Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Picnic---2010

I was looking through some old photos, and I found these.  I never got around to posting them last summer, and I enjoyed looking at them so much, I decided to post them a year late.  

This was a picnic at some dear friends, for some good reason, or maybe no good reason, I can't remember.  It doesn't matter.  Anytime we get together we have a good time. 

Zane had such a good time on this battery operated tractor.  I wish we had one.  He had a hard time sharing. 

There were kitties there, too.  

Zane likes anything with wheels. 

And of course, I couldn't decide which effect I liked better. 

Sweet to the last.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Egg Rolls

Lynette loves egg rolls so much that she wanted to learn how to make them.  Then, we could have them more than occasionally.  We are getting good at these. 

Cabbage, carrot, pork mixture. 

Heaping 1/8 cup filling. 


Ready to fry.

Ready to eat. 

What I found most startling after seeing these photos, is Lynette's hands.  They are confident and useful, and they look like her Auntie's.

And on a side note.  I had leftover filling and frosting from my filled cupcakes.  This is half a batch of boxed mix brownies, spread with filling and frosted.

Just as good, and simpler. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Water Fun

What is summer without a little bit of water fun?  Lorene, Lynette and chased after Zane for an afternoon at the water park.  He doesn't like following the rules.  This silly slide is a lot more fun when you slide down on your tummy or climb back up again. 

Zane is brave enough to go down the slide alone. Lynette is at the bottom to catch him. 

We had to get a new pool for this year and ended up getting a 20 footer.  We didn't realize how much bigger it was than our 15 footer of last year until we put it up.  It seems to be a heavier quality, so hopefully it will last  now, until the kids are gone. 

Zane is just a little fish.  He goes everywhere in that little life jacket of his.  Of course, it means he thinks he's safe in the water, so he really has to be watched in case he gets away from us.

Aaron is just crazy.  I got lucky and got him mid-jump.

Lynette was throwing him the ball to catch.  He missed.

My brother gets too carried away with fireworks and he gave what he couldn't use to Nathan.  I was NOT impressed.

Then Nathan and Lynette got the bright idea to make a slip-and-slide from tarps.  We have three 4x18' tarps staked out with tent stakes.

You may not think this is a very exciting photo, but to me it is.  Lynette and Nathan haven't cooperated on a project for years.

Zane was much more interested playing with the hose. 

It worked best if someone helped Zane slide. 

That's my boy!

and my girl!

and my other boy!

They really had a nice time, and they put everything away when they were done, too.  Every time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Canning Season Begins

Zucchini Relish

One of the best ways I like to use up zucchini is to make sweet relish.  Mine tastes more like bread and butter pickles.  We eat it all the time.  I usually never have to worry about it running out, but I cut it pretty fine this year and we used our last jar a couple weeks ago.  

Zucchini should never be let grow until baseball bat size.  It really isn't very useful.  If I do use those really big ones for relish or to grate and freeze for bread and cake, I cut out the middle where the seeds are.  It is too soft.  Even with the size I cut out a little of the middle since I had enough without. 

I use my second Osterizer to grind it up.  When my first one wore out, I bought a second one, the same style since I had so many accessories.  These are getting over 20 years old now. 

I forgot I don't want to peel it for relish. So I only peeled the first one. 

 Grind the zucchini to make 10 cups. 

I used the food processor to chop the onions, 4 cups.  If you grind the onion, wear goggles. 

Add 3 Tablespoons canning salt, stir and refrigerate over night.  In the morning, drain, and rinse very well. 
Grind a green and red pepper for color. (I used some frozen from last year, and I don't always use it. 
Add: 2 1/2 cups vinegar, 4 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon each dry mustard and tumeric, 2 teaspoons mustard seed, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. 

Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes. 

Sterilize the lids in boiling water.  Fill jars to 1/4" from the top, wipe tops of jars, screw on lids tightly but don't force them, and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes. 

I notice Grandma Appleman's recipe says to just "seal" them which in the olden days meant to put the lids on, turn them upside done for a few minutes, and then let them sit after turning them right side up.  Most vegetables have less acid in them as they used to, thus the extended processing time.  Better safe than sorry, anyway. 

Pickled Beets

Have your husband pick as many beets as you want.

Wash beets leaving the tails intact and cut the stems to one inch.  By doing this you have less loss of color. 

Boil in big canner until you can poke a fork in. 

Dump them in cold water and just slip the skins off.

Cleaned and ready.

Chop into bite-sized pieces, (on the slightly bigger size.) 

Fill jars.

Make brine in these proportions:
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar

I made a four cup brine for 5 quarts and 2 pints and had a pint leftover.  I'll put it in the fridge and save for the next batch.  I have a few more to do.  

Pour in brine to 1/2" from the top.  Wash tops of jars and put on lids. Process 30 minutes in hot water bath canner. 

This was also my Grandma's recipe, too, I see. 

I also use this brine to put over chunked up cucumbers.  But I don't remember right off hand what I do for processing time. 

You may also notice that I don't use a hot water bath canner.  This is a steam canner that I bought about 20 years ago for $42 dollars.  It has been worth every penny.  There isn't as much danger of breaking jars in the canner, I don't have to deal with as much boiling water either.