Wow...what a winter it's been. Reminds me of the late 70's. School has been closed more than it's been open since Christmas. Obviously, snow makes farm life a little interesting. Wednesday night and Thursday of this week brought 6 to 7 inches of fresh snow. Last night and this morning brought another 3 to 4 inches.
As we sit by the fire and enjoy the natural beauty that occurs outdoors, it makes us appreciate the quietness of our little spot on earth. It is obvious that God has blessed us beyond measure and makes us realize that we take so much for granted each day. With a fresh coconut cream pie right out of the oven (recipe provided by Uncle Calvin), it is sure to be a great day. God Bless America!
Today was yet another day off from school. With subzero temperatures, the kiddos get to stay home for the 11th day in a row. It's been a long time since such a winter has hit this area. Since there's nothing to do but enjoy what you've been given, the days are spent cleaning out closets and drawers, along with washing walls and windows, and of course, there's always the talk of what we will cook next. Today, we made supper first thing before heading off to the next room that needs a good cleaning.
If you have ever been to the Dixie Stampede and enjoy soup, you have to LOVE the soup they give you as the meal's appetizer. We made that soup and put it in the crockpot. Four loaves of homemade french bread and monkey bread were baked and are now ready for when everyone gets home for supper this evening. Snow days are a real treat and we're getting treated well this season!
Stay warm and enjoy what's been given to you.
Early morning feedings
The morning air today is a teaser to what we anxiously await for in just a few months. Fall weather is always appreciated after the hot summer days, and if the calendar didn't say August 12th, you might just think we skipped ahead to mid-September.
There are very few things in life that bring back memories like the smells of certain foods and the handwritten notes from those of your past. I have the great fortune of having many of my grandmother's recipes. Granny was a wonderful cook, and she left lots of notes on just how to recreate many of those wonderful smells and tastes of our past. It is quite heart warming to read her handwriting on the worn cards that show the stains of all the times they were pulled from the box for use. It never fails to make me smile at how her words were written as they sounded. Some things in life are just priceless - those boxes and books of Granny's recipes are just that.
As planned, we put away peppers, kraut, and some chow-chow yesterday. The pepper recipe comes from my Grandma Elma. She was my dad's mother who made the best refrigerator pickles and these peppers that are the best condiment for a bowl of beans and the absolute best on a deer steak sandwich. Our family can't eat those things without a jar of these pulled from the cellar or fridge.
An evening ride to enjoy the summer weather
Life is never dull in the summer. Simply said, it's just downright busy. The garden work has turned into less weed control and planting to now canning. These past two weeks have been just that. Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers, and cabbage are all going to be canned this week. Well, that's the plan for now. It seems like it all comes on at once. This week is one of the last weeks until September to make kraut (the signs are all above the bowels until late next week, for those of you who look to the signs for canning certain foods). We canned two turns (14 quarts) of tomato juice today and put away 73 quarts of corn last week along with canning 15 pints of pickles.
Nothing like her excitement of pulling those carrots up out of the ground
There's a good bit left in the garden that will be ready for canning and putting away in the cellar later on this fall. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, onions, potatoes, and more corn will continue to produce for another month or so.
The dinner bell that now stands tall on our new back porch
Let's just say, it's good to be back to normal life. The last two weeks have involved many new and interesting events. The Storm of 2012 hit the area like a whirlwind, literally and figuratively, which left many in our area without power. We were fortunate to only have lost electricity for just a short time, while others near us were without for 13 days or longer. We were home to ten people for 8 of those days, along with their refrigerators and freezers. It was a vacation we will never forget, especially to us since we got a new back porch out of the (or)deal. There were many a meal cooked and devoured by the crew - we even laughed about all the pounds of sugar and flour and gallons of tea and water that were consumed during those 8 days. The gardens started providing for homemade french fries and mashed potates, fried squash, and cucumbers and onions...and the best of all, tomatoes for sandwiches and cottage cheese. Life here centers around the dinner table, can you tell?!
If summer weather could continue to be like it has been this week, I'd vote for it year-round. What gorgeous weather to wake up to, work in, and end the day with a throw over your lap on the porch swing. Of course, reality is about to kick in with the hottest temperatures in five years...it was good while it lasted, with anticipation of its return.
Summer Sunday mornings come with breakfast on the porch while the sun comes up over the house. This morning, the kids woke up to homemade banana bread before heading off to church. After enjoying the company and felllowship with our church family, we caught up with the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the cousin. There's nothing like Nanny's cooking, and the laughter that everyone enjoys around the table. Life is good.
Bruce and Amy Fitzwater of Joker Ridge Farm, where life is always busy and front porch swinging is a good way to end the day.