Blog Header

Blog Header

Monday, March 23, 2009


Canning is an art passed down from our ancestors that has died out in the recent past, but with the economy, it is becoming more popular.

Since our mothers and grand mothers were canning, there has been a lot of research and progress made. We now know more about the bacterial changes that can occur in food that was not processed correctly. What worked (didn't kill any one) for our mother's is not necessary the way things should be done today.

When I first learned to can jellies and jams, you just cooked them according to the recipe and put them into your sterilized jars and waited for them to seal. Now we know that bacteria can grow in that jar and you might not even know it. It is now suggested that you water bath the jelly. Also, we always stored our canned goods with the ring on the jars, now it is not good to store the jars with the rings on. The reasons for this are, you can see the top of the food to see if mold is growing on it and if a lid is loose it is easier to tell.

Some things can now be frozen with little to no processing; strawberries spaced out on a cookie sheet until frozen and then put into a freezer bag, tomatoes can be washed a placed in a freezer bag, and there are others that I can't think of now take very little processing.

When you follow canning recipes, check with your local extension office to see if there are new ways to process the recipe.

I love to collect cookbooks and books on canning, but those old ways of processing should be looked at carefully. When you find an old canning recipe that you would like to try, check with your local extension office (most have a website that you can look these things up on) to see if the processing suggested in that recipe is still the way to go.

I'll be the first to say "That's not how my mama did it!" but that doesn't mean that we should not always be searching for safer ways to do things. Mama knew best, but times have changed and now we know more.

Plan your gardens well, so you'll have plenty of fun canning this year.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stocking Up-Cleaning Out

I have been stocking up on meat lately. There have been several really good deals here the last couple of weeks. I will be hitting the grocery on the way home tonight to get some London Broil on sale for $1.99/lb, whole chickens $.69/lb and pork chops 1.69/lb, OJ and milk $.88 1/2 gallon. I will have to stop in a couple of times this week because the store never has enough out at one time for you to really stock up. I guess they figure the more they can get you in the more you will spend.

I will be cleaning out my food cabinets and canning shelves this weekend to get an idea of how much I have on hand and also, how much canned things I have leftover before the garden is started.

We took soil samples for the vegetable garden and hay fields last week and should get the results back soon, then we will know how much fertilizer and lime to add. This is a way to save money. Our local Extension office sends the samples in with no charge to the client. Sometimes you find out that you really don't have to add as much fertilizer as you would think. We are also going to spread some goat compost on the garden and black berries.

The weather has been so nice the last 2 days. It really gives me a lot of energy to get things done. I do love opening the windows while I am cooking dinner and cleaning. I can't wait until Summer!


Thursday, March 12, 2009


It seems there are an awful lot of blogs out there posting about getting back to basics. It got me wondering how we ever left the basics. It seems the basics were good enough for a lot of generations.

I personally think that it all started with instant mashed potatoes. That is the first convenience food that I remember and maybe the only one that ever entered my mothers kitchen. After that came boxed mac & cheese then the microwave. We became a society that wanted everything instantly.

When young people get married these days, they expect to start out with everything that it took mama and daddy years to accumulate. We want it all and we want it now.

Why did we fall into this trap. Because it is easy. It's easy to take all the credit that is offered, it's easy to go through the drive through on the way home, it's easy to go out and buy new clothes when the old ones get torn or a button falls off.

I keep hearing on the TV what we deserve, we deserve the best, we deserve only good things, nothing bad should ever come our way. To one extent I agree with them, we do deserve the best. But, the best isn't always easy. Sometimes the best takes work. Those instant mashed potatoes could never compare to mashed potatoes that were dug from you own garden, peeled by you, diced, cooked and mashed by you.

Growing your own food, cooking real (not instant) food, mending your clothes, hanging clothes on the line to dry, these are all things we never should have left in the first place. So I guess I think we should all get back to the basics, too. Not just because of the economy, but because we deserve the best!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Sunday Greg asked that the church pray for my medical problems. I really wasn't quiet ready for that. Mostly because I really don't know what to tell people when they ask about it. But now I have such peace about what is going on, it is truly amazing.

I have done more research and that has helped but if it had not been for people praying I don't think I would have done anymore research.

It is a powerful thing to think there is even the smallest chance you may have that dreaded thing. The thing every one dreads. To be told that you have a SPOT is very sobering. You realize that the most important thing in life is that the people you love know how you feel about them. That you make the most of every moment with them. There is no time for arguing or feeling sorry for yourself.

I know that this makes it sound like I am dying. I am far from it. I will see a specialist within the next week or so, but I am sure that this will be nothing. I have a spot on my adrenal gland that we have been watching for a while. This year when I had my MRI and CT scans they show that it has changed. I will stay positive about all of this and I know that all things work together for good.


And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Old Stove

This is what we bought over the weekend:

It is a 1940's Magic Chef stove. I think it's really cool! This is the one that we will be using in our Egg House/Canning Kitchen. It is a lot dirtier than it looks. There is about 6 inches of grease on one side of it. I am looking forward to getting it cleaned up for use. The best part is we only paid $20 for it. This is all we have spent on the project so far. I hope to keep a total of the expenses here. Since we plan to pay cash for the whole project it's the only way I can keep track.

We have 2 new baby goats. They are so cute when they are so little. We had one boy and one girl. They have learned to jump today. It's really funny to watch them hop around and flip their ears around to try to see what they are. They throw their heads sideways to try to get their ears to flop in front of their eyes. It's really cute.


Friday, March 6, 2009

The Egg House

We are still working on plans for our egg house/canning kitchen. Tomorrow we will go look at a couple of antique gas stoves. I have always wanted an old gas stove and we have found 2 for sale by the same person. They also have an old sink with the drainboard attached to it. I think it might work well for the egg house, too. The best part about them is they are really cheap. If we could make this happen for a couple of hundred dollars that will be really nice.

We do not intend to put any new appliances or cabinets in it. We are only looking at used things now. We hope to even find a used, gas, hot water heater. The windows need to be replaced and we will probably buy new ones and a new door so that it will be sealed up better than it is. It will be so nice to get all of my canning supplies in one space and not have to wash the eggs in the house.

I have ordered some of my seeds for the garden, but some of them were on back order. I hope they arrive soon. In the next two weeks I will start my seeds in containers so that they will be ready for the garden by May.

We are taking soil samples this weekend. We need to fertilize and lime our hay fields and get the vegetable garden ready. Taking a soil sample will let us know how much fertilizer and lime to put down. It cost too much to put down more than is needed. We may not even put down as much as is recommended, but at least we will know how much is needed.

Our goat herd has dwindled. We sold 10 and 2 died. We are expecting babies in the next couple of weeks and we still have one young buck that is almost ready to be sold.

The chicken flock is doing pretty well. The roosters are crowing like no body's business. We really must decide what to do with them. I will try to spend some time with them this weekend.

I have mixed feelings about the time change. I hate to loose an hour of sleep, but I do look forward to still having daylight when I get home in the evenings. I will be able to spend more time outside and I really need that.

I would like to ask for your prayers regarding my health. I may fill you in on that later. I know that God knows what He has in store for my life and He will give me the grace to make it through. Thanks in advance for your prayers.


May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel,
so nothing can harm you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Made Bread

I am excited that I acutally made a loaf of bread without the help of a bread machine and it was really good. I have enough dough left over to make 2 more loaves. I am going to make another one tomorrow night. I would do it tonight, but I have my treatment tonight.

I did put a pot roast in the crockpot so it will be done when I get home and Greg will not have to worry about cooking dinner. I know he appreciates that, he doesn't like to cook. He usually does make something really easy (hamburger helper) and I am gald he does. I just thought I'd give him a break this time.

We are changing my treatment a little this time. I will not be pretreated with benedryl. I will take Claratin 30 minutes before the treatment. I was having a reaction to the benedryl. I am hoping that the Claratin will not make me so sleepy and I can actually stay awake for the treatment instead of passed out on the couch. I also hope I feel better in the morning.

Have a great night!

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.