Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dill Pickles

My csa offered a dill pickle kit a few month ago. It included pickling cucumbers, dill, garlic and bay leaves. We used a recipe from here. The trick to making dill pickles is that they need to sit in brine for about three weeks. This is that we got in the box.

First the cucumbers were cleaned.

Then trimmed.

They needed a large container, a stock pot was all I had that could hold them.

Next the brine and everything was added.

Then it was weighted down with some water filled jars.

And covered with towels. The pickles are supposed to stay cool. At this point my house smelled like dill pickles and would do so for the next few weeks.

Eventually white scum appeared, this is a good sign and means things are working, however the scum has to be removed.

Once the pickled and fermented long enough they were put in jars and canned. They have received rave reviews for being very good.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Canning Catch Up

We have been canning over the past few months and now is the time to catch up and let you know what we have been making.

Tangy Parsnip and Carrot Pickles We had an abundance of carrots and parsnips and found this recipe. They are pretty tasty.

Apricot Butter. Although this did not come out as solid as it should have it tastes delicious and is great on waffles.

Nectarine Jam Similar to peach jam but with nectarines.

Nectarine Jelly Again more nectarines but strained and made into a beautiful orange colored jelly based on a peach jelly recipe.

Pickled Spring Onions What do you do with an whole lot of spring onions...pickle them of course. These are good on hamburgers and hot dogs.

Monday, July 16, 2012


On a recent look outside I noticed that there was something purple hanging from one of the grape plants, Katie and I quickly went to look and sure enough we had actual ripe grapes. We of course began eating them.

We did collect all of the ripe ones and brought them in, not a lot but they were really good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Garden Progress

It has been awhile since I have posted about the garden. It is taking off a little slower this year but we have started to get zucchini, squash and tomatoes in the last week. Here is the view from my back door.

This year we were able to get some sunflowers to grow, they are in the row closest to the house.

This row also has kale, various melons, tomatoes, tomatillo and probably a few other things. I saw about three cantaloupe in there today.

The next row has peppers and eggplant.

The third row has a watermelon and tomato plants, also another one that I am not sure of the identity.

The final two rows can best be described as a tomato forest.

On the other side of the yard things have gone crazy. This area has corn, pumpkins, zucchini, crookneck squash and a few other things.

Here is a little closer look.

The coming weeks I anticipate the amount of food coming from the garden to vastly increase.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bring on the Thunder

Last weekend we added a new member to our household.

Katie and I made a deal that if she stopped having accidents at night (the last step to being totally potty trained) she could finally get a kitty, something she had been asking for. We have spent the last few weeks looking for a kitty that would fit in with our lives. The kitty would have to like dogs and small children. Finally last week we found a cat named Paco. He liked Katie, was very friendly and seemed to say hey I am ready, take me home. After filling out the paperwork we headed home and his name became Thunder.

Thunder has the ability to open cabinet doors.

He is slowly spending more time with us and less under the couch.

Olive and Thunder are still working on their relationship, they keep each other in line.

Thunder has a loud meow which he brings out on occasion.

He really likes laying on the tile floor.

Thunder tolerates Katie very well and she loves her new kitty.