Friday, September 12, 2014

Foodstuff Friday

It has been a very dry summer here – not record-breaking, but certainly not "average." Nothing is growing in the pastures; we're keeping the horses and sheep off them so the dormant plants are not destroyed. Today Rick picked up three tons of pricey 2nd cutting grass hay (the lovely green stuff); I'm hoping that will be enough for the ewes and lambs until the grass comes back. The big boys (Blake and the four adult wethers in two separate lots) are on 'horse' hay – and maple leaves. Crispy dry leaves are falling from the big trees on our place, and the sheep love them – apparently they are the equivalent of sheepy potato chips. ;-)

If I were as industrious as Leigh, I'd be out there raking all those leaves and finding a way to store them for sheep feed!

Last night I filled the dehydrator with small tomatoes. We're picking big cherry tomatoes at my MIL's while she's gone (and some basil – I made pesto for tonight's supper); our garden has been producing quite a few small tomatoes, too – but not enough to fill a canner. These will dry into flavorful nuggets that will be good in soups, stews, and beans through the winter.

This morning I opened a pint of prunes that didn't seal yesterday. I had some for breakfast, and asked Rick if he would please try them even though canned prunes are not his favorite. Well, he LOVED them! Now I wish I'd canned more and dried less; I'd better make a note of how I made them for next year. (Prunes picked firm, cut in half and pitted, packed with a syrup of 4 c. water to 1 c. unrefined sugar with 2 t. cinnamon and 1/2 t. cloves – I think.

That's it for today from . . .

6 comments:

thecrazysheeplady said...

And we're so wet my hay hasn't even been CUT yet :-o.

Nancy Kay said...

Dry maple leaves are a sheepy treat?? That's interesting. Good pictures of the sheep enjoying their snacks. Oh, I bet those tomatoes will be so tasty in a hot soup when the weather gets cold. Mmmm...mmmm. I bet fresh prunes taste better than most.

Mokihana said...

I haven't done any dehydrating for years; used to do it all the time. Dehydrators sure have improved. Mine was metal with a bunch of shelves like a fridge. It worked wonderfully well. You have inspired me to try it again!

Susan said...

My guys love maple leaves, too. I usually rake them into bags wherever I can find them. I am lucky in that we have plentiful and reasonably priced hay here. It has been dry, though, so second cut is harder to come by. I feed my sheep first cut - they love the weedy stuff. Thanks for the canned prune recipe-ish! I am getting some today, so will give it a try.

Laura said...

The prunes sound terrific! I've got 5 grocery bags full of apples for sauce, etc. Hope I have enough jars!

Leigh said...

Oh my goodness, thanks for the shout out Michelle! My goats like maple leaves, oak and pecan too. And yes, I do rake them up and add them to the hay pile, LOL. But we do have a pile rather than nice, neatly stacked bales.

Your canned prunes sound lovely. I planted a prune-plum tree and I'll have to bookmark your syrup recipe for when it finally comes into it's own. Funny how home canned always tastes so much better than the stuff the stores sell.