Monday, August 31, 2009

11 Half Pints of Peach Butter. Yum!!

I made Peach Butter last Thursday, and boy, is it good. I made it in the crock pot using a recipe I found on It was very easy. I made 11 half pints and a little bit more for 2 sandwiches. I think I will have to try other crock pot methods for jams. I want to try apple sauce soon and cinnamon apple jelly using store bought apple juice. The peach butter tastes very good on my homemade fresh bread and homemade granola. The only problem is, I'm trying to lose weight.
I will get to dehydrating the potatoes soon. The moles have found the ones not harvested yet. I guess we have to look out for other critters besides sheep and deer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm finished with tomatoes

Today I finished canning tomatoes. OK, I put the finished sauce in the freezer and didn't "can" it. I weighed the remaining tomatoes that I used today and had 13 1/4 pounds, so I figure I started with about 25 pounds. I like thick sauce, so all together I had 5 1/2 pints of spaghetti sauce. We had spaghetti for dinner. It was pretty good, put mild. Hopefully, the flavors will get stronger in the freezer. They should. I put enough spices in it.
Tomorrow, I am going to make peach jam, and the next day, I will try making peach butter in the crock pot from a recipe I found at The recipe and instructions looked pretty easy, and I'm all for easy.
Rooting around in the freezer, trying to make room for the spaghetti sauce, I decided I had enough cherries left to make jam. I think I'll need to get more jars for that.
I figure I am either crazy for doing all this canning, or I will be. I'll let you know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Bluff, WA

Yesterday, my mother-in-law, and I went to Green Bluff, WA. Green Bluff is a small community that has orchards and farms that are open to the public where fresh produce and lavender can be purchased. Besides picking your own fruit, you can buy already picked fruit and vegies. There are jams and jellies and syrups and mixes, as well as crafty things, books, household decorations and wine tasting, ice cream, pastries and lots of friendly people. It's a fun place to go. There are live bands, tractor rides, pony rides, BBQ's and many other fun things to do. The first time Tim and I went was in the fall a couple of years ago, and we shot corn cobs out of an air cannon. You had to see if you could get the corn cob into a 55 gallon barrel quite a distance away. We both came close, but didn't make it, and had a lot of fun doing it. If you were lucky to make it, you got $50.00.
My mother-in-law bought a box of peaches and gave me 18 of them. I have to do something with them within the next couple of days. The box probably weighed 20 pounds. Maybe I'll have better luck turning them into preserves than I did with the cherries I bought from Green Bluff when it was cherry season. Peach cobbler does sound good, though.
I bought a box of canning tomatoes and Barbara only took 3, even though I tried to push more onto her. I figure the box weighed 20-30 pounds. I can't remember the name of them, but they are huge and meaty.
Today was spent making spaghetti sauce. I used 20 tomatoes because that's all that would fit in my big pot. They cooked down to 4 cups, and smelled and tasted really good. Tomorrow, I have the last 26 tomatoes to turn into sauce. I guess I'll have to use 2 pans for that. I put the sauce in the freezer. Tomorrow, we will be eating spaghetti and some of tomorrows sauce. Alyssa should be happy to know, I didn't put zucchini in it. The deer ate that. I could have bought some of that, too.
I also got some corn. It was 4 for $1.00, the best price I'd seen this year. I only got 8 ears. I think Tim and I will have to go back this weekend and buy some more. I really need a freezer.
Our home grown Yukon Gold potatoes looked better than the ones we saw up there. Soon, I will try dehydrating the potatoes.
I will also have to get a bunch of apples and pears since our apple and pear tree had blossoms but nothing else.
The pumpkin crops looked to be doing great. After that, will come Christmas trees and the end of the season.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gee thanks, deer

The deer have decided it's time for me to harvest our onions. Up to this point, the deer haven't bothered the onions. Now, they are eating the tops and pulling the onions out of the ground. It does make it easier to harvest if they are already laying on the ground. Unfortunately, it's all the onions at one time and not staggered like I had planned on harvesting them.
The deer haven't tried carrots, yet. Most of them are ready to harvest. Tim dug up more potatoes this evening while I was picking up onions. More to be harvested later. I guess tomorrow, besides baking, I am doing things with fresh produce. I'm going to try dehydrating garlic and potatoes for the first time. The garlic and onions will be dehydrated outside, using my dehydrator. No rain in the forecast, so it's a good time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Murphy, the Special Cat

In early March of 2008, this hairy bag of bones of a kitten ran in the house as Tim was leaving for work.
The kitten looked to be about 3 months old, and just about every bone in his body was visible.
Of course, me being me, I had to feed him and give him a name. Murphy was fitting. I wanted a cat and was told I could have one if it was a outside cat. I didn't want an outside cat, so as Murphy's Law would have it, one showed up. It took the kitten about a day to learn his name was Murphy.
It's a good thing he's cute, because he isn't overly bright. About a month after he showed up, I heard this crying in the distance. Since it was dark, I couldn't see anything. I got a flashlight and saw Murphy in the neighbors tree. He was afraid to come down. The next day and 4 days after that, Amy and I tried to get him down. No such luck. It even rained, snowed and hailed with strong winds, and he still wouldn't come down.
Finally, we got him to jump onto the roof of the house and figured he'd come down. Nope. Up there for another 2 days. The neighbor said he'd come down when he was hungry.
He did get down, but I think the neighbor helped him down. And he was hungry and so happy to be home.
A couple of days later, guess who was back up the same tree and then stuck on the same roof? Yup. Murphy. He still gets stuck in trees, but doesn't climb as high, and he avoids that particular tree. He disappears for a few days and shows up extremely dirty and very hungry. We think he finds holes to go into and has a getting out problem.
Murphy expects to be carried up and down the driveway. I finally, for the most part, have him only wanting carried one way now. Usually, it's when I have my hands full of mail.
He's in the house more than he's out and he has his very own oak rocking chair, but, he has to share with my mother-in-law when she visits. We bought the chair at an estate sale and you could tell it was an orange cats chair.
Tim says Murphy is spoiled. I say Murphy is special. Spoiled or special, Murphy came to the right house that day. I guess he knew a sucker for animals lives here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm Melting

Today, in my snow globe world, it got up to 103.3 degrees. Way to hot. Heat and I don't get along. Rumor has it, tomorrow is suppose to be a tad cooler, (only 94 in Spokane), and then a major cool down during the week. I am thinking right now that snow would be nice. If you ask me in late winter, I'll tell you spring would be nice. Some people are never satisfied. One thing bad about the heat, besides it's hot, are fires. We live in a wooded area, and it's dry out here. You'd think with the 123 inches of snow we had last winter, it wouldn't get so dry, but it does. It's still fairly green, for the most part, and the water level in the rivers and streams is going down. The deer were out when it was still hot. Soon they will be fattening up for winter. My cat, Murphy, the spoiled, I mean special, cat decided he needed to sit on laps today. I really didn't need a furry, hot body on my lap. He has his own oak rocking chair right by the AC/heater vent. Next time I write, I will have to tell you about Murphy. The wind has come up. Wouldn't you know it, now I have to close the windows so everything doesn't blow all over. Oh well. That's life in a melting snow globe.