Saturday, May 23, 2009

Busy season is in full swing

As I'm learning to live my life again more in tune with natural cycles spring and summer and fall are the busiest time of year, though right now there is a natural lag in things. The seeds are all in the ground, and they are all producing small plants. My tomatoes even have some tiny little green tomatoes on them! It is truly awesome to go out in the morning to look at my garden and see a whole row of new plants, new leaves on the squash, new blossoms on the tomatoes. The strawberries were all killed in Oklahoma due to a very late frost, so no strawberry jam this year :( I might buy a few bags of frozen and make some from that. Blackberries are next to ripen and they won't be ripe for about three more weeks.

But I'm trying to prepare for the beginnings of busy season which is coming up.

My cow is going to be slaughtered in about two weeks. I'm getting bones and organ meats also, which is very exciting. It will actually get here in about five or six weeks and that should line up perfectly with my final spring carrot harvest and perhaps a few onions. It will be exciting to make pot roast with stuff from my own garden. I don't have potatoes this year, so next year we'll add potatoes of our own! But I also plan on taking bones and making lots and lots of beef stock! I'll also be canning some stew, stew meat and ground meat. Canned meat is great, shelf stable, and easy to use. If we lose our power for an extended period of time, which is very possible in Oklahoma with the tornadoes and ice storms, we won't lose all our meat!

I also expect to be going blackberry picking in the next few weeks. I'll put up about twenty half pints of blackberry jam. Freeze some whole blackberries, and freeze blackberry pie. I'll probably spend the next week making pie crust dough and freezing it. I use whole grain wheat, freshly milled of course, and make a yogurt cheese crust with fresh butter and a slight touch of raw apple cider vinegar. It is actually a pie crust that is GOOD for you. I use soft white wheat, commonly known as pastry wheat.

When I make pie crust I make several batches at once and freeze them. That way I have pie crust on hand if I need it. But it is so easy to freeze pies and bake them later. I roll out my pie crust and line the pie plate with parchment paper and make sure it is VERY well greased with coconut oil. Fruit pies are the only pies that freeze successfully though. You make the pie according to whatever directions you are using, and freeze it in your super greased parchment lined pie plate. At this point slip it out of the plate and vacuum seal and stick back in the freezer. When you want a fresh pie you put it in the pie plate, and bake according to the directions and add fifteen to twenty minutes! It is wonderful to have fresh delicious berry pie in the winter.