Monday, November 26, 2012

Life After Turkey





There is so much beauty living here on the ranch. This was the view last nite while I was feeding one of my horses.

There are things I would rather be doing than cook, but there IS a satisfaction that comes from using my own ingredients that can't be bought. We do have 2 standing freezers and a room dedicated to nothing but pantry, but in the long run, we eat better, healthier and save a lot in the long run. 




Having a freezer full of beef, lamb and chicken, and plenty of canned goods on the shelves is a comforting feeling. Notice the Tattler reusable canning lids. Love that I don't have to throw them away and can use them again and again!
I also have whatever I need on hand, at all times, only needing to grocery shop about every 3 months or so. If I run out of something, which is rare, someone from the ranch is bound to be heading to town in between trips.


The newest addition to the kitchen is my Atlas Pasta Roller. I love this thing. Randy loves this thing. It’s amazingly simple to make homemade pasta. My favorite recipe so far, is 1 cup of semolina and 2 eggs. Mix it up, let it rest, then  roll it between the blades, taking down the thickness a little each time. Put the cutting blades on and roll out your lasagna or fettucini or whatever. We have made fettucini and I was shocked and amazed when Randyman put his stamp of approval on it because he doesn’t often comment on things, even when I beg for his opinion. The hardest thing about making pasta setting it out to dry.




I have been using a broom handle hung between two chairs (when I’m not busy riding it, of course). This isn’t the greatest arrangement, because as you know, we have very tall dogs who might be tempted, but until Randyman builds me a pasta hanger, or I give up and buy one, we will just have to live with that risk. After it has dried for an hour or two, you can throw it in your boiling water for a couple minutes and bingo! You have fresh pasta. I have dried some for a few days and put it in my regular pasta containers to see how long it will keep.

Meanwhile, I still buy most of my pasta at the store and only do this for special occasions. I have to choose the best use of my time and this isn’t always it.

Thanksgiving was great. We are finally recovering. Randyman ate 3/4 of a peach pie by himself, so I think the freezer recipe for the peaches off of my tree is a keeper. We were musing on how much better the chicken we raise tastes compared to commercial chicken and wondering if it was the same with turkey. Looks like we will be finding out next year. I'll be researching and probably raising a couple of broad breasted for Thanksgiving, but also raising some heritage birds that can reproduce in case we really like this. Randyman's idea this time. I didn't argue though.

EmmaLouMoo has a new beau. I am SO happy because I was afraid we wouldn't get her bred this year as it's pretty late. But we have the best boss in the world and he had the boys bring in one of the bulls whom I refer to as "Bennie" as in Benihana. I love Teppanyaki!



Sushi likes him a lot. She had dinner last nite with "Uncle Bennie" while Emma had a 'girls night out' at dinner with Annie.







As we didn't want a repeat of last year when the bulls kept leaving poor EmmaLou in the lurch and jumping the fence in the big milk pasture the trio has to be locked in, so the sheep and dogs had to move. The sheep were NOT happy with me last nite.




But the good news is, Thing1 is walking much better. I was able to take the splints off of one leg and he is traveling fine. Once it strengthens enough, I will take off the other. I used a crocheted wrist warmer to wrap around it for padding and cut a piece of pvc to use as a splint. The PVC is on the back of his leg to prevent it from bending and I used a vet wrap to bind it. Just in case someone else needs to do this, it works very well and is easily removed and replaced again. 



I was prepared to have Randy kill the two extra roosters and the mighty ugly hen until last nite. She laid a green egg, so she gets a stay of execution because I think the kids will be tickled by that when they come to visit next summer. So looks like I will just be canning two alarm clocks. Life is good.


34 comments:

  1. Hey Petey,

    Been lurking for a little while, first time commenting.

    I read somewhere that an old fashioned clothes drying rack works great as a pasta dryer. You know, the folding according style kind.

    I found one at an estate sale for $5, I just have to learn to make the pasta. The manual pasta maker is on my Christmas list.

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    1. That is a great idea! Thanks for the tip!

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  2. I love that - canning two alarm clocks! My how Sushi has grown! Such lovely cows, aren't they? I raised two Bourbon Red turkeys and they were the best - plus being lovely birds. I had hoped to have a breeding pair, but ended up with two toms. I agree with DFW - when I made pasta, I used my drying rack - the tall one. It still would be mighty tempting to your very tall dogs!

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    1. She is growing fast! Sadly, it seems everyone only sells straight run turkeys, so I guess we will keep buying poults until we do wind up with a breeding pair!

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  3. Heehee you tickle me. I had never thought to dry my noodles on a broom handle. They are always left laying on the table and turned about half way dry. (My DH would tell my broom is always in use anyway.) Back to the noodles. My Mother-in-Law makes LARGE batches and freezes them in zip lock bags. Just pull out what you want and drop it in the pot. VIOLA. Just used some with left over turkey. Yummy.
    Those green eggs are really cool, I KNOW the Grandkids will love them too. Do you know what kind of chicken laid them? I know that some Easter eggers are not the prettiest birds. Guess the eggs saved them.

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    1. i don't know exactly what breeding this hen is but she is coyote ugly and psycho to boot, but she can stay thru summer at least, because of the eggs. LOL

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  4. Man, did we eat a lot of food. I don't know how I stay so slender but am thankful for a lot more then that in my life. We went back to school this morning(ugh)and it was cold.(double ugh) We make no pasta but for some reason it sounds better and I could see Alex. Corey,and I having some nice pasta fights with the stuff hanging on the chair. I've decided I'm a tattler-lid since I can be used over and over and no one throws me out, yet. No one would think of throwing you out, Petey. God bless you. ami-Dex-truss

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    1. I have a vague idea of how you stay slim...probably the same way I did, by all kinds of active! I miss being able to ride off any risk of weight gain. The pasta might be more fun AFTER it's cooked, cuz it will stick then. Somehow I do not see you as a Tattler, at all, but rather someone who can keep a confidence when it's needed and I bet you would be hard pressed to find someone willing to discard you that had a lick of sense. Sorry about school. You share the plight of millions. LOL@Ambi-dex-trous

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  5. I enjoy reading your blog and seeing that beautiful scenery. I had to delurk and post about that green egg. I didn't know eggs could be green in the real world. I am off to google green eggs (and ham). ;)
    Cheri

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    1. Thanks for stopping to comment! the Aracuana chickens lay colored eggs in shades of blue, green and pinkish. There is another breed called an "Easter Egger". I am not sure of the difference but I have heard both Americana and Auracana referring to 2 different breeds

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  6. What a beautiful view looking out across the mesa! You cracked me up with your broom riding comment! I like DFW's tip for using the clothes drying rack for pasta. Glad the little lamb is doing better. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Candy. Hope everything is doing well in your corner of the world :)

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  7. Do you have brown eggs there? That is about all there are here in the UK, except for some blue ones usually laid by Cotswold Legbars. I always find white legs look peculiar when I go back to the US.

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    1. I prefer brown eggs, most of my chickens do lay them. Commercial eggs here are usually white though as most commercial layers are Leghorns.

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  8. Petey, love your blog and enjoyed the noodle maker. I have made noodles all my life but just rolled them out on a pastry cloth and cut. I also found it is not vital to dry them. I drop them into boiling broth as soon as they are cut. Works fine for me. The beautiful views you have on the ranch are worth being so far from town in my opinion! I always dreamed of being able to live like that. Too old now to manage it I am afraid! I used to raise and milk goats and still miss that time. They were much fun and such big pets. At that time we lived in the country and raised chickens, pigs, calves, ducks, guineas and goats! The good life!
    Ginny in Texas

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  9. Ginny, it is the good life. I can't imagine ever not living here again. I don't think I could bear losing my critters, because they are sort of my lifeline to learning to cope with this autoimmune nightmare! I'll have to try the undried noodles next time! Thanks for stopping by

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  10. I have a few old hens that lay (or used to) the green eggs. I can't seem to bear putting them in the stew pot, though. I like the looks of them, it seems that they have cheeks, because their feathers poof out on their faces, making them resemble cheeks. Love seeing your view. Great job on the pasta. I've only made fat, square ones that I put into a creamy pheasant stew/soup. They are soooo yummy! I got the instructions from a girlfriend, she calls them slick dumplings.
    ~~Lori

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    1. That is interesting, this hen has "cheeks" also. She is not very attractive tho! I envy you with the pheasant. We do have them on the ranch, but alas, alack, I am no hunter and I don't have the heart to ask my chef friend who bird hunts to bring any as they are somewhat scarce and I hate to knock the populations down more than they already are, but pheasant used to be my favorite thing!

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  11. Two years ago we wanted to find out if raising our turkey would be better than commercial. We most likely did everything wrong (turkeys aren't supposed to be housed with chickens!) But we raised Tom with our lovely ladies. When he got so big was a danger to the hens, we moved him to a separate area. We waited until the week before Thanksgiving to process him. Tom dressed out at 56 lbs. Big huge turkey! Our neighbor was building his own smoker and special built a rack for Tom. Best turkey we ever ate! So long story short ~ much better than commercial!

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    1. OMG! I cannot imagine a 56 lb turkey!!!
      I am getting kind of excited about raising them. I want to buy a couple Broad Breasted just cuz we are used to the heavy breasts, but I want to buy enough Bourbon Reds to hopefully wind up with a breeding pair. Unfortunately, everyone I have found that carries them as poults only sell them as 'straight' run

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  12. Your pasta looks wonderful! I think just like you did with your meat birds, you will find that your own turkeys are exceptional. So happy to see the little lambs are doing well and that EmmaLou has a boyfriend! Staci, Stubborn Hill Farm

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    1. I am looking forward to the turkey experience :) Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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    2. We did thank you. I just got my soap order in the mail yesterday. Better late then never! (At least that's what they say. :) ) Staci

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  13. Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by George Washington,October 14, 1789:
    "To be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country."


    It appears that we in this nation have completely neglected the intent of Thanksgiving and turned it into a day about turkeys and gorging.

    God help us.

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    1. True. As a nation we are no longer united in our faith, sadly. The culture is rapidly decaying without much furthur to go. Billy Graham was right when he said "If God doesn't judge our nation, then He is going to owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology."

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  14. Saved by an egg... smart hen. Do you think she knew her time was running out?
    Love the pasta machine. I use mine for paperclay, guess I should try some lasagna.
    We all had a lot to be thankful for this year. I think that living where you live, you sense the importance of being thankful for a life that brings many challenges but gives much joy and beauty.

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  15. i have acouple of ideas for your pasta have you tried puting some in the dehydrator?? and for a drying rack instead of the broom over chairs do you remember those racks they have at walmart sometimes costco that are used to hang cloths on like a portable closet, or you can get a shelving unit:) like grandma has in her laundry room that has the metal racks that look similar to oven racks.. they are fairly cheap

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    1. good ideas. Our big problem here is lack of space, for storage, workspace and attempting to move thru space. Having enormous dogs come in and visit doesn't help LOL

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    2. lol I can understand big dogs:) and small houses..Id love to come up and visit someday it looks beautiful up there I love seeing all the pics and reading about how life is up there. With all of these things going on in the world today its peaceful reading about your guys life on the ranch.

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    3. We've invited you. There is an extra bedroom and if it's not available, sometimes one of the cabins is. Just let us know when, so we can make sure there is food enough. It's hours from town so there is no running to the store! :)

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  16. Hope fully we will beable to come visit after the baby is born its hard finding the time and have the extra money too but im thinking maybe in august while im still on maternity leave im saving my vacation check for during that time so Ill have some extra money.. im going to have to do the math to see how much gas is going to be to get up there in my yukon;) Im looking forward to planning a trip up there.. I am due July 8th. I will let you guys know more as I get further along;)

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    1. haha! seriously? July 8 is my birthday LOL. Hopefully gas won't go up so much. We will see what we can do on this end too. Hopefully there won't be a rash of medical bills this year. You guys have a Merry Christmas and we'll see you in Jan

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