Backyard Garden

Handmade Happy

I know that gardening is not exactly “handmade”, but the time and care that is put into them and when they do deliver, it’s sort of that handmade/homemade blurred line.  Anyway, I have a few pictures to share of our small (but oh so time consuming) garden.  We’ve had to get even more creative this year with pest control because the chickens are the worst sort of pest! 

Hubby usually starts off spring by making me some small trellis’.  I like big ones too, but he makes these that are about half the full size wooden garden trellis like they sell at home depot.  The cheapies.  Yeah those.  Hubby makes them for me now because (I’ve been told) I’m picky.  I like the small size trellis by my miniature roses, that are not really miniature at all anymore.  I get full beautiful long stem roses, that the flower shop would…

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Strawberry Jam

StoutGroveWV

July 4th has come and gone in a whirlwind of playing, working, cooking out and blowing things up. Along with it has long ago pasted strawberry season in southern West Virginia. Fortunately for my cupboard void of strawberry jam, my husband and I had a trip to New York planned in late June where their season was coming to a close. Quickly I was reminded of one of the things I miss most about growing up in New York state – plentiful small scale produce stands and You-Pick farms lining the straight, flat rural roads. Before hopping back in the car for the 6+ hour drive home we stopped at one such place and picked until our fingers bled…or at least that’s what they looked like after the 12 pints of red, fresh, juicy, amazing smelling fruit we picked under the blazing sun. And while I may have been…

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Dinner On Us: Zucchini Boats

Homestead Living

So this past Monday my parents and my nephews came out to visit us and see the puppies.  I made dinner for us adults (Grandma spoiled the kids with happy meals) and thought I’d pass it along to all of you.  It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s good.

Zucchini Boats, yum!

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What you will need for this meal:

Zucchini
Mozzarella Cheese
Spaghetti Sauce
Meat of your choice (ie: ground sausage, chicken, ground venison)

Preheat oven to 350
1) Wash your zucchini and then cut them in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and set aside.  You can either keep the seeds for planting next season or simply discard later.  Your zucchini will resemble a boat.

zucchiniboat52) Next, fill the boats with fully cooked meat of your choice.  This time, we used shredded chicken.

zucchiniboat43) Placing in 11×13 dish (or any size to fit your zucchini) – you…

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Cold Brew: Sumatra Mandailing

Lotta Latte

What is good in this hot and humid summer? Cold brew.

I have a bag of Sumatra Mandailing beans that I got from Indonesia, so I decided to make some cold brew… just because… it’s hot!

Coarsely grind the beans and added about 15 tbsp to a 64oz pitcher (Takeya Iced Tea maker picther that has strainer). Added the water and left it in the fridge.

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After 48 hours, filtered the coffee brew for the second time to get rid of the small coffee particles so the brew will be smooth.

Served with some ice and agave for sweetener (or condensed milk).

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Tasting: strong body, low acidity 

Aroma: Earthy

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Cure Your Own Ham

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I’m excited to share this post with you, because it was such a wonderful revelation that we could make the best ham we’ve ever had– at home, with relative ease. I want to know that you, can cure and smoke your own ham, too.  I am really picky about pork, and to be honest, wasn’t sure I’d like the ham well enough to do it again– but I was so curious about the process that I decided to give it a go, just for fun.

Follow here for all the steps.