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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Canning Upgrades

 I have canned a little on and off over the years. But for the last couple of years I have invested more time to store up and preserve our garden bounty and produce gleaned from the farmers market.
Canning isn't hard to do but it does require a few basic pieces of equipment and your time.
So, having hauled out the same old speckled canning pot over the years, I decided this year there had to be something better than rusty water to can my stuff in.
So, I did some research. And, yes, they do make a stainless steel canning pot! Not cheap though.

 So, I started listing some of my collections for sale and was gratified to actually find buyers!

 First order of business was to replace the old speckled and rusty canning pot with this one above. What a concept, being able to actually "see" when the water is boiling!   I love it! The handles are riveted too so the whole thing is securely put together. It will never rust.  By "Victorio."

 I expanded  my canning library. The Better Homes & Gardens Canning magazines always have great ideas each year.  My faves are the "Preserving By the Pint" and "Food in Jars."  I keep finding just what I need in those two books.
"Saving the Season" is like a canning textbook and has lots of ideas and good stories.  "Small Batch Preserving was an impulse purchase at Winners one day a while back. I've used one or two recipes from it so far.

 I recommend this old standby to anyone who is even thinking about canning. Everything in this works great and tastes wonderful!  Lots of good information.  You can find it in most stores that sell canning stuff.

 A number of folks had referred to this "fourth burner pot" on other blogs so I finally caved and got one too. It is very handy for so many things as it has a footed basket inside and if your produce gives you an extra jar to can and your big canning pot is full already, then this will do that one extra jar up in no time.  Good for jam jars and pint jars.

 I had been dividing some of my recipes between two pots as I didn't have one big enough to handle everything. Winners last week provided a reasonably priced solution in this great big stainless steel pot.  You just never know what you are going to find there!  Great gobs of tomatoes for sauce and a triple batch of green tomato mincemeat were no problem for this pot!

We found the gas cook top at a yard sale last year and hubby  made a counter for it and tucked it on the porch for me to use.  The counter is even shorted than normal so short me can use it comfortably and still see inside that big pot! How cool is that?!

And so, things have been processing along nicely this year.  If you are going to do something a lot, you want good tools and equipment to do it.  Sometimes it just takes years to get it all together.

Maybe next year I will give pressure canning a try.  That will require a lot more sales!

What's your favourite thing to can?

No, I am not affiliated with anyone, just sharing what has worked well for me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random Stuff, Changing Seasons

 The chicks have been growing and this shot is from a week ago. They were getting out of their "nursery" all the time so it was time to move them.

 As their feathers were growing in it looked a lot like they were growing an extra pair of wings!

                                                I found out who was eating strawberries.

                                                  They also loved the wild grapes!

      Last Thursday was lovely and so I did some apple picking at Hall's in Brockville.

                                                     I brought home my own bushel.

             Good timing as we got a good frost that night. That was it for my garden. Lots of canning yet to be completed.  Time to give the coming cold season some consideration. Firewood is being delivered later this week.  I hope all is well with you!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How Was Your Day?

Just a typical day at home.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Baby's Day Out

 That super warm day we had recently was perfect for the chicks to have an outdoor adventure. A few weeks old and beginning to get their real feathers.
 One even has a real tail!

                                I tucked them into the tractor so they could roam about safely. It created quite a stir with the other chickens! I heard noises coming from them I never thought a chicken was capable of!  After a short while, they are chickens after all, they resumed their normal activities and left the babies to their own business.

Mr. Mister however hung about nearby keeping an eye on these new creatures. He gave me this look, "Seriously?!"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chasing Sunsets

 Marty and I were out this evening and in the distance the sky was putting on a nice show.  We took the long way home and followed it, stopping along the way to take pictures. We also passed a wind farm. I don't think they add anything good to the landscape!

And then it was over. Red sky at night, sailor's delight! A nice change after the rainy morning we had at the market!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Garden Joy

                                                       Who doesn't love a sunflower?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Your Home Renovation Store

                                                                   Who knew?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Thrifty Thursday

 A friend came to visit and besides the requisite lunch special at Tandoori Mint in Brockville, we hit all the local second hand stores. Well, most of them.
The pickin's were slim but I did bring home a few items of interest.
Above are some gold and silver doilies for lining trays, a couple of lovely vintage tins, and a neat chalkware piece that is titled "Les Secrets."  Also a souvenir of Niagara Falls spoon rest,  more vintage than new.

 I also got a smaller tube pan, two novelty creamers, two boxes of little tins with glass lids, some shells and a cool book on how to swim better. I'm not sure how helpful it is but it does have some great illustrations. The stone egg is for a friend.

                             This sweet salt and pepper pair look like stuffed toys.

                                And it is a good day when I find a few vintage sparkly bits.

Signs Of Autumn

 You can tell the season is changing again. Seems summer was here for but a moment. Always the way when you are super busy.
I found this great heart shaped potato in my basket from Roots Down.

                Crab apples awaiting some sort of recipe from Hall's in Brockville.

                           My sunflowers are starting to die off and the blue jays are back.

                                  I spotted our resident porcupine in our apple tree.

                                Always the first tree to begin to change in our yard.

                                                     Cool, misty mornings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And Then There Were Seven

 This morning I was greeted by the latest and final addition to our little flock.  That's it. No more eggs to hatch. Marty really didn't think that the incubator would work but apparently it was good enough!

 I tried to get a group portrait but it was sort of like nailing gelatin to the wall! They don't look too impressed with me.

This is one of the later hatches. It stands a head above all the others. Look at that handsome profile.  I'm thinking this is a rooster!
Onto other things. Company is coming!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brand New Baby Chicks!

 We had about a dozen eggs in the incubator for the last while. It only takes 21 days for a chick to hatch. After candling them we were down to nine that looked alive.  Tuesday,  one of them started to hatch. It took a good full day to emerge but the peeping started at this point!
in Europe, "slow television" is a popular thing to watch. You can google it if you like to see what that's all about. However, when I ought to have been making pickles, or vacuuming up dog fluff everywhere, or tidying up or listing things for sale or working in the garden, I spent a good three hours just watching this little piece of shell pulse. then I went to bed around 1 AM! Silly.

Next morning, I was up and outside checking on it again even before showering and properly starting my day!

There was more going on this time.
Remember the big round incubator at the Science Centre in Ottawa? It looked like a spaceship. It was great to see fluffy little chicks and lots of eggs. We never seemed to be there to actually see any real hatching though.
Oh, and the last time we were at the Science Centre, there was no more incubator! So sad. It seems that modern technology is more important than chicks hatching.  I prefer the chickens!

                                           It's lots of work to get out of an egg!

             Not very fluffy and cute, yet. It was hopping all over the place in no time though. As you can see, there is another egg starting to open up too.  I figured it would hatch out today, considering the time it took the first one.

 Nope!  By evening it was out and ready to meet its world!  No more eggs have cracked yet.  I'll let you know how many we end up with.

Two little fluffies all tucked into a feather dusty/chicken mum stand-in.
Now, back to work!


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