Sunday, July 25, 2010

Zucchini Relish Redux

Okay, my friends tell me I should have hot water bathed those jars of zucchini relish for 10 minutes. The recipe sites seem to agree. I haven't in the past and they have been fine but I don't want to make anyone sick so if you make it you should probably do it!

I will next time too.

Good luck!


Last weekend Grace lost one of her top front teeth. A few minutes ago, she was playing around and bumped her mouth on a chair and now, she has NO front teeth, top or bottom. She is officially a toothless wonder now.

I have no idea how she's going to eat.

She's pretty excited about it though.

Her mouth is getting expensive!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zucchini Relish

We used our last jar of zucchini relish some time back in the winter. It is just so good. I was hoping I would have more than enough zucchinis to make a good supply this summer but alas the dreaded squash bugs have been victorious once again. Seriously, why don't they kill the ornamental squash? I just don't understand it.

I stopped Friday night at the Farmer's Market in Marshfield and BOUGHT zucchini (yes, yes, I know, please don't leave zucchinis in my mailbox now all of you who have a bumper crop). When inspiration strikes (or at least I have the motivation to do it), I have to strike when the iron is hot or in this case, when the zucchinis are large.

If also picked out some green, red and yellow peppers and used our onions and spent last Friday night dicing up veggies.

If you find yourself the happy recipient of four or so baseball bat zucchinis, you too could be on your way to zucchini relish. It's really yummy, especially on brats!

Here's the recipe if you decide to accept the mission:

Zucchini Relish

10 cups zucchini (about two baseball bat sized zucchinis)
4 cups onion
2 large green peppers
2 large red peppers (I added yellow too to make it pretty)
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp tumeric
3 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp celery salt
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt

Clean out the seeds from the zucchinis and peppers and discard. Dice up all the veggies into a big stainless steel bowl. It takes a BIG one! Mix well. Add the pickling salt and mix again. Put into the fridge uncovered and let stand overnight. The next day, wash your jars and heat up your lids and rings. Drain and rinse the veggies with cold water. Add the remaining ingredients in a big pot. Stir it all up. Boil 20 minutes. Put into hot jars. They will seal themselves as they cool. Makes 6-7 pints.

Process 10 minutes in hot water bath.

I doubled my batch and it still didn't make enough to get us through the year so I'll probably make some more before the summer is over.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Don't Throw It, Grow It!

I found this book several months ago and thought it was cool. The next time I bought avocados I decided to try it out and now I have this cool little avocado tree growing and another little one on it's way.

It's a long way from bearing any avocados, but who knows!

Recycled Bag

We have canceled our trash service. We went years without trash service when we lived in Highlandville and recycled as much as we could. Then when we moved out here, recycling became a pain.

It was too far and seemed too inconvenient to take our stuff into Springfield and the recycling center here was WAY too picky about stuff. Only 1&2 plastics, only cans with the labels removed, etc. etc.

So we signed up for trash service and each week happily deposited our bags and other flotsam and jetsam into the very tidy dumpster... for $25 a month.

Finally one day I actually WENT to the recycling center in Marshfield and they told me to bring them what I had and they would take it; paper, cardboard, 1-7 plastic, old clothes, glass, tin, aluminum. What? Really? Cool.

So I got some bins and started sorting stuff and now we are recycling enough that we barely have one or two bags of trash a week. We started using our burn barrel for the stuff we had left over and designated one old trash can for weird things that can't be recycled or burned and will take them to the dump once a year when we have to.

So far so good.

It's only been a couple of weeks but so far there is nothing in the weird, can't recycle can. I'm sure it will come eventually.

I was getting ready to throw the rabbit food bag into the barrel to burn and thought maybe I could make a tote bag out of it.

I'm not a very good seamstress so it's pretty rough but maybe the next one will be better. I'm already eyeballing the chicken feed bag for the next one.

Piggy Pair

The pigs are growing and especially like slightly over the hill cantalopes. Lucky for them we have a produce connection.

They do NOT, however, like onions, grapes, citrus or pears.

Who knew?

Diggin It!

Last week Bryon and Grace dug the potatoes up. We had a pretty good haul but they won't last long. It's amazing how many potatoes we (I) can eat.

You don't get a curvy body like this without consuming your share of starches my friend :)

Sunset from the back deck

Last week I was sitting out on the back deck reading one evening after dinner and Grace came to join me and DEMANDED I take pictures of the beautiful setting sun.

I hadn't even noticed it.

I was reading.

It really was pretty.

The Power of Prayer

I have never been one to pray before meals. Grace's name did NOT come into my mind because of saying "grace" before piling the potatoes on my plate, although in retrospect maybe it was subliminal and a sneaky ploy by God to get me to start doing it.

Grace, the girl not the prayer, is the one that has gotten us as a family into the habit of saying a blessing or prayer before meals. Usually it's the same short verse she learned at First Kids which it took a while to really figure out because of her speech at the time. She started making us say it from the time she could talk.

It goes: Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, with this food, us be blessed. Amen.

Last week one night as we were sitting down to dinner with the television tuned into the news (yes we are that family despite knowing better), they were updating the story of the little girl who was abducted and later found ALIVE and well and returned to her family in St. Louis. Now THAT was a blessing. We talked with Grace about how never to go with strangers despite their sneaky tricks; puppies, your Mom said you could etc. and then they told the story of ANOTHER little four year old suddenly missing in Eureka Springs. I told Grace we should say a prayer for his fast and healthy return. We did.

Not ten minutes later they had "breaking news" and said that the little boy had been FOUND and returned alive and well.

Grace asked if it was because we prayed.

We told her that probably LOTS of people were praying, but it certainly hadn't hurt.

It's not often you get immediate results like that.

I could learn to like it.