Monday, August 28, 2006

Why is it called "Canning" when you put it all in Jars?

We still haven't figured that one out yet; Never-the-less, we have been quite busy canning over the last 2 weeks.

It started in early August with 2 lugs [entry 7.] of peaches that we purchased, next came the apples, and was followed by raspberries from a "pick-your-own" farm and some we received from our neighbors, Kenny and Ethel.

This is the start of the whole canning process. Mom & Dad got to do ALL of the apple peeling.

The apples all came from 2 old apple trees that have been on our farm forever, perhaps since my dad was a kid. One has been almost completely knocked down years of snow and ice and by a series of falling limbs from the other tree next to it.  Fortunately, we were still able to pick buckets full of ripe apples on 3 separate ocassions, and there are still more apples ripening out there. We are harvesting and drying some seeds in hopes of growing a few more like them. Johnny Appleseed would be proud.

I don't know what kind they are, but we brought some of the apples to the local farmer's market to sell, and word down there was they may be "Princess" apples, which would please Jacqueline greatly!

Pantry Inventory

1. Peaches
  • 12 quarts halved Peaches
  • 17 pints quartered Peaches

2. Raspberries
  • 3 pints whole Raspberries
  • 12 half pints of Raspberry Jam
  • 3 pints and 3 half-pints of Raspberry-Zucchini Jam
  • 3 pints and 6 half pints of Raspberry-Rhubarb Jam

3. Apples
  • 14 quarts Apple Pie Filling
  • 7 quarts Cinnamin Applesauce
  • 9 pints Applesauce
  • 3 pints Raspberry Applesauce
  • 5 pints and 3 half-pints Apple Butter

As you can see, we have be practicing our sanitation procedures!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

OK. So we're all a little creepy.
Quit bugging me about it.

What has 6 legs; crawls, hops, or flies; and lives in a jar in our freezer?

If you said ANY INSECT, then you are correct. To be truthfull, they don't actually live there as much as they were alive when they were put there, and now are dead there.

I am responsible for [read: to blame for] this cryo-insecto-crypto-ology.

I encourage William and DJ to make a bug collection for the county fair. I told them that, as a kid, I put the butterflies in the freezer so that I could keep them without having to crush their wings. Fast forward 25 years and my kids are doing the same thing, only they are FAR more skilled and persistant at the endeavor than I ever was.

Here is what they have so far. [mind you, only about 5-6 of these are in the freezer at any one time]

  • 6 Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Katydids
  • 3 Butterflies
  • 4 Moths (with more coming)
  • 10+ Beetles (including 2 Carrion Beetles)
  • 2 Water Beetles
  • 3 Non-Insects [spiders, ticks, centipedes]
  • And Many More to Come!!!

If you find any interesting bugs, send them our way.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ta Tonka Ha, Roundezvous, & County fairs (but not Polska Kielbasa Days or Goat Racing)

Over the past 2 weeks we have been busy down in Southwest Minnesota. So busy in fact that we did NOT make it to the local Polish festival "Polska Kielbasa Days" in Ivanhoe, nor the famed "Goat Races" in Jasper. Perhaps next year...

We did however make it to many other festivities:

Last weekend was the Lincoln County Fair, and we all particpated with at least a few projects. You can read more about it elsewhere on this page. It was interesting to see all the projects and people, and we had a lot of fun. But fair can also be tiring; so some of us got a little cranky and whiney... so Christin told me to be quiet and behave or I'd have to wait in the car. So it was was nice to be done, too.

William after a little too much 4-leafed clover

We also spent an evening at the Pipestone County Fair this week, petting animals, trying out the musical instruments, and checking out the projects in the 4-H and Open Class buildings. This is my kind of fun!

Aug 11-13 was Ta Tonka Ha Roundezvous and John C. Fremont Days in Lake Benton. We dined on sweet corn, corn bread, and BUFFALO STEW!, enjoyed historical re-enactments, and shopped the trading post. What fun! With each bowl of stew, we received a raffle ticket for a star quilt. Christin, desiring to win the quilt for herself, put HER name on ALL 6 TICKETS!!!
But the raffle was for a variety of items, with the grand prize being the large, white Star Quilt. So, the raffle began and Christin won a Lake Benton t-shirt [size 3X], a bag of fishing lures and a reel, and a bottle of tanning lotion. By now, she was a little embarrassed that her name had been drawn 3 times but she was still determined to win the quilt. Then came a dry streak... Thermometers, Chamber bucks, antique wine decanters, antibellum prints, artwork. But then 'Christin' was drawn for a $10 gift certificate and groans of dismay escaped from the crowd. The announcer even chided her, "Why did you have to bring so many kids?"
With only a few items left, Christin had used 66% of her chances and still had no quilt to show for her efforts. Finally the gleaming white quilt was all that remained, the announcer read the card, "Christin!" After all of that, she even won the quilt, the only item she really wanted, or even thought she could win! Pictures to come...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blog Bonanza

"One small step for man... One giant leap for man kind..."
Well not exactly, but this is a giant leap into the unknown world of Blogs.

Thanks to Jen and Curt who unknowingly informed us of this spot, and unwittingly unleashed upon the world (wide web) this blog of bounty, this "
Beautiful Blog Bonanza!"

Isaiah celebrated his 1st birthday on Sunday, August 6th. He
insists on being involved with whatever we (mom and dad) are doing. We spent the afternoon pulling weeds and grass from around the house. Of course, he had to help out.