Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meet Goggles! Daddy to Dinner

We purchased Goggles at the beginning of January to replace our old buck, also Goggles.

Old Goggles was over four years old and getting lazy.  He didn't want to do the job he was supposed to do anymore (if you know what I mean).

Our son Cohen named the first buck when we got him back in March of 2010, at that time Cohen was 3.  Since we were getting rid of old Goggles we told Cohen he could name the new rabbit.

Cohen came with me to the rabbit farm and picked out this nice red New Zealand buck.

When asked what he wanted to name it, he said "Goggles". I said, "Really, that was the old bucks name."  He said, "Yes, Goggles."

We tried to sway his decision by throwing out names like 007, James Bond or Red Barren and even Cheeto as I believe this was the rabbits fathers name.  He wouldn't budge!

Meet Goggles (#2)!

I wonder if we will have red babies???

We should know in about a month!


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Simple Hand Made Valentine

After rummaging through our card basket I come up with two partial packages of Valentine's Day cards.  I opened the boxes and counted them, 16.  My son needed 26 for his class.  Being the cheap  frugal mom that I am, I was able to buy a piece of each red and pink paper for pocket change.  The other option was to go spend $3 on a full pack at Wal-Mart.  

So this is what I spent my Wednesday night doing just before bed.  I think they turned out cute!  They were so simple.  I just traced a heart shaped cookie cutter (outside and inside for two different sizes).  Then cut them out and glued them together.  

I also made tic-tac-toe boards and cut out purple and pink felt hearts for the class to play with.  Four sets in all.

Feeling crafty this week!

Did you make any hand made Valentines?


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Farm Folk Food 2/10/14

Last week my menu title was Marvelous Menu Monday.  This week, Farm Folk Food.
I like the sound of the triple consonants running together.  Which do you think sounds better???

Do you want to see what I'm cooking up for dinner this week?

Here it is!

Smoked Hamburgers
Salad with Home Made Ranch Dressing

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Home Made Bread

Wednesday Night Connect
(Family Bible Study, Dinner Included, I will donate $5)

Beef & Mushroom Meatloaf
Baked Potatoes

Haley's Choice
Eat Out
(*see note below)

Kielbasa Sausages
Fried Eggs
Chicken Flavored Rice from Scratch

Home made Macaroni and Cheese
Salad with Home Made Ranch Dressing
(We have to get this Ranch used up)

*One of my New Years goals is not spending so much money on fast food.  Skipping this convenience is not only better for our wallets, but more importantly, our health.  To help get the kids our board, the second Friday of each month they get to choose where we eat as a family.  They drew numbers at the beginning of January to establish the order.  Last month we visited our local pizza shop when it was Cohen's choice.    

Grocery List
Gallon Organic Milk
Half Gallon Fat Free Milk
Quart Organic Soy Chocolate Milk (Cohen=restricted dairy)
Bag of Organic Potatoes
Organic Mushrooms
Organic Salad Greens
4 oz. White American Cheese
Bag Organic Chocolate Chips
Juice Box (another field trip)
Organic Wild Rice
Organic Sour Cream
Organic Apples & Bananas
Organic Oatmeal
Kielbasa Sausage (x2)
Organic Canola Oil (x2)

So how did my Kombucha turn out???

Great!  I don't know why I didn't start doing this sooner!!  So easy!!!

I think I will have to start making a gallon a week instead of a half gallon.  I also need to play with different flavors for it.  

Any ideas???


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snowy Days

Well, two weeks ago I did a post on Sunny Days.  

Now I'm doing one about Snowy Days.

That's what it's like here in the Pacific Northwest, the weather is always changing.  

This storm is only suppose to hang around for a few days.  I'm going to enjoy it though, because really, we don't get that much snow on an annual basis.  

It can be an inconvenience to some, but enjoy this gift that God has giving us.  It is so beautiful!!!

Snuggling up with some hot chocolate!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Two Reasons I Raise Rabbits

OK.  So I'm apologizing for the pictures in advance.  

I know, gross to look at, but I needed to prove how little waste rabbit has compared to his friend chicken.  

Don't get me wrong, I raise chicken fryers too (that will be another post).

The dear rabbit has a higher meat to bone ratio when compared to his friend the chicken (see proof below).  More bang for your buck (yes, I know I said buck, as in a buck rabbit).  Not only does a rabbit carcass contain more meat, but also more protein and less fat too.  Don't believe me check here

Waste from a roasted rabbit

I will not lie my friend.  Before we started this adventure of raising rabbits for meat, we purchased a rabbit fryer from our neighbor.  I was so excited to try something new!  When I cooked it, it smelled so delicious with all of that garlicky gravy.  Put the food on the table, fixed my plate, said grace, took a deep breath and I bit into that large, lovely rabbit thigh.

Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew......Swallow.
It didn't taste bad. Not to far off from rabbits friend the chicken.

I couldn't get the image of a cute little bunny out of my head.  
Mentally, I was having a hard time, so eating my meal took a while.

I wasn't ready to give up.  

Knowing how similar the taste was to chicken, we purchased two does and a buck and started breeding rabbits.  Another reason I raise rabbits, you don't have to wait for good weather and sunshine to raise them.  They can provide your family with meat All. Year. Long!  We successfully butchered and I prepared another rabbit meal.  This time on the smoker!

Waste from a roasted chicken

Chew, chew, chew.....Swallow.
It was a little easier this time around.  And oh my goodness, SO DELICIOUS!

Mentally, it was easier.  I still thought about the cute little bunny, but just a little bit.

Finally, we invited my in-laws over for dinner and we prepared smoked rabbit again (one of our favorite ways to prepare it).  They also had raised rabbits in the past when my husband was very young.  So young in fact, he can only recall eating it once.

I had an audience.  No way was I going to be the last one done.  I was over thinking about the cute little bunny and have never looked back.

The End!

Note:  We butcher our rabbits between the ages of 12-15 weeks.  Our chicken fryers are butchered between 8-9 weeks of age.  I just wait until there size is pleasing to my eye.


P.S. If you have any questions about raising rabbits, I would be more than happy to answer them.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Marvelous Menu Monday & an Experiment

Many of you out there make menus.  I am one of those such people.  I have to plan ahead or I am totally lost in the kitchen at meal times fumbling around trying to figure out what to make.  Only to realize that when I would come up with an idea, I wouldn't have all of the ingredients.

The really cool thing about this weeks grocery list is very short.  I went through the fridge, freezers and pantry and came up with this.

Rabbit Noodle Soup
Homemade Bread

Spaghetti with Ground Sausage in the Sauce
Maple Glazed Carrots

Wednesday Night Connect
(Family Bible Study at Church, Dinner Included, I will donate $5)

Beef Stroganoff with Mushrooms
Mashed Potatoes
Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing

Taco Soup
Corn Muffins

Smoked Country Style Ribs with BBQ Sauce
Acorn Squash
Butter and Herb Flavored Noodles

Orange Marmalade Glazed BBQ Chicken
Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon Crumbles
Homemade Bread

Grocery List for the week
Gallon of Organic Milk
Organic Bananas
Organic Apples
Organic Canola Oil (because I ran out)
Bag of Organic Potatoes
Organic Juice or Milk Box (for field trip sack lunch)

My Fred Meyer receipt totaled $14.63.  Excellent for  a weeks worth of food for 5.  They are no longer carrying the organic canola oil I like, I will get by with organic olive oil this week.

I LOVE it when my list looks like this.  In order to have such a short list we had to make some hefty meat purchases at various points throughout the year.  I plan to place a deposit for a pig later this month so we can continue to have yummy ribs and sausage spaghetti.  One day though, we hope to be raising our own beef and maybe pork.

So what is my experiment your ask?  My mother-in-law came down for my son's birthday and brought me a scoby.  I have my first batch of kombucha brewing!!!  I'm so excited to let you know how it turned out!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Reflections of January, a Birthday & Delicious Honey

A look back at January reveals that not much was accomplished off of my 2014 goals list.

For the Farm....

We did purchase a new buck rabbit (even though not on the list) and got rid of the old one as he got to old and lazy to do the job that needed doing.  I will do an introduction on Goggles soon.

For personal goals...

We or I stopped for fast food (six different times, shamefully about $40 worth)
I also purchased Starbucks (6 times, this is noted as an improvement, about $23)
I went on a date with my husband
(I want to keep track of the amount spent on fast food for personal and budget reasons)

$63.  There is room for improvement!

Our son Chase celebrated his 12th birthday on January 31.
Chase is our middle child.  He is kind, funny and compassionate.  We are very proud of the young man he is becoming.  The day before his birthday we got to attend the student of the month assembly at school.  The character trait in which he received an award for was citizenship.

Chase got new motorcycle gear for his birthday.  He has out grown what was purchased for him when he was six and has been borrowing his sisters gear for over a year now.  He loves to ride his dirt bike around our property.

We had 18 people in our small home to celebrate.  7  more were unable to come due to illness or another engagement.  With the exception of my mother-in-law, these family members all live within 7 miles.  We are blessed to have so much family near by.

Last week I also purchased 4 quarts of delicious honey.  We use about a quart a month.  One of our future homestead goals will be to start our own hives, but until then I drive to the next town over and support a local farmer who has hives.