Life After Turkey - Home on the Range Blog at - 290639

Home on the Range

Life After Turkey 
Nov. 26, 2012 11:46 am 
Updated: Dec. 3, 2012 7:00 pm

There is so much beauty living here on the ranch. This was the view last nite while I was feeding one of my horses.

There are things I would rather be doing than cook, but there IS a satisfaction that comes from using my own ingredients that can't be bought. We do have 2 standing freezers and a room dedicated to nothing but pantry, but in the long run, we eat better, healthier and save a lot in the long run. 

Having a freezer full of beef, lamb and chicken, and plenty of canned goods on the shelves is a comforting feeling. Notice the Tattler reusable canning lids. Love that I don't have to throw them away and can use them again and again!
I also have whatever I need on hand, at all times, only needing to grocery shop about every 3 months or so. If I run out of something, which is rare, someone from the ranch is bound to be heading to town in between trips.

The newest addition to the kitchen is my Atlas Pasta Roller. I love this thing. Randy loves this thing. It’s amazingly simple to make homemade pasta. My favorite recipe so far, is 1 cup of semolina and 2 eggs. Mix it up, let it rest, then  roll it between the blades, taking down the thickness a little each time. Put the cutting blades on and roll out your lasagna or fettucini or whatever. We have made fettucini and I was shocked and amazed when Randyman put his stamp of approval on it because he doesn’t often comment on things, even when I beg for his opinion. The hardest thing about making pasta setting it out to dry.

I have been using a broom handle hung between two chairs (when I’m not busy riding it, of course). This isn’t the greatest arrangement, because as you know, we have very tall dogs who might be tempted, but until Randyman builds me a pasta hanger, or I give up and buy one, we will just have to live with that risk. After it has dried for an hour or two, you can throw it in your boiling water for a couple minutes and bingo! You have fresh pasta. I have dried some for a few days and put it in my regular pasta containers to see how long it will keep.

Meanwhile, I still buy most of my pasta at the store and only do this for special occasions. I have to choose the best use of my time and this isn’t always it.

Thanksgiving was great. We are finally recovering. Randyman ate 3/4 of a peach pie by himself, so I think the freezer recipe for the peaches off of my tree is a keeper. We were musing on how much better the chicken we raise tastes compared to commercial chicken and wondering if it was the same with turkey. Looks like we will be finding out next year. I'll be researching and probably raising a couple of broad breasted for Thanksgiving, but also raising some heritage birds that can reproduce in case we really like this. Randyman's idea this time. I didn't argue though.

EmmaLouMoo has a new beau. I am SO happy because I was afraid we wouldn't get her bred this year as it's pretty late. But we have the best boss in the world and he had the boys bring in one of the bulls whom I refer to as "Bennie" as in Benihana. I love Teppanyaki!

Sushi likes him a lot. She had dinner last nite with "Uncle Bennie" while Emma had a 'girls night out' at dinner with Annie.

As we didn't want a repeat of last year when the bulls kept leaving poor EmmaLou in the lurch and jumping the fence in the big milk pasture the trio has to be locked in, so the sheep and dogs had to move. The sheep were NOT happy with me last nite.

But the good news is, Thing1 is walking much better. I was able to take the splints off of one leg and he is traveling fine. Once it strengthens enough, I will take off the other. I used a crocheted wrist warmer to wrap around it for padding and cut a piece of pvc to use as a splint. The PVC is on the back of his leg to prevent it from bending and I used a vet wrap to bind it. Just in case someone else needs to do this, it works very well and is easily removed and replaced again. 

I was prepared to have Randy kill the two extra roosters and the mighty ugly hen until last nite. She laid a green egg, so she gets a stay of execution because I think the kids will be tickled by that when they come to visit next summer. So looks like I will just be canning two alarm clocks. Life is good.

Nov. 26, 2012 11:56 am
Hi Petey! Looks like everyone is doing great. As always, kiss Cletus, Bruno and Cider from Auntie Kate.What makes the egg green?
Nov. 26, 2012 11:58 am
A full freezer and a stocked pantry feels like winter is coming on. A fresh raised turkey vs a frozen bought turkey is like comparing fresh bread from the oven with a bag of Wonder bread-no comparison. The poultry is raised with no hormones or filler and the taste it great, hard to butcher though and my hands will not allow for me to butcher the turkeys anymore, I can do the chickens but send out the turkeys. Next year, I am getting my same white birds, but am also going to venture with a wild (black) hen and tom just to see how they fare. They are supposed to be better parents and since I want them to lay eggs and hatch some babies, I want to experiment with the wild ones. Enjoy!
Nov. 26, 2012 12:00 pm
BTW, the boys used to laugh when we would get Bantam hen new eggs from the neighbour at Easter time and they were precoloured like yours. The youngest son has his own hens and we had a few green and blue ones so far with this new batch of laying hens
Nov. 26, 2012 12:06 pm
As always your pictures and story are awesome.Your pasta holders remind me of ours when we were growing up,that's how my parents dried their pasta.ah the memories. The green in the canned goods,are those broad beans?Thanks for the adventure petey.
Nov. 26, 2012 12:19 pm
Yoga, there are a couple breeds of chicken that lay colored eggs. Some are pinkish, bluish or green. That is the Auracana or "Easter Egger' chickens. I had no idea what this ugly bird was when she came to us!
Nov. 26, 2012 12:21 pm
Thanks RNG. I am looking forward to the turkey experience!
Nov. 26, 2012 12:22 pm
Manella, yes, those are the Italian Flat greenbeans. Not so great except in soups and stews. Next year its back to Blue Lake or Kentucky Wonder or whatever they were called!
Nov. 26, 2012 1:53 pm
Amazing, petey. I know our lives are very different, but there is a world of interesting things and beautiful sights everywhere, if we just take notice! Thanks for sharing.
Nov. 26, 2012 5:46 pm
Don't Lose the handle to your Atlas Pasta Roller, It will cost you a fortune to replace it. Speaking from experience. I think mine fell off into the recyclables. The company was of no real help, I did get a replacement on e-bay, but it was not cheep.
Nov. 26, 2012 6:32 pm
Petey, I been considering buying the Tatler canning lids, there are expensive but the metal canning lids prices just keep going up and sometimes you can not even find them during canning season. I have 3 of the green egg layers, they are excellent layers. I had Midget White turkeys last year, which are very friendly and prety , but just did'nt have as much meat on them like the broad breasted tukeys. I will probally try the broad breasted turkeys next year, but I don't like that you can't breed them, and raise your own little turkeys.
Nov. 26, 2012 8:22 pm
Have not dropped by in forever, but am so blessed in reading your blog whenever I find the time to meander in. You always make me smile, laugh, sigh, and think on good things. How you manage to make cattle pictures look so "romantic" is a real mystery. Happy Holidays, lady.
Nov. 27, 2012 9:00 am
Thanks for the tip, KingSparta! So far, I always put it all back in the box it came in, though it is getting pretty shabby now!
Nov. 27, 2012 9:02 am
Bett- I love the Tattler lids. One thing though, you need to make sure they aren't on as tight as the metal lids. FInger tighten then back them off a bit, then after removing from the water, tighten the rings. I had several seal failures until I emailed the company and they pointed that out. They come with no instructions. HEZZY-It's always good to hear from you! :)
Nov. 27, 2012 9:37 am
Petey, I have a chicken question for you. We have about 20 Production Red Hens who are about 20 months old. They have stopped laying almost completely, I gathered one egg from them last week. How old are chickens when they quit laying? We live in Arkansas so it is not super cold yet, it was 70 on Thanksgiving, so I don't think it is because of the weather. Thanks for your help.
Nov. 27, 2012 11:11 am
Petey, I had to look up the lids you spoke of. I will be getting some of these soon. I do a little canning and I am sad every time that I throw one away. This will change that!!!! Love your pictures as always!!! Thanks!!!
Nov. 27, 2012 1:05 pm
Nicole, chickens usually molt for awhile when the days get shorter. Different breeds will stop laying for shorter or longer times. If you put a light in the coop so they get 14 hours of light a day it should help them continue, but its also harder on your hens. They need that 'rest' period to sustain good health
Nov. 27, 2012 6:55 pm
Petey, I love your blog. I have heard of green eggs and ham. I have never heard of a green egg. I learn something every time I read your blog. As far as canning, I am just at the watching stage for now.
Nov. 27, 2012 10:06 pm
The green eggs are ham...i think not so much! LOL
Nov. 28, 2012 4:41 am
Petey, thanks again for bringing a smile and fond memory of ex-mil's chickens. She got white, brown, green and blue eggs from her "exotic" chickens. Never had to dye eggs for Easter. Still remember how much better tasting those eggs were than the store bought.
Nov. 28, 2012 7:25 am
I've got an Americuna who lays green eggs. Those eggs taste so much better than store bought that I wish I could butcher. It would be nice to have fresh birds without all the extras. 'Fraid that's not gonna happen. I love my pasta machine! I discovered my always hungry fuzzball to be a problem when drying noodles too. Last time I tossed the noodles around in some flour and put them on a cookie sheet in the oven where they would be safe. It worked.
Nov. 28, 2012 10:10 am
I love reading your blog! It makes me happy that someone out there gets to live the way I would love to live. I couldn't handle the work on such a grand scale, but to have a small piece of land and produce most or all of my own food would be a dream come true! Alas! My wife and I have a different vision. Still trying to work out a win - win compromise. Thanks for sharing your life with us.
Nov. 28, 2012 11:25 am
Thanks Petey we'll try that.
Nov. 28, 2012 12:29 pm
Cathill, this hen is one butt-ugly bird for sure, and she is crazy as can be, but I know the kids will be excited when they come about the green egg! My auracanas were black when I had them, this bird is more cream with black highlights. Thanks Doc Simonson, It is a wonderful way to live here. I hope you find that balance.
Nov. 30, 2012 9:36 pm
Hi. My name is Sascha. I also live here in Oregon, but the southern part. We are also working for self sustainability. I went for the turkeys this year, and it is such a good thing... Much much better tasting... You mentioned that you are going to can your roosters... Ok, so, could you please share a bit more detail on that? I have three roosters and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them.
Dec. 1, 2012 5:19 pm
Good evening,Petey! I haven't seen the Tattler lids. I'll be looking, now! Thanks! ... Your own turkeys will taste far superior to commercial ones. The folks that used to get turkeys from me, still tell me they miss them and it has been 19 years since I quit raising them.
Dec. 2, 2012 8:30 am
Firewhirrrl, canning chicken is so easy! I skin them, breast them, cut the drum sticks and thighs apart. Put meat in qt jars. Pack them good, fill with boiling water or hot broth, leaviing 1" headspace. Pressure can for 90 min
Dec. 2, 2012 8:32 am
There is a trick to the tattler lids, Mike. put them on LOOSE, til the ring just BARELY catches the threads of the jar. After removing from canner, then tighten lids on hot jars. The lids should tighten about an inch. You will love them!
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
My favorite things to cook
Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
My cooking triumphs
Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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