Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemaking Notebook Updates

Happy Monday, Friends! It's sunny and warm here in the Green Mountain state, however, I'm still feeling under the weather. I can't seem to shake this cold, and am feeling pretty yucky at the moment. I bought some orange juice and seltzer for myself for a boost of vitamin C and have a pot of chicken noodle soup on the stove for my lunches this week. I'm hoping these will help!

Not too much to report on in homesteading business, although my sweet hubby did get the chicken run cleaned out. After all of the rain we've had lately, it was pretty nasty, so he mucked it out and added to the compost pile. He also continued to work on getting the wood shed stocked for the winter.

Saturday was my usual baking day, although I really wasn't "in" to it! It took me all of the morning to make half of what I usually do, but the kids and I have muffins and breakfast cookies for the mornings and there are cookies for the lunch boxes. I also discovered a really great crock pot recipe for an apple pork roast. It wasn't quite as flavorful as I would have liked because I had to skimp on the apples and should have used more herbs, but it was still yummy. When I'm making up a recipe, I don't really measure, so these are educated guesses!
Apple Pork Roast with Onions and Herbs
Boneless pork shoulder roast
6-7 apples (a mix would be nice, I used all mac's)
2 onions
chicken stock (I used homemade)
 about 3 tbsp. garlic (I used jarred)
thyme and sage (I only used about 5 sprigs of thyme and 8 sage leaves, so you'll want more than this if you want to really taste the herbs!)
black pepper
Cut apples into quarters and core them. Cut onions into wedges and place in crock pot with apples, herbs and garlic. Place pork roast on top and add stock until it reaches the top of roast. I cooked mine on high from about 8 am to 3, saw that it was pretty done and turned it down to low. I then ladled out a little over 2 cups of the juices and let set so that the fat would rise to the top. I skimmed off 1/4 cup (or 4 table spoons) and added an equal measure of flour in a small sauce pan. Stir with a whisk over medium heat for a minute or 2, then add the juices, stirring continuously until thickened. I served this over egg noodles with the pork. It would also be good over rice or mashed potatoes.

After I took out the left over pork from the crock pot, I hated to see all the juices go to waste, so I let the crock cool and poured it all into a bowl, using my colander to strain out the onions and apples. then I mashed the solids all through the colander and used a mesh sieve to strain the final product into a quart sized canning jar. After all, it was just chicken stock that was even flavored even more by the pork, onions and apple. So that stock went into today's soup pot. It's almost like recycling!

Yesterday afternoon I finally had a chance to sit down at our old computer and get some new daily routine sheets made up for my homemaking journal. (You can read here  for an over view of what my homemaking notebook looks like.) It's been quite a while since I've really used it, and I needed to adjust my daily routines for this school year, and I realized that some days were just not good choices for the work I had originally assigned them for. Here is my list of "Daily Focuses at a Glance":
  • Sunday, The Sabbath
  • Monday, grocery shopping, meal prep and Barn Hop blog post
  • Tuesday, Laundry day and clean the bathroom
  • Wednesday, bedrooms and more laundry if needed
  • Thursday, entry ways, laundry area, special projects and volunteer work
  • Friday, weekly home blessing, big kitchen clean and getting ready for baking
  • Saturday, baking, yard/garden work, Preparedness Challenge blog post

 Some days I don't always get to do the full routine for that day because I have to work, there is a child home sick, or something else comes up, but I try to stick to my routine as best I can. And laundry is nearly a daily task, but I like to get most of it done on one day.
Well, that's all for now! Have a great Monday, and hope to see you soon.

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