Friday, October 17, 2008

Independence days 19th update

This is the 19th update of the Independence Days Challenge but not the 19th week - some just don't get blogged.

Plant something: Nope - I've thought about planting garlic - does it count?

Harvest Something: In addition to the tomatoes, apples, onions, and beans I posted pictures of a few days ago, I also had an offer for grapes from Mrs. Neighbor's father. They are wine grapes and also make a nice juice and jelly. So now I have grapes waiting to be processed. We're getting another round of raspberries that just are just about a handful at a time....mmmmm. Ohh my (now) friend's cow is producing milk again - oh yea!

Preserve Something: Lets see, last night Mrs. N. and I canned 14 quarts of tomato juice, and I dehydrated a round of Romas. I've gotten the family to help with the bean shelling and so have a couple of pints of shelled, blanched, and frozen green bean shell-outs. I don't find just too much information on them out there on the 'net. I finished my goal of a bucket of dried corn.

Prep Something: Well Nee made more canning labels (I'll put them up soon) and I bought more color ink for them. I put together my oil lamps and after breaking the chimney on the second lighting realized I had more to learn on using lantern light. Leahman's has a video on using an Aladdin lamp and I think that may solve my problems. I am concerned that they are not really advertising this lamp too much so I hope there aren't real problems with it. It was

We've been trying to really cut back on all spending and living on what we've stocked up, though I've begun picking up a few Christmas presents.

Manage Something: I find that I have to move the tomatoes around several times a day. I've had nearly an entire bushel ripen in the window seal and in boxes in the sun, but they have to be rotated around, and I pull out the ones that look as if they'll be bad and feed them to the chickens before they really rot.

I got the bottles labeled and off the kitchen table into the pantry:

Cook Something (new): I've looked all over for how people use shelly beans but in the end I've added them to tomato soup, and I've boiled them and served them with butter and salt. I also made my first successful batch of cheese. I went back to the beginning and made squeaky cheese and ricotta from the whey. I plan on working my way through the cheese book.

I've been pretty good about making weekly bread and yogurt.

Learn Something new: Learned about the oil lamps by trying them out and making mistakes. Have learned more about the requirements for installing a wood stove (that's going to be a big job). Got the canning sessions going with two pressure canners at once. Learned to make and enjoy tomato soup- a life time first but I've never had it with garden fresh tomatoes before.

Local: Have started a hand craft night at church with people knitting, cross stitch, beading, and me quilting (or taking apart last year's mistake to start over again).


Anonymous said...

Do you store your jars of canned food with the rings on them? I was told to not do that, but not given a major REASON to not do it.

Verde said...

I do store the jars with rings on. I've have heard the other but don't know the reason not to. If I open a jar and don't use everything in it, It goes in the 'fridge and the ring is right there.

Robj98168 said...

I was told in my canning class that storing with the rings on is not okay because you want to see if the seal stayed sealed.
Made sense when the teacher said it! What a great pantry you have Verde-so neat and organized!

Robj98168 said...

P.S.- "me quilting (or taking apart last year's mistake to start over again)" sounds like a "make do and mend" entry to me!

Verde said...

Rob, well I guess that's why they say that about the rings.

Cool a mend and make do entry!

Robj98168 said...

Verde- I leave the rings on for the same reason you do- I just think I should pass along the info-

Gracie said...

I leave the rings on mine also. I liked your pics of the fruit, looks yummy. I have posted pics of some of my storage. Doesn't include the rest of the 5 gal. pails, which are stored in another site, or the rest of the closet storage, or under the beds, or freezer. I find it very helpful when others post their pics too.

risa said...

Nice looking stuff -- and I like your labels too. If I'm brave enough, I may actually get out the canning gear next week!