Author Archives: Homesteader's Supply

New Product! Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator & Jerky Maker

New Product! Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator & Jerky Maker Kit

Exclusive offer for our customers! The Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator & Jerky Maker Kit

I’m so excited about our new products I wanted to tell you about this one here, not just in the newsletter as usual. I have 100 pounds of pastured beef ordered and am expecting delivery any day now. I’ll be making jerky from some of the ground and at least one roast. I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes along with this new product announcement.

Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator, Jerky MakerThis exclusive package deal includes the Nesco FD-80 Dehydrator. It comes with four trays, and we’re adding another four for a total of eight trays! The kit also includes screens and sheets, a jerky gun, spices, and a how-to book. Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator

This square dehydrator features an innovative design with 700 watts of drying power that generates maximum speed and quality for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, beef jerky, and venison jerky. I’m sure you can make turkey jerky, too! The top mounted fan eliminates liquids dripping into the heating chamber! Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator

FD-80HW includes the following upgrades and additions:

  •     FD-80 Dehydrator with eight trays instead of four
  •     Eight  SQM-2-6  Clean-A- Screens instead of one
  •     Eight SLD-2-6  Fruit Roll Sheets (new part of this offer)
  •     Large Jerky Gun with five spices (new part of this offer)
  •     “How to Dry Foods” book by Deanna De Long (new part of this offer)

Teriyaki Marinade Recipe

I use this marinade on my beef strips. You can use a tougher cut of meat thanks to the tenderizing properties of the pineapple juice.

1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in two quart pan. Warm over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool. Pour the marinade in a 9 x 13″ pan. Lay 1/4″ strips of beef, deer, moose or other large game in the marinade and allow to sit in the refrigerator at least overnight. Pat the meat dry. Follow the dehydrator’s instructions.

Enjoy!

Asparagus and Eggs!

Asparagus and Eggs

Asparagus and eggs are trying to take over the kitchen. I was out bright and early this morning, before sunrise, to see why the roosters were crowing louder and longer than usual. Whatever it was, it wasn’t in the hen house when I walked in. I picked up the first duck eggs of the day and snapped enough asparagus for a breakfast quiche. I made the quiche and while it baked, called a friend. “Happy Monday! Your breakfast is in the oven. Stop in on the way to work and it will be ready to take with you.”

asparagus and eggs

Asparagus, two duck eggs and a chicken egg

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Asparagus Quiche

1/2 to 3/4 pound asparagus
2 T butter
1/4 cup chives, chopped
6 oz shredded Swiss or Havarti cheese
4 large chicken or 2 large duck eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 pie crust
Snap off the tough ends of asparagus, if necessary. Roast whole asparagus spears on a lightly oiled cookie sheet at 400° for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut asparagus into 1/4″ pieces.
Turn the oven heat back to 375°. Line a pie plate with the crust and bake for 8 minutes. While the crust bakes, whisk together the chives, cheese, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Remove the pie crust after 8 minutes. Place the asparagus on the crust and then pour the egg mixture over the asparagus. Bake at 375° for approximately 50 minutes. A butter knife inserted into the center will be clean when removed when the quiche is done.
asparagus and eggs, asparagus recipe, asparagus spears
This is the recipe I’m following for tonight’s dinner. The photo caught my eye last week and I’ve been thinking about it since then. Baked Eggs With Asparagus.
My go-to asparagus and eggs meal is quick and simple. If there’s a cooler day in the week I roast a bunch of asparagus at once and use some of it for this almost-a-non-recipe.

Roasted Asparagus with Fried Eggs

Drizzle olive oil over a single layer of asparagus, sprinkle with sea or Kosher salt and Italian seasoning, and roast at 400° for 10 minutes.
While the asparagus is roasting, get out the eggs and get ready to fry them. I especially like quail or Silkie chicken eggs for this dish because they are small. Two or three small eggs look nicer when plated with the asparagus but all means, if you are fortunate to have extra large goose eggs, go with it! In the last few minutes of roasting, pan fry the eggs until they are slightly under cooked for your taste. Move the hot asparagus to your plates. Top asparagus with a fried egg. The heat of the asparagus will finish cooking the egg. I love this served with a slice of oatmeal sourdough bread.
Asparagus and eggs – a late spring favorite!

Rhubarb Tips & Recipes

Rhubarb Tips & Recipes

Rhubarb is a perennial that lasts for decades. One young plant will grow, spread out, and need to be divided about every third year for best growth. It’s a great perennial to share with friends. It’s one of the first vegetables to produce in the spring and always a welcome sight.

Rhubarb Tips

  • Rhubarb dividing and planting time is about the same time as spring fishing. Did a deep hole, add the fish guts, soil on top, and plant the rhubarb. Water deeply to encourage roots to move down into the soil rather than spread out across the top. By the time they get to the fish it will have broken down and be available to the plants. You’ll know when they meet up because the nitrogen in the fish will give the plants a big boost. rhubarb tips & recipes
  • Did you miss dividing overgrown roots in the spring? It’s alright to do it in early fall when the sun isn’t as blazing hot, and the nights are cooler. Water well and provide shade if the plants are too hot while they’re settling in. rhubarb tips & recipes
  • As the days get longer and the temperature rises, rhubarb will “bolt.” It will send up a hollow flower stalk. You’ll know it when you see it; it doesn’t look like the usual stalk with a leaf. Pull the flower stalk to keep the plant producing well.
  • Pull stalks, don’t cut them. Pulling the stalk stimulates growth and avoids a wet stump that can allow bacteria in.

rhubarb tips & recipes

Simple Rhubarb Sauce

simple rhubarb sauce recipe, rhubarb tips & recipesThis recipe was my grandmother’s. She would be in her 90’s were she still alive. It’s tried and true, simple as can be, and versatile.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups rhubarb (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pectin (optional)

Simmer water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. This is known as a simple syrup. Cut rhubarb into 1/2″ pieces and add to the syrup. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. The sauce is done when the rhubarb is breaking down. Add cinnamon or nutmeg after removing the sauce from heat. Rhubarb is low in pectin so you might want to cut down to 1/4 cup water after the first batch, or add a tablespoon of pectin according to the directions.

rhubab saucerhubarb sauce recipeSimple Rhubarb Sauce can be served on warm biscuits, ice cream, Angle Food cake and many other ways. It cans well and if you put up enough, you’ll be able to enjoy it over the winter. While rhubarb is a spring treat, it’s hardy enough for a winter dessert.

We’re linking up with Maple Hill 101‘s blog hop. Join us!

Seaweed in the Garden

Seaweed in the Garden

I’d heard about using seaweed in the garden. It was supposedly a miracle cure. It helped turn dirt into soil (dirt is dead but soil has living organisms), they said. It helped control blight on tomatoes, they said. I wondered if “they” knew what they were talking about. Living near the coast, it was worth a trip to pick up seaweed. Even if it didn’t live up to the claims, it would at least add some organic matter to the soil in a brand new garden.

Joining up with Maple Hill 101!

seaweed

The first thing I needed to do was call the town office to find out what I am allowed to pick up. Laws vary from state to state and town to town. On the third call I learned that rockweed washes up on the public boat landing so heavily that it gets tangled in boat trailers. The clerk told me to go at low tide and gave me the time. She also gave me a list of things to take with me to make getting seaweed for the garden easier:

  • burlap or mesh bags make it easy to unload at home, but one filled bag can weigh more than 50 pounds.
  • a garden fork
  • heavy duty sled to pull weed to the truck. I said I have a garden cart I could use but she pointed out that wheels get stuck in sand. I’m glad I mentioned it.
  • water proof gloves

We can gather rock weed lying on the beach. We can’t take any seaweed attached to rocks. I went on a weekday when the beach wouldn’t be as busy. It didn’t take long to fill the back of a friend’s truck, and we gathered it all from around the boat landing. I see why trailers get tangled up. It was dense, wet and heavy.

Seaweed is full of micronutrients that improve the soil. I made seaweed tea by filling a five gallon bucket half full of seaweed and topping it off with water. I left the cover on for a week. Stand back when you open the bucket. The “aroma” was strong because I left it in the sun. Next time I’ll set it in the shade. Some of the yellowing broccoli and cauliflower plants improved a few weeks after I mulched them with seaweed and watered with seaweed tea.

I added a layer of seaweed to the compost pile. It’s not high in nitrogen so it didn’t give the pile I hoped for, but the added nutrients to the finished compost were worth the effort.

Mulching the tomato plants is said to help prevent soil born blight because it keeps water from splashing blight spores onto the plants. We didn’t have an outbreak of blight last year but the tomatoes sure did do well. I’ve been to the beach again this year to get more seaweed. I planted the tomatoes in the same spot as last year by pushing the seaweed aside to plant the transplants. I do believe there are a lot more blossoms than last year’s plants have!

I wanted to rototill the seaweed into the soil but remembered the warning about trailers, and I knew it would be a tangled mess in the tines of the tiller. It didn’t break down by the end of last summer but there wasn’t a lot left on the surface this spring. I turned it into the soil with a garden fork.

A couple of things to think about:

  • There were insects in the seaweed. I thought they’d die as soon as the seaweed started to dry out. They didn’t. They’re sea fleas. The don’t harm the garden. As long as the soil under the weed stays moist they’ll live for weeks, and that’s perfectly okay.
  • Seashells! There aren’t a lot of shells in the seaweed so it’s not a big benefit but every little bit helps. Seashells break down slowly and add calcium to the soil. A friend who first told me about seaweed in the garden told me it took five years for the last of the shells to break down.

If you don’t live near the coast you can still use seaweed in the garden by purchasing it as an additive. It seemed expensive to me up front but you don’t need a lot so overall, it’s a good investment in plant and soil health and added nutrition to our food. se

Grocery Shopping is Expensive!

Grocery shopping is expensive!

After leaving the grocery store yesterday morning, I sat in the car, a little disturbed and depressed. The expense of grocery shopping these days is astronomical. I came home determined to grow more of my own food. I’ll add to my container gardening and I’m thinking about what I can grow indoors in winter. Ugh! Grocery shopping is expensive!

grocery shopping is expensive

Jersey cabbage

It’s May and there’s fresh food available but not enough to put fresh vegetables on the table daily so I’m still shopping. It’s time to find the local farmers market in my new state.

  • Cabbage: $1.29 a pound. I bought it because I’ve been craving coleslaw but it kind of hurt a little. grocery shopping is expensive
  • Carrots:  They are dry and many of them were cracked, and they’re .99 cents a pound. I moved on to the organic section and found nice carrots for $1.49 a pound. I’m sure this is less expensive per pound. They don’t have to be peeled because they are fresher, and because they aren’t overgrown and cracked. They’ll be great in the coleslaw.
  • Broccoli: Soft and starting to flower. $1.99 a pound. The stems’ ends were dried out.
  • Peas: $4 a pound. It takes about a pound of freshly picked peas to get one cup of peas after shelling.  Who can afford to pay $4 a cup for peas? Oh my gosh, grocery shopping is expensive.
  • Spinach. I looked at baby spinach with the thought of adding it to my salads and quiche (the hens are laying full force so I’m eating a lot of quiche). It was packaged in a plastic container. $9.09 per pound. I can buy a lot of spinach seeds for $9.00.

    cherry tomato, grocery shopping is expensive

    Juliet tomato

  • Tomatoes: They’re not ripe here yet, and they weren’t in the grocery store either. They were so immature they were hard and what I consider inedible.  Shipped in from Mexico and $1.79 a pound. grocery shopping is expensive
  • Yellow summer squash.  It’s a wonder I didn’t mutter out loud.  $1.79 a pound.

Fresh from the garden this week, I have radishes, Swiss chard, baby beets and beet greens, lettuce, arugula, boc choi, the last of the tatsoi, and the green garlic. And eggs! Lots of eggs for protein. Fresh food is worth the effort, especially after my reminder that grocery shopping is expensive.

Sprucing up the Yard

Sprucing up the yard

I’m still at it! I’m still sprucing up the yard here and there as I get a little time. This weekend I spent time on the perennial gardens. With the garden rototilled and settling, I turned my attention to the perennial gardens. By the time I finished one of them became an expanded perennial garden with room for annual vegetables and flowers.

There’s so much work in setting up a homestead and making it our own that adding beauty can be lost in the shuffle. As good as it felt to have the garden prepared and ready to plant, working in the flower gardens was rewarding. It’s a small start to all that needs to be done to my new plots (remember that I’ve been here just over a year) but looking out the window this morning and seeing flowers that weren’t there 24 hours ago made me smile. Sprucing up the yard has had a fast return in smiles.

sprucing up the homestead, johnny jump ups

Johnny Jump-Ups

I moved Johnny Jump Ups, a self-seeding annual, to the expanded garden, right by the back porch. It was overcast yesterday when I uprooted the clump and divided them. Soon after I put down the shovel for the day, the sky opened up and poured on the newly transplanted flowers. It’s overcast and drizzling today and for the next two days, perfect weather for transplants to settle in.  Before the end of the season I’ll leave a few flowers instead of dead-heading and let them go to seed. Over the years the colors will change as the number of generations grow.

This peony survived transplanting and winter and established its roots well. It will take a few years to grow before it flowers. I divided one plant into three. When they fill in and blossom together they’re be beautiful. When I’m sprucing up the yard next year I’ll probably need to add support for the peonies. Or at least I hope they grow that much in a year.

sprucing up the homestead

Peony

This bleeding heart has been here for a very long time. It might have been one of the original plants in the perennial garden. It was overgrown, its root a massive, woody, hollow mess. There’s only one thing to do when it’s that bad – break it up with a spade, dig holes, amend the soil and split it up. I might have been a little too harsh. This and one tiny other shoot have come back. This is the original plant. So be it. It didn’t bloom last year and it might not this year but next  year, it will be beautiful again. I’ll weed this bed when the rain stops, and I’ll be looking for other plants that might still pop up.

sprucing up the homestead, bleeding heart

Bleeding heart

It was nice to find the chives growing. I use a lot of them in cooking, dips and on baked potatoes. I divided the clump, spread them out and will pass one section on to a friend when she visits later this week. I bought an oregano plant at a garden show but I’m not sure it’s going to survive. It’s out there and now I want to see what happens.

sprucing up the homestead

Pansies, waiting to be planted

I ran out of oomph by the end of the afternoon. These pansies are waiting for me. They’ll be just fine right there for a few days as long as I remember to take them out of the tray.

What’s growing in your perennial gardens? Are you adding annuals to fill space or because you like them?