Monday, August 10, 2009

Green Beans

Look, they all sealed. Hooray. The water level dropped some, so I will have to see if that is normal or if I did not have the lids adjusted tight enough. Now I just have to do 5 more loads. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Promises, promises...

Hey, sometimes I manage to follow through. That's right, I am here with pictures of apricots and kuchen, fair and ribbons, and maybe if I get some taken, some pictures from the green beans I am canning this evening.

This is a pretty picture of most of the apricots that I was given. We ended up drying I don't know how many (although they filled up a couple of gallon bags when I packed them all up) and froze two or three gallons. I also made some kuchen, which is a yummy German pastry. It is basically a bread with sugar crumble (like streusel topping), fruit, and a thin custard topping. I will try to dig out a recipe to post tomorrow. I love it because it makes a nice dessert or snack and freezes really well.

These are my fair entries. I won a first place ribbon on each of the first three: the pears from my tree, the strawberry jam I made with a friend (hers is the one next to mine, also a first), and my potted sweet potato. Shane made fun of me for planting the ends of a sweet potato, but I just wanted to try it. I think it makes a gorgeous house plant. I am hoping that it will actually make some small sweet potatoes, but who knows. The last is a second place ribbon on the zucchini relish. I must say in my defence that it was a second for purely superficial reasons, which were not my fault. Cathy's got a first, and since we made them together, you can tell that it would have been a first also. Next time I will be more careful, since they are very picky about the jars and labels and so on, and take them into account in the judging.

What is that big pink ribbon on the sweet potato, you ask? Why, that is my Best of Show ribbon for the Unusual Vegetable class. Yippee!! I am so proud of my silly potato. Such a good potato to win Best of Show.

So, I had a lot of fun entering in the fair and am already making plans for stuff to enter next year. The way their rules are stated, entries have to be made or grown during the year previous to the fair. So, anything I make between now and next August, I could enter. I am going to be doing a lot of canning this fall and hopefully some really great needlework projects. If I can ever finish any of them.

We canned green beans tonight, just one canner load since they take so long, and they look pretty good. Hopefully they all sealed properly, since I have about 5 more loads to do and it would be nice to know that I am doing it right. I am still a bit intimidated by pressure canning. Water bathing is so much simpler, but, unfortunately, just not an option for veggies like my green beans. After the green beans are done, we hope to buy a whole bunch of tomatoes and can salsa and spaghetti sauce and try to find time to make pickles. Also, on the 22nd, I am having some friends over for a canning party. We are going to make three or four types of jam and relish and then split up the batches, so we can each take some of every type home. I thought that was the best way to get a lot of kinds, because otherwise you end up with more jam than any sane person needs, especially a sane person trying to cut back on carbs (which means less toast). I have no pictures of my green beans for you right now, but I will take some in the morning and post them, at least I will if they all seal properly. If not, I may edit this post to erase any evidence that I made the attempt. :) Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Apricots and Fair Time

I was reminded again today that I have not gotten the pictures of my apricot adventures posted yet. I apologize for being busy and having dead camera batteries. I know they are just double A's, but I have to make it to the store to get more. least by Saturday, if not tomorrow.

We ended up drying I don't know how many pounds of apricots, giving me a couple of gallon bags full to put in the freezer for snacking. Yummy yum. It's kind of cool because we had two different varieties, one large and sweet, the other smaller and more tart. We also got another couple of bags from a friend for me to freeze in halves for baking later.

Tonight I went down to a nearby town whose fair is this weekend. It is not my town, but it is one of those great small town fairs and we have friends who are very very very involved. We always volunteer to help and this year I entered some strawberry jam and zucchini relish that I helped make, as well as some pears from our tree and my potted sweet potato. I will find out if anything won on Saturday and hopefully I can post pictures (taken by my camera with the new batteries that I will buy) of my entries and their (hopeful) ribbons. So, lets all cross our fingers and hope to see lots of lovely pictures Saturday or Sunday morning.

Also, nifty event coming up...I am hosting a canning party for a few of my friends. We will make jams and relish and may do some baking. I am so excited!