Now that cold weather has finally arrived here on the farm our schedules are changing fast. The pace slows down so much this time of year. I get up early every morning and my first cup of coffee is spent checking my blog. As the sun rises everyone else trickles out of bed. O Wise One drinks his coffee and heads out to let the animals out of their houses and check that everything has feed and water. Now that the pigs are gone we only have the chickens, goats, rabbits and turkeys. The two Scotties make the rounds with him after all they have to check all the perimeters and make sure nothing is still lingering from the night time visitors.
Rocky and Bullwinkle are tied out during the day along the edge of the hay fields these days as O Wise One is trying to encourage them to eat any weeds coming up in the hay fields. They do a wonderful job but have to be moved regularly and checked on often during the day because of neighborhood dogs. While he is feeding up I usually get something prepared for breakfast. During the winter we like hot breakfasts and my personal favorite are grits and eggs or oatmeal.
With Baby O going to high school online from the state university and O Wise One retired we eat all 3 meals at home. So in winter I like to cook a large noon day meal with enough for both the noon meal and evening meal. During the summer we like lighter salads and such for lunch and the largest meal is the evening meal. Today I baked bread first thing this morning. One small loaf will last us about 2 days.
Then I made Cinnamon Flop which is like a coffee/snack cake. While O Wise One was running his trap line I started the meal.
I took a container of freezer slaw out of the freezer. You can find the recipe in the link below.
I split a butternut squash and put in in the crockpot on high for a couple hours and drizzled it with a little honey. Once it was cooked through I just dotted it with a couple pats of butter.
And as a special request O Wise One wanted this tuna casserole. We had not had this in forever and I think he was craving it : ) Most fish we eat are locally caught fish and a great deal of the catfish, perch and bass from our own farm ponds. So canned tuna fish is a rare treat almost in this house. We also don't eat many soup based casseroles because of the salt content but rather make a white sauce homemade to substitute for the soup.
Tuna Fish Casserole
1 12 oz bag egg noodles
1/4 cup diced onions
2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
2 cups frozen garden peas
3 cans tuna drained
2 cans mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 small can mushroom pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crushed fried onions
Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil and cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until el dente. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 and butter a 9 X 12 baking dish.
In a large bowl mix together onion, peas, all shredded cheese reserving 1/2 cup for top of casserole, tuna drained, soup, sour cream, milk, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Fold in pasta and mix well to combine. Transfer to buttered baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.
Remove hot casserole and sprinkle the 1/2 cup shredded cheese retained for the top of casserole and on top of the cheese sprinkle the crushed fried onion rings.
Stick back in oven for 4 to 5 minutes or just long enough for cheese to melt and fried onions to crisp up and brown slightly. Watch closely because it burns quickly at this stage.
Once cheese melts and fried onions brown remove from oven and serve warm.
Substitutes.......the mushroom soup can be substituted with a homemade white sauce. I rarely use mushroom soup because of the salt content.
Crushed corn flake crumbs or cracker crumbs can be substitutes for the fried onion rings.
The butcher had called that morning and told us we could pick up our meat that evening so we spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing freezers. Above is the small upright freezer in my walk in pantry.
The other freezer is a huge chest type freezer in the laundry room. Space is definitely going to be at a premium for awhile in the freezers. Thank goodness the butchering is pretty well done for the year.
Now all we have to do is smoke bacon, render lard and finish cutting and packaging our meat.
How many meals do you home cook on your farm?
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter