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Posts Tagged ‘farm life’

I must apologize up front for the editing on this video. I am not very experienced at this, and the super easy app I had on my phone “updated” and became way too complicate for me to use. I found another app, but it wasn’t much better – so hopefully I will find one I can understand.

However! I do understand canning! This is a video for making strawberry pie filling. I learned to do this last year, and have since made apple pie filling as well as peach. It is a little labor intensive, but well worth the effort! If you have questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

This is the recipe:

For 1 quart: 3 1/2 cups fresh or thawed strawberries, 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp Clear Jel (cook type), 1 cup cold water, 3 1/2 tsp bottled lemon juice.

For 7 quarts: 6 quarts (24 cups) strawberries, 6 cups sugar, 2 1/4 cups Clear Jel, 7 cups cold water, 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice.

4-8 drops of red food coloring – optional

Wash and cap strawberries and drain fruit. Combine sugar and Clear Jel in a large pot, mix well. Add water and mix well. (Add red food coloring, if desired). Cook on med high until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Stir to a smooth consistency. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Fold in strawberries immediately and then fill quart jars, one at a time, leaving 1 1/2″ headspace. Do your best to get all the air bubbles out of the jars. This will be difficult due to the thickness of the mixture. It’s best to add a little at a time, and remove the air bubbles. Wipe rims, add lids and rings and process 30 minutes in a full rolling boil water bath.

Canning Strawberry Pie Filling Video

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It has been said that experience comes from learning from your mistakes and wisdom comes from learning from the mistakes of others. Today I learned two great lessons of what not to do. So let me share a word of wisdom with you.

I had about a peck (1/4 bushel) of ripe roma tomatoes that needed canning. I had found a recipe in the 2015 Ball Canning book for “Roasted Roma” so I thought, “That sounds good!”

The problem was, we don’t have a gas grill. Not to worry, the recipe said they could be roasted in the oven on broil…

What a mess! They didn’t roast – they cooked and turned into a mushy mess! Oh well, I finally got them peeled, but won’t try that again!

(By the way – there are no pictures because I was up to my elbows in tomato goo!)

Next the recipe called for 3 bulbs of roasted garlic. I LOVE roasted garlic, but I always roast it by peeling the cloves, drizzling with olive oil and wrapping in aluminum foil and roasting for about 30 minutes @ 350°. However this recipe said to drizzle the olive oil over the whole bulbs, then wrapping in foil and roasting…

Well, ok… let’s follow the recipe. Again – what a mess! Doing it this way necessitated squeezing each clove to extract the garlic “goodie” out. I had olive oil all over me, and it took “two-forevers” to get all the cloves squeezed out. And pictures? Forget it!

Anyway, I (sorta) proceeded with the recipe (I used roasted peppers from the freezer instead of fresh peppers) and added the onions. By the time everything had been added and cooked I really just had some chunky pasta sauce (which is what I renamed the recipe).

The “Roasted Romas” recipe called for processing the pint or quart jars for 85 minutes! I know that length of time was considering that the tomatoes would be mostly firm… they were anything BUT firm! It was sauce! But… I processed them for that amount of time. I knew it wouldn’t hurt anything – and might even thicken up the sauce.

After that I still had some regular tomatoes that needed canning so I thought, “Shoot! I May as well try another new recipe!” (Some days I’m just crazy like that…)

So I prepared the rest of the tomatoes using a “Chili Sauce” recipe. Simple and only needed to process 15 minutes. I used up the rest of my roasted peppers.

All in all not a bad day and I learned two very valuable lessons – and maybe you can learn something from my mess to save you time and effort in the future.

By the way – about roasting garlic – I love to roast it, mash it up and dehydrate it. Then I grind it up into a coarse powder. It is absolutely delicious!

And here’s a picture of the finished product. The quart jars are spaghetti sauce I canned yesterday. The pints are the (ahem) “Chunky Pasta Sauce” and the half pints are the chili sauce.

#farmstewardship at its best!

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I bet I have a jillion pickle recipes – well, maybe not a jillion, but a hundred, anyway. My mother was an expert pickler (is that a word?) and I have all her recipes plus all the recipes in all the canning books I have (did I mention that I collect canning books?)

I have made 14 day pickles, 7 day pickles, crunchy green tomato pickles, bread and butter pickles, icicle pickles, no-name pickles and relishes of all kinds.

This year, however, I have been under a great time constraint due to a deadline for a writing assignment looming. So – I have had plenty of cucumbers to eat on, but no time to make pickles!

Today I decided to take a few hours to make pickles. A “few hours”? Yes, I cheated. And this is why (besides “time”).

Even though I have made all kinds of pickles, I’d never been able to get a dill pickle that was as good as good ole store-bought hamburger dills (which is what my husband loves on his burgers).

Last year I noticed these Ball Kosher Dill and Bread and Butter mixes at the grocery store.

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So I decided to try the Dill mix and WOW! It was delicious! This year I also bought the Bread and Butter mix, and loved it as well. It is so quick and easy that it absolutely feels like cheating!

So – here’s today’s adventure.

First we picked cucumbers.

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Then I scrubbed them and sliced a bowl full.

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I missed getting a picture of the mixture, but just follow the directions on the label.

Next fill the jars, and waterbath for 15 minutes.

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Next I decided to make some sweet pickle relish using the Bread and Butter mix (a recipe is merely a suggestion – right?)

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I used cucumbers, an orange and a yellow bell pepper, and a purple onion. I chopped them, filled jars and waterbathed.

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It’s pretty, whether it’s any good or not!

Next I did a turn of dill chunks and then threw all the extras in a bowl with all the leftover mix (dill and bread and butter together). That should be an interesting taste! HA!

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All in all, not a bad job for 4 hours!

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They’ll really be good this winter, too!

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I haven’t made any of these yet this year, but thought I’d post the recipe so you can be ready. Many folks have green tomatoes setting on now.

Green Tomato Pickles

(Sweet and Crunchy)

5-7 lbs green tomatoes

2 gal water

2-3 cups pickling lime

8 cups sugar (4 lb)

3 pt vinegar

1 tsp cloves (I like whole)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground all spice

1 tsp celery seed (ground or whole – depending on preference)

1 tsp ground mace

Choose green tomatoes that are about the size of a baseball. Wash, core and cut them in half top to bottom, then slice. This way they fit in the jar better. It’s easier to get them in large mouth jars, but regular jars work fine, too.

Soak the tomatoes in the lime and water in a crock or glass jar for 24 hours. The next day, drain them and soak in fresh water for 4 hours, changing the water every ½ hour.

Next, put them over into a Stainless Steel pot. Make a syrup of sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring the syrup to a boil, and then pour over the tomatoes in the SS pot. Let this stand over night (12-18 hours). The next morning, boil for 1 hour – until syrup is clear.

Seal in hot jars and waterbath for 15 minutes.

*NOTE* When processing pickles, to retain “crunchiness” let water come to a boil before putting jars into the canner. Start processing time from putting the jars into the canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by about 2 inches.

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The following poem just reflects our lives here on the farm. I wrote this more than 25 years ago when our older son was about 6. It speaks of our faith – but hey – that’s who we are. (If you’re like-minded click on the link to my Prayerlogue ministry blog).

Enjoy!

Flour on the Bible

 

While filling up my flour bowl

a job I sometimes dread,

My older son (who always helps)

turned to me and said,

“Mama, you got flour on your Bible,

seems it’s always in the way.”

I smiled and said, “No son,

I need to read it every day.”

 

Since the kitchen is my “home court”

where I spend most all my time,

With my Bible and my coffee cup

every morning you will find,

That when I get them off to work and school

and before another deed,

I lean back in my rocking chair

and sip my coffee while I read.

 

A woman gives and gives and gives,

then has to give some more.

Not only must I meet my needs,

I need a reservoir!

 

So my Bible’s in the kitchen

giving strength for each new day,

and filling up

an extra cup

if needed on the way.

 

And if some food gets spilled along

I’ll wipe it with a breeze

So far it’s nothing major,

just watch that syrup, please!

 

©Betty Newman

 

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Many of my herbs came back beautifully from the winter.

Oregano

Oregano

As you can see, my oregano is ready to pick and dehydrate, and my thyme

Thyme

Thyme


well… my thyme is at hand… (boooooo) ☺

Seriously – I use a lot of herbs for cooking. I also have Rosemary, Tarragon, and Bay, but I’m having to replace my Sage this year as it did not survive the winter. Oh! And garlic! I have lots of garlic growing. I like to peel, roast, mash then dehydrate the roasted garlic. I use it in almost everything I cook! I would venture to say the majority of recipes I have start with “saute garlic, peppers and onions… lol!

If you haven’t signed up to follow our farm blog – please do so. We’ll be sharing lots of gardening info, recipes and plain ole homesteading (or as we refer to it “stewardship”) helps and tips this summer. Feel free to comment or ask questions, too.

 

Have a great and “God-filled” day!

 

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