Thursday, September 29, 2011


I just got an email from a local nursery... select fruit trees for $5. I might just have to check them out. I really want apple trees for next year and don't want to spend $50 on each. Of course, it doesn't say which trees are available, just "select".

It's been raining quite a bit lately, so no growling chicken video yet. Hopefully I'll be able to do that this weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Canning!

We went to the local apple orchard with my mother-in-law and niece last weekend. Connor and Kate had fun playing in the petting zoo and riding the Moo Train. It's a tractor pulled ride made from plastic barrels painted to look like cows. Connor loves anything train/tractor and had a blast.

We picked apples, which I don't think I've ever done before. Galas, Jonathan and Golden Delicious. Honey Crisps are technically done, but we found a few good ones on the ground. I picked 11 lbs of apples... It's amazing how good an apple tastes right off the tree. I love that they tell you to try them right there in the orchard. Connor ate at least two apples.

I made 4 1/2 12oz jars of caramel apple jam, 2 12oz jars of spiced applesauce and 2 12oz jars of sweetened applesauce. I still have 8 apples left. I'm probably going to make more sweetened applesauce. We plan on going back in October for the next round of apples. They have some kinds I've never heard of that will be ready then - Shizuka, Sundance, and others.

I think I'm hooked on canning. It's so rewarding to see the jars stacking up, knowing that I'm "putting up" for later on. We are considering buying three apple trees next spring. I'd like to get a few blackberry bushes too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Household Goals

I'm going to use this space for a sort of household goals list. It will be mostly cooking/canning/gardening list with no set time frame.

Bake sandwich bread
- Made the perfect recipe 9/17/11 - will continue to make this one.
Bake and freeze banana bread

BBQ Sauce
Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Cinnamon Applesauce
Peach Cobbler Jam (8 half pints 9/12/11)
Fiesta Salsa (4 half pints 9/15/11)
Blueberry Butter
Caramel Apple Jam (4 1/2 12oz jars 9/19/11)
Sweet Relish
Blackberry Jam

Garden 2012?
Multicolor Bell Peppers
Red Onions
Sweet Onions
Green Beans
Roma Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Canning Tomatoes

Red Haven Peach Tree
3 varieties of apple trees
Blackberry bush

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Peach Cobbler Jam

I guess I didn't realize that jellies and jams could be more than what's available in the stores. I made beautiful Peach Cobbler Jam last night with Red Haven peaches. Peeling the peaches makes a big mess, but it's worth it. I didn't finish till after 10:30 pm, so need to finish cleaning up this morning. This time, all the lids popped. It's just so pretty!

Here is the recipe.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Canning Plans

I canned for the second time last night. Now, I do not have a canning pot. These two jars are pints and are now in the fridge... I realized that the pot was going to be too short too late. The water is supposed to cover the top at least an inch or so, it was maybe half an inch. I didn't want to take the risk and put them in the fridge after they cooled. The lids didn't pop, but the buttons were down. Oh well, I know it will get eaten!

Ball Fiesta Salsa

I went out today to get Red Haven peaches for jam, completely forgot the lemon juice. I'll pick it up on Thursday along with a half bushel of tomatoes for bbq sauce and more salsa. In half pint jars this time...

Next year, I'd like to have raised beds for a real garden. I want to do tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, various herbs, etc. I'd love to have a Red Haven peach tree, but the "dwarf" varieties are still 15 ft tall! I'd also love to have blackberry and blueberry bushes. Someday...

I sort of remember my grandmother canning. She only canned tomato juice for soup from what I remember. We used to mix it with milk and simmer it till heated. It was wonderful with salt and pepper.

I want to make peach jam, caramel apple jam, more salsa, bbq sauce and a few other things. No pickles! I don't like pickles. Although maybe homemade ones would change my mind.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spice & Herb Blends Cheat Sheet

Someone emailed this to me a while ago, thought I'd share :)

Spice & Herb Blends: {Recipe Cheat Sheat}

Apple Pie Spice
2 TBS ground cinnamon
1 TBS ground nutmeg
1/2 TBS ground allspice
1/2 TBS ground cloves

Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon sage

Poultry Seasoning
2 TBS sage
1 TBS thyme
1 TBS marjoram
1 TBS savory
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Pinch of cloves

Pickling Spice
2 TBS allspice berries
2 TBS cardamom seeds
2 TBS coriander seeds
2 TBS whole cloves
2 TBS mustard seeds
2 TBS peppercorns
2 bay leaves (crumbled)
2 cinnamon sticks (broken)
2 small pieces dried gingerroot (chopped)
2 small dried red chilies (crushed) or 1-2 tsp hot pepper flakes.

Bulk Bouquet Garni Recipe
Using dried herbs:
2 TBS parsley
2 TBS celery leaves
1 TBS thyme
1 TBS marjoram

Mix together then divide evenly onto 12 cheesecloth squares (approx 4? square, 1/2 TBS herb mix per square); add a couple peppercorns and one bay leaf (dried) into each sachet; tie the sachets closed. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

Three Tasty Recipes To Shake The Salt Habit
Here are three recipes you can use to flavor dishes, nice alternative to salt if you’re trying to cut or reduce salt from your diet.

Salt Free Seasoning Shake Recipe #1
1 TBS garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp savory
1 tsp mace
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt Free Seasoning Shake Recipe #2
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp lemon peel powder

Directions For Both: Simply mix together the ingredients from either recipe then put in a herb shaker for easy use.

No Salt Seasoning Shake Recipe #3
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp mustard (dry)
1/2 tsp thyme (dried)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. You can keep a portion of this in a shaker and just shake over your dish as you would salt.
Try this on soups and meats too when cooking, works well for seasoning chicken.

Homemade Salad Seasoning Mix
Mix together and keep in a single shaker to season up your salads:
1/4 cup Parsley flakes
2 TBS Oregano
2 TBS Basil
2 TBS Marjoram
1 TBS Dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp Pepper
Makes approximately 3/4 cup. Use a shaker that has larger holes and preferably a cap to seal flavor. Store in a cool, dry spot.

Cajun Kicker Seasoning
Use on fish, shrimp, chicken and whatever else you like!
4 TBS Paprika
3 TBS Basil (dried)
2 TBS Thyme (dried)
2 TBS Onion Flakes (minced)
2 TBS Garlic Powder
1 TBS Fennel Seeds (crushed)
1 TBS Parsley Flakes
1 TBS Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Pepper
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container or jar with tight fitting lid.

Cinnamon Sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Monday, September 5, 2011

Spending Time With The Girls

Yesterday, we spent the day at Fair Oaks Farm (you can read about that here. When we got back, my son wanted to see the chickens.

My husband and Lace:

Me and Miss Skittish, aka Goldie:

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