Thursday, August 28, 2014

Canned Mixed Veggies

I had to get out my pressure canner this week to can up some mixed veggies.  A friend down the road from us gave us a bunch of carrots and I grew a lot of celery and beans this year. 

I must admit that the pressure canner does intimidate me some what, but every time I use it, I get better results.  I had to remember what I had learned last year, which was my first year pressure canning.  Luckily, I posted my lessons on my blog and you can find them here.  I found it very helpful to review these.

I ended up with 7 quarts of mixed green beans, yellow beans, carrots, celery and onions. And 7 pints of mixed carrots, celery and onions and 3 pints of just celery and carrots.  These will come in handy over winter when I want to make a big pot of turkey quinoa soup or some other yummy soup.

I am not sure about the difference in hot pack and raw pack on the end result scientifically, but I tried both methods to see which one I liked best.  For appearance, I preferred raw pack.  The veggies in the picture below were canned using the raw pack method and I think they look very appetizing.  When I canned the quarts of beans with all the other veggies, I used hot pack and those veggies are quite drained of colour and don't look that appealing.  I'm sure they will taste great in soup though:)

On a side note.  Here are some pictures of a storm heading our way last night.  I didn't know what to expect, but it wasn't as bad as it looked:)

This post is linked up to; The Farm Blog Hop

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

County Fair

Well, we did it again.  We weren't going to enter items in our fair this year because it is so much work. BUT, we couldn't help ourselves!  Once we realized we already had a few things ready, we decided to enter.  I won't detail every item this year because we finally started a file to put our results in, but here are just a few highlights.

I entered this canning jar sewing kit into the Bernardin Jar Craft Contest. I didn't win this year.  Someone entered one of those adorable soap pump jars (which I was going to make next year, but now I don't want to look like I'm a copycat) and they won.  But I like the way the sewing kit turned out.

Here is Rebekah with all her ribbons.  It is the first year she didn't get any 3rd place ribbons.  She also won the Junior Fleischmann's Yeast Bread Contest and she won 2nd over my 3rd in the woman's bread category!  We decided just to throw all our ribbons away right when we get home from the fair from now on, because there are so many and they just seem to lay around the house, so that is why Rebekah wanted a picture with hers.

Jacob did a great job on this wooden model truck and he won 1st place on it.  There is a lot more competition in Jacob and Ben's division than Rebekah's. So it's a little harder to place with any ribbons.

So, there is another fair come and gone.  We kind of still have the bug though and are already working on some projects for next year.

Update:  This is a picture of me with the Fleischmann's Yeast Bread Contest ribbon that was on the local newspaper Facebook page.

This post is linked up to; Sew Crafty Angel

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zucchini Spaghetti and Lasagna Noodles

This year I purposely planted a lot of zucchini because of my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle.  Last year just before I started, people from church brought some HUGE zucchinis to church and I took a few.  They were the hardest things I ever tried cutting through! But, I made them into zucchini lasagna noodles after I started on this new way of eating. I froze the noodles in Ziploc bags.  When I made lasagna, I thawed out a bag of noodles, squeezed the liquid out of the bag and used them as I would regular lasagna noodles.  I would make myself a 8x8 lasagna (that is a few meals for me) and my family a big regular one, but I found that my kids like the zucchini one better, so now I make sure there is enough for them.

You can see in the picture above, first I cut a big chunk of zucchini to work with.  Both ends are cut so that it will not roll around when cutting it with a sharp knife.  I then cut off all the skin. (I still have to cut off a bit more on the zucchini in the picture.)

I then cut the zucchini into slices on all sides until only the seeds are left.  Then I cram the slices into medium Ziploc bags. I find one of these bags will make a 8x8 lasagna.  This big zucchini made 3 bags!  Then I throw them into the freezer,  The reason I like to freeze these noodles, other than for convenience, is when they thaw out, I squeeze the liquid out and that helps keep the lasagna less watery.  I found when I made lasagna with fresh zucchini, it was very watery.
Another thing I tried the other night was making spaghetti noodles with a medium sized zucchini.  I made Shrimp Scampi with it. It was SO delicious! Just tonnes of butter, garlic and a few shrimp, tossed with the zucchini noodles. Only I cooked this a bit too long and the noodles gave off too much liquid and watered down the butter. Next time I will salt and drain them first or maybe cook them a little first and drain off the liquid.
I love this Pampered Chef tool I got at a garage sale. I thought it would take a long time to make the noodles, but it seriously only took me a few minutes to do up a smaller and medium sized zucchini.  It was funny how I got the tool at the garage sale.  I didn't see anything I needed, then they asked what I was looking for.  I told them I wanted something that would make vegetables into spaghetti noodles.  They said, "We have something like that in our kitchen drawer." And they decided they didn't need it anymore, so they sold it to me! 
So now all my big zucchinis are going to end up in the freezer as lasagna noodles and I will enjoy a bunch more as spaghetti noodles.  There are a few more things I'd like to share on the subject, but that will have to wait for another post:)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Quick Bee Sting Remedy

I have mentioned this on my blog before, but it bears repeating.  I heard about this quick remedy for bee stings 2 years ago from a friend.  She told me to quickly pour some bleach on paper towel and hold it on the bee sting for about 20 seconds.  We tried it on a child at VBS that summer and it seemed to work for them.

We haven't had to use it here until yesterday AND today.  Yesterday Jacob got stung on the inside of his foot. I tried this remedy, but it didn't work.  So we held an ice pack on it for about half an hour. Then today he got stung again, but on the top of his hand.  This time, the instant I put the paper towel on his hand, he stopped crying and said, "It's taking the sting away!".  He was good to go right away.  I don't know what the difference was.  Maybe a different insect, or the fact that his foot area was just skin and bone. Maybe it needs a little fat for the bleach to soak into.

Whatever the difference was, I was glad it worked the second time anyway.

This post is linked up to; Hope in Every Season Thrifty Thursday