Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day Every One

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  source: US Department of Labor

I got up early this morning and then Frank and I got a run/walk in.  We did Day 1 of the C25K.  This is all part of my Quest for Fitness.  When we got home, Frank made breakfast, Bacon and Pancakes ( I know, I know, but hey I am not going to dissuade him from cooking when he feels like it! And it is all about portion control anyway) while I straightened up the house and got ready for our company this afternoon.

I also spent some time making and canning Salsa.  I love making salsa, it is so much better than what you get from the grocery shelf and you know exactly what is in it.  I adapted my recipe from the Ball Blue Book of Canning.  It is a great canning tool!!

Remove the stems from the tomatoes.
Slice an X on the bottom.
Place them in boiling water for a few moments.
Remove from boiling water and plunge immediately into ice water.
The skins will slip right off.

Once the skins are removed, I quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds.
Then I roughly chop them.

It takes about 6 lbs of tomatoes to get 10 cups.

I pulled out the peppers that I had in the fridge.
You want to end up with 5-6 cups of chopped peppers.
The heat of the salsa will be determined by the heat of the peppers used.
I used 5 jalapenos for this batch.

I ended up with 7 pints of salsa.
6 pints that I canned and one pint that I served as an appetizer tonight.

Salsa for Canning

10 c. chopped, seeded, peeled and cored tomatoes

5-6 c. chopped and seeded, asst peppers, at least 5 of which are jalapenos (the types and amounts of each type of pepper will determine your heat)
2 large onions, diced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 T. chopped cilantro
3 t. kosher salt
1 1/4 c. cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Ladle hot salsa into hot jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Remove to a towel lined counter to cool. Print Recipe

We had a wonderful visit with everyone today.   Kurt and Kim brought both of their Moms and Mom Klik was here as well.  We relaxed in the pool, we had a wonderful dinner and the skies opened up and the rains came pouring down.  I am so glad that it waited until we were all done outside.

One year ago today: Pears, Pigs and the Popps

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Family Supper Sunday

I love easy, lazy Sundays.  We relaxed in bed for a couple of hours, drinking coffee and looking at house plans.  We are kicking around the idea of downsizing and having a house built.  Don't worry, I will keep you updated on any changes coming here.

The remainder of the morning was spent canning some more tomatoes.  Once again I just canned whole tomatoes.  I will buy another bushel this week and start on Spaghetti Sauce and Salsa.

Not sure what happened.
Perhaps I filled that one to high?

I also roasted some beets so I could take a Beet and Tomato Salad to Ting's today.  The original plan was that Tony's folks were coming by also but they ended up having dinner together on Thursday so today it will be just us, Ting and Tony and Amy and Doug.  Amy read my Weekly Menu yesterday and then sent me a text saying she thought she was making dessert.  Heck, I didn't even know about the change in guest list but I am very happy to have 2 of my girls and their guys together. Now if we could just get our other girl and guy and our two boys all in one place at the same time, I would be ecstatic!!

I made my Beet and Tomato Salad smaller for this gathering.
I used a yellow tomato from my CSA.
Isn't it lovely?

While I waited for my tomatoes to process. I put away some of my decor and pulled out some others.  I try to change it up each month to keep life interesting.

I changed my display to represent harvest season.
The towel and bread plate were birthday gifts from my daughter, Nicole.

This afternoon, Frank and I went to lunch and then into a neighboring town that was having an art show.  I found two more Christmas gifts.  One for my sister and one for my sister in law.  Then we went and saw Mom.  When we got there Mom and one of the aides were trying to console Mom's friend, Harriet, who was upset and crying.  We ended up going out and getting ice cream for both of them to get Harriet's mind off of her worries.  I am so blessed that Mom has such a happy disposition.

Dinner at Ting and Tony's was very nice. We had Ribs, Redskin potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Watermelon.  I had brought a couple of salads and Amy brought dessert.  We laughed a lot and had a good time.

I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday as well.  See you tomorrow.

One year ago today-Corn Chowder

My One Year Blogiversary

Today marks one year that I have been blogging here at  ADITL on the Farm.  I looked back at my post from this day one year ago and Hah....It could be the same post today...we are, once again, canning and getting ready for the piglets.  I guess our life is pretty predictable.

Some things don't change.  Many do.  We have gone through a lot together in the past year. Weddings, babies, puppies, deaths, changing roles, changing dreams and ideas. And you have been here through it all offering congratulations, support and encouragement.  I thank you for that.

I was reading one of the blogs I follow this morning, Zippiknits, and she was playing Sunday Stealing.  Lo and Behold, it was all about blogging.  So today, in honor of my Blogiversary, I am going to participate in this Sunday Stealing game.

For those of you that would like more info or to join us...Here you go.

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we try to credit the blog that we stole it from. We also provide a link to the victim's meme in our "Previous Victims" widget. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") Sometimes we edit the original meme, to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, to select the best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from this new meme or recently asked questions from a previously featured meme.
Let's go!!!

What kind of blog do you have?  My blog consists of my life here on the farm.  I share my adventures with cooking, canning, raising animal, dyi projects, decorating, quilting, caregiving and travel.  I recently started a new blog, where I am sharing my daily Quest for Fitness.

How many posts do you have? 751 posts on this blog...well this will make 752, and 4 posts on my new blog.

How many blogs do you follow? 44

How many followers do you have? I am not sure how you figure that out.  I have followers by email, by facebook, by bloglovin, by google+, and I am sure other feeds.

How often do you change your theme? Since my theme is so broad, I haven't really had to change it.  Then again, it changes daily, depending on what is happening in my life at the moment.

How often do you change your icon? I haven't yet.

Do you have any favorite blogs?  I can read about some of them here.  I also belong to several clubs that I love.  Secret Recipe Club, Food n Flix, Cook the Books, CG Swaps and I just recently signed up for 10 Days of Tailgating which begins September 20th and which I am excited about.

Do you ever send anonymous messages to other people? No, if I have to be ashamed to sign my name to something I shouldn't be saying it!!

Do you ever get any anonymous hate?  Just once, and it wasn't very hateful, just someone who was anti-catholic.  I tried to reach back with love and understanding and heard no more from that person.

Have you made any friends through your blog?  Several, and I hope some day to meet them in person.

What's your favorite thing about blogging? Getting to know you, my readers and followers.  Receiving your encouragement and support.  

What's your least favorite thing about blogging? It is pretty time consuming.  It takes a lot of dedication and you find yourself living your life with the thought of how it is going to blog in the back of your mind.

I will be sharing this at Inspiration Monday.  Stop by and let us know what Inspires you.

One year ago today: Getting Ready for Piglets

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Art in it's many forms

I began running my day through my head as I sat down to write this blog today.  I was trying to come up with a title.  You would think that the writing would be what is difficult but I find that very easy. It is coming up with titles that I find hard.  First, I have to check back over the past year and see if I have used that title before.  Tomorrow is my one year blogging anniversary and there are 750 posts, 751 with this.  That is 751 different titles!!

I I thought about all the things going on today and the common thread was Art.

First, let's talk about the Art of Exercise:  I got up early, picked up Kim and headed over to the gym for a boot camp class only to find, when we arrived, that there are no classes today due to the holiday weekend.  We didn't let this deter us and I got an hour on the treadmill. You can follow my Quest for Fitness here.

The Art of Caregiving:  After our workout we stopped and visited with Mom and her gang.  Anyone who does not believe care giving is an art has never been a care giver.

The Art of Cooking:  When I got home I pickled some of the tons of beans that are filling up my fridge.

You can use 3 lbs of whatever beans you want.
I only had wax beans and purple beans (which turn green when cooked)
If you have other beans to add the procedure is the same.

You need 1 large onion, sliced
1 sweet pepper, I used purple
You can add a few stalks of celery, sliced, too but I was out.
Throw all the veggies into a pot of boiling water and let cook for 10 minutes.
Keep warm until ready to place in jars.

Combine sugar, pickling spices, vinegar and water in a large pan.
Bring to a boil,
Stir to dissolve sugar and simmer for 15 minutes.
Try to time this so it is ready the same time as the veggies.

Place veggies into sterilized jars.
Make sure the jars are not cold or they may crack when adding the hot liquid.
Ladle the hot pickling mixture over the vegetables, leaving 1/4" head space.
Place lids on jars.
Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes regardless of size of jar.

Remove from hot water bath and cool on counter lined with a towel.

Pickled Beans

3 lbs. asst. beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion, sliced
1 or 2 bell peppers, cut in chunks
2 or 3 stalks of celery, sliced (if desired)
2 1/2 c. sugar
5 t. pickling spice
4 t. pickling salt
3 c. white vinegar
1 1/4 c. hot water

Place sugar, spices, salt, vinegar and water into a large pan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes or until ready to use.

Place prepared vegetables into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and immediately put into sterilized canning jars.

Ladle pickling liquid over the vegetables, covering completely and leaving 1/4" head space.

Place lids onto jars and process using the hot bath method for 15 minutes.

Remove from water bath and set on a towel lined counter to cool.  Print Recipe

The Art of Local Artists: This afternoon we went to the art fair in our little town of Algonac.  I was pleased to see so many local artisans having booths.  I found a perfect Christmas gift for Frank's sister.

The Art of Music:  We had a special memorial Mass today for Sarah Catherine, granddaughter of our dear friends, Kirsten and John, who was born still.  Kirsten sang a beautiful tribute to Sarah.."Child of My Heart".  It was lovely and haunting.

And finally, the Art of Writing: I finished reading The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, last night. I loved this book.  It is historical fiction set in England during the war.  It is the story of a young girl who  is working as a house servant to a prosperous family being told by her as she is aged and approaching death.  It is a love story, a historical novel and a mystery.  I am anxious to read the sequel, The Forgotten Garden.

That was my Saturday.  See you all tomorrow.  Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Here it is...the Weekly Menu

This is going to be another crazy week around this household.  There is going to be a lot of cooking and canning going on but not much eating at home.

This morning Kim and I went to the gym and then stopped to see mom. This afternoon we are going to an art fair and then we are singing for Kirsten and John's granddaughter's Memorial Mass after which we will be going out for dinner.

Tomorrow, we are going to another art fair and then over to Ting and Tony's for dinner.  I am bringing dessert.

Monday we are having our last hurrah in the pool, weather permitting, as Frank will be closing it up this week.  Since it is a holiday we are skipping Meatless Monday this week.

Try it Tuesday is a new recipe I pinned from BHG which is meatless so I don't have to feel too guilty about the chicken on Monday LOL.

On Wednesday, Karen is making dinner for us.

Thursday we are having dinner at Dan's house for his Birthday celebration.

So here is the Weekly Menu.  Please stop by each day for photo's and recipes not only for this week's dinners but also for canning recipes and tips. Linking up with MPM, stop by for many great menu ideas.


Out for Dinner

TBD-Dessert for Ting's house

Grilled  Italian Chicken (chicken pieces marinated in Italian Dressing for several hours and then grilled)
Asst. Salads- Applesauce, Pickled Beets, Pickled Beans, Pickled Peppers, Broccoli Salad, Watermelon, Sliced Tomatoes, Corn on the Cob and Blackberry Crisp.

Try it Tuesday
Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake

Dinner by Karen

Dinner at Dan and Rebecca's

Grilled Salmon
Smashed Redskin Puffs
Grilled Corn on the Cob

Friday, August 29, 2014

Let the Canning Commence!

I had a very productive day today.  We got up early and walked to have breakfast and back, almost 5 miles...not a bad start on My Quest for Fitness.

This afternoon, I canned some tomatoes.  I only had time for one batch because they take quite a while in the hot water bath and we are scheduled to go to Mom Klik's for dinner tonight.  I thought I would share what I did get done and the method I use.

This is part of the bushel of tomatoes I bought from my CSA yesterday.
I removed the tomatoes I used today.
Each quart takes approx. 3 lbs. of Tomatoes.
I used approx. 20 lbs today.

Tomatoes are super easy to can.
Make sure your jars are clean and sterile (run through dishwasher)
Add 2 T. of Lemon Juice to the bottom of each jar.
Stem your tomatoes and make an X with a knife on the bottom of each.
Put the tomatoes into boiling water until skins loosen.
Remove and plunge immediately into ice water.
You can do this in batches, leaving them in the ice water until ready to remove the peels.
Peel the tomatoes and place then in the jars
Press down as you go so the juices fill any open spaces.
Leave a 1/2" of head space (space between the tomatoes and top of jar).
Place on lids and place in the hot water bath (above).
Cover, bring back to a boil and process for 1 and a half hours.

Remove from water bath and place on a towel lined counter to cool.
Easy Peasy!!

It Is Within Reach...

Good Morning everyone and welcome, once again, to Five Minute Friday.  FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung and is a place for writers to join and write on a one word prompt for 5 minutes flat.  You need not worry about editing or spelling or just write...about whatever the prompt puts on your heart.  Then you share it with others who have also written what was on their hearts and you offer hugs, encouragement and support.  It is wonderful and you should join us.

Today's prompt was Reach.


Yesterday was a day of new beginnings for me.  I, once again, started an exercise and nutrition program.  I weighed myself...for the first time in a long time.  I weigh more than I have ever in my life.  Even more than when I was pregnant.  I am 56 years old.  I was discouraged.  The goal of losing so much weight seemed insurmountable but I told myself that I had done it before and I will do it again.  My goal of losing 30 lbs is well within reach and after that 30 then I will look at whether I want to strive for that last 10 pounds of weight loss.  You ask why I chose the number 30 instead of choosing 40 right now.

Well, you see, I have lost 30# before so I know I can reach that goal.  I know it is possible so that is what I am going to reach for.  After I lose that 30# you would think (hope) that the last 10# will seem like a piece of cake.


Please join me on my health and fitness journey at my new blog, A Day in the Life on My Quest for Fitness.  Perhaps we can go on this journey together and if not perhaps you can just stroll by my side for a bit and offer some encouragement.