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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finished butchering deer

We finished butchering the deer today, got the roast and steaks packaged and frozen, also got the burger ground and have some of the meat in marinade to make jerky. We always de-bone and remove all the silver skin and ligaments as we cut the meat. Its all done by hand with no saw to leave the bone dust on the meat. I think this is one reason most people don't like venison. The jerky has been sliced 1/4 inch thick and will be smoked and dried later this week after it marinates for a day or two. So hopefully this is all the butchering we will be doing this year till next spring when it starts all over again. Was nice that Jason was here to help with the first 2 deers and Rob and Amoy were here to help with the 2 we did today. Sure makes things go a little faster.
Luna seems to be feeling better after her visit to the vet yesterday. She is getting used to taking her vitamin supplement tablets and pain tablets so we don't have to pick them up and put the pills in the back of her throat now. She had plenty to do toting and burying pieces of meat and deer fat as they were skinning the deer today. Am sure that is gonna be real pleasant this spring if it last that long.Not to mention all the turkey and ham bits that she got to eat over the holiday.I think she stuffed herself like the rest of us. But that's a good thing.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Late Thanksgiving

We had our family Thanksgiving dinner today when both the boys could be home to enjoy time together. I think I forgot how much work that can be to cook a big meal for a holiday. We had turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed taters, gravy, corn, coleslaw, green beans and several desserts. And it was pretty dang good if I do say so myself. I think we all ate more than our share and everyone had their nap afterwards. It is nice to know that most of the food on the table was home grown and homemade. For all this I am very thankful.

Earlier today Luna had to go to the vet. She has been limping in her left front leg for a week or more now. The vet said the Great Pyrenees grow so fast that the cartilage in the joints gets brittle and tears easily and that this is likely what is wrong with her. So he gave her vitamins to take for a month and some pain pills to take for a week to see if it improves. If it don't heal on its on then she will need surgery. And this is the part I did not want to hear. Am so hoping this heals well for her. If nothing else this does qualify for lots a treats.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and lot of good friends and good food. We had dinner with hubby's sister and the rest of his family today. We are having our family dinner on Saturday as my youngest son Rob and his girlfriend Amoy both had to work and couldn't make that dinner. So I get to do more cooking tomorrow and then the big meal on Saturday. I don't mind as you can have leftovers for a few days and not have to cook again.
It was cold today and got colder as the day went on. We are supposed to have some snow flurries tonight and tomorrow but don't think it will amount to much. There are 2 more deer to skin tomorrow and get in the freezer while we got some help. But thas for another day, as for this one, I feel a good nap coming on. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More preparations for spring

Hubby has been on vacation this week and has managed to get some things done here on the place. The garden fence has been taken down and the garden plot mowed and then turned to be ready for spring. This is the first time in years that we have managed to get the garden turned before winter. In spring all we will need to do is disk the ground and plant. It needs to be a lot drier to turn than to disk which is what delays our planting every year. He also turned about an acre to plant some corn for feed for chickens and what ever else I might possibly have. So as of now we are one step ahead in that area. He probably could have gotten a lot more done outside if I could get out an help a little. But with a bad back and the right arm still in the healing process, I am banished to the house.
Today they got 2 of the deer skinned and cut up for the freezer. Got a good deal of meat from them. Wont need to buy beef for a while as we use the deer meat in place of beef till its all gone. Still have 2 more deer to process probably on Friday. All this is up to Rodger and Jason, not much you can do with one hand when it comes to butchering.
I finally got some baking done for the holiday. Finally got a dried apple stack cake made, this is the first one I have made in many years. Good thing I dried a lot of apples last year. The cake looks really good, so we shall see how it tastes tomorrow. I still need to make a couple apple and a couple cherry pies as well. These will be using the pie filling I canned last year as well. So I am off to make pies. From our family to your, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Till next time blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dried Apple Stack Cake

This is an article published in Appalachian Heritage magazine at Berea College in Berea kentucky. Avery traditional Appalachian recipe.

Enjoy the history and recipe.

THE "DRIED APPLE STACK CAKE" is the most "mountain" of all cakes baked and served in Southern Appalachia. The story goes that James Harrod, one of Kentucky's earlier pioneers and the founder of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, brought the stack cake recipe with him when he traveled the Wilderness Road to Kentucky. Whether this story is true or not, this cake has remained popular with mountain people.

Wherever Appalachian people migrated--to Washington, Florida, and Arizona, for example—they took along recipes for their favorite version of old-fashioned stack cake. Called by different names such as the dried apple stack cake, apple stack cake, Confederate old-fashioned stack cake, stackcake, and Kentucky pioneer washday cake, all were made using two constant ingredients: ginger and sweet sorghum molasses.

While sorghum molasses was considered not suitable in most cakes and pies, it worked very well in the stack cake. Sometimes cooks varied the amount of sweetening by adding brown sugar to the sorghum molasses--one-half cup of sugar to one-third cup of molasses. The apple stack cake is a low fat, not sweet, many-layered cake. It is made with stiff cookie-like dough, flavored with ginger and sorghum molasses, and a sweet, spiced apple filling. When served, the cake is tall, heavy, and moist. The dried apple stack cake was a favorite pioneer wedding cake.

In the mountains weddings were celebrated with "in-fares" where people gathered to party, dance, and eat potluck food. Because wedding cakes were so expensive, neighbor cooks brought cake layers to donate to the bride's family. The dough for the cake was rolled or pressed out into very thin layers and baked in cast-iron skillets. The family of the bride cooked, sweetened, and spiced dried apples to spread between the layers of the cake. The number of layers per stack of her wedding cake often gauged the bride’s popularity. Sometimes there would be as many as twelve layers, but most often the average was seven or eight layers. Along with weddings, the stack cake was served at family reunions, church suppers, and other large gatherings.
The original recipe is a long, tedious process (taking as much as three hours to assemble). Some cooks just use regular cake layers and plain applesauce or apple butter, or a combination of both, as the filling between the layers. While stack cake made this way may be tasty, there is no comparison between applesauce or apple butter and the strong apple flavor that dried apples give.

Dried Apples

One method of preserving foods in Appalachia is by air and sun drying. After coring and peeling, apples are cut in half then cut into quarters. Each quarter is cut into two or three thin slices. When the apples are ready, they are spread on a large white cloth and placed on top of a shed or other flat area to dry in the sun. A fine wire screen put over them kept out flies and bugs. This method is chancy because of cloudy skies and often rain. However, apple slices can be dried near a wood-burning stove, in a sunny window, or in the oven at a low temperature. They can also be dried by stringing the slices with a needle and stout thread and hanging them up to dry. The apple slices shrivel and turn brown. When completely dry they are stored in cloth bags, glass canning jars, or the freezer.

Not many mountain families dry fruit in this old-fashioned way, although they still love dried apples and dried green beans. They are more likely to dehydrate or barter with local florists for room in a greenhouse where they can spread out their apples and beans to dry. Today different versions of the stack cake are found in recipe collections and cookbooks, but mountain cooks still prefer the old-fashioned recipes that come down through generations of mountain cooks.
I collected the following recipe from Mrs. Elmer Gabbard who, with her husband, founded the Buckhorn Center and Orphanage, and worked there many years. The widowed Mrs. Gabbard retired to Berea where, by good fortune, I met her, and we talked about the old-time cooks in the mountain. She said the recipe she gave me had been handed down in her family for generations.

Dried Apple Stack Cake
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cooked dried apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar; add beaten egg, molasses, buttermilk, and mix well. Sift flour, soda, salt, and ginger into a big mixing bowl. Make hole in center of dry ingredients and pour in creamed mix, stirring until well blended. Add vanilla, stir well, and roll out dough as you would for a piecrust. Cut to fit 9-inch pan or cast-iron skillet (this amount of dough will make 7 layers). Bake layers for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. When cool, stack layers with spiced, sweetened old-fashioned dried apples. (See recipe below.) Spread between layers and smooth around sides and top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, or beat egg whites into a meringue and spread on outside of cake. You may brown the meringue if desired. Prepare cake at least a day before serving it and put in refrigerator (it will keep several days, if necessary, in a cool place). To serve, slice into very thin layers.

Cooked Dried Apples*

Put 1 pound apples in heavy pan and cover with cold water. You may need to add water several times to keep apples from sticking to pan. Cook until soft enough to mash. While still hot, mash apples and add 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and 1 teaspoon allspice.

*If dried apples are not available, cook several pounds cooking apples with a little water. Add spices and sugars as listed above, and cook until mixture is very thick.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things happen

I make plans and then make more plans to do things till I end up with too many things to do and then something gets forgotten. Such is the case with the turnips and turnip greens. I had hoped to can more turnip and mustard greens and then kinda thought they might be too big an tough after I got my surgery done. Hubby went to the garden today to take down some of the electric fence around the garden so he can bush hog and get the garden turned and put to bed for the winter. He stopped by the turnip patch and those things are huge. The tops are still green and the turnips are sweet as sugar from growing in the cool weather. Really had not planned on having turnips, I planned on canning lots a greens. Don't like cooked turnips but love those things raw. Would rather peel and eat them like apples. We planted 3 row that are about 75 feet long so I have a bunch. Am thinking I need to pull and sell some turnips. Some will go in the root cellar for eating later. and I just might get some of the greens canned yet.
Till nest time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting ready for spring planting

We got some things done today to get ready for spring plantings. Yeah I know, we haven't even had winter yet but its always good to get things ready so you dont lose precious growing time.The area in front of the root cellar was in bad need of some compost and manure to improve the soil so I can plant herbs there in the spring. So I got the compost moved and spread over the area. Then a layer of manure from the chicken house and covered the whole area with black rubber roofing. So in spring all I will need to do is remove the roofing material and plant. On the other side of the door I will be doing some of the same kind of prep but making only 2 smaller areas with a walkway between. I also added some more manure to the grapevines and blueberries. Had to put the cages back around the blueberries to keep the chickens from eating the leaves and digging the plants out. We cleaned the chicken house again and hauled the manure to the garden and spread it so it can be plowed under to rot before spring. The pullets love having fresh bedding and straw in their nest boxes. Probably tomorrow I am sure it will all be in total disarray.
I even got the outbuilding organized and some things in there that had previously been sitting on the deck. It sure looks neater with all the stuff gone. Maybe I can enlist some help moving the gravel from the back drive to the front of the house and get the landscape done this week before the holiday. Just been plugging along, staying busy and trying to let my arm heal. Its doing pretty good but still causes a lot of pain.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Little chores done

We finally got some little chores done on the rental property that we had got busy and put off. Put new batteries in the smoke detectors and tested them, anchored some water lines so they wouldn't accidentally get broken, and fixed a couple plug ins. The rental house is rented and the new tenants are moving in this weekend. At least there is someone living there to maybe help prevent our buildings there from being burglarized.
On the way to the rental property we drive where we can see the big fields in front of our house and spotted about 15 or so huge tom turkeys foraging for insects and seeds. They have been feeding in the fields for the past week or so. Sure would be nice if turkey season was in and we could have one of those for thanksgiving.
Back at home this afternoon I decided to organize some of the kitchen cabinets and store rarely used things in the big pantry in the utility room. Not a big chore but sure made more space in the cabinet for things I use often.
Tomorrow I think we might clean the chicken house out again and put in fresh hay for the winter. Only have 15 pullets and 2 roosters left so this cleaning should hold them till spring. The pullets are laying well for 5 months old. If only they would all use the nest boxes instead of going in the corners and in the middle of the floor. Am hoping we can get some of the landscape gravel put in place this weekend too. Am getting kinda tired of looking at all the bare ground out there. Just a lil too untidy for my liking.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

I should not make plans

I am sure we all know someone who is forever making plans and then doing just the opposite of what they planned for. Well I know one, me. In my mind I had planned on picking mustard greens to can and making a rum cake. Needless to say I did neither. I painted pantries today. The kitchen pantry really needed a fresh coat of paint so I got busy taking everything out and removing the shelves. Then the pantry in the utility room was way over due paint. I got this one painted first. The color is nearly the same so you cant tell much difference but it sure made me feel better. And the kitchen pantry seems larger with fresh paint and neatly organized. Dang I'm tired tho. Content but beat.
Yesterday I sold 10 of my dark Cornish pullets. I only got 4 eggs today so hubby accused me of selling all the ones that had started laying. I have been letting them outside ever day to scratch and forage for things to eat and I swear some of the girls are standing at the door with their legs crossed waiting to go to the woods to lay. I am fairly sure somewhere there is a big fat egg fed opossum that missed supper tonight. I didn't let the chickens out.
I was thinking today about how blessed we are to be able to have our garden and chickens here on the farm, and be able to can and freeze most of what we eat for the year. And to be able to hunt to supplement the meat. Should also be raising more animals for meat.I know some folks that consider it a treat to be able to enjoy a home cooked meal. As for us, we still consider eating out a treat and even a luxury. The cellar is full of home canned food, lots of sweet potatoes, onions, cushaws, squash and apples for winter and 2 deer to be butchered. Both freezers are filled to the top. I will need to take the corn out before we can put the meat from the deer in there. Hubby's company gives each family a ham and turkey for Thanksgiving every year so they had to go in the freezer as well. Sure would be nice to have some fried chicken, but it is under too much other frozen stuff to make it accessible. Am thinking I need to do some food shuffling so I can get to the stuff I need on a daily basis. Maybe tomorrow, famous last words.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My favorite cake-Rum Cake

Just thought I would share a recipe with you for one of my favorite cakes. The Rum Cake.

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil

First prepare your pan. I use an angel food cake pan for this. Put parchment paper in the bottom and butter well. sprinkle with chopped pecans and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350.

Mix remainder of cake ingredients together and beat well, this don't take long. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes till medium brown and springs back when touched.
Leave the cake in the pan and take a skewer and poke holes all over the cake.


1 stick of butter(real butter)
1/2 cup water
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup rum(coconut rum is awesome)

Melt butter and stir in sugar and water and rum. Bring to boil and boil for 3 minutes. Pour over the cake while its still in the pan allowing the glaze to soak in. Remove from pan and Enjoy!!!!!

Note: You can use pineapple juice in place of water in the cake and use coconut rum in the glaze and you will think you are eating pina coladas.

Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The legal system stinks

The legal system in this country stinks. Especially if you work for a living and the ones around you don't. I sat through civil court today waiting my turn which didn't come till late afternoon. The most cases were of lenders suing for none payment from debtors. At least 20 such in our small county alone. I can only imagine what it would be like in a large town. The other party in my case did not even have the decency to appear in court. The judge awarded judgement in my favor but in no uncertain terms indicated to me that I have no way to collect. The people are on the "draw" and own nothing tangible so that makes them "judgement proof" under the law. Sickening to say the least. They can walk free owing me 2 months rent and 4 utility bills totalling over$1000. What the hell happened to honesty and integrity in this country. I was raised to believe a persons word was his or her bond. I may be just a little old fashioned, but that's all fine with me. People like them are looking for a hand out not a helping hand. Sure hope they use me for a future reference when they try to rent another place. OK off my soap box for now.
After that depressing bit of info, at least the weather was nice today. Very warm for this time of year. Supposed to start cooling down later this week and rain some I think. Tomorrow may be a good day to stay in and do some baking. Maybe some banana nut bread and maybe a rum cake. Yeah that sounds like a plan to me. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Just rambling

Another day in paradise here on the farm. I got up this morning and made my coffee and did the usual stuff. Looked around the kitchen and dining room and the lil dust bunnies were multiplying like, well like bunnies. I decided it was time to shampoo carpet. Dang did I bite off more than I could chew. But with using just one arm and the shampooer I did get the den, dining room and living room done, furniture moved and all. Maybe I can tackle the bedrooms next. It had been 2 years since the carpets were done. After my back injury it was impossible. Not saying it was a good idea to do them today, but some things just need to be done.

The weather was great today. Nice and warm in the upper 70's. Opened the patio door and closed only the screen door. Ventured out to let the pullets out of the building to roam and scratch a bit. Gathered the eggs when I went out and got 13 today. Am hoping to sell about 10 of the pullets this week. A lady from Tennessee say my ad on Craig's list and is interested. That will decrease the feed bill a good amount and still have enough eggs to use and sell a few. Then come spring I can raise babies.

I have some business in town tomorrow that will likely take most of the day then back here and try to finish the carpet. Or not. I happened to think of my mustard and turnip greens that are still in the garden and should try to pick and can some more of those before a hard freeze. In my mental travels over the farm, I remembered that today was my dads birthday. He would have been 96 today. He passed on at the age of 90 years and 5 months. And I still miss him terribly.

Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Deer hunting

Well there are 2 deer hanging that will soon be skinned out and cut for the freezer. Hubby got 2 this year. One spike buck and one doe. We have never been trophy hunters here at all. The smaller bucks and does make much better meat. The meat is comparable to beef. Never with an off taste or gamy. The trick to having good deer meat that don't have a a wild or gamy taste is in the kill and bleeding the animal out soon after the shot. I am sure both the boys will be hunting till season ends. So there will likely be more venison in the freezer. We always cook and prepare the venison same as with any good beef. No soaking or doctoring it up.
When he got home he had to hang the deer carcasses in the root cellar where it was cool. To aid in drainage the heads were removed then chest and neck opened up. Also this made it easier to hang them so they were not touching the floor. Am thinking we will wait till the week of Thanksgiving to skin the deer when the boys are home to help their dad. I'm pretty useless with only one hand.
I think Luna and the girls(cats) were thinking they had hit the jackpot and were having fresh meat. The cats were trying to drag the heads off and Luna was trying to guard them. They will get their share at butchering time.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, November 13, 2009

The wildlife moving around

You can tell the seasons have changed here. I went out to check on the chickens today and something caught my eye in the garden. It was a flock of wild turkeys. Total of 19, just grazing and enjoying the warm sun. Luna spotted them and was barking so they took to cover. The hunting season is not in for them at this time so they were pretty safe. Tomorrow is opening day of modern gun season for deer and hunters are out all over. We hunt our own farm and don't allow others to do so but some still try to sneak in on the remote sides. Am guessing that will be my task for tomorrow keeping trespassers off the farm. The boys hunt here and I sure hope we have some deer in the freezer this year again. Last year there were 3 butchered for the freezer. The weather is supposed to be quite warm all weekend and that does not make for a good hunt.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ah, doggie needs a cookie

Went out today just walking around, turned out the chickens, looked at my various beds of plants and played with the dog for a bit. She has grown accustomed to getting treats when she is good and I guess she thought she was being a good girl but posing a little bit. Guess in doggie thinking that qualifies for a treat. And she gets them often. Maybe she is just a little bit spoiled, but that's OK too. I think she still prefers the porch for sleeping instead of her new igloo dog house. Guess when the air is really cold and windy she will appreciate it more.
The air was quite cool and crisp today with sun casting long shadows on the farm. The trees are bare after all the pretty colors. Now we wait for the snow to coat them for another kind of show.
The sunny days do keep the solar panel going and charging the battery for the lights in the cellar. Really is nice to know when the power goes off we can still have lights in there. Now we are thinking of getting some more solar panels for outside lights such as in the chicken house and out side for security purposes. Maybe in the near future.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Just a little update on me. I had an appointment with the ortho who did my elbow surgery today and he is pleased with the healing of the incision and the progress. Still have a good deal of pain in the elbow but over time that will diminish. He told me he removed the tendon from the bone and reshaped the bone and reattached the tendon. Ouch!!! But for the length of time my mobility is progressing, so I think I will be better. He tells me to use my arm as much as I want but not to the point of causing too much pain. Still a little too sore to do much with, so just do what I can without causing pain.

Did some shopping while we were out. Had to get Luna a dog house and decided on the igloo style houses. Was thinking they are easy to clean and not really any place for bugs and things to hide in there. We put it under the front porch so she wont be having rain pounding on the top. Don't think it is cold enough yet for her to want to be in a warm place as she is very warm natured to begin with. Maybe I can get pictures tomorrow. Got home a little late and am tired and achy from riding in the vehicle. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I drove today

This may sound odd to a lot of people but I drove today for the first time in 2 weeks. Last time I drove my truck was prior to my elbow surgery 2 weeks ago. And that also means I have not been off the farm for 2 weeks. Dang how time flys. Had to go into town today to take care of some business regarding my rental house and with no one to drive me, I just had to go. Have a follow-up doctors appointment tomorrow and some shopping for supplies and then back home. I am a real home body. I can find enough to do here to keep me busy for a year if only I could do all the things that need to be done physically. I do have a tendency tho to hibernate in fall and winter. Rob called me a hermit at one point because I didn't get out much. Guess I like being at home in my own little world.
We had the nest boxes from the old chicken house brought up last evening and put in the one where the Cornish pullets are for them to use. When I went out today to turn them out for the day I got 3 little pullet eggs. Off the floor none the less. Maybe I can put some new straw in the cubbies and use some of my egg gourds to give them the idea. Maybe tomorrow as I didn't think of the egg gourds till after dark. Such is life in my world. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Dang I'm bored

I am getting so bored not being able to do what I want. You can only clean house so many time till you are removing the finish from stuff. So very soon I must get out of here I am gonna be putting the pantry in alphabetical order. Maybe that's not such a bad idea. Sure would keep me occupied for a while. The weather was nice enough tho it was overcast and dreary looking, making it a little easier to stay in.
I was sitting in bed last night surfing the net and with the front porch being so close to my bedroom window, I could hear Luna growling. In just moments I heard a coyote howling in the lower edge of the yard. They are getting a little too brave for my liking. Needless to say Luna took off the porch, barking and I then heard several more coyotes that were fairly close as well. I jumped out of bed and went out to make sure she didn't chase too far and get attacked. Just a few minutes later the coyotes fell silent and Luna came back to the porch and only growled a few times after that. I have heard from owners of the Great Pyrenees that they are fearless when it comes to protecting their territory, now I believe it. I am seriously considering getting her a partner to make her safer. Maybe I will check Craig's list for another one about 8 months old so it would be the same age as she. She is worth her food just for keeping the critters away and she is a very lovable dog as well. If someone pulls in the drive, most wont even get out of the car and if they do she wont let them on the porch. That's when she gets a cookie for being a good girl. I think shes a keeper.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Got some thing done

The weather was just beautiful today, warm and sunny, so we got some things done today on the place. Got the rest of the bread corn picked and got all the stuff shelled that we are going to grind for cornmeal. Good thing someone had a strong arm to crank the corn sheller. It mounts to the side of a wooden box that my dad used when I was growing up for the same thing. My grandmother used the old wooden box to hold stove wood for the cook stove. Kinda makes the box older than me. We shelled what amounted to about 2 and 1/2 bushels. I store it in the freezer for a couple weeks to kill any bug eggs that might have been laid in the kernels and then take it out and dry it thoroughly before having it ground into meal. That's gonna be a lot of cornbread! But we do use a good deal and if we have a bad season for the corn next year we wont have to worry much. There will also be enough to make some hominy and have plenty left over for seed for next year. The process of making hominy makes all the nutrients more readily available for the body to digest. And it tastes good too, so that's in my plans for the near future when I have 2 hands that work.

Finally got some compost and straw on my herb bed and its all set for winter. Maybe tomorrow I can manage to get some compost and mulch put around the grapevines and other stuff in the back yard. Depends on how my arm feels in the morning and how much I can do with one hand.
The past few cold nights have sent my 3 cats looking for a warm place to sleep for the winter. I got a plastic tote out of the building and put in in a chair on the front porch and gave them a blanket to sleep on. They will be shielded from the wind and weather and be nice and toasty. They seemed very appreciative of my efforts. Now where to put a huge dog for the winter. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nice weather

We had some really nice fall weather today, with temps in the low 70's. The sun was so nice and warm on the skin. Yeah I did get out for a bit today. I got to help hold feed bags to put the corn in that was picked and will later be shelled for cornmeal. We sorted it out as we went along and put all the good stuff that were blemish free in separate bags and the ones that had some rotted kernels on them were put in bags for the laying pullets. They do enjoy good new corn. And boy does it make the egg yolks orange. Mighty rich and tasty too I must say. Tomorrow we finish the corn picking and sorting.
Next weekend is opening weekend of deer season here so all the hunters will be off in search of the ever elusive deer. Am hoping we have several for the freezer this year. It is a depressing time for me as I cant hunt any more due to my work injuries. And the fact that I have had recent surgery. Maybe some day I can add deer hunting back to my list of the much awaited season. But this year I will be staying home and tending to things here on the farm. Such is life. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Just rambling

This staying in and not being able to get outside and do much is killer for me. Still having a good deal of pain from the elbow surgery and a lot of soreness and not able to use it much at all. I did manage to clean 6 stalks of celery and run that through the food processor to slice and froze that. Got some laundry done, folded as best you can do with one hand.
The remainder of the sweet potatoes were dug today with the end result of 4 more bushels. All of them white ones. We actually prefer them over an others. Tomorrow it is picking the corn for cornmeal and getting that in the dry so it can be shelled later.
I was watching the news last night and noticed that our governor here in Kentucky had fell into the trap of the liberals and declared the Christmas tree in the state capital a Holiday Tree. He was very soon set straight by the constituents in Kentucky and decided it was in the best interest of all to keep calling the Christmas tree a Christmas tree. This goes to prove that people must stand for what they believe or all that they believe in will soon disappear. Don't know what he was thinking but he quickly changed his mind. I have to say I am proud to be from the Bluegrass state. We should all say a prayer for the families of the service men and women who lost their lives in the shooting at Ft Hood, Texas last date. God bless them all.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We had sleet today

Well our weather was supposed to be nice this week but not by what we saw today. We had sleet for a few minutes early today. You could see the little pieces of ice on the deck. Luna loved it, this is probably the first time she has been really cool all summer. Then the sun popped out and it warmed up to about 60 degrees. The clouds really looked like some kind of winter weather. By the way,I ain't ready for winter.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nice fall weather

We have been having some really nice fall weather for the past few days. Although it is a little bit on the cool side the sun is so nice and warm. I went outside today to let my chickens out of the building to forage for some bugs that were out to enjoy the warmth of the sun. The chickens came out of their building and it was like they all took a deep breath and just stood for a bit soaking up the warmth of the fresh air. Some of them laid down and stretched out their wings like they were sunbathing. When the birds get to run out during the day they eat about half the amount of feed. And the eggs of the pullets are a deep orange color and very rich. Just like farm fresh eggs should be.
I was sitting here today thinking about some things that I need to get done while we have some pretty weather. IF I can get someone to haul some wood chips for me to use as mulch in the herb bed, I think I can use one hand to move and spread the chips around. I am fairly sure I am going to hear a lot of static from this thinking but such is life. And if we can use the tractor and potato plow to get the sweet potatoes out of the ground I can use one hand to pick them up. I would sure hate to see them go to waste. Out Irish potatoes didn't do any good because of all the damage done by the Colorado potato beetle so we are buying potatoes. We did find a good price of $11 for 50 lbs at a local store. So the safest bet for us is to buy a few bags to put in the root cellar while they are cheap. Maybe some of the projects will get done with the nice weather that is to stick around the rest of the week. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Slow progress

I feel like I have slept for a few days, well I guess I kinda have. Had a good deal of pain in my elbow after surgery and took pain meds although not as often as prescribed and just tried to rest. Now my mind is rested and ready to move but the arm says "no, not yet". This being inside for the past 4 days is just about enough. Am told I will have to suck it up and take a little more time. I still have a lot of pain in my arm and have little use of it at this point but it is making slow progress. Not so sure how I am going to tolerate this 6 to 8 week recovery. Might need a padded room before long.
The weather has been really nice the past few days. It warms up nicely during the day but gets a bit brisk at night. Tomorrow is supposed to have highs in 50's with low tomorrow night of 33. That's real close to freezing and we still have some sweet potatoes in the ground. They have been covered over with vines from the other plants so they should be good as long as we don't have a hard freeze.
We do need to get some nest boxes built in the chicken house for the new pullets. They are starting to lay now. All be it just a few of them, but all of them didn't mature at the exact same time I guess. It will be nice to have a good supply of fresh eggs again.
Am going to try and persuade someone here to haul some wood chips for me sometime this week or weekend to mulch my herb bed, just one project I didn't get done before surgery. I think I can spread mulch with one hand. We still have a bunch of landscaping to do where we put the dirt back over the cellar to get it ready to seed and plant in spring. Just not enough of me to go around these days.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.