Country Living Series

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand tasks

Consider this photo:

This photo was taken about 9 pm and represents the conclusion of a thousand tasks that occupied our day.

First, the dishes are done. Third time today.

Second, those are a bunch of tankards on the counter we're just about to card and pack for a shipment going out tomorrow. Don's been working on these all week long.

Third, that's 18 pints of canned pinto beans on the right. I soaked them overnight, simmered them for a few hours this morning, and canned them this afternoon.

Fourth, those two white upended buckets on top the jars of beans are cleaned milk buckets, because I'm milking Polly again. This is because we butchered three animals on Monday, including Polly's yearling steer calf Chuck. We castrated Chuck when he was a few days old, but apparently we didn't get "everything." He suddenly started acting like a bull. The last thing we need is another bull around the place, so when we called the butchers to dispatch two other animals, we threw Chuck in there as well. However now Polly needs to be milked twice a day, so I'm back at it.

Fifth, the pot on the stove is frying down bacon bits. I had accumulated a lot of el-cheapo bacon ends in the chest freezer. With the meat due back from the butchers in a couple of weeks, plus the fact that we now have a smaller chest freezer, space is at a premium and I need to clean it out as much as possible. I've been meaning to can up bacon bits anyway, but it takes a long time to fry everything down and drain off the fat. That pot on the stove is the third batch I've fried down today.

Bottom line: the photo above represents a LOT of work. Don and I are both wiped. I'm off to bed. Good night.


  1. The aroma in your house must be heavenly! YUM!

    And girl, with all that dish washing going on, I know you must be using your hand lotion!

    A. McSp
    A. McSp

    1. A. McSp, I thought the same thing when I looked at that picture. No commercial potpourri can compare to the smells that make our stomachs happy.

  2. Here's a tip that might save you some time. When we can dry beans, we just put a cup of dry beans into a hot quart jar (a half cup into a pint), fill with hot water, cover with a hot lid, band on, and pressure can for 90 min at 10 lbs. Frequently we add a small bit of ham, or a shot of hot sauce. The beans come out nice and tender. No pre-cooking or soaking needed before hand.
    Love your blog, read it daily, though I don't comment often.

  3. Friendly suggestion! Please save and purchase a good stainless steel milking bucket! I can't imagine milking into those nasty plastic ones shown.

  4. Wow, what a day. I'd last about a day trying to keep up with you. I am NOT joking!

    Now, at the risk of sounding cynical, It begs a question... Raising and growing your own food instead of being fed by others is an interesting concept. But gosh, when do you guys find time to riot, loot and burn down local businesses?
    Montana Guy

    1. We usually try to get together for a Family Day with some friends and neighbors to address those tasks.

      - Patrice