We have been very blessed in many different ways since we’ve moved out here to our new place in the Ozarks. We lead a simple life out here. People drop by just to say, ‘howdy,’ or to share their simple abundance. It doesn’t matter what your house looks like, or if you have make-up on or not. That use to be my worst nightmare, but now, I actually look forward to it. Out here, nobody has time to keep up a house. Their houses are functional, and everyone is too busy fussing over the important things that need to be done in order to ‘live’.
Most people out here have a garden, and at the very least, chickens. When our hens’ egg production gets low, I can run down to the soap lady’s house and buy some eggs from her. I know how they are raised, and what they eat. The chickens often greet me when I go to visit her. I think they know I’m a chicken lover…or maybe they just think I have a treat. I know I probably give off ‘treat-vibes’ because I am, in fact, an avid ‘chicken-treater.’ Last night, my hens got leftover spaghetti noodles. In the mornings, they look forward to me dumping out the bacon or sausage grease onto the grass. They love their grass dressed with bacon fat and tasty bits of bacon debris from the bottom of the pan.
The other day, the soap lady came to visit. She’d invited herself for coffee. I like that, and I love coffee…anytime of the morning. When visitors come calling, I throw caution into the wind and stop counting how many cups I’ve had. The soap lady brought with her the abundance she had…some tomatoes, cucumbers, a bell pepper and a hot pepper….and half of a cantaloupe. It was hot that day, and it smelled so good…I couldn’t wait to eat it. We had it for lunch right after she left.
That night, we had chicken sandwiches with sliced homegrown tomatoes, and I made some salsa with the hot pepper which we ate with tortilla chips. With the Bell Pepper, I made Eggs a la Clara, from the video series, “Great Depression Cooking.” (I absolutely love her!) Please check the link to her video out!
During the Soap Lady’s visit, she mentioned that she had even more cucumbers. She’d made Bread and Butter Pickles, and Pickle Relish, and she had so many cucumbers that she was now giving them to the chickens! I (The Chicken Treater) told her NOT to give them to the chickens (sorry chickens)…that I would love to have them…I’d pay her for them, in fact. I went down several days later to get them. She wouldn’t let me pay her. I made Dill Refrigerator Pickles and then took a couple of quarts down to her.
I also took a couple of quarts to the Homesteaders. They are always giving us something, and I always feel so bad that we don’t have much to offer here that they don’t already have. They recently gave us some pickled beets, some fresh squash and some vinegar peppers (like the kind that you put on greens.) They grow the Heirloom variety of veggies, too. I’ve never had yellow squash that tasted like that. It was so good! It had a nutty flavor to it. We’ve purchased some of their free range chicken (from the flock I helped process) and farm raised pork, but those were a splurge for us. They had also given us some, as well, and that’s why we purchased some.She also gave me some chicken feet for my bone broth. (In case you don’t know, chicken feet add a lot to bone broth. They help it to ‘gel.’ You want the broth to gel, because it’s healthier for you that way. The Gelatin in the broth is good for joint problems.)
Last night, I got a call from the Homesteaders. They wanted to see if I had the phone number for the Mennonites. Their Buffalo had gotten loose and were out of their fence, and Mr. Homesteader needed to tell Mr. Mennonite that his Buffalo were roaming outside of the fence. One of these days, I’m going to go up there and take a picture of the Buffalo. They are spectacular-looking! They are in a field by the Mennonite church and the view is one of the best around here! So many times, we’ve driven home from either the Soap Lady or the Homesteader’s house at sunset and my breath is taken away by it’s beauty.
Back to the story…I did, indeed have the Mennonites’ phone number and gave it to Mr. Homesteader over the phone. I had a really bad headache all day yesterday, so I’d taken my bath and was in bed, when I heard a car vehicle drive up. It was the Homesteaders in their four wheeler. I was in my skivvies, so Bud went out to greet them. They brought us some okra and a cantaloupe. Oh, it smells so good…and the other day, I almost bought some okra at the grocery store, and in the end, decided not to, so the gift of the okra was providential!
I’m defrosting some pork chops, and we are going to have fried pork chops, fried okra and sliced homegrown tomatoes for supper. We’ll have the Cantaloupe for dessert.
We had been given some tomato plants when we first moved up here. Since we didn’t have time to get a real garden going this season, Bud just dug a couple of rows into the ground and we planted them, hoping we might get something out of them. We had three tomatoes this season from those plants. A tomato hornworm got one of them right as it was turning red, so the chickens got that treat (both the hornworm and the tomato, which was already half eaten.) I picked the other two tomatoes right after that and let them ripen in the window. We had one sliced with breakfast this morning, and I’ll slice the other one with supper tonight. Mmmm…
I cut the cantaloupe this morning, and the chickens got the ‘innards’ for a mid morning treat.
My parting shot is another trite foot shot. 🙂 (…but I like the foot shots…they are so ‘artsy-fartsy’.) 🙂 This one is unique. It has been cold in the mornings, and I’ve had to resort to putting on socks to keep my feet warm when we have our coffee on the porch. (That’s not a Moo-Moo I’m wearing…it’s my apron.)
Hope you all are having a great weekend!