Category Archives: Health

Quick and Easy Winter Soup

Leek and potato soup:

2 – large leeks
2 – medium potatoes peeled and course chopped
1 – pint stock – or use 1 – stock cube (use the stock you like, beef, chicken or vegetable)
Salt (Taste ‘Before) adding salt, stock often contains salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground white or black pepper
Optional 2 – tablespoons butter
Optional – fresh mushrooms course chopped (thin sliced)

Course slice leeks and sauté them in 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil or melted butter.
Pour in the stock, add the potatoes and mushrooms. Simmer for about 25 minutes.
Soup is ready when the potatoes are soft and tender.
Top off with additional stock if needed.
Optional – Make this into a ‘cream’ soup. Blend in 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of cream. Do not boil.
Serve warm with toasted buttered garlic bread or saltine crackers.

Chili soup:

1 – 15 ounce can Wolf brand chili (with or without beans)
15 – ounces water
1 – Tablespoon chili powder
1 – Tablespoon dried oregano

Optional: 2 – tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Optional: 1 – tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
Optional: 1 or 2 – fine diced fresh hot or mild green or red pepper.
Optional: Fine diced onion to taste.

Heat chili soup to a simmer.

Serve hot topped with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, warm soft flour tortilla’s, corn chips or saltine crackers.
Optional: Serve with a side dipping dish of green or red salsa hot or mild, the kind you like.

Chili pepper consumption could help you live longer

hot-red-pepper Chili pepper report The American Heart Association said “research has suggested that regular chili pepper consumers could have longer lifespans due to the fruit’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and blood-glucose regulating properties. These factors play a role in reducing a person’s risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease or cancer.

570,000 health records were included in these studies, which included people from the U.S., Italy, China and Iran. The people who ate chili peppers regularly had a 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality; 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality; and 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality.

First Thanksgiving Dinner menu

First Thanksgiving Dinner – Smithsonian magazine Pilgrims and Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony in 1621. Edward Winslow, an English leader who attended said: Besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison.
In addition to wildfowl and deer, the colonists and Wampanoag probably ate eels and shellfish, such as lobster, clams and mussels.

The forest provided chestnuts, walnuts and beechnuts. They grew flint corn (multicolored Indian corn). They grew beans, which they used from when they were small and green until when they were mature. They also had different sorts of pumpkins and squashes.

England not having turkeys it is likely that the Pilgrims favored swan, geese, ducks over turkey meat. It is also likely that passenger pigeons were on their menu.

Historians think Pilgrims stuffed birds with chunks of onion, herbs and shelled chestnuts. Pilgrims did not have white(Irish) potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, butter or wheat flour to make crusts for pies and tarts.

Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book was a leading voice in establishing Thanksgiving as an annual event. Beginning in 1827, Hale petitioned 13 presidents, the last of whom was Abraham Lincoln. She pitched her idea to President Lincoln as a way to unite the country in the midst of the Civil War, and, in 1863, he made Thanksgiving a national holiday.

As for me and my family, this Thanksgiving we will have a small(10#) slow smoked/cooked turkey, mostly for the smaller members of our clan. Adults will feast on slow cooked/smoked beef brisket, racks of ribs and buckets of BBQ sauce, the mild and hot kind. Of course there will be ample assorted side dishes, ice cream and pie for all.

Post a comment and share your Thanksgiving menu.

How to catch a deer for thanksgiving dinner

I laughed the whole time I read this.

(A letter from someone who wants to remain anonymous, who farms and actually tried this)

I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up– 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold.

The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it, it took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope, and then received an education. The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED. The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer– no Chance. That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined. The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals.

A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head. At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope.

I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual. Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer’s momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in. I didn’t want the deer to have to suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder – a little trap I had set before hand…kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when ….. I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and slide off to then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head–almost like a big dog. They bite HARD and it hurts.

The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective.

It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now), tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the tendons out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.

That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp… I learned a long time ago that, when an animal -like a horse –strikes at you with their hooves and you can’t get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape.

This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope……to sort of even the odds!!

All these events are true so help me God…An Educated Farmer

After reading this I can understand why someone would want to remain anonymous.

I’m so proud of (DT) my grand daughter in law. Muzzle loader deer season opened on the 24 of October. On the afternoon of the 24th she came to my house wanting to borrow my Thompson Center 50 caliber muzzle loading rifle to go deer hunting.
This was DT’s first deer hunt, she was to hunt alone, she had never loaded or fired a muzzle loader.

I spent 15 or 20 minutes showing her how to load, cap and how to use double set triggers. She went to the back of our place crawled up into my deer stand to wait for a deer.

Grin… she was back at my house in about 30 minutes asking me to help her carry the 6 point whitetail buck that she had shot back to the barn.
You guested it, she didn’t have a clue how to gut, skin or cut up the meat before wrapping in butcher paper to put in her deep freeze.

Image

Bar’s Public Notice Sign Board

Raising laying hens – first coop or remodel is easy

Maximize egg production and growth rate of your meat birds by installing a coop light. Buy and install a simple timer. Set your timer to provide 16 hours light in your coop. One 60 or 100 watt bulb is all the light your coop will need.

Don’t forget to provide fresh water and an ample food supply inside your coop. Chickens Will Not go out of the coop into the darkness of night to eat or drink.
Hint: What ever you build or buy, make it covenant for ‘You’ to access. To clean, gather eggs and so on without the need to stoop low or crawl around on your hands and knees.
When possible make all gates and doors wide enough to get your wheel barrow in and out of the hen house and chickens runs.

Do it right the first time. Choosing the best coop wire. 1 inch X 2 inch or 1/2 inch X 1 inch utility wire is a good choice. Small mesh welded wire cost more than poultry netting but in the long run will be a cheaper ‘long term’ investment and a better choice. Poultry netting will rust and become useless in just a few years, 2 X 4 welded wire is strong but is not effective in keeping small chicks in nor is it a big obstacle to keep determined animals like cats, dogs, coyote, fox or raccoons out of your hen house.

It seems that after searching the Internet I find end listings on how to build a chicken coop but, most everyone wants to ‘Sell’ you a plan or blueprint.

You do not have to be an architect or construction engineer to construct a chicken coop. Anyone can do it. Keep in mind that you may need to scale any basic construction plan up or down to fit the flock size you want to maintain.
* Hint: Many storage shed plans are free to download and is a cost effective hen house by another name.
Cover windows with strong predator proof wire.

A secure coop is very important, it seems that everyone and everything likes the taste of chicken. Cats, dogs, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, opossums, fox and even a hawk or owl will take a small chicken given the chance to do so. Snakes can be a problem eating small chicks and always looking for a chance to take a few eggs. Other than stray dogs daylight predators are few, but after dark your chickens are ‘setting ducks’ just waiting to be eaten by a hungry predator.

What your chickens Really Need. Warm secure chickens produce many more eggs and gain more weight than chickens housed in a cold drafty coop. When building your coop be sure to close up any holes or cracks that allow a cold draft to enter your coop. Do not use calk or spray foam, chickens will peck at and eat calk or spray foam.
Unless you live above the arctic circle supplemental heating is generally not needed.
If you feel the need to heat your hen house consider enclosing a ‘milk house heater in strong wire or add a 250 watt heat lamp located 3 – 5 feet off the floor. Use caution, a heat space heater or heat lamp bulb that comes in contact with hay, straw etc. can catch your hen house on fire!

Some sites say chickens need about 2 square feet of coop floor space for each hen in your flock. I disagree and recommend 3 square feet ‘4 square feet is better’ of floor space for each laying hen. A 4X4 sheet of plywood = 16 square feet and should house no more than 4 or 5 chickens. Remember you will loose a few feet of floor space to nest boxes and roosting areas.
You must decide if 2 square feet or 4 square feet of floor space is best for housing you chicken flock.

Clean water is a must have thing. Don’t skimp, purchase or build large good quality freeze resistant water containers.
Feeders should be designed to prevent them from wasting feed or being of a design that allows them to set / roost on top of your feeders. Chickens Do Not go outdoors to poop! Given the opportunity they will poop in feed troughs and water containers! Hanging style containers work well. They can be raised higher off the floor as your flock grows.

Free Range or Penned hens? A chicken run is nothing more than a fenced in area that attaches to or surrounds your coop. Your chicken run should allow at least 10 square feet of run for each chicken in your flock. Thus 4 laying hens will need a minimum of 40 square feet of run. An 8 foot by 8 foot run will provide you with 64 square feet.
Free range is just what it sounds like. Free range chickens are free to range and forage anyplace they feel like going. Free range chickens seem to be healthier and consume much less store bought feed than penned chickens. However free ranging chickens are more likely to be taken by predators.

Allowed to free range chickens will eat large quantities of grass, weeds and every insect that they can catch! They scratch eating weed seeds worms and grubs.

13 free chicken coop plans
60 free chicken coop plans
65 free chicken coop plans

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

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Mediterranean style white bean soup

What you will need for this bean soup recipe.

1 lb. white beans
1 cup crushed, chopped or diced canned or fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large white or 2 smallish sized chopped/diced onions
3 small, course diced carrots
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt {start with 1 teaspoon add more to your taste}
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley, oregano, basil or chives
8 cups water
* Optional 1/2 cup white wine
* Optional 4 cups chicken or beef broth and 4 cups water
* Optional 1 or 2 garlic cloves minced or finely chopped
* Optional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Soak beans over night, drain off the water and put beans in a saucepan with 8 cups water or 4 cups chicken or beef broth and 4 cups water.

Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes on low heat.

Add remaining ingredients and cook gently for about an hour or until the beans and vegetables are tender. Add more water if needed.

Garnish soup with grated cheese, fresh chopped Chives, Oregano, Basil or Parsley. Use the kind of herbs and cheese you like as a garnish.

Serve with hard crust bread or buttered garlic bread.
Grin… Americans some time serve this soup with saltine crackers or fresh baked cornbread.

Kale – Good And Good For You

Kale is becoming one of American gardeners favorite green vegetables. Lettuce and spinach are being replaced by Kale as a favorite fresh salad and cooked table green.

Growing Kale Kale likes Full Sun and grows best in a loamy soil with a neutral pH to slightly alkaline soil.

Kale is a hardy, cool season green
that is part of the ‘cole’ cabbage family. It grows best in the spring and fall and can tolerate Fall frosts. Kale can be used in salads or as a garnish and is rich in minerals and vitamins A and C. You can plant kale anytime from early spring to early summer.

If you plant kale late in the summer you can harvest it from fall until the ground freezes in winter. Mix 1-1/2 cups of NPK 5-10-10 fertilizer per 25 feet of row into the top 3 to 4 inches of soil. Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep into well-drained, light soil. After about 2 weeks, thin the seedlings so that they are spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. Water the plants regularly.
Mulch the soil heavily after the first freeze.
The plants may continue to produce leaves throughout the winter. Kale is ready to harvest when the leaves are about the size of your hand.

Avoid picking the terminal bud (found at the top center of the plant) this will help to keep the plant productive. The small, tender leaves can be eaten uncooked and used in salads. Cut and cook the larger leaves like spinach, remove the large tough leaf ribs before cooking.

Store kale as you would any other leafy green. Put kale in a bag and store it in the refrigerator. It should last about 1 week.

Consider planting,
* ‘Vates’, which is a hardy variety and does not yellow in cold weather. It also has curly, blue-green leaves.
* ‘Winterbor’, which resembles the ‘Vates’ variety, and it is frost tolerant.
* ‘Red Russian’, which has red, tender leaves and is an early crop.

brusselkale Source FOX News Report
A new hybrid from U.K. vegetable breeder Tozer Seeds that’s a hybrid (Not a GMO) of two super trendy vegetables, Brussels sprouts and kale.
BrusselKale is set to make its North American debut in Toronto later this month.
According to Tozer Seeds, the leafy green vegetable gets its “fantastic flavor by combining the complex taste of the Brussels sprout with the mild, sweet ‘nutty’ taste of the kale.”
Note: I have looked on Tozer Seeds web site and can’t seem to find this Brussels sprout/Kale hybrid listed in their catalog.

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Italian style Mediterranean soup

Ingredients needed to make this Italian farm style Mediterranean soup

2 1/2 large diced carrots
2 celery ribs chopped
1 medium purple or white diced onion or 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves finely minced
28 ounces (2 14 1/2 ounce cans) low or no salt chicken broth
* Optional 1 cup white wine
15 ounces (2 – 8 ounce cans) low or no-salt tomato sauce
16 ounces (1 14 1/2 ounce can) white or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
* Optional 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
14-1/2 ounces (1 14 1/2 ounce can) diced tomatoes with juice
1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage or shredded Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons fresh basil chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
3 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 to 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni(pasta the kind you like) remember this is a soup not a pasta dish
* Optional garnish: grated Parmesan cheese
* Optional garnish: drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
* Optional garnish: chives coursed chopped
* Optional garnish: basil course chopped
.
Saute carrots, celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stir in broth, tomato sauce, beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, parsley, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and slow simmer for 15 minutes. Add more broth or water if needed. Add macaroni and cook, uncovered, until macaroni and vegetables are tender.
Taste and adjust if needed salt, pepper and spices.

Garnish and serve with hard crust bread or buttered, toasted garlic bread.

Chow Chow using green tomato’s and excess garden vegetables

Posted September 2017. Reworked and updated.

Homemade Green Spicy Relish.

Over run with green tomato’s? Fall gardens are winding down. Many gardeners have a lot of green tomato’s and Chow Chow is a healthy good tasting way to use them before they are damaged by freezing weather.

Chow Chow was born in North America out of an effort to preserve the excess summer produce growing in the backyard, on small farms including green tomatoes, cabbage, hot peppers, bell peppers, onions, and more.
Chow Chow recipes vary widely based on what part of North America you live. Chow Chow consist primarily of chopped green tomatoes, cabbage, onion, and peppers while others can contain ripe tomato’s, carrots, beans, cauliflower, or peas. Regardless of which one you choose, the ingredients are all pickled and packed in canning jars and served cold as a condiment.

Use Chow Chow as you would any other kind of pickled relish. Use it as a topping for hot dogs, hamburgers, or barbeque. It’s also commonly used to give a little spunk to a bowl of beans or a side of cornbread. You can even make a delicious appetizer by adding a little atop a cracker with cream cheese spread.

Chow Chow pairs well with pinto or white beans, hotdogs, burgers, BBQ, chili, stew and just about any other food needing a sweet/sour spicy taste boost.

Grandma’s CHOW CHOW

1 peck (1/4 bushel) green tomatoes about 12 to 15 pounds
5 lbs. yellow onions
1 large head of cabbage course chopped (like you were making coleslaw)
5 lbs. cane sugar
5 red hot chili peppers {you need at least 2 of these and more if you like your chow chow hot and spicy}
4 chopped sweet green bell peppers
4 chopped sweet red bell peppers
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoons celery seed
1 package of pickling spices
About 1 quart of 5% acid apple cider vinegar

Dice tomatoes and sprinkle with 1 cup salt, place them in a clean old white pillowcase and hang them from a close line pole over night. {This will remove most of the green tomato juice from your bag of diced green tomato’s.} I’ll bet wrapping your tomato’s in cheese cloth would work just as well.
* Hint: Better yet course grind all of your vegetables in a meat grinder or chop using a food processor.

Chop/grind all vegetables and combine in a large kettle. Stir in salt, let stand covered at room temperature overnight, or at least 8 hours. Using a colander drain chopped vegetables.

Rinse and drain green tomato’s and other vegetables only once.
In a large pot, add chopped/ground tomatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers, sugar and spices and enough vinegar to almost cover. Cook (simmer) uncovered over a very low heat for 4 hours. Adding additional 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water mixture as necessary.
After 3 1/2 hours or so of cooking time, taste and adjust salt and spices if needed.

Fill hot sterilized canning jars to 1/2 inch from the top and secure lids to jars.
Note: Sterilize jars in a boiling water bath insuring jars are completely covered with water. Don’t forget to sterilize jar tops as well.

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow jars to cool over night. Check to insure all jars sealed properly. Any jar that did not properly seal should be refrigerated and consumed with in a week or so.

* Hint: Adjust the vegetables used based on what vegetables are excess to your needs to be eaten fresh from your garden.

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