Monthly Archives: July 2017

Great Food Brick Oven Style

Saturdays are great days to cook on the wood oven and I never have any trouble getting everyone gathered around the table to eat it. Today we made more roasted tomatoes for the freezer because my vines just keep producing yay! While I had the oven hot I decided to make pizza for lunch. If you haven’t had a pizza cooked right on the floor of a wood fired oven it’s absolutely the best! The last time I cooked pizza we made some extra dough balls and froze them. I thawed them a couple hours before cooking time and this takes a lot of the work out of making pizza and they taste great.

I decided to make these pizzas without any sauce and just cut up some fresh tomatoes and roast them on the top.

Here it is ready to go in.

Look at those coals!

Shooting the hearth before the pizza went in was 442 degrees. The dome was about 600 and the pizza will fully cook in about 2 to 3 minutes.

Almost done can you smell it?

For dessert I made a s’more on a regular pizza dough.

Browning nice.

Perfect!

Add the graham crackers and enjoy. I really enjoy the back porch and being outside to cook on a gorgeous day.

Work hard.
Have fun.
Make a difference!

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Preserving Tomatoes the Easy Way

I love home grown tomatoes and I always tend to plant too many. This has been a great year for tomatoes in our garden which is fantastic but now we are getting way more than we can eat. Here is the harvest from one day of picking.

I have always canned them in the past but that can be a really long process. This year I decided to freeze them. We really enjoy making salsa and pasta sauce and we usually buy crushed tomatoes for that. If you really want a good sauce make it out of fresh tomatoes and it is really tasty. I planted a bunch of Roma plants this year. I like the Roma variety for sauces because they really don’t have much of a core and they are really meaty.

Here is a regular slicer tomato with its large core that needs to be removed.

Here is a Roma which hardly has a core at all, this makes prepping a breeze.

Our favorite way to make sauces is out of roasted tomatoes so I fired up the wood oven to char mine before I froze them.

You can do this in your regular oven broiler as well. Basically just wash the tomatoes and remove any bad spots or cores, place them close to the flame and let them char a bit. The wood oven gives a bit of a smokey taste that we really like.

Mmm mmm! Can you smell that? The whole house smells that way now.

I put mine in a bowl to cool while I roasted another batch then put them in serving size ziplock bags to freeze.

We’ll really be able to enjoy this harvest for a few extra months and that salsa is going to be delicious!

Work hard.
Have fun.
Make a difference!

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3 Reasons You Should Spray Those Weeds

The first of May I sprayed our pastures for weeds as most cattlemen in this area do. Whether you own a ranch or just a lawn in town it’s a good idea to get rid of those pesky broadleaf weeds.

Here is our spray rig.

My top reason for spraying is to get more and better plants for the cows to eat. Most weeds are undesirable and the cows won’t eat them anyway so they are taking up valuable real estate. I think in the cattle industry we are just as much grass managers as we are cattle managers.

We use an inexpensive GPS to get an even application to avoid skips and overages. The spray is not cheap so I don’t want to over apply by driving to close to the last pass. It also gives you speed so you can fine tune your application rate.
In this picture the GPS is telling me to get over to the right 1.3 feet.

And here is a picture today of what it looks like to have a skip.

That brings me to my second reason, see how much taller the weeds are than the grass? When a cow puts her head down to graze those weeds will poke her eye and cause all kinds of problems. Not to mention the pollen that gets all over their face and in their noses from the mature weeds.
All those strips are a result of skips from wind or a nozzle not up to par or driving a bit off the line.

The third reason is competition. Weeds compete for moisture in summer and take away from your good grasses. They also spread seed like cockle burr and thistle that gets in the hair of an animal irritates the snot out of them and they spread all over your pasture and the neighbors. Just like in your yard they really don’t look good either.

I saw this quote today and I really like.

Work hard.
Have fun.
Make a difference!

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Learning to Shoot

One thing about living in the country, there is a lot of land to safely learn to shoot a gun. My dad taught me how to handle a rifle safely and accurately and a good friend taught me how to grip a pistol for accurate shooting. I really enjoy plinking and wanted to pass it along to my kids.

A few years ago I bought a .17 caliber with a 3 x 9 scope and a it’s really a good shooter. Today my daughter and I took it out for a little fun blasting an old refrigerator. I’m telling you, there is nothing better than shooting a bunch of holes in a failed appliance. Especially one that failed early and often. It’s kind of like we had the last laugh.

We taped a target to it and measured off 100 yards and this was her first time to ever shoot this gun. As usual she was right on target. The eye relief on the scope was set for me so that was the hardest thing for her seeing the target through the scope.

Here are the results incase there are any doubters in the bunch.

I guess she comes by it naturally because here is some pistol shooting results of her and her mom.

I hope you had a great 4th and were able to enjoy some of the freedoms we have in the good ole USA!

Happy trails.

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