The last day of July and we spent the day at the Sunday Market in Milwaukie, trying to pick up milk at the farm, canning and cleaning. The milk pick up was a bust, the gal that owns the cow is out of town and her boy isn’t separating the calf from the cow so he won’t need to milk her.
From the Market
7 pints of beans
The market was great. We picked up some beets, onions, green beans, kale, cantaloupe, and parsley. The apple folks had a few new varieties this week – Early Gravenstein, Akane and Strawberry Apples. I’m going to make some single variety applesauce with each – maybe just 2-3 pints of each.
The green beans were on special so we picked up four bags – some for supper and the rest were for canning. I decided to cold-pack them, added hot water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pressure canned them for 20 minutes.
The boys are off deconstructing a fort they found. DH found an ad for it – no charge so we are getting it to repurpose in to the new henhouse. I didn’t think I’d be much help getting the roof off, so I stayed home to make a batch of Ginger Beer. I also had a little time while I was waiting for the Ginger Beer to boil to run out to the back hedgerow and pick a basket of blackberries. I boiled them with a little water and ginger for another batch of jelly. The boys do like blackberry jelly.
A recipe adapted from The Family Save-All (1861)
White sugar – 20 pounds (2 pounds = 907 g)
Lemon Juice – 18 oz (1.8 oz)
Ginger – 22 oz (2.2oz) peeled, sliced and bruised
Water – 18 gallons (1.8 gallons)
Honey – 1 pound (0.1 lb = 45 g)
egg white – 1 (Hmmmmmm????)
essence of lemon – .5 oz (lemon zest 1.5g)
yeast (this was not in the original recipe)
Boil the bruised ginger in three gallons (1/2 gallon) of water for half an hour; then add the sugar, the juice and the honey, then the fifteen gallons of water reserved (1 1/2 gallon)
Boil and strain.
When cold add the white of an egg, and half an ounce of essence of lemons.
Allow it to ferment in the usual way. Then in about four days bottle it, and it will keep for months.
This morning I put up six jars of seedless blackberry jelly and six more jars of peach jam. We picked the berries from the hedgerow over a couple of days, cooked them down with a little water and strained them. I collected this until I had enough blackberry juice to make a couple of batches of jam. The peaches came from the little peach tree in the kailyaird. The tree is young and broke last summer under the weight of the peaches and during a summer storm so we pruned it very severely this winter. We weren’t sure we we going to have anything to harvest but we had six peaches so I decided to use them for jam.
I canned a few pints of corn this morning while we were setting up a lamb roast for supper. DH built a fire out in the fire pit while I put the roast on a spit (like on the Tudor Monastery Farm with Ruth Goodman). We bought the hand-forged campfire cooking set a few years ago but never used it so I decided to try it out when I found the clearance roast in the freezer.
It took about 6 hours all together. We put the coals near the roast, but no under it. The roasting pan went under it to catch the drippings to use for basting. This configuration helps to prevent flare-ups.
It was juicy, cooked to a lovely medium and tasted really nice. We will definitely try it again.
Things are fermenting all over the place at the Backyard Farm. We’ve got sourdough, kombucha teas (one regular brew and a try at a continuous brew), blackberry soda, garlic fermenting in honey, apple peels fermenting into cider vinegar, and yoghurt all working away. I think I’m going to try a kombucha coffee today and look for a recipe for a small-batch mead. In the mean while, here are some photos of the ferments……