Sunday, September 28, 2008

Canning Up a Storm

This is just a representative of what has been happening around here. I have been so busy I keep forgetting to take pictures! Once it's all on the shelves in the garage, I'll take a photo of the whole thing.

In the past few weeks I have canned: 24 quarts of pickles, 16 pints of relish (both cucumber and zucchini), 8 pints pickled beets, 2 quarts pickled beans, and a great deal of spaghetti sauce. I am still in the process of making and canning the spaghetti sauce. I'm working in batches as the tomatoes get ripe (very late around here).

I have also frozen multiple quarts of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, broccoli, and green beans (no one around here likes canned green beans). Apples are just starting to get ripe also, so I know I'll do a lot of applesauce and apple butter too.

I have to say, that although it's a lot of work and really messy, I love doing it! I wish I hadn't waited so many years to start canning my own food. For some reason I was scared of it, but it's really easy, even pressure canning is not this big monster difficult thing I was making it out to be.

The other night, we had a meal that included many of our garden and preserved items, and we had such a sense of satisfaction eating those foods.

On another note--Grace had been really sick for the past week with coxsackie virus (hand, foot, and mouth disease). She was utterly miserable because the entire inside of her mouth was covered with canker sores. She's finally better after a little over a week, two trips to the doctor, and every home remedy I could come up with. It's nice to have her back to her chipper self again.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baby Elephant

During Labor Day weekend we had some time off from football and we went to the zoo in Portland to see the new baby elephant. He is so incredibly cute! His name is Samudra, and they are calling him Sam. We'll likely return to see him again in a couple of weeks to see how he's growing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

We have zucchini coming out of our ears. I have been trying to give them away, but I think all of the people we know who grow zucchini must walk into our house, and seeing the utter lack of zucchini on every single surface, must bless us with their bounty. Not that I'm complaining. I made a pact with myself that I wouldn't turn down anything from anyone's garden this year. This is why I have made pickles and relish until my whole house smells like vinegar, but I'm not complaining!

We froze a lot of blueberries this year, mostly to put in our yogurt, but I decided to make blueberry zucchini bread last night. Yum! This recipe is pretty high in fat, but it's oh, so good.

From AllRecipes:

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Cook Time: 50 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Yields: 12 servings

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.
3. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

The Great Onion Debate

I thought that the kids going back to school would quash some of this bickering. And it did help a little...until the other day.

I am in the kitchen making dinner. The kids like onions quite a bit, and whenever I'm chopping onions, they come in and snitch them out of the pile on the counter. I am not exactly sure how this started, but I come in when Grace is sitting at the kitchen table, head in hands, sobbing hysterically.

Me: What's wrong?

Grace: Logan says he likes onions more than me!!! Sob, cry, carry on

Me: So what? You both like onions.

Grace: But he CAN'T like them more than me!

Me: Why? You both like them, why is this such a big deal?

Grace: But I liked onions FIRST! He didn't even start liking them until a couple of months ago! Now he says he likes them more than me! That's not FAIR!

Me: This is totally ridiculous and nothing to cry about. You can both like onions the same amount. End of story.

Logan (walking through the kitchen): Heh Heh Heh

I could totally tell at that point that the origins of this debate came from him. He takes utter joy in making his sister hysterical about NOTHING. And it usually works, so I guess I don't blame him (having been an oldest child myself and knowing how easy it was to torture my own sister)

Gotta love kids!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reviews Update

Sorry I have not been good about keeping up with blogging. Both kids are involved with fall sports--Grace started competitive gymnastics and Logan is playing football. It seems like we're never home, and when we are, it's just to eat quickly and do homework. Here are my latest reviews, I hope to have some sort of schedule worked out soon, but my life is totally on overload right now.

Private Practice Season One