Friday, September 23, 2011

Just one normal day. Part One

 Living in the country is not as relaxing and charming as some would have you think.  We have learned that in a big way since we moved "up north" 4 years ago.  It has always been enjoyable, but sometimes in a hectic busy always doing something sort of way.  This year especially we have had a hard time settling down to figuring out what "normal" is.  So I thought I would give you a peek into our real life, with a few real life blow by blow day posts.  This is a summary of one of the more busy "normal" days of butchering season from a couple weeks ago.
The Butchering process always begins in the morning, right after devotions.  We try to start at 9:00, but it never really works that way.
On a normal day, 20 chickens will be dispatched, plucked, and cleaned, in 2-3 hours.
From start to finish, butchering is a family affair, (and as butchering goes, a kind of fun and rather amusing process)  Josiah takes care of the bloody part:) then Mother or I dip the bird in hot water before handing them off to Dad and I to pluck. The last person in the assembly line is Faith.  She takes care of the gutting.
This day, our work switched from animal to vegetable after noon.  Tomatoes were sitting on the porch ripening fast, and if we didn't get to them, the fruit flies would.  First on the agenda were diced tomatoes.
The tomatoes were blanched, then peeled and chopped, while the jars were heated in the steam canner.
Add a little bit of salt, bring to a boil and you're ready to fill the jars and set them canning.
In between times, there was always Beans to snap.  Now they are slowing down, but back then we were picking pounds each day!
Peach season was in full swing, and like most summer fruits, peaches don't wait around for you to have some "spare time" so that to was on our agenda.
Canning peaches has to be one of my favorite occupation, because I get to eat all the broken pieces!:)  We were in the midst of canning peaches, getting dinner, and going out to milk the goat, when the phone rang and upon answering we were greeted by the voice of Mr. Reiche.  Soon it was settled that Mr. Reiche was going to come over  after dinner to show us some pictures etc.  Faith was no sooner off the phone when one of us exclaimed, "Mr. Reiche is coming over, we need to have Elderberry pie!"  Mr. Reiche had first introduced us to Elderberry pie, by informing us that his mother used to make it for him and that it was his favorite.  Now every year we try to remember to make one for him when the Elderberries come on.
All these thoughts quickly passed through our heads, and Josiah was dispatched with a ladder to our bush to acquire the tasty berries.
It was prime picking season, and soon with the help of his height, a ladder, and the golf cart, Josiah managed to get two baskets full.
Now came the tedious part of the procedure.  Picking the miniscule berries of their web like stems.
Meanwhile the Kitchen was a place of flurried activity, as we tried to clean up from a long day of canning.
When all the berries were picked, Faith went at work to make the pies, as only she knew how. (you can find the recipe for Elderberry pie here)
The kitchen was cleared, the pie shoved into the oven...
And the sliced peaches put in the steam canner to can.

It was a delightful evening, the pie was succulent, the fellowship sweet, and that nights sleep was the sleep of one who is satisfied with the work that God has allowed him to accomplish.