I faced that yesterday. So I dashed for the pantry, took out a pint of chicken broth, a pint of mixed vegetables, a half pint of mushrooms, and a half-pint of chicken dices. Back upstairs, I cheated and used a store-bought double pie crust (on sale for 99 cents). While I thickened the chicken broth on the stove, using flour and butter added, I quickly laid out the bottom crust in a pie tin. Then I drained the vegetables and mushrooms adding them, along with the chicken dices and broth to the thick gravy in the saucepan. I stirred them all well, then took it off the heat and turned the oven to 350 degrees. After dumping the filling into the pie shell, I moistened the rim then laid the top crust on, cutting a few slits to vent. Sealing the crusts together went fast and I put the pie on a cookie sheet (to capture any boiled-over juices) and slid the dish into the oven.
In a little more than half an hour, we were eating a wonderful, (mostly) home-made chicken pot pie. Things like this are one reason I can so much; it’s just so very convenient, besides being tasty. (You can get a few more ideas of quick meals like this from my article Great home-cooked meals from your storage pantry in Issue #114 of BHM or the Nineteenth Year Anthology.)
Today, it was fairly warm after being -27° F yesterday morning. So Will decided it would be a good day to set out big round bales for all the livestock. Yes, it was snowing, but big, fluffy flakes and it would only take half an hour or so … Uh huh, right. He brought the first bale down and came through the gate. But our cows weren’t that hungry and decided to make a mad dash for the storage barn where we keep grain. I slammed the gate shut, but three had already made the break. All I saw was cow butts with tails in the air, running up the hill. Oh crap! I jumped on the ATV and tore off after them. One never went in but two big ones were crammed in the doorway and there was scarcely room for a squirrel to get in beside them. Luckily, I had a few inches of deer corn in a bucket outside that they’d missed on the way in. I shook it and called to them and one of the “girls” decided it looked good and backed out. Not so with the other, bigger cow. I dumped the corn out on the snow, a few feet away from the barn and started the dangerous business of sliding in beside the 1,100 pound Angus who had her head buried in a feed sack. Not dangerous because she would kick or attack me, but that big a cow can accidentally hurt you, just by turning around. Luckily, she backed out and helped the other cow clean up the corn.
By then, Will had come back up the hill with the tractor so I hopped on the ATV and tore off back down the hill to (hopefully) keep them out of the big barn, where two tons of mixed grain is stored in giant plastic tote bags. He had left the gate open as the rest of the herd was busy munching on the new hay so I parked the ATV and stood ready as he drove the “bad girls” back down to the pasture. They thought it was real funny, kicking and hopping with glee, but they paraded right down into the pasture as nice as you please.
Then he went back to get more hay and got stuck in the snow. Two hours later, all the critters had new hay and we went in to thaw our now-frozen feet. Whew! Ain’t homesteading fun? But we’re never bored!