Friday, July 31, 2009

Canning pickles, beets and berry syrup

I had some requests for my beet and pickle recipes so I'm posting those with a bonus. I made some berry syrup from Aug/Sept Fine Cooking Magazine tonight.

The beets were super easy. I've always made pickled beets but thought I would try something different this year.
Raw Pickled Beets (from Martha)
Scrub, trim and peel 2 red and golden beets (I used a combination)
Slice thinly and transfer to a jar. (I used my mandolin)
Split 1 fresh Thai Chile in half.
Bring chile, 1 cup Rice Vinegar, 1/4 sup sugar, 1 fresh bay leaf (I used a dry one) and 1/2 tsp black peppercorns to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour hot mixture over beets. Seal jar and refrigerate. Beets will keep for 1 month.
Tatiana's Dill Pickles (from Martha)
3 cloves garlic, halved
4 allspice berries
1/2 bay leaf
1 thin slice red jalapeno chile seeded
3 fresh dill flower or 3 sprigs fresh dill
Kirby cucumbers (just long enough to fit in jar) washed and dried
1 T sugar
2 1/4 T gray salt
1 T white vinegar
Place 1 clean 64 oz jar right side up on a rack in a boiling water canner. Fill the canner and jar with hot water, about 1 inch above the top of jar. Boil jar over high heat for 10 minutes. Remove and drain jar. Place jar on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
Fill another large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and add clean lid. Simmer lid for 10 minutes. do not boil as this may cause problems in sealing jar. Drain lid and set aside.
Place 2 cloves garlic into sterilized jar along with allspice berries, bay leaf, jalapeno slices, 1 sprig dill and enough cucumbers to snugly fit into jar. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add enough boiling water to jar to fill to the very top of the jar (you may not need to use all the water) let stand 10 minutes. Drain water from jar.
In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add remaining clove of garlic, remaining sprig of dill and vinegar. Remove from heat and pour into jar until filled to the very top of the jar. Tightly screw on lid, invert jar, making sure that it does not leak and cover with a towel. Let stand overnight to cool.
Transfer pickles to refrigerator until ready to use up to 6 months.
Fresh Berry Syrup
3 cups fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries) I used raspberries because they were on sale
Granulated sugar
In a saucepan crush berries with a potato masher. Add 1/4 cup water, if using strawberries used 1/2 cup. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the berries are very soft and juicy about 5 minutes.
Set a sieve over a bowl. Pour the berry pulp into the sieve and allow the juice to drip through. Gently press the pulp with a rubber spatula to extract as much juice as possible but don't press so hard that you force the pulp through.
Clean the saucepan, measure the juice and pour it into the saucepan. For every 1/4 cup juice add 1/4 cup sugar (I cut it a little). Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the syrup is viscous by still runny about 1 minute. Skim the foam with a spoon and pour the syrup into sterilized jars. Put the jars on a wire rack an let cool to room temperature. Screw the lids and bands on and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
I sealed my jars using standard canning directions. I doubled the recipe plus a little more.
You can use this on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, stirred into yogurt, rice pudding and oatmeal. Or brush it over a baked ham or a pork roast.
Ok that should keep you busy this weekend!! I'm getting up early in the morning and going to the Farmers Market to buy corn and make corn chowder!! YUM!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Treasures

OK that's not a treasure, but maybe it is because I will be enjoying them later. I got so busy Saturday that I didn't get much done after coming back from the Market with loads of goodies. I know have cauliflower, green beans and corn in the freezer. I also made a batch of beets and dill pickles. So needless to say there wasn't much estate sale going. I did make it Sunday to 1/2 price day and was happy with what I found.
I love these lace curtains and wish I had a window the right size. They are in perfect condition and only cost $1.00.

The plates were only 38 cents a piece. The front are three of the same pattern.

Look at all the lace!! The price tag said there was a 100 yards and I believe it. I only paid 2.50 for the whole thing. Lace seems to be flying out of my booth. Should I separate it into two or three pieces or sell in one piece?

This is German lace and in perfect condition. I just love it. I gave up trying to spread it out so you could see it. Mr and Ms Nosy were in my way. I paid $3.50 for it. I love 1/2 price days. Hopefully this weekend I'll have more time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anna's 4th Birthday

FINALLY!! Geez, what does it take for someone (my wonderful caring Mother whom I love very much) to turn on the computer so I can post? I have waited patiently all day! Mommy got up really really early and went to the Farmers Market to buy things that I wouldn't eat but she seems to like. And then she spent all day washing, cutting, blanching, putting stuff in bags and putting them in the freezer. I just do not understand why you humans eat vegetables. They DO NOT LOOK OR SMELL GOOD!

I do have to admit she gave me a love as soon as she woke up this morning and wished me a happy birthday. I had a wonderful day. I got a new toy and my very favorite special food. Of course I shared with Bailey. Can you believe I'm 4 years old? I still look pretty for my age don't you think? I certainly hope I'm aging well.

After all the excitement we were really really tired so we all went out on the patio to relax tonight. Mom had a glass of wine and Bailey and I just relaxed.

Do you remember when I went to the Doctor in December for my yearly checkup? Well wasn't that a horrible day? He said I had bad gums and I was fat!! I was so upset, how could a beautiful kitty like me have all those problems? I have been trying to watch what I eat and Mommy has been feeding me dental kitty food. I had to go with Bailey a few weeks ago when he had his yearly checkup so our Dr. could check me too. I was so happy!! I lost a pound and my gums are so much better. I have two spots that he wants to check when I go for my yearly check up in December. He was so happy and so was I!!
Mommy, Bailey and I wish you a really happy weekend. I would like all of you to hop over and enter this giveaway if you have time. It's awesome!! Donna does some really cool things!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Look What I Did Today!!

I went to the Farmers Market bright and early this morning and before I got everything put away Bailey raided one of my bags and had a good time rolling my green tomato around. I guess he thought I bought him a new ball.
After breakfast and all my goodies were washed and put away I made blueberry jam, peach preserves, blueberry crisp and put the rest of the blueberries in the freezer. Busy busy day but I had a good time. I love making goodies for winter enjoyment. I think my favorite part of the week is going to the Market on the weekends. So many things to buy and try. It's so easy to over buy but I usually eat everything I bring home.
What did you do today?

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I read two blogs yesterday about lemonade and had to make some. All I had was 1/2 lemon so this morning when I ran to the store for milk and yogurt for the week, I picked up a bag of lemons and came home and made me some. Then I went out to patio to sit and enjoy.
I use my bird bath as a little table sometimes. All I did was squeeze the juice from 3 lemons, added a little sugar to taste and filled the pitcher with water. I used a quart container. Added a sprig of mint from the herb garden and enjoyed. One of the blogs mentioned drinking from a wine glass and since I'm on antibiotics this week and no wine it sounded like a good idea. It was cool and refreshing and so good. Thank you ladies.
Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Booth

I finally remembered to take my camera with me and to actually use it. I took the camera many times and left it in my purse or just plain left it at home. I'm trying to go twice a week to straighten and take new items for sale. It is a small booth and if I do well in sales I may rent a larger one next year. I had to pay part of Junes rent but I had only been opened a week or so. I've already paid July's rent so the rest is mine. Sales have been slow but I'm sure they will pick up. I've changed things around since I took these. I try to make changes every time I go. It is work in progress. Most of my items I've purchased at estate sales but some are actually mine that I've had for years and just gotten tired of.

As I mentioned before my grandson helped me set everything up. I could not have done it without him. How often will a 25 year old boy want to help his poor granny do something this boring. He jumped at the chance when I asked him. He is such a good kid. Well OK most of time. Oh and to top it all off, he took me to dinner the night before. I made him a scrumptious breakfast before we started so he'd have lots and lots of energy. We had a green chili, sausage strata with a bowl of fruit. Thanks Jonathan! Grandma loves you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 4th of July and a trip to the Zoo

Happy 4th to everyone in blogland. I bet you think I disappeared into the wild blue yonder! I really didn't think I was going to be away so long but everything took a lot longer than I thought it would. I have opened an antique booth so I've been busy pricing and sorting out boxes and boxes of goodies. More about all that later.

Before I got caught up in the booth my grandson took me to the zoo for our birthdays the end of May. Our birthdays are 4 days apart so we always do something special together. He took me to the zoo and I took him to dinner afterwards. It was a very special day for both of us.

We have a wonderful zoo here and I thought you would like a tour.
Mountain lions are so beautiful and graceful. She was very interested in something. Certainly not us taking her picture.

The zebras were strutting around looking beautiful.

There were lots of giraffes and a few babies but I may have lost the picture of the babies beside Mom so you could see the difference in height. The is actually one of the babies.

We loved watching the bears and they put on quite a show for us.

The beautiful white fox looks so pretty posing for her picture.

I'm not sure what was on the alligator's mind, I hope not dinner!

The otters kept us entertained for a long time. They put on quite a show posing for us.

The tiger was pacing back and forth but we finally got a decent picture of him. He was certainly a very nervous tiger that day.

This was taken inside the cat house so it was kind of dark and the eyes were really aglow.

Oh here's the baby giraffe. It just got out of order. Aren't they the cutest?

I don't remember the name of this weird looking little animal but it sure is unusual with his long snoot. He kept foraging in the grass looking for some treat or something.

The penguins put on quite a show too. They look so cute strutting around in their tuxedo's.

The elephants are so big aren't they?

He really wanted in that door. He kept banging his trunk against it.

The baby mountain goats were so cute. We watched them a long time.

The black bear kept walking in and out but we finally got a decent picture. We thought he was camera shy.
I can't imagine meeting one in the woods can you? My son was fishing a few years ago and he saw one. Of course he slowly left the area.

And of course we all love the monkeys.
OK folks that all!! I hope you enjoyed our day. I'll try to visit this weekend as time permits. We are going to the Arts Festival on Sunday and hiking on Monday. I'll of course take some beautiful pictures of the mountain hike. I'm leaving work at noon Friday and not going back until Tuesday. I'm so looking forward to a nice long weekend. I hope you enjoy yours.