Homemade Bone Broth

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More than a year ago, I had severe stomach pains. By changing my diet to healthy, nutrient dense foods, including homemade bone broth, my digestive health has been allowed to heal.

Homemade bone broth is something that should be part of your daily nourishment! Especially if you are hungering for optimal digestive health.

Its also helps your joint and skin health. Not to mention also keeping your bones and teeth healthy – even on a dairy-free diet.

How to make Homemade Bone Broth

The essential ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small chicken carcasses (you’ll want it all – the bones, skin, neck, feet and gizzards!)
  • 4-12 cups of water
  • 1-3 Tbsp of vinegar (apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp of salt (adjust to your personal taste)

Optional add-ins:

  • 3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp whole or crushed black peppercorns
  • A few sprigs of rosemary, thyme or parsley

Method of preparation:

  1. Put all the essential ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker.
  2. Don’t forget any optional ingredients you want to add.
  3. Heat on high until the broth starts to boil. Watch that it doesn’t boil over. If you want, remove any foam. It will improve the flavor of your broth.
  4. As soon as the broth starts to boil, reduce the heat to low. You should only see very small bubbles in the center.
  5. Simmer on low heat for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Once ready, let cool, then strain your broth using a metal mesh colander (and cheesecloth if desired)
  7. Ladle broth into mason jars.
  8. Discard the bones. Keep the veggies if you wish. If you’ve got chickens, they’ll enjoy the treat!

Here’s some helpful hints:

  • This recipe works well with beef bones too! Just use 1-2 lbs of beef bones and any optional add ins and follow the directions as usual.
  • You can keep your homemade bone broth in the fridge up to 4 to 5 days!
  • If you have more broth than you can use in 4-5 days, you can freeze it. Just portion it out into wide mouth mason jars, leaving one inch at the top of each jar to allow for expansion of liquids. This will prevent yours jars from breaking.
  • Another great way to freeze your broth, is to put it in ice cube trays, making it convenient and easy to reheat.
  • You can drink your homemade bone broth by the cup, or use it for preparing sauces, soups and stews.

Enjoy!

Here’s to your health,

~ Sheri

 

Ready for Spring!

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It’s been a topsy turvy, rollercoaster ride with the weather, this winter! With temps one day in the 20’s or below, and in the 60’s the next, it’s been hard to plan or get any work done!

Just when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with the pile of pallets in the back of our yard, mother nature decided to dump more snow on us – with the threat of more snow on the weekend!

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I’m so ready for spring!

I’m anxiously awaiting the day when I can get into the garden and plant seeds.

Getting dirt under my fingernails is therapy to this winter weary country girl!

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When I dig into the dirt, feelings of pleasure fill my head as I work the ground. It makes me feel useful and productive!

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I am looking forward to seeing our vegetables grow… and our grocery bill shrinking!

Our plans are for a much larger garden this year! However, I’m not too sure how we will keep our chickens out?!?

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The fencing that used to be around our garden, was used to enlarge our flocks free range area, out behind and around our barn.

Although at first they we’re not sure about being allowed to go into the new area, it has become their favorite spot to hang out! The ground seems to be softer… easier for them to dust bath in.

In choosing the seeds I want to plant, I want to ensure I will have plenty of the foods that will allow me to be successful while following The Whole 30.

And my clients, from my home based business, are even getting excited! I’m creating delicious, healthy meals during cooking demonatrations, giving them healthier options that fit their busy lifestyles!

With all these plans I’ve got, I’m itching to get started. I’m so ready for spring.

Now, if Mother Nature would just cooperate!

Until next time,

~ Sheri

Starting From Scratch

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After dealing with a financially and emotionally crushing year, it’s been a struggle to find our way…

However despite the setbacks, this past year of struggle has also had some benefits!

Take for instance, having to watch every penny we spend has afforded me the ability to learn some new homesteading skill sets – like making our own bread…

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And learning just how easy it is to make butter… and how its much more creamier and delicious than store bought!!

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I even have plans this week to try my hand at making pasta! I found this great recipe that only has 3 ingredients! I will let you know how it turns out!

So, in hind-sight, looking back at this last year, I find it hasn’t all been bad…

As for the farm and moving forward, there is so much to do! – I look at things and see all that needs to be done…

I admit, I am a perfectionist! I see a project and how I want it done, but when it doesn’t get done, I feel so unaccomplished… so unproductive… like I’ve failed in some way…

I have to change my mindset… its just not an option right now, to have everything done the way I want…

We have to make do with what we have…

And right now, what we have, is a blank canvas…

We get to start over from scratch…

So, as we look to the future, we have a new game plan…

We will focus on our flock, on cooking budget-friendly, healthy meals, and on finding an untapped source of income somewhere…

To start, I’ve put out a sign for our girls eggs… I’m no artist, but you get the point, right?!?

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Until next time,

~ Sheri

Daily Prompt: Degree

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Having been raised in the city, this gal has been on a learning curve these last 3 years!

There has been a LOT of trial and error when it came to raising our chickens. And, I’m sure there’s still a bunch more I could learn!

Even growing a vegetable garden has been a challenge!

The first year we planted broccoli, cauliflour and red beets… But nothing grew!

The second year, I was so desperate to grow something, ANYTHING, that I wound up having a small tabletop garden in my kitchen!

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I was tickled pink with our cherry tomatoes, peppers, and herbs! I finally grew a ‘garden!’ Hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

This past summer was the first in our three years on the homestead where we actually saw a good variety of vegetables growing in the ground! But even this has proven to be a learning experience!

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We have big dreams for our little homestead…

This year we plan to increase our growing area which will take up the whole northwest corner of our land!

And with our our chickens, we are researching a number of different ways to make an income.

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Our hope is that at the very least our chickens will bring in enough money to earn their keep. Maybe the following year we could turn a profit!

It’s been a challenge, this homesteading way of life! But, like a big ship in the ocean, that turns around slowly, degree by degree, we plan to turn this homestead into a profitable self-sustaining venture!

Until next time,

Sheri

via Daily Prompt: Degree

Restoring Order…

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Well isn’t that a fine how do ya do! Here I told ya I was back, only to wind up having disappear again!

Turns out that after working away from the homestead, I found oodles of work to do!

One project in particular was dealing with a broken fence, out behind the barn!

Of course it was cold and raining… and, I wound up with a cold that knocked me off my feet for several weeks!

That’s what I get for working on the fence in the cold, cold rain!

Well, I’m here again. Not at 100%, but better than I was…

The littles must know I’m not at my best, because the boys’ have been quite the handful lately!

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‘EggHead’ and his brothers kept jumping over the broken fence…

Their 6 sisters following after them!

More than once our neighbors had to shoo our gang down to our place!

Thankfully they are understanding…

Especially since their Guinea hens like to come down and visit our boys on occasion.

Guess its a case of the grass being greener…

Now that I’m on the mend, its back to work…

Egghead, up to his usual shenanigans, started quite a ruckus, while scratching in our old tomato bed, near the back door of our house…

Out of the blue, ‘Egghead’ let out such a terrible screech. His brothers and sisters joined the screeching and took flight – in my direction!

I thought for sure that I was in the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock movie!

As I raised my arms in protection, the gang flew past me heading to a pile of skids where the flock like a to hang out.

Thankful that my eyes weren’t plucked out, I continued to watch the actions of the babies. Turns out that 3 of the boys tried to hump 1 of our hens at the same time!

I knew then that it was time to remove the boys from the flock.

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They were not happy about being moved to the confines of the barn… but at least there is order once more…

The girls are feeling more comfortable with only 1 rooster -Teriyaki (Terry) – in charge!

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Until next time,

Sheri

 

I’m Baaaaaack!

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After what seems like an interminably long time away, I’ve come back home.

No, I haven’t gone anywhere, other than to work… at a job away from the homestead.

If you’ve been following along, you might remember that back in January, mom decided to retire.

Shortly after, however, we had a slew of issues that hit us hard financially!

The biggest issue was when our heating system went out during the coldest part of the year!

We limped along through the growing season, but when it became evident that I needed to have my truck repaired – something I use quite a bit of – I realized that I needed to find a job away from the homestead!

And so it was… Each day I went to my job, leaving mom and the homestead behind…

Yet, life continues to throw us one curve ball after another. Once again, I find myself back on the farm, fulltime, to deal with family health issues.

Today, as I wandered around our little homestead, I made a list of all the things that need to be done!

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It would seem I’ve got my work cut out for me!

The only problem now, is that I’m fighting my own health issues! I seem to have gotten a bug…

As I sit here peruseing my ‘to do’ list, I’ve decided to take the day off and take care of my self. And, enjoying a nice cup of hot water with honey and apple cider vinegar. It’s good for what ails ya!

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So, as I ponder where to begin, I think I will focus on some basic practical indoor skills before I tackle the challenge of the work outdoors…

But, today, I rest…

It’s good to be home!

Sheri

So, You Want to Raise Chickens…

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Never in a million years did I think I would ever be doing this… but three years ago, there I was… holding my very first chicken!

I didn’t know who was more scared… me, or my new hen.

Visions of the Hitchcock movie, The Birds, ran through my head as I cautiously held this strange little creature… I was holding a live chicken… just one short month after moving into our new home… in the country.

We knew we were going to have chickens… however, I was planning on waiting till spring. Thus allowing me some time to study up on the subject of caring for our feathered friends.

But, when my neighbor unexpectedly asked us if we wanted their chickens, I quickly found myself thrust into the role of ‘chicken farmer!’

I had no clue what I was doing!

Thankfully, chickens are very forgiving!

As long as you make sure they have clean drinking water and food, they will lovingly supply you with breakfast.

But, you will have to cook it of course! They do expect you to do some of the work!

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Having been ‘thrown into the deep end’ with this chicken farming thing, I found myself wishing there were things I would have known ahead of time…

…things like caring for a sick or injured bird… or just what makes a good broody hen… and what exactly do you feed these little darlings!

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I remember spending all kinds of money on the expensive organic foods… but then, I didn’t realize we had a feed mill right near by, OR, that you could actually grow their food!

So, my question to you is this? Do you want to raise chickens?

If the answer is yes, then I would say, ‘Go for it!’

But… my best advice that I could give you would be… before you jump in, do some research first!

You don’t want to find yourself running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to figure out what to do for a sick or injured bird!’ By doing the research first, you are ahead of the game!

Yes, it has been a learning experience working with these little dinosaurs of mine. However, this ‘city chick’ turned country wouldn’t have it any other way!

Until next time,

Sheri