Monday, July 23, 2012

Canning Weekend

Wow what a super busy weekend!!! I picked 14 more pounds of blueberries. With this I made blueberry syrup, blue berry pie filling and froze whole blueberries.

Here's the process for Blueberry Pie Filling

Mashing the blueberries

Add sugar and lemon peel

Cook until thickened

Divide into freezer container for enjoyment later

I then had over 15 pounds of cucumbers to pickle. This makes me so happy because the past two years I've had no cucumbers to pickle. So needless to say I was very excited to pickle again. I made kosher picked using the Ball mix.

Here's the process

Pick cucumbers and wash them

Mix picking mix and boil

Add brine to sliced cucumbers in jars and process

All done!!!!!


What did you preserve this weekend?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Trying to Get Back Into the Swing of Things

My husband and I have been trying to become more self-sufficient lifestyle for almost 4 years however things got off track late last summer. My garden was HORRIBLE last year. Everything died!!! My cucumbers never even bloomed, my tomatoes never even turned red. When everything started doing failing I just gave up.

Then school started in the fall, I took three classes and I received a job promotion at the same time so I wasn't home much during the week and my weekend involved lots of homework. I've been going to school part time for over five years and I'm to close to stop now. Even though our goal is to have a more self sufficient life style I think I still need to finish school since I've worked too hard and have gotten too far. I think I'm going to cut down on my class load though. 

Moving On.....

As the we move forward we are trying to get back into the swing of things we were previously doing. 


1. Eating out less

2. Pay off DEBT!!!!

3. Giving up more processed food

4. Grocery shopping smart

5. Preserving food

6. Eat more local food

I know there's no much more we need to work on but this is just the beginning. 

I have a lot of ideas and will be tracking my progress through this blog again.

My first thing I need to do to get back on track is to GIVE UP Diet Coke again. I'm really starting to look at labels and like even less what I see. CARAMEL COLOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, POTASSIUM BENZOATE are just some of the ingredients. Anytihng that has ACID or BENZOATE isn't good for you. I'm done as of tonight. 

I'm very excited to get to the simple things in life!!!!!!!!!!

Blueberry Jam

I braved the 90 degree weather this weekend and went and picked my first bunch of blueberries. With the wind of Lake Michigan it made it a little easier however I think I lost some weight with all the sweating I did.

I decided to make blueberry jam. I never canned anything blueberry before so it was a new experience. It was a lot quicker than strawberry or peach jam since there's not peeling or slicing involved so my hands a wrists were very happy.  Here are some photos of the process.

Sorting out the berries

Washing the berries (They look so yummy)
Adding sugar and pectin

The final product

Can't wait to make some homemade bread or buttermilk biscuits to the spread this yummy jam on.

I plan on going again to pick more berries to make syrup and pie filling.
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