Friday, July 10, 2015

Canning 2015

I've put up about 45 pints of Bread and Butter pickles this season, and am waiting on the tomatoes to turn red so I can can them for sauce and salsa.  Both of these are done by the Water Bath Method, which can be found in the Ball Canning Guide (about $7 at any Wal Mart), but you need to have one that is at least less than 5 years old, things have changed a bit.  I have use many of the techniques and recipes from SB CANNING both for at home and my canning classes that I teach.

Start with a clean kitchen, trust me, you won't regret it.

If you are getting started, here is the prep for Water Bath Method.
http://www.sbcanning.com/2012/07/water-bath-canning-step-by-step.html

I have a table top oven (roaster oven) that I use to sterilize and keep the jars, lids, and rings warm, that way I'm not using every single burner on the stove top.  It also frees up space on the counter, I can just move it if I need to. If you don't want to heat up the kitchen you can use the side burner on your grill, or even the fish fryer, and do this outside, just make sure you have everything ready a head of time.

For Bread and Butter Pickles, if you want a more "DIY" method this is the standard method, I just get the premixed package for about $2.50,(it also calls for 7 cups of sugar-I'll occasionally use 8 cups) I do plan on making up my own mix of spices soon.  I ice my cucumber slices for about 2 hours, I just put them in a bowl of ice, or if I have a double batch (as I have lately) I use one side of the sink. Salt does nothing to help the preservation process, so if you are on a special diet you can decrease or omit the salt all together.
http://www.sbcanning.com/2010/07/bread-and-butter-pickles.html

For sweet and dill pickles try this recipe.
http://www.sbcanning.com/2012/07/pickles-sweet-and-dill-taste-of-summer.html

NEW How to store your jars!!!!
DO NOT store with the rings on, and DO NOT stack.

I let my jars sit until cool to touch, if they are near an air vent I will place a light towel over them for an hour or two so no cold air can blow on them, then remove the rings, wipe the jar, and let it sit overnight or a few more hours.  When they have sat at least 12, preferable 24 hours, I put them away.  I have an old wire hanger that I use to store my rings on, I took some pliers, untwisted the top, made a hook from the non-hook end and slide it over the wire on the other side.  Make sure they are 100% clean and dry before putting them up, inspect them each time you use them, if they are dinged, dented, or have a rust spot, toss them.  Ball makes plastic lids for storing in the fridge, I use those, and NEVER NEVER NEVER, re-use a lid.



THANK YOU SO MUCH SB CANNING!!!
If you are looking for a recipe for Ranch Style Beans, try this one, I have and it is awesome, It is Pressure Canning Method, but no need to worry or fear, if I can do it so can you.
Ranch Style Beans.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 15 SWDB

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Click on picture to add your post

FOR TODAY

June 15, 2015

Outside my window...

Rain, Rain, and more Rain,

I am thinking...

About how God is watering the garden

I am thankful...

God loves me enough to bless me with tomatoes and peppers.

In the kitchen...

Pizza rolls before church.

I am wearing...

Denim skirt and T-Shirt.

I am creating...

A mess, as usual.

I am going...

To church in a bit.

I am wondering...

If this rain pattern really will last till October.

I am reading...

Game of Thrones and Pride and Prejudice.

I am hoping...

My cat lets me sleep all night.

I am looking forward to...

This weekend.

I am learning

That the learning never does stop.

Around the house...

Getting ready for chuch.

I am pondering...

How GREAT HE really is.

A favorite quote for today...

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway-

John Wayne

One of my favorite things...

Fresh Salsa

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Work, rest, chores, family.

A peek into my day...

My new business.
Click on picture for link.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Simple Woman's Daybook

Click HERE for link

FOR TODAY 3/11/14

Outside my window...
Spring is trying ever so hard to arrive.

I am thinking...
Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beans, Squash, Lettuce, all fresh.

I am thankful...
I can roll up my sleeves and grow my own food.

In the kitchen...
Seed starting gear.

I am wearing...
Knee length overalls, tank top, & sweater.

I am creating...
A big mess in my kitchen.

I am going...
Outside in a bit, to smell the dirt.

I am wondering...
How wet this spring is going to be, and if we really will (as we always do) have a cold snap right before, on or right after Easter, which is April 20th this year.

I am reading...
 I just finished 

Letters of a Woman Homesteader

Author:
Elinore Pruitt Stewart
see my review HERE, it's free on Kindle (at time of post)

I am hoping...
That all this cold weather and more than 1 snow means I can grow my squash in peace and not have to say ugly things about squash bugs.

I am looking forward to...
Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beans, Squash, Lettuce, all fresh.

I am learning
That I don't know as much as I think I do.

Around the house...
Chores are actually almost done, well except for the mess in the kitchen.

I am pondering...
New ways to cook all those Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beans, Squash, Lettuce, all fresh.

A favorite quote for today...
We are all born ignorant, one must work hard to remain stupid.
Benjamin Franklin.

One of my favorite things...
My old worn out, one strap broken, cut off overalls and canvass sneakers, oops that's two.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Uh, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beans, Squash, Lettuce, all fresh, 
see a theme here?

A peek into my day...


March Simple Woman's Book Club



For Details go HERE

Title: 

Letters of a Woman Homesteader


Author:
Elinore Pruitt Stewart

I read this book on: Kindle

My personal thoughts on this book: 
I absolutely LOVED this book, or maybe collection of letters would be better.  It amazes me the things women years ago accomplished in a days work, it also humbles me.  I have often complained about not getting everything done, and we don't have our kids in outside activities.  I have a bread machine that I use the dough cycle on, I have a crock-pot I cook in, I have a washing machine & dryer, I have NO reason to complain about dirty laundry or supper not being on the table.  These 26 letters are from a widowed young mother who is a former laundress and is writing to her former employer about becoming a homesteader in Wyoming in the early 1900's.  The detail she writes in her letters makes the west come alive, whether it is spring peeking out from under the remaining snow, or the dead of winter.  If you enjoyed the Little House books, you will love this too.

Here is a link where you can find/purchase this book: 



A favorite quote from the book
I could not decide on one quote, so I'm including two.

To me, homesteading is the solution of all poverty's problems, but I realize that temperament has much to do with success in any undertaking, and persons afraid of coyotes and work and loneliness had better let ranching alone. At the same time, any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of the sunset, loves growing things, and is willing to put in as much time at careful labor as she does over the washtub, will certainly succeed; will have independence, plenty to eat all the time, and a home of her own in the end.
Stewart, Elinore Pruitt (2005-08-30). Letters of a Woman Homesteader (Kindle Locations 1307-1310). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

But I am only thinking of the troops of tired, worried women, sometimes even cold and hungry, scared to death of losing their places to work, who could have plenty to eat, who could have good fires by gathering the wood, and comfortable homes of their own, if they but had the courage and determination to get them.
Stewart, Elinore Pruitt (2005-08-30). Letters of a Woman Homesteader (Kindle Locations 1316-1318). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Simple Woman's Book Club February


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Title: The Complete Homestead Planner



Author: Cynthia Bombach



I read this book in/on:  Kindle Edition



My personal thoughts on this book: 
I will admit, I have not carefully read every single page, I have however, thoroughly skimmed through it, as it is a planner and I needed to start using and implementing it right away.  I absolutely love this planner, we have chickens, ducks, goats, cats, kids, and garden all here on our 1 acre homestead.  We plan on adding rabbits and a few more chickens very soon, as well as moving the ducks to the garden area.  Cynthia Bombach has invested her time and sweat into making a planner for her and her family that would make things go smoother, and thought that since she had not found one ready to use she would share hers with others.  What a blessing this planner has already been and we are not even into March yet.  I have taken the information that pertains to us and added it to my monthly planner, then I choose "chores" or jobs and transfer them to my weekly planner, which is also my daily planner.  We do not have all the animals listed in her planner, nor do we have large farm equipment, but should we every acquire any of these, I can adjust my planners.  Things get very busy around here this time of year, it is seed starting time, then transplanting, then kidding the goats, sometimes small but very important things like shots or stocking the birthing kit, get over looked, Cynthia's book will be a huge blessing to us.



Here is a link where you can find/purchase this book: 

This book even has a "Look inside" feature


A favorite quote from the book

Not really a quote, but she encourages us to remember to make time for fun.

I don't have a picture of the book, as I got the Kindle Edition, but this is one of the reasons I invested in it.






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