More of the same cold today, and now we are getting lots of snow too! Bonus for us! Poor Joe is outside plowing now and then we will have supper. I hate these kinds of days when there is so much snow because he doesn’t get to spend as much time with us! He did at least get to say Hello to James after work quick, otherwise he wouldn’t see him at all! I went out and shoveled the end of the driveway for like 45 minutes earlier during nap time and I hardly got very far. The bump at the end of the driveway is gigantic and so hard to shovel but I tried! The banks down there are almost as tall as I am and I even have a hard time chucking shovelfuls of snow up over the top. According to the weather cam we have had about 103 inches of snow so far and roughly 58 on the ground right now. The weather cam is up the hill from us about 3 miles away. We are protected by the hill and are down towards the bottom of it so we probably get a bit less here at the house than the weather cam does but we still have plenty.
The beef jerky I mentioned yesterday was finished this afternoon. At about 13 hours I took it off the parchment paper and let it finish in the dehydrator for 2 more hours just on the trays straight out. Then I took it out, broke it into pieces along the lines I cut and sampled it! It turned out pretty good for being my first time and ground beef too! Joe tried some when he got home and he only said I needed a bit more salt and to make it a bit thinner too… but otherwise it turned out! I’m excited, it was so easy. There is a link to a full tutorial from my blog post yesterday but pretty much all you do is season your ground beef/meat however you want… for 2lb of meat I used 1-1.5 teaspoonsful of salt, garlic powder, chipolte pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin. I think I could have made it a bit spicier and like Joe mentioned added more salt as well. Then you mix it all up and flatten the mixture onto dehydrator trays. If you only have the trays with holes in them you have to get either the solid plastic trays or put parchment paper on the trays first. Then put it on the meat setting, ours is 155 degrees F, for 12-18 hours. I settled for 15 hours and like I mentioned the last two hours I took the jerky off the parchment paper and placed the rounds directly on the trays to finish up.
I also read about making homemade garlic powder yesterday and since we bought two new heads of garlic last night I decided to use up the old, going bad, garlic heads to make garlic powder. They weren’t really going bad, but they were definitely sprouting! Still perfectly edible but not as fresh as the new ones so into the dehydrator they went!
First I actually planted three of the cloves… I read somewhere else that you can grow garlic with them so I am trying that in a little pot on the windowsill. The rest of the cloves were sliced, placed on parchment paper and put in with the beef jerky for a few hours. I just moved the jerky down incase it dripped grease and put the garlic on the top layer. The garlic is done when it crumbles in your fingers… some of my garlic took longer than other pieces and I just took it out as it was ready.
Old cloves of garlic getting shucked and sliced
These three lucky cloves got planted in a pot and sprinkled with vegetable plant food
Sliced cloves on the dehydrator tray
Dried cloves being ground into powder with our mortar and pestle. You could also use a food processor. I ended up with more than one-eight cup but less than one-fourth cup of ground garlic powder. It’s just as fine as store bought and smells good and garlicky! Two successes in one day is pretty lucky!
Here are a few other photos of the day today! There have been ice crystals on my chicken coop windows for weeks now. I can’t remember the last time I could see through them but I finally took a photo of them today. The girls are cold, but not below 0 in there yet. When I went in this morning it was just under 20 degrees. Their water freezes each night so each morning I bring it inside, thaw it out, refill it with hot water, and then take it back outside. The girls (and manly rooster!) have hot water to warm themselves up in the morning and then the water stays liquid all day, finally freezing again at night.
Chicken coop ice crystals. Very pretty, but very cold.
And here was our big boy’s second real bath in his bath tub! I was feeling so ambitious this evening. He did well. He peed in the tub again, he did last time too, but both times he has shot the pee out of his own tub and into the big tub so he never even got his water dirty. Just waiting for the day he does something else in the tub…
Cora came in to inspect my bath giving abilities and commiserated with the baby that she also gets forced baths in here and doesn’t much appreciate them herself. She would prefer to be dirty. In fact, she is dirty, and little does she know she is on the list to get her own bath in the near future. Her allergies are still just awful too, can you see the bald patches on her ear? She has many similar patches all over her poor itchy self. Still working on a solution…