Monday, 16 July 2012

This is what I have been up to...

For my regular readers, I apologize...I am struggling with "balance issues".  All winter, the posts were extremely craft heavy.  Now they are extremely garden/canning heavy.  Hopefully soon I will be able to find a balance in my life as well as on this blog.

Now, here is what I have been up to:
Handpicking borage and chamomile flowers for tea in the winter...takes a long time, especially when you lose your marbles and do this...
There is a blog that I read (Homesprout) and on Fridays she posts Friday Favorites and there is always at least one really amazing food photo...I have been trying to capture interesting shots like I see on that site but I need much much more practice. I just don't think I have the eye for it.
Harvesting in bits and pieces.  My brother ate his way through most of this basket while picking up his son.  I actually kind of like when things come in just a bit at a time because it seems a little less overwhelming to this beginner canner.  A handful of green beans at a time is allowing me to experiment with one pint jars.
I plan on trying the green beans 6 different ways to see which we like the best, and then next year I will know what to do with them.  This is my first year doing anything but freezing them.  So far, I have one pint of "dilly beans" ( I wish I had a source for them, but the only note I took says "Canning and Preserving").  My guess now is that I read the book in the winter and took a few notes - I am thinking that is the name of the chapter rather than the book.  I will look into it.

Also pictured are some pickled radish seed pods (that one is over here).  I haven't tasted them yet, but I believe you can use them as you would capers.  Yum, since I am the only one in my house that enjoys capers, I can't really justify buying a jar of them.  Let's see if this will do the trick.  Oh, but I am saving them for the winter when it will hard to meet "the challenge".

I also tried the soup stock over the fire pit as it was way way too hot to do it in the house.  Hmmm.  I'm not so sure.  The boys abandoned me to go to an outdoor concert with my brother and nephew.  My husband was at his 100K walk (incidentally, turns out, it was actually 115K), so I ended up outside tending the fire while I watered and weeded the garden, but then it got dark so I brought out a lamp and read a book while watching my soup.  It takes a really long time to make the broth in this giant canning pot.  I might do it again in the fall though, just for "fun".  We did cook our dinner over this fire in the early evening.  Tasty!
After work today, I harvested this for our dinner.  Well, except for the beans, which are being lacto-fermented.  Incidentally, can anyone help me out here?  Do I have to refrigerate something that is lacto-fermented when it is done?  My book doesn't say to, but I have never done it before and I want to make sure it is safe.
And last but not least, getting the herbs ready for winter use.  It takes a might long time to get this much thyme off the branches, but it will be worth it.  Last year I left all the leaves on the stems and had to remove them every time I wanted to use them.  I think this will work much better.  I do believe I already have enough oregano, thyme and mint to last me through to the spring.  I will probably continue to dry some for my friends, but then I can hand it all over on the stems to save my sanity.

So, little crafting around here, although I plan to go watch Master Chef in a few minutes and hopefully do a few rows of my scarf.  Nighty night.

Linking up with Laura William's Musings for Carnival of Home Preserving on Friday.


  1. I think you should blog whatever is going on in your life right now! I am the same way, summer is a lot of gardening, winter is a lot of crafts, spring and fall are a lot of complaining about how it is too cold or the months are going by too fast :-) We love dilly beans here. I typically freeze my green beans because they are so easy to freeze, and then have on hand for stir fries or whatever. And i think you do need put the lacto fermented stuff in the fridge once it is done, at least I always do, otherwise it will keep getting more and more sour.

  2. Such beauty in those natural colors! And, whew, I thought perhaps you were suffering from an inner ear issue! You meant the other kinds of balance!

  3. that borage and chamomile looks lovely!

  4. You've been busy! Thanks for linking this great post up at the Carnival of Home Preserving! Love the beautiful borage flowers.