Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicken Butchering


This post is about butchering chickens.  If you do not agree with eating animals or the killing of animals do not read.  If you can not stand to see a animal killed do not read.  I will delete any posts calling me and those that were here murderers.  I believe in the freedom of speech, but you have been warned.  Back to our regular scheduled post.

Chicken Butchering ♫

I feel a deep need to get back to the "old ways".  That includes having a garden and raising chickens.  It is an amazing way to beef up your food storage I just saved $30 off of my food bill by butchering these chickens, plus I dont' have to buy feed for them.  I like to hatch out my chickens here at home, its just more fun.  It is also a great for teaching my son about work, life, and loving animals.  On the other hand I don't need more then 4 rooster right now.  What to do with the rest, I know there are some that will say "Give them away so they can be pets.....".  I don't believe that chickens are pets, they are livestock.  I do have my favorites, but I believe that they were put on Earth to be eaten.  So today we butchered 21 chickens between 3 families.  Now that is not enough for even one family for a year, but it is a start. 
The first rule of butchering for beginners is to find an expert, someone who has butchered thousands of chickens.  That's where I began.  Next is to set up a time and day to do the butchering.  On your butcher day find all of your big pots and have them filled to the top with water and boiling. 
Then select the chicken that will be feeding your family, and kill it.  We chopped off their heads. 
 Next you scald them in the boiling water

Then you pluck, pluck, and pluck.  It seems like you will never get to the end of plucking the feathers.  I promise you will.

Beautiful, looks like they are from the store don't they?
Now they get a bath where the rest of the pin feathers are pulled out and all of the dirt comes off.

 Then it is time to start gutting.  This is where the picts stop and you will need to find an expert.  There is so much that you can do different while gutting a chicken.

Juli and Sheryl try their hand at gutting a chicken while Sharon gives instructions. 
Now its my turn except we are cutting them into fryers.

This guys is about   to loose his wing.

 Not really a tutorial I know, but it was an amazing experience for everyone that was here.  I feel more connected to my food chain, and happy to have some home grown chicken headed to my freezer tomorrow.  Happy Homesteading!  ♫

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm soooo Sorry!

Ok I feel bad, I just have not had the time to put up a new post.  I've been canning like mad.  I hope tomorrow all of my efforts will pay off, I'm loading up and heading out to the farmers market.  I will give you a taste of whats in store.  I will have posts on caning peaches, tomatoes, apples, and if I can get freebies pears. 
The best and most exciting news is that I was asked to be a partner in a local business.  I will be starting a sister blog, and pintrest account.  Happy Weekend!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Million Dollar Garden Pasta Salad

Thanks to The Pasta Shoppe I was able to get some Thank a Million pasta.  If you have not had a chance to try their pasta I suggest you order some now.  It is the most amazing pasta I have ever had.  I thought I would pass along this recipe I used with one of their amazing pastas.

Million Dollar Garden Pasta Salad

1 lb Thanks a Million Pasta
1/4 cup peas
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 lb Colby Jack cubed
1/4 cup onions chopped
1/4 cup green onion tops
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian Dressing
Fresh basil(optional)


Cook Pasta and peas per directions on package. While pasta is cooking chop and cube ingredients except Italian Dressing. Add veggies, cheese and dressing to a bowl. Drain and rinse pasta and peas. Add Pasta and peas to the veggie mix and stir. Garnish with fresh basil (optional).

*More dressing can be added for a moister salad. Meat can be added to make a meal out of this dish instead of using it as a side dish. My favorites are pieces of Smoked Sausage, or Shredded Chicken


Making the Most of Your Harvest: Onions

I always plant extra onions, as I thin I use the little onions like green onions.  As I thin later in the season I get to use the bulb as a regular onions, but the greens still taste like a green onion, just bigger.  Here is how I have been harvesting my onions.

First I separate the onion from the greens.

Next I use a clean pair of scissors to cut the greens into 1/8 to 1/4 inch pieces

I like to use the onion fresh, but I also like to freeze some for a cold winter day.  Here is a baggie of green onions for the freezer.

Next post will have what I made with the onions.  Be on the look out!

Making the Most of Your Harvest

I have a huge problem, I hate wasting anything. I do mean anything, cleaning out the fridge is the worst task for me. I complain the entire time, and I get mad that we are throwing out what was good food.  I have been wanting to do a series about making the most of your harvest, and now is the time to do it.  I live in beautiful Colorado, my garden is just now starting to produce anything since I can't start planting in tell June.  I hope you follow along as I make the most of what comes from my garden, and what freebies I get.  I will be posting a lot of canning recipes.  Break our your canner and follow along as I show you how I make the most of what is in my garden.