Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I am still here

Yes, I am still here. I haven't had much time to write any postings as I have been way too occupied with my garden. canning, freezing and so forth. So, I apologize. You know how that can be. When the garden produce is ready, it really can't wait. Every year I try to can and freeze as much as I can for the winter. We never know from one year to the next about DH's job in the winter. DH is usually laid off but, I can remember the one year it took 9 weeks before unemployment paid him. This can be a nightmare if you don't have a stockpile to refer to. I am canning tomatoes at the moment along with tomato juice. I use alot of this stuff. I have canned up green beans, zucchini relish, sweet pickle relish, cucumber sandwich pickles. I froze zucchini some shredded for bread and muffins and some sliced for sauteing, green peppers, sweet banana peppers, blueberries, and strawberries. Yesterday I dried some fresh sweet basil in the oven on warm heat. I was getting a bit low on this wonderful herb. This week and next I will be making Sweet Anne's lace jelly* and grape jelly and maybe can up some peaches. I also have some sweet pickles in the making and pickled beets on the agenda. I figure this is going to all taste good this winter along with the venison DH gets every year. It would be nice to stock up on everything including your meat where in the winter all you would have to buy is your perishables like milk and eggs. It is a really nice thought, I guess it's been a dream of mine. I have been going fishing some with DH and earlier with my dad this summer I have a good quantity of bluegill built up in the freezer now as well . If the winter goes like last year, DH never found the chance to go ice fishing and use any of his 64 ice fishing poles. What a shame! Sorry honey! There is many benefits to stocking up on food and other daily needs. Some of them are surprisingly intangible. There is a certain peace that comes from knowing that your home is well enough stocked to get you through a few months of anything. I hate the cold winter and the last thing I want to do is mega shopping in a snowstorm. Here is my recipe for Queen Anne's Lace Jelly. Queen anne's lace is also known as wild carrot and you can find this weed anywhere, in your yard, along the roadside, fields, ect. This jelly is so good.
Queen Anne's Lace Jelly*
4 cups of water
18 Large queen anne's lace flower heads
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pkg powdered pectin
3 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbls sugar
red food coloring (optional)
Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add the flower heads pushing them down into the water. Cover and steep for 30 min. Remove the lid and let the mixture cool. Slightly about 15 min. Strain the liquid through a dampened cheesecloth, discarding the flower heads. Measure out 3 cups of the liquid into a 4-6 quart pan. Add the lemon juice and pectin and bring to a rolling a boil. Stir constant (very important) add the sugar, stir constant and cook until the mixture returns to a rolling boil. Boil 1 min. longer. Remove from the heat. Add enough red food color (2 drops) If using to tint the jelly pink, then skim off any foam. Pour into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch head space, with damp cloth, remove any spills from the rim and thread of the jars. Process in hot water bath for 5 min. * makes approx. 6 jelly jars