Wednesday, April 27, 2016

HOME CANNING AND DEHYDRATING...SO REWARDING!

It's been awhile since I posted anything to this old blog, time to blow off the dust and get busy I guess.

For the last few months I have had the drive to get back to canning and dehydrating, it's almost an obsession but I stop short of full blown crazy prepper canning lady, (well maybe I am a little bit crazy, ha!).Putting up meals in jars has also been happening along with the canning obsession.

I blame YOUTUBE for my current state.  I have found a couple of ladies on YouTube that have posted some very informative and inspiring videos.  My favorite one is Linda at Linda's Pantry.  I can't get a link to work but if you go to YOUTUBE and type in "Linda's Pantry" it should bring up her channel. 

Here are some different food preservation techniques I have been doing:

DEHYDRATING

Here I have mixed vegetables which were dehydrated from one 5# bag of frozen veggies I got at Cash and Carry.  That one bag reduced down to one quart.  Next are Roma tomato slices, about 3# of fresh tomatoes sliced about 1/4" thick.  The last jar is full of dehydrated corn.  I believe that was about four 1 pound bags worth of frozen corn.


This is a #10 size can of pineapple tidbits dehydrated down to a one quart jar.  This stuff is really good.  I think it would be good in trail mix or just by the handful for eating.

 From left to right in the jars I have dehydrated navy beans that were cooked and then dried, these will be great for doing up meals in jars as they will be quick cooking.  In the next jar are some dried button mushrooms, again great for meals in jars.  Next is a jar of dehydrated spinach, which will be great to throw in soups, stews and casseroles.  Last but not least are milk chocolate chips.  No I didn't dehydrated them I just thought I would seal some up in a jar for future emergencies.  The pink dots are just vinyl I had put on some jars for table centerpieces for a church activity and decided to leave them on to add some cuteness.  Actually, they are a pain to peel off so I just left them and they have stayed on quite nicely.   In the front are some dehydrated oranges that were close to spoiling in the refrigerator.  I thought they would be nice this coming fall and winter in pans of water with spices for a yummy smelling house.


WATER BATH AND PRESSURE CANNING

Here are some canned pork and beans (left) and plain red beans (right).  These will make for some quick and convenient meals.



I canned some Jimmy Dean sausage and some ground beef for the first time.  They turned out fabulous.  I recently opened a jar of the sausage and made a breakfast scramble with it...wonderful and convenient.


This is one jar of four jars that I canned of homemade vegetable soup with ground beef.  It doesn't look so appetizing in the jar but believe me, it's very tasty and have I mentioned convenient???  This will make great shepherds pie.



Of course I can't forget to mention the pie fillings I made last summer; mixed berry, apple and peach.  Delicious!



 Here I have beef chunks, pork and chicken all canned up.  Can I just say that having these on the shelf ready to use are so...you got it, CONVENIENT.   They are cooked and ready to eat either cold out of the jar or heated up for a meal.

Along with preparing the meat for canning I ended up with some of the broth left over which I put up in a jar to use in soups and stews.  This particular broth came off the pork that I canned which was seasoned with both beef and chicken bouillon along with onions, celery and carrots which I strained before canning.  This stuff is like liquid gold.  The beef broth in a can you buy at the store doesn't even compare.

MEALS IN JARS

Here I made up a dozen meals in jars.  The only thing I bought recently was a can of freeze dried chicken I purchased at Winco (Thrive brand) in their bulk food section, the rest of the ingredients I had on hand.
These meals include Chicken and rice soup, creamy potato soup, meatless spaghetti, chicken noodle soup, chicken and vegetables with pasta and a meatless chili mac and cheese.

I hope this might inspire some of you to give food preserving a try.  It might be a bit time consuming but so rewarding.

Friday, August 21, 2015

OUT WITH THE OLD...

 
I bought this China hutch a couple of years ago from a neighbor who was downsizing, with the intention of painting it black.  Well, that didn't happen, I just couldn't bring myself to go to that much work (besides I am the world's worst painter).  So here it sat, oversized and out of place, plus hubby HATED it but being the patient husband that he is he kept the grumbling to a minimum.
 
I really loved the amount of storage it had, lots of dishes, linens and decorations were stored in the bottom drawers and cupboards.
 
However, I never could bring myself to fall in love with it.  I am sure in its day it was a very sought after piece but let's face it, it had gone out with the previous century.
 
 
This is what my heart truly was yearning for.  A simple black beauty that is like Goldilocks in the baby bears bed,  it is JUST RIGHT!
 
Oh the fun I will have decorating it for each holiday and season.
 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

MY ATTEMPT AT MIXED MEDIA ART

Mixed media art, from what I understand, is using different forms of art and combining them to create an art piece. 
 
This is the inspiration piece that I used to create my own design. 
 (I was unable to track the original source from where it was posted on Pinterest, it only led to the Flicker where it was pinned from.)
 
 
 
 
This is my version. 
I started by tearing pages out of an old paperback book, inking the edges and then glued them to the board.  Next I cut the petals (about 24 of them) out of scrapbook paper along with two circles for the center. NOTE: I didn't try to match any of the papers for the petals, I just grabbed what I had and started cutting.   I cut the stem and leaves also out of scrapbook paper and used an ink pad along all the edges of the paper.  Next I glued those all where I liked them and then tore small rectangular pieces of scrapbook paper for the words to go on.  I hand wrote the words using a black Sharpie, inked the edges and glued them in place.  Finally, I took a small glue stick and dipped it in black paint to create the dots along the edges.
 
It sure was a nice change from just cutting vinyl lettering and making signs.  I really need to venture out and try new techniques, it's refreshing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

GETTING MY CREATIVITY ON

 
Creative:
krēˈādiv/
adjective
adjective: creative
  1. 1.
    relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
I guess that would describe me (well, except for that little 'original idea' thing).  Let's just say that I get "INSPIRED"  by other people's work.
 
Today's post is about a few little creations I have been working on this summer in order to keep up with the sale of said items in a local salon.  I have also been itching to get some fall and Halloween items going too.

 
 
We have quite a few hobby farmers in our area so the farm related signs have sold well.
 
 
 

 
 
I'm loving this pumpkin set, I think I need to make a few more of them to sell.
 
 
Again, the farm theme.
 
 
Creative adventures keep me out of trouble.  Besides, like I tell my hubby, my hobby supports itself.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

LOVIN' LIFE IN THE MOUNTAINS

 
 
Hubby and I just spent seven glorious, lazy, relaxing and fun filled days camping in our favorite getaway in the mountains.
Yep, life is good.

 

 The Cispis river is near where we camp and is running quite milky from glacier runoff.



 Hubby relaxing and catching up on some reading.
 
I was able to do some zentangle drawing and had fun drawing these trees.
 
This is a small tributary that flows into the Cispis river.  It was a nice little place to cool off in.
 
 
I took all of these photo's with my cell phone so they weren't very clear but I wanted to post a picture of our dog Paige, who mind you is not real fond of water, but found this little stream to be quite enjoyable.

 
 
Wildflowers were abundant...


 
 and huckleberries too.
 
 
I highly recommend getting away where there is very limited internet or cell phone access, it rejuvenates the body and soul.