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Behind The Scenes Survival Diary July 25

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Welcome the survival diary for July 25, here is what is happening today on our homestead.

Today was one of those days that reminded me of the way things used to be back in 2004 and 2005 when this homesteading journey began.

Waking Up Early

I woke up about 5am – no reason in particular and no alarm was set.

I just woke up.

Lots To Accomplish

I knew there were peaches in the kitchen that needed canned.

I wanted to go outside to see what was ready to harvest in the vegetable garden.

I had two quilts to finish up for my grand babies.

There was wheat to grind and bread to bake.

There was a chicken to roast and supper to cook.

All that in addition to reviews to write, touts to post, videos to make then post and all the usual computer (affiliate link)/online work that I do.

Homestead Changes

Things have changed however.

There were no goats to milk, no sheep or rabbits to take care of and no horse.

The only animals left here on the farm are Charlie, a couple stray cats, three turkeys and four chickens.

It makes me sad to go outside – and I avoid the barn as often as possible.

Things are not the same – nor do I feel as safe outside anymore.

Some days I wonder why I keep the farm and keep going – then I have a day like today that reminds me.

Canning Peaches

So the first order of business was to can the peaches.

I had picked them on Friday and normally they would not sit more than 24 hours however Jeffrey quickly informed me he did not care for peaches and getting them canned was not his priority.

That made me feel depressed – and yes, I almost just gave them to the poultry – but then something inside of me said I better get busy canning.

The peaches were actually in perfect condition for canning – not too hard and not too soft.

I spent many hours washing the peach fuzz off of them, slicing them in half and then removing the peach pit.

I soaked them in a solution of 1 cup lemon juice (affiliate link) to four cups of water (affiliate link) to keep them from browning.

I chose a honey (affiliate link) spiced peaches recipe I had made years before – the last time I had canned peaches – that everyone raved about.

Canning Supplies

My canning supplies were scattered.

I wanted the wide mouth pint jars – and after searching high and low finally found 14 of them.

My canner (affiliate link) was on top of an upright freezer (affiliate link) and I had to climb to get it.

My jar lifter (affiliate link) and the item I put the lids and bands on to sterilize them was missing. I was almost in tears. I searched – and searched – and finally found everything I needed.

The dishwasher doesn’t work at the moment – so – I had to wash all the canning supplies and jars by hand, which was ok.

I had forgotten how full to fill the cold pack canner (affiliate link) – and ended up with water (affiliate link) boiling out and onto my stove.

I ended up using a pitcher to dip some of the excess water (affiliate link) out of the canner (affiliate link).

Finally the hard work was done – and I had 12 pints of honey (affiliate link) spiced peaches to show for my efforts.

Grinding Flour – Baking Bread

I have a new electric grain grinder called the Mockmill.

It attaches to my KitchenAid mixer and it is such a time saver compared to the old hand crank grain grinder I used to use.

In fact, it makes grinding wheat effortless!

Seriously!

I encourage you to check it out.

Today I ground some Kamut to use in making a loaf of bread.

It has been some time since I have made bread because it seems Jeffrey prefers store bought as it is more uniform and he doesn’t have to cut it.

I have yet to figure out a way to cut the bread into slices and keep it store bought fresh so I cut a slice as I want it.

Homemade bread also does not last more than a couple of days before I turn it into dressing cubes or breading to send it out to the poultry to eat.

I was quite happy with the way my loaf of bread turned out today.

It was a thicker texture than store bought – which I like.

It also had a nice crunch from the freshly ground wheat – and I have yet to find a loaf of store bought bread like that.

I made a pound and a half loaf which is more than enough. It does not rise as high as a two pound loaf but that is ok.

I also believe I am having issues with my yeast (affiliate link).

The last several jars I have bought just don’t seem to work well at all.

I may end up resorting to making my own yeast (affiliate link).

Making Supper

Tonight’s supper was slow roasted herb seasoned chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans from the garden and of course, fresh bread!

I slow roasted the chicken for a total of three hours.

When I first unwrapped the chicken I was a bit concerned.

The neck was still attached. I am not kidding you.

I had never seen a butchered chicken with its neck not removed.

At first I was worried that someone forgot to finish butchering the chicken!

It was empty inside however so I knew they just did not cut off the neck.

I did not cut it off either.

I roasted that chicken with the neck attached!

I intend to use the leftover carcass and extra meat for chicken and noodles or maybe a chicken pot pie.

I usually do eat a couple of days on a whole chicken before putting it into my crock pot to cook down.

Once all the meat cooks off the bones, I remove them, give them to the stray cats then can up the bone broth and the meat usually in separate jars.

It is nice to have jars of broth or jars of meat to reach for in the winter months or even on those days when I am super busy!

Calling It A Day!

I did not get a lot of the computer (affiliate link)/online work done.

I was just too tired.

It is so hard to live the homestead lifestyle and make money at the same time.

It feels like a constant transition between the way I want to live and the way I have to live.

There are days that I seriously want to shut the phone off, shut the computer (affiliate link) off and just say goodbye to society.

However that is not practical.

I am glad we do not have cable TV.

In fact I could care less about even having a TV but that is something Jeffrey wants.

I do not have a radio that I can listen to either.

I find the news depressing.

It is bad enough some days opening my Facebook feed.

Days like today truly remind me of the way I want to live.

Even though it is a lot of work – and I do get frustrated doing most of it alone – it is so much more satisfying and a lot less stressful.

I feel connected to my home – and my food.

I enjoy watching the chickens and turkeys.

I love the sounds they make.

I love picking fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.

You simply do not get that freshness – or even that smell – from anything you buy at the supermarket – not to mention things from your own garden have a much higher nutritional value.

This is why I do what I do.

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