Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Farewell Niblets and whats cookin'

Wow what a day! Monday was great here on the farm and we have a lot to be thankful for.
First, we were thrilled and M and her family came and got the two Niblet doelings. They are going to a great home and we are very glad they are in such good hands.

Little Guinness will be going to his new home later this week. Until then I put him back with the rest of the goaties and he ran right back to his momma, Nibbles. And later he was hanging out with Sunny... and then running around with Dahlia. It was extremely cute.

So we are moving the new kids along and will be back to a "reasonable" number of goats soon. Our milking gals will really kick into gear once the weather warms up and we get the first fresh alfalfa hay of the season.

In the kitchen, the cheese I started the other day is now in the "let it set at 50* for a week stage." The gouda from last fall turned out really well and altho the cheddar wasn't very cheddary.... it works like a Parmesan. I don't know if you've noticed but ever since Rachel Ray started hyping Parmesan the price has gone thru the roof. So I was glad to have a homemade substitute. Tomorrow I'll start another gouda and I'm getting the culture for a provolone next. Once we get out from under our dependence on foreign (store bought) cheese we'll really be making savings!

Also, today I made that blackberry coffee cake again - its just so darn good.

And as far as my rant about cooking goes... here are a few more examples of how all my canning and freezing paid off in saving - both financially and in time saved:

* I made the bacon and two goat cheese pasta again. Actually it was THREE goat cheese pasta.
* Today I made enchiladas for lunch with our canned turkey, our frozen peppers, our salsa verde, goat cheese, and a few other things. Easy peasy and it took just a few minutes. I think the cost was about $1, if that.
* The other nite I actually surprised myself. I set a turkey breast out to thaw in the afternoon. When we came in from evening chores The Big Man started unloading the dishwasher. By the time he finished putting the last fork away I had prepared and put in the oven a dish of turkey breast draped in bacon and savory bread pudding. Cost of goods.... not even $1. And that was  for enough food for us to have dinner, one lunch, and a snack!

Even if you didn't raise your own "free" turkey like we did  - if you took advantage of the $4 on sale turkeys from the store you'd be having Thanksgiving in March too!

All that canning and freezing was a lot of work at the time, but now is when it really pays off. If you are facing the prospect of starting from absolute zero and making a whole supper after a long day - it might seem overwhelming and just easier to run out and get fast food. But if you planned ahead its a snap and only takes minutes.

Here's how I did it:
1. You know all that bread I make? If we don't use up the loaf by the time it gets stale I cut it up into small pieces and put it in a bag in the freezer.
2. I keep a supply of 10 for $10 one pound bags of "mirepoix" mix - frozen, diced onions, carrots, and celery on hand.
3. Who are we kidding? I always have bacon available.

So, saute the frozen veggies in a little butter. Put the bread cubes in a big bowl and season with poultry seasoning (or sage, thyme, or whatever you like). Separately mix up 2 or 3 eggs and a cup and a half of milk. Pour the eggs and milk over the bread, add the veggies.

Butter a dish and add the dressing. Plop the turkey breast on top of the dressing. Cover with bacon. Bake in 350* oven for a little over an hour.

And that's it. Really. How easy is that?

I made the green beans after I took the turkey and dressing out of the oven to rest.. and heck.. there is always pie around here. This time it was The Worlds Best Pie. So that's how you make a super fast supper.

This is also an example of how we use what we have. Sure I could have been hungry for lasagna.... but we had all the ingredients for turkey and stuffing and pie so thats what we had. We weren't suffering, believe me.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Now what are you making for supper?


Autumn said...

Bye Niblets! I can't believe they are that big. I don't really watch Rachel Ray, but I can see the $ of Parm. go up because of her!

Mr. H. said...

You know, if I were rich because I won the $10 gazillian dollar lottery I would buy you 1,000 geese to raise so that we could purchase them back from you in the form of bacon covered bredded turkey dinners...and some of that pumpkin pie too.:)

Wendy said...

My oven died. Actually, one of the wires connected to the bottom element broke off, so I've been trying to be creative with my 'summer oven'. It's like a huge crockpot that I use to bake bread in the garage in the summer. I have a couple of turkey legs in the freezer, so I think I'll give this a try tonight for supper. Sounds yummy! Thanks!

Sara said...

Love the goats! For dinner, it is sweet potato hash and probably roast. Our freezer defrosted all by itself, so I have a freezer full of cooked roast. (Different freezer) The cheese sounds really good. Someday I'll have goats. The dairy is a leap, but definitely some fiber goats. :)

edh said...

Well, I've just finished reading all your archives (I'm not a creepy stalker, promise, just really like your writing) and I'm hooked on your blog. We live in-town in a rural area, so I've got some farm envy going on here, but we do grow as much as we can of our own, and have had bees for about 12 years now. Mostly I freeze our produce, but I do make fermented and pickled things as well as lots of jam.
Would you ever consider a post about making jams without sugar? I've reduced the sugar in mine, but have never dared go completely without. I'd love to know about your process.
Thank you for sharing your farm life, and especially the wonderful pictures, though the wee goats are sort of killing me...

Robin said...

I bet you are going to miss those little kids! If you ever win the big lotto....can we all come and live in Goosenstein with you??

Mama Mess said...

There is nothing on earth better than homemade dressing (stuffing). I just love it and the sage-e-er the better!

Last night we had catfish, cole slaw, and baked taters, but I haven't decided yet tonight!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Autumn - they grow really fast. Debbie's Milk Stealers are huge!

Thanks Mr H! The pie was really really good.

Hi Wendy! Great work on the ingenuity. I actually love crock pots.

Sara, sweet potato hash should DE-lish! Enjoy some for me.

Welcome EDH! And yep let me see what I can dig up for you. The secret is to use "Pomona's Universal Pectin" - which allows for no or very low sugar. Or you can use honey from your beez! Feel free to chime in any time here.(the little goats are pretty darn adorable)

Yes Robin! We'll need an expert gardener such as yourself.

hey GW! the sage-y-er the better is just right!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Today you made me tired! Usually I can keep up :o)
Niblets will be okay, it's better than you having your hands too full. Be greatful for all that fresh milk, I can't get a hold of any..and I'd love to be able to have it for cheese making too...

Larry in AZ said...

Hi Ohio, We finally got our goats. A little nubian mutt who is in milk and a purebred lamancha who is prego and due in April. We milked today for the first time and got a little less than a quart. She is a first timer so I'm not expecting much. Looking forward to the cheese and other goat milk goodies. Oh yeah, and the babies :)

NancyDe said...

My next project is to learn how to can. I hope that next year, my cupboards will be full of things I grew and processed myself. Dairy is taking a little longer....

Blue Feather Micro-Farm said...

I just cooked up one of those $4 cheap turkeys. Made bone broth with the carcass and then added sprouted quinoa, frozen veggies (imports from Sam's), and caramelized onion. Thickened it with cream and pumpkin I processed and froze last November. Had dinner with that and put up 2 quart bags of the soup and we still have a bunch of the meat in the fridge. I think we will end up without about 4-5 meals out of 1 turkey.

Diana said...

Ooooh that looks delicious! I'm running really low on salsa verde myself and we do love our chicken tortilla soup and sour cream enchiladas... I can't wait til tomato season!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hey Ginny, its hard to find fresh milk. Many states would even let a person sell it!

GREAT WORK Larry! Its kind of exciting to get started - isn't it. Are you prepared for the kidding?

NancyDe - I was afraid of canning for a long time. But once you get going you'll think its the best thing EVER.

Excellent BFMF - I love that you used pumpkin to thicken. There is so much you can do it pumpkin... especially pies!

Diana, I'm about to go tomato crazy.... I can't wait for them to get in season! Come on summer!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I just love the fast dinners. The ones that taste good and are satisfying, I mean (as opposed to, say, popcorn and G&Ts--not that I would eat that for dinner AHEM), as this one obviously was.

Probably worth noting, though, for those who don't have a lot of experience in the kitchen, that it takes practice to be a fast cook. You're not going to just go into the kitchen and whip something up that tastes good if you haven't spent a lot of time in the kitchen. It takes some practice to be able to work quickly and efficiently without relying on recipes. Totally WORTH the time spent learning, of course, but those just starting shouldn't give up if it seems to take awhile in the beginning.

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