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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Strawberry Overload!!!

Strawberries have taken over - well, they did today, anyway.

I have been experimenting with various items that I can put up for when the sequester/furlough nonsense actually goes into effect (apparently letters are supposed to go out at the start of May, but we shall see).  Today, I prepped 10 lbs. of strawberries and canned them all in a light syrup.  

Despite wanting to help (so they said) neither child gave me any assistance, so I was rushing and trying to keep the syrup from boiling down, get the water bath up to boiling, and make sure the lids and bands were in a low simmer.....oh, and according to the recipe, 6-12lbs of strawberries should have yielded 8 pints or 4 quarts....yeah...right....I actually ended up with quite a bit more.  Fortunately, I had plenty of jars to

Final Product - oh so pretty!
The end result was 16 pints!!!  One pint didn't seal, but that was my fault completely since I didn't add enough syrup.  It all worked out because we had the strawberries over shortcakes.  I topped them with whipped cream and drizzled some of the syrup over the cream....YUM!!!  Surprisingly, DS said that they were too sweet....everybody liked them, but to him they had too much sugar (definitely not comprehending this

the final count - cooling on the kitchen cart :-)

I now have 1.5 shelves completely filled with processed jars.....salsa, grape jelly, and strawberries.  I need to hunt up my spaghetti sauce recipe and go visit my favorite fruit/veggie stand for pickling cucumbers....oh, and now my son says we need to get lots of blueberries and can them.  Yeah, I don't think so.  However, thinking about apples (for apple pie in a jar, which can also be used as filling for homemade pop tarts), spiced apples, fruit cocktail, and a few other things....but not 100% decided on anything beyond the pickles and sauce....


Friday, April 26, 2013

Slowing down....but I have a good excuse!!

I was trying to get back into regular posting, but of course, best laid plans and all that.....However, tomorrow will see me doing more canning, which I'm excited about (provided I get some sleep tonight!).

See.....I was offered a sewing job form the elementary school, and trying to co-ordinate 9 background colors for teacher flags so that there aren't 2 of the same color too close to each other, and preparing for a birthday, and the regular day-to-day stuff....well, I sort of got sidetracked.

The biggest thing is that my firstborn is officially a teenager now....he turned 13 yesterday morning at 12:15 am....where in the world has the time gone??!!???

Tonight he has one of the few boys he is still friends with from when he attended public school over....they are watching movies on a portable dvd player.  This is one of the most respectful, polite young men that I have ever met - at least for a 13yo.  The fact that they are still friends despite not seeing each other regularly is awesome, and the fact that this boy came and hand-delivered an invitation to Thomas to attend HIS birthday party was pretty awesome.

Anyway.....tomorrow, provided we get enough sleep, the plan is to can 10 pounds of strawberries in a light syrup....and whatever is left over, we'll have with whipped cream :-)

My canning shelves are now full of jars, but the majority of them are empty, which is bothersome.  Hopefully after tomorrow, there will be another 8 pints on the shelf with stuff in them instead of 2 shelves full of empty jars.....have to get going on the other things I want to can....kiddos wants me to make fruit cocktail and I want to do spiced apples, pickles, and who knows what yes, spaghetti sauce.....but, I have to find the recipes that I like for all of them, so that might not be for another few weeks.

Hopefully next weekend, we will be putting in our 3rd garden bed.  Not only will it give us more growing space, but it will be something that we can work on together that will also help Thomas in his work towards his Family Life merit badge (he has to do 1 project to benefit the family on his own and one with the family - he's in charge of tilling up the 2 garden beds we currently have and we will make the 3rd the family project).....then we need to decide what we're growing this year besides lettuce again, probably popcorn plants since I just used the last of what we got last year, possibly some greens and maybe even some green beans, though that's not definite yet.

Ah well...will post pictures when I can get around to it.