I’ve been listening to OPB’s series about disaster preparation and it’s got me thinking that we could be doing more. So I’ve copies their list below and am going to start getting things together in case we ever need them:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Battery or Hand-cranked radio
- Extra batteries
- First adi kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blankets
- Map(s) of the area
A dear friend of mine gave me the most beautiful gift in response to my inquiry about the recipe for his salad dressing. The bag contained not only all of the ingredients for the dressing, but the makings of a lovely salad. Thanks TS….
Miso Salad Dressing
6 T miso
1/2 c rice vinegar
5 T honey
4 T ginger
5 T sesame oil
6 t lime juice
4 t white sesame seeds
It was a busy weekend about the backyard farm. Saturday we picked up milk at the farm and did a bit of shopping. While we were out, our oldest son noticed that Frodo, the little goat, wasn’t looking as spry as usual. We cam home, called a bunch of vets (most of whom are closed on Saturday) got some advice from a lovely goat rental owner, cleaned out the goat pen, and sat around for an hour waiting to see if Frodo could poo. After a long wait, I got really bored and decided to give Frodo a bit of a belly jiggle and low-and-behold, out came poo. He seemed okay so we headed in for supper. Then we settled in for a evening in front of the first really nice fire of the fall.
Sunday was even busier. We started out taking a few garage leftover to Aunt J and Uncle D’s house. We’ve been there a hundred times and somehow managed to get lost and were late – silly. Then we stopped by our instrument repair guy with the new French Horn to get it chem-cleaned. This was followed by stops at several thrift shops and a lovely lunch of fish and chips.
In the afternoon, I picked a bucket of apples and brought them inside to process. First I peeled and sliced them for the dehydrator.
Then I took the scraps to the garage to try out my new fruit press. We didn’t get a lot of juice, but not bad for just a pile of scraps that would have gone to the chickens. They still got the scraps, they were just a little dryer.
The last chore of the day was to culture some raw cream with 1/8t of Crème fraîche starter. I’m going to leave it overnight not the counter and then make cultured butter from it tomorrow.
This weekend I started putting up the fall harvest to get ready for winter.
Grape Juice: Saturday was the day to start harvesting the grapes before the next rain storm. I was able to bottle two batches of white grape juice from the grapes with seeds and put a couple of trays of seedless grapes into the dehydrator for raisins. Sunday morning is here and there is another batch of grapes in the steam juicer – this time, purple ones.
Zucchini Bread: The zucchini is still coming on and, with us back at school, they are going unchecked and getting too big. I made a batch of zucchini bread. Two for the freezer and two for the boys.
Pesto: On Friday night, a good friend came over to show me how to make sweet basil pesto. It was so easy that on Saturday I made a batch with my Thai basil, and another batch with sorrel and almonds. On Sunday morning I made another small batch with Parsley. It’s popped into the freezer for winter pasta and soups.
Herbs: More of the herbs from the garden also need to be harvested and dried for winter. Some of the sage may also end up in one more pesto.
Today was a busy day as we’re wrapping up our summer vacation and getting ready to go back to school. A started out the day at the Gladstone Goodwill shop where I picked up a lovely set of casseroles and a baking dish. The are handmade and decorated with blue slip. I’d been waiting for them for weeks, trying to see if they would hold out until they were half price. Today was the day. I think they are just lovely.
My second stop was at the Oregon City Goodwill store. I really couldn’t find much and was just about to leave when I spotted a big brown canister. I went to look at it and it seemed to actually be a crock for but it was a little stuck between shelves so I had to figure out how to un-wedge it. I opened the lid and figured out it was a 10 liter fermenting crock. I’m really looking forward to trying to make some pickles or sauerkraut.
The third stop was Safeway where I picked up some shrimp (for etouffee) and some bangers (for supper later in the week) on clearance.
The last stop was Albertson’s. They had a lot of meat on clearance. I was able to pick up 13 chicken quarters, 8 pounds of ground turkey and pork, some shredded cheese, and bread for under$15.00. The drumsticks are in the freezer, the thighs got boned and frozen, the bones made stock for the étouffée. The ground meat made 8 batches of meatballs; tandoori turkey, thanksgiving turkey, sumac turkey and barbecue pork. They are also all tucked away into the freezer.
Aside from the cooking, I was able to get all of the linen ironed and folded. Now my feet are killing me and I’m going to take a little rest.
I had a heck of a time trying to find a recipe – any recipe – for fig jelly. Fig preserves,yes; fig conserve, yes; fig jelly that’s actually jam, yes; clear fig jelly, no. So I made it up.
- Steam juice 1 load of figs for 2 hours. I collected about 10 cups of juice, which I boiled to reduce it down to about 5 cups.
- To the reduced fig juice, add the juice of 5 small lemons and 8 T low-sugar pectin. Bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down.
- Add 4. 5 cups of castor sugar and bring back to the boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and ladle into sterilized half-pint jars. Cap and process (I used a steam canner) for 15 minutes.
If the power goes out, so does the furnace at our place. We do have propane, but without electricity, the fans don’t work. The water heaters are lovely, they run on propane and after a cold day, a warm bath is wonderful.
We also have a fireplace and, while we can’t afford to upgrade to a wood stove insert right now, we are hoping to someday. For now, we spent July putting in 5 cords of firewood – oak, fir and pine mostly. This should keep us in fires for a normal winter. We are still looking out for some wood, but only if we can get it for free.
I was also able to pick up a lovely goose down comforter at a tag sale for $8.00. I soaked it an really hot water with a teaspoon of Dawn and 1/4 of Oxi-clean. It took a couple of soaks until the water stayed clean, then I threw it into the washer for a hot water wash. I did double spins with felted dryer balls (I added a couple of drops of lavender oil). The it went out onto the clothes line in the sun for a couple of hours before getting rolled up, stuffed into a pillowcase and stored in a cedar chest for fall. This brings us up to 7 down comforters in total which should keep us toasty warm the winter.
It’s been another busy couple of weeks here at the backyard farm. Summer has been fun, full of house organizing, garden sprucing, good recipes, thrift stores, tag sales and projects galore. It feels like it’s coming to and end, but we still have some time left. So here’s to more summer fun to come.
We found some lovely fleece at a barn sale; sheep, llama, alpaca and pygora goat wool.
This is my first try at washing wool – a little Dawn, some hot water and very little swishing. This is some of the llama wool. I probably need a better way to dry it.
I went to a spinning group and a lovely group of ladies helped me start to learn to spin some yarn. I found out that my wheel was out of alignment, part of my wheel are loose, my roving is a bit sticky with lanolin and that this is going to take a lot of practice. I spent another day fixing up the wheel – hopefully it better now.
I did start sewing my sampler squares together into a large afghan. It’s taken a long time and several experiments to figure out how to join everything together, but I think I like the squares sewn together with yarn, it’s a nice, flat look.
I’ve also started melting down some of the candles that I purchased at the thrift shop and making some new candles. The one problem that I’ve run into is with the cone mold on the right. It keeps cutting off the wick on the top.
Only one more strand to go for my first basket. I think it will turn out pretty well. I learned a lot, but I really quite like it.