Monday, August 29, 2016

Dehydrating, Canning and Summer. Oh MY!

I am not known for my homemaking skills.
Quick and easy.
Meals, cleaning, painting, dog care
Fast is better.
The only things I knew how to make when I married were:
Mac and Cheese, Brownies and hamburgers.
My menu did expand in the next 33 years,
but not much.

Moving to Delaware we found ourselves living close to
one of the largest producers of fruit in the area.
First we bought the pies.
 Blueberry Lemonbrickle.
Then my daughter wanted to pick strawberries.
Have you seen the price of freeze dried strawberries?

Decided to use my husband's jerky dehydrator
and save some for winter..

It became an obsession!
At home my husband was building a deer and mole proof garden for me.
Tomatoes have been grown every summer of our marriage.
This year they will be safe.

Then blueberry season hit!
Blueberries do not dry well.
Maybe I can make jam? Compote? Preserves?
The obsession began.
 The water bath was purchased from the commissary.
The canning of jam began- strawberry and blueberry.
Finding recipes with little sugar was key
since my grands will be the ones enjoying them.
I thought, "Good summer" and put everything away.

 Then my garden went crazy.
Eating spinach every morning
waiting for the tomatoes to come on.
Come they did!
Out came the canner
And dehydrator for the zucchini and squash.

The local orchard had peaches and finally apples.
Canning went into full swing.
 Here is a very small part of what was canned this season.
We cannot wait to open the Bozzy Peaches.

Summer is closing

And the horned worms are eating my tomatoes now.

Hibiscus are putting on their last blooms.

Slowly I am excepting that canning season is coming to a close.
This should be a wonderful winter of goodies.
From a city girl,
that is a very big thing.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Ten things I do not regret doing before now.

Following Cindi's blog,

1) Had children young. My kids were born when I was 24 and 26.  They are grown now and I am LOVING being a Grandmother. Was worth stopping my great career.

2) Marrying the man I did.  Luck, pure luck that I found him.

 3) Getting to know my elders.  I spent a lot of time with my Nana and my Step Grandmother and learned the family stories. I try to do the same with my mom and her sisters.

4) Moving and traveling. I don't mind moving, but my hard core travel days are over. From The Stone Forest in China to the Empty Quarter in Saudi, Van Gogh in Amsterdam to temples of Thailand, From Alaska to Hawaii- Florida to Maine, we have seen some pretty amazing things.  We still may travel, but it will be a different type. I suspect this is not our last house.
5) Being passionate about making sure people are heard- even if I do not like what they are heard for. I may not like the political people, but I will go crazy if you put words in their mouths! That started early and often in my life.

6) Going into teaching. A vocation, not a job. I am no longer patient enough to do it full time, but I loved the students.

7) Learning about my religion early and my faith when I got older.

8) Being open to those who do not have the same faith as me. I was taught this by my father. That lesson has been one of the most valuable ones he ever shared. Every person puts their undies on in the morning and hopes that they and their family have a good day.

9) Being true to those whom I love.  I do not have many life long friends. Those I do have, I have been loyal to them until the end.
10) Putting every found penny into paying off the house!  This is actually the third house we have owned outright. Each house had their own flavor- Flagstaff mountains, Kansas grasslands and now Delaware waters.  After sixteen years of a different rented house every two years- it was good to plant money into a place of our own. With the ownership of our house- worry about being homeless has slipped away.