This week I canned green beans, pickled peppers (good on sandwiches) and potatoes. I want to encourage everyone to can, particularly pressure canning. It's nothing to fear. It won't explode like in the movies, they have release valves on them. If you follow the directions precisely, you won't get food poisoning. I like the All-American pressure canner because it doesn't have a gasket and they are very well built. I believe that pressure canning is easier than making jams and pickles in a boiling water bath. Jams are so fussy with all that skimming of foam and the jelling is sometimes iffy. But most vegetables have just to be cleaned, placed in a sterilized jar with a little salt, boiling water poured over them and sealed. Not a lot of fuss at all. The general directions for pressure canning are:
Step 1: Fill the canner with the amount of water required in the manual. (Different canners vary)
Step 2: Fill the canner with the jars of prepared food.
Step 3: Put the lid on, tightening the screws alternately.
Step 4: Vent the steam for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Place the weight on the vent.
Step 6: Begin timing the process once the weight begins to rock and rattle and the pressure gauge registers 10 pounds (might need 15 pounds of pressure if you live in higher elevations)
Step 7: Adjust the heat so the pressure keeps steady. All canners have a sweet spot for this. On my stove it is the 6 mark on the knob.
Step 8: When you have processed the jars for the time required, remove the canner from the heat.
Step 9: Allow the pressure to return to zero pounds of pressure. Remove the weight from the vent.
Step 10: Unscrew the nuts alternately. Open the canner lid away from your face. Remove the jars.
Sometimes I wish I had a Youtube channel to demonstrate how easy it is, but I'm sure there are already plenty out there. Use your computer to learn new skills, whether it be canning, knitting,, or how to play the guitar, there's wonderful videos out there.
My New Dawn roses have come back from the dead!
This past week we did our light summer pruning. This is just a light pruning as opposed to the heavier winter/early spring pruning. The goal is to trim away any weak or broken branches or any branches that cross over each other. You want to prune any densely limbed younger trees to allow light to reach the inner branches. This creates sturdier fruiting branches in younger trees. In mature trees trees this improves fruit size. Also the more sparsely branched trees improves the air circulation, reducing the risk of fungus. Remember this is supposed to be just a little trimming not a haircut; leave the serious branch removal for the dormant season.
This week there were festivals galore in our area. We attended the Pointe Aux Barques lighthouse 150th anniversary.
There were storytellers, musicians, food tents, vendors and you could climb to the top of the tower.
There even was a very small Civil War re-enactment.
I read a lot of blogs on thrift, and one thing that strikes me is how many write about buying things. Sure they got a great discount on whatever it was they were buying, but the still spent money. An old-fashioned concept that you don't hear very often these days is the easiest way to save money is not to spend any. Of course it doesn't make for a very interesting blog; we didn't drive anywhere so we didn't buy gas, we didn't eat out, we didn't use any coupons because we didn't buy anything, etc.
This week I gathered some mullien leaves to dry. The Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains Blog has a great post on it. Also gathering raspberry leaves and sage for medicinal purposes. I'll write more about that later, as I'm in a crunch for time, as I have to get ready to go to the dentist.
THRIFTY THING WE DID THIS WEEK
Canned green beans, potaoes and peppers.
Grated and froze summer squash.
Harvested brocolli, summer squash, potatoes, onions, pepper and green beans.
Collected the seeds from hollyhocks and mustard greens.
Gathered and dried mullien and raspberry leaves.
Bottled up some strawberry-rhubarb wine.
Began knitting a scarf from the yarn stash.
Bartered some work for a bag of oats.
Got a truckload of compost for free from the village.
Sorry for the abbreviated post this week. Between the electricity going out and the stupid dentist appointment, time is short. Will try to make it up to you next week! Have a lovely week!