Well, it’s officially done! My little canning & food preservation nook in the kitchen pantry is finally finito & a sigh of relief has settled softly across the Mauer family. Everyone is so grateful & at peace now. HA! Just kidding! No one else could really care any less about my pint jar organizational endeavors around here besides myself, but what a fabulous load off my mind nonetheless. Sure, it may not seem like a feat that deserves an exclusive entry in the Wildwood blog, but I assure you it does. If you have ever had the luxury (and that’s sarcasm there…) of working with me on a canning day – & I know at least a couple of you reading this have indeed had the pleasure – then you know I buzz about this kitchen like a busy bee on a Saturday morning in the springtime sunshine. Mainly I lose stuff, drop stuff, spill stuff & spend lots of time looking for random stuff that I just found & then lost again. I’ve been thinking of cleaning up & cleaning out & organizing this little project for a couple of months now in an effort to cut down on that very chaos. Finally, to have it finished & to know that the blueberries, tomatoes & then the “fantastic fig finale of summer” are merely weeks away, gives me an overwhelming sense of satisfaction that absolutely no one else in my family can relate to on any level whatsoever. Yes. I’m basically in this little celebration alone y’all. Although I will say… My husband, who sports the “cleaning fanatic” badge of honor (he willingly embraces & admits wearing it with pride…) absolutely found a spot of joy in the fact that things now feel a bit more simplistic in the cookery these days. He is silently celebrating with me in that regard. This I know.
In other exciting news, we currently have about a dozen or so chickens living here at the homestead along with 17 turkeys (with a few more on the way) & my poultry partner pal Chanda is picking up our “surprise pack” of about 40 mail order baby birds tomorrow to add to the “meat mix” in the very near future. So, it’s a lot of feathered friends to take care of & it’s a bit time consuming, yet totally worth the effort. Come fall, we will have more turkey breast, chicken breast, ground meat & whole birds to roast, eggs to eat & bone broth to boil up than we could have ever imagined at the start of this adventure. One homegrown bird recently fed us four different meals. We made an authentic Mexican stew for rich & savory chicken tacos, a simple chicken & noodle soup, chicken & dumplings & I even had enough meat left over for chicken sandwiches one day for lunch later in the week. One evening we had a dinner that consisted of our own home harvested chicken, potatoes, peas & salad. We ate strawberry popsicles for dessert, frozen from our very own canned preserves, which were handpicked by my friend & I with our two toddlers at a local Pungo strawberry patch this spring. People, I realize this is not everyone’s dream, but for me it just doesn’t get much more rewarding. I thank God daily for this opportunity & for this feeling of purpose & for the joy it brings to this life. There is nothing more I could want or need than healthy family, friends & the opportunity to grow & prepare my own food from scratch…
Maybe the ocean. Yes. I still need the ocean.
ABOVE: Nothing fancy nook… But all mine! xoxo
ABOVE: Well fed, well cared for, homegrown, home harvested, quartered & ready to cook.
ABOVE: My garden helper, Teagan Wynne! She is quite the young pioneer enthusiast!
ABOVE: Queen Anne’s Lace & Winter Wheat