy to read..

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His best buddy Uther is a labX and he is far more friendly! (its a breed thing) but he is a great chore dog and he is strong on the hunting and will make a solid retrieving bird dog.  He will not be as big.. He should come in around 65-70 pounds but it will be what it will be..

Its been a great choice to add these boys for so many reason.. for the longer terms plans given the state of the world and my own local area having a couple good working dogs with some size and woof to them.. a very good thing..

Adding in puppies at stressful time..  Perfect timing..  lots of training time,  with Dear Hubby home, it was MUCH easier to split them out.. you take this one.. I take this one..  but also starting the training as a unit..  lots of laughs and ah’s and resting baby hound face is crazy adorable! I mean.. REALLY FREAKIN adorable.

Its been such a good thing for the farm to be marked again by males and to watch the coy-wolves pack swing wide around the farm as Remmi shows me where they are at by aiming is very strong nose work and hair comes up his back line by 4 or more inches and WOOFF WOOFF  comes out..

While I know that it means more barking is coming from my farm.. that is also not a bad thing. local’s have said.. new dogs.. big!.. hmmm.. word will spread.. so much theft has been reported in my local area..

Now I know that in our province and our country there has been a crazy price hike and increase in peaple getting dogs and puppies because they are home now. the local shelters are empty, the rescues are bringing in northern or Reserve dogs and puppies by the shipments of 50 or more and they are gone as soon as they go up for sale (call it adoption if you want but when you charge 450 to 800) its a sale..

I was lucky, I got Remmi from a awesome breeder, I had been following the breeder for around 9 years now.. almost got a pup from her 3 years ago.. but it was just not the right timing and had put myself on the waiting list for the breeding that Remmi came from within minutes of her annoucing it..   It was a very reasonable sale price..  right on target for a well bred pup.

Uther was gifted to us by Dear Hubbies Cousin.. (thank you) and the deal is that they get to visit him and watch him grow up.. Covid has put a damper on the visiting but I truly hope for 12 to 14 years so lots of updates, and visiting to come in years ahead.

I expect that we will only have Marie and Paris for another winter or two.. and then we will be down to our pack of 3.. but at the moment, I am enjoy them all each day.. and i can honestly say I have never had a easier time on housebreaking or teaching cueing for bathroom/door

Got to love a clean pup..  (while we do our part, a huge thank you goes to those that raised them)

While I wish the best for all the peaple that got new puppies, I expect that dog trainers will be very busy over the next year or two and that if and when you need to leave your teenage or 3 year old dog at home if you need to go back to the office that we will see a flood of them coming into rescue..

So Farmgal’s helpful tip of the day..  Raise your new pup to learn to be left at home, learn to crate, learn to go truck and go crate in truck..  yes love them.. yes train them, take them to town and walk them around.. train in the park, train on the road.. try and see if you can train with a couple friends at distance with masks if needed but do everything you can to help create well adjusted Canines.

Posted in Farm dogs, Life moves on daily | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ten years.. Today the blog is 10 years old!

Due to personal reason’s I decided to take a break from blogging, something I have done before over the years but never for so long.. Once Covid-19 hit, I had not be blogging for a while and I struggled hard at how could I explain all the things that had really mattered to me (and still do) compared to what was happening..

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It seemed so very small.. At that point, I was thrown into dealing with all kinds of things, a) hubby would be sent home to work but not before he would be one of the last in the office and we would be told that X amount of contacts were testing postive. He would come home to be pulled into a rapid Response C-19 team that would put a new meaning to the word.. overtime.

I on the other hand would close up, lock down and put all those skills and food challanges into full use and the truth is personally we moved though the first months of lockdown with no issues..

Not to be the same for loved ones.. for the family member battling Cancer, for the unexpected passing of friends, the very unexpected passing of Dear Hubbies and mines beloved Uncle..

What happened next was that local peaple reached out for help on planning and planting gardens, help on learning how to can, to get seeds, to get seed potato’s and I did my best.. I pulled on contacts, I put together and ordered in shipments of plants, fruit bushes and trees, I worked with friends that helped bring in soil, kelp, manure and so much more

We had a bitter long cold wet spring that stunted everything that moved into dry, hot late spring and early summer that pushed our whole area into a level 2 drought.. we bought and brought in 2 full tankers of water to fill the well, the water tanks, the barrels and our pond..

This cost us $800, which was a very good thing because it kept the garden watered, the fruit canes, trees and newly planted whips watered in deeply once a week.. giving us excellent yields compared to so many others in our area that did not.

Hay however was a different matter.. the drought was bad enough I had to buy and haul in hay from across the valley.. but So grateful to my friend that let me buy 230 small squares from her and from my regular who has my big bales in storage for me.

Fall arrived and right in the middle of it came health issues for Dear Hubby, I am beyond grateful that it happened in the “lull” of phase 3 in our local area in regards to c-19 that allowed us to get medical needed done.. but still I spent hours and hours in the parking lot waiting for word, not being allowed in is very hard!

A Month of driving for medical, learning new terms, changing some things, harvest and more….

Then today, I got notice that the blog is 10 years old.. and I decided to look at its stats.. I mean, I have not written a post so far for 2020..

The search bars sent over 22,000 peaple to the blog based on what they were searching for, 29,905 thousands peaple had read 43 660 posts.. WOW!

This means that in the past 10 months, just shy of 30,000 peaple searched for and read, used, gain knowledge or got helpful hints, found recipes, garden information and small stock and more.. Wild foraging and Canning and more..

It made me focus down and realize that I need to start writing again.. Maybe not as often, and maybe different on this or that to reflex the current new “world” we find ourselves in.. but the words must flow..

Posted in At the kitchen table, Blogging, farm journel | Tagged , | 10 Comments

By-product of Duck Butchering-Down and Small Feathers-Part One

Its always a good thing to harvest the best warm down feathers each time and save them.. they are so warm when used properly!

Just another Day on the Farm

Now I think most folks can see that with the different new duck recipes appearing on the blog lately that I am doing a little of my fall bird butcher out, now its worth noting that for those that are wanting to make some for those recipes, that I am making my recipes with Muscovy’s, as I find them to be one of the best birds for small farms, high production rates and one of the finest duck meat available, however I had it pointed out to me that I should comment that as Muscovy’s are a duck, they are not from the same ” mallard” breeding line, and that their meat is a touch different then regular ducks. I think Poultry for small farms says it perfectly..

“If you’ve never eaten Muscovy, you should know that it’s really something. Muscovy is not at all greasy like other duck meat, it’s…

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Posted in Life moves on daily