November 26, 2010

German Shepherds ... Our Faithful Companions

In order to share a little bit about our family to those of you that are getting to know us, we are a German Shepherd family.  If you have ever been brave enough to exit your vehicle in our driveway, you are one of the few!  If you haven't been to visit us yet, I feel that it is my responsibility to give you this information, lol.  If you call ahead, we will make sure you are free to get out of your vehicle.  Otherwise, they may keep you detained until we can rescue you.   

The female pictured here is the daughter of our treasured "Daddy" who sadly enough, passed away this year after many years of faithful companionship to our family.  Currently, we have five Shepherds.  Yes, five.  This is not a typo!  We began with one and that

November 16, 2010

Harvest Chicken Noodle Soup

This is one of my favorite recipes during this season and throughout winter.  It is a great way to use cold crop produce and fresh herbs for the garden or greenhouse.  Perfect for a cozy evening against the damp cold!   I am listing the conventional ingredients, but in the directions I will explain how I make it since I use what I have on hand and use as many fresh ingredients as possible.  I try to cook completely without preserved items from stores, keeping as true to the earth as possible and as close to the food as God created it.  In todays times, this isn’t always easy and I find it to be a constant learning process.

1 Tbsp Butter (use the real stuff, make your own or support your local dairy farmer)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
1/2 pound chopped cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups egg noodles
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot (my pot is a 6 quart pot) over medium heat, melt butter.  Cook onion and celery in butter until just tender, 5 minutes.

Pour in chicken and vegetable broths.  The best and cheapest broths to use are those that you save from cooking your own vegetables and chicken.  I always strain and freeze all left over liquid for soup making.  Thaw the broth and pour into pot until the pot is about 3/4 full.

Stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Since I do not own a noodle maker and my hands do not allow me to roll out my own noodles, I purchase freshly homemade noodles from my Amish neighbors.  You can use any noodles that you prefer.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving.

~ I will usually add more ingredients by doubling the vegetables, chicken and herbs to make a heartier soup.

November 06, 2010

Ozark Treasures

Recently, my husband and I were making plans about how to celebrate our anniversary when I ran across a blog post by another Ozark Homesteader about her latest visit to a very interesting place called the Ozark Folk Center.  We had decided that we wanted to take a wandering drive for photography purposes, but to also have a specific destination in mind, we just couldn't decide what that destination would be until I came across her post.  Even though my husband and I have lived in the Ozarks for a combined total of 55 years, neither one of us had ever heard of this place.  It's not that they are trying to keep it a secret, but like much hidden in these mountains, Branson tends to get most of the publicity and quite frankly, Branson has gotten a bit too big for it's britches if you ask us.  We prefer the smaller, hidden treasures the Ozarks has to offer, especially anywhere that has genuine, traditional Ozark folk culture including our rich mountain music heritage.

We had a beautiful drive through the mountains that were at their peak of fall color except this year's peak wasn't the finest I've ever seen here, but still, the views were beautiful.  We traveled through some great towns, one worth mentioning is Calico Rock.
This historic, quaint town sets right on the White River, in the heart of the most scenic locations with some of the best hunting, fishing and wildlife in the world.  There is no flashing lights, no stop lights,


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