Life in the country vs. life in the city…. This is my driveway. Life is just slower out here.
I love all things pumpkin. It used to be that each Autumn, there were several must have items on my list. I would have to have pumpkin ice cream at least once and also a small piece of pumpkin fudge. I love the taste of pumpkin… muffins, pies, pancakes, bread, you name it!! I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but since each year I can pumpkin for my pantry, I do not have to limit myself to Autumn for pumpkin goodness!! I can have it year round!!
Last night, we decided we wanted ice cream. I was surprised but Michael’s suggestion was pumpkin. As you can imagine that was fine by me. So, we started gathering what we needed. I discovered Long Island Cheese Pumpkins several years ago. Now, that is all I will grow or use. The are shaped like a round of cheese and the flesh is much more orange on the inside than a regular pumpkin. The flavor is superb!!!
You can see how orange the pumpkin I canned, is in the picture below. “The Experts” tell you that when you can pumpkin to only can it in chunks, not puree. I do something that is sort of in between the two. It has worked great for us. I can the pumpkin in pint size jars. It is so pretty out in my canning pantry. Now back to the ice cream…. We tried one thing new last night with the ice cream. We added some gelatin to the recipe. Make sure you get a healthy grass fed gelatin. This is an excellent brand. Gelatin is so good for your joints, nails, hair and lots more. We read that by adding some gelatin into your ice cream, it won’t get so brick hard when you freeze the left overs. I will let you know if that is true when we eat the the rest of ours. I don’t think you will have long to wait. The brown bottle on the left is my homemade bourbon vanilla. I put most of the spices and the salt in the little bowl you see. The little “nut” looking item on top of the grater is a whole nutmeg. You get such a stronger and richer flavor grating your own. You can get Nutmeg here and the little grater here. Next time we make it we will try something else new. We are going to try and use real Maple Syrup instead of the Organic Sugar Cane Crystals.
For this recipe you need 3 cups of milk and or cream. You can use 2 cups of heavy cream and a cup of milk or just one cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of milk. We like to use the 2 cups of cream. We have good thick cream on the top of each gallon of milk, so that is not a problem for us. You can see how thick the cream is.
Pour the milk/cream into the bowl reserving about 1/2 cup. Add in one pint or one can of pumpkin. If you really like the pumpkin flavor you can add 1 1/2 pints. Then add 2 Tablespoons of vanilla. The Bourbon Vanilla we make is outstanding. The alcohol in the vanilla is also supposed to help the ice cream to not get so hard in the freezer. We added one cup of the sugar cane crystals. I am hoping the Maple Syrup works. If not, I may try cutting back on the sugar. Add 2 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of either ground allspice or ground cloves, 3/4 tsp. of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. We used the Himalayan Pink Salt. I then use my Stick Blender to mix it. This seems to work really well and it is very easy to clean. I then heated up the reserved milk and added 2 Tbsp. of the gelatin into it and stirred until dissolved. I then added this mixture to the bowl and mixed it in.
We got the bowl for our Ice Cream Maker out of the freezer.
Pour the mixture into the bowl, secure the lid and turn the machine on. It says to let it go for 20 minutes, but we let it go at least 25 mins. We really notice a difference in the texture with those extra few minutes.
Then dish it up and eat it!! We bought some little glass bowls with lids to freeze any left over ice cream we have for another night.
Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 3 cups Heavy Cream and milk
- 1.5 pints of pumpkin
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract (We used homemade Bourbon Vanilla)
- 1 cup Organic Cane Crystals
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Allspice or Cloves, ground
- 3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- Pinch of Salt
Mix all together in a bowl leaving out 1/2 cup of milk aside. Heat milk and add 2 Tablespoons of gelatin and mix until dissolved. Add the milk/gelatin mixture in with the rest and mix well. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it go for the recommended time for your machine. Enjoy!!
I am talking about the new Real Food Discount Club. This is the first of its kind and you can take advantage of it!! Please read through this and get just a sample of what you can save this month!!!
There are so many great discounts in the VGN Premium club. I wanted to share a few of them with you. Do you use the Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil? You can save 15% this month. It is normally $47, so you would save $7.05 on one bottle. That will pay for almost 2 months of your membership. Also, you get a $10 Kombucha gift card this month.
You get to try a free bottle of magnesium oil from Radiant Life!!
It would be easy to save enough just this month to pay for an entire year’s membership!! That is only $39 right now. If you just want to try it you can sign up for one month and quit anytime. You will still get these savings this month. I think you will find this is a great deal and something new that you can get in on at the ground floor!!!
Give it a try for just one month!! That will only cost you $3.99!!
I decided to take a farm tour tonight and I took my camera with me. Michael and I rode way up in the pasture to look at something. I had him stop on the way back to take a picture of the house and barns. The grass was so tall. It came up to the top of the hood of the truck. There were red wing blackbirds everywhere and little brown grasshopper like bugs were covering our windshield. The line of trees on the right are along the edge of our pond. The road to our house is beyond the trees.
I went over into our fruit and orchard area. We had lots of blooms on several of the trees, but I am not seeing fruit on some of them. The best looking apples are on a Gold Rush apple tree.
We have 5 different kinds of apple trees and then a couple of wild ones that we don’t know what they are. We have a Gold Rush, Mutsu, Golden Delicious, Jonathan and a McIntosh.
We also have 2 peach trees. The one is really little and it looks like a deer or something was eating the tops off. Both trees had blossoms, but only one tree has a handful of peaches.
We have a couple of blueberry bushes and they are covered with berries.
We also have several kinds of grapes. There are lots of baby grapes on the vines.
I discovered 2 mulberry trees tonight. Some have told me they are white mulberries and others say they will turn purple. They are loaded with fruit as well.
Here are a couple more pictures I took from up in the pasture looking back at the house.
If you have questions, then ask away!!
We have Swallows in our barn. Many mornings when we go out to milk, we wake them up when we turn on the lights. There is a nest in the room where we actually milk. I can always see the birds head up in the nest when we turn on the light. Sometimes we get several in the other room out there and they fly all around in circles. They will land until we have to walk back in that room and then they take flight again. They will let you come fairly close to them. I saw some unusual nests and took pictures of them. I sent them to a friend who wrote back and told me it looks like we have two kinds of Swallows. Barn Swallows build cup like nests. I have lots of those tucked up everywhere. Cliff Swallows build jug shaped nests and these were the unusual ones I took pictures of. In looking at one website, I saw that they can be found in Ohio in the summer, but that it is rare. Here are some pictures of the nests. If you click on them, it will take you to a larger version.
These birds eat bugs!! They eat flying insects, mosquitoes and other nasty bugs. They fly all around in the barn and swoop over our yard and pastures. They say a barn swallow can fly up to 600 miles in one day by just flying back and forth eating insects. Their mouths are big and wide to allow them to catch insects while in flight. They are so fun to watch and so graceful and acrobatic.
We also have bats. They too eat a lot of insects. We do have a Martin House up. They are in the Swallow family. Unfortunately, we often get Sparrows that move into it.
You often read about women who cut coupons and save all this money on their groceries and other supplies. They often get items for free and can take a huge grocery cart full of stuff and pay just a little money in the end. I rarely find a coupon that I can even use. Most of them are for processed foods and items I don’t use. I see free offers online or I have even seen giveaways for winning a year’s supply of a particular item! I don’t even put my name in the hat, because it is really not something that I would use.
That is part of the reason I was so excited about this new online discount club, VGN Premium!!! It has savings and coupons and discounts on the items I buy and use. For as little as $3.99* a month or just $39* for a year membership, I can get deals, like many people get at Sam’s or Costco, on the items I buy and use!! I really think it is worth checking out.
Here are some sample discounts that will be offered.
Another part of this that I like is the eBooks, classes and meal plans from some of the best bloggers are going to be offered to you at 25% off!! There are lots of really wonderful things coming up and they will not only be shared with you, but you will get a discount!! I really encourage you to at least look at it!! You can even try it for $3.99* for the first month to see if it is a good fit for you.
I have a friend that loves old things and all things having to do with fibers. Her name is Wendy! I wrote a post about her here that tells how she took a fleece from one of my sheep, and made me a pair of beautiful socks from it. She used her antique sock knitting machine that she hand cranks. She named it Cranky Sal. She also knits by hand and she told me that she knits a pair of socks almost every week. She spins, knits, does beautiful dye work (my socks are a beautiful green) and loves to try new things. I love to watch what happens to a fleece when it is in her hands.
She has more than one Spinning Wheel. One of her wheels is “Layla”, an antique production wheel made in Finland. Here is a picture of Layla.
Once again she has the fleece from one of my sheep. This sheep’s name was Esau. Here is a picture of him out in the pasture and the second picture is him waiting on his turn to be sheared this Spring.
I love browns and creams. I used to breed for that color. I have since added black to my flock as well. Esau’s fleece was the best of the bunch this year. Here is how Wendy described his fleece: Gorgeous color, nice open locks, and such a perfect crimp. I was excited to see what she would do with it. She spun 453 yards of a lovely soft fine 3 ply yarn. I was hoping I could get her to do a guest post on my blog and show her awesome dying skills. Instead, she came up with a great idea. She sent me a skein of the yarn. This yarn is really too nice for socks. It is 3 ply and so soft. It wants to be a piece of heirloom lace or something. The wool is very fine and fluffy.
I am SO EXCITED to share this opportunity with you!! This is a brand new concept that you can get in on from the very beginning!! The Village Green Network has had a wonderful Marketplace where you can buy all sorts of wonderful items for your Real Food adventures!! Now, they are introducing a new discount buying club called VGN Premium.
Here is how it works!!
You click on over to the VGN Premium page and sign up. Once there, you will have the opportunity to sign up for just $5/month or better yet sign up for a whole year for just $49.00!!! All members will get 25% off all Village Green products including e-books, online classes, e-book bundles and more. They will also save on all their favorite brands including natural and organic foods, supplements, kitchen appliances and more with monthly specials and discount coupon codes.
Plus there will be a special discount for those of you who sign up in June to celebrate the launch of the program!!! If you sign up this month, you will save 20%!! That means it is only $3.99 a month* or just $39.00 for the whole year!!*
Go ahead and click on over to the VGN Premium page to get all the details!!
Don’t miss out on being a part of this new online discount club!!!
If you have questions, there are some FAQs at the bottom of the VGN Premium page.
We have been having quite the struggles with this little fellow. So far it is calf 5 – Us 1.5. We are going to be putting up some new gates on the barn to help contain him within the barn and hopefully make it easier to get him in his pen. He is very smart and does not want to be penned up. However, we are wanting the milk, so he needs to be penned up at night. We will keep you posted on that.
Well you voted and we thank each person who participated by either suggesting a name or voting. The winning name won by a small margin. His name is Chuck!! Thanks for playing along with us.!!