~Photos~

 

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Life is good by golly!    The summer left us way too soon.

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Jessi family

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See you later!

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged | 6 Comments

~American/Velveeta Cheese~

 

This cheese is amazing!  American  ~  Valveeta melts wonderfully too.

This cheese is amazing! American ~ Velveeta melts wonderfully too.

I always said you can’t make American Cheese but now I know better!  If you like to use cheese in hot dishes, grilled cheese sandwiches, melted on eggs or any other recipe that uses an American or Velveeta cheese, this recipe is for you.  Of course, it helps if you have a cow, goat or a source for raw milk!  This is one cheese that you can use the same day it is made and it’s very versatile.

The block pictured above is a 4 gallon milk amount.  I am going to post the directions for 1 gallon of milk.  Start small, learn the method and then go up from there, trying 2, 3 and then 4 gallons at a time.  The smaller batches are much easier to handle.

Warm 1 gallon milk to 140 degrees.

Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid and stir until you get a silky, stretchy and smooth cheese.

After the citric acid is added stir until you get all the curds separated.

After the citric acid is added stir until you get all the curds separated.

Drain cheese in a stainless strainer for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Chop up the cheese in small pieces and place in a pot to melt.  Add 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1  1/2 teaspoons of Sea Salt, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup cream ( I guessed the amt. of cream since it can vary) a dash of black pepper and a dash or two of paprika for color.

That is the basic recipe.  I sometimes add chopped Jalapenos, a  tiny shot of garlic or onion powder, red hot sauce etc.  You can experiment with what flavor you and your family like.  You may want more salt than the recipe calls for as well.

One of my batches of cheese as it is starting to melt and bubble.  The red liquid is hot sauce for this particular batch.

One of my batches of cheese as it is starting to melt and bubble. The red liquid is hot sauce for this particular batch.

Stir the cheese on low heat, move it around and around and don’t let it burn. It will make a sticky mess  in your pot but if you soak it, the crusty mess comes off easy enough.  I used to use a double boiler method but didn’t like how it worked.

Mixing the cheese in a pan.

Mixing the cheese in a pan.

When the cheese is smooth, shiny and well blended pour the cheese into a mold.  I use my smaller bread pans.  The mini bread pans also work great and are the perfect size for a one gallon batch.  Fill the pan and let it chill and set up in the refrigerator.  When fairly solid you can gently use a knife around the edges loosen the cheese and then use the butter knife to gently pry it out of the mold upside down on a plate.  Wrap and  use later.

This cheese can be melted down later to use as a chip dip as well.  Experiment with it and have fun!

Blasé and Kallie Jo were around to help mess up my kitchen....and test the cheese out too!!

Blasé and Kallie Jo were around to help mess up my kitchen….and test the cheese out too!!

Sorry I don’t have more photos but this is easy enough even for a beginner!  Try it and enjoy the compliments from your family:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in FARM KITCHEN | Tagged , | 1 Comment

~Nonna Is Here~

 

Best mom in the world...my mom!!!!!

Best mom in the world…my mom!!!!!

What a blessing it has been having my mom, Nonna…Pina Petruccelli visit our farm.  When I say how much I love her, I really mean it.  She is amazing and a great example to all of us.  She can work circles around anyone!   At 75, you would never know she wasn’t 50 by her pep.  I’ve been thinking about how valuable grandparents are to the family unit and feeling sad that all the love, help and support is going to end in a couple of weeks.  I feel like crying but instead…….I’m going to enjoy every last-minute of her trip to Minnesota.

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It must have been nice in the good old days having grandparents living with a family unit.  Think of all the help, wisdom and much appreciated advice a grandparent can give.  I love having her around my children and also the Italian way she interacts with the family.  What a great opportunity for us all.  Mind you, it helps when your husband just happens to love his mother-in-law.  This means she can come whenever she wants and stay as long as she pleases.  Too bad we have to share her with my family back East!

DSCF7947Time is flying by quickly and we have been busy putting up our garden produce.  The crops are good this year and the slight frost we had a week ago missed my garden.  In fact, we picked a large load of zucchini this morning.  The apples are a bumper crop.  We had a wonderful crop of taters  and as you can imagine taters are on the menu plenty!  Anyhow, it has been a big help having my mom here.  Especially since Silvana is out in North Dakota for a few more weeks working at the Duppong’s.  Then Marisa was away at an Organic Vet Workshop recently.  Not to worry though cuz when the sun is out Maggie will work double time in the garden to soak up a tan!

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If you have a Nonna or grandmother why not tell her how much you love her today? Ma, you make me laugh out loud and you make me happy always.  You are the best, most helpful, wonderful, FUN, loving, kind, understanding mom in the world!    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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Back to work we go, for now !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in FARM KITCHEN | Tagged | 8 Comments

~The First Honey Run 2014~

Maggie, Marisa and Silvana getting ready to work.

Maggie, Marisa and Silvana getting ready to work.

Our first honey harvest of the season yielded 320 pounds which is a good start and a very pleasant surprise! We pulled off 9 supers and tested out our new equipment.  Fred purchased a Dakota  Gunness 200 Decapper and Dadant 60 Frame extractor and we were very pleased with the way they worked.

Our Dakota Dunnick Wax Decapper.

Our Dakota Gunness Wax Decapper.

Decapper and 60 frame extractor in the background.

Decapper and 60 frame extractor in the background.

The honey is very light and super delicious!  I’m not sure when we will be harvesting again but at least now we know how to run the equipment.  Enjoy the photos.

Marisa prepares the smoker using hay which we kept going for awhile.

Marisa prepares the smoker using hay which we kept going for awhile.

 

Loading the  12 gauge just in case the Badger shows up.

Loading the 12 gauge just in case the Badger shows up.

This is our best hive this year.

One of our best hives this year.

 

Beautiful hive near our garden.

Beautiful hive near our garden.

 

 Brushing off the bees gently before we load the super.


Brushing off the bees gently before we load the super.

 

Hauling the 35# box to the car.

Hauling a very heavy, medium sized super  to the car.

 

Checking the super to make certain all the honey bees are gone.

Checking the super to make certain all the honey bees are gone.

This is a bee escape board which is placed right below the supers we plan on removing 24 hours before we harvest.  This allows the bees to travel down but not come back up into the honey super.  Most of the bees are out making it much easier.

This is a bee escape board which is placed right below the supers we plan on removing 24 hours before we harvest. This allows the bees to travel down but not come back up into the honey super. Most of the bees are out making it much easier.

 

Transporting honey home to be extracted.

Transporting honey home to be extracted.

 

A field of Sweet White clover.

A field of Sweet White clover.

 

More Sweet White Clover for the bees.  Beautiful!

More Sweet White Clover for the bees. Beautiful!

A second 60 frame extractor which is stored outside.

A second 60 frame extractor which is stored outside.

We ran a few frames through the new wax decapper and Fred made some adjustments.

We ran a few frames through the new wax decapper and Fred made some adjustments.

The frame of honey enters the machine.

The frame of honey enters the machine.

The frame comes out the opposite site with the caps removed.

The frame comes out the opposite side with the wax caps removed.  It took a couple of times to set the spinning chains properly.

60 Frames are loaded into the extractor.

60 Frames are loaded into the extractor.  This starts to spin slower and picks up speed rapidly forcing the honey out.  Works really great!

Beautiful honey being extracted. Light and delicious!

Beautiful honey being extracted. Light and delicious!

Raw, unfiltered honey enters a holding tank.

Raw, unfiltered honey enters a holding tank.

The honey gate is opened and the raw honey is filtered.

The honey gate is opened and the raw honey is filtered.

 

We’re looking forward to a good honey harvest at the end of August or so.  There was plenty of rain in the beginning of the year and things are looking good.  Now as I prepare this post we are receiving a very much needed rain of more than an inch or two.  Talk about feeling blessed.  WOW  The hives located at our home farm here are thriving on the clover which is taking over :)   We are thankful to have some good equipment to make the work easier.  Soon we will haul a shipment of honey into Brad’s Market in Minneota.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in BEE NEWS AND UPDATES | Tagged | 4 Comments

~Hops ~

*Cascade Hops Vine
Hops vine looks like something in Jack in the Beanstalk!

Hops vine looks like something out of Jack in the Beanstalk!

Rows of hops soon to be turned into beer.

Rows of hops soon to be turned into beer.

 We live in the land of milk and honey ………….and hops too! Aren’t these beautiful?
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Have a wonderful day.
Stay tuned for the honey extracting photos.
Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged | 1 Comment

~We Have Two New Grandchildren~

Luke with his newborn baby boy.  Life doesn't get much better than this !

Luke with his newborn baby boy. Life doesn’t get much better than this !

Congratulations to Jessi and Luke who were blessed, yesterday, with their fourth child.  He is beautiful with a full head of hair, a little less than his momma who came in to this world with hair long enough to need cutting.  Shawn Kelly Dougherty, 8 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long, named after his grandfather, Shawn and great-grandfather Kelly.  May God continue to bless Luke, Jessica and their children in many ways.

Little Shawn Dougherty just several hours old!

Little Shawn Dougherty just several hours old!

Cael is very happy to finally have a little brother!

Cael is very happy to finally have a little brother!

Francesca and Peter also welcomed a new baby to their family on July 3.  They had a beautiful baby girl Josie June Ryland.  She weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces.   What a little sweetheart she is.  Thanks be to God for safe births and healthy babies.  She was already baptized last weekend.

Josie June Ryland just before her baptism.

Josie June Ryland just before her baptism.

 

Baptism at St. Leo with Andrew, Frenchy, Peter and Josie.

Baptism at St. Leo with Andrew, Frenchy, Peter and Josie.

Francesca and Josie at the party.

Francesca and Josie at the party.

When two people fall in love a whole new world is opened up.  Fred asked me to marry him just 24 hours after having met him.  I said yes, of course, and now it’s so much fun seeing the fruits of our marriage.  Not to mention the grandchildren born into loving families.

If you are married or about to be married I hope you will consider being open to life.  If you are a parent or grandparent, you can encourage young couples to be open.  Just being open doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a large family.  There may not even be any children but at least you will know that you have been open to God’s will.

Josie June Ryland baptized at St. Leo.

Josie June Ryland baptized at St. Leo.

Looking forward to little Shawn’s baptism some time soon !

 

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged | 6 Comments

~BARN DANCE Tomorrow night July 11, 2014~

 

Almost ready for the dance.  Need to empty out the extra junk and use the shop vac.

Almost ready for the dance. Need to empty out the extra junk and use the shop vac.

 

Lots to celebrate this year.  We had a new baby in the family.  Congratulations to Peter and Frenchy who were blessed with a little girl, Josie June.  Looking forward to Jessi and Lukes new baby that will arrive the end of this month!

We’ve never had a barn dance this “late” in the summer so it should be interesting how it turns out.  There will be plenty of live music with most of our kids involved.  Frenchy and Jessi, will be doing a few songs each if their little ones cooperate :)  Clayton will be singing several songs including a song he recently wrote.  He had to come out to our farm to practice at night after putting in a very long day of horse training.

Evening practice on the hay rack!

Evening practice on the hay rack!

I’ve been practicing a few new ideas for pot luck snacks and finger food that everyone brings.  I made my usual White Pizza already…… and tried a few new items which I can’t actually make till tomorrow morning. See photo below of samples I tested out on the family.  They are pepperoni jalapeno wraps, meatballs in a blanket and jalapeno hotdog tidbits.  The favorite so far were the meatballs.

Pot luck snacks I am working on.

Pot luck snacks I am working on.

HAPPY 4 th Year Anniversary to Peter and Francesca today!  I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by.  Life is good by golly and I hope everyone feels the same way about it.

 

 

Posted in BEE NEWS AND UPDATES | Tagged | 3 Comments