Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Past Mid-Winter and All Is Well

Here we are fast approaching the last of February, a month that has given us many bright, beautiful, sunny days.  Not warm yet, by any means, but that good ol' sunshine makes the still cold temperatures much more tolerable.

Even though true spring time may be firmly in sight for some of you, we've still got the heavy snows of March coming up in our area of northern Minnesota.

We actually get the majority of inches of our snowfall in the month of March.  But it's a different kind of snow, one that falls and then melts to a certain degree with increasingly warmer temperatures.  We still have to plow and shovel but often it can be done wearing a sweatshirt rather than four layers under a down work jacket.

I started to make some beef gravy to have on hand in the freezer a day or so ago only to discover I was plumb out of beef bone broth.  So this morning I've got two of my medium-sized stock pots full of browned, organic, grass-fed beef soup bones.  Sure does create a delightful aroma wafting through the house.

When the meat is tender, I'll cut it off the bones and wrap it in packages to have in the freezer for beef hash, soups and stews, etc.  Then the bones go back into the pots with the water-turning-into-broth to simmer for the next couple of days.  Recommended time for simmering is 10 to 12 hours, probably the longer the better.

The resulting broth is brown, flavorful and quite gelatinous, chock-full of nutrition and all kinds of good stuff.  Lots of amino acids, plus it's said to protect joints and help fight osteoarthritis while reducing inflammation in the body.  The broth heals the gut and helps to speed our body's healing process.  It may even give us better skin, hair and nails while aiding in our much needed restorative sleep and could encourage weight loss.  Who can't love all that?

This morning I also spent some quality time in the basement with our remaining onions and garlic.  It's necessary to sort through them periodically and toss any that have soft spots . . . or worse.

We still have plenty of garlic.  The bigger bulbs in the front are Siberian and the smaller ones in the back are Blanak.  I planted this coming year's crop from the biggest of each variety last fall.

I'm hoping the onions will last at least until some scallions are ready in the garden this spring.  We had two full milk crates of both the yellow (Stuttgarter Riesen) and the red (Red Comred).  The remaining yellows fill about half of one crate and the reds fill about 3/4 of another.

Both the onions and garlic keep well for us in the dry basement at about 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next today is a haircut/beard trim for a shaggy Papa Pea and then I'll sit at the kitchen table and start planning where everything will be planted in this year's garden.

Yikes, it's 2 o'clock and I have no idea what to make for our second meal of the day at 4:30.  Better decide that pronto!



DFW said...

The days sure creep up on you don't they? I've got a turkey carcass from an after Thanksgiving sale, w/onions, carrots & various dried herbs, plus an additional bag of chicken parts for good measure, simmering in the garage in a roaster. Put them on around lunch time today & will let them simmer overnight before cooling, straining & pressure canning. I've only got 2 jars left from the last time I made it. Good stuff.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

My garlic, which is kept inside, is holding out, but starting to have sprouts. Spring can't come fast enough for fresh herbs.

wisps of words said...

Perfect beef broth!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had a big bone in the freezer, which he put to boiling yesterday, for soup. Later he added some stew meat and veggies, and put in refrig, over night, to get most of fat off this morning. Now it's boiling away again.

Will not be as good as yours, since you had all goooood stuff, for sure, to begin with.

We don't get the majority of our snow, in March, but it can still snow.

Expecting another round of crap-o-la tonight... Snow and freezing rain and etc., etc., etc. Let's hope it's not totally accurate, like last time!

Lovely stash of your own food, there!!!!!!!

Lynne said...

The onions and garlic look like you just picked them. Beef broth is so good for your body. The broth that's home made,I mean. How did your potatoes do this past year? Can't believe Feb. is almost over either. Before you know it you'll be preparing the garden outside. Have we started any new quilts? How are your socks coming along? Take good care!!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - I know beef bone broth is good stuff, but personally I think turkey bone broth is the richest, most flavorful of all! Plus, I think both Papa Pea and I are coming to like the taste of turkey meat more than chicken. Which isn't good since it's chickens we raise and not turkeys!

Kristina - Knock on wood, but so far neither my onions or garlic is starting to sprout. It will happen though, I know, when we get closer to spring time!

wisps of words - Ugh, snow and freezing rain! Not good. We've had snow forecast for all day today and tonight but it didn't start until about 3 o'clock this afternoon. Wind is picking up now, too, so I suppose we'll have some drifting. Our temp is in the low 20s so we shouldn't have to worry about freezing rain.

Enjoy that good beef bone broth you've made. It will make you strong like Popeye! ;o}

Lynne - Yes, as I said in a comment above, I'm glad to see the onions haven't started to sprout yet. They go so fast when that starts. We had a good potato crop last season and there are no eyes starting to sprout on them yet either. They're in the root cellar where the temp is now staying in the mid-30s. Even so, when we get close to spring nothing seems to stop them from sprouting!

I sat and made a list today of all the seeds I have to start inside and the dates that each one will be started. Gotta admit as much as I love gardening, starting the seeds inside is not my favorite thing.

There's never enough time for handwork as far as I'm concerned!

Sam I Am...... said...

That must be such a great feeling to survive on what you grow. May I ask where you get your grass fed beef? The organic food store (1 1/2 hours away) was out the last time I stopped so I'd like to find a source. There is a new option called Butcher's something on Pinterest but I'm sure they are really expensive but then I don't eat that much beef so I might try them plus you get 20% off your first order. I'm going to check the CSA (community supported agriculture)site first but most of them won't ship and they're up in Missouri....again a long drive. I want to make my own bone broth but from organic if I'm going to do it. I've never grown garlic but my daughter does. I should as I use enough of it. I love hearing about your growing and gardening and I learn so much. Thank you! I appreciate it! Your garlic and onions look fantastic!

Mama Pea said...

Sam I Am - I don't think we could actually "survive" on what we grow . . . but we do grow a lot of our food! Well, maybe we could survive, but hubby sure would be hard to live with without his coffee! ;o}

We have acquaintances/friends who raise beef cattle and that's where we get our meat. Unfortunately, they are a 3 hour drive away from us so I do pick up beef now and then from our organic Co-op grocery store in town. Up here so far north isn't farming country at all and not a lot of people even have a garden because of our short growing season and unreliable summer weather. So we're blessed to have a place to purchase good, clean food. We don't eat a lot of meat either, mostly use it for soups, etc. Don't know the last time we had a roast or steak.

Thank you very much for your kind words! I appreciate it.