Pickles… oh how I love to eat them, especially around the holidays. A plate full of a little cheese ball with crackers, veggies with dip, and summer sausage with pepper jack cheese just isn’t complete without a crunchy, sour pickle on the side. Unfortunately, since we try to avoid eating a lot of foods with added dyes because of allergies, we aren’t able to buy pickles from the store anymore. Most all brands have yellow dye added. It’s really kind of irritating that it’s added because the yellow dye doesn’t actually add any taste or nutrition value to the pickles. I don’t even know why they have to put it in… but that’s a whole other rant for another day. Not only do they have dyes, but they also usually have other ingredients that we try to avoid, like high fructose corn syrup.
So whenever I buy pickles, they’re one food I always buy organic. Not only do they not contain dyes or high fructose corn syrup, but most of the time they are made with more nutritious ingredients, like apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Plus they taste a lot better. The only down side to buying organic pickles is they’re expensive, so I don’t buy them that often. Because of that, I’ve been trying really hard to master the art of making them myself. During the summer, I’ve made several different attempts to can them but I’ve always ended up with mushy pickles. I do plan to keep trying because it would be so handy to have some canned pickles in the pantry to pop open when the mood for a good pickle strikes.
Twas the day before Christmas at our little homestead
all the creatures were stirring, including plenty of mice.
The stockings were crafted for each of the pets,
and hung on the wall with extra special care,
in anticipation that St. Nicholas would soon be here.
Whenever I hear there is snow in the forecast, I always cringe. It’s not that I particularly dislike snow; it’s more the inconvenience of it that I dislike. Chores always take longer and it’s more difficult to take care of the animals. Michael drives a truck, so I worry about him having to drive if the roads are bad. Plus, if we have a measurable amount, it almost always slows work down for him. Then, once the snow melts, there are the muddy roads to deal with. Snow just isn’t that much fun. The kids on the other hand, especially Miley, love snow. In fact, Miley’s been wishing for snow for a while now.
With all the different diets and opinions on what makes the perfect diet, it’s really hard to figure out what a person really should eat. Are eggs good for you or not? What about fat, is it good or bad? How about grains, should we eat them or not? It can all be so confusing and really frustrating to figure out. So how do you figure it all out?
The desire to homestead… raise our own animals, grow our own food, become more self-sufficient… why?
Well… for us it was the need to have a healthier lifestyle. I feel having good health is the most important thing you can do for yourself. When you don’t have any health issues, it’s so easy to take good health for granted. Sadly, it’s not until you start having your own health issues or watch someone close to you fight health issues that you realize exactly how important it is to take care of yourself.
Pork, it’s what’s for dinner… and breakfast… and supper… and snacks… yeah, we’re going to be eating pork for a while. Today I picked up our pig from the butcher and spent a few hours rearranging and organizing the freezer. We still have a lot of pork left from the other pigs, so now the freezer is stuffed full of pork. That’s definitely not a bad thing; in fact, it’s a really good thing. It’s just kind of hard to gauge how much food you will actually get when you grow your own, especially when first starting out homesteading. We’ve made plenty of mistakes in that area, so I thought I’d tell about the mistakes we’ve made and what we plan to do differently.