Well, here we are, waiting on the nasty weather to come in. We're supposed to have some snow overnight and then sleet/rain tomorrow. Yay-rah, I so love the ice, not.
I spent a little time with my goats today, i should have taken the camera out with me but I didn't think of it. I need to snap a pic or 2 of her, she looks like a house. the baby goat production is apparently going along well, Molly the goat is most certainly preggers. I really need to get that sheep butchered so I can feed her some goat mineral. Ah, maybe tomorrow if it's not too icky out.
I whipped up some meat sauce today for some pasta, the kids really like it and it's a quick meal for when we're busy. while the sauce was simmering down, I canned myself up a couple pounds of butter. There's lots of info out there on both sides of the fence as to canning butter. some say it's not safe and others say it is. I can say for me that I'm eating out of a jar of butter that's been in storage for 13 months and I'm still alive.
If you're interested in trying this for yourself, here's what I do to can my butter. If you don't feel safe doing this, just skip down past this part :)
I preheat my oven to 250 degrees and then place my jars in the oven for 30 minutes. I heat my rings and lids per any canning project on the stove in boiling water. While the jars are heating, I melt my butter over a medium heat and stir it pretty much constantly so it doesn't scorch. By the time the jars are ready, the butter is melted and hot. I use my canning funnel to pour the butter into the 1/2 pint jars, keeping the butter stirred well so the butterfats don't seperate out. I leave roughly 1/2" head space so I can shake the jar contents to keep the fats mixed in while the butter is cooling. Carefully wipe the tops of the jars off to ensure a good seal and place your lids and rings on snug. I place my lidded jars on a kitchen towel to cool until the lids ping. Once the lids ping, I shake up each jar every few minutes to keep the fats mixed well as the butter cools. I continue to shake them up until the butter no longer seperates. The jars will still be warm. Once the butter stops seperating, I place them in the fridge to cool down completely. Once they are cold, I set them in the pantry for storage. If kept in a cool, dark spot, butter can and does keep in jars for up to 5 years.
I ordered some goji berry seeds a couple weeks ago. They've arrived and I'm really looking forward to planting them come spring. I've read some good things about the goji and I hope they do well here. I'm also thinking about planting some Greek Olive trees. I've been reading how they can be pruned short and produce well as a container plant. the seeds take between 6 and 8 weeks to germinate, boy will I have a case of the nervous nellies waiting on those seedlings!
I also picked up some giant bell pepper seeds from the same seller, they are supposed to be a natural hybrid and produce the same offspring from their seeds. the description says the peppers grow up to 14" long. I'm going to try them. won't those be zingers for a meal of stuffed peppers! You could feed an army with just a few of those babies! If they are a true natural hybrid, they could be a novel addition to the garden.
Oh, if you get a chance, check out an article in Newsweek magazine written by Jessica Bennett. it's called Rise of the Preppers: Americas New Survivalists. It's actually a pretty good article and some of my "net" friends are interviewed in it.