Friday, July 27, 2012

Homestead Bounty

We have been very blessed on our Homestead this year. It's been a tough year thus far for many we know, the drought has not been fun. Today I wanted to Give Thanks to The Lord and share how He has chosen to bless our little homestead already this year.
These are some beautiful grilled chicken breast from our first batch of meat chickens!
Our second batch is going to the freezer next week.
 We are thrilled how our sweet corn did this year. Despite the drought we fought hard to get this crop of corn. All that weeding, watering, and pampering it paid off. 
We canned 52 pints and 7 quarts, then 5 quarts were put in the freezer. 
(All of this was done during the week of the 4-H was a little crazy!)
We also enjoyed many dozens ears of fresh corn at the supper table!
 Aren't they pretty?
 My blueberry bushes won't produce the amount we need for a few years yet. I bought 30lbs of them at a local produce stand. All of them went into the freezer:13 quarts, 11.5 pints
 This year I am trying a new variety of watermelon called Sugar Baby. I actually had given up hope on them. I thought the vines were so small and they just weren't getting enough sun. Justin came up to the house the other day and said "Did you know you have 2 watermelon out there?" Of course, I thought he was just joking...but after inspection, he wasn't joking at all! We cut into them and they actually we not ready yet (needed to sweeten up still), but I enjoyed eating it anyway.
 I decided to try my hand at making ketchup. My tomatoes are just coming on, but are not in full force quite yet. So with the 12 lbs I harvested so far I made two batches of ketchup! Here's is a super short version of how to make it.
Put 6lbs of tomatoes in hot water and let them sit for 4-5 min.
Drain the water then refill the sink with cold water. Leave them sit for another 5 min.
Peel the skins off, and halve them to remove the seeds/core
Put it into a medium size pot and then smash them with a potato masher.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 min.
 Then add in these ingredients: 1 1/2 cup of sugar, 6 oz ca of tomato paste, 1 cup of vinegar, and one package of Mrs. Wages mix. Then simmer another 5 min. (All of these instructions are on the back of Mrs. Wages package to help you out).
 Then Hot Water Bath for 40 min....Ta-Dah Ketchup...VERY YUMMY KETCHUP!
 I ended up with 8.5 pints of ketchup....
We have very thankful hearts for all that we have harvested already, and look forward to harvesting more as it's beans, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and more potatoes are coming.


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