Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Preserve it

So it's been really busy with freezing, canning, and kids the last few days. I have barley left the kitchen.  Vern even got tired and fell asleep on the couch today. 
The bus was on time (of course if I have the kids ready early, it will be on time) I yelled about four times before Tara heard me asking if Vanessa had her glasses. They go up our hill and back down, good thing I can catch them on days they forget something (like today's journal, he who shall remain nameless.......Virl ;) )
Fed Tiny Man (that's what we call Vern), had some coffee, and headed outside. After feeding the animals and letting out the chickens we checked on dad, and took him a surprise....
                       
Yup, chilled vanilla latte, just like store bought and sooooooo easy to make....
10 cups hot coffee
1/2cup brown sugar
1/2cup sugar
1/2cup vanilla creamer
Mix,chill, and drink!
Oh and I had a surprise in the mail ....

                                      

                                     
These came from the nice gal over at Meg's Crochet And Jewels. She has tons o' stuff over at her etsy shop, go check it out at 

  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MegsCrochetJewels?ref=l2-shopheader-name

She made these special! Green Bay Packers, just for me :) 
But after all the excitement it was time to get down to business.....

                           
Okra, and lots of it! Being from the north I had never encountered this weird thing. So here's a bit of info for my Canadians.
Okra is from the mallow family (related to the hibiscus,the flowers are gorgeous)

          


And you're actually eating the seed pod of the plant. They are slimy when you cut in to them. They look weird. But, they're pretty yummy! So I had a total of 6LBS 10OZ. What to do?
Mum inlaw cuts them, flours them, and freezes them ready to fry.
I wanted to freeze them, but went about it differently, as I want to try a few dishes. So here's what I did...

                                 
                                                                    The Okra

                               
                                                              Trimmed ends

                                
                                              Blanched for 3minutes in boiling water

                             
                                    Chilled out in ice bath until cooled right down

                             
                                                            Patted them dry

                             
                                             Weighed them by the pound

                             
                                                    Two funny stories:
1)I didn't have any Saran Wrap so I used tin foil to protect them
2) notice the straw? Our food saver bit the dust so I used a straw to suck the air out of the ziplock

I finished it up, tossed it in the freezer, and can't wait to try Gumbo (yes, I've never tried gumbo and I live in the south, not the Deep South...but the south)
Gumbo....that got me thinking. I'll need tomatoes. Mum inlaw has had a bunch of garden tomatoes, and I thought I'd take a crack at canning for the first time by myself (I have canned before, but always under supervision by mum inlaw)
So Tiny Man and I packed up and headed to Mamaws to get these..

                              
                                                             TOMATOES! 
So. A long story short, this goes fairly quickly, and being by myself I could not take pictures and get the tomatoes done. So here's how it goes....
1) blanch tomatoes, DO NOT leave in more then a few seconds, you do not want to cook the tomatoes
2) straight into cool water. Make sure you have lids in water on a burner.
3) cut stem area out and peel skin off
4) 1/4 tomatoes and cut out any blemish
5) place in clean jars, I got a pic at this point.....

                      
6) tap down tomatoes until you can't press down anymore, leaving 1/4 head space.
7) in quarts place 1tsp salt, I made pints which is 1/2tsp salt.
8) wipe down jar, and make sure top is clean
9) retrieve lids out of water and place on jar
10) place on rings, and screw on tightly
11) fill up pressure cooker, and add water until its above lids, pics of this step were taken....

      

                                  
  
   
12) bring to boil
13) time for ten minutes and remove from cooker (this is just a water bath with no lid on the pressure cooker)

Sounds easy huh? It only took a few hours for ten pints!

So the kids came home. We did homework, had dinner, showers, and a bit of tv time.

                           
Yes, it was a quiet night in this household.

But hey,
Welcome to my crazy house!

-Keesers 
  




   





   

   


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