Friday, July 27, 2012

Pickling red onions!

      Yes, I pickled red onions last night! They are delicious! They remind me of my pickled eggs. I love pickles with cloves and these have cloves in them. I am previewing a Southern Living Christmas cookbook, so that is how I discovered the recipe. I don't plan on keeping the book because it would cost about $18, so I'm just trying recipes to see if I like them. I will copy the ones I like. Written or whatever. Aldi has their red onions on sale this week: .79 for two pounds! That's pretty good so I bought them and sliced them and made the pickles. They look pretty, too! All red, like Christmas! Guess that's why they are in the book!

      We thought we were going to be in the 'honey' last night! When they looked into the frames, they weren't capped off yet. It will probably be another 3-4 weeks before it's ready. But I think it's great that we will get honey our first year! Now I'll have to modify recipes using honey instead of sugar! But I like the idea of using something to sweeten that is natural, and that we 'grew' ourselves! Now mind you, I don't have a problem with sugar, I'm just excited about the honey! I'm sampling some honey the guy down the street 'grew' and it tastes wonderful! I know ours will too!

      I think I hear a rumble in the distance! I hope we get rain here today! It hasn't rained all week! Surely it would cool things down! I was blessed with more tomatoes from the neighbor's garden this morning! It will probably be into next week before they're ready to can, and that's fine since I'll have Amber, Jasmine, and Layla until Wednesday! We're having Layla's 2nd birthday party here tomorrow with lots of people! We're cooking burgers on the grill and making homemade ice cream! The children will swim in the little pool since the big one isn't ready yet! I may not get a chance to blog until after Wednesday of next week, so ya'll stay cool! Have a nice weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Opening the hive.

Checking the frame.

Look how calm hubby is with the bees, he's smiling!

Look at these beautiful red onions! It wasn't as bad as you might think peeling and slicing them!

Pickle brine.

A glimpse of the recipe. I halved the recipe and still got a lot!

See how pretty? Six pints, four half-pints.

Here's the book I mentioned.

The neighbor blessed us with more tomatoes!

My tomatoes are before the peaches. They don't taste very good! The peaches were given to us by another neighbor! Can't wait to try one!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grinding my own meat is great!

      I ground a three pound roast and used one pound of it in my spaghetti sauce made with fresh tomatoes that I canned earlier. It was aggravating to use the hand crank, so we purchased a grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid. We haven't used it yet, so I can't wait to get a pork butt! I want to make my own sausages! Italian and breakfast. I will keep you 'posted' when that happens!

      The heat has gotten unbearable again! I went out to pick figs at five o' clock and sweat poured down my back! My husband just came in from mowing and weed-eating, soaking wet! It's 7:20 in the evening! If that tells you anything! The humidity makes the ninety plus heat feel like triple digits! I feel sorry for my guys working out in this heat! But someone's got to fix those air conditioners! I'm glad my son is learning that skill instead of playing football. He decided that he wants to go into the cooling and heating business like his Dad. I'm glad to hear that! He will be a junior this year, so he will have a valuable skill under his belt when he graduates. I guess college is just not for him. He's smart enough to go; he just doesn't like school. I'm glad too, that he's not going into the military. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, I just didn't want my only child to be in a dangerous situation! 

      I hope to be posting later this week! Ya'll stay cool and drink lots of water! Blessings from Bama!

Here's the pickles I made! They are very sour! But crunchy, for a homemade pickle! I poured off some of the juice of the jar that I opened and filled it with water. They taste a little less sour, now. Probably wouldn't notice it on a sandwich.

The beautiful meat I ground!

Blessed with more tomatoes!

I wished you could see her eyes in real life! They are beautiful! Like my tomato bookmark?

Look at that face!

These two played good together while I finished canning the tomatoes!

You can see the character on their faces!

I canned all fourteen quarts while Winterlynn was here!

I canned six pints while Maddie and Win played!

Figs from today. There may be that many tomorrow!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Making pickles, nectarine jam, and fig preserves!

      Yes, that's what I'm finishing up at this time! I meant to write yesterday, but I was too caught up in the nectarines! It's been crazy, but I love it! I think I'm getting some more tomatoes today, and apples too. The apples may not make it until Saturday, though. I am hoping to get them today so I can put them up tomorrow. I will have Maddie Saturday, so I won't have much time to fool with the apples. Have you been canning anything lately?

      I haven't mentioned my Dad much. He's doing so good! He actually drove for the first time since his surgery, Tuesday! He drove again today, as well. He still gets really tired, though, and he has his heart pillow right there with him when he's driving. The surgeon released him, so all he has to visit now is his regular heart doctor. I'm so thankful for God's healing and His mercy! What would we do without it?

      I am going to try something new. I read a blog about grinding your own meat, and I have a hand crank meat grinder. The couple purchased a big chunk of chuck meat from their regular grocery store. They ground it using their Kitchen Aid grinding attachment, and said that it was the best ground chuck they had ever eaten! I read the comments and others had been doing the same thing. They also agreed that it tasted much better than ground chuck they had eaten, as well. When you grind meat yourself, instead of buying pre-ground meat, you know what's in it. No fillers or additives. I don't eat much meat, but the guys think they have to have it at every meal. I've been doing a lot of cooking on the grill this week, since my kitchen has turned into a cannery. We like foods cooked on the grill, so that was a good excuse. 

       The pickles are almost ready to come out of the canner, so I've got to go! Hope ya'll have a great weekend and stay cool! Blessings from Bama!

All of these are nectarine jam! Poor basket of nectarines is ruining!

Fig jam in the making.

Fourteen and a half pint jars of fig jam!

Six jars of dill pickles! I thought there would only be enough for two jars!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mountain Lake Resort and Marina

      That's where I've been! We went on a spur of the moment camping trip last week and I thought I would get to write a post before we left, but I didn't have time! I thought that maybe I could write one on the trip, but there was no free wi-fi. Just couldn't stand the thought of paying for something like that! We had a good time, for the most part, but I hardly think that we'll ever go to that place again! Too many rules and such! Very unlike any campground we ever visited! It wasn't even as nice as some of the regular campgrounds! We were parked in the muddy grass! No gravel, no concrete, just grass! What a mess! And the mud was stinky, too! The area is very beautiful there, though. The water had so much milfoil, a type of grass, that it got caught on propellers, making it hard for the boats to maneuver in the water. It wasn't everywhere; just some places. In spite of all that, we had a good time. Even though I stepped on a piece of glass while I was standing inside the boat, and cut my foot! Freak accident! Who knew there was a piece of broken glass on the boat? I'm just glad the two-year-old didn't get on it!

      I made the mistake of picking almost all of the nectarines before we left, and came back to a rotten mess! I thought they would be better off in the air condition so they wouldn't rot! I'll know next time to just leave them on the tree! They weren't all rotten, however. I'm working on them now; I just had to sit down and take a break. My foot is sore where the cut is and that makes it hard to stand for very long periods of time. 

      It's cloudy out now, so I'm hoping for a rain. The temps have still been in the nineties with the humidity making it feel much warmer! Hope ya'll are staying cool and getting some rain! I don't know of any camping trips this week, so I'll get back to ya'll later! Blessings from Bama!

Why do the tomatoes separate?

Fifteen jars of delicious nectarine jam!

This plus a half of a five gallon bucket is what I left. When I came back, they were almost all rotten!

Ready for a ride!

Where is Kassie?

They are going to ride the tube!

She loved riding the jet ski!

Hubs is on the tube!

Sort of a better view.

Hubs and Alley.

A barge going down the river.

Skylar finally decided to ride. He had a good time!

My injured foot.

Skylar riding the tube.

No Skylar, put me down!

Look at those lips!

She's getting so big!

The cloud looks almost like an atomic bomb explosion!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Having fun in the sun!

      This past holiday week made for some happy faces! We had Maddie Saturday morning and Winn Saturday afternoon and Sunday til 3:00. We didn't let those hot temps keep us in all day!

Maddie couldn't wait to get her swim suit on!

But she never would get in the pool!

Neighborhood children petting the chickens. The little girl is legally blind. She was adopted from China.

Win couldn't wait to get into the pool! She is so fair complected that we got her out early in the morning while there was still shade.

She has such a personality!

Oh, it's cold! Can you believe he got in there with her? I can!

She loves it!

I was taking it easy, too!

      I can't wait til we get the big pool up! Just wanted to share a few more photos with ya'll of my harvest; and some that was given to us:

These were given to us! Notice the little radio we use during storms.

Some of the red tomatoes were given to us, but the figs and nectarines are from our garden. I forgot to show ya'll the bag of apples that were given to us.

My version of Hawaiian chicken.

I had this for lunch along with some homemade bread.
      Hope ya'll have a great week! Talk soon! Blessings from Bama!