Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Putting food by

I know -- that's the title of a very good book on canning and preserving written decades ago, by Janet Greene, et al, and still in print, apparently. If you're into that sort of thing, you'd do well to obtain a copy!

But it's also what Dorie and I have been up to in the past couple of weeks. Taters in the callar, basil in the freezer, and from the pressure and water bath canners, beets, pickles, tomatoes, hot chili sauce, grape jelly, and now, apple butter. More to come!

We've always preferred canning to freezing for fruits and veggies, but lately we've been adding meats, soups, and lots of other things to the "summer in a jar" pantry shelves. Most of these things require a pressure canner -- which Dorie just does not like to do -- to be done safely. So I bought a large (23 quart) one a couple of years ago, and I do the pressure canning, and she does most of the rest.

Our aim is to get clear of the freezer -- an energy waster -- and get into nearly 100% canned food for stocking up. No wait time for thawing that way, and no worry about power failures costing us a fortune in beef, pork, chicken, etc. And much lower electric bills to boot!

We have a dehydrator as well, and will be doing some dried foods -- veggies and fruits, and even jerky and fish -- to fall back on. Wild mushrooms are excellent when reconstituted from their dried form, and so are commercial ones. Why pay a fortune for store-bought dried ones, when we can do it ourselves for much less?

Gotta run back down stairs and clean the stove -- the apples boiled over when I wasn't paying attention. Stove's a mess, but it'll clean, and it just adds to the fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What a week!

Lots of fodder for writing this week!

Our main water heater pooped out, leaking all over the cellar floor. No harm to the floor, but it's a $750+ water heater -- not including installation. I can install it myself, but that first part is what's stopping the show right now. May switch to a tankless water heater, been reading up on those.

Then we discovered the right upper ball joint on my Ranger pickup needs replacing. Another $200. But it gets better. While we had it up on the lift, the mechanic (a good friend of mine) pointed out the fact that the frame is rotting away, and probably won't make it another year. O joy!

Then the next night a tire went flat on our van, and we ended up buying a new set of tires for the front.

Then my wife had to have an MRI to determine whether or not the brain tumor she had removed two years ago is returning. Won't find that out for a week or so.

And it's turned cold!

Meanwhile, we gotta keep on trucking! We started cooking down 1/2 bushel of grapes on Tuesday, and when I got home Wednesday my wife had 72 half-pint jars of grape jelly cooling on the table! Applesauce and apple butter next!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Taters and Cabbage and Beets, Oh My!

Today we drove out to the place where we've been getting our potatoes for the past several years, to get some freshly dug red potatoes and some Yukon Golds. The gentleman was having some trouble with the digger, but finally got it running, and we ended up with a bushel of red, 3&3/4 bushels of Yukon Gold, and a half bushel of beets. The taters looked fine, but it was a struggle finding enough decent-sized beets to fill a half-bushel. We didn't get any cabbage -- I only put it up there to make the title work. :-)

We'll use most of them, give some away, and still have some to plant in the garden for fresh new potatoes and green beans in early summer. Yum! Already planning next year's garden, and will start planting garlic within the next month or so. Will probably plant 400 sets this fall. We like it roasted, pickled, and in lots of dishes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Please watch -- and tell others

Friday, September 11, 2009


Woke up thinking about the date, where I was on That Day, thinking about all the people who died or lost loved ones on 9/11/2001.
Today is my day off, so I've had time to think about it. It's still depressing, but I don't want to let depression rule. That would be a partial victory for the mindless fools who earned themselves an instant trip to hell that morning.
So I pray for the families of the victims -- those left behind to weep and mourn.

Then I go about my own chores, and try to do the things that are right.

I got some mowing and raking done before it started raining, and some gardening as well. Planted a fall crop of radishes, and some broccoli. here should be time, but if there's not, there's always next year.

There has to be a next year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On second thought

On rethinking what he said, he did put one over on us, or tried to, anyway.

Remember Lewis' outburst when BHO said that not one dime would go to illegal immigrants?

I don't believe Our Prez lied, technically. But consider the fact that he, with the manic left, wants to grant blanket amnesty to said illegals, bringing how many millions of them suddenly into LEGAL status.

That dime is gonna get a lot thinner!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama's speech tonight

Well, I must say I was impressed, but not convinced. I'm still skeptical that he can pull it off.

There's so much rancor on both sides that I think we've seen almost irreparable harm done to this country.

One thing we can say for certain -- he's a great speaker, and definitely a politician. I don't much like his brand of politics, but I can appreciate how well he does what he does.

As for me, I'm very seriously thinking of changing my registration from Republican to Libertarian. The last few years' excursion further into big government has made me distrust both the GOP and the Dems.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Swine Flu scaring you?

Dunno whether the administration is genning this issue up to boost support for nationalized health care or not, but it is a scary and interesting topic. And there is and has been conflicting information provided by all the media about it, and it's getting more and more difficult to understand what's going on.

Strangely enough, there's very little to connect Swine Flu with pigs except for the name. It's really better named H1N1. So pigs, in some cases, have been getting a bad rap.

Here's a recent article that's making some waves. Among other things it says that perhaps those born before 1957 don't have to worry so much about it personally -- but what about our kids and grandkids?

There are some interesting statements in there, some about Thimerisol -- used as a preservative in the vaccine -- and its effects, depending on the age of the person treated with it.

I plan to discuss this thoroughly with my doctor before getting the vaccine, and I suggest that everyone else does the same.