Meal Plan Monday for 8/29 – 9/4

Hectic week last week.  I thing very easy meals this week will do.

Monday – Chili

Tuesday – Tacos

Wednesday – Fried Chicken

Thursday – Grill food (Hot Dogs, Brats/Burgers)

Friday – Pizza

Saturday – BBQ Boneless Ribs

Sunday – Pork Roast

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Meal Plan Monday 8/22 – 8/28

Monday – Hot Dogs and Macaroni & Cheese
Tuesday – Beef Tacos
Wednesday – Pork Chops
Thursday – Beef Tips
Friday – Pizza
Saturday – Ham
Sunday – Pork Roast

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Cucumber Relish 8/16/11

Another few hours of canning and we have Cucumber Relish.  This one only took minutes to process but took a few hours to prepare.  All that chopping.  Praise God I had a chopper.  I don’t know what I would have done without it.

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Stewed Tomatoes 8/15/11

Been very busy here on the homestead.  Lots of weeding and house work.  Here is the latest on our canning process.

On Aug. 15, I processed 120 tomatoes in 2 batches for stewed tomatoes.  My total yield was 16 1/2 quarts.  It took 7 hours from start to finish.  The first step was to boil water and dip 4 tomatoes at a time in the boiling water for 1 minute.  Next, we took the tomatoes out of the boiling water and dipped them into very cold water to peel them.  Next, we quartered them and cut the cores out.  I put them in a bowl on my canning scale and weighed out 16 pounds of peeled and cored tomatoes.  Once I had one batch measured out, I put them in a large stainless steel pot along with chopped peppers, chopped onions and sugar.  Bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes.  Fill quart jars with yummy stewed tomatoes and process in pressure canner for  20 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  I used the recipe found in Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving on page 378 if you are interested in learning more about this process.  Below are some pictures.


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Veggie Stir Fry Dinner July 9, 2011

Cora is chopping veggies for the stir fry dinner she is making.

The younger girls had fun helping their older sister put in the sprouts.  Dinner turned out yummy.  Mom helped Cora with the stir fry on the stove.

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Georgia Peaches are done

Sorry it took so long to upload these.  Been very busy here on the homestead.

The pictures are not in order of process.  First we put 4 peaches into boiling water for about 1-1/2 minutes.  Then we place them into cold water to pull the peels off.  Next we cut them in half, remove the pit, and slice.  Next, we put the slices into a kettle full of lemon juice/water to prevent browning.  After we do this to 48 peaches we make our syrup and simmer peach slices into the syrup for about a minute.  Then, we pack the jars and put them into the canner.  We started this process at 7:30 pm and finished at 1:30 am.

6 hours worth from start to finish, but now we have peaches for our meals during the long winter months.

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Canning Season 2011

Another year of home preserving is drawing near, but first a quick update on what happened in our lives since the last canning season.

2010-2011 saw some major changes for the Vukosich family.  December, DH found out he was losing his job.  January, DH found and accepted a new job.  February became a very hectic time for us as DH was ending his position at one company and looking forward to starting new position.  We were also home searching as we needed to move from Wisconsin Rapids to the Fox Valley Area.

One blessing of moving is we went from a double city lot to a 1.5 acre lot.  Triple the garden space and we are only minutes from High Cliff State Park.  Fun times ahead for our family as we embark on our homesteading journey this year.

Our first canning session will begin today as I purchased 1 bushel of Georgia Peaches from the Tree-Ripe Citrus Co.  For this canning recipe, I will be using my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

Starting out on Pg. 140, I will be making my acid solution of 1/4 cup lemon juice per 4 cups water.  This will prevent my peaches from browning while I prepare them for the jars.

Pg. 142 contains the syrup recipes to use when packing the peaches into the jars.  I use the medium syrup which is 4-1/4 cups white sugar per 5 cups of water.

Pg. 150 contains the recipe for making peaches in syrup.  It usually takes 48 peaches to make 8 quarts.  I process these at 6 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.

I found the quickest way to peel the peaches is to use peaches that are hard and place 3-4 peaches into boiling water for about 1 minute and then immediately place into very cold water.  The skins just fall off.

Later, I will post pictures of the process.  Home preserving is a lot of work, but well worth the effort.  We reap the benefits all winter long and well into spring and summer before the harvest comes in.  We are still eating our homemade applesauce, pears, and green beans from last season.

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More pictures.

More pictures of the homestead from various angles.  Working on getting all the fence lowered around the inner yard part of the property.  With so much work to do around the inside and outside, I need to remember to put the Lord first and to take time to enjoy the area with the children.  Very exhausted by the end of the day, but would not trade it for anything else.

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Pictures of the homestead.

Some pictures of our homestead.

This is to the left of our front door.  The fence on your left is the edge of our huge side garden.

This is from the front of the garage.






This is looking toward the mailbox from the side of our garage.






This is the right side of our house.  We have a working dairy farm behind us.






This is my front flower bed.  Took David and I all day to create, till, and plant.  Love listening to all the birds chirping in the morning.




This is just a portion of our side garden.







It takes all day to mow our lawn on a riding lawn mower.  We use our walk-behind mower in-between the garden rows and on our mound system.  Tristan is a huge help with the mowing.  This summer, I am going to teach Cora how to use the walk-behind and then Tristan, Cora and I can take turns mowing the lawn.

More pictures to come.

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Living in the country.

I was born and raised a city girl, but feel that the Lord has directed me to be a country girl.  This site is going to be dedicated to my life on 1 acre of land, raising and homeschooling 4 amazing children, while planting, harvesting, and canning.  I hope to post pictures of our gardens (flower & veggies), orchard (apples, pears, & cherries) and favorite recipes.

That’s it for now.

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