Friday, July 29, 2011

Kiddos & Sweet Cucumber Relish

I must admit, VBS has occupied a ton of my time this week.  Thankfully, our director gave me an awesomely me assignment.  I got to teach "discovery time" in our food themed VBS, aka: Faith & Food Science.  We made butter, salad dressing, even ice cream.

Today was the first day since Monday that I didn't have to work or have a drs appt during the day on top of VBS.  It was time to get some things done: Groceries, Shredding Zucchini, Prepping for Ice Cream in VBS, finding a new vet for the dog.... and Cucumber Relish.  Sorry, no Eye Candy.  I just didn't get around to it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zesty Zucchini Pickles know, for when freezing and pies and breads and casseroles just aren't enough to use up all of that zucchini.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Dill Pickles for the Long Haul

Sorry I've been such a crappy blogger lately.  Canning has kinda consumed my life to the point where I didn't even have time to blog about it.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), this hella heat wave has slowed the garden a little and left me even less inclined to can, so I have time to share!

My dad and hubbs really love my Sweet & Spicy Dill Refrigerator Pickles, they're so crunchy and wonderful. Unfortunately, come September there aren't anymore.  For one, they get eaten up, but also they have a much shorter shelf life, and all of that is spent taking up space in my fridge.  I've done some experimenting and think I've found a reasonable long-term, canned alternative.  They'll never be as crispy as the refrigerator ones, but that's the nature of the beast.  Also, be warned: It's a 3 day process.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Concombres aux Champignons et a la Creme

aka: Baked Cucumbers in a Mushroom Cream Sauce

Baked Cucumbers?  Yup... that was my first thought when I read it too.  However, I am swimming in cucumbers (among other veggies) and getting a little sick of canning/freezing everything... AND it's been a while since I mastered any new French Cooking.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Preserving: Cinnamon Watermelon Rind Pickles

You can go ahead and call me crazy or beyond frugal or just plain excited about my canning resolution, but when my mother-in-law was cutting melon off the rind this weekend, I just couldn't let her compost the rinds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Preserving: Blueberry Raspberry Jam

I'll tell you what: Our garden had one heck of a growth spurt over the long weekend.  Tonight, I picked 5 zucchini, 3 cucumbers (the first ones!) and quite the handful of snow peas, sweet peas, green beans and raspberries.  Last night I was so surprised by the amount of raspberries, I took a picture:

Between all of those raspberries (combined with tonight's) and the pint of blueberries the in-laws sent us home with from their bushes, I was ready to make something jellied.  Personally, I'm not a huge jelly person, but Nick has it just about every morning.  That makes it worth my time to make.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Preserving: Freezing Zucchini & Snow Peas

Before we get on to garden things, I would like to point out it's my Blogiversary! (and post #120)  It's been a crazy year, but i seem to have picked up a handful of followers along the way and I just wanna say thanks for stopping by and i'm glad you're here.  I'd love to say thank you with a giveaway like the big blogs, but this here is a low (aka: no) budget operation.  Deal with it.  In the mean time, feel free to reminisce and check out my first post.  Warning: The refrigerator pickles are a good idea but i really should have followed up on my attempt at fermenting pickles.  It was a moldy mess of fail.  I don't recommend it.

On to garden stuffs.  Food is beginning to roll in from the garden.  Mainly snow peas and zucchini at the moment, but also a few bush beans and raspberries.  (I think the birds are getting to them before we can tho, more on that later).  Anyways, it's about time to kick my resolution to try and preserve a year's worth of veggies from our garden into action.  It's no doubt a lofty goal, but shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Scrap Day!

Today is scrap day.  Nick's Garage/workshop is in desperate need of some cleaning out and organization strategy.  Unfortunately, between lumber and unusable appliances you can hardly enter the place.  The lumber is being kept, though it does need some serious sorting.  That leaves getting rid of the busted appliances (3 stoves and a hot water heater) as the first step to what I hope will be a full garage overhaul.

One stove does work so we're gonna try and sell it on craigslist, where it will fetch more than the $10/#100 our scrap yard is currently paying for tin.  The rest of the appliances, along with every piece of metal junk my husband has been hoarding for the last 4 years are going to the scrap yard today.  My dad graciously volunteered to give us a hand.  My mom threatened our lives and my husband's reproductive organs if my dad (famous for declaring a busted shop-vac to be "A perfectly good bucket on wheels") came home with anything we had declared scrap.