Category Archives: In the Kitchen

My Canning Disaster!

It was a sad couple days at our house. First, we took our goat kids to the sale because it’s getting to be that time of the year to down size for winter. Then something went wrong in the canner and my jars of tomato sauce ended up spewing all over the canner and were ruined, so I had to can them all over again. Despite such a rough start the day ended with a relaxing ride to the creek and some entertaining words from Neville.

Turkeys, where did you go?

We got the beans picked and snapped, now we just need to find time to can them.
A lot of times I don’t follow recipes and will just randomly make something according to what we have on hand. Sometimes it turns out great, other times not. Tonight’s supper was one of those experiments.
At chore time we found the turkeys missing so we had to find them and put them back in the coop. Always something around here….

I Canned Too Much and We’re Dehydrating Marshmallows

We’re dehydrating marshmallows, hopefully they turn out good! A few days ago I emptied out a bunch of jars of food that I’ve canned from previous years. One mistake I made when I first started canning was that I canned as much produce as possible without really thinking about how much food we’d actually need. It’s an easy mistake, especially when you don’t want that good produce to go to waste. I discuss a few ways that I’m preventing that from happening again.

Freezing Tomatoes and Harvesting Sunflowers

It’s a busy time right now. We’ve had lots of stuff going on and we’ve been away from home a lot so I’m having to try to get caught up on a lot of stuff. Then on top of that, I have jury duty this week and have to prepare for the possibility of being gone for 5 days. The sunflowers are ready to harvest plus more tomatoes are also ready. No time to make sauce or roast sunflower seeds now so I’m freezing the tomatoes to make sauce out of another time and we’re picking the sunflowers so Miley can take the seeds off and have them ready to roast when we have the time.
So much to do, so little time… it’s just another day on the homestead.

Milk Room Complete, Mole Trouble and Making Cake

 We got our milk room enclosure done and it’s so nice. Just when we get that problem fixed, we have another. Moles have started taking over the garden so now we’re trying to figure out a good way to get rid of them.
We have a bunch of zucchini so we’re shredding it up to freeze and making chocolate zucchini cake. If you’d like the recipe, you can find it here.  

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chcoclate zucchini cake

Zucchini… it’s been the word of the kitchen the last several months.  Our zucchini plants have done amazing this year.  It’s the first year since we’ve moved here that our zucchini plants have stayed alive all summer and haven’t been killed off by squash bugs.  We’ve enjoyed having a nice supply of it to eat through out the summer.

But lately, let me tell ya, its been a little hard to come up with creative ways to use it all up.  I’ve snuck it in everything I can.  Even then, we still had more of it than I could keep up with so I’ve been cutting it up and feeding it to the chickens.  I thought I was doing good sneaking it in recipes until the kids informed me the other day that they were getting a little tired of having zucchini in everything.  Even the chickens seem to be turning their beaks up at it lately.

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I decided i better kick it up a few notches and make something that everyone would love even if there was zucchini in it.  I dug out an old recipe book and found an all time favorite of ours…

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I mixed up a double recipe and made 24 cupcakes plus a small cake.  I put the cupcakes in the freezer so we have a quick and easy way to get that chocolate fix when we need it.  The cake… well, it didn’t last too long.  It was so good.  And the best part is… I managed to get more of that zucchini used up with no complaints.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 c sifted flour
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c cooking oil
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 2 c grated zucchini, drained
  • 1 (6 oz) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together and set aside. Cream butter, oil and sugar in mixing bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Beat eggs, one at a time, into mixture, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with butter milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in zucchini. Pour in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until done.

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