Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am still here . . .
still working on "Finding the Balance Between Old and New".
It is just more challenging than I anticipated -
I will be ready to start blogging again soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Valentine's Day

This is my Sunday Smile
My Favorite Sweetheart

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let's Make Soup . . .

I canned an entire turkey.
It was a heritage turkey on sale after Christmas and Thanksgiving.
We didn't get any real turkey during the holidays - we were busy dragging crap around the country.
When I saw this one on sale at the Good Food Store, I bought it without thinking.
Just knew that I wouldn't be seeing anymore of them until Thanksgiving next year.
Regular CAFO (commercial animal feeding operation) turkeys can be had year round.
Not these babies.

Anyway, I had no clue what to do with Turkey, so I stuck him in the freezer and pondered.
If I simply baked, I would be looking at 20#s of luscious turkey and be happy for about 1 minute.
A turkey in the oven is so much more than just the actual roasted bird
it is stuffing
and gravy
and cranberries
and family
and family
and family

Yeah, so that was just not an option with Leo and I since Tony was on the road and there was no family in sight.

So I pressure canned it.

It took 2 days and I ended up with 16 pints of chunked meat with broth and 12 more pints of scraps and slivers with broth for Leo.

Not bad, but what am I going to do with it now?

I made some fabulous Spicy Turkey Noodle soup - that's what.
Tony helped me make the noodles with the pasta machine.

Even better.
Did I mention that it is still really cold outside?
That soup was awesome and we didn't even notice the cold.

Here is the link to the recipe that I started from - mostly used the spice combo here and then riffed from there.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dream . . .

It is cold outside.
I think I'll just walk up these stairs to my dream room.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Home-Packed Love

Tony is on his way home for his first "home time" since starting out as a solo.


He just finished the food that I sent out with him a month ago. I love it that I can send some home-packed love out with him. It is so nice knowing that he doesn't have to depend upon truckstops for food.

One of the ways I send food out with him is by vacuum sealing it.

Looks like space food, doesn't it?
These are just cubes of ham and turkey with either hot pickled okra or some banana peppers mixed with some spicier pickled peppers and carrots.
All he has to do is cut them open with scissors and dump them into a small container for the day. I also do cheese cubes as well as a great bunch of veggies - broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and jicama. They all lasted well over 3 weeks - he ran out before they lost their home-packed goodness. I'll send more this time.

I do some other things in the vacuum sealer, this is just all I have done so far this time.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We are grinding now, baby . . .

I am not one to spend much time on my soapbox, I figure it is up to each of us to collect information and make the best decisions possible.
There are so many factors involved -
good unbiased information
equipment and tools


For a lot of us, time is probably the factor in the shortest supply.

That is why Tony and I have made this life changing decision for ourselves. We finally had enough money to meet monthly obligations (with a small cushion), we had access to good quality healthy food on a regular basis for the first time in 20'ish years, and we were willing to invest (and it is most certainly an investment in our future) in good equipment and tools.

Now that I am here full time, we have made the time.

Meet the newest investment in our health . . .

Here is where I step up on my soapbox and tell you that if you only do one thing this year to change the way you eat, I believe it should be to grind your own hamburger.

In 2008, 143,000,000 (One Hundred and Forty-Three MILLION) pounds of hamburger was recalled (article here). In September of 2009, almost 23,000 pounds of ground beef was recalled here. On October 31, 2009, the CDC said there were ONLY 26 people sick enough to talk about in 11 states due to suspected contamination with E. coli O157:H7 - this resulted in the recall of 500,000 pounds of ground beef.
And just one of the more recent examples - 432 TONS of ground beef was recalled in January 2010 due to the same E.coli contamination from a plant in California.
This was all information gained in my very clumsy internet search that lasted all of 3 minutes to find - I could not make myself search deeper or I would never be able to eat again.

In my first effort, I went to the grocery store and stood there eyeing the beef case. I don't buy much meat to begin with, so I'm really pretty clueless in this department. I did remember that one of the ways I had seen ground beef described was "ground chuck", so I started looking for packages with the word "chuck" on them.

Came up with these packages AND . . . they were on sale! SWEET

The directions for the grinder said to cut the meat up into 1" cubes. This is a "home" grinder after all - anything larger wouldn't work it's way through the auger and out the cutting plate (don't I sound smart with my new "grinder" jargon?!?...).

So, here are the 1" cubes - lots of them.

And here is what comes out of the grinder.

Easy . . .
but time consuming.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh Blue . . .

I have this beauty set as my wallpaper on my computer.
I am in love with it.
I lust after it.
I want it.