Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Waiting on the Nasty


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.

5 comments:

  1. I'm watching for sales on butter (no cow or goats on this farm) and will try the canning! Thanks. And what's a goji??

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  2. I've been using the bottled butter, too, with no adverse affects at all! I canned it for the first time last October. It's a great LTS item! All of the new seeds sound like fun experiments. I'd actually love to hear about the banana tree you have. I've seen those advertised in places, but didn't know if it would actually produce bananas.

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  3. Great post thank you! I wndered about butter, guess I'll also be watching for sales as no milking critters here....of to check out the article...

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  4. I actually like the canned butter and have never had any adverse effects from it.

    Sure is a better price than Red Feather canned butter...which is good, but way too expensive for me!

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  5. Oh ouch, Red Feather is so expensive! What's the difference in what they are selling and what you can do yourself? Don't know, none I say.

    Goji is wolf berry. It's claimed to be a great antioxidant and the fruits can be made into wine and jams/jellies. The chinese calim the tea made from leaves is very medicinal. It's said that they taste much like an over ripe blueberry. We'll see I guess!

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