Monday, May 04, 2009

Did anyone get the name of that bear?

So, today's my monthly day of waking up feeling like I was mauled by a bear sometime during the night. But once I'm up and moving around a bit, I do start to feel better and limber up. Good thing too, because in order for my excellent lawn mowing plan to work, I have to make sure that mowing happens everyday it doesn't rain. Or we'll never keep up with just the push mower to do the work. So, I'm going to shake off the bear aches and get to moving. Also, do you all think you'll be completely sick of the references to lawn mowing by the time Oct. rolls around? I will be.

I finished the First Communion Dress and got it shipped off to MI. I hope that it'll fit her and she likes it. Unfortunately, the pictures I took before I packed it up are really blurry. I'm not sure how that happened, since I thought they looked good, but they're not worth posting. So I guess we'll have to wait for the conclusion to the First Communion Dress series for a couple of weeks, until I can get a chance to be in the same room with it again and take some good pictures. It turned out pretty cute though. I will say that.

I used the last of the pumpkin puree from the freezer yesterday to make pie for this week's breakfasts. I've been taking stock of the things we canned and froze last year and trying to plan for this coming year.

I think that this fall, I'll want to freeze at least twice as many quart bags of apple pie filling. There's only one left right now, and that's because I've been saving it since I realized it was the last one a month or two ago. And I think I should can about a third to a half more applesauce, since I'm down to the last three or four quarts right now. I don't need to have any more bradied apples or spiced apples, since those hardly got touched, but I might want to have more jam and jelly, since the apple jelly proved to be very popular with our friends and family, and I gave most of it away.

The relish and the dill pickles are lasting just fine, so I think that most of the cucumbers this year will be eaten fresh. Though Ben did plant some gerhkins just to experiment with pickling them.

The okra that we grew last year was a flop, and the best pickled okra we put up was from our friend Ken's mom's garden, so we'll hope for such a gift this year too. We might bribe him with canned goods to make it happen.

What we really need to have in stock the most will be sweet corn, green beans, snap peas, spinach, and other veggies of that sort. The green beans we froze last year are edible, but that's about all you can say for them. They're pretty tough, and I don't know if that's the fault of the freezer, or they weren't picked soon enough, or it's my processing. I think we'd both prefer canning the beans this year. I'm planning to freeze the snap peas, so I hope that'll turn out better that last year's string beans. I think that it'll be best to get the pressure canner working and learn to pressure can so I can do the veggies that way. I think we'll enjoy them more and eat them way more often.

We'll need at least four times as much tomato sauce, since we ran out way back in December, I think. And I'm hoping that I'll get enough tomatoes to try making ketchup too. And salsa would be fun. It's funny to me, how I don't really like tomatoes raw, but tomato products are absolutely some of my favorite foods. Whenever I eat a tomato slice, I always just think it's like a pale shadow of the yummy taste of tomato sauce. Anyway, to have so much tomato sauce, I'm really hoping that my little seedlings can pull through. They're not looking really awesome though, so I guess I might have to resign myself to buying some plants at the farmers' market. I was really hoping not to have to do that.

Well, I had better get moving and quit stalling, since it's time for breakfast and to get my harder chores finshed. I'm listening to a book by Michael Pollan right now, so I'm looking forward to hearing more while I mow, and then, this afternoon, I can rest while I read some of the books I've got out of the library. My renewing habit is getting out of hand, so I figure I'd better try to keep up better when I check things out.

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Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

If you figure out a way to can green beans so they're not so tough, I'd love to hear it! We have been raised on commercially canned beans and they are very soft. Switching to home grown has been hard. :D

Bonnie Story said...

In addition to tasting great, cooked (canned) tomatoes actually have higher concentrations of good stuff like Lycopene. Just another reason to like it best!

Bethany said...

Melissa, my mom's canned beans are great, not so mushy as the store, but not tough at all either. I think she uses the Ball Blue Book instructions, but I'll ask her to be sure. And she mostly cans yellow wax beans, not green beans, and we've all always preferred the yellow over the green.

Bonnie, I didn't know that! Usually they tell you that cooking fruits and veggies degrades the nutrients. It's good to know that for once I prefer the healthier thing!

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