Tina Hillel

pollinator
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since Jun 02, 2014
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Recent posts by Tina Hillel

I dice up the big chunks of fat and the rind and render it for cooking.  The leftover cracklings are salted and inhaled.

The goo in the pan is saved for cooking beans and greens.  I like to freeze it and break of chunks as needed to add for cooking.

The ham bone and small fat scraps are added to the crockpot with a diced onion and a 2 pound bag of pinto beans and cook away for about 18 to 24 hours depending on bean texture.  It smells wonderful when I have to get up in the middle of the night! We eat a few meals over rice or cornbread. Part gets packaged for freezer.  It smashes up and makes great refrained beans too.  

We get a lot of meals and use out of the ham for two people.  I cooked one last weekend. So far we've had sliced ham for dinner and with eggs for breakfast, ham with beans and greens, in a soup, scalloped potatoes, evening snack of cracklings, couple meals of pintos and I still have a good sized chunk left!  Not bad for a 8+ pound spiral sliced ham I got for 5.22 on sale...๐Ÿท๐Ÿ‘
2 months ago
I think it looks good. My first thought was how long has it taken me to notice this and now I can't picture how it looked before ๐Ÿ™„

I haven't noticed any glitches.  I use an old iPad mini that is too old to upgrade and the browser is safari.   Although if I saw any issues, I have no idea (no tech skills here) how to do a screen shot to report them anyway.


Thanks for the work put into this!
I enjoyed having forced time at home.  I did get to see friends at a distance when I would do my every other week trip to get feed. I have a few people I drop eggs off for and we could chat from the window.

I tackled a few new projects.  Because covid buying even affected the supply of chicks here, I ended up getting an incubator as a gift from hubby.  I suspect he was tired of my compliants๐Ÿ˜€. My only broody hen will be 9 in a few months so I was hoping to incubate eggs from her.  At one point I had 76 birds, so my project obviously got out of hand but it was fun.  We taught our nephews how to process birds.  They have been wanting to go hunting and this was a good way for them to learn its not just hitting a target.  Taking a life is a serious matter.

We adopted 2 stray kittens.  Perfect timing cause you just can't laugh at kittens wrestling and feel stressed out at the same time.

We also have added 2 beehives.  We talked about it for a couple years and actually had the time to dig in and learn.

Our garden did horrible.  We had a six week stretch of no rain except for one hour.  Our garden did better in the fall both because now we have the bees to pollinate and we finally started getting rain.  We just ate our last tomato last Saturday.  

My only food sucess was with growing out meat and eggs (thanks chickens!) and our blueberries and grapes were great producers.

I've had fun experimenting with my kombucha flavors.  My husband surprisingly really likes the kiwi. I'm now hooked on cranberry ginger.

I'm hoping to improve my indoor growing this winter and also really want to have success with potatoes.  My best result was only 3 medium potatoes from a plant.

Even though I'm very sorry for what people are going through whether it's health, isolation, job stress etc., this has been in some ways what I honestly needed after a few rough years of caring for sick parents.  

Heather, I thank you for helping me think about the good and bad of this year.
3 months ago
This may seem like a weird question, but how many roosters are there?

The reason I ask is that at one point this summer I had 14(!) roosters.  I was trying to decide who my new keeper rooster was going to be.  One of my criteria is the sound of their crow.  I had a couple Roos, (most of which were barred rock/brahma mix or barred rock/black star mix) that just would not crow.  As I thinned the herd, they finally started to crow.  Turned out that one had a crow that was more like a nightmarish gargling sound.  I could see why he kept quiet...

My other thought is maybe he is just young and hasn't gotten competitive yet.

Enjoy the new addition!

3 months ago
Even though my cuttings are in water, the plant dries out and dies instead of making roots.  I've tried in the window and under a grow light.  

I have a horrible time with indoor plants, but I can't even get cuttings to root to be able to give away.

Any ideas?
I can't wait to see how it works out for you!  My sister has an instant pot and loves it.  I am attached to my 4 (different sizes though) crock pots and not sure I want to go that route. But the air fryer...I've been VERY tempted by.  This time of year, it's no problem to have the oven on.  Rolled some veggies in bacon grease, salt and pepper and roasted them and they aren't too bad crispy wise.  It would be nice to have an alternative when I don't want to raise the temperature in here.  But I also don't want to have a dust catcher.

Congrats on the gifts๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘
3 months ago
In a four year period when our parents were both ill, my sister and I packed up their house to move them to a house closer to where we both live.  Their house was bigger than either of ours with a storage room over the packed garage.  Our mom kept EVERYTHING of our grandmother's when she died down to her socks.  The house my sister found had a perfect layout for their safety but was smaller.  Mom was forced to have to get rid of things as there was no garage and storage room, just a small shed.  She was angry with us for some time.  We both accepted items to make it easier (just a little anyway) for her to part with things.  Most of these we both regifted, sent to goodwill and kept a few items.

After mom died, dad wanted to go to an assisted living home.  We had two yard sales since they lived in town, listed furniture on Craigslist and gave a lot away to friends and goodwill.  Mom had good (expensive) taste in some areas so we both upgraded some things from our kitchens with hers. Some "toys" we played with (like the pasta maker)  and then rehomed.  I did fall in love with her panini maker ๐Ÿ˜€ We set some items aside we thought family might want and just mailed it to them.  

We went through the house together.  We set aside items we each wanted and a seperate pile of things we both were interested in.  We agreed to be honest with each other and it ended up being a good evening. We took turns picking from the stuff we both wanted.  Although after the pizza and beer evening, I don't recommend deciding to hold a yard sale beginning 8 hours later.  Our husbands thought we were insane.  Her boys thought it would be fun.

There were some items we decided to sell. Mom had chosen that other than the house, her stuff was to go to us at her death. She had some nice jewelry that neither of us had any attachment to or desire to wear.  From the proceeds we divided the money for both of us and a portion for us to go  together on a getaway.  We rented a lake cabin with no tv or Internet.  We just hung out together and relaxed.  We spent some time telling the boys stories about the grandparents and our past.  They pretty much only knew them as sickly.  Our parents used to love to travel so we hope they would have approved.  

Since dads death was lingering, we had it prearranged as to what would be done with the remaining furniture and such. While sitting with him, we spent time going through pictures and telling stories out loud hoping he could hear and kept only what really meant something to us.  By this time we both felt hardened and ruthless with items.  Pictures with people we didn't know were trashed. No other family of his came that we offered things to.   A friend whose mom is sick wanted his lift chair.  Most remaining clothing and such went directly to goodwill.  

The good thing about this exhausting experience is my sister and I have gotten closer.  Not the way we would have chosen, but at least there WAS a benefit.

And then my husband and I had to do the same for his mom...the last year and a half has definitely been "interesting" on so many levels...I need a nap just remembering all this!
3 months ago
I give pretty much everything to my compost crew to handle. Other items go to their guards.  Very little gets past all these guys.
3 months ago
I also tend to be anemic and have to force myself to eat liver. The only way I actually like it is in Cajun rice.  I brown off some chopped. celery, pepper and onion with sausage or kielbasa. Add garlic and Cajun seasoning.  Add minced liver and giblets (I prefer using the organ meat from my chickens in this but have done it with other animal livers. The stronger the live type, the more sausage and seasoning I use to hide liver taste). Add cooked rice and parsley. Salt to taste.

Another iron booster I've been doing is adding blackstrap molasses to my coffee. Make sure to check the iron amounts because I have found it fluctuates. More painless for me than liver๐Ÿ˜€
3 months ago
You put so much effort into trying to save her.  Heartbreaking when it doesn't succeed. I am so sorry.
3 months ago