Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our Suburban Homestead.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I am still here folks,just learning to juggle home and work.I have had a few moments of Motherly Guilt about not being the one home doing the household stuff.But then I remembered that Chance and I have always shared the work load,each of us doing what needed to be done by whomever had the time to do the work.
The boys have been very helpful too,pitching in doing extra chores with out hassles and staying on top of their school work.
The one thing about where I work that is taking some getting used to is a spoonful of culture shock.I work in a place of high end fashion,filled with clothes that could cost me a weeks worth of groceries for one pair of jeans.Luckily I don't have to shop there,I can fake it by shopping else where.So the cultural shock for me is I have gone from wearing thrift store jeans and custom designed by Sol muck boots, a classic look for any homesteader, to fashionable office attire.Weird really weird.
My culture shock has made me even more determined to hold on tightly to my values that lead us to the homesteading life. It has made what we do here at home even more important and purposeful.
Oops,Looks like I must go and get the young one up for school. I'll be back later once I have kicked off my heels,shed my girlie clothes and pulled on my worn jeans and muck boots from the exclusive designer Sol.
Wishing all of you a good day.
Rois

Friday, September 25, 2009

Better late than never,the pickles are pickling.




I know most of you have most likely made your pickles for the year but after being blown off course I finally got around to it. Chance and I made them this past Sunday, a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon.We even had drop in company while we were working and it was fun to chat with our friend while we worked.Our friend was impressed on how well Chance and I dance around the kitchen together.
We used my Grandmothers Kosher Dill recipe.Now this kind of cracks me up,my Grandmother was Norwegian and Cherokee and lived on the North Dakota prairies most of her life,no where close to being a Jewish lady making kosher food for her family. But her pickles are awesome.So awesome that when Issac saw the jars setting on the counter he was not happy he had to wait a minimum of 6 weeks before we can crack open the first jar.
The whole process is simple and goes really quickly.Along the way we learned something new.My Grandmother's recipe simply states "1 scant cup salt" Ah Grandma? Which kind? There's a whole world of salts out on the market these days. Chance did some reading and this is what he found after posing the question of "What makes the different kinds of salts different from each other." The only differences in all of the salts out there is the mineral content and the size of the grains. We also learned it dose not really matter what kind of salt you use to make pickles but if you do not use pickling salt the pickles won't be as pretty to look at.The pickling salt has no iodine unlike the other salts. The iodine causes darkening in foods hence the not so pretty pickles when you use other salts that contain iodine.
We ended up using our box of Kosher salt that dose not have iodine in it.Partly because I did not pay attention to which box I reached for and partly I was following Grandma's recipe verbatim, it just said Salt.
I will say now we had a 25 pound bag of pickling cucs which took 3 batches of the brine.We had 1 jar of sliced pickles and 2 of spears because some of the cucs were to large to fit the jars. That left us with 17 jars of whole cucs to pickle.Almost 2 jars per month and since we won't open them for 6 weeks we should have pickles until we make next years.Whoopie maybe I did the math right for once and we won't be without.
Here is the recipe:

Grandma Linn's Kosher Dills

3 Quarts water (that's 2 pints or 4 cups)
Using distilled water gives a crisp pickle but I use tap water and they are just fine.
1 Quart vinegar ( we use apple cider)
1 scant cup pickling salt
Bring the above to a boil in a large non reactive pot.

In each wide mouthed quart jar put:

1/4 teaspoon Alum
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 clove garlic (use more if you like garlic or if the cloves are small)
1 head dill
1 whole dried red chili pepper

Pack the cucumbers in tightly but do not go over the bottom line of the mouth of the jar.(Where you usually stop filling when canning.) You should be able to get close to 10 cucs in each jar.
Now pour the hot brine over the cuc's to the usual fill line of the jar.
Process for 15 minutes.Wait a minimum of 6 weeks before you open a jar.The longer you can wait the better the pickles will be.The jars we did last year were out of this world good by April but who wants to wait that long for the first taste?

Everything else is fine here.We are all getting used to me working full time and so far so good.My next day off I need to spend some time in the garden looking things over.I just can not believe it is almost October.Where has the year gone?
Rois

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pickles,can't live with out them.


Sunflowers greeting our visitors.









Last night when I returned from work (first day was awesome,there's lots to learn.) my Mom called,she had a surprise for me/us could she come over? Well who dose not love a surprise so of course I said yes.Mom brought me a 25 pound bag of pickling cucumbers as a congratulations on the new job gift. She also brought me on behalf of my Auntie a bunch of Dill.Oh those ladies know me all too well.I must be one goofy girl to get excited over cucumbers and dill,not that I don't like girlie gifts too but the cuc's were perfect.
Now Chance and I can make Pickles tomorrow.I was starting to think we would not get to make Pickles only because life keeps giving us detours.I must say the boys were none to happy about maybe not having any pickles this winter.Well boys Nana and Auntie saved you from a life of pickle deprivation,let the party begin.





I was noticing this morning that it is getting close to time to pull part of the garden.The Zucchini and Yellow Crook necked Squash are getting mildew and looking brown.I am not sad to see either one go,we have eaten both of these with most of our meals for weeks now,it's time to move on to something else. And I think I could pull the cucumbers too.This is all good it will give us room to plant the garlic and some late parsnips.
I found a surprise in the back garden the other day.When we knocked down our hay bale garden beds we left 2 of them along one side of the garden to act as a wall and detour.I did not notice there were some green bean plants growing on one end,they had tangled themselves into the Dahlia's and the Rosemary growing along the garden edge. I did notice them in hind sight,I just thought they would never do anything or produce any beans with the hay bales being a total flop. So, I was out with the chickens and noticed that there were green beans dangling ,when I looked closer I was able to pick two big handfuls of the beans.There's still some more coming.I was more than happy to have these tasty bits of greenness.
Fresh green beans are one of the veggies I buy all year round,I know I know, they are not in season in December but I have a reason.Our boys will not eat frozen or canned veggies,it's my fault one I sometimes wonder at.I wonder at it because so many parents ask me "How did you get your boys to eat their veggies?" Ah..... "I put them on their plate and they ate." And here I am wondering at fresh over frozen. I can't blame the boys I only like fresh veggies myself.Now that we are trying to eat more seasonally it has become an odd dilemma.
The rain rolled in last night,rain hitting the bedroom windows always insures a good night's sleep for me.I was glad it waited until the wee hours.Last night was a football game on the home field, luckily for the kids it had been a mild almost warm evening and they were all home before the rain hit. I think maybe the wind blowing the rain powered up our team into stomping the other team, 50 to 0 made for a rowdy crowd.We can hear the High School sports fields from our house. I knew we had won even before the boys were home, the echoing cheers could be heard here at Hrafinstaad.
Life has taken a pleasant turn,off of a bumpy rocky road onto one that looks smoother and with surprises ahead.Sigh, I thank the Universe for this.
Rois

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whew!


I have very happy news, I am now employed.Whew! Things are really going to change around here.I'll be working full time as a Tailors Admin a fancy title for a job I know I am going to love. I will be doing office/paper work, customer service , general keeping things organized around the shop.The most exciting part is I will also assist the tailors with their sewing work.If things work out and every body is happy in the future I will be sent to Tailoring school to become a certified tailor.I can sew, just no where close to the skill level of the tailors.I have always wished I could really sew and make my own clothes that do not look so homemade.
My favorite part (so far.) of my job is totally an artsy geek thing.On the wall of the shop there is a rack that runs the length of the wall and on the rack hangs spools of thread all arranged by color and looks like a rainbow. My creative side is in love with that wall.
I am sure there will be days when I miss being home but working outside of the home is needed so away I go.With the money I'll be bringing in we will be able to further ourselves in so many ways.Many of our homesteading dreams will come about and we can loosen our belts a bit for some fun things too.
We started some of our homesteading to make our budget go farther but they have now become so much a part of who we have become that will would not give them up.Yes, we can now go back to being able to buy what we need but what for? The root of homesteading for us is being able and taking care of not only ourselves but the Earth.
Last night Chance started some Lox made from more fish from his co-worker.I was busy with the boys and their homework when he started it so I won't have photos of the whole process but I will be sure to catch up with Chance and get a blog written.
My Sunflowers have bloomed finally, I had planted them late and wondered if they would bloom.The last couple of mornings have been foggy here,the sunflowers have been our first peeks of sun to start our days with.The sunflowers stand right at the end of our front walk and are a beautiful beacon of welcome to visitors to Hrafinstaad.
Well I am off to start my first day on the job.I am sure over the next few weeks I will be learning a new juggling act,Home, Work and all of the other things that make up our lives.I have done it before so it should not take to long.
Rois

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sport Dahlia's










I was working in the garden today and came across some great examples of how a Dahlia can become what is called a Sport.A Sport Dahlia is a mutation of genes in the tuber's.Sometimes it lasts only for one season or it can last several years and then return to its original bloom colors.
My Sport Dahlia's came from a variegated flower of purple and white.From what I could find online I guess the purple and whites are a rare sport. The blooms on the sport are all different from each other.As you can see from the photos I have a wide range in the variegation.
I am not sure if the Sports are ever seen in Dahlia shows because they are no longer a pure line but I really like the ones I have and hope it never returns to it's more plainer origin.

This bloom only has a couple of white petals. I like the center petals,they are green until they open all the way.












This pale beauty's photo gives no justice.And in true Sport fashion it is very random and did come from the same stem as the one above.











This one is awesome when seen in real life.As you can see there is only one white petal on the top edge.What you might not be able to see is the petals in the back/underside are a brighter purple while the ones in the center are a deeper reddish purple. You can also see the undersides of the not totally open petals are also green in this flower.There also seems to be a green hue to some of the center petals.













And TA DA! Would you look at that. Very fun and a deep purple again.

Sports are fun you never know what will appear.And truly they all came from the same plant.When I dig them in a few weeks I will be sure to mark these.I don't always keep track and just randomly plant the tubers.I like the surprise of the color combo's I get in a flower bed. But I want to know which will be the Sports so I can track how many years they stay with me.

This evening we had Breakfast for dinner,something we have from time to time and enjoy immensely. I made Blueberry Pancakes and Scrambled eggs,berries I picked and eggs from the girls.I discovered a yummy combo,Blueberry Pancakes with Vanilla Yogurt on them.It kind of reminded me of blintzes or crepes that come with fruit and sour cream.
Today I also picked more Zucchini; I think that made our total one million tons picked.I am sure you can tell from my tone I am over Zucchini.I will have to find some sucker, oops I mean willing soul to give the rest to.And we only, thank goodness planted, one hill.

Cheers Rois

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chicken Butchering Questions?


Hello? Is anyone still out there? I am still here .....Well,it seems like for now all of our awesome projects are done or it's not time to work on much of anything.After looking back on the past few months worth of projects things seem mighty dull right now. It's not a bad thing,winter is coming after all and the outdoor work should be mostly done by now any way.Our Cobb/Earth Oven is on hold until next year.The money is just not there yet to build it right.
While things are quiet I wanted to bring this up,many people come to my blog searching for information about butchering chickens and killing cones.I know the posting on the killing cones was a good one and the only one we have seen like it.The chicken butchering posts have minimal details.I had a hard time finding the line between being informative and not grossing out my readers.And really the web has lots of videos showing the butchering of chickens.
Here is my proposal to those looking for more information on either of these topics.Please leave us your questions in the newest blog entries comments and we will get back to you with our best answer. If you live locally and are wanting some help let us know that too.We will come to you for a small fee and walk you through the art of chicken butchering.
We have been harvesting veggies and fruits from the garden and trees.We have been spying on a Fig Tree in an empty lot near us and they are almost ready.Hopefully no one else is watching them and we will get to bring them home to dry for the winter.
I never got around to making Pickles,it just never happened,not to sure as to why.But I am hoping this week there will still be some pickling cucs at the farms so I can get some done.Better late than never I suppose.I also want to bring home Apples if they are ready.I want to can Apple Butter and Apple Sauce.
I am still standing at a cross roads waiting around for a few more days until I know about the job I interviewed for.The boys are loving school,Chance is planning his next round of bacon and we are enjoying a lovely Indian Summer here.
Sometimes I wonder if I am writing to an empty room,the comments are so few from all of you that I do wonder.And then I wonder about comments left on other blogs the ones that read "I have been reading your blog for X amount of months and finally got up the courage to leave you a comment" Why dose one need courage? The motivations behind my blog are to teach people and share what we know/do and to try and create the feeling of community here.I am not famous or scary.In my mind everyone has something to say and no question is EVER dumb.Dear Reader let me be the Wizard from the Wizard of Oz for a moment and present to you a heart of courage to encourage you to say hello.
I know from my Lijit gadget there are people out there who seem to check my blog often.Some of the places are so far away or have names that stand out that you can't help but notice when they pop up day after day. So who are you? Why do you read my blog?Are you looking for something? And who is the reader just down the road in Troutdale? Because I need some in put folks.What can I tell you about what we do?Things are about to get routine here,lots going on but I am not to sure what anyone might be interested in.Throw me a bone would ya?
Anyone interested in the specialty of the house? Cous Cous Orangutan- It's a crowd,kid,meat eater,vegetarian,budget and maybe Mr Obama too pleaser.
Rois

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cross Roads




Today I find myself standing at a cross roads.This afternoon I have a job interview for a job I want and the pay would change our lives.I feel confident and ready for the interview.
Why the feeling of cross roads? Well,the boys have gone back to school and for the first time in a year I am home alone and it dose feel empty. Last year Sol was home schooled but was ready to return to school,in fact, he is so happy about it that while he was getting ready this morning, he was practically singing "yeah,another day at school". Issac was home re-cooping from 2 surgeries for most of the school year.We are so grateful Issac is back and if he continues to stay healthy as a horse will be there the whole year. Having both boys at school is a big step forward for us as a family.
But before I was called for this interview I was really thinking "What am I going to do with myself?" Household chores never fill the whole day and frankly they dull my mind,I am no longer volunteering at the schools,Ok before anyone thinks that is horrid let me say this,I have volunteered for the past 10 years and have done a huge amount of work.But once kids get to middle or high school three things happen,1.The kids are pubescent, not fun and the eye rolling is awful. 2. All the school wants you to do is office work something I avoid,run from and a job doing this would be a living hell for me besides I like working with kids not papers. 3.You burn out.The work outdoors is winding down,I am not a shopper or a coffee clutch kind of lady.So where dose that leave me? I have spent the past year so focused on the boys that I feel like Rip Vanwinkle waking up from my long nap.
My interview has saved me for now from having to figure it out.Until I am told to come to work I will stand here at the cross roads waiting to make my turn. The Norns have already spun out my fate ,all I have to do now is wait.
Rois

Monday, September 7, 2009


How dose one write a blog entry when there's nothing new,informative,interesting or even funny to report? I suppose I could write about getting behind with the laundry or how I washed the dishes yet again.
It has been wet here the last few days and cooler so we have not spent much time out of doors.And truly I think the garden is slowing down.I am no longer wondering what to do with the Zucchini's.That's good since I have plenty in the freezer now.
Chance and I do have a debate going on,our Wynadotts are turning out to be MEAN little punks and we are considering butchering them.The debate,if we butcher them now while they are still young enough we won't have their eggs.We would end up with almost no eggs until next summer.I'd like to start over with Araucana's ,the breed I wanted to begin with.But no eggs till summer would not be good.My Mom brought up the point that winter is coming and we will have no eggs then any way.Even with that in mind there's the months in between winter and summer.
Chance did smoke the Salmon and it turned out just fine. I had wanted this posting to be about the smoking of the fish but I can not find the photos maybe Chance will be able to find them and I can post later.
Plain Jane Days, just rolling along.
Rois

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I am done with the politics of Food,Diet and Growing

After reading an angry Vegan's rant on another website I have come to the point where I think I am done listening to ranting.Ranting about who's better,Vegan,Omnivore,Organic,Local,Foodie,Cook.
Last night I found this quote that sums up my feelings.

" Do what you can,
Where you are,
With what you have."
Teddy Roosevelt.


We awoke to pouring rain this morning,looks like it will be a day of indoor chores.Any harvesting can wait until tomorrow. I could not believe my ears when the weather man said mountain snow today.???? It's only early September! Maybe Issac will get his wish , a cold winter with good snow on the mountain for snowboarding.
Rois

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy harvesting days

Whew,we have been SO busy,everything was ready to do at once.No wonder my ancestors were such lean leathery people who were most likely ready for bed at days end.
Chance picked 10 gallons worth of hops yesterday. I helped him by plucking the hops from the vines.They are beautiful nuggets of green spread out to dry in the big pantry.We have put the bulk of them up for sale hopefully a local brewer will want them.
Chance also made Cashew Butter.The more things we make for ourselves the more we lose a taste for store bought anything.His Cashew Butter is so simple and only took a couple of minutes.
Here's the recipe.
2 Cups Cashews
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/2 Cup of Veg or Canola oil

First put the nuts in a food processor or blender, whir until it has a peanut butter texture,ours was chunky. Now add in the honey and oil whir to mix it in. You are done.Put in a container and keep it in the fridge.
I have been slowly but surely getting the Pears into the freezer and helping Chance with his projects.
I also had Chance make some pastry dough for me today, I don't make pastry dough.I suppose this is because I come from a long line of excellent pastry bakers who failed passing on to me their knowledge.I don't want to let them down.
My plan for the dough was to make the boys some homemade PopTarts. School will be starting and sometimes breakfast needs to be fast.Even though we have gotten rid of most junk foods I still want the boys to feel like they get some goodies that resemble the junk their peers eat but with a healthier twist.
I had my helper Sol working with me on these Mom Tarts as the boys have dubbed them.A double batch of the dough made 2 dozen tarts.I used Apple Sauce and spices for the filling. We rolled them out and cut them into rectangles so they even looked like the ones out of a box.They are good but I don't think the boys will let this batch hit the freezer. I think in order for any of these to make it to the freezer I will have to make them while the boys are at school and have them put away before they are home.
Ok,I know not the best nutrition but if it is only part of their morning meal and only once in awhile they will be all right.
I met a new neighbor yesterday who lives right around the corner.She stopped by as we were picking the hops.She asked me if I would be interested in trading some Dahlia's later in the fall.You bet! She went home and brought me back a couple of her's so I could see what she had.She brought one that she says grows a bloom that grows up to 10 inches across,it's a deep red with a yellowy under tone. These will look amazing next to my purple ones.She also brought a white with pink tips water lily type,very elegant.We are both happy with having met and working out a trade we both want. Look what happens when you spend time in your front yard, you get to meet new people.
We have a new rooster,not a planned thing but he is so handsome he had to come home.We named him Zephaniah or just Zeph and he is an Araucana, white with a black tail that looks like it will grow long.He also has his breeds beard.He's a sweet little man.He was left at Urban Farm to be taken out to the chicken growers farm to live.His original owners just wanted him to have a home so we got him instead. We are hoping he'll help us with some chicks in the future.
(Big Red is still here.Chance says he is heading to the soup pot.I on the other hand am feeling dubious of this idea.Will Big Red cheat death again? We shall see.)
Someplace in there we have been getting closer to the starting of school, trips to both schools,shopping and check ups. (Issac's went great he has grown and put on weight,blood work looked good .Although the Doc dose not think he will grow any taller.Mr Cheerful Issac is fine with it,he said he's always been the shortest so whats the problem.He always see's the positive side.Crazy boy.)
We are still waiting for the Salmon to finish it's curing.Tomorrow it will go into the smoker then I can get the final photos and blog about it.
Tomorrow we finish picking our Asian Pears.These are being traded and given to friends.We like a few of them only and this was a bumper crop so it is time to share the wealth.We have Italian Prunes to pick too.As I said in the opening everything is ready at once.
I think the amount of time I have sat here writing this is the longest I have sat down in the past two days.Now that I have stopped I can hear my bed and book calling to me.(Is it totally nerdy that I am reading a book about the making of the Oxford Dictionary? )
Rois

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chinook Salmon Caviar


Here it is our Chinook Salmon Caviar ,we ended up with a quart jar full and a small tub of discarded roe to use as fishing bait.
Chinook Salmon are only found here on the west coast of the United States. Wild caught Salmon is a big part of our local food and history.I always view Salmon as one of our treasures.Here in the Portland Oregon area, where we live, the Salmon were once so thick in our Columbia River it is said men could walk across the river on the backs of the Salmon.
This is actually the very first time I remember having Chinook.Unlike the other breeds of Salmon Chinook has white flesh that is highly prized for it's flavor and taste.
When we opened the fish and roe it smelled of fresh water and not at all fishy.The fish had been caught just the day before. You can't get any more local than an hours drive away and barely 24 hours since the fish was caught.
This was our first adventure in making Caviar but we were up to it.Chance found a recipe online that seemed reasonable, easy to follow and what they were asking over all made sense.



This is the roe we started with which weighed 2 pounds.As you can see from the front of the photo the eggs are encased in a membrane that the eggs are attached to.
Our first task was to remove the eggs from this casing.The directions said to rub the roe across a screen that the eggs could pass through.This was suppose to remove the eggs but it did not work out.





We ended up just picking the eggs off of the membrane.We found if you turned the membrane sort of inside out so the eggs were facing outward it made this easier.









And here we are an hour later,that's with both of us working.We now know part of the reason Caviar is so expensive,labor









The cure for the Caviar is very simple 1 gallon water mixed with 4 Cups Pickling Salt stirred until the salt is dissolved, maybe 3 minutes. Next we added the roe while stirring it occasionally for 15 minutes.








Again the recipe failed us on the next step but we found a solution.The recipe said while stirring to pull out any bits of the membrane that would float to the top.Not easy at all,Chance took 4 bamboo skewers and held them chop stick style.He used this to scoop through the roe.As you can see from the photo it worked and he was able to catch the eggs with membrane still on them.
The purpose of doing this is Caviar is suppose to be individual eggs not clumps of eggs. The clumps of roe were put aside to save a fish bait.




Once the 15 minutes were up it was time to take the roe out of their cure.Our Asian Spider worked great for this.













After you have drained the soon to be Caviar place it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 8-12 hours.
When the time has passed the Caviar will be a sticky mass.Place the Caviar in another bowl and pour Olive Oil over it, we used about a 1/4 Cup for our quart jars worth.Gently fold the olive oil into the Caviar.Now pour the Caviar in to a jar and seal with the lid.
The Caviar will hold in the fridge for about 2 weeks. (I am wondering what our local Canning extension would think if I called and asked "How do I process/can Caviar?"Could be worth asking.)


I have to say I am proud of this project.Chance and I try to not let opportunities pass us by that we can learn from.Through sharing this experience with others Chance is receiving a recipe for Japanese Caviar from a friends Japanese Grandma.The Japanese use Sake and Soy Sauce to make theirs,we both think this sounds even better than the Caviar we made and something else to think about trying.
The Caviar was delivered early this morning and we are awaiting feed back.The taste Chance and I had was good to us but we want "customer satisfaction" to be the final word.We'll let you know what we hear.
We may never have the chance to make Caviar again but it gave us a new skill to horde away.Tomorrow I will post about the Smoked Salmon.

Dream a little dream and see where it will lead you.
Chance and Rois

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ham Hock

Today Chance and I got our Kitchen Groove on and rocked the kitchen like the crazy days of professional cooking. What a blast,we needed the good time and the feeling of getting a job done well.
In my post earlier today I had totally forgotten we had a pork leg, foot and all curing in the fridge.This little piggy made the fridge too full for today's projects of starting the curing of Smoked Salmon and making Caviar so into the smoker it went,it was time any way. Chance had cut the trotter/foot from the leg and left the hock whole.The hock is nice because of the way the leg was cut we actually got part of the lower end of what would be the ham.

This little piggy is for the smoker.


And this little piggy is for soup.





After the trotter came out of the smoker Chance baked it in our oven to make sure it was up to temp.Once it is cool we will cut apart the larger piece,trim the skin away and divide it up into two packages for the freezer.We will keep the trotter which is mostly gristle and fat,will go into a freezer bag with the skin we trim from the hock.Both the trotter and the skin will make a rich soup stock for cold weather meals. People often over look the "trashy" bits of fatty meat but when making soup stock they add a richness to your stock that can't be beat.You can always fish out the fatty bits before you serve your soup if you don't want to eat them.
I am very happy with the Hocks.We paid $3.75 at our local market for the meat a much better buy than buying a good quality ham hock from the butcher shop.I also know there are no nitrates in the meat and well I get to kiss the cook who created these gorgeous bits.
Once we had the hock in the smoker we started in on making the Caviar.I am going to post that separately so I can go over it step by step and not have a huge blog entry for now.

Until tomorrow here's a shot of the roe before we turned it into Caviar.


Cheers, Chance and Rois

Toads wild ride that ened with Caviar.

Well it's been a crazy week of ups and downs here.Life just caught up with us with one thing after another at a time when we were already feeling a bit stretched. In true Hrafinstaad style we pulled our boots up and got to work on digging out of the hole.
I have been busy here with homesteading tasks.I picked our apples,there was about two dozen apples to be had.I made a jar of Apple and Pear sauce out of a handful of fruit that needed to eaten right away.It's made for a nice snack for the boys.Also last night I made an Apple and Pear Pie,I wanted to eat the whole pie myself but was good and shared it.
The pears I picked to make Pear Honey are ready to process. After looking at the amount of fruit I may end up just freezing the pears after all.I need to look over the Pear Honey recipe again for how much fruit is needed.I may be short of ripe fruit.I can always freeze what I have until I have more that are ready.
I am now undecided about canning Peaches.We would love to have them but right now money is super tight so their price may be an issue.I found them for $1.00 per pound which is about 3-4 peaches per pound.I'd need a couple of boxes worth to have enough to last us the winter.This would most likely run me $50.00 that I am not sure we will have before the peaches are gone.
Figuring out the cost of canning can be a puzzle.Some things are easy to come across for free or through a trade so those cost very little to can.But when you have to buy I have to consider this, can I spend extra now so we can save later. It can seem like a balancing act.
Chance has worked out the most amazing trade ever.His co-worker's partner has been Salmon fishing and they want Chance to smoke some( I think there's 6 pounds total of fish) of the catch for them.And the crazy part is they also have 4 pounds of Salmon Roe as in Caviar. Chance is excited about making the Roe into Caviar which will be something new to him but he feels confident it will turn out. The trade works out so we get to keep half of the fish and half of the roe/caviar. We love smoked fish of any kind and my mouth is drooling at the thought of it.I don't know how we will use the caviar yet so that will be something new too. The fish and roe comes home today we are definitely shooting photos and writing about it.
I am working on a Pantry blog entry.I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we were eating the pantry empty so we could rotate some things.Well we are just now getting to the bottom of things I guess we were better stocked than I had hoped. Soon it will be time to restock the pantry and I am wanting to write about that.According to the "Brides Cookbook (circa 1947) " I have had ALL of the wrong things in my pantry but I am going to share my list with you anyway.
It's good to be back on track and here writing to all of you.It sets my mind to working and really dose help me track things.
Somewhere in here we have been getting the boys ready for school to start.Young Sol is returning to public school this year,he's more than ready and excited to meet new friends and joys of all joys he is taking band and has signed up for Drums.( ACK! ) Issac is looking forward to his school year too.All of us are hoping his Crohn's stays in remission so he can be at school the whole year. The last two school years he has been out alot with his running total of 31 days in the hospital and 5 surgeries. Needless to say we are praying for health.
Rois