I woke up in the middle of the night to the loud roar and crash of the roof sliding onto the driveway. The roof on our back porch is dripping and looks like it is going to be sliding today. I am enjoying going outside without hat and gloves. The goats are outside playing and eating breakfast as soon as it is light. Dustin has been out of town this week and he couldn't have left at a better time. I still have plenty of chopped and stacked wood inside and on the porch. The weather has made morning chores with the kids much easier. If it was ten below or colder, I'd be waiting until Avery takes her midday nap before heading out to fill waters and feeders.
I still have six gallons of frozen chicken stock in an outdoor fridge, I'm going to see if I can fit the cumbersome gallon jars in the top of our chest freezer, but if I can't I'm thinking of canning it. I try not to can the chicken stock as I don't want to loose all those nutrients. I do enjoy the convenience of just opening a jar on the shelf, rather than planning ahead and thawing the stock before I need it.
This time of year our freezers and pantry shelves start revealing either what we are hoarding (frozen blueberries, blueberry jam, berry syrup) or what we aren't good at using up, (pesto, kale, not enough sweetener jam, lacto fermented turnips, sun dried tomatoes). I don't know what it is about sun dried tomatoes, pesto and basil concentrate (frozen basil and olive oil). They are ingredients that I enjoy eating, I feel prepared having them around, but I rarely use them. The turnips and seedy not sweet raspberry jam need to go to the chickens. I need to get more creative with frozen kale. I often add it to bean and bacon soups, and that's about it. I see lots of pasta with kale, pesto and sun dried tomatoes in our future as I have a couple gallon jars of sun dried tomatoes.
I roasted up the last winter squash the other day. We made fried bean squash fritters and squash pudding. I bought garlic for the first time since mid summer. I have one bag of our golden beets left in the fridge that need to get eaten up. Other than that, any of of our own produce is canned, dry or frozen. This time of year I am taking advantage of imported bananas, oranges, apples, scallions and cilantro. Some things I feel silly about, like I have a couple gallons of sourkraut to eat up, but I bought a fresh head of napa cabbage at the store yesterday, even sillier; I have bags of frozen broccoli, but I buy fresh broccoli. I do need to get better about making casseroles and soups with our dried and frozen goods.
I am so close to ordering a grain mill. I have been reading comment reviews on the nutri mill, vita mill and wonder mill. I am leaning towards the nutri mill because I can turn it off and back on while it is still full. It can be filled up and closed before turning on, as opposed to pouring in grain while it is running. It can grind super fine flour and course grits. It can grind corn, beans, non oily seeds and most grains. Sounds like they are all rather loud (as a vacuum) and supposedly it is slower than some of the other mills. If anyone has a grain mill that they just love, let me know. As much as I love the idea a non electric cast iron wheel mill, it is just not for me at this time in my life. I've used up all of our wheat, spelt and rye flour and am down to just white flour, as I've been ordering whole wheat, rye and spelt berries. Now we just need a mill.