Preserving the Late Summer Harvest

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Put cherry tomatoes into a clean jar.  Heat the other ingredients to boiling and pour over the tomatoes.  Wait a few days before eating

Oven Roast Tomato Sauce

Preheat the oven to 450º F.

Pour 1-2 T olive oil into a large bowl and add the 3 peeled cloves garlic, 1 t dried basil (I had some dried leaves in a bowl on the counter), and 1 t salt and 1/2 t ground pepper.

Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and remove the stems. Toss the tomatoes with the oil and seasonings, then lay them down cut side down on a parchment line baking sheet.

Roast in the oven until the skins wrinkle up – about 30-35 minutes, The skins will come off easily; remove them and dry the skins and herbs in a dehydrator for tomatoe powder.

Adjust salt as needed and place in a jar or use right away.

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The 20/10 Challenge – Labor Day

This morning we began a fairly extensive 20/10 challenge.  We are having the carpet and the furniture in the living room cleaned so everything had to come out.  

 

While it’s out, I might as well declutter too.  The only problem is now I have to wait for everything to dry to start putting things back and decide what to get rid of.

soooooo……. while we wait for the carpet to dry, I decided to to a 20/10 challenge on the upstairs hallway.  I forgot to take a before photo but I did remove a window fan, a folding table, a painting of a duck on wood, two hot tub filters, two piggy banks, and a fishing rod.  I dusted the shelves and the little table, hung up the blue peg board for a “chores for hire” message board (don’t worry, those are mostly $1’s), vacuumed, and cleaned the baseboards.  It’s so nice now – it’s been a mess for months.

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The 20/10 Challenge – The Entry

Today’s 20/20 Challenge was a doozy.  I decided to tackle the front entry, including the coat closet.

  • I used the first 20 to remove items from the entry to sort out those that have no particular purpose in that area.  I moved them into the dining room and then wiped down the baseboard molding and bottom step.
  • The second 20 was used to remove the coats, bags, baskets, boxes, and Yuletide decorations from the coat closet – – what a mess.
  • The third 20 minutes flew by while I went through the coats and boxes, bags and baskets – consolidating, identifying the owners, making piles for donation.
  • During the fourth 20 minutes I put back the bins of decorations, the coats, made a couple of baskets with scarves, mittens and hats, another basket for my bag and purse to land, set up the umbrella stand and put out a wooden bowl for keys and spare change.
  • It looks great now. It will also function much better. Everything in the room is there because it should be, not just because there is no where else to put it. I just need to figure out what to do with all of the things I was hiding in that room.
Posted in August 2017, Spring Cleaning | Leave a comment

Biscuits

 Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t honey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Cut the cold butter into the flour until it resembles meal.
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients just until well incorporated.
  5. Roll out the dough to desired thickness and cut out your biscuits.
  6. Bake them on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet for 13-17 minutes removing when biscuits are golden brown and fluffy.
Posted in August 2017, Baking | Leave a comment

The 20/10 Challenge – the scary kitchen drawers

Summer is coming to an end and it’s back to school on Tuesday.  With the long vacation, our usual summer cleaning didn’t happen to I’m trying to squeeze some in now.  Today I employed the 20/10 strategy again – work 20minutes, rest 10 minutes.  The drawers in the kitchen island hold a lot of odds and end and get really cluttered over time.

I purged a few items and reorganized what was left. Everything is neat as a button.

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The 20/10 Challenge – the jam shelf

Today’s 20/10 challenge actually required 3 rounds (and I still need to find homes for the extra odds and ends).  The jam shelf is above the desk in the laundry room and right next to the door that the construction guys used to go in and out of the house to fix the dry rot.  Needless to say it was a dusty mess.  I also picked up some new jam jars recently (I love Weck jars) that needed a home after they were filled with Wild Blackberry jam and Fig & Ginger jam.  I took everything down, dumped the unidentified jams, labeled the new jams, wiped everything down and reorganized the lost of them.  Now the shelf is organized and sparkly and ready for the dreary winter ahead.

Posted in August 2017, Putting up, Spring Cleaning | Leave a comment

Seedless Wild Blackberry Jam

I cooked down about 12 cups of blackberries with a bit of water and strained them to remove the seeds.  The pulp went into some vodka to make a Wild Blackberry Tincture to help treat sore throats, mouth ulcers, and gum inflammations.
The juice was used in our family favorite – Seedless Wild Blackberry Jam.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups juice from Wild Blackberries
  • 2 T lemon juice (cider vinegar??)
  • 5 T all purpose pectin
  • 1 t butter
  • 5 cups white sugar

Directions

  1. Combine the blackberry, lemon juices pectin and butter in a tick walled saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down – boil 1 minute
  3. Add the sugar and return to a boil – boil 1 minute
  4. Ladle into jars and can.
Posted in August 2017, Putting up | Leave a comment

The 20/10 Challenge – drawers and cabinets

I’m trying to get everything back in order after a summer of fun. I found a site, UfYH, that suggested lots of ways to make this more palatable.  Last night I tried “Clearing a Surface”.  Today, I decided to set a timer and try “20/10” – – 20 minutes of work followed by a 10 minute break.  I was surprised to find how quickly I was able to get the chores done when I knew there was an end in sight.

Today’s 20/10 focused on kitchen drawers and cabinets……

Posted in August 2017, Spring Cleaning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Salt Fermented Dill Pickles

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups filtered water
  • 1.25 Tablespoons (15 – 30 ml) high-quality sea salt
  • cucumbers 1-2 in chunks or slices (I had a big, overgrown one)
  • 2-4 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling spice
  • 5 – 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon black tea leaves
  • 2 clean grape leaves

Instructions

1. Dissolve the salt in the water
2. Slice the cucumbers and soak 30 minutes minutes ice water.
3. Place the dill, bay leaf, mustard seeds, onion, garlic, and tea leaves into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar and pack in the cucumbers.
4. Cover the contents with the grape leaves and then pour in the brine until it reaches about 1/2 inch above the top.
5. Place an air lock onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 7 – 10 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight.
6. Check every few days and when ready, transfer to the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

Posted in August 2017, Putting up | Leave a comment

Flat Surface Challenge Continued

I woke up this morning to a nice, neat, organized bed side table (flat surface challenge part one).  It was lovely.  I decided to complete the challenge this morning in the kitchen/dining areas.

I had done a deep clean-up on the dining room two days ago and the table was already cluttered – it is a dining table, a work desk, a card table, a snack area, a drop-off for groceries and generally the place everyone throws everything when they come in the house.  The hardest part is avoiding the temptation to just move the stray items into an area where they don’t belong either.  Lesson learned – – – I have too many things and need to start a gradual reduction so everything has a home.

The other area in our home that acts as a landing pad is our kitchen island.  I love this island – a four foot square of Eastern Hard Rock Maple with a bar sink – – so useful.  Except when it’s covered with junk, which it is most of the time.  It’s located just as we come in the down from the garage, just across from the dining room table, so what doesn’t land on the table land here.  It took only a few minutes to find homes for everything (well sort of) and make it into a useful space once again.

Posted in August 2017, Spring Cleaning | Leave a comment