Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Goodies and some of the Best News Ever!!!

This is how one of the pumpkins ended up! 6 packs of cooked goodness to use in pies or maybe bread-I haven't had the time to check it out yet, but I'm bettin' on it being yummy!

And a little more honey from just 3 frames from the stump hive in the front yard at home-I'm gonna have to remember to take a picture of that thing-it's a sight!

Jeff and I picked 2 gallons of grapes before leaving for Church last Sunday morning and Jordan decided to help me juice them..... Just LOVE that face!!!

This was my idea of how to do it, but I think he was doing just as well, if not better! We ended up with about 12 cups of juice that had to go straight into the freezer 'cause again, I was out of time! I'll do something??? with it later-jelly or?

Ok-the best news ever-Jordan and Cayden were baptized on Sunday as well! They were saved along with Suzanne during VBS! We are so proud and happy for them!
Been back at work now for 2 weeks-boy are we busy! Got lots to do and time will be getting short real soon. We still don't have a boss, hopefully they will hire someone really good before too long.
Jeff and I are heading down to Lake Jackson to see Randy, Casey, and Peyton. We haven't seen them since he was born, so since I'm off tomorrow, we're gonna head that way and come home on Saturday.
Been pretty hot around here, we did get some rain on Sunday afternoon. The garden is gone, might have some more peas, peppers and a few tomatoes here and there. I haven't decided yet if I want to do a fall garden or not-staying here in the camper, we just don't have room for anything else! The milk cow and calf are still doing very well-Jeff's still milking twice a day. Have 2 last litters of rabbits coming on-they will be ready to butcher soon. It's just too hot here in the summer to try to raise anymore this time of year. And one of the 12 pullets Jeff bought in the Spring is crowing!! She turned out to be what looks to soon be a beautiful americauna rooster!! Our older one is apparently sterile-we tried 2 times to hatch eggs and they were all infertile. He's looking alot like the pretty one I lost to the chicken hawk a few years back, so I guess I can deal with loosing a pullet to become our new rooster!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Canning Update-How We Can Green Beans & Pictures!

Our canning has taken on a very different angle this summer. Since we are still living out of our travel trailer at my moms, everything we've put up this year has been canned outside on Jeff's fish fryer. And to be completely honest-this has worked out wonderfully! We did use it once last year to can potatoes, but it sure keeps the heat out of the kitchen.

We feel green beans are one of the easiest to can. We basically raw pack everything-so fresh, snapped beans go straight into jars-add a little less than a teaspoon salt-fill the jars with hot, boiling water-wipe the rims-and put on the rings and seals. We then put them in the canner and crank up the burner and process them @10lbs pressure for 20 minutes. (I think that's the right about of time-Always check your canning book-I have to each year cause I can't remember anymore! :)

And here is the finished product! Mom's water leaves a film on the outside of the jars, but we just wipe it off and always label them with the year so we know how old they are. We still have lots from last year, so we weren't too worried about putting too many up this year. Also notice the white seals. We bought 4 boxes of the Tattler lids this past winter-caught them on sale and got a pretty good deal on them! I read a review that wasn't so good after the purchase, so I was a little worried using them. I've only had 1 not seal, and I really think it was user error. They are sealed up nice and tight, so we'll see!

These are about half of the potatoes we dug and boy have they been good! We've canned 14 quarts of them and will can soup stock with the ones we don't eat. They make the BEST potato salad and mashed potatoes with fresh butter!

Canned corn-alot of the ears came from our garden, but Alfred did share his bounty with us-Thanks! We've put up 20 pints cut off the cob. We seem to eat it faster that way and will add the rest of it-currently in the freezer- to the left over potatoes, peas, and green beans for the above mentioned soup stock!

Picante sauce-I just made 18 pint jars today-so I don't know quite how this taste yet. We go through alot of this stuff as well, so I never seem to have enough. But I was able to use our tomatoes and some from Paige & Tommy, along with some mom got for me. And the peppers-hot and bell-all came from our garden! We still have tomatoes in the freezer to use later on. I like to freeze them first-it causes the peels to just slip off-you don't have to put them in boiling water. The only problem I've had doing it this way is there is too much water in them-not just juice, and you may need to drain them a little bit.

The patty squash-this was the first year we grew these and we loved them. I don't can my squash-just slice it up and freeze it.

And the pumpkins-this is a first for us-we've never planted any before. We had a few feet of row between the squash and cukes and I had an old package of pumpkin seeds from the dollar store-so I just planted them and they took off! We have a total of 5 or 6 and I need to make pumpkin pie filling. I wanted to can it, but all the recipes say you have to freeze it. Does anyone out there have a canned pumpkin pie filling recipe?? I'd love to have it!

We finally got around to getting the Jacob's Cattle Beans out of the garden today. I worked on them this morning-then Jeff finished pulling them this afternoon. They have to just dry in the garden on the vine-so we had to leave 'em alone til they are ready. We will shell them out and vacumn seal them in jars. They are so pretty and we will be saving some to plant again next year!

The peas have just produced like crazy again this year as well! We planted the saved Louisania Quick Picks from last year and they did just as well as before-14 quarts is what we've canned-but 2 jars busted in the canner-so we lost those :(  I just hate when that happens, but alot of my jars are really getting old and some are ones we've picked up at yard sales. so...... Anyway, they slowed down making-we've been giving them away-thought they were finished-but this morning they are covered in blooms again! We were just gonna let the last of them dry for next year's seed, but may end up with more to can!

So, we've had a busy canning season so far, and it doesn't quite seem to be over yet! But God is SO good to provide for us!! We are so blessed! We are going to be taking a road trip with our friends Sheila and Alfred this next week up to Caddo Lake for a few days and then I go back to work on the 15th of July. My boss retired last week, and they haven't hired anyone as of yet and we also have a new Superintendent, so things could really be different when I go back to work. The new grandbaby had a few rough days but finally got to go home today-we were so relieved! He kept choking and turning blue-not while eating-and developed a strong case of jaundice. But all was back to normal today, so they got to go home! Thank you God for everything!