Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pickles Galore!




Went to the farmer's market  and was foolish enough to buy a 1/2 bushel of cucumbers!
I should have known how much work this was going to be after lugging
the heavy load of cukes to the car - eek!

Without ado I began scrubbing, trimming and brining these beauties,
after-all they weren't cheep and I wasn't going to waste my money.










As they sat in the salty brine for a few hours, 
I took a quick trip into town for some 
pearl onions, sugar and vinegar.















5 quarts and 13 pints
were cold packed using my
moms Sweet Dill Pickle Recipe.


By the wee hours of the morning,
I had most of the sweet dill pickles in jars and ready for the hot water bath - where they stayed for 12 hours.





Here is my Mom's Recipe - as I took notes at her kitchen table:

You need small pickles – any amount, fresh dill heads, peeled pickling onions, pickling spices, vinegar, sugar, alum and turmeric and you’re ready to go! I buy my pickles at the market but Mom always grew her own!
Scrub pickles and trim ends off.  
Soak pickles for at least 3-4 hours or overnight in a salty brine (mom said to add enough salt to the water so that it tastes really salty J) - no actual measurements required.
Fill cold pack canner (1/2 full) with water and bring to a boil while you pack the jars.
To pack quart jars – put a nice head of dill in bottom of jar, pack in one row of pickles – packed tight, top with a couple of little pickling (pearl) onions, repeat with another row of pickles and onions.  Top with ½ tsp. pickling spices, and a little more dill (use stems too).  Set the jars near the heating canner to “warm” the jars when packed.  Fill each jar with the following hot and simmering syrup
Makes enough for 4 quarts or 8 pints of pickles:
5 Cups vinegar
5 ½ Cups white sugar
½ tsp. alum
1 tsp. turmeric
Bring mixture to a rolling boil.  Keep it simmering while ladling into packed jars.  Seal immediately with sterilized snap lid and ring.  Set the jars into the hot canner (had been boiling water – heat turned off but left on stove).  Cover canner and leave jars in hot water bath for at least 12 hours.


This morning  I pickled the remaining cucumbers - 6 jars, with a Garlic Dill Pickle recipe
(without all that sugar) I found on line.
Hope these turn out but we will have to wait for 6-8 weeks before trying them. 

There was enough of the sweet dill pickle syrup left over to make a jar of
pickled eggs.
After trying to peel the first two eggs with little success (oh, well I needed something
for lunch anyways), 
I was desperate to find a method of peeling these eggs without having most
of the egg white stick to the shell and thus destroying the egg for using as a pickled egg!

Here is a tip I learned after seeking some advice on line:

THIS ACTUALLY WORKED!

http://www.farmcurious.com/how-to-peel-a-farm-fresh-egg/



BTW - I tried something new this time. I read somewhere that by adding a small grape leaf
to the jar of pickles will help to keep them crisp. We'll have to wait to see if this actually works.
Nothing worse than having the pickles go mushy after all this process.

Till next time - heading out to the garden to see if my next project needs to be picking and preserving the beets!
I think I'll need to stalk up on some more vinegar and salt ... or maybe have a nap.













Monday, August 17, 2015

Write it on your walls and doorposts ... Deut. 11:20

Their home is filled with love, warmth .... and inspiring words.
on the walls, on the shelves, and even on the pillows.






We were witness to a most sacred event in the life of our sweet daughter Becky
and much loved son-in-law Patrick
as they welcomed a precious gift from God into their home and lives ...

I can hardly believe that it's been one month since I arrived at this far away home
for the birth of our first grandchild, little darling Noa ...

We were there for her first official walk to the park:


Let's go Daddy!
What's a walk in the park without some ice-cream? Yum.


Sleepy baby
For her first bath ...



... and to see how much she is loved by her daddy as he comforted her.


My heart was full as I watched this little family love each other and their beautiful daughter!




I was standing on Holy Ground and thank the Lord each and every day for this blessing!




They need one of these now

Happy One Month Birthday sweet Noa Marie!!!



In the meantime ... staring at the pictures of her and waiting each day for more to come :).




Monday, August 10, 2015

Schnibbling and Schnitzing

It's that time of year to "schnibble" the beans and pickle some for future salads!









This is my mom's recipe - it's super easy and oh, so tasty!

Boil cut-up beans in slightly salted water – just until heated through but not too soft.  Drain and pack into pint jars.  Keep warm while preparing syrup:
2 Cups Vinegar
2 Cups White Sugar
1 Cup water
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. turmeric
1/3 tsp. alum
Bring syrup to a boil and ladle boiling syrup into bean filled jars – syrup makes enough for approx. 6 pints.  Seal.

It's also the year for "schnitzing" the Harvest Apples (a.k.a. Transparents)
This old tree produces it's wonderful, worm free, fruit every other year and it makes the best
applesauce and pies.
This tree is remembered by many generations who are connected with this old farm and though
it is splitting and somewhat hollow - it continues to delight us with it's bi-yearly fruit!







There's really no recipe for this but this is how I make the applesauce:

Wash and quarter the apples, cutting out any bruises, stems and blossom ends. Simmer with a bit of water in a heavy pot, stirring occasionally so apples don't stick to pot or scorch. When soft and fluffy, simply put through a sieve to separate the sauce from the skins and cores. My mother canned the sauce but I usually just put it into jars and containers and freeze it. No sugar is needed but you can add it to taste and some cinnamon, if desired, just before serving.  Applesauce was a staple on our dinner table when I was growing up. Serve it up warm with your favourite pork dinner or eat it for dessert!


Till next time ......... enjoying the garden's bounty. How does your garden grow???