Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Harvest

HERBS ≈ Basil, Chives, Horseradish, Lemon Verbena, Mint, Nasturtium, Parsley, Sage, Sorrell, Thyme
Asparagus - 5 lb. 5 oz
Beans - 7 lbs
Beets 4lbs 11 oz
Black Berries 40 lbs
Broccoli 5.2 lbs
Carrots 10 lb 4 oz
Chard 3 lbs
Corn - 2lbs
Collards 5.5 lbs
Cucumbers 1 lb
Garlic 10 lbs
Garlic scapes 1 lb. 12 oz
Green Beans 10 lbs 11 oz
Kale - 2lbs
Lettuce/Spinach-4lb 8 oz
Onions 1 llb 4oz
Parsnips .5 lb
Peas - 2.5 lbs
Pole beans - 5 lbs
Potatoes 8 lbs 4 oz
Pumpkins 12.7 lbs
Raspberries 2lb 2.5 oz
Scallions 4 lb 6oz
Strawberry - 8 lb. 4 oz
Tomatoes 45 lbs 2oz
Zucchini - 7 lbs 9 oz
Wild elderberry 40 lbs 11oz
Winter squash - 3 lbs
TOTAL 258pounds 1 oz

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas traditions

Christmas is a very special time for the Morrissey's st the Little Homestead in the Village. Here, Christmas does not begin until after Thanksgiving. That means no early Christmas shopping with a rare exception of a something special found while vacation or on a road trip. We like to enjoy each holiday to it's fullest so we don't even think about Christmas until we put away all the Autumn decorations.

The Christmas season starts for us on Dec. 1st. I take out the "Days Till Christmas Slate" and hang that in the dining room. I also buy Advent Calendars. There are 25 numbered little windows with a little chocolate treat inside. Each child gets a treat for 25 days. This year I bought 7, not on ly for my own but for the girlfriends. And so the count down begins. A little time after that Katie and I make a wreath out of greens clipped from the yard. We wrap them in a wreath frame that has 4 candle holders. We place in 4 new candles and our Advent Wreath is done. On the 4 Sundays before dinner, We start our meal with the lighting of the wreath. Walt reads a scripture he selected. then we have a bit of discussion and then the blessing.

Soon boxes of garland and floral picks are retrieved from the basement and the house is decorated. We don't put out many outdoor lights, only a strand above the front porch and a couple strands on the old small maple tree near the garage.

The next tradition is to cut a tree. We dress up warm, drive a tree farm. We try a different place each year. This year David (17 yrs) was entrusted with the chainsaw. Walt and Katie carried the tree to the van. We move the small piano to the foyer and the tree gets placed in the corner. We usually decorate it the same day. Walt leaves the tree lights the first night. What a joy to wake up when its dark and quiet and come down to a beautiful tree.

I bake as many christmas cookies as I can. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg cloves, icing and colored sanding sugars are liberally used. Plates of cookies are given to neighbors and clients.

On christmas eve stockings are placed on the book shelf .

One of out best traditions is one that of kids did themselves. Each of the children had (have) their own bedroom. Years ago when they were little, Brian our oldest invited the others to sleep with him on Christmas eve. Sleeping bags were dragged on the floor and sleets were slung thought the whole large room making a big "tent". On Christmas morning, I wake up early and make coffee. Soon the kids wake up and whisper to each other while I give Walt a cup of coffee. As soon as he's dressed and gets the camera ready they are summoned. They assemble on the top of the staircase youngest to oldest and walt down to the tree. Then they sit on the couch while I dispense a gift at a time. We all share the happiness and joy when someone opens a special gift. Soon all of the gifts are open. We pick up the carnage (wrapping paper, etc) and I go fix a special breakfast.
FOR TODAY, December 13, 2010

Outside my window
...the snow has melted. This bout 34 degrees but expected to get colder. It's quite grey.

I am thinking...about my christmas list. We don.t really begin Christmas shopping until December. So there is so many things I have to buy.

I am thankful for...Danny's new job. he's been working 40 hr a week at Walmart - as a cart wrangler. It's been hard on him but he's managing.

From the many wonderful things. Left overs from Sunday dinner. Roast Herb Chicken, mashed potato and gravy, meatballs and gravy, candied garden carrots, mixed (frozen) veggies and there is still a piece of apple pie. The apple pie was made with my own canned apples. There are also batches of christmas cookies.

I am wearing...a pale yellow cotton nighty and my cozy slippers.

I am creating... back to the scrappy quilt. It's now partly completed... large enough to be a lap quilt. It's heavy and warm.

I am going... Christmas shopping. I haven't started yet.

I am reading..."Broke" by Glenn Beck

I am hoping...

I am hearing...not much, I like early morning when it's fairy quiet. i hear an occasional car drive by and the hum of the computer.

Around the house...It's looking like Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. A strand of lights are on the small maple tree at the end of the driveway.

One of my favorite things... The "smells" of the Christmas seaon. Ginger and Cinnamon, Orange peel,cookies baking in the oven. Balsam from the fresh cut tree.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Canning Chicken breast, driving to the potato farmer to buy a 50 pound bag or two of local potatoes.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

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Friday, December 3, 2010

A new store room

We have a basement room that is not in use. About 10 years ago my son Brian turned it into his music room .We called it "the drum room" . It's damp in the summer and cold in the winter, but my father had built in some wonderful shelves years ago. So I'm turning it into my root/fruit cellar. I moved all my beautiful jars of preserved food. The lower shelves I filled with baskets holding apples, onions, garlic. sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Other shelves are filled with nuts, grains, dried beans, dehydrated apples, berries , onions, herbs and spices. I also moved the 50 pound bags of potatoes I got from the farm there . Hopefully they'll last longer down there that is , not sprout so fast. I still need to block out the light coming in from the small windows. Light might discolor some of the food in jars and also encourage potatoes to sprout.

I love looking at full shelves of food that I have "put up". I love the juxtaposition of colors and shapes in the jars. Ground beef next to white potato, next to tomatoes, next to pickles, next to sweet potato, next to pineapple. Beautiful. I am so thankful that I can "can" and that we ha place to store it. How wonderful it is when I want to prepare a meal, to go there with a shopping and fill it with what ever I need. But the idea that we have a food storage to use is hard times is even better.

The Blessings of Work

Being self employed, specifically owning a video production company in a small economically challanged market during these times isn't easy. We never know where our next dollar is coming in and where our next job will come from. Sometimes it rains but we also have periods of drought. This fall has been pretty lean and the next few mounth seemed to be heading the same way. We talked about living off our food storage and wondered how we would pay our bills. But we know that we serve a mighty God who is GOOD. In our over 20 years of living soly off MPG (our company) rain (as my husband has always come but often only at the last minute but always "just in time".

Friday, November 5, 2010

What I put up 2010

This year I have been been busy preserving all kinds of food. I enjoy looking at shelves filled with beautiful foods. Not only do I have a store of food. It's great for when plans get changed and I need to put a quick meal on the table.

Blackberry Cordial 10 quarts
Strawberry Lemonade 12 quarts--3 pints--2 half pints
Blackberry Wine 5 gal in carboy
Bing Cherry Wine 1 gal. in carboy
Elderberry wine 3 gal. in carboy
Plum Wine 1 gallon in carboy
Apple-Blackberry wine
1 gallon in carboy
Windfall Apple Wine
7 gallons in carboy

Apple Pie Filling 8 quarts
Blackcap Raspberries 1 quart frozen
Brandied Bing Cherries 13 half pints
Clementine Oranges 6 pints, 12 half pints
Kiwi Jam 4 pints
Peach Pie Filling 1 large pie shape -- 6 muffin shapes for mini pies
Peach Rum Conserve
15 half pints
--1 small jar
Low Sugar Strawberry Jam 4 half pints--3 small jars
Strawberry Rhubarb Butter 3 pints
Violet Jelly 12 small jars

Plum Tomatoes 7 quarts
Tomato Puree 8 quarts
Heirloom Yellow Tomatoes 3 pints
Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup 9 pints
Annie's Salsa 12 pints-- 1 half pint--1 quarter pint

Sweet Potatoes 10 quart--2 pints
Turkey Soup 6 quarts
Pumpkin 7 quarts--1 pint
Chicken 11 quarts, 3 pints
Ground Beef 2 quarts, 10 pints, 5 half pints
Kidney Beans 5 quarts-- 1 pint
Pinto Beans 5 quarts
Potatoes 12 quarts 12 pints

grape tomato 1 quart dried
strawberry 1 pint dried
bing cherry 1 pint dried
elderberry 4 quart dried
beef jerky 3 Quart jars of
dehydrated onion
1 pint jar
peppers 4 dehydrated
dehydrated mushrooms 1 pint jar
?? -13 Quarts

Mrs. Wages Dill 5 pints
Bread & Butter Pickles
8 pints
Fermented Dill Pickles 1 bucket fermenting

(254 jars)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Simple Womans Day Book - 10/20/2010


Outside my window...the promise of a beautiful Indian Summer day in the Mohawk Valley. If you don't know, an Indian Summer is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs in autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere. It is characterized by a period of sunny, warm weather, after the leaves have turned following an onset of frost, but before the first snowfall.

I am thinking ...

I am thankful for ...

From the garden ...
I ha
ve trying to clean up the weeds and beds, Still so much to havest. I gave a neighbor scallions, beets and brocolli and swiss chard

From the kitchen ... graham flour bread ready to pop into the oven. Leftovers from dinner... alfredo-garlic penne pasta with leftover pork and fresh picked brocollie.

I am wearing... a blue and black sleevless house dress and cozy slippers.

I am creating... nothing right now. Too busy getting politically involved with trying to maximize voter turnout for my candigates.

I am going ... to the republican call center to make calls for a congressional candidate.

I am reading... The Praire Traveler by Randolph B. Marcy. I purchased it on a visit to the St. Louis Arch.


I am hoping...
I am hearing...
Around the house...
One of my favorite things...
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

Mention my blog and offer a link back to the main page of my blog.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Step into my kichen pantry ...

This past year I've been working on improving my panty. I've put almost everything in glass or plastic containers. I also have more variety and everything is labeled.



Instant rice
converted rice
brown rice
instant mash potatoes
gravy mixes
Chicken base
dried soup greens
dried celery
dried mushrooms

instant oatmeal
quick oats
old fashioned oats
7 grain cereal

white sugar
brown sugar
cane sugar
confectioners sugar
vanilla sugar and lavender sugar

bread flour
AP flour
whole wheat flour
graham flour
white corn meal
baking soda
baking powder
corn starch
cocoa powder
baking chocolate
herbal tea
hot cocoa mix
cake mixes
pudding mixes
angel hair pasta
penne pasta
angel hair pasta
mini chocolate chips
buckwheat pancake mix
complete pancake mix
low fat biscuit mix
dried mushrooms
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
spicy mustard
bread & butter pickles
salad oil
soy sauce
wostishire sauce
hot sauce
sweet baby ray bbq sauce

pink sea salt
iodixed salt
kosher salt
canning salt

spices ... 32 jars on the counter all spice to thyme
in the pantry more spices cardamon to zatar
Aple cider vinegar

----cat pantry...
beef broth
chicken broth
canned maters
tomato paste
tuna canned
soups (tomato, chicken noodle, cream of chicken)
canned pears
canned pineapplke
canned peaches
peanut butter chunky and smooth
peanut butter natutal
baked beans
canned kidney, pinto beans and garbanzo beans
salad oil
corn syrup
honey (from our hive)
semame oil
hickory smoke

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Outside my window... grey, with the chance of rain

I am thinking...

I am thankful ... that everyone in my family is healthy

From the kitchen... A breakfast of coffee and french toast made from left over homemade cinnamon bread. Lots of leftovers... two containers of collards cooked with smoked ham hocks, a bowl of oatmeal raisin cookies, roast beef , rice and gravy and a dozen buns stuffed with a seasoned ground beef. Yummy.

I am wearing...a very pale pink nightgown with black tendrils, leaves and small flowers. Also my new cozy moccasin slippers.

I am creating... nothing for a few days

I am going ... nowhere today.

I am reading ... A very old book that my grandmother gave me long ago "Miss Parloa's New Cook Book and Marketing Guide" (1880)

I am hoping...

I am hearing... cars driving on the street, fox news on the television.

Around the house... It's decorated for Autumn. Dried leaves, little pumpkins and gourds...The side board is also filled with a bumper crop of garden harvest... pie pumpkins and winter squash.

One of my favorite things ... My spice racks and bottles. I use many kinds of spices when I cook. These 32 bottles are the spices that I use the most. I have some others in the pantry.


A few plans for the rest of the week:

Here is picture for I am sharing... This strange fruit (vegetable) showed up in my pepper/ eggplant bed. I've never seen this before.


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Garden After The Frost

The kitchen garden has been hit by several frosts, yet we still have much to harvest. I found some butternut squash, two pie pumpkins and a branywine tomato. We also still have a good selection of herbs (parsley, fennel, thyme, sage, chives) carrots, beets, scallions, Jerusalem artichokes, horseradish, broccoli shoots, kale, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, collards, parsnips even a few raspberries and alpine strawberries.

Here's a few pictures taken today:



Rainbow Swiss Chard

Autumn Raspberries

What do you still have in your garden?