Wednesday, September 30, 2009

green tomatoes and banana jam

Yesterday the temperature outside was somewhere in the 80's. Not so today. It was somewhere in the 40's. First it rained, then came the hail, which turned into snow. None of the snow was sticking, and it was gone just as fast as it fell. But it was cold, windy, wet and miserable outside, so there was no canning today. And with the cold came the end of our garden, so in the only 20 minute window of sunshine we had today, I grabbed the kids and we headed for the garden to pick every last one of the green tomatoes left out there. It was a very cold, wet, and muddy job and I had to bribe them with hot chocolate, but they stayed and persevered.

In the end we managed to fill the wagon with all of the green tomatoes that were left out there, so I had better get busy figuring out some recipes for canning and cooking with them before long. Thank heavens the apples still left on the trees will keep in the cold weather.

I did go ahead and make two batches of 'Banana Jam', which was super simple and smelled delicious, not to mention a great way to use up a lot of bananas.


Banana Jam

 2 cups mashed bananas

2 cups sugar

2 TBSP. bottled lemon juice

   Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes at a moderate boil, still stirring occasionally. Ladle into jelly jars, secure lids, label, and store in the refrigerator. Use on toast, pancakes, waffles, or anything else you might think of. Yield- 2 jelly jars


Next on my list is 'Apple Pie Jam'. It sounds fun and since I am drowning in available apples, it's a perfect recipe fit. We are fairly certain three of our trees are golden delicious, but the other three, not a clue. They're a reddish gold color, so I will just have to pick a few and make a pie and a batch of applesauce to see if that yields any clues as to what variety they might be.

And I managed to sneak in a little sewing time during the weekend, and even though it wasn't much it was still heavenly, but more on that later.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

this time we picked apples

Heidi came out for another visit today. We picked apples for applesauce and apple juice, and whatever else strikes our canning fancy. We won't have any shortage of apples considering we have 6 apple trees. That's a lot of apples.

Yep, that's my baby sister in the apple tree. She's picking the heck out of those apples. No really, she is!

Even after picking all of these, we didn't even make a dent in one tree. Five more to go. Looks like we have a lot more apple picking ahead of us.

Isobel was happy as could be playing with the wagon load of apples. I think she even snuck in a tiny bite or two. I like apples with baby bites the best.

We processed the last batch of grape juice, for a grand total of 58 quarts of juice from our grape arbor (hooray!).

And we started to make salsa, but we had to put it on hold until tomorrow. The weather is starting to turn very cold, and a lot of wind is forcast, so we will have to see just what we can get done this next week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

getting the last of the grapes

We have a big grape arbor on our property and we knew they were the type of graper perfect for juicing and jelly making. What we didn't know was just how many grapes there were going to be. A lot. All I can say is wow. We picked the last of the grapes this weekend, and they are all juiced and just waiting to be put into jars and processed.

The minute Craig headed for the grape arbor, Finn was right behind him, ready to help as much as his little 2 year old self could.

The grapes, all purple and Concord-y. Like I said, there were a lot of these.

Craig had to do all of the picking because there were spiders in the grapes leaves. And I'm a big sissy.

We ended up filling this sink basin three different times with all of the grapes.

Noah was a great help, and we finished rinsing and sorting the grapes in no time.

Having two steam juicers going at once made it go so much faster.

We got 27 quarts of grape juice from the first round we picked.

 Now to process the second crop we juiced...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

total nerdification

This is Finn wearing what is usually referred to as his "Little Lord Fauntleroy" outfit for church.

My husband doesn't like it. The few Sundays I have dared to outfit Finn in this ensemble, Craig rolls his eyes repeatedly and warns me that all of the other children in his nursery class at church will make a beeline for him to give him the proper beat down he deserves for being dressed like a sissy boy.

I personally love it, it's my favorite Sunday outfit on him. To me it looks so classic. And lest you think I have crossed the line...

...let me direct your memories to two words. "Philip"& "Lederhosen".

Every. Single. Sunday. Enough said.

Nope, the line isn't even close to being crossed.