Tag Archives: canning

August swimming, weddings, canning

Well it finally warmed up and we finally went up to the Alderpoint swimming hole this week. Such a joy and blissful place. The swimming was excellent. I hope to make it there at least one more time this year, it is 1 /12 hours drive one way…

Alderpoint Swimming Hole - Original watercolor by Frank Cieciorka

Alderpoint Swimming Hole – Original watercolor by Frank Cieciorka

A friend on Facebook was talking about her Rattaouille recipe and how she cans this in a water bath with ascorbic acid. Now if you read anything online or in canning books, they all say to use a pressure canner, well I wanted to make this sauce, Rattaouille – zucchinni, tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, and wanted to water bath it… so I did! The jars sealed nicely.. it was cooked on the stove for 1/2 hour and boiled, the jars were sterilized and then packed and water bathed for 25 minutes. There will be no problem with these!

Rattaouille - zucchinni, tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic - water bath canned

Did I mention I splurged and finally bought a Cuisinart 11cup Food Processor! I use it almost every day. Makes making the pesto sooo much faster, and it is a far finer finish product. Not to mention the 2mm slicer for cabbage (we have lots) for slaw, or for zucchini into thin slices sauteed with garlic, butter, and olive oil –yummm. I am also using it to make dough, for rustic crust tarts, and eventually I will attempt a real pie dough. Great tool.

And today I picked the first full flat of ripe tomatoes, will get another flat in the next day or two and then we will can up some whole and crushed tomatoes.

Tomatoes - first flat

It took a long time for summer to really be summer here, but we are in the thick of it now. And the abundance from the garden is worth it.

And last weekend we had the pleasure of being at Mary & Kevin’s wedding ceremony and reception. Another wonderful gathering of the tribe, such wonderful people, a great location (Beginnings) and great food. Thanks Mary and Kevin for sharing your day with us.

Mary and Kevin - 4 August 2012

Mary and Kevin – 4 August 2012 Wedding at Beginnings


Blueberry Jam and summer garden

My first try at canning blueberry jam.. I think it set up nicely..only time will tell.

Blueberry Jam

And summer finally begins with basil for pesto making, squash starting to come on, and the tomatoes not too far behind, I hope.

Basil, summer squash, tomato

We still have a huge lettuce and salad mix bed feeding us and friends going strong, and sugar snap peas too. I love eating from the garden.


Canning Tomatos

The garden is in full harvest mode, so what energy I have is going there.
Haven’t had time to work this site theme or any other Word Press projects right now.

We did harvest many of our tomatoes:

early girl tomatos

big beef tomatos

And we canned up 7 pints. We used the cold pack – 60 min water bath method.

7 pints canned tomatos

Russel also made some fresh tomato sauce, which was so good, I am tempted to harvest and or buy more tomatos and can up some pints of that.

We have also eaten corn (so sweet and fresh), we have eggplant almost ready, and the peppers are really turning red. Cukes and squash are still producing, as is the salad bed. I love eating fresh organic food.. makes all the work worth it!


Caterpillars on the dill

Today I went out to pick some dill head and leaf.. and found a least seven black swallowtail caterpillars on my dill plant! Guess they love dill, and I am mostly done with it so they can eat it. I hope they form their chrysalis close by so I can watch that transformation.
Next year I will plant more dill and some fennel to bring them into the garden.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Here’s another site with some good butterfly info: butterflies

I was picking the dill for another round of squash pickles, because we have just too much squash! I canned up 7 pints this time.

I have been making Pesto every couple of days, and freezing about 2 cups with each run. I figure I have at least 7 runs (6 cups packed leaf) left to do. And we figure we can eat pesto every week all winter and until harvest next year starts! What a treat that is.

Our tomato plants are 6 feet tall! Lots of just now starting to ripen toms. We will also be canning tomatoes, quartered & cold pack way I think. Russel will be helping me with that!

Blueberries started coming into the Farmers Market in the middle of July, I have been buying lots to eat as this is the only time of year we get them and I like to buy local. I also found a great new recipe for blueberry -zucchini bread that I like way better than the one I used to use with raisins. It’s been quite a hit with everyone.

Our garden is doing really great. We have watermelons (not harvested yet), and tons of winter squash on the vine. The lettuce is still producing and I just put in more starts. We have enough summer squash and cucumbers to eat all we want, the peppers are big and still green, I am waiting for them to turn red to pick. Lots of work, but worth it to eat good organic food that you grew.


Start Antibiotics

Whatever I had / have I don’t think it was any kind of allergy. I started on antibiotics July 31, after many really bad days of coughing day and night. I finally called the doctor and specifically asked for antibiotics and codeine cough syrup (which did not help at all).
Within 4 days of starting the antibiotics, the cough was almost gone, by a week into the antibiotics, it was gone and energy was returning because I was sleeping. It actually felt like life was starting again!
After 3 months of this thing dragging me down.

So now, August 15, I am 2 days off the antibiotics and have just a light cough occasionally.. has me a bit worried that I will fall back into what ever it was, but I am trying to get stuff done while I have some energy.
And no spring cleaning was done this year.. and if it didn’t have to happen for the last several months, it didn’t .. so I have a ton of stuff to do to catch up.

Speaking of getting stuff done. I tried my first pickle-canning July 26, using zucchini instead of cucumbers. We just opened a jar a few days ago and they are quite tasty!

zucchini dills