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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Canning Along...

Food first. Taking photos with lights on or if the flash goes off, it makes photographing canned goods a bit shiny. I tried different angles and gave up. It makes it hard to see the stuff inside at times. I should take it outside in the bright shade. I am not that ambitious.

The shelf of the jams I have canned so far. We have already dipped into a few, of course. From left to right: raspberry, huckleberry, huckleberry and raspberry (on top of a huckleberry and next to the peach), peach, and strawberry. There is a lot of huckleberry jams. I substituted 1 cup of honey for the sugar in the raspberry, huckleberry, and the blend. It adds an extra delicious taste to the jam.

Peaches! It is first time I have canned these. I subbed 1 cup of honey for 1 cup of the sugar in the syrup. Same reason as the jams, it really adds to the taste.

My first pickles. I added extra garlic, a lot of extra garlic. I like garlic. I also added a pinch of dried chile pepper to add some bite. The vinegar is apple cidar vinegar. I used the recipe from Ball for deli pickle slices. I had small bits of pickling cucumbers left over after cutting the tops on some slices to fit the jar. I pickled them with some sliced onion and garlic. I hope they are tasty.

More plants and flowers...

A close-up of a borage bloom. Why am I fixated on them? They are unusual and pretty. They are stars within stars. The way the stamins (?) in the middle stick out and the dark purple color of them are strange and pretty at the same time. I love watching the hummingbirds and bees enjoying the blooms too.

A close-up of a Ziar poppy seed pod. I have no idea what the hairy things are on the dot-marks.

The latest nasturtiums are deep yellow with splotches of red. The plants all came from the same seed package, yet one had orange flowers, the second had pale orange-y or peachy coloring with dark splotches, and now these. I am wondering what color the ones in the pumpkin patch will come out like. I so hope they are red.

Some of the sunflowers from the fallen black oil sunflower seeds for the birds are opening. I found an illegal aphid labor camp ran by the ants on them today. All were blasted with a spray of the hose. Sadly, the ants will live. It is not right they can live for 14 days under water. No, it is not right.

A while back I posted a photo of a round mound of weird leaves. I let it grow. The leaves are soft, like velvet. It is not mullan. I have to see what it is. It has not bloomed.

Another strange thing that popped up with the thyme. I do not know what it is, but it looks like it will bloom soon. I need to look this one up too. I may wait until it flowers to help me identify it. Flower color can shorten the search.

Two backgrounds of lobelia. Come on... you have to agree the color is stunning!I bet if I flashed a black light on it at night, it would glow like the old posters.

Back to knitting the Invader Zim GIR hat. The hat itself is done. I am to the parts.


  1. Gorgeous dill pickles! Thanks for reminding about slicers. I think I'll follow suite on that for my next batch.

    How'd you peel and pit your peaches? Did you scald them?

  2. Good Grief Charlie Brown! Domestic Goddess alert! Congrats.

  3. The plant above your lobelia looks like amaranth; I've got that stuff too. I planted mine a few years ago and it still comes back. The young leaves can be steamed, so they say. It's a grain; you're supposed to take the heads, place them on a smooth flat surface and stomp them to break up the chaff. They're prickly when they're ripe and hard soled shoes are useful for this. I have tried harvesting them but I didn't actually save the results or bake with them.


  4. Crapola. I did not know what it was and could not find out anything... It is pigweed, aka Amaranth. You are right Elena. I had pulled it up a few days ago. It was crowding out my thyme, which was still struggling. But now I know. thanks for the ID!