#TBT : Written Insights

I continue to paw through old paperwork… and it’s tedious… but every little bit there’s a gem with written insights into the early days of this ranch.

I’m going through old checks… from the 1930’s.

First thing you notice… 70% of them are written in PENCIL. Pencil! Many are for what today would be very minor amounts, $1, $2, $5. I actually found one for $.75. It made me laugh.

Then there’s the names… neighbors, or rather neighbors’ fathers or grandfathers. Names I’ve read in history books. Names of businesses long defunct.

There was this one…

Twelve bulls for $1800.00. Wouldn’t they be amazed on how much people spend these days?

There are a few receipts.

1 keg staples, 65 spool wire, 2 shovel, 1 hay fork, 1 ?. 2 shovels for $3.60. Good deal.

But the paper to end all papers…

“Dear Mr. Greet,

Forgeries have been picked up on your Greet Bros. a/c this morning, totaling $80.00 so far. Have tried to call but unsuccessfully, will keep trying to get you. Thought you would want to come in and prefer charges if parties apprehended. Sheriff on their trail now.”

And, no… I haven’t found anything to tell me the Sheriff was successful!

(Anyone notice this is on a postcard? Not much privacy there!)

Wordless Wednesday – “Red Dirt, Whitetails, Blue Sky”

previewRed Dirt, Whitetails, Blue Sky

Yogurt – Yum

Sure, I can hear my mom laughing at me in heaven… I used to think yogurt was disgusting… and told her so on many occasions.

It grew on me.

Put some good ol’ Grape Nuts on top for some crunch… I liked it. I’d crave it for a while, then not eat it for a long time.

Well, Victoria and kids were going to come last weekend, and they like it, so my plan was to make some from scratch and “stock up”. I’ve made it before in my crockpot and I wrote about that here. I’ve been itching to try making it in my instapot, so here goes!

Pour half a gallon of whole milk into your instapot. Hit the yogurt button, then the adjust button until your red lights spell out “boil”.

The lid doesn’t have to be locked … it can just be vented… your choice. Open it up and check to see that the milk has reached 180 degrees. Let it sit five minutes. Reduce the temperature to 105 – 114 degrees, either just by waiting, or you can set the instapot interior pot into a bowl of ice water.

Pull out one cup of the warm milk and mix it with one cup of plain yogurt with live cultures. This time I used Chobani. Whisk together and add back into the instapot.

Put the lid back on, again locked or vented doesn’t matter… and punch the yogurt button again. It is automatically set to eight hours. It will start counting for you.

In eight hours, you’ll have wonderful yogurt!

Now I like my yogurt more Greek style, which is just a fancy way to say “less runny”. To do that… just set up a straining cloth over a bowl. I have mine from straining honey… use whatcha got. Cover it, pop it in your frig overnight… and wake up to yummy deliciousness.

Scrape it off your straining cloth and put it in some jars. I can eat this stuff straight… if I add fruit, I tend to add sugar as well. Let me tell you, this yogurt with my frozen raspberries and a bit of sugar is just divine.

Now, there’s a lot of whey in the bowl underneath which can be used in cooking… if you want. That’s a whole nother matter!

Go on, try it… much cheaper than store bought… and don’t forget to save back a cupful to start your next batch!

Ten Things You May Not Know About… Chicks/Eggs

  1. Yes, chickens lay eggs without the presence of a rooster. However, the eggs will not be fertile and therefore will not develop into chicks.
  2. An egg starts to develop into a chick when it gets to the temperature of 86 degrees. Most chickens’ temperature is 102 degrees.
  3. Female chicks are born with thousands of ova, each which will become a yolk in her eggs as she reaches maturity and begins to lay. Hens will have multiple stages of eggs developing in her all the time.
  4. Hens may lay an egg every 25 hours, but usually will not lay in the dark.
  5. Pigment is the last part of the egg to be developed. It’s just a quick paint job at the end!
  6. Hens with white ears will lay white eggs. Hens with brown ears will lay brown eggs.
  7. Sperm will stay viable in a hen for three or four weeks fertilizing multiple eggs. A hen has the ability to reject semen if she doesn’t like the rooster. Roosters have girlfriends… and there are some that get no attention as well.
  8. Yolks’ color is based on what hens eat. Most people believe it is the yolk that develops into a chick, however, it is the yolk that feeds the developing chick.
  9. Hens will often sing an “egg song” before or after they lay an egg.
  10. To stop a hen being “broody”, her body temperature needs to be lowered. Most people dunk them in water, but since it’s hovering around zero, I took her out of her nest box, and held her in a snow bank to cool her breast area, then let her stay out in the snow for a while. Two sessions and she was cured!