Self-Sufficiency Series

Showing posts with label frost. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frost. Show all posts

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Canning turkey stock

The morning after Thanksgiving was foggy and full of hoarfrost.

I saw a solitary male quail acting as sentinel over his flock.

It was a good day to do some canning. On Thanksgiving night, Don deboned the turkey carcass and put it in our largest stock pot, then filled it about 3/4 full of water. I added a splash of vinegar (which was an excellent reader suggestion -- it draws nutrients out of the bones) and let it simmer all night and most of the next day.

I rough-strained the stock through a colander and started filling jars. My canner holds 18 pint jars at a time, and I knew I had at least two batches' worth.

Scalding and draining the Tattler lids.

Lids on.

First batch in the canner.

Because my stock has meat scraps in it, I pressure-can it for 75 minutes (for pints) at 13 lbs, which is the correct pressure for our elevation (not quite up the pressure in this photo).

First batch out of the canner. It was too late in the evening to start a second batch, so I added some more water to the pot with the carcass and let it simmer all night again.

The next day I canned up another batch.

Altogether I ended up with 29 pints of hearty turkey stock for future recipes. Not bad for something that might otherwise be called garbage.

I hope everyone did something similarly useful with their turkey carcass?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Days of diamonds

Yesterday was a clear day, one of several we've been having. This means we start out cold (10F at dawn) but we warmed up to a balmy 30F by afternoon. And on these clear days, we're blessed with hoarfrost.

Hoarfrost happens when the ground is chilled below the dew point of the air.

What it means is everything -- every least little twig or branch or piece of grass -- has a soft fragile crystalline deposit on it. It is unspeakably beautiful.

So I took a lot of photos yesterday, unable to resist. Sadly photographs just don't do the landscape justice when it comes to hoarfrost.

We got a little bit of color in the early morning sky.

Before the sun rose, the cattle waited patiently to be fed.

The beasties usually get a bit of hoarfrost on their backs, but mostly their body warmth melts it.

As the sun rose, shafts peeked through and illuminated things. I liked this photo so much I thought about putting it on the blog masthead.

Some branches against a clear sky.

Treetops lit up.

The rising sun, seen through the woods.

Some light ground fog crept through.

Lydia in the yard.

Hoarfrost is pretty obvious when Major brushes against a branch.

After the sun fully rose, every tree branch stood out in white-coated splendor. This is where photographs just don't doesn't do justice to the scenery.

The hoarfrost is still on the closer items, but already melted on the distant hills, which are in full sunlight.

By evening the hoarfrost was gone, but Lydia caught a shaft of sunlight in the yard and looked pretty durn sparkly.

Alpenglow on the distant mountains.


Yep, a pretty day from start to finish.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sunny but COLD

We awoke this morning to clear skies and bitter cold.

Every surface was covered with hoarfrost.

We watched the sun creep up and touch the tops of the trees.

Everything was frozen.

And beautiful.

The sun shone through the hoarfrost like a zillion diamonds.

Meanwhile Lydia sat in the yard and ate snow, the silly dog.

In weather like this we keep the woodstove going all night. It's nice to come down to a warm house in the morning.

The cold temps aren't supposed to last. The temps are rising later in the week, and we may even lose most of our snow cover.