hlmauera: (Default)
We've made stuff! I'll show you.
Blackberries for jelly:

Lots and lots of jelly:

More jelly

Yet more jelly

box of jelly

Slicing tomatoes to dehydrate:

Basil for pesto(this was the second basil incident):

Colorful compost:

Slicing nectarines:

Stewing nectarines in apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, brown pie spices, rum, and celery seed. Once warm it was allowed to soak overnight and then put on the dehydrator to become candy:
Stewing nectarines

Jerky for Marian's uncle:

And a lot of sewing (I should be all caught up now, maybe even ahead, on my Skirt of the month projects):

Skirt made with a small remnant of red fabric from my childhood and a modern navy cotton

Linen dress made from 2.5 yards of linen that I purchased in San Diego (it looks really short but it's not- shorter than I usually wear but not short)

Poly blend A-line skirt (slightly twisted in photo)

Sheer over black linen

Dotted swiss lined in cotton

There were light weight t-shirt fabric shorts made also and a cotton petticoat/slip, but you don't really need to see that.


Oct. 12th, 2010 04:46 pm
hlmauera: (Default)
I just opened the first jar of spiced pears and they are YUMMY! The spices are light; you taste the pears first and then a hint of spice lingers on your tongue. I expect the spice will grow a little over time since most of the jars have a little cinnamon or clove in them. But the consensus here at work is that they are really good.
hlmauera: (Default)
The pantry is getting full...

I still need to put the beans on the shelves. Bottom shelf is entirely jelly. Second shelf is vegetables and tuna (also cards and envelopes). Next shelf is fruit and topshelf is overstock baking supplies and herbs.
hlmauera: (Default)
Saturday, we had to finish canning the pears. Waiting much longer would have resulted in a lot of spoilage so, even though I've been ill all week, this had to be done. Since I knew we were going to be canning anyway, I stopped at a farm and picked up green beans. They say you can pack about a half a pound into a pint jar so I was aiming for about 15 lbs. The farm was selling beans for $1.99/lb so I packed a box full which weighed about 9-10 lbs I thought (over 7 the last time I weighed it. The volume of beans seemed adequate for a day's work, even if the poundage seemed low) and went to get in line. There was a woman with a cart ahead of me but a cheerful checker said "I can help you over here" and met my eye so I knew he was talking to me. Only, in the short time it took me to get there, someone else was already there and someone had pulled into the other line too. So I waited. It wasn't a big deal. But the clerk apologized profusely and, when I went to put the box on the scale he stopped me. "I'm going to give you a great deal. How does $5 sound." Well it sounded wonderful to me and if I got a half a pound into each jar, I had about 12.5 pounds in the box. That worked out to about 40 cents per pound. I was thrilled because all the other canning accoutrement has cost a pretty penny--$45 yesterday alone. The trick with canning is reusing the jars and growing your own. That's where it's cheaper but I like canning my own because it's fresher, tastier and just the way I like it.

I left my house at about 9:15 but by the time I stopped at Bi-mart for jars (just a note, Winco is cheaper), the farm for beans, and mom and dad's to pick up the pears and start a load of laundry, it was after 10:30 before I got to Marian's. Trudi had to work the flu shot clinic so for most of the day it was just Marian and I. Trudi showed up after work (around 4) in time to help pack the green beans into jars. She was disappointed that she didn't get to help with the snapping. So was I, actually, it's a very tedious process and takes way too long.

Marian and I made a trip to Winco to get spices for the pickling and for spicing pears. She picked up some jelly jars as well. Then we went to Cash-n-Carry to pick up onions, garlic, vinegar, and sugar (this is our third 25 lb bag but we didn't have to open it yet). Marian decided to make another batch of onion marmalade which sounds nasty but tastes fantastic. It has been affectionately labeled "onion glop." It's great for pizza's, stew and anything else where a hint of caramelized onion and a little sweetness is welcome. Then we made lunch and went to work.

On to the photos )
hlmauera: (Default)
Last night, in spite of not feeling well and everyone being pretty beat, the three of us got together and canned pears and what we think will be Rosemary jelly (we aren't sure of the pectin levels so it may end up being syrup).

More photos and descriptions )
hlmauera: (Default)
Saturday was another day of canning for Marian, Trudi and me. Our goal was to pickle 40 pounds of beets for Marian and Trudi and making applesauce for Marian and me out of our three 5-gallon buckets of gravensteins. We had three different plans for applesauce. Marian took care of one bucket by coring them without pealing, then cooking them down, and rubbing them through the colander. One batch was made by cooking the apples in the crockpot with three cinnamon sticks for most of the day. The last batch was made by cooking the apples in the microwave. The three methods resulted in three very different apple sauces, although none of them needed sugar.

Photo essay )
hlmauera: (Default)
We'd planned to be pealing apples last night but they couldn't wait for us. Marian made them into applesauce over the weekend instead.

We'll have to can it on Saturday. For now it's safely in the refrigerator.

So instead we made more lemon balm jelly.
Pictoral essay )
hlmauera: (Default)
Today Marian, Trudi and I got together to tackle the three 5-gallon buckets of apples and the 5-gallon bucket of elderberries that Trudi requested. We had quite an operation going. Three peeler/corer/slicers (Ok, mine only peels but it's older than I am!), three, sometimes four people working and several cats looking disgusted. We conquered two buckets of apples and the elderberries (wait that's three empty buckets, how come I only had two in my car....hmmmm). We are freezing the apples until the 2nd when we are planning on a full day of canning to make applesauce. It shouldn't actually take much since we made a small batch in the microwave tonight for a snack.

What do you mean it's plant material? Where is the tuna?!

We ended up with 8 gallon bags of apples from the two buckets.

I also brought a quart of beet pickle juice home and boiled up a dozen eggs. They are now marinating in pickle juice. Yummmm! Pickled eggs!
hlmauera: (Default)
I ran out of home canned tuna. So I tried the commercial stuff. It's NASTY. EWWWwwwwww! I need to can some more I guess.
hlmauera: (Default)
We finished up the Elderberry Jam today with 42 more jelly jars.

I can't take any credit for the spiced peaches in the back- that was Marian's Sunday project.

Here are the two juices (beet and elderberry side by side). They are rather close in color.

And if you do a smear of each it looks like this:

Next up are 3 five-gallon buckets of apples to peal, core and slice for apple sauce or some other apple project. We are going to work on those next Tuesday. Next canning day is Oct 2nd.
hlmauera: (Default)
Marian and I pickled and canned beets yesterday and steam juiced elderberries to make jam. We only made one small batch of jam because of time constraints. We'd originally planned to pickle green beans too but they were too mature for pickling.


Elderberry mash (compost):

The process:

I don't have any pictures of the finished product. Maybe Marian will take some of that and the juice. It was interesting to see how the colors of the two juices were so similar. We actually needed to double check ourselves a couple of times before pouring juice. Side by side it's not a problem- but separated you start to second guess. I got a dozen small jars of beets and one small jar of jelly to sample. We'll finish the jelly on Tuesday.
hlmauera: (Default)
Marian and I stopped at the Corner Market last night to get beets for pickling and canning. We were an hour after the usual closing time but she was still there and welcomed us in. She'd already packed the beets into a Rubbermaid tote. The bunches of beets usually sell for $2.50 but she offered to sell them to us at $1 a bunch for a bulk order. We bought the entire tote. She threw in three bundles of carrots, two heads of lettuce, 5 cucumbers, and two bundles of basil for free. I think she was tired of packing. So.... Marian and I will be pickling and canning beets on Saturday and maybe making some jellies. Dad is going to harvest the elderberries for us and using Mom's steamer we will make jelly from that. I think, quite probably, we will come up with yet another to-do list that cannot possibly be completed in a single day. Still when we come out the end, we'll have some nice produce put up.
hlmauera: (Default)
Today was about cleaning and finishing processing stuff.
I folded and put away the laundry, changed the bed, put away the dishes and cleaned the counters.
The contractor finally came out to look at the ceiling damage. It's not his fault it's been nine months but rather the managers. He's done a great job today.
First I had to empty everything out of the bathroom, which made my kitchen table look like this:

Of course he had to make a bigger hole before he could patch it

But now it looks like this:

Tomorrow he's going to come back to finish the texture and paint. I'm just glad to have the hole patched and the mold gone. It wasn't as bad as I had feared but it's been patched so many times that there was a lot of garbage that came out first. Now it's been patched correctly!

I made dishpan cookies last week but I hadn't cooked them yet. So while he was working on the ceiling I baked the cookies

and shredded all the zucchini

And when I thought I was all done and had put all the pieces of the food processor in the sink I looked down and discovered I still had three large zucchini in the bucket.

So I finished those up:

I ended up with 14 quarts of shredded zucchini and two gallon size bags of cookies.
Then I revived the art of onion braiding

Apparently, I have an internal domestic diva who makes an appearance during my vacations and weekends.
I still have errands to run but those will have to wait.

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