Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dehydrator going strong

Our dehydrator has been working well and we are pleased with our efforts so far. We have dehydrated lots of kale, apples, herbs and zucchini. Today I put some green and pole beans in, it will be interesting to see how they turn out. The beans need to be sliced in half longways in order for them to dehydrate properly.
I also want to try tomatoes, and various other leaves such as amaranth and chia.
Watch this space!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Vegetable and cheese pasties

It is the time of year when we go through a meat shortage, we are coming to the end of last years meat and this years meat is still a couple of months away from freezer camp.
However, our garden is bursting with beautiful tasty nutritious vegetables that are used in many ways.
We turned a few zucchini's, some new potatoes, tomatoes, parsley and grated cheese into some awesome pasties.

The vegetables were diced finely, the potatoes were blanched until slightly tender and the whole mix mixed with grated cheese and seasoned with salt and pepper. The pastry was a simple flaky pastry made with 1 pound of white flour mixed with 8oz of super cold grated butter and then formed into a pastry with chilled water.
Three tips for making this pastry extra good, always use very cold grated butter and handle the pastry as little as possible. The third tip, split the pastry in two and roll out each piece the exact same shape and size, usually a rectangle. With a knife mark 8 sections on one of the rectangles but do not cut through. Fill these rectangles with filling, brush around each segment with milk or egg to seal and carefully using a rolling pin to help place the second pastry rectangle on top. Press down around all the pasties. Cut into 8 and bake on 350 degrees until golden brown.
Rolling two same size and shape pastry pieces eliminates the re-rolling that causes the delicately made pastry to become less flaky when cooked!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A few birds

We have quite the mix of birds this year on our homestead. The place looks very crowded especially when we sit out to eat our BBQ supper. The birds think that their supper dinner bell has been rung!
Currently we have 38 young chickens made up of, pure lavender orpingtons, pure black orpingtons, some new blood for our layer flock and the remaining our very own homestead hatched heritage meat birds.
We also have 8 turkeys, an adult layer flock of chickens, four juvenile guinea fowl, 1 ring neck pheasant and 5 adult guinea fowl with 24 babies among them. Phew, busy birds!

Dried Apples

Our new dehydrator has been busy since its arrival. I dehydrated a whole bunch of apples but unfortunately they tasted so good that we ate all but one quart jar! However, not to fret as today I have put in another five trays of apples along with three trays of sliced zucchini (courgette) and one and a half trays of sliced banana. I still have a ton of apples coming in so I am sure we will be enjoying dehydrated apple for some while to come. This mass amount of apples has come off only one of our five trees.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Buried in apples!

We seem to be having an early crop of apples from one of our tree's. I think sadly the tree has been badly affected this year by Codling Moth attack and most of the buckets of apples we have collected have been wormy.
This does not stop them getting used. The really bad ones are fed to Jeff our Ayrshire beef steer who likes them a does not mind the extra protein. The second worst are processed into jelly, minus the worms and bad parts and the best of the bunch will be put into our dehydrator or turned into puree for use in pies and baking, again minus worms and bad parts.
We follow a use everything rule so all the bad parts and worms will be either composted or fed to the livestock who will happily gobble them up!

I shall post on the dehydrated apples when they have been done!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Orange and Lemon Peel Jelly

When we have oranges or lemons I always throw the peels in a bag in the freezer, as I do with apple cores and peelings. The latest bag was more lemon and orange peel so I made some delicious jelly. The peels and apple cores are covered with water and boiled for an hour or so to get out all the flavor. This is then passed first through a sieve and then through a jelly bag, the sieve takes out the larger pieces that will jam up the jelly bag in no time which is time consuming.
Once all the liquid has strained compost the peels/apple cores and add enough sugar to your taste. Boil down until jam stage when a small spoonful will form a skin on a plate.

It did not make a huge amount but it is excellent and saves on food waste :)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bursting with fresh flavor

Our garden is in full production right now. Currently the zucchini's and bush beans are at full swing. I am picking and picking and picking which is great. We may not have as much crop as we did in Manitoba but for our first year of growing here in Nova Scotia we are doing well.
There is nothing more satisfying than heading to the garden, picking a bunch of fresh herbs and vegetables, quick frying it all up and serving it on hot homemade toasted bread with a sprinkle of cheese :)

Kale, zucchini, radish pods, radish, beetroot leaves and wild greens went into this mouthwatering, nutrient dense lunch.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I have been away for a while!

Well folks, I am back. It has been quite a few months since my last blog on here although I do blog often on my Facebook sister page. We have been very busy here since our move just over a year ago. Our garden has taken a lot of our time and we are proud of the progress so far. We are eating well from it. Our livestock situation has changed too, we have grown more on the poultry front and added some lovely birds to our homestead.
Sadly, we had to sell our milking cow Mookie as the issue of her suckling herself became to problematic and we were losing a good portion of the daily milk quota. It was sad to let her go. Maybe next year we will look at a small herd of dairy goats.
Our next project is to start on building the greenhouse, and to build some more poultry enclosures.
Keep tuned!