Thursday, July 28, 2011


What can one say?  Tomatoes.  We LOVE them!  And here in Upstate NY, tomatoes are a wonderful provision.  They grow well (most of the time) and abundantly.  And they're so versatile.  So this is the first Haney tomato installment.  Tonight, we're simply cutting them up, seasoning them, and simmering them down.  Then we'll put them up in a boiling water bath.  Tomatoes, being an acid food product, do not need a pressure can bath. 

Big Steve picked a whole bucket of tomatoes.  By the way, that's a food grade bucket we scored for free (with the lid) from Hannaford (baking department).  It was formerly full of icing for those delightfully decorated cakes. 

By fall, it will be full of bulk purchased Ezekial mix grain, to be soaked and then baked into life-supporting bread.  I'm not big on the benefits of commercial bread, but soaked grain bread, well, please stay tuned this fall for recipes.

At any rate, Pearl is growing and learning, and true German Shepherd style, she is QUICKLY becoming an awesome watch/guard dog.  And she is so very, very intelligent that she does not mind following the lead of the humans as to level of aggression (which in her case is very delightfully evident).  She has an awesome ally in Elsa, who is definitely an alpha, but at the same time is a really good girl in her life with the humans.  Elsa is growing out of her fears, thanks to Tuffy and Pearl, and Tuffy is just plain hanging on.  He's such a good dog, and the Lord is calling him, but he's not quite ready.  So we keep him as comfortable as possible.  Just a pack update - we can't help ourselves.

Ok, I am not sure, and I'm not trying to be flippant, but a red velvet Queen Anne chair pulled up next to Mommy while she's blogging is not the worst situation which could befall a very aged dog....

So here we go with the tomatoes.  Just cut 'em up and dump 'em into a heavy bottomed pan.  Add your seasonings.  We like garlic, basil, parsley for a base.

Cook 'em down (whatever you got tonight) and then pack that nice boiling tomato stuff into sterilized jars, and nice clean lids and rings in boiling water, and water bath them for at least 15 minutes.  They'll seal down nice and tight, and last you the whole year.  And every time you take down one of those quarts (32 oz. is 1.5 times the size of a large jar of commercial tomatoes) you'll smile to yourself.  Because for mere pennies, you provided your household with about $3 worth of organically grown canned tomato product.  Why on earth don't we do MORE for ourselves, every day of our lives?  Why don't we understand how much we can do for ourselves? 

Now, Big Steve and I live right in the city, and we have a small lot.  We're what you'd call "Urban Homesteaders", so it's not like we're out on green acres or anything.  If you need help/support doing for yourself, don't be shy to comment and/or to ask.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Pack

Thanks all for your patience.  Tonight you may or may not feel blessed with a peek into our pack.  Right now, for a variety of reasons, it is my main focus.  Tuffy has begun to feel all of his 15 years, and each day brings something new, and new thoughts.  For anyone who has lost a pet, please bear in mind that we lost Theo in January of 2010, and then PooPoo this year.  The gravity of the "decision" is life changing, no matter how long you live, and no matter  how many times you are face with the responsibility of "that" decision.  These dear puppies and kitties depend on us 100%, even more in their puppy/kitty minds.  I'm not trying to be morbid, but that's just where our minds are tonight.  No decisions tonight - just enjoying the pack. 

At any rate, on to life!  And to the youngsters enjoying all that God has created for them to enjoy.  I know I have enjoyed them!!!  And so, in no certain order, the Haney Place Pack, for your enjoyment -- and please forgive the chaos of a three-dog household...

I make no apologies for my lack of cinenamagraphic skills.  I have none.  Spelling neither.  So fix it, if you wish.  It's bloddy HOT here tonight, that's just about all I know.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Random Stuff - And a Gourd Tree

This is really a post of random stuff.  Our lives have been mostly random lately, and we try to see the goodness where we find it. Big Steve got together with another bluegrass friend for some picking.  And I spent a good part of the day enjoying lunch with my 80-something-year-old mother and her almost 90-year-old cousin.  It was highly amusing, informative, and the food was very good. Also, it was HOT here today, no matter how you slice it.  So I was trying to stay inside for as much of the day as possible.

After lunch, I did our weekly shopping, and considering the number of guests we have with us right now, a weekly shopping is no small feat.  And stopped at the nearest Ocean State Job Lots for rawhide and dog treats.  Do you have one of those near you?  If so, you can get dog goodies very reasonably there!

At any rate, it was a really blisteringly hot day, if you were out in it.  Especially, I think, if you were in in it.  I was both.  So I was a bit drained when I arrived home with a huge carload of foods and goods to be put away. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fresh Blueberry Pie Recipe

So.....we are almost harrassed lately...why don't we post more.  It's just that there is SO MUCH going on.  It's not that we don't think "this would be so awesome to share" or "what an awesome picture".  It's just that, when the day's work is done and there is still and hour's worth of peas to shell, blogging becomes lost in the shuffle.  But that's not a good thing.  This humble little blog has begun to earn us a very modest income.  Very modest...don't get excited now.  BUT.....if one of the ads on our blog interests you, please feel free to explore that advertiser's information.  But PLEASE don't just click blindly thinking you'll help us.  Google is much too smart for that!!!  Rule of thumb, if you find it interesting, it will help us if you click.  If not, please just do what's natural and ignore the ads.

That being said...someone at tonight's dinner table shared that the fresh blueberry pie we had tonight was perhaps the first really fresh homemade pie he had ever enjoyed.  SERIOUSLY??????  Egads!!!  In this day and age, in this world of pre-made, pre-formed pie leathers (oh, sorry, I meant pie crusts), I guess there are any number of folks who have never truly enjoyed a fresh home-made fruit pie. we go!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

White Bean Salad

As promised, here's the recipe for the  white bean salad we had yesterday.  A few weeks ago we had something almost exactly like this from a Greek food wagon outside the NYS Capitol.  It was heavenly.  So we tried it ourselves, and it really couldn't be easier.

Click on the picture for a closer look -- there's wonderful dill from the garden in there, although you could use dill from the store just as easily.

It's cheap, satisfying, really tasty, and healthy to boot!