When it gets cold, I bake!

Not only am I canning up more beef and tomorrow the two “extra” turkeys in our freezer but I’m digging into my recipe book and baking some good whole wheat bread and my Half-time spoon rolls. Maybe I’m like a bear, getting ready for winter? With my new pound of fresh yeast, I’m all set to go! Will’s outside, working on our rack for the new solar panels. He has discovered a glitch in his plans. He mis-figured our need for charge controllers for the new array so I’m sure he’s also trying to think of a way around his mistake. It looks like we’ll need three charge controllers instead of one. We’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, I’m baking breads … (If you’d like more on this subject, check out the Thirteenth Year Anthology or my article, Bread: the staff of life in Issue 78 of BHM.)

Hondo snoozes on the couch after helping Will herd cows.

I have to laugh at our inside animals. Spencer is so happy he rolls around on his back, laughing and moaning. He even tosses a ball up with his front feet and catches it in his mouth. Hondo just hops on the couch and takes a nap with a smile on his face — on his back, of course. He never sleeps on his side like a “normal” dog. Nor can he howl! When the wolves howl, he tries to join in, but it’s just an off-key warble instead. Mittens goes out and catches at least one vole or mouse every day, but she doesn’t like too much cold. She comes in and hops up on the kitty tower Ashley bought for her and plays with her ball for awhile then takes a nap. Gee, what a hard life our pets lead …

Mittens loves her kitty tower and plays on it after coming in to warm up after a hunt.

I’ve been busy with pen and paper, trying to figure out where we’ll plant all the stuff we want to trial this year. Boy, there’s a lot of beans! When we watch the news with killings, fires, soldiers firing tear gas at illegal immigrants trying to come into the country, politics, etc. it is so depressing, I get out my seeds and decide to plant even more beans. It’s all I can do but pray. — Jackie


  1. I’m sure all that baking helps heat the house and perfumes it beautifully. I am also more prone to baking in cold weather, maybe I’ll make bread today. However, what I’m even more apt to do in cold weather is start a pot of soup! There is something about a pot of soup perfuming the house that makes life better in my world!

    Glad all is going as well as it is for all of you. I so enjoy reading your blog and articles. You are an inspiration to lots of us, me included.

    • Oh yes, that pot of soup. It goes so well with that homemade bread hot from the oven! Say, who needs air freshener??? Nothing smells better unless it’s laundry fresh off the line…..

  2. I despair at the state of the world. I’m get comfort from knowing I have practical skills that will hold me in good stead if the economy/ political turmoil increases. I have only canned salmon but I’m going to try some chicken.You have inspired me! Thanks for your sage advice and providing a little window of sanity Jackie!

    • Oh, you’ll love chicken…and turkey…and moose and sigh…. We are so lucky to be able to put all this good food up. My friend and I talk about what’s happening in the world then stop, saying “Plant more beans!”

  3. QUESTION-Jackie I canned some chicken breast in wide mouth jars. The jar lid bulged in two places on the lid. It did seal, but I had never had this happen. I did put it in the fridge after it cooled to use right away, just did not trust it. Do you know why it did this. Had a picture but did not know how to send it.

    • I wouldn’t worry too much Nina. I’ve had this happen with either Kerr or the cheaper WalMart brand lids. They kind of crease. But I haven’t had any of those jars come unsealed during storage and the foods were fine.

  4. That is one handsome kitty cat you have!

    Out of curiosity–how many canning jars do you have? Do you ever run out?

    • Lord have mercy!!! I have no idea of how many canning jars I have; thousands, I’d guess. I run out every year as I slowly increase what’s down in the pantry. When we first moved here in 2004, we were broke and ate out of my pantry we’d moved here, for the first two years until a garden could be made. Of course I bought and canned foods which I got on sale but I was really thankful when the new garden kicked in.

  5. You have been such a great coach and teacher! Thank You. I have never canned meat before. But, I am alone now, and have ‘left overs.’ I roasted a chicken recently and had more than I wanted at one time. I thought, “What the heck,” and decided to can up the remaining cooked meat. Wow! Is it delicious!! I boned it off and added broth. Presto! Canned roast chicken. Next time, I think I’ll not roast it to complete doneness, but gee it is great to have. Plus, I’m not so sick of chicken all at once…. Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome Tim. I’m so glad you took the plunge and found out how great canning meat is. And so easy too! I hope more folks follow your lead and give it a try.

  6. I love it when our two beagles cuddle up on the couch! It’s so comfy to watch. We bought a used wood stove in 1999 and it has been heating our whole house every winter. Nothing like wood heat to warm you up in two ways. I love to read your blogs and I’m hoping you’ll be writing for Backwoods Home again. Your columns were always my favourite! I subscribed right away and am waiting for the first one. Do you know when it’s coming out? Keep up the good work and stay warm.

    • Yes, I sure will be writing for Backwoods Home. I never quit although it went to Kindle for a year. I’m glad they’re back in the saddle! The next issue, coming out soon, will be in print. Yea!!

  7. We have two pigs at the packing house. My Dear Hubby is always buying meat on sale and my freezer is too full. I kept telling him I may have to buy another freezer. When I read about you canning your meat, a light bulb went off. Did not know why I did not think of it before. So the last two days I have been canning the chicken breasts and canning more lard from last years fat we took out of the freezer and put in the extra fridge. I sure will have a supply of lard. With all the news all we can do is pray and get our green houses repaired and bare root trees planted and fences mended and getting ready for next year to plant more food to put up.

    • Always, but especially with the way the world is going. I’m tickled you started canning up your “old” meat and lard. Once canned, it won’t ever suffer from such things as a freezer going toes up or a power outage. And that food is SO convenient too, not to mention the lack of chemicals such as found in shortening and processed food.

  8. I have 2 turkeys in my freezer too. So do you thaw them out then cook them totally then can? I have never done that. But I want to get them canned.

    Your bread looks delicious!! Can’t wait for your new seed catalog!

    • I thaw the frozen turkeys then cook them. We eat a meal or two from them then I can up the rest in broth made from boiling the carcass in a big stockpot. I’m working on the seed catalog right now, Cindy. You’ll be thrilled at all the new (and great!) varieties we’ve found and trialed.

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