We harvested 4 wheelbarrow loads of squash and pumpkins out of the garden! We gave away A LOT and still have plenty to eat through the winter.
I’m so happy with our onion harvest this year.
Jo’s puppy, Rebel.
The cutest nephew came to visit!
Jo made shrimp egg rolls for a school project. They were honestly the best I’ve ever tasted….she got an A, I LOVE homeschooling. 🙂
We also finished harvesting the sunflowers. The chickens will love these this winter.
The barn owl came back for a visit.
Warning, scary chicken ahead…..
Poor, poor, poor Tiny….molting season is not being good to her! Last month she won a grand champion ribbon and this month she would definitely win the ugliest chicken award. 🙂
These little ladies out grew the small coop so we moved them to the big one. I keep pointing to the nesting boxes and telling them to get with it! Unfortunately, I still have two months to wait.
Love all the fall colors!
These two have been giggling for days because we are headed to the Oregon Coast on Monday. Their bags have been packed for about a week now. 🙂
I just got an Instagram account and I’m a little obsessed! (it’s so fun!) So come follow along! (the icon is above my picture at the top of this screen) I’ll be sharing photos of our beach trip next week, and any other pics I snap with my phone.
Once upon a time I was at Costco and bought some garlic……..
3 pounds of garlic…….then I made 2 batches of my homemade bug spray and used 2 heads of garlic. Leaving me with 2 pounds 13 ounces. Soooo I thought and thought about what to do with the ridiculous amount of garlic hanging out in my kitchen (other than moving the awkward bag around every time I cleaned). I eventually remembered my mom talking about roasting garlic in the oven. I decided to give it a try. Soooo glad I did!
This is how I did it:
I cut the top off of each head of garlic (just enough to expose each clove). Then placed it on a piece of tin foil and poured a little olive oil over the top (about 2 teaspoons on each) to fill in the cracks around each clove. I sprinkled some salt and pepper on each one and wrapped the foil around them. Then placed them in a muffin tin:
I put them in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, (my home smelled like garlic heaven) and that’s it! If you want them to brown a bit more you can pull the foil back and stick them back in the oven for about 5 more minutes.
It was so simple and extremely delicious! At this point I have used roasted garlic in salads, mashed potatoes, spaghetti sauce, a veggie and pasta dish and today I’m putting it in some crusty bread I’m making. That big bag of garlic didn’t last long, now I need to grow my own garlic next year. 🙂
This morning, Mary came out of her room with a big fluffy blanket wrapped around her shoulders, and announced: “It finally feels like fall, it’s cloudy and wet outside and I smell pumpkin pancakes!” I had to smile because she is TOTALLY right. There is a definite feel of fall around here and I’m so ready for it!
These hearty pancakes are a wonderful fall morning treat. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice mix on hand here is a link to my easy homemade mix.
Other than a sinus infection (yuck yuck yuck!) that lasted a couple of weeks, I had a really good September. We’ve been enjoying the lovely fall weather and the garden is STILL giving lots of good stuff!
The cantaloupe is delicious! We’ve eaten seven of them so far and more are coming. I keep praying that the frost doesn’t come for a few more weeks so I can finish harvesting as everything continues to ripen.
The girls are going to have some nice big pumpkins to carve. 🙂
After raising meat chickens over the summer it feels like these little layers are growing slowly, but they ARE growing and will need to be moved to the bigger coop before long.
I think at this point the Golden Laced Wyandottes are my favorites.
We started to harvest the sunflowers that the wind blew over. Most of them aren’t quite ready yet though.
Jo’s puppy grew lots this last month!
Jo got her hair cut and her ears pierced. My little tom boy is starting to care about hair, nails, clothes and jewelry! WHAT happened!?
This has been my VERY best year for growing tomatoes!! We are still getting an insane amount every day and it’s the end of September. I love how this recipe helps to use some of our abundance of grape tomatoes.
They are so fresh, sweet and absolutely delicious and they make this dish soooo very yummy. I may have even eaten the left overs for breakfast the next morning.
It doesn’t take much time at all to whip up this super tasty dinner. Start by halving 4 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes and putting them in a greased 8″x8″ baking dish. Drizzle a little olive oil on with some salt and pepper, stir that up then poor 1/2 a cup of Italian bread crumbs over the top.
Place the tomatoes in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. While that is in the oven, brown 1 pound of Italian sausage (I used my Italian sausage seasoning recipe) and cook the pasta. Drain the sausage and pasta then put everything into a big serving bowl with 1&1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese. Give it a good stir and taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper.
I know this isn’t the most eye appealing dish you’ve ever seen, but it makes up for it in taste…..I promise!!
August was a blur!! Birthdays, dogs, 4-H books, fires, harvesting, dogs, the fair, starting school, butchering chickens, and did I mention dogs? I thought about writing a post called “How to say no to more dogs”….wait, we don’t know how to say no to more dogs. I guess the post should be called “How to spend $2,436.70 on dog food every month”.
(OK, I exaggerated a little, or a lot, but SHEEEESH!)
Anyway, here are a few pics of our crazy August.
The chicks I ordered at the beginning of August are all doing very well. Four more months and we should have fresh eggs again, at least more than two a day!
I love grocery shopping in the garden!!
We got a new food processor!! Just in time to help with harvest. Thanks Aunt Stella!!!! We LOVE it! (Can you tell by the look on Mary’s face?)
This is Mary’s bantam hen “Tiny” and that is a small snake she has. She stole it from one of the other hens and slurped it down like a noodle! I had a little trouble keeping my breakfast down after watching that.
In my last post I mentioned that we told Jo that she could have a puppy for her 11th birthday. It took a little while to find one, but she did.
I really don’t think he could be any cuter and she is IN LOVE! Meet Rebel:
Two days after she brought Rebel home, Jade came home and brought his dog. He had to leave him with us because he couldn’t find a house or apartment where he could keep a pit bull.
Seriously!? Who could not love that face!!
We missed Gunner and are glad to have him back! The other dogs missed him too and Rebel thinks Gunner is his best buddy. They spend hours wrestling around the house…..highly entertaining for us!
We had some interesting sunsets in August because of some horrible fires in the area.
The girls did AWESOME at the fair with their chickens!
Mary got Grand Champion Market Chicken and Jo got Reserve Champion Market Chicken! They both got blue ribbons in showmanship and Mary’s chicken “Tiny” (the one eating the snake above) was the Grand Champion of her breed! They also did VERY well with their 4-H books. All that hard work paid off……literally. They both sold their chickens at the market livestock sale and got $250.00 and $375.00…..for CHICKENS that only cost them 10 dollars to raise!!!! We live in a great community with great people that support our kids! Of course their Papa and Grandma also helped in this area 😉
The last day of the fair the girls and I enjoyed watching the rodeo and Jo took a bunch of pictures.
And then there is the cutest nephew EVER!
The garden is still over flowing!
My sunflowers grew 13 feet tall!
This is the first time I’ve ever been successful growing cabbage!
After the fair we started off our home school year with a field trip to OMSI. (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.)
It was a great day and a wonderful way to start off the school year!! We are easing our way into a full school week. The rest of their books will be here next week so we will be in full swing after that!
Hope you all had a wonderful August too and are getting used to the cooler weather!
What an crazy week! 4-H stuff, birthday celebrations, new chicks, and trying to freeze the insane amount of zucchini and green beans coming from the garden are the things that took up most of my time. We ordered homeschool curriculum for the girls as well, and that got me very excited to start school in a few weeks!
We ended the week with Jo’s 11th birthday party, and she is over the top excited about her present. We told her she could find and adopt a puppy. She has been wanting one of her own for YEARS, and being the responsible young lady that she is we figure it’s a good time for a potentially life changing new addition. Now, the task of finding the RIGHT puppy!
Here is our week in photos….
Jo made a poster for the Cornish Cross chicken she is taking to the fair. She took it to the 4-H meeting and did a demonstration about these chickens. This was all her idea!
Mary did her 4-H demonstration on chocolate covered fruit. The strawberries were the most popular!
More beautiful sunsets this week!
4 Golden Buff, 4 White Leghorn, and 4 Golden Laced Wyandotte arrived on Wednesday morning. All healthy and happy and cute, cute, cute! I always forget how ever so tiny they are.
I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of baking all our bread again.
I’m going to start grating zucchini in my sleep….
I became very impatient and HAD to pick one of my watermelon. It has got to be ripe by now, right?
NOPE……darn it! (the chickens enjoyed it very much though)
So excited to see hundreds of busy honey bees in my corn rows!
We had a WONDERFUL last week of July. 🙂 The summer is just flying by!! The wind stopped blowing and the temps went up again. My husband and I are LOVING the warm summer nights and we’ve had some gorgeous sunsets! We’ve also been enjoying lots of garden produce.
Hope you enjoy some photos from our week.
My biggest pumpkin so far.
Odie turned 11 this month (77 dog years!)
Just about ready to harvest a couple watermelons with several more on the way!!
We headed up to Mt. Adams early yesterday morning with the goal of finding some huckleberries.
I was a little ashamed when I realized last week that my almost 11 year old had never been huckleberry picking. She asked; “What’s a huckleberry?”… WHAT?!?! Some of my favorite memories are of camping with my grandma and grandpa near Mt. Adams and picking huckleberries every year.
I can now say that my daughters have both been huckleberry picking……sort of. The actually “picking” part, lasted all of 10 minutes,… for them anyway.
When the picking stopped, the whining started….”What time is it?” – “I’m hungry” – “Did we bring something to drink?” – “Can we go back to the van?” – “It’s hot out here” – and,… well, you get the point.
I’m quite sure I NEVER acted like that as a child….at least not while picking huckleberries…..:)
The first place we stopped had a lot of berries! I really enjoyed myself,… despite all the whining.
The purple fingers, the sound of berries hitting the bottom of my bucket, and the sweet, earthy smell of sun warmed huckleberries quickly brought back many good childhood memories.
After we ate lunch we moved down the road a bit where we found far less huckleberries, but we did find lots of wild blueberries.
They were beautiful, but they really didn’t taste as good as they looked. I decided to stick with the huckleberries.
We stopped a few times on the way home so I could take pictures of my favorite mountain.
I see this mountain out my living room windows everyday, but rarely get to come this close. Oh, so beautiful! Not nearly enough snow left up there after the impossibly mild winter and hot, dry spring and summer we’ve had though.
Guess what else we saw on the way home?
This is my brother Jacob. He is 25 years old physically, but mentally he’s about 4. (Don’t tell him that though.) Jacob loves SASQUATCH!!! The entire time we were picking huckleberries, Jacob was stomping around the woods whacking trees with sticks and calling for sasquatch. Yep,… you read it right. CALLING for sasquatch! It’s very funny and cute at first, but after a couple hours it’s just loud and…, well,… loud. Anyway, after a whole day of searching for big foot he FINALLY found him! He was soooooo excited, and absolutely loved the creepy red eyes. He did inform us on the way home that; That was not a REAL sasquatch, so we need to go back to the mountain so he can search the deepest, darkest woods to find a real one. As of yet no promises have been made. 😀
What a great day! I got enough berries to make huckleberry pancakes and a few batches of muffins. My mom made a pie as soon as she got home. She’s an overachiever.
It’s that time of year again, the zucchini is pouring out of the garden. I love the abundance of this versatile veggie, and have many recipes to use them up. Zucchini bread has always been a good way to use it up, but this one is a super duper amazing way to use it! I’m going to freeze lots and lots of zucchini just so I can make this bread all year long. ;D
It’s so moist and smooth and sweet and wonderful and it all came about by accident. Mary is the one that first made this, hence the name: “Mary’s Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread”. She had a recipe to follow, but we hadn’t been shopping for a while and didn’t have some of the ingredients, so she “improvised”. We were all pleasantly surprised with the results. 🙂
This is not only very tasty but healthier than most quick breads too!
Mary's Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread (With NO Vegetable Oil)
Grease two loaf pans and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the first 5 ingredients until well combined.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min then lower the temp to 300 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the loaf pans and cool completely before cutting.
Another great thing about this bread is you have options! I love options. 🙂
You can add a 3/4 of a cup of chocolate chips and have “Mary’s Super Moist Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread” (this is my girls favorite).
Or you could leave out the cocoa powder and have “Mary’s Super Moist Zucchini Bread” and it’s still, oh so good!!
Wait, there’s more!….We made three batches of this last week (6 loaves). Six loaves for four people is a bit much, so I froze 2 loaves and took them out yesterday for breakfast and took some to our Bible study. They froze VERY well and I think they might have even tasted better from the freezer!?!? WHAT?
I have noticed that while this bread is delicious still warm from the oven, it’s very crumbly if you don’t let it cool completely first. Its even easier to cut after being in a zip lock bag over night. But, it tastes great ANY time. 🙂