Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dehydrating, Freezing, Marinating...what else ?

 Big giant peaches. 2 dehydrators full, one full of apples still because it's slower than the other two. (No fan). Still have half a dozen of these peaches left and about a dozen apples.  They will make their way to the dehydrator too, as soon as one opens up. lol

  And there are currently 4 quarts of dried apples. The dehydrator that's still full has 6 trays, so that will probably be almost 2 more.  Nice to have...

 I picked these bell peppers this morning.  They aren't real big, but there sure are a lot of them.  I sliced and froze 4 quarts of them.  I also found 2 cucumbers out there. Crazy...I don't think I've ever had cukes in September --they usually burn up in July and August around here.  But they're a good size and taste fine. I'll take 'em.  lol


11 PM now. I sat down on the couch this afternoon about 4:30 ad the next thing I knew I woke up and it was 6 PM.  Holy Moly-- I rarely take a nap, but this one kinda took me. lol   I jumped up and checked the ribs I had in the little oven and then the Irishman pulled in the driveway.  Luckily I had made a big salad at lunch time so I didn't have to do  much.  Himself went out back and dug another tub of sweet potatoes. Picked a couple of errant okra.  I think those plants are ready to come out of the ground. I found a few more tomatoes.  The new green beans are flowering.  And for the first time I can remember, something is eating the heck out of my kale.  I'm going to plant some more in the box when the sweet potatoes come out of it. And some spinach. That box was originally a cold flat and we have some old glass windows that fit over the top of it. The beets are looking okay, and the chard is making a comeback. That particular chard is called Perpetual Spinach, and I kept it going a long time last year...

I sliced up over 4 pounds of chicken breast and made the jerky marinade and got that stuff in the fridge this afternoon.


I just went into the kitchen to turn over the bag of chicken jerky in the fridge.  My little dog Caylee sleeps under the dining room table most nights, in the corner up against the wall.. I went over to look at the thermostat and see how much it had cooled down in the house, when I noticed something along the baseboard right behind her.  At first, I thought it was a string or small rope of some kind. A patterned cord. I turned the overhead light on and looked closer and it was a snake. I made some noises, and the Irishman came out of the bedroom.  He took one look at it and said it was a baby copperhead.  HOLY CRAP !!!!   We got Caylee out of there without her getting bit and got the broom and dustpan and he got it finally and threw it out into the yard.  It was going crazy the more he tried to pick it up...wriggling and striking and twisting about.  I don't know how it got in here, although the doors were open today off and on...I can't imagine how it could have gotten past the dogs though.  

Whew !  Crisis averted.  But now I've got the heebie-jeebies, thinking it came up through the floor somewhere.  lol

Never a dull moment on Honeysuckle Hill.  lol


We seem to have an epidemic of frogs this year too.  All shapes and sizes. Last night when I let the dogs out for the last time, there was a medium sized toad doing the backstroke in the water bowl. When he saw me, he pulled himself up on the edge of the bowl and just hung there, watching me.   I made sure he could get out. We have several really big toads that hang out on the front porch and meander down the sidewalk into the garage now and then. Every morning when I go out to see the chickens, there are hundreds of little tiny frogs cavorting in the grass, hopping up the steps, and hanging out in the corners of the deck. I mean tiny--no bigger than the end of my pinkie.  And every night when I do the dishes, there are some tree frogs that climb up on the screen, attracted by the light, I guess.   We also have a box turtle who's been regularly visiting the flower bed where I planted the extra tomatoes, and there was a tomato hanging low today that had the bottom half of it eaten off, and you could see the imprint of his beak in the shape of the chewed places.  

I love Mother Nature.

(Except snakes in my dining room).

  Okay, I might be getting ready for some sleep.  Hope you all had adventures and naps today too !!

[Oh my. I just realized that I have been dating all my bags 9-23 today, and here it is 9-26...]



DJan said...

Never a dull moment around Honeysuckle Hill! That snake would have scared anybody, Annie. So glad it was taken care of without anybody getting bit. Your beautiful fruits and veggies are so wonderful! :-)

Susan said...

Holy crap is right! I am not surprised that a nap overtook you - with that amount of activity going on, I'm surprised you're upright. I am interested in the chicken jerky - what do you use as a marinade - how thinly do you slice the chicken breast - and what temp/how long do you dry it? My over-inquring mind wants to know...

Akannie said...

DJan--you got that right. And I posted about it on my Facebook page..LOL--you should see the comments ! Most saying I should A) Burn the house down B) Get an gun C) Move.

City slickers just crack me up...

Akannie said...

Susan~~ I have made the jerky with turkey breast, chicken and beef. For both economy and ease, (and because I like the taste) I pretty much stick with the chicken breast. I find it on sale around here a lot, sometimes as low as 1.69/lb for boneless skinless.

I make the marinade kinda hit or miss (like I do everything). lol I take a 2 cup measuring cup and put about a cup of lite soy sauce (or tamari--but the soy is cheaper and you can't tell the difference taste wise. Then I add a little molasses, a little xylitol (or any sweetener), onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and a smidgen of salt. I add liquid smoke to taste. You put lemon juice in if you want, or a little vinegar. Again, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Then mix that up until the sugar is disolved. (Sometimes I put some brown sugar in there--it really adds to the taste, but I am trying to stay away from sugar, so...and it still tastes really good with out it). Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Put them i a ziplock bag or airtight container, pour the marinade over them and let them stew for 24-48 hours. I turn the bag over from time to time to make sure everything is getting it's fair share.

I have a Nesco American harvest dehydrator with silicon tray covers that I do it in It has a jerky setting of 155 degrees. It takes a good 12 hours usually, and will depend on how good your dehydrator is (mine has a fan) and how thick your slices are. If you don't have those silicon inserts, you'll want to spray your trays, because it will stick.

Hope that answers all your questions? If not--let me know!