Welcome! I'm happy and humbled you've stopped by.....Cozy up and follow along as I share my attempts at simple living with you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Our Crazy Busy Summer....AKA Preserving the Harvest

It has been more than 2 months since I last had time to blog.
Please forgive me.....AGAIN
  So today, I thought I'd share with you what has been keeping me from blogging! 
I'm telling you, 
I have been crazy busy!

Maintaining our garden
as well as our family relationships has been challenging to say the least. We are still going back and forth between our country home on weekends and our city digs during the week. 
2 homes in 2 states is just too MUCH!
  Of course, my heart is AlWAYS at HOME!
I'm a country girl at HEART!

Even though we couldn't watch over the garden as diligently as we would have liked, we managed to harvest quite a bit of goodness to fill our freezer and pantry!

Zucchini Bread!!!

We had a pretty nice strawberry harvest this year. 
I froze many of them, after we ate our fill, of course.  
I also made a small batch of jam.  We are not big jam/jelly eaters, because of the sugar.  But the grandkids always have to have pbj's when they come over.  I personally don't like the taste of pectins in jam.  I have made pectin-free jam before by literally cooking the jam to death over the stove. 
But here is a trick worth sharing.  I happen to have this high end bread machine that makes pectin-free jam, and it does all the work.
Really! it has a jam setting!  I bought this machine a long time ago for baking bread after my old welbilt machine died.  However, I rarely, if ever bake bread in it.  Usually, I just mix the bread in the machine and then bake it in my own pan.  But this jelly setting is SWEET!

 When the jam was finished, 
I put it into hot jars and gave it a water bath.  Wala!

 We had quite a few wild black berries on the homestead.  I made a few more jars of bread machine jars of blackberry jam and I made some blackberry vinegar! This is going to make a yummy vinaigrette.

preserving herbs is a never ending job!

I have found that there isn't a better place to bond than in the garden.  This is true for grand kids as well.
This boy is quite the foodie.
His mama has introduced him to lots of veggies.  He will try almost anything.

 After spending the morning in the garden, we made lunch with all the goodies we picked.  He had beans, zucchini, fresh potatoes and kale chips.  Also, he requested some pickled beets.  He loves pickled beets!  Crazy, I know for a 5 y/o to request beets.  Of course he had watermelon for dessert.  He was one happy boy.

We were able to spend some time swimming and picnicking with kiddos on weekends.  So much fun!  
Check it out......3 more reasons why I don't have time to blog!

The Good news is....
I'm home right now.  
I'm trying desperately to get all our food put away.  
Right now, I'm up to my elbows in tomatoes.  I usually can tomato juice, tomato sauce and salsa. 

 This year, I'd like to give ketchup a try.  I'd like to find a recipe that i can pass off as store bought.  If you could help me out with this, I'd be forever grateful!

Until next time....
Keep it Simple.....

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