Thursday, October 5, 2017


It's hard to believe but I think my lists, both those labeled Inside and Outside, are getting shorter.  (How can that be?  Who cares!  I'm just enjoying looking at the shortened versions.)

Fall has truly come to the north woods.  The leaves are littering lawn and driveway and colors are nearing their peak.  The two days in a row that we've now had with no rain have been most welcome.

We go out to do night time chores now at 6:30 and it's almost dark when we come in.  Because it's dark from about 7 p.m. on, it seems our nights are longer and there's an hour or so more for down time at night before bedtime.  I like it.

Speaking of bedtime, Papa Pea and I were in bed and I think fast asleep at 8:45 last night and slept until 6:30 this morning.  The reason?  We butchered 19 chickens yesterday.  And we couldn't have done it without help from Chicken Mama and Gilligan.  Well, maybe we could have but it would have done kilt us.  Whadda job. The best thing about it was when it was done.  And, of course, all the good chickie meat in the freezer.

I went out into the garden before dinner tonight and pilfered the first potatoes from this year's crop.

I took some from the Burbank Russet planting because I've been so hungry for a baked potato.  But I didn't get it.  Upon scrubbing the potato when inside, all the skin came off so I decided not to bake it.  I unearthed it from under one plant and was very happy to find these other good sized ones along with the big first one.  If the reds turn out to be as prolific, we'll have a good harvest of taters.

The onions that have been curing are just about ready for their final cleaning and storing for the winter.  I use a lot of onions in cooking so it's a great feeling to have a big bunch cached away.

I picked up a book off the "new" rack at the library earlier this week.  Believe it or not, I've never used a slow cooker or crock pot, but now plan to do so and hopefully learn to turn out some good meals.  I've only glanced through this book so far, but am already impressed and think I'll find several recipes to get me started in the right direction.

I got this 4-quart crock pot a couple of weeks ago for $4 at our second-hand resale store.  From what I can tell, it seems to work so . . . wish me luck!  


Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Exhausting work you two have been doing!! I can see why you're in bed and sleep through the night.

19 chickens went to freezer camp,ready for upcoming meals throughout winter. I'm truly happy for you and your family. Having fresh chicken can't be replaced by that store bought stuff. I can already picture you making chicken stock as well.

Wow.....those are some nice looking taters. I so know where I'm going the next couple of Mama Pea's place. Shhhhhh.....she won't notice if I take a few taters, and some frozen chicken. Hehehehehehehe!!!

Having a crock pot really makes cooking easy especially after working outside all day. You just stuff everything inside the pot, turn it on, and leave it for hours. I love my crock pot, and my electric pressure cooker (it's called a one pot cooker).
Enjoy using your new crock pot for the first time. Mama Pea, you got yourself a great deal from the second hand resale store. If someone asked me for one of my appliances as a bartering tool, I would have to tell them their crazy. Because they wouldn't get any of them from me!!!

I hope your meal (and recipe) came out the way you wanted it for the first time using the crock pot.

Hugs, and love

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Nineteen chickens should keep you in meat for a while! I seem to have no luck with onions. They hardly grow from bulb stage! I treated myself to a new (very much on sale) crockpot. This is the time of year I like to start using it again. -Jenn

Lisa said...

Oooooo you will really enjoy having that Crockpot! It's the best 'fast food' cooker! Meats come out tender and juicy as the crockpot does all the work for you. Envy you those longer days already, though we're getting dark @7:45 p.m. nowadays... not to far behind. And those taters look delicious! Have a good day Mama Pea!! :)

Katie C. said...

You will be a convert in no time. It’s a great way to make applesauce too! One of my favorite recipes is on the Skinny Taste blog: crock pot Sazon pork chops with peppers, olives and potatoes. We skip the olives and add carrots to make it a complete meal. She also has a recipe for the Sazon seasoning. It has great flavor with no heat. I usually use the squirrely chops that I find in the bottom of the family pack when I make this. The meat will literally be fall off the bone tender so you just take the amount of pieces that you want.

Susan said...

I am completely amazed that you never had a slow cooker! There will be no slowing YOU down now! Even with one person to feed, I use mine a lot during the winter. There is something so comforting about walking in the door at the end of the day and smelling dinner - already made! Those are beautiful taters, Mama Pea!

Kristina said...

Okay, I was writing my comment and "poof" it went into la la land. I have 3 crock pots, lol! I use them all the time too. We take our meat birds to a butcher for a low $2.00/each (whole), bu they charge more if we want more cuts. I can't imagine doing all that yourselves(although it is a goal of ours).

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Yes, one of the main reasons I love those old stewing hens of ours is the wonderful, nutritious bone broth I make with them. The meat, stewed long and slow, is also very flavorful and tender.

Haven't made anything in my crock pot yet. Have hardly had a second to think about it. Also, that book I got from the library . . . all the recipes are in proportion for a 6-qt. cooker . . . and mine is a 4-qt. I could fiddle around decreasing the ingredient I suppose . . . when I have time!

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - The nineteen chickens are actually way more than we need for a year's supply. We'll share with whomever wants some of them.

Wonder why you can't grow onions?? Your climate should be okay for them.

I'm looking around now to find a 6-qt. crock pot. Seems that's the average size folks like to work with. Also, the recipes I've found that sound interesting are made in a 6-qt. pot.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - You're encouraging me to get going on the crock pot cooking! 'Bout time I jumped on the bandwagon!

Mama Pea said...

Katie C. - You're making me hungry. (No breakfast yet this morn!)

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I know! Where have I gone wrong in my cooking attempts all these years? We eat leftovers with no problem so I think the crock pot full will work for us.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Believe me, if it were an option, I'd take all our butchering to a facility and have it done! But there's not one within 130 miles of us . . . and not even sure there's one around the big city this far in the north. Bottom line though, I suppose butchering your own is a good skill to have. :o]

Athanasia said...

Its nice to have more than one crockpot.

Rain said...

Oooh have fun with the crock pot!!! I love my slow cookers! I have two because somehow our first small one always smells of teriyaki...though I've never cooked teriyaki in it we use that one sparingly! Great bargain!! I love thrift stores! :)

Fall has come to the Laurentians as well. When I get up it's still dark out so I have to wait for an hour or so before the dog duties start outside or I won't see a thing! It's a nice change though, I can happily say goodbye to summer now. :)

Your potatoes look great! I can imagine them loaded with butter, Cheddar, sour cream and chives! :) I'LL be over at 2pm lol! :)

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I love my slow cooker! I use it frequently and love to make soup in it. Put it all in in the morning and at suppertime its ready! Love coming home from work and smelling supper cooking. Time saver indeed!

Ah yes its dark here before 8 p.m. now. I dislike this immensely! January is my worst month. My circadian rhythm rules my body so when its dark my body screams at me - GO TO BED! How sad is that? I could go to bed at 6 p.m. in January. Worst month ever for me. I get so cranky. My former boss bought me a SAD light for my office. I use it ALOT in January and February! :)

Nice potatoes! We didn't get as much as I would have liked this year. Not sure if its because we use the potatoes bags or not?

Leigh said...

That's a lot of chickens! No wonder you were tuckered out! Tops for Dan and me is six.

Beautiful potatoes! We've only gotten a good potato harvest once - our first year here. Nice to see yours did so well!

I really like my crock pot. It takes a little bit different cooking style, but so useful.

Rain said...

Btw Mama Pea...I've solved my garlic issue. I previously told you I had only 3 cloves to plant, I meant bulbs, but I only learned this morning you take them apart into cloves to plant them! I'll have more than I thought I would! :) Into the garden today! :)

Mama Pea said...

Athanasia - Noted!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Gotta say it's been a bit of a shock to realize that it's dark (so dark!) in the morning when all summer we'd wished it had stayed dark a little longer so we could sleep longer. We seem to be in tune with the light of the day whether we've had enough sleep or not!

Worked outside all day cleaning up the garden. I, too, am so ready to move into the winter mode. Bring it on!

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - I've never tried growing taters in bags so know nothing of it! We still have to dig ours to see what we've got this year, but I'm hoping for a BIG harvest.

Could we somehow work it out so you could give me some of your January? The winter months always go by way too fast for me, and it's spring time again before I want it to be. Guess that's why we live where we do. They say we have three seasons: Winter's coming, winter's here and winter will be over in a while!

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Yep, doing those 19 chickens was more than I want to do at one time soon again. Having said that, I'm almost afraid to count up the tally for ducks we're going to do in a couple of weeks! We wanted to see how fertile our ducks were this first year, but next year we won't let them hatch out nearly so many!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - I knew you were just confuzzed and would figure the garlic dilemma out! Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.

Just got notification today that my garlic was shipped. Must get the bed ready for them.

Kevin said...
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Kevin said...
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