Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bad Blogger, Busy Gal

Yup, I've been a bad blogger, very negligent about getting posts up regularly and even slower in reading favorite blogs and leaving comments.  My excuse is that there's been too much going on around here lately.  Take today for instance . . . 


We had to take some trees down to make way for some outside progress.  We're still working hard on the infra-structure of our little homestead and at times it feels like there is no end to what needs to be done.


On the bright side, we got some good, solid wood that will be earmarked for keeping us warm a year or so down the road.

I kinda panicked yesterday when I realized I was plumb out of chicken stock so pulled three chickens out of the freezer last night and stewed them today.


Biggest pot on the left has the chickens in it and the other one holds one honkin' big squash.


We didn't get a lot of red kuri squash this year but the ones we did get are huge.  The coloration on the outside is gorgeous . . . 


. . . but when I cooked the first one today I was a little disappointed in that the flesh wasn't as "mature" in color as I would like to see.  I'm serving it tonight with Chicken Pot Pie so I'm hoping the flavor is okay.


Here's the line-up of containers of chicken broth I got from the stewing of the chickens.  That should last for a while.


Papa Pea has help this afternoon with a project outside so I'm feeding two extra hearty-appetited men at dinner tonight.  I baked this apple pie (which is cooling on the porch as we speak) to make sure they don't go home hungry.


Last but not least, here's a picture of our daughter's lovely couch we moved from her place first of this week.   We're "storing" it for her until she has room for it again.  Since our living room remodel, we've not had a couch (just a few mismatched chairs) and I haven't had any luck at all in finding the kind of couch I have in mind.  Having CM's to use and see how the size fits into our very small living room will be helpful.  It's super-comfortable and we've decided we won't even charge her a storage fee while it's here.  (Wait.  Maybe she was going to charge us rent for using it?!)  I don't know why the color of the couch looks off in this picture.  (Some day I really should learn how to use my camera.)  It's not gray at all but rather a very attractive forest green color.

I've got a sink over-flowing with dirty dishes (again) that I need to get out of the way before dinner so I'd better end this rambling.  I'm looking forward to the end of the week calming down a bit.  I might even get caught up on reading all your blogs!     

37 comments:

2 Tramps said...

Oh, Mama Pea, your endless energy has me tired! We need a couch, too. I like the way you are trying that one out for size! Am glad you shared about your Red Kuri squash - now I know what to look for when we cook ours. Your pie looks delicious - I think I can smell it cooling!

Carolyn Renee said...

OOoooo! I've always wanted one of those couch/chair/lounging thingy seats! Seems perfect for book reading & tea sipping!!

LindaCO said...

That pie looks really yummy. :-)

Stephanie said...

I really like that couch :) And I doubt CM would charge you rent, you are Momma after all lol. Do you put any spices or anything in with the chicken to make your stock, or just chicken?

Don't work too hard :)

odiie said...

That pie is beautiful!

Ruth Dixon said...

I want pie... can you send one of the those? I can reheat it and then use your beautiful potholders to take it out? Hee hee. It sounds like you've been super busy, so its understandable you've been a little behind on things.

Katidids said...

Well now, I'm sure there will be no fees involved as long as you allow visitation LOL! Busy as ever I see. So, whatcha clearing the trees for...nosey minds want to know!
Pie looks awesome!

Sparkless said...

Oh I'd love a couch with a lounge on one end. How great that you get to try it out and help your daughter all in one shot!

My oh my, you made pie!

Sue said...

I say, possession is 9/10's of the law....if it works out for ya--hahahhaha!!! See, being married to that rat-fink first husband (cop) paid off. I know how to skirt those laws.

I'm down to my last quart of stock too. Sure wish I didn't have to go further than the yard to "find" stock..........

Kelly said...

Wow! You got alot done!!! Your pie looks heavenly ☺ I really like the couch we got one a couple years ago and I was adamant about not wanting leather! It's too cold in the winter and you stick to it in the summer, so we got corduroy. That stuff shows every last speck of lint and has to be vacuumed often to look nice and clean, but otherwise it's my puffy pillow haven and I love it!

Ashling said...

Good grief...no wonder you can't find time to blog! Those kuri squash are stunningly beautiful; hadn't heard of that variety before.

DFW said...

Those pumpkins are beautiful, as well as the pies. Not to mention that lovely stock. After stock do you continue cooking the bones to make a super rich broth? I read about that somewhere this week & am going to try it the next time I make stock.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Confuscius says... if you are not busy, then you have nothing to blog about.

Anonymous said...

Yep, homesteading is a never boring life and full of seemingly never ending tasks, responsibilities. You joyfully juggle it all very well--and you are able to blog at the same time! My tiny bit of "down" time (if I can find any of it at this time of year) is to read your blog with my daily tea. Many Thanks!

I planted Red Kuri too. This fall, I had to pull them in earlier than I liked. I haven't cut into one yet because they are still curing up. Even though the squash are turning more orange, it seems like they are taking a longer time than usual to get a hard rind and corky stem. Is this normal for RK? Did I ruin my crop by harvesting too early? Your wisdom is much appreciated on this matter!!

Susan said...

I grew kuri squash this year after seeing yours from last year - mine were tiny, but delish! I am going to grow them again. Isn't it telling how, when we run out of chicken stock, we run to the freezer instead of the store? That couch set up looks pretty darn nice in your living room. And yours doesn't have a covering of cats and dogs!

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - Gotta admit I thought the pie was a wee bit on the sour side. I tasted one of the apples when I was preparing the pie and it was, indeed, t-a-r-t! But I didn't increase the sweetener in the pie, just put in the same as usual. The good thing was that the other three pie eaters at the table didn't think it was too sour. Maybe the leftovers today will have mellowed out a bit!

Mama Pea said...

CR - Yep, I've always fantasized about having a chaise lounge in my bedroom. But 1) who has a big enough bedroom for one, and 2) when the heck would I do any lounging on it? At least in the living room I can stretch out on it watching a movie or reading. (Yeah, right! Reading. Lots of reading this winter!)

Mama Pea said...

LindaCO - There's half left . . . if you can make it here by tonight, I'll save a piece for you!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Chicken (or goose or duck or whatever) goes into pot. Pot gets filled with water. I chunk up onions, carrots and celery and toss in. Then I sprinkle in parsley, salt and pepper, rosemary, sage, a bay leaf, whatever herbs you would use to flavor chicken. When I use the homemade broth in a recipe, I always have to add more salt because it's rather bland compared to the (too?) salty commercial broth.

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Thank you, ma'am! I love making pies. I could live on pie. (Well, probably not as I'd die from malnutrition in short order, but you know what I mean!)

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - I guess we're all busy. It just goes with the territory of living the life we've chosen, doesn't it? And truth be told, I wouldn't want it any other way. (Well, okay, I'd like to have more time to read, knit, quilt, sleep, watch a movie now and then. But as I'm coming to realize, we make time for whatever it is we really want to do so if I'm not doing those things often enough, it's my own fault. So there.)

Mama Pea said...

Katidids - We've never had power back to our storage sheds/work area and have always said it would be darn handy to have . . . so we're working at getting a line back there.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Even though we had measured 6 times, I truly didn't think the couch with the chaise sticky-outie thing would work in our living room. But it's not bad!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Well, now that you and hubby are done with your country-wide traveling, I think you should get some chickens. Just think of the wonderful fresh eggs, chicken meat for stewing and making that golden, healthy stock. (Not convinced yet to take that leap?)

As we're telling daughter how comfortable her couch is proving to be and that it really looks pretty good in our living room, she's getting a very wary look in her eye and keeps reiterating, "You remember I still get it back when I want it, right? You're just storing it for me, right? It's here on loan, right?"

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - Yup, this one is lovely, soft, comfy corduroy, too. I made the mistake a few years ago in getting my recliner reupholstered in (faux) leather. You hit the nail on the head . . . it's cold in the winter and sticky/hot in the summer. Why didn't I know this?

Mama Pea said...

Ashling - The red kuri are the only winter squash I grow any more. So much more flavor than any other I've tried. Plus they make beautiful fall decorations!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Truth to tell, what I usually do is stew the meat until tender, fish it all out and de-bone it. Put all the skin, bones, funny-looking gristle and stuff back in the broth and simmer for another day before straining and packaging up the broth. Yesterday I had so much going on I just felt I needed to BE DONE with the whole project so didn't do the extra cooking. But I usually do. Really. 'Cause you get so much goodness out of the bones, etc. that is beneficial to our health. I do the same when I make beef broth from soup bones. De-bone the meat and then simmer the bones in the broth for another day.

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Ha-ha-ha! The trick is hitting the happy medium between having nothing to say (no blogging) and having oodles to say and being too busy to say it (no blogging)!

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - Thank you for your sweet words! Much appreciated.

Yes, I brought my red kuri in earlier because of threat of killing frost, too. I think the time it takes for the rind to harden up and the stem to dry depends a lot on where they are stored after harvesting. Also the conditions they grew in all summer! Mine have turned "redder" since being harvested and I'm hoping the flesh will color up more, too, before they start to get rotten spots in them. As they say, it's all a cwap shoot, isn't it?

Mama Pea said...

Susan - You got a new profile picture! (Still can't see your purdy face though. Grumpf.)

I would truly rather have smaller squashes because one of these honkers is way too much for the two of us. (It was about two times too much for the four of us last night.) I put half of the cooked squash in the freezer and have about 2 cups left over from the casserole I set on the table.

Karen L. said...

Oh my, Chicken Pot Pie AND Apple Pie all at the same meal!!!!! I cannot stand it! Are there any leftovers? I need to come visit you for sure. Or, do you have any source for dry ice nearby? You could then send the leftovers (are there any? probably not!) to me via overnight express. Did I mention how much I l.o.v.e. chicken pot pie? Do you have a recipe for your version on your blog? Guess I had better go look that up. Geez, it's only 10:30 AM here and I am already hungry due to reading this post. I might be better off not reading your blog so often OR only reading it just before a meal.

Chicken Mama said...

Aha! Scheming already? I say that's premeditated abduction. And all the courts in the land will be on MY side!

Akannie said...

I've never seen those squash before, but am making a note in my garden journal. They look wonderful. Like that couch too...I can't have new furniture though..too many dogs and cats.

I've been busy too and am still doping the garden/canning mamba...sigh...I'm tired.....

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - It's hard to come by leftovers at this house. They seem to disappear . . . often for breakfast the next morning!

The "Chicken Pot Pie" I make isn't a traditional two crust pie. I just put the chicken, veggies, seasoning, etc. in a 9 x 13" pan and drop blops of dough over the top. My recipe for that is simple: Mix 1-1/2 C flour and 2 t baking powder; add 1-1/2 C buttermilk and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix well and drop onto top of chicken mixture. The blops run together and form a solid biscuit-like crust over the top of the pan when baked.

(One of the guys we fed this to the other night almost made himself sick by eating so much. He had to take his pie home in a container!)

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - If it isn't kids we have to wait for to grow up and leave home so we can have nice furniture, it's the animals. Can't win!

I'll support you and you support me in our end of the season garden dance . . . we'll get through it!

Mama Pea said...

Chicken Mama - Hmmm, premeditated abduction. Is that a bona fide legal term? (Good thing we didn't sign anything legally binding. Hee-hee!)

Erin said...

You think YOU have been a bad blogger? LOL!!!! And at first I thought you had written, I went and pulled 3 chickens out of the yard hahahaha... lucky for your chickens you still had some in the freezer!