Monday, May 25, 2009
The long awaited day arrived and it came as a surprise once again. As we were doing the feeding in the barnyard, Trey noticed that Dolly had had her baby and it was standing beside her in the bottom of the field! We knew she was expected to deliver almost any day and were going to bring her to the barn today, but little did we know it would be with a baby at her side! Rachel and Amanda escorted the proud momma and her baby to the barn while Trey and Mark occupied the other curious equine. We soon found out that we had a molly mule and a beautiful one at that! She has lovely long ears, zebra stripes down her legs, and is quite friendly! Since she was born on Memorial Day, we decided that a fitting name would be Liberty.We heartily welcome Liberty to Providence Prairie!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Yum! Yum! Fresh strawberries from the patch are always welcome in our home! Rachel and Amanda went to a local patch to pick strawberries. They sure were delicious! That same night, we froze them and made them into Strawberry jam! Scrumpdillyicious!
Friday, May 22, 2009
When we received our hog back from the butcher, we asked for the fat to try our hand at rendering lard. We had read about the process in the past and have used lard from previous hogs that had been butchered, but since this butcher didn't render the lard, it gave us the perfect opportunity to try it ourselves. Our first step was to cut the fat into small squares and placed them into our roasters in which we had put about one quart of water. We turned our roasters to about 350 degrees to start the cooking process. It wasn't long before the fat started to melt and lard began to collect in the bottom. It cooked all day long, and as more lard collected, we ladled off the excess and placed it into containers to cool. By late evening, we had seven containers of lard and a whole bunch of delicious cracklin's, which are good for snacks, in casseroles, toppings, etc. Rendering lard was hard work, but it was a good "pioneer" skill to learn and one we will use again!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sunday afternoons are a great time to traverse the countryside stopping to have an old-fashioned picnic somewhere along the way. This Sunday took us to Belle Smith Springs and Burden Falls- both beautiful areas hidden in Southern Illinois. After our picnic, we did a little hiking at Belle Smith Springs before heading on to Burden Falls. After a short hike into the wilderness, we reached our destination. The falls were gorgeous as they spilled over several rocks and flowed into the creek that was lined with huge boulders. It was a small piece of God's Creation that He hid in a small niche on this earth in our neck of the woods. What a great end to a wonderful day!