Hello dear friends! Well, here I am, a day late and a dollar short. Today I promise to keep this post short and sweet, so it doesn't feel like a school assignment. Speaking of school assignments, I hope you all are taking advantage of the back-to-school sales. Even if you don't have any schoolchildren, now's the time to stock up on pens and paper. I bought half a dozen notebooks for 17 cents each. I use them to make my own ledgers (keeping track of money is so important) and for recipe books. I even use them to make scrapbooks of articles that I cut from magazines and copy from the internet. We have no space to store old magazines, just wasted space, besides most magazines now days are all advertisements, when you get down to the meat and potatoes of them, you're lucky to have ten pages worth reading.
Oh yes! I promised not to be long-winded this post! The last few days have been beautiful. There's a cool breeze of the lake and because of the drought, the leaves on the trees have turned yellow and are falling off. If a person squints just right, you can imagine it is Fall. Our peach trees are heavy with fruit this year.
So anyway, been busy here with canning, as usual. This week it was peaches, of course, blackberries, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and potatoes. We always cull the small potatoes when we dig them and can them instead of letting them wither in storage. They make for a convenient meal. It's rather silly, I know, but I'm very proud of how lovely my jars of potatoes look. Vanity, thy name is woman!
Well, I couldn't write a post without giving some sort of lesson, could I? So here's how I can my tomatoes:
Canning Crushed Tomatoes
Remove the skins and core the tomatoes. Crush them with your hand and place in a large stockpot. Heat and simmer the tomatoes until most of the watery liquid has evaporated and you are left with just tomatoes and it's own juice. Pack into hot sterilized quart jars with 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of canning salt. Put on caps and lids and process in a hot water bath for 45 minutes.
I broke two jars while canning the tomatoes. The first one I just chalked up to it being an old jar, I've inherited quite a few jars from my parents who had inherited many from my grandparents, so some of these jars are pretty close to ninety years old... Anyway, it wasn't until I broke the second jar, that I figured out the problem. I was putting the cold lemon juice in the hot jar first, and that little bit of cold against the hot glass was causing the jars to crack. So now I add the lemon juice mid-way in the packing process.
In spite of the drought, our garden did pretty well this year. Daily we are harvesting tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, blackberries and peaches. Today I have to pick crabapples and make jelly. Ran always makes a jug of wine from them. I love how vibrant the food is, when it is fresh-picked from the garden.
Inside I'm rushing the season, by rearranging the house for cooler weather. We live in a tiny dollhouse-sized home, and I treat it like a dollhouse, rearranging the furniture on a whim. Friends never know what to expect when they visit.
THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK
Canned 24 pints of potatoes, 8 quarts of tomaotes, 6 pints of spaghetti sauce, 8 pints of peaches and 8 pints of blackberries.
Dehydrated a half-bushel of peppers.
Sewed a table runner from some fabric scraps.
Started knitting an Outlander-type shawl from the many skeins of tweed yarn I have left over from many projects.
Ate chili, moussaka, pizza and scalloped potatoes, all from garden produce and pantry.
We pledged not to use the car for two weeks, so far so good.
For entertainment, I rearranged the sitting room (that's entertainment to me) and watched some really old movies on YouTube . We enjoyed the cooler weather and went for many walks.
That's another week at the old Sweet Briar Cottage. Hope you have a wonderful golden sunshiny week!