Thursday, July 10, 2008

Attempts at homemaking

I pulled the first vegetables out of our garden yesterday! I have about 12 small bush bean plants that have survived late frost, bugs and trampling-by-small-children and they're starting to produce. I got 1-3 beans from each plant, which was just enough for dinner (Joe caught 4 smallish trout so we had an excellent, fresh dinner!) My favorite way to prepare beans is to boil them for a few minutes until they're tender but not mushy. Slice half an onion, sauté it in a bit of butter or olive oil, add a sprinkle of garlic salt and toss with the beans.

In celebration of our not-dying garden, I bought something I've been eying for a while now... this beauty of a pressure-canner. I have crazy dreams of being able to bottle my own beans so that we can have fresh, nutritious veggies throughout the winter months. I think my only real obstacle will be not eating every bean as it comes out of the garden. Because they were so tender and so flavorful and sweet. YUM! I sowed a second crop yesterday that will hopefully have less frost problems and give us a fair amount of beans later in the summer. Also, if you're not living on a farm and gathering bushels of beans every day, how do you keep them fresh long enough to fill a few bottles?

Last year Hannah and I turned into crazy people and decided that, with no experience, help or know-how, we would learn to bottle our own peaches. We read this website numerous times, assembled our equipment, turned on a movie (Jane Eyre) and just went for it. It was a LOT of work, but we did get our boxes of peaches bottled. I ended up with 16 quarts of peaches and 14 small bottles of peach butter. It's been over 8 months of eating delicious bottled peaches and, since no one has had any botulism complaints, I figure we did everything correctly. Except we didn't get the lids wiped off well enough, so opening each sticky lid is a challenge. Live and learn right? Also my kids would eat an entire bottle on their own if I let them, which makes me happy.

Oh yes, as a sidenote, check out Hannah's blog because she's giving away a blog-header and believe me, you want it. That looks like a fun give-away. Maybe I'll do one in the future. Anyway...

Back to canning and bottling. I'm really excited about this! I'm hoping that in the late summer and early fall, we can get a group together again for Handy Homemakers Part II. So get your bottles, fruit and veggies and your home-makiest apron ready for fall. I can't wait.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

I've also decided that this summer is my summer to learn how to can. I just need to get some stuff to can...