Canning firsts…

This past weekend i needed some room in my freezer, and i still do. We are slowly working on cleaning it out to defrost it. I took out bananas, figs, and the banana peppers. I was gifted some more okra, so i had that ready too. I had already thawed a turkey to cook. So needless to say, i cooked and washed dishes all day saturday. 


Tooty helped me make 2 loaves of banana bread, they did not last long! 


I love my spoon rest, a gift from my mom!


Guess what this will become?


I don’t even eat pickled okra!! But you can always use it for bartering!


They are put up!


Next up banana peppers!


I love canning!


Fig jam, i am excited about this one!


Tooty baked in her easy bake, since she couldn’t help with jam, i even burned myself in spots from the popping..


And then dinner was served! I also had steamed green beans, fresh!


Dessert was good, cookies i ordered from a fundraiser, it helped clean the freezer as well!


Let’s see what i can do this weekend!

Advertisements

Save it for later..

So because the weekends are busy, and i am getting accustomed to a different schedule, i have decided to save it for later. We had some nectarines that needed to be preserved, i bagged them and froze them to make jam later. I put up some more peppers and some okra in the freezer as well. When you don’t have time, freeze it, then when winter comes, you can use it! The freezer is filling up fast!

Update

We have been so busy, school is about to start and the homestead always has some projects! 

I finished off the cucumbers before they went bad, and made 8 more jars of bread and butter pickles. Im excited about my blue jar!

By the way pickling is fun, but the smell of vinegar is quite strong! I swear it burned my nose.

We had a baby shower for a co worker who is a friend of mine, so in half an hour on the night before, i threw a diaper cake together. Not my best work, but she loved it. 

And i have caught my summer cold, the season is changing so my allergies have gotten the best of me. Im trying to hang in there, and beat the sinus infection.

To Can or Not to Can…

That was my question last weekend. I had some strawberries that had thawed in the fridge- so I knew I had to get those done. I had a bunch of cucumbers that needed to become pickles as well. My mistake was the middle of the day canning- I definitely heated the house up- but my problem is I am too tired at night to do it, so I wanted to make sure I could get it done. So onward I went. I ended up with 10 jars of jam and 8 jars of pickles. Well 8 jars of jam in the pantry and 7 jars of pickles in the pantry. We gave one jar to family, and ate one jar of jam, and then have a jar of pickles in the fridge. I am hoping that my cucumber plants keep growing some so that I can make another big batch of pickles.

We mostly eat slices- but this time I will try to spear some as well and see how it goes. I did happen to get some pictures of the process this time. The pickles were a little bit of a faster process but all I smelled was vinegar for awhile! I did use a different process to make the jam this time and it came out much better. I use my hand blender to squish the strawberries- so we didn’t have chunks, and we had much more juice stuff to be able to make more jam. So I will wait until this fall/winter and make more so it doesn’t heat up the kitchen so bad.

This was on Saturday so Sunday I made waffles so that we could enjoy our jam! I am using the mix we have left, and then we are going to delve into making my own waffle/pancake mix.  Yum yum!

FB_IMG_1500211239525

First Canning Experience-

So we had a fun weekend last weekend and went to a local farm to pick strawberries. We now have to go back to pick more! We picked 6 gallons! I didn’t get many pictures, we were having too much fun!

wp-1494378908111.jpg

These are out eating strawberries! A bunch went into the freezer for pies and smoothies later! Or bread or whatever I happen to want to make!

wp-1494378899947.jpg

These are my jam strawberries. 2 full gallon bags went into the freezer, I didn’t have the energy to make it all. So we will be making more soon

 

wp-1494378876539.jpgThis is Tooty’s slicer! I bought it from my Avon Lady, since Tooty loves strawberries and wants to do everything herself! She just chats and chats while she slices them, it is comical! And adorable!

wp-1494378884705.jpg

It makes such even slices, and my 6 year old has no trouble using it!

wp-1494378893004.jpg

So hubby and I decided to make some jam that night! I didn’t get much pictures, it was my first canning experience, and I had such a good time! I have never tried this recipe, and can I say it is amazing! I am so glad I made it!

It takes 5 and a half cups of crushed strawberries, so I still have plenty of more strawberries to use and make some more. This recipe made 9 and a half jars of jam! Every jar popped! I was so happy! I will have to take more pictures for next time! Hubby was boiling jars to sterilize and keep hot while I was making the jam. It does require constant stirring! Tip- Remember hot canning things need to go into hot jars!

I had such fun, and can’t wait to can some more now! The mess I can say is worth it, but it was a LOT of dishes!

Have you canned anything yet?

Planning for the Garden..

Since the winter cold months are here, I will be working on planning for the garden and possibly ordering seeds come January. I do receive seeds from Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month club- which is a fun thing for me- and we get some awesome seed varieties to try. See photo below of November’s shipment- and for some reason I got 5 packs this month instead of 4! I am so excited about the turnips and beets, and the peppers look interesting! I love the color purple! So I am going through trying to determine how many of each plant I am going to plant so that we can have fresh veggies and herbs and some to can. That is the hard part- then determining how much room I will need so that I can plan how big the garden will be. Have you been planning your garden yet? If so what are you going to plant? If you do buy seeds- what are you going to buy- and where? Help a sister out! I am always interested to see how others are planning!

wp-1480295540149.jpg

 

Discovery… we have a pear tree!

We discovered something neat a few weeks ago, we have a pear tree on our homestead. One that is already producing and has been here for awhile.  We are still in the planning stages of where I want to put everything and getting ready to add to our homestead.  I have started researching how to prune fruit trees. We are planning on getting some fruit and maybe some nut trees, but I want to do my research before we add some.

wp-1472436435899.jpg

Want to hear a funny story about how I discovered I had a pear tree? We were standing outside talking about placement of the kids trampoline and swingset, when I told my husband- We should just cut down that tree and get rid of it. He looks at me and says that’s a fruit tree- I looked at him like he was crazy. So I walked over to it and we discovered it was a pear tree. So needless to say I tried one- it was so sweet and delicious. I am still trying to figure out if it is a canning tree or not. It was sweet, but the pears were harder and didn’t get soft like the ones you buy in the grocery store. But tasted just as good, well better.

wp-1472436447478.jpg

And now I want to cry since I had the kids pick a bunch and fill a five gallon bucket up- well this momma had a brain fart and the bucket got left in the rain, so they all rotted. I do share it right now with the squirrels, whom seem to only want to eat one bite, and knock them onto the ground. Next year I will be more prepared to get them and actually can some or make some preserves. My wishlist of supplies is growing.

By the way, if you have some information about what kind of pears and some pruning help- go ahead and contact me. I am always up for learning!