Tag Archives: pickles

Jam session and soon in a pickle-7/8/18

Not music, canning.  As the raspberries ripened a cup or two a day, they were enjoyed fresh, but most frozen.  Once enough had been accumulated, the first canning session of the year was conducted.  Realizing that I should have crushed the berries prior to freezing so that the amount I had was accurate.  The first batch was made and canned in tiny quarter pint jars, there are many of them in the house and they don’t have much other use, though I think I may just freeze herbs and pesto in the rest of them this year.  The lesson to crush before freezing was heeded and the next week or so of berry collection was frozen crushed and batch number two made when enough were accumulated, this time canned in half pints.  At yesterday’s Farmers’ Market, we purchased several pounds of blueberries.  We had planned to go pick them, but each time we planned to go, it was either blazing hot or raining.  Also  peaches and plums that were brought in from far enough away but still within the 50 mile limit that they survived the mid April freezes and snows. Yesterday before we took off to go see a play at Blackfriars American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, I made a batch of Blueberry Double Ginger jam, this morning, a batch of Blueberry Maple Jam, and this afternoon, a batch of Peach-Plum-Ginger Jam.  That shelf is filling for gifts, family sharing, and our use.

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The wild raspberries and blackberries are just beginning to ripen.  We will gather them and depending on the quantity, batches will be made into either individual jams or a mixed berry jam.

Soon the cucumbers will begin and the peppers will develop and pickle making will commence.  The only pickles made so far are a few jars of dilly beans.  There aren’t enough of our beans to make too many jars of them.  I will be freezing as many of the remaining ones as possible for our enjoyment when the season ends and we can no longer pick them from the garden or purchase them from the Farmers’ Market.

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The pickle shelf will begin to fill soon.  I generally store the canned goods other than jams in the root cellar, but I love the look of the pretty jams and pickles in my beautiful open cabinets, so this year, two shelves will be dedicated to them and the over flow along with the fruit sauces, tomato sauces and salsas will go to the root cellar with the garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins as they are harvested.

Let the canning begin

What we are lacking in eggs, we are making up for in tomatoes.  There are several bags in the freezer awaiting sauce and I just brought in this bucket full.

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There are many more buckets full that will ripen over the next few weeks.  Tomorrow will be dedicated to a large pot of pasta sauce making and canning.  Salsa will utilize the next bucketful.  The tomatillos are beginning to fill out as well and I will begin making tomatillo sauce and green salsa soon too.

My peppers are not all the varieties that I intended to grow.  There may not be jalapenos to can, but mammoth jalapenos will go into the salsas.

Last weekend was the 75th annual Newport Agricultural Fair and one of the vendors was selling heirloom seed, so I picked up a handful of varieties that I haven’t grown of peppers and tomatoes, plus a few other seed.  And I entered a raffle to win 20 packets of seed.

The last big harvest of cucumbers were made into 5 more pints of dill pickles.

Most of the squash are dying back and a few got so large while we had a houseful of guests last weekend that the chickens got a bonus.  We are still getting a few for sauteed squash and squash casseroles.

The nesting boxes are closed off for the second night, after chasing broody hen off of one of them and taking the eggs inside.  She is again sitting in front of the barrier on the floor of the coop.  I may have to take more diligent methods to break her so she will begin laying again.

It is about time to get some fall seed in the ground if we are to hope for any harvest.  I hope to build a deeper box to put some of the fall greens in with hopes of extending the harvest season by covering it with clear plastic once the first frost is threatened.

Olio – July 19, 2015

Olio- A miscellaneous collection of things.

The heat has returned. . . and the humidity.  With the heat and humidity, we also get intense thunder storms with half an hour of rain, of course, right after I watered the wilting deck herbs and flowers.

The chicks watch is still on.  Not a single egg hatched from the clutch that the Momma Hen was driven off of by the Broody Hen who took it over.  They should have begun hatching on Friday, but not a one so far.  I will wait until tomorrow then remove the eggs and begin breaking the Broody, or maybe wait until tomorrow night when all the girls are sleeping and take the eggs and give her the two 4 week old chicks in the garage and see what she does with them.  It is a good thing that I ordered Red Rangers for mid August as the Buff Orpington experiment sure has not provided the culls that we had hoped to put in the freezer for winter.

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Littles, Teens, and Hens enjoying the scraps and overgrown squash and cukes.

After I shucked the corn from yesterday’s Farmers’ Market to go with our steak, I took the husks out to the chickens and wandered into the garden to see if there was a cucumber to slice for dinner too.  This is what I brought back to the house.

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Two overlooked yellow squash and one huge cucumber went straight into the chicken pen.

After dinner, Daughter and I cut up and froze 6 more quarts of summer squash for the winter soups, pasta sauces and casseroles.  After she and SIL left to go to a movie, I made the first two pints of Dill Pickles from one of my favorite cookbooks, preserving by the pint, for storage.

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On the spinning front, I am still plodding along on the pound of Coopsworth with about 700 yards of yarn finished, washed and dried and another bobbin nearly full.  I fear that I am going to end up with 3 bobbins and have to wind off the last one into two balls to ply it.

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I wish the teal color showed better in the artificial light.  It is going to make a luscious sweater when I am finished with it.

As for knitting, I am working on the first sleeve of the sweater that has been in the works for months.  It is just too hot to sit with a sweater body in my lap, so it only gets picked up on cooler evenings.  Unlike most knitters that I know, I generally don’t have multiple projects going at once, but the sweater is too big and too hot to be a carry around project, so I cast on another project.  One of my friends is an Indie yarn dyer and she and her husband have several causes and organizations that they strongly support.  Upon the Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage, to support Urban Peak in Denver, CO, a shelter for homeless youth, she dyed a special yarn, Rainbow Unicorn of Love.  For every skein she sells, they are donating 10 pairs of new socks to this shelter for the homeless young folks staying there.  The cause seemed worthy to me so a skein of her delicious sock yarn joined my stash.

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So what do you do with Rainbow Sock yarn, why make socks, the perfect portable project.  Unfortunately, I have about an inch of ribbing and the pattern that I though I was ordering as a download is actually being mailed to me and I haven’t received a shipping notice yet.  I may do another favorite sock pattern of mine, designed by a knitting friend for the Bejing Olympics Sockapalloza,  Olympian Socks.  I have another skein of Unplanned Peacock Sock yarn in Botanicals colorway that can be made into the other pattern once it arrives and this pair is finished.

Loving life on our mountain farm.