Preppers….I mean peppers.

Maybe it was our well pump going out this week. Maybe it’s from reading Jolina Petersheim’s dystopian novel The Alliance or watching the latest apocalyptic movie that came on Netflix, that has started to get to me! I do like to be prepared enough to care for my family whether there is an emergency or just a long winter of being hunkered down in our house together on the forecast.

Another month has whisked on by and here we are in the end of August. We have had a few cooler nights here in Wisconsin and I can’t help but think about wintertime and wonder about these rumblings I have been hearing, of how we are in for a winter of heavy snow fall and ice storms.

How the farmer down the road knows these secrets of mother nature I am not sure. However, I do like to be prepared enough to care for my family whether there is an emergency or just a long winter of being hunkered down in our house together on the forecast. So I do what I can to prepare throughout the summer for wintertime.image

 I have this slight tendency to grow way to much in my gardens every year, which is inevitably followed by loads of stress when it all is needing to be picked once it’s ripe and then after that, put up in some way.

The baskets full of vegetables stare at me each time I walk through the room, demanding my attention every time I pass by and I can hear them saying things to me like, “Hey you! I am going to start attracting fruit fly’s soon.” or ” I thought you wanted me?” “How about you deal with ME now?”.

The need for them to be “put up” in some way, fills this homesteaders thoughts. image

Here are some of the “putting up” projects I have been keeping busy with these warm August days…..I hope this gives you a few idea’s for your own use too!image

I am still freezing extra zucchini. I like to grate my giant over grown zucchini with my food processor and freeze them for bread and muffin recipes. 2 cups to a bag, just the perfect amount for my zucchini bread recipe!imageI love having kale in the freezer and it is so fast and easy to do and I use it in so many recipes, soups and vegetable dishes. Simply strip the clean leaf off the stem and freeze! I chop mine up some first though too.imageI freeze heads of dill from early spring to summer, so that I always have them for pickling recipes when I need them. Simply pick, wash and place in a freezer bag and yes, they are alright to can with!imageI have also been dehydrating zucchini noodles for soup, using my new favorite kitchen tool the Spiralizer zoodle maker. I will let you know how they hold up being re-hydrated in soups! (Sorry, to any of my faithful followers if you have seen one or two of these pictures in a previous post already!)imageAll the fruit from our place gets frozen as soon as its picked. Strawberries, blackberries, apples, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and rhubarb are treasured produce in our freezer come winter.

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Rhubarb is diced or chopped and frozen.
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This was our first year with the blueberry bushes producing fruit. We ate all the berries fresh and I don’t regret it……yet.
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This year I will be dehydrating, and freezing diced onions along with just storing what I have grown.
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Tomato sauce, salsa, spreads and sauces……along with dehydrating tomatoes for making tomato paste for these beauties.

imageDehydrated peppers and tomatoes for cooking with. I like to store them in the freezer.

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Basil is made into pesto and used to season sauces. I will dry the leftovers before the first frost.

imageSweet corn is frozen or I can creamed corn….That’s if we haven’t eaten or sold it all already!imageI have been pickling Dilly Beans and Garlic and  I made a 3 gallon batch of salsa this week….Very happy to have the yearly salsa done!

If you have never tried Dilly Beans, they are so yummy! They taste like a crunchy pickle with a kick!

imageI gave away most of my first batch of jalapeno jelly that I made but I have picked enough peppers to make another double batch this week. We eat jalapeno jelly on crackers with cream cheese, it is one of the most addicting snacks! Sweet and a little spicy……but mostly sweet!imageI am happy with how much I have put up so far but for some reason I feel like I need to just keep at it, storing up as much home-grown canned and frozen food as I can do.

Maybe it was our well pump going out this week. Maybe it’s from reading Jolina Petersheim’s dystopian novel The Alliance or watching the latest apocalyptic movie that came on Netflix that has started to get to me! Just going without water for 24 hrs with our well out, was enough to make me feel unprepared for an emergency should one happen.  image

With the cooler weather just around the corner, I will try to put up more food this week in an effort to be prepared for whatever may come our way! Bring it on mother nature!

“And then summer slipped away. Good-bye August. Hello September!”

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

Roasted Pepper Spread

This was the longest and most time-consuming canning recipe I have ever done, and I can’t wait to make it again! It turned out wonderful. Wait! Where is the stressed out, heat stroke induced, weary housewife as usually is the result from canning your garden harvest in the middle of summer?

Thick and rich smoky aromas lifted from the garden vegetables roasting over the open flames. The sizzle of tomato juice hitting the searing hot metal on the rack that sat above the crackling wood fire, mingled peacefully with the sounds of birds singing in the trees. The warm August breeze blew the gray smoke down into the woods as I rested in the grass next to the grill, happily waiting for the vegetables to cook. WAIT! No way, this was a summer canning experience!

Where is the stressed out, heat stroke induced, weary housewife as usually is the result from canning your garden harvest in the middle of summer?

Let me tell you, this made for such a relaxing cooking experience that I can’t hardly wait to make a second batch of this tasty roasted pepper spread again soon!imageEvery year I look for new recipes to utilize the abundance of garden vegetables we grow on our homestead. Something more exciting than tomato sauce please!imageFor years I have been reading and re-reading this recipe in the Ball canning guide. Roasted Red Pepper Spread, the recipe process calls for roasting all the vegetables under a broiler, over coals or flame-

-that was enough to have me turn my veggies into something simpler like sauce or salsa each year.

Here is the recipe for it…….I know, I am being lazy just taking a picture of it from the book. image

So, after summers of wanting to try this recipe I finally came up with an idea of how this might work for me since I don’t have a broiler in my oven and I don’t have a gas grill that I could use for this either.

imageMy idea was to make a small wood fire in my Weber grill and it worked perfectly!imageI chopped up some kindling and had my small fire started quickly. I then washed and picked the vegetables as the fire got going good enough to start cooking with it.imageThe small white table that I had bought for a dollar at a rummage sale,turned out to be just the work space I needed for canning! The woman who sold it to me said her grandmother used the table for canning all her married life. It worked perfect for that still!imageWe have so many lovely heirloom tomatoes this year with all the rain we have been getting! I love that I have to find new ways to use them all up!imageOnce the fire was going pretty good, I started roasting the vegetables. I decided to make a double batch since this process was going to be more than the normal canning recipe would involve and I probably wouldn’t be attempting it again very soon.imageIt was such an enjoyable afternoon, sitting out in the grass next to the grill drinking my coffee and listening to the vegetables sizzle. Anytime I can work on canning projects outside, I try to. It helps so much to keep the prep mess outside so you can start canning inside in a clean kitchen. It also helps that it was such a beautiful day out!imageMy boys roasted marshmallows for their afternoon snack as I was finishing up the roasting process of the recipe.imageAfter the roasting, I sent the tomatoes through the tomato mill, skinned the peppers and made a puree out of the rest of the vegetables to add to the pot on the stove.

I cooked it down until it was thick and canned it.

The smell from this sauce is so amazing! There is nothing like the aroma of roasted vegetables! I am so excited to try this with supper sometime on a cool evening this fall! Also I only had green peppers, that is why I called it Roasted Pepper Spread!

imageDrool…..I mean imagine with me for a moment, a pan seared sirloin steak with mashed potatoes and gravy with a side of green beans and a dollop of your homemade, thick and aromatic, deep burgundy roasted pepper spread on the side for dipping bits of steak into? I know right? Yum yum yum……

 

Until then it will sit on the shelf in the pantry with the rest of the processed garden harvest, waiting to be used on a cold night soon.

I know I say this a lot, but this is one recipe you have got to try for yourself!

I have to get back to filling vegetable box orders and stocking the produce stand…I think I will miss all these bright colors in the midst of our next Wisconsin winter!

 -Jimage

Homemade Crescent Roll Dough with a twist!

Breakfast Pinwheel (Scrambled Eggs, sausage and cheese with a mayonnaise based dill sauce inside. Ham and cheese roll (mayonnaise dill sauce, sliced ham and cheddar cheese). Pizza Rolls (your choice of filling with tomato sauce and cheese) or as the classic plain roll…I put a twist on it this time though and made a Cinnamon Twist Roll!

Listening to Sunrise Serenade on my Glenn Miller Pandora station, I stand barefoot at the kitchen counter scrolling through my Entertaining and Food board on Pinterest, searching for one of my all time favorite recipes…..

Homemade Crescent Roll Dough

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You can find me on Pinterest as The Yellow Farmhouse On The Hill!

I came across this gem of a recipe about two years ago and I LOVE IT!

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Don’t have any bread? Have company coming over?

Need to make a hot meal in a pinch?

This dough is ready to use as soon as you mix it up and roll it out into what ever form you choose.

This recipe is from, littlehomeinthecountry.blogspot.comimage

My favorite uses for it are; Breakfast Pinwheel (Scrambled Eggs, sausage and cheese with a mayonnaise based dill sauce inside. Ham and cheese roll (mayonnaise dill sauce, sliced ham and cheddar cheese). 

Also you can make; Pigs in a blanket (hot dogs wrapped up and baked) the kids favorite or for Crescent Rolls & Pizza Rolls (your choice of filling with tomato sauce and cheese) or as the classic plain roll…I put a twist  on it this time and made a Cinnamon Twist Roll!

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This is a wonderful basic dough you can do a ton of different things with.

Homemade Crescent Roll Dough

This is a sweet, tender dough most similar to refrigerator crescent roll dough.

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup shortening (don’t substitute, as it isn’t any good!)

1 cup boiling water

1 cup warm water

1 package yeast

2 large eggs

6 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

Combine shortening, sugar and boiling water, stirring until dissolved. Add warm water and yeast. Let yeast active for 5-10 min’s covered, then stir in eggs. Finally add flour and salt and knead for a few min’s until smooth and elastic, I use a mixer with a bread hook. You can use the dough right away or put it in the fridge to use another day. Bake at 350*image

I usually just make one of the above mentioned dishes, but today I tried it as the dough for a Cinnamon Twist Roll and it tasted amazing! But, I would recommend that you decrees the amount of butter to 1/2 cup and use a baking sheet pan with sides, if you want to use it for any form of cinnamon roll-like creations. The “Caramel” that forms from the butter oozing out of the dough, mixes with the sugar and made a mess. Less butter for that creation next time! Still it was so good! And you only need half the dough to make a nice sized one.

For the Cinnamon Twist Roll, I formed a ball of dough and divided it into 8 equal pieces, using 4 of them for one pinwheel roll. You can use the remaining half of the dough for anything you like!

Then I rolled out the bottom layer first. Sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on it and then repeated three times, adding a fourth layer of dough on the top, as the “crust”. Then…image

I sealed any of the edge that needed it and then cut it and twisted each piece in the opposite direction from the last, to form a pinwheel twist! 

This dough is super forgiving, if it gets to elastic from being rolled out over and over, you can simply let it rest, covered and roll it out after it takes a break!

Hope you enjoy this versatile recipe!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

 

Jessica’s 6-Ingredient Cucumber Salad

Now this is one of those recipes you will add what you think you need for amounts! Cooking like a pro! No measuring…just tasting! This easy, 6-ingredient recipe is great to throw together for last-minute get together’s and is fast and simple, ready to make for supper and take for lunch the next day too! The dressing forms very fast just from the juice of the tomatoes and the cucumbers mixing together with the mayonnaise!

Today I am going to share with you a wonderful cucumber salad recipe that is sweet, cool and refreshing!

This easy, 6-ingredient recipe is great to throw together for last-minute get together’s and is fast and simple, ready to make for supper and take for lunch the next day too! The dressing forms very fast just from the juice of the tomatoes and the cucumbers mixing together with the mayonnaise! It makes this wonderful tomato, dill creamy dressing that is incredible!imageI have made it with sliced cucumbers and cucumber noodles using this wonderful zoodle maker that my friend sent me. I really love the cucumbers in noodle form for this salad, but it is delicious both ways and you can make it however you like!image

Time to run to your gardens for veggies!…..Or the nearest produce roadside stand! wink wink!imageStart with fresh picked cucumbers, sliced or made into noodles with a vegetable spiralizer and dice some fresh tomatoes as well. imageYou will need to grab a hand full of fresh dill from the garden or use dried dill weed in this recipe. image

Now this is one of those recipes you will add what you think you need for amounts! Cooking like a pro! No measuring…just tasting!image

I LOVE to do equal amounts of cucumbers and tomatoes (if I have them) but you can do any amount of either that suits your taste! Then enough dill to have plenty of dill flavor in each bite. Salt and pepper to taste and then lastly you will add mayonnaise. Less is more, because the mayo gets watered down from the juices in the veggies mixing with it, you just don’t need as much as you would think. You will need about a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of mayo if you have about 4-5 cups of tomatoes and cucumbers prepared in your bowl. Mix it all together and taste to see if it has enough salt and pepper and if it has a light, yet creamy dressing.imageThis is my FAVORITE summer time, go-to salad for quick meal prep on our homestead! We love it and so will you!

  • 2 cups sliced or spiralized cucumbers
  • (up to) 2 cups tomatoes diced
  • about 1/2 cup mayonnaise, add more if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp dill weed or fresh minced dill

Mix together and serve!

*MY FAVORITE TRICK  for this recipe is to chill the cucumbers and tomatoes all day in the fridge and then make the salad right before serving, crisp fresh veggies in a thicker dressing….YUMMY!

Enjoy!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

Dilly Beans, Jalapeno Jelly and Rain! This Week On The Homestead

This week I also signed up for entering things into our county fair…hope the vegetables look good in a month and a half! Ahhh! Not sure why I do these things to myself? Stress…..

We have had hot humid day’s all week, here in Wisconsin and last night we had another severe thunderstorm roll through resulting in 2+ inches of rain! Yikes…If the vegetables weren’t water-logged before they are now!

We have had an unusual garden season this year and the vegetables are showing signs of stress from it.

My tomatoes are starting to crack and the beans are really struggling as the seeds inside them seem to be growing faster than the pod itself, creating an almost foam like rubberiness on the ends. The peppers are happy so far but I have a problem with earwigs eating a small hole in the end and then destroying them from the inside. The corn is happy and the pumpkins couldn’t be coming along any nicer than they are. But it hasn’t been very garden friendly around here this summer!image

My biggest concern for the garden plants, would have to be the tomatoes.

I have so many planted and need them to do well for us and for selling on the stand. Right now I am picking them before they are ripe to get them off the vine and it seems to be helping. Thankfully, I still seem to be getting plenty of nice ones with picking them before they are ripe and the roadside stand still has a lot of them for people to choose from. I am selling a lot of mix buckets of small and cherry tomatoes, and I am now selling tomatoes by the bushel with them ripening faster.image

I canned the dilly beans and jalapeno jelly the other night and stayed up until 1:30am to finish it all and clean up the mess after but I got it all done and that felt good to check off my list. Now I can label the jars and bring them all down to the pantry.

The best part of canning your own food, besides eating it later, is lining up all the pretty jars in rows on the shelves in your pantry to look at and appreciate!image

 

I have an over abundance of “oops! Didn’t see that one growing there!” zucchini, that grow giant within two days and then all they are good for are grating for making baked goods with. So, I have a bunch of “double batch, zucchini bread ready” ziplock’s in the freezer, for winter baking.imageI also picked wild black berries this week and dehydrated green peppers and cherry tomatoes. If you haven’t used dehydrated vegetables in cooking before, they are so handy to have! And the taste is so full and fresh!

 I especially like having them on hand for soups, casseroles and the tomatoes I puree with a little olive oil to make tomato paste and thicken sauce.

This week I also signed up for entering things into our county fair…hope the vegetables look good in a month and a half! Ahhh! Not sure why I do these things to myself? Stress…..

 Today: I milked the cow this morning while hubby was relief milking for a farmer down the road and the kids just woke up. Our cow stepped on her udder this week and has a swollen quarter that takes 30+ minutes to milk out with the machine, so that makes chores take a lot longer.

I want to go grab some groceries for the weekend and for canning projects and I need to run to the feed store to get MORE hog feed as the pigs we are finishing are well, acting like hogs and are going through SO MUCH feed right now! The plan for today is to run errands and then make a double batch of spicy salsa to can and before that I need to set up the sweet corn wagon!

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There is my lovely wagon hubby bought me last year to sell sweet corn off of, he washed it up and it is now ready for the sweet corn season! Aren’t those wheels so cute? They are from a model A!
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I took a break from picking produce yesterday to enjoy some of the black berries we picked from down on the edge of our woods. I had my lunch and read a little from Jolina Petersheim’s new book, The Alliance. A good book to read during canning season, it will have you putting up extra with the thought of EMP’s going off and taking out all your electricity, like what happens in this page turner!

Well, I had better start my day! Hope you all have a productive one and get everything done that you want to do!

 

-J

 

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

How To Cook With Kale

We had two large stubborn dairy goats, Violet and Marigold. I grew them their own garden that year, full of Red Russian and Curly Leaf Kale. They would strip a 3 foot tall kale plant down to just stems, in no time at all. They loved it! We didn’t milk them all that long, none of us liked the taste of goats milk that much, it just couldn’t beat the taste of creamy fresh cow’s milk, but I did really enjoy having goats.

You are missing out if you don’t cook with kale! I want to share with you some of our favorite ways to use it and try my best to encourage you to grab some of this healthy leafy green to cook with very soon!image

Yesterday, I busied myself with the task of dehydrating green peppers and cherry tomatoes, freezing kale and swiss chard and canning dilly beans and jalapeno jelly. It was hard to stay on task though.

The boy’s begged me to take a break and we spent some time down on our land behind our farm, picking black berries and wild apples, I love being down there!

The produce stand was busy all day too, the ever-present challenge of keeping it stocked and still accomplishing other projects is something I haven’t mastered yet.image

After the blissful escape to our woods and fields of wildflowers and berries, I decided to tackle the project of putting up the mountain of kale I had picked Sunday afternoon. I sat on a quilt in the front yard listening to a gardening podcast and methodically stripped the greens from the stems.

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Stripping the greens off the stems.

As I worked, my mind wandered to the first time I grew kale. About seven years ago, we had two large stubborn dairy goats, Violet and Marigold. We had tried goat’s milk before settling on a dairy cow for our family and they were the result of that trial run. We didn’t milk them all that long, none of us liked the taste of goats milk that much, it just couldn’t beat the taste of creamy fresh cow’s milk, but I did really enjoy having goats.  

 

I grew them their own garden that year, full of Red Russian and Curly Leaf Kale. They would strip a 3 foot tall kale plant down to just stems, in no time at all. They loved it!

imageMy Kale Obsession

One of the most asked questions from customers at our roadside vegetable stand, is: “What do you do with kale anyway?”

I am here to tell you that you are missing out if you don’t cook with kale! I will share with you some of our favorite ways to use it and I encourage you to grab some of this healthy leafy green to cook with very soon!image

We love kale! Even my 7-year-old and 4-year-old eat it in whatever dishes I fix it in. This is a poached egg on a bed of wilted kale, with pan seared asparagus and sugar snap peas and blossom’s, with a side of fresh strawberries, all from our homestead and oh so yummy!

Kale can easily be found in the produce aisle of the grocery store, its dark and thick greens are stripped from the stem and can be used as you would spinach in cooked dishes. You will find baby kale in fresh lettuce blends, at this early stage the greens have not acquired the rich strong flavor that it has once its grown mature. It is delicious as both baby greens and the fully matured leaf too.imageCooking with kale is so easy. You can wilt it in a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic and eat it as a side dish to any meal. You can cut it into strips and cook it into an omelette or frittata, it goes wonderfully with egg. You can tear it up into fine pieces and make Zoupa Soup or add it to any soup really. And sprinkling it with olive oil and salt and baking it in an oven until thin and crisp will make kale chips, a healthy alternative to potato chips that you will love! The list goes on and on, cold quinoa and pasta salads, stir fry’s and egg rolls…..Just search it on Pinterest and you will see!

One of my favorite things to do with it is to freeze it for later enjoyment. You simply strip the greens off the stem and place it in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. That’s it, super simple to store!image

Growing it is also very easy, and it keeps growing after a frost. The frost actually making it sweeter and even more delicious. Although garden pests, like the flea beetle, love to eat the leaves. My theory, grow some for everyone and share the love, for the flea beetles too! I’d rather share with them then spray my kale!

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Baby Dino Kale

So, try some of this amazing vegetable soon! It has a stronger flavor, but cooking with it brings out the sweet tones and it pairs well with so many dishes and it is a super healthy green!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.