Monday 28 August 2017

Blueberry Jam and Sweet Relish

Hello!  Thanks for dropping by!  

Today I would love to share with you the jam and sweet pickle relish I made. 

Starting with the relish, I grated up some cucumbers that I was given by a neighbour, some sweet bell peppers, and some local grown onions.  I sprinkled them with salt and let them sit for a couple hours. 

Then after I rinsed and drained them I made the brine.  

I then dumped all the mixture into the brine and cooked it down. 

Then I filled some jars and set them into the water bath canner for the prescribed time.  

I saved out a tiny bit that wouldn't fit in the jars to just eat right away...yum!

Then while those jars were in the canner I started on the blueberries.  I had a bit of help from my son to help "smash" the berries.  I don't have a potato masher, but this meat tenderizer works good to. 

Then into the pot with pectin and later sugar.  

I love the part of filling the jars.  I invested in a metal canning funnel and it is so very useful for canning and many other things around the kitchen! 

Then of course the happy sounds of pinging lids as they all come out of the canner!  

Have you been preserving food?  It is a fun thing for me to do and is very much worth the extra effort.  Plus it frees up freezer space.  

I hope you are having a wonderful day! 

What Went On In My Kitchen This Day

Hello!  Nice to see you!  Have you been harvesting anything from your garden? 

Today was bittersweet.  We pulled the last of the produce from our garden today.  As you can see it's the carrots.  Fall is upon us here in the Yukon and with school lessons beginning soon I thought it best to have the garden taken care of prior as to lessen any stress with that.  

As you can see, they're all kinda tiny. LOL  It was not the best year for carrots, but they are still packed with delicious nutrition.  Sometimes I get discouraged as to the lack of growth, but find joy in that it is something that I can offer my family that one cannot buy at the store up here.  

They're all de-greened and washed and tucked into freezer bags now.  They are all in the fridge, for they are always best eaten that way...well in my opinion that is. 

It took a bit of giggling, but I got them all in there. ~smiles~ 

Today I also started some yogurt that Lord willing will be finished up tomorrow morning.  It is now in jars in a roaster in my oven wrapped in a big towel.  No fancy yogurt machine in this house. 

We like to mix some homemade jam in our yogurt or add it to smoothies. 

I also with the help of my son made a batch of butter.  I love having my Bosch as it makes the process go much smoother. 

Then my daughter had cookies cooking in our roaster oven.  Our regular oven isn't working and the Lord blessed us with this one in it's stead.  

She also made chocolate drop cookies (stove top version) so our cookie jars are full for a bit.  

SO we have had a full and productive day.  It's nice to be able to look back on the day and see the home productive and nourishing the ones that live within it's walls.  God is good! 

Monday 14 August 2017

Yum Pickles!

Hello! I hope you are having a great day!  

With the last of summer comes some canning here in my house.  We made some pickles to add to the pantry.  We made some sweet pickles and some dill pickles.  

For the sweet pickles we cut up nice little slices.  

I couldn't grow enough cucumbers in my garden this year for pickling, and the Lord provided some for us through the grocery store.  They rarely have pickling cucumbers and this week as I walked into the produce section there they were sitting on a cart.  We are friends with one of the produce men and he helped us by opening up boxes and helping us to select some of the best ones.  SO very thoughtful he was.  

We also cut some cucumbers up into spears for the dill pickles.  The cucumbers were way to big to pickle whole.  

We bought some fresh dill. Then added sprigs of dill and some garlic cloves to the jars before adding the cucumbers and brine.  

I've also learned to make the brine for the pickles... thanks to my parents.   It is wonderful to learn these kinds of skills from your parents, or grandparents....passing down the information.  

My favourite are the sweet pickles!  

My daughter's favourite are the dill so we made lots of each.  

Do you like pickles?  Have you made your own?  Do you use a family recipe?

A wonderful addition to the pantry that will make us smile in the winter.  

Thank you for taking the time to drop by! Praying you have a blessed day!

Late Summer Flowers

Hello! I'd like to share with you some of my late summer flowers.  It's wonderful to just take time to notice the details of each one, and marvel at the variety that God has created.  

Above is a beautiful Malva.  The plants have just erupted into bloom and the colour is just stunning! 

My garden is growing nicely, the potatoes are winding down a bit, and the peas are covered in flowers and tiny peas!!!  They taste good, but I'm trying to leave more to grow bigger. :)  

My delphiniums all opened up while I was gone on our trip.  It was a beautiful sight to come home to!  I am blessed with having a nice variety of colours in my delphinium patch.  

They are so big and beautiful this year, and the bees are visiting regularly.

My first snap dragon opened and it's such a lovely shade of pink! 

My shelling peas have all come into bloom now and I'm glad to see them coming along as the signs of fall are starting to show.  

Not sure what flower this is, but it's a perennial and I just adore the tall purple stalks.  A cheerful bit of colour in amongst the grasses. 

The fireweed is still pretty, although much of the patches of it are finished up.  Sadly they were in their best bloom while we were gone.  We all know that once the fireweed is done flowering that fall is upon us.  The summers are short lived in the Yukon. 

I am also blessed with having a poppy that came along with some raspberry canes. :)  A lovely splash of colour to encourage the bees to visit. 

As you can see the blooms are quite far up the stalks of the fireweed...just a bit more to enjoy. 

I missed making fireweed jelly this year...well a project to put on the list for next year. 

I have some cosmos blooming away and they are so fun.  I really think that next year I'll plant a bunch more. 

Then our Dock plant is huge this year, and the red fruit on it has laden it down.  You can use it for dying, but I don't think I'll use it.  I think it's just pretty to have next to the tree up close to the house.  

Thanks for dropping by! I hope you are enjoying some wonderful flowers and taking some time to slow down and notice the little details of them all. 

A Summer Trip

Hello!  My family has just come home from a road trip to see some family.  We loved the drive, through the mountains, over rivers and by lakes.  The sky always changing and the gorgeous clouds that the Lord decorated the sky with.  

It was a lot of hours, and our dog seemed quite content to sleep many of them away on her bed between my girls. 

The sun sets always captured my heart.  I love how the light changes, and the colours deepen and then soften. 

We were blessed with many great little places to rest along the way.

The beautiful Alberta fields were full of colour, and just stunning set against the blue sky and fluffy clouds.  I wouldn't eat canola, but it sure is pretty! 

Lots of old barns and buildings dotted the landscape.  Makes me think back to when they were in full use, what it would have been like.  I like the stories they tell.

The cousins all had some fun blowing bubbles and discovering them nestled in the grass. 

We also spent lots of time around the train tracks and watching them go by. We don't have the same working trains where we live and it was fascinating for us all to listen to the horns (although not in the middle of the night) and to hear the rumble of the cars as they passed. 

Great balancing activity as we walked along the rails.  Or jumped from rail tie to rail tie. 

Along the road were a few areas where forest fires had come through.  SO many acres of burnt trees, but it's so nice to see the lush green coming up from around the charred remains. 

I love this picture my daughter took from the inside of an old building.

A highlight of our trip was that I could meet my niece for the first time in person.  She is such a delightful happy little girl.  Here I'm twirling her around in the grass.  Her sweet giggles melt my heart! 

It was a treasure to be able to spend some time with family that live far away.  💗

We got to be there when a couple big thunderstorms rolled though, and we could watch the lightening and hear the thunder.  We don't get many of these storms where we live, and we all enjoy them. 

Evening trip to the tracks.  Loved the sunsets and the gentle stillness of the evening spent this way.

We saw lots of wildlife on our trip.  These were cinnamon black bears and you can see two cubs in the grass...another was close by climbing up a tree. 

We saw lots of bison some alone and some with herds.  Mountain sheep and porcupine.  

I loved the winding roads through the mountains.  Some places where there were steep drops and glorious mountain vista views.  Interesting to see how the mountains changed from rolling to sharp rock peaks. The trees changing to from tiny up in the alpine to tall and lush in the valleys.  

Wonderful lakes with docks to walk out on.  No swimming time on this trip, but I do love to just stand on docks and feel the water rolling around underneath.  

There was time for raspberry picking and making some jam.  Oh how I love these berries.  I've planted some raspberry canes in our yard, and there are just a handful of berries from them this year.  Next year should be much more bountiful.  

More prairie sunsets.  Love the scope and breadth of the sunsets here!  The layers of coloured clouds was breathtaking!  

It was a wonderful time away, but it's always sweet to come to back to the familiar haven of home.

Now it's back to caring for the home and garden again.  The garden grew so much while we were gone and there is much to do to get it ready for our rapidly approaching fall.  

I pray that you have all had a wonderful day and that you are still enjoying the wonderful summertime!