Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Pictures of The Week...lots of them!

Ok, some of these were still on the camera and I didn't know it, so you get some 'bonus' photos this time ;o) Given the current economy, it's always good to get something extra for your time and effort, heh? :::wink:::

Here is Emily's new church dress and pinafore. Actually finished it about 2 weeks ago, she's worn it twice now to church. I love the print and coloring and have enough left over to maybe get myself a dress. We'll see -- KatiAnne has her eye on it for a dress of her own, too. It's rather hard to refuse those dimples :o) It's hard to see, I know.

These are part of the cookie baskets we made up at Christmas for some friends. We made Snowballs, Peanut Butter Kisses, M&M, Cinnamon Sugar and then some Iced Sugar Cut-outs.

Here is where the cookstove was...and where we planned to install it (right out that window). But instead, it wil be another woodstove now. I put that money down on the Ashley heater, but a friend from church called last night saying they found another woodstove. It's an Appalachian -- I haven't seen it yet, but comparing $700 for Ashley to $125 for this one, sounds like a deal to me :o) Trisha said it is large, has a glass door, pedestal base and blower attached. Works for me.

Right now, the cookstove, all oiled up and looking pretty, is sitting in the sewing room. Of course, after moving it (doesn't look like much, but it weighs a lot!) we measured out where the Ahsley would actually be sitting...pretty much out in the middle of the dining room space :o( So we're trying to talk Dewey into installing it in the sewing room now. It's laminate flooring and not carpet, there is a double set of front windows so we could close out one and pipe through there, there aren't any trees or such to hinder the draft flow out there, and the room is relatively open really. Well, 'open' to the living/dining room area...after we move the piano from the half wall...and move that cookstove back out...and the triple bookcase/desk set up...oh, and that 8 ft mega-weight Bakers rack (no way Jennifer and I can even budge that thing!).

Honestly, there isn't a good place to put a woodstove in this mobile home if you really look at it. Not unless you rip through a wall or a ceiling, which is what we're trying to avoid :o( It would just be a problem to do it that way, just waiting on the leaks to start. Oh well, we'll figure something out. I'm using wood heat if it kills us! Maybe we can just put a hole in the ceiling and call this place out teepee.

Here's a picture of the last remaining kitten we have on the homestead. Not that there aren't full grown cats around, but the kittens have all been culled in one way or another (most got into areas they didn't belong). This little guy is with white hind socks and that bit of white along the neck and face. He's cute and he knows it. He was the runt of the litter -- totally hairless, tiny little speck of a kitten. Bullied from day one. We brought him inside for a couple of weeks and fed him ourselves, bringing mama inside several times a day to allow him extra feedings without the siblings pushing him out of the way. Sure couldn't tell now where he started out -- he's a tuff little guy full of thick pretty fur now. yes -- a blurry picture. I was having issues with the camera it seems.

Here's the children doing some school work and David playing....Grandma wants to see pictures of the children, not my canning endeavors :o) With the cookstove at that back window, on dreary days, we are limited on lighting, so the lamps are going. Here's David and his cars. You can't see all of them, but he has quite the stash of race cars up there on the table, driving them all around the lamps and rolling them off the edge of the table into the highchair. He packed them up and went under the table when he saw I was taking his picture :o)

The canning and baking of the day:
Here's how the meat is from the butcher. I had them pack it up in 10# bags so it would be easier to pull out for a batch in the canner. We pull it out in the evening and put it in the fridge, then it sits on the counter the next day while I process up the previous batch.

It's still fairly frozen, but we are boiling it to cook it, so it works out ok. I simmer it for most of the afternoon. Nasty looking while it boils in the water canner, isn't it? It smells really good though -- I have onions and beef base in there.

These are the first jars we did up, where I made the patties and fried them slightly. I decided to go with the boiling instead just because it looks better canned up than these do.

Here are some of yesterday's batch -- we finished 21 quarts. It's ready to pack in the boxes and load into the pantry. Today's batch is simmering now -- another 30#.

Here's the bread we baked -- 8 loaves and a pan of twists. I stopped at a Mennonite bakery while in Tupelo -- met a lady at WalMart when we ran in there and she told me they had opened a small bakery in town. We were talking about ordering flour and sugar and such in bulk, and she told me stop in whenever I needed to place an order and they could add it right into their own. They order at least once weekly right now. The closest place for me to get the bulk wheat and such is Tennessee, so this could be a good thing. I am out of oatmeal right now, and down to just the Prairie Gold wheat berries -- which I should be grinding instead of wanting more in flour form, I know. I still haven't adjusted to really liking the flour I grind. We have the Family Grain Mill and it does a good job, but we prefer a bit more 'floury' texture...which I can only get if I double grind then sift. Seems like a waste to put my siftings in a jar and stash in the use for what I haven't figured out yet. So I tend to keep some PG flour on hand. Not very 'homsteady'.

Anyway, I felt bad stopping in and not buying something, so we bought some cinnamon twists. They looked really good, but they are definitely not for eating out of hand. They were dry -- not hard-dry, but the kind of dry that really needs coffee or milk to eat, kwim? It was simply their bread dough, with some cinnamon sprinkled about, rolled and twisted. Not even a sweet dough, just ordinary white bread dough. I figured we could do better than that, so we tried our own yesterday -- my dough was our raisin bread recipe (without the raisins, because apparently I'm out of them). Moist tasting and loaded with cinnamon. I think we will make these to take along to the farm stand when we sell there.

Her prices weren't bad from what I've seen -- her loaf breads were $3.29 and a bag of 5 twists were $2.89. They had only 2 kinds of cookies in the shop, and cinnamon rolls that were as large as a salad plate -- some with a glaze, some with a cream cheese icing. I think we can pull that off at the farm stand very easily.

This wasn't last night's dinner...we had this while Dewey was home at Christmas. We found this 7 qt cast iron dutch oven without legs....they are hard to find around here. Everyone has the ones with legs, but flat ones seem to be something not many are interested in. We bought it, I seasoned it up and made a big pot of beef stew :o) It sort of bows my oven rack when it's full, but I'll live :o) The next dutch oven I have is a monster 20 qt and it won't even fit in the oven. It's still in the box actually, as I can't even lift it easily. I need to get it outside and burn off the coating on the grill and try to at least season it. Dewey found it for some ridiculously low price and couldn't pass it up. I have no idea what I'll be able to use it for unless he builds me a tripod over the burn pit :o)

Back to canning today!


sarah said...

we've canned venison before, which is wonderful, but it was only about 8 quarts. I thought that was something!
Do you have allot of help from your children?
I think this is great!

Mrs. Dewey Smith said...

The olders do quite a bit to help but we'd get a lot more done if they helped more :o)
I love canned venison. We usually do it up as stewing chunks, with a broth added in...just pour out, thicken a touch for gravy and serve over egg noodles, rice or potatoes. YUM.


debylin said...

Hi, I can't wait to start canning things down. I think it will be such a blessing to do.. I have helped others but have not had the chance to do myself. I really like your cookstove. I remember having one growning up and it made the best pies ever! I am hoping to find one myself after I move and get settled. Enjoyed your post... you are a very busy women!

brenda/haflinger said...

Hi Deanna havn't been on computer much trying to get caught up. Nice pictures.. Just love that cook stove. Did you get the info I sent you on Bryand stove shop here in Maine. U were looking for a part for your stove a while back.. Blessings and thanks for sharing.. Oh Emily must be growing like a weed..


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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