Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

This is the busiest Mercury Retrograde I can ever remember having.  Usually when Mercury goes retrograde I go into turtle mode and decide to shovel out the house, preferring to stay safely home rather than travel and chance having the truck break down.  (I really don't travel well.)  But this time, all sorts of things are happening. 

Tom brought 28 cabbages home from his garden and I put them in the basement to hold till the temperatures cooled down a bit, but he started griping about the smell they gave off so I wound up dragging them all back upstairs and making ten gallons worth of sauerkraut.

I expect this will be a fast ferment because of the warmer temperatures.  I don't think a fast ferment makes for a very good tasting kraut, but it will taste ok.  There are sixteen medium size heads of cabbage in these crocks.  (If you'd like to see how I make my kraut, scroll down the right side of this blog to where "Special Links on this Blog" is and click on the "Making Sauerkraut in a Crock" link.  Part 2 is the link below that one, "Canning Sauerkraut in a Pressure Canner". 

I also finally made my first batch of kimchi by following this fine lady's instructions, and this is what it looked like when I was finished.  This batch made five quarts.
Let me tell you, this stuff is really easy to make and is hot enough to burn out anything that might be ailing you.  It can definitely "kill a cure".  And boy, is it good. Goes well with a cold beer. 

Yesterday the shed I've been wanting for six years finally materialized.  Am I happy!

Now I will be able to clean out the garage and we will again have room for both the truck and the mini van.

Speaking of the garage, that's where I have the onions curing. They are mostly small, and there are alot more here on this 2' x 3' screened frame than you might think.  I stir them at least once a day so they all are exposed to the air.  In about two weeks they should be dry enough to take to the farmers market.

Here's a pic of the Silver Queen Artemesia I dried.  It is hanging with some broom corn I grew a while back that I want to use to craft some hearth brooms to sell at the last farmers market that coincides with the Phillips Fall Festival. That festival is usually held the end of September.  (It's a really nice festival, by the way.  Try to go, if you can.  There are lots of crafts and good food; a nice family event.  That is where I go to buy my yearly supply of cranberries.)

Today was our first day for Special Olympics bowling for this year.  Most of the young people showed up.  They were all happy to get back together and see each other again. 

When we got home from bowling we were greeted by the sight of my neighbor's hunting dog pup coming out of my chicken coop with feathers in his mouth.  In fact, there were feathers everywhere -- and no chickens in sight.  Oh, boy.  Well, I went over to my neighbor's house and they came to get the pup.  After supper I got a pail of corn and went around calling the chickens and rattling the corn in the pail.  Three of them were  hiding in the garage, another four were hiding under the highbush cranberry and wild rose bushes, and lo and behold Fortunate One/aka Jamie Oliver (Lara's pet rooster) came from wherever he'd been hiding with one hen that stayed with him, so all chickens were fortunately accounted for.  Fortunate One looked very indignant and like he lost five pounds.  That's the luckiest darn rooster I've ever seen. 

Sometimes you just need to remember to count your Blessings.

Well, I've prattled on long enough.  Be safe and Be well!


  1. Do you always can your Sauerkraut? I haven't made mine yet but it's on my list of things to do. Last year I kept it refrigerated and it was great all winter. I don't want to can it because that destroys the beneficial probiotics and enzymes do you think it is safe to keep it without refrigeration in the basement, just enough heat down there to keep pipes from freezing.

  2. Hi, Dale: I do always can my sauerkraut. When my Dad was growing up they kept their kraut in the crock down in the root cellar, but he said that because the temperatures fluctuated in the root cellar the kraut often spoiled. Some people bag their kraut and put it in the freezer. I've never tried that and don't know what that does to the taste. Keeping it very cold at a consistent temperature in a refrigerature is probably your best bet if you don't want to can it. I would like to refrigerate mine but just don't have the room, and my kids have tactile food issues because of their disabilities that requires most of their food to be soft, hence canning works for me.

  3. Wow you've been busy! Thanks for your comment and I'm glad your friend in DC is ok. DC sure experienced a whole lot more shaking than central PA.

  4. Sounds like we have both been busy with the same chores, I have a batch of kraut going and recently finished making some good. I might post about the kimchi later.

    Sounds like your chickens really lucked out, bet you were steaming mad.

    I'm off to watch the video you posted...thanks a bunch.:)