Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My heart outside of my body.

You have probably heard the saying, "Having children is like having your heart walk around outside of your body." It sounds cheesy but it is stinkin' true. Some days, I look at my babies and cannot even comprehend the amount of love I feel. I mean, mothers are supposed to love their children, but I think I might be obsessed. Take this series of pictures I am about to show you. Just looking at them makes me want to have more babies! The joy my little people have brought to me is just about unbearable. You mommies know the kind of joy I'm talking about. It's the painful, stressful, mournful, confusing, harassing, draining, anxiety-riddled kind of joy. Mom joy. We are a weird breed of people. The only way any of human-kind has survived is by the sheer will and determination of our mothers, not to kill us. It's hard to imagine that I will soon be stressed out and annoyed by this little booger. But that is what kids do, they grow up to annoy us. Mom joy. Ahhhhhh. There is nothing like it.

I had to wake my sleeping baby the other morning. It was very hard not to crawl in bed with him. He is very soft and squishy like a little warm pillow.

Just look how comfy he is. I just couldn't wake him. I could only photograph him. (bad lighting=fuzzy photo)

Oh my. He woke. With a smile. Oh, my heart.

Well, since he's awake, I will turn on the flash. It is not appreciated.

On second thought...maybe it's not so bad.

Still a little groggy.

But always happy and ready to start his day!

A day full of practicing ways to annoy his mother. Climbing onto the coffee table works Levi.

"What? I'm just helping out with the mom joy."

Abba, help me to love, teach and direct this baby boy into your perfect will. You are my desire for him. Hold his heart, teach him the fruits of the Spirit, grow his faith. Father, make him a man after your very own heart. Amen

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dried zucchini.

I had read a food preserving book that said it was very easy to dry zucchini to make chips that you can snack on or throw into stews. I thought, "What a great and healthy way to save my produce."
Then I thought, "I wish I would have read that before I made the 15 loaves of zucchini bread."
Then my hiney thought, "Yeah, I wish you would have found a healthy alternative to all of the butter you bathed the zucchini bread in."
Then I told my hiney to shut up. It was not pretty.

Moving on, I decided to try and dehydrate the veggies in my oven. I had done so successfully with peppers just last week. So why should it not work with zucchini?

I began by picking some of the small and tender squash. I really wanted to go the way of my ancestors and cut the slices by hand. It just felt right and organic.

But then this happened. I was hurried along by my sleepy baby boy.

So the food processor went the way of my ancestors for me. Perfect slices. Why do I think more work is better? The processor did great!

I put a thin layer of slices on to parchment-covered cookie sheets. Then I sprinkled them with fine salt.

I had the oven preheated to 170 which was as low as it would go. They cooked very low for several hours and the moisture started seeping out of them.

Unfortunately, I forgot about them. I mean, it takes FOREVER! So I forgot, left home, and came back to slightly over-done zucchini chips. They weren't too bad! Kinda tasted like pumpkin seeds.

I am storing them in a canning jar to eat when we please. Isn't that pretty? And it was very easy.

Now to be honest. Some of the chips were so over-done that they had a burnt taste. I hate that so those were trashed. Second, I did oversalt them a tad. Okay, so I oversalted A LOT! They might just be a little gross. And I might just be throwing them away. Or maybe I will put them in an unsalted stew. YUCK. It's always sad when stuff doesn't turn out. But I will definitely try this again. They could replace potato chips for me! They really are that good. (When done correctly :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Something new.

I have to pass this along to all of my canning buddies. I had read an article of the danger of BPA in the traditional canning lids. That really bothers me. I am very conscious not to expose my family to any unnecessary chemicals. That is part of the reason that I grow and save my own food. Now I find that the very food I have taken such care to grow without chemical exposure is being stored in jars that are capped with BPA-containing lids. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! That stinks.
To my great pleasure and surprise I found help in something I read this morning. I follow a blog called Food in Jars. She just did a story on Tattler reusable lids. You can read the story yourself here These alternative lids are much like the old rubber ring seals but you don't have to have the hinged lids. These new Tattler lids are much more expensive than the metal, wax-sealed rings. The great thing is, they will last forever! You can use them over and over for the rest of your life. I know that they would be worth the extra cost. Plus, I can feel really good about canning our garden with BPA free lids. My canning season is winding down but I think I am going to start buying these a little at a time. Then, next season, I will be ready!
So there you are. I love you, therefore I want you to know these things. Peace out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I need help!

I have a problem. I am sooooo tired of cooking the same things I have cooked for 10 years! I feel like that statement should be in all caps. Cooking meals is not my favorite thing. I really love to bake. I could bake something every day but my jeans would protest. Unfortunately, cooking is a necessity in my line of employment. If I didn't cook meals, my family would leave me. So help me! I am sick of being in a rut. I need some real recipes. Things that you cook often. I want answers people! Do you have something that you like to cook that is not spaghetti, enchiladas or chicken and rice? (I already have those on the menu.) Post your best! And I don't mean those fancy things you cook when company is coming. I mean the go-to, sloppy, throw it in a pan and go kind of dishes. Oh, and it has to feed the varying amounts of people that we have in our lives at any given dinner. So bring it on! We can all share. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's time!!

I am so proud! We finally have a layer. Those girls took longer than my last brood. They are almost 20 weeks. My last chickens began laying around 16 weeks.

You girls are pretty lucky. I was just thinking about how you were becoming worthless and seemed ripe for the frying pan. You must have read my thoughts. That's creepy.

This is our first little egg next to a store-bought egg. Isn't it cute? Over the next few weeks the eggs will become bigger. We might even get a few double-yolkers!

The garden is definitely winding down. I am seeing more yellow and less growth. We are getting lots of maters though!

And the melons are getting ready.

And this little guy is enjoying life before the frost. He is loving the sedum blossoms.

I am always ready for fall. It is my very favorite season. It is the time when the garden gets ready to rest. That means I get rest too. God created us to need a time when we lay down our duties and just enjoy His blessings. The way it works is beauty. I don't think I would enjoy my garden as much if it weren't for the fall and winter. Everything has it's purpose. Everything has it's time. Seems like there was a song or Bible verse about that. Hmmmmm.

Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Friday, September 10, 2010


My baby has decided that his Daddy is pretty much the coolest thing ever. While this is very cute, it is also a bit sad for me. No more mama's boy. But it's a good time for me too. I love to see how much my babies love their daddy. I get a little more freedom too. That is a very good thing!
This is the progression of the excitement of Daddy returning from work.

Just crusin' my ride.

Hey, there's Daddy's car!

My dad is home! I must get to him!

Here I go.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Ahhh, right where I belong.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Second Annual Mullins Women Canning Day

I have been experimenting with canning for years. As a little girl I enjoyed eating my grandmother's canned goods. Then, shortly after I first met my MIL she taught me how to make jelly. Now, I have a sweet SIL who shares my passion for the garden and for preserving what we grow. This kindredness has led to our yearly canning/preserving event. My MIL brings tons of red and green chile and tomatoes from a wonderful little farm called Sichlers Farms in Los Lunas. We get better every year at putting things away in an efficient manner. We canned 66 lbs of tomatoes, bagged 3 sacks of chile and pickled tons of random veggies in a total of about 6 hrs. It was work but it was also fun to do together. Of course we ended the day by going out to eat. Who wants to cook after all that?

This is how we like to start our day. Great Harvest cinnamon rolls and coffee. What a treat!

The beautiful bags of tomatoes.

The troops are already busy.

You must treat your tomatoes to an ice bath sometime. They love it!

Aren't they beautiful?

Amanda whippin' up on some jalapenos and Serrano peppers.

These puppies were going all day!

The really delicious fruits of our labor.

Oh I can't wait to taste these. Pickled okra, bread and butter squash and jalapenos.

This has little to do with our canning but my bro-in-law Galen has started making these beautiful butcher blocks. You can put in your order in the comments section. :)

I would love to hear about some of your family traditions or yearly events. It doesn't have to be food realted, just share!