DIY Vegetable Stock

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First of all it’s Friday, and I love Fridays because it means that we made it through yet another week of homeschooling and we all survived!

My mom taught me how to make my on vegetable stock using the broth in my stockpot from a boiled chicken. You just throw some veggies in there and boil for awhile then blend up in the blender and freeze in ice cube trays for later. I’ve been doing this for over a year now and I love having vegetable stock ready to throw in any recipe. I recently used up my stash so it was time to make up another batch. I had seen Natalie Creates post about making her’s in her crockpot . Since I love crockpots and trying new things I did this.

Step one: Yesterday morning I started a whole chicken in the crockpot with just a little salt, pepper, garlic powder and a couple of bay leaves.

Step two: After cooking about 8 hours I pulled the chicken out and deboned it to serve over some pasta and Alfredo sauce. Then I filled the crockpot up with water all the way, adding to the broth left behind after removing the chicken. I threw in some celery leaves (from the garden), broccoli (also from the garden) , a handful of green beans and corn, onion, garlic, carrots and a bay leaf. I salted it, put the lid back on and cooked overnight.

I walked into the kitchen this morning and got a little worried that I couldn’t smell my coffee. ” Had I forgotten to set the timer, had my timer gotten messed with?” These were the thoughts racing through my head. Then ” why do I smell food? It smells like Luby’s in here. Oh no! Did I leave food out all night?!” Whew, I was very relieved to discover it was just my stock simmering in my crockpot and overpowering the smell of my freshly brewed coffee.

That brings us to step three: I turned the crockpot off and let it cool for a bit while I had my morning devotional, two cups of coffee, checked Facebook and Instagram, let the chickens out and made biscuits and gravy.

Step four: After all of that it seems my stock had cooled off to a manageable temperature. So I put it in the blender and blended it up smooth. This ended up being about two and a half blenders full.

Step five: I filled the three ice cube trays I own with the blended stock

20140411-090723.jpg and stuck it in the freezer. The rest of it I put in this well used plastic pitcher in the fridge.

20140411-090949.jpg Over the next couple of days I’ll empty the frozen cubes into a freezer bag in the freezer and refill the trays from the pitcher until I have all of it frozen.
Once again I will have plenty of ready-to-use stock at my disposable and this makes me happy!

Do any of you make your own stock? If so how do you make your’s?

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This Weekend on The Homestead

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For the first time in a few weeks, we had a full day Saturday to get some work done around the “homestead”.
It was a beautiful day here and I stacked this whole pile of logs myself.

20140406-211610.jpg Yes, my arms are sore, but I feel like Super Woman. Then I mowed all of the grass

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while Aaron did some more plowing on the new garden we’re starting this year, tilled a section of our garden from last year, made rows for our fellow homesteader neighbor, Tom, in his garden and finished up the new hen house.

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20140406-212349.jpg I also helped do a little cleaning out of both gardens. Hopefully we’ll get some of our plants we started from seeds, that are patiently waiting in the green house, into the ground next weekend. By evening the new hen house was ready to be moved to the backyard so after some planning and maneuvering we got it back there.

20140407-071318.jpg Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Am I right? Oh and here’s a random picture of this handsome guy just for your viewing pleasure….

20140407-071540.jpg You’re welcome.

Sunday, it rained, and what a nice day of worship, family and rest it was. I hope all of you were productive this past Spring weekend and found some joy as well.

**All photo credits for this post go to Raegan.

Greed, Envy and Goats

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Here is the thing, I am NOT a patient person. People tell me “I can’t homeschool because I’m not patient like you”….then my kids and I laugh. Why? Because patient, I am not, but this post is not about patience while homeschooling or about homeschooling at all. It’s about this season of my life where God is teaching me to be still, to savor the moment, this place in time. About me learning to be content and about God’s provision. I always want what I want NOW! And my financial state is proof of that. I’ve been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University twice, and failed. It’s not that I don’t believe in what Dave is selling me, I do, wholeheartedly. It’s just that patience thing, because I want it NOW! Fortunately I’m an extremely thrifty person, thanks to my mom, so that makes it easier to get things I want. I even like to justify my greediness with the fact I got such a great deal on it. The past year I have not bought things out of impulse, kept a tight budget that I have only blown a handful of times and I’m starting to see the fruits. God is showing me how beautiful his timing can be, not only when it comes to worldly possessions but in relationships as well. This verse is one that has meant so much to me during this season:

There is far more than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (The Message)

Why do I always think that things are limited to my vision, based solely on what I can see. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that appearances mean nothing.

So up until this point all of this learning to be content and trusting God to provide for my needs and all of that has been easy compared to when I decided I wanted a milk goat. I want a milk goat, oh, let’s just say… YESTERDAY! Normally I would do everything in my power to make a desire like this happen. I wouldn’t care what it would cost in the future , or now, or about the bottom line. Hence my current financial situation. Save up for something? Take some time to gather information and research the best ways of getting things or going about it? Or better yet, waiting for God’s provision (if it’s something I actually need)? Pshh! Never. Last night I got this bright idea, after looking at pictures of adorable goats, I know, that doesn’t help. My bright idea? Pray, pray about goats. Ask him if I really need the goats, because only he knows if I will actually enjoy having them or if they will overall benefit our homestead. Not only is he the one who knows, but he’s the one that can provide. God has promised to provide everything I need and if I don’t have it, then I must not need it.

I’ve repented, and then had to repent again of the greed I’m my heart. I need to set an example for my children of waiting on God and finding joy and gratitude in contentment. So while all of you goat people will be posting pictures of your goats I’ll be repenting of envy and patiently waiting for God to make a way for me to have some of my own, if in fact I actually need them.