Saturday, October 26, 2013

I CAN't stop......

After the garden clean up, the baskets of leftovers got stuck on the porch.  
Every morning I got up and they waved through the glass doors.... Hey remember us? 

Talk about spinning straw into gold.  It kills me to throw stuff out and I think I go through this every year.  Knowing the hot peppers wouldn't last long, they were cleaned and stuffed.  I contemplated giving them to the chickens, especially after they just tore through my potato patch.  I came to my senses and stuffed the peppers instead.  I guess I could have stuffed a couple chickens too.....
 Three big cookie sheets and still there were peppers floating in the sink.  I was starting to feel like Micky Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice except I had marching peppers!  The peppers just kept coming! Slicing up the left overs, dumping them into pint jars with cloves of garlic and pouring hot vinegar solution over them before you could blink they were processed and in the basement vault. 
I have lost count on these peppers but if we eat them every week until next August, there will still be a bag lingering in the bottom of the freezer.  

On to the eggplant.....  found a new recipe for caponata that is canned and not frozen.  Had cocoa powder in the recipe too.  It's freezing and I might be needing a few extra antioxidants ..... well at least an anti-depressent.   After 7 pints of caponata I still had three eggplant staring me in the face. Yup, I am depressed.  Sliced, grilled and topped with oven roasted tomatoes and provolone cheese on whole grain bread.  Yum!   Had it again for lunch the next day.  They are finally gone..... but then I've said this before.

The weather has turned ..... hail one day, snow the next.  Today, roaring winds all day.  We have been robbed!  Fall lasted 3 days and winter arrived.  The wind chills have been in the low 20's, the chickens are hunkered down and eggs are getting few and far between.  I am using my shoulders as ear muffs and will stay this way until spring I fear.  

 OH JOY!!  
It's the season of the carb.  
The vat of granola has appeared on the counter.  
Bread baking is back just so I can turn the stove on to warm the house. 
We caved on Friday and turned the furnace on after discovering the butter on the counter was harder than the stick in the fridge. 

Hamburger buns waiting for burgers hot off the grill.


God help me I am still putting stuff in jars.  I can't seem to stop.  Every time I grab the canning pots and start for the basement I think about something else I wanted to try.  My only excuse at this point,  I have never finish canning season, before tearing into show season.  This year I have one show scheduled so I have time to can!  This will be the first year the master list will be totally done!  I am just giddy about this!  

The last jars headed to the basement.... I swear!

7 jars of stout jelly.  Yes, you read that correctly, beer jelly.  It's really good on a rye or pumpernickle bread with a sharp cheese spread and one hot pepper ring.  We couldn't stop eating it.  Stuck a few apples on the side but we just kept eating cheese and beer jelly......  
I used Elliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewery. 

The tall jars in the back are filled with pineapple chunks in brown sugar rum sauce.  This stuff will rock the sweet potatoes and oven baked squash this year.  It might make it's way to top off a pound cake or two.  

The stout jelly foams like nothing I ever canned!  The stuff is alive! 
Thought it would calm down but it doesn't until it hits the jars. 

The foam jellies in the jar too!  
It's jelly with a head!  
Amber clear and very pretty!   
We love it!


  1. I am passing on the title of mother earth to you. This is what my friends use to call me when I canned, raised animals, baked all our bread.
    I bow to you, carry on.

    On another note.
    My mother always soaked raisins in rum or whiskey. Then you can use them in bread, cookies or ice cream. I like to just taste me a few on a cold night. The syrup it makes, good Lord that stuff is gold.
    Passing my crown of wild-edible flowers now.

  2. I second that Mother Earth title! I heard once on the Peoples Pharmacy that rum soaked raisins were good for arthritis pain, couldn't hurt could it?!
    We went to the state fair yesterday,you would have swooned over all the canned goods:-) glad someone has joined me on doing less shows!

  3. Thanks Meredith! I will look adorable :)
    It's my grand experiment this year. Will I do it next year...... Who knows. Doing this and keeping the studio going has been a little nuts and it has bumped into my income.

    Iam doing a bit do foraging on my walks and I will never shell black walnuts!! It has been fun and Iove seeing the shelves full.

    Oh and I really love going to the grocery store saying; I don't need that or that or that :)

  4. Well Tracey...... After seeing your trunk filled with camping equipment I swooned!!! No kidding weak in the knees. Need a pack buddy, the kids left and hubby wants a hotel, yuck!

    I am so creaky in the morning I'm going for the rum soaked raisins :)

    I love the fair! Even our little local fair, have a drawer full of envelopes from baking and canning entries. Made my kids enter something every year. Remember waiting at the gate opening day and running to see if they won anything, always something! So much fun, do kids do that anymore? Every time somebody says kids don't have much self esteem any more I think, enter the fair!

  5. gin, for arthritis, you need to use gin, but for flavor use some good rum or good whiskey.
    About those black walnuts:
    Mark once, note the use on the word once, shelled enough to make the best black walnut pie, think pecan made with the black walnuts. His trick to take them out of the hull was to run over them with the old heavy Chevy truck. He then spent many nights shelling them. This was in 1976, no internet, no tv, no real radio, living here with 1 kid. Life was very slow back then....
    Zoom to today- bring it up and he will drool over how good it taste.
    and swear to never make another one.
    Your drop in your food bill will make up for any sales. You will probably make money by not making pots!!!
    I really enjoy your blog- you me and TB need a cup of coffee together. we would set the night on fire.

  6. Oh Sandy, you so make me laugh! I look forward to reading your blog.
    In our household, altho' I am handy in the kitchen and do a lot of canning etc, my hubby is the veggie garden farmer. When harvest season is full underway and my counters upstairs in the kitchen and downstairs in my studio start to fill up with produce that needs to be dealt with, I give him a bad time. I tell him next time I unload the kiln, he can do all the cleaning of pots, pricing, stock the gallery shelves and handle the marketing for me :>))

  7. Meredith! Gin and Whiskey LOL! What arthritis? and I would be falling down all the time :)

    Last night on my walk I was tripping over the bumper crop of black walnuts this year and had to laugh, nope no black walnut pie here ..... In fact I watched the squirrels run over the B.W. to get to the bumper crop of acorns! I'm going with the squirrels! shocking huh ......

    I really think we need a blog campout! Well we would sure set something n fire! The possibilities are endless!

  8. Brenda! I read your post to my husband standing in the kitchen shoving beer jelly in his face and said; Hey this woman is a potter and her husband is the gardener...... he looked at me blankly and said.... But I sail.

    This garden bounty is nuts! I was the pepper fairy last night. Distributed bags of green peppers to the neighbors, hung the bags on the door knobs and ran away. I just couldn't take the; No Thank You Dear...... the bucket is still half full and we ate them slice for breakfast with toast....... and nobody wants beets! I love them!

    I dream of BC...... someday!! Happy Fall!!
    Thanks for reading!!