Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snow Day

Living in Wisconsin, you grow up loving "snow days."  I can remember waiting anxiously to hear if our school would be closed.  It seemed like when I was little, we had a couple of "snow days" a year.  Of course, I didn't think about all of the extra work it was for my dad to shovel and keep our wood stove "fired" up.  On snow days all the neighbor kids would get together and either go iceskating or sledding. 

Well, Saturday, 12/11/10, we had a snow day.  It was Saturday, however, we did have places we had to be and it was really nice not to have to go!  So, the girls and I made gingerbread houses.  I have always wanted to do this, but never have.  In anticipation of the storm, Anna and I went grocery shopping Friday after school.  Anna saw a gingerbread kit and wanted to make one.  So we bought all the "extras" to decorate our houses with and made a "snow day" plan.

We had ALOT of fun.  I made a little farm house, Justine made a school house and Anna made a candy cottage.  As soon as I figure out how to put a picture on here.....I will post them too. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chicken Chowder

Hey, I made something really tasty!  I'm calling it "Chicken Chowder" 

3-4 bonless/skinless chicken breasts
3 large carrots
3 stalks of celery
3 potatoes
1 small onion
small bag of frozen corn
fresh parsley & thyme
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup

Put chicken breasts in crock pot (I did this when they were frozen) on medium setting.  Let cook in own juices until white (because mine were frozen about 1 hr.)   Take out chicken and cut into chunks.  Set aside.  Put in one can of cream of celery with one can of water.  Put in one can of cream of chicken with one can of milk.  Stir around to break up and make smooth.  Dice up veggies (I  keep them bigger so they do not fall apart all day cooking the the crock pot).  Add corn and put chicken chunks back in.  Salt & pepper and add chopped fresh herbs.  Put lid on, keep on low to medium depending on when you want to eat.  If you find it too "thin" can add another can of cream of something soup. SUPER EASY and good. 

I like to make my own rue or cream sauses with butter, flour and milk - however, when you have a busy day, cream of anything soup is an easy alternative. 

I love all aspects of food.  This is probably genetics - my whole family loves to eat.  My mom is an excellent cook.  She could take just about any old thing and turn it into something delicious.  She had to - there are 6 kids in my family.  My mom was a homemaker and my dad worked for Acme Tree Surgery.  She had to be frugal with her meals.  My dad always had a huge garden.  He would always rototill me a small square plot and let me plant my own.  My mom would can EVERYTHING.  I do this too.   I find it so rewarding to take a seed, plant it in the ground, water and weed, watch it grow, pick it, preserve (can) it.  I LOVE my pantry with all the jars lined up in rows.  I know my family will have something good to eat all winter. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beautiful Wisconsin Winter Morning!

It is cold here in north central Wisconsin, but beautiful!  We don't really have any snow yet, however, it is on its way later this week - yay!  I would much rather have snow and lots of it...than the frigid cold!  Winter on a  hobby farm can be challenging!  We have plenty of water to carry out to our animals.  We do have another well outside, but in the winter it is really hard to keep it going.  You need to prime it and such.  Al  will do this for the cows and fill an old claw foot bathtub that we keep heated.   Everyday we carry out at least 50 gallons of water in pails for the rest of the animals.  Right now, I have alot of chickens.  I let my hens set on eggs all summer - they are "free range" and  have nests of eggs everywhere.  All summer long we have chicks - I love it!  Well, right now we have too many roosters for one chicken coop.  Al will have to get out the chicken plucker.  Sometimes, I give the roosters away.  In Marathon county, we have a large population of Hmong immagrants.  One time I called the Hmong Association and asked if anyone would like free chickens.  The girl said yes, but could you deliver them to a certain address....not at the office.  So I made my way to Wausau with about 7 roosters.  When I arrived at the house, there were about 20 cars there....I didn't have enough roosters.  I know some people have issues about the Hmong in our area.  I know the government had their hands in all of this - and whatever the government has their hands in usually gets messed up.  However, I have set up next to Hmong families at the farmer's market, I've seen their gardens, based on work ethic and committment to their  family - they put many of the rest to shame! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blog #1

Hi and welcome to my blog.  My real name is Jacky, however, my nick name is Dicky Bird.  One time I was lost in a store - Arlens (now Eastbay) a lady took me to the service counter and they asked me my name.  I told them Dicky Bird, they questioned me - but, it was the only name I knew.  So, they announced that there was a "lost Dicky Bird up at the service counter, would someone come up and claim her".  After that, my Mom told me that my real name is Jacky - this was helpful once school started.  My family still calls me Dicky Bird.  My Dad told me that when I was born, the president's wife was "Lady Bird Johnson" and if Lady Bird was a good enough name for her then Dicky Bird was for me.  I later was told by my Grandma Kincaid that a Dicky Bird is a little bird found in Kentucky.  It is known to "chirp" alot - kinda like me.  As unusual as that name is, one time we were at a rummage sale up in Crandon, and someone was calling "Dicky Bird, where are you" and I said here I am.  To my suprise, they were looking for another Dicky Bird.  Crandon was settled by "loggers" people who work in the woods.  Most of them have roots in Kentucky.  So, I really wonder, how many others have that nick name?