Pear Sauce!! 

For the past few years we have been going to a place not far from our house and picking pears from a really old pear tree. We used to just pick a few to eat on but I started feeling bad for this poor tree, producing all these wonderful pears but only a small amount were being enjoyed. So I decided to go pick a bunch and can sliced pears. But after I got them home and started to process them, I realized these were not going to slice up and can well. So I tried running them through the processor and making sauce. No sugar needed here, this stuff is delicious!!! It goes over better here than applesauce! To think that it all happened by accident too! Anyhow, here’s pictures from our annual pear picking day and pear sauce making!!! 

We just can’t get enough of this stuff around here. Want tips and instructions on how to make it? Just leave me a comment and let me know and I’ll post instructions. Until next time folks!! 

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How to Can Okra

First let me say, I love okra!! I like it in stir fry, I like it breaded and deep fried but my favorite is fried okra and tomatoes. I usually just cut it up and put it in baggies and freeze it. This year I wanted to try canning it. I’m that girl, that girl that loves canning stuff! Here’s how I did it:

Things you need: 

Okra

Water

Sharp knife

Mason jars (I used wide mouth quart)

Large pot

Strainer 

Pressure canned

First wash okra and slice into bit size pieces. Then put in large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. 

Rinse and drain. Get pressure canner ready. Fill a smaller pan with water and bring to boil. While the pots heat, fill jars with okra leaving 1 inch head space. Then pour boiling water from smaller pan over okra leaving 1 inch head space. Place seal and ring on jars and process in your pressure canned for 25 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts at 10 pounds pressure. 

Much better than taking up freezer space. Have you ever canned okra? I’d love to hear about it!! 

Lacto-Fermented Cherry Tomatoes

I had an over abundance of cherry tomatoes this year. As I wrote in my last blog, I was determined to can tomatoes in new ways. So I researched and researched ways to can cherry maters. I tried just canning them, which I wrote about in my previous post. When I saw about fermenting them I was very intrigued. Simple process and soooo good for you. Here’s what I did:

I used 2 wide mouth half pint jars. 

Two glass fermenting weights

4 cloves of garlic

6 basil leaves

2 oregano leaves

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/2 tsp whole peppercorns

1 tsp pickling spice

Coarse sea salt

Water

First put 2 cups water in a bowl and add 20 grams of the coarse sea salt. Stir to dissolve salt. Then fill your jars with cherry tomatoes leaving half inch head space. Add half of each the rest of the ingredients to each jar. Then pour the salt water brine into each jar, enough to cover the tomatoes. Then place a weight on top of each jar. Place in a dark area and cover with a tea towel and let sit for 3-5 days. Checking daily to make sure brine is covering the tomatoes. Then cover with lid and place in fridge for at least a week. I let mine go for 2 weeks in the fridge before tasting. Let me tell you, these are delicious!!! And they look gorgeous! In hindsight I could have put more cherry tomatoes in each jar. Other than that I wouldn’t change anything. These are so yummy! 

Have you ever fermented tomatoes? I’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comment section! 

Canning Tomatoes

Typically I’m that girl that cans tomato juice. Last year I canned some sauce. This year I was determined to can tomatoes in new ways. I canned a good amount of sauce and some cherry tomatoes. I just love canning!! ​

The cherry tomatoes canned well, they all split open but still look beautiful. I am not impressed with them overall, I had hoped it would be like having a cherry tomato off the plant but it’s nothing like that. They are soft and squishy and the skin got kind of tough. Won’t be doing that again. Honestly the cherry tomatoes are way better to throw in when I’m processing the others. I also fermented cherry tomatoes which are delicious. I’ll write about those in my next blog. 

Sunflowers!!! 

We love sumflowers around here!!! We get a beautiful array of volunteers that are always fun! I also try to plant a variety of different ones around the property as well. Here’s an homage to all our sunflowers from over summer. 

One of these years I am going to make my sunflower house. This year it was hard to do much around my house aside from veggie gardening, due to all the work that went into The Bungalow. Most of these were volunteers! Do you love sunflowers like we do? I’d love to see your pictures! 

Garden Gorgeousness 2016

I love my garden!! I love watching it grow, I love watering it and I love going out to pick produce. So naturally I must post about it!! 

I try to keep the kiddos involved as much as I can. It’s so important for them to know where there food comes from and how to grow it! 

In the picture below shows our pole bean teepee. I love the teepee however, I did not care for the quality of the bean it produced. I typically use blue lake bush beans and they are wonderful. Might have to go back to those. 

The tomatoes in the picture below are a super sauce tomato, it’s the first year I have ever grown them. I was really impressed with these all around. Flavor was great, though I still prefer my orange tomatoes, hardly any seeds, and lots of meat! 

The tomato plants got huge again this year and produced a plethora of tomatoes! Really pleased with the new tomato cages as well, I think we need to go bigger next year. 

 This amazing tomato plant in the picture below struggled all season long. It was fascinating that even though it looks mostly dead it still was putting off cherry tomatoes!! What a trooper! 

Gardening is a huge passion of mine. Do you garden? I’d love to hear about it. 

The Bungalow

We have a tiny house that we rent out. The guy that was living there for about 3 years moved out, so it was time to do some clean up. He smoked in the house and it was yucky in there to say the least. Everything was sticky with tar and discolored. The smell was terrible, I am unsure if he ever opened a window. I took a bunch of progress photos as this was a two month project for mom, Peyton, Edyth and I. Having just finished the tiny tiny playhouse project, this was a fun upgrade!! 

It took 2 coats of Kilz primer and 2 coats of paint to cover that nastiness. Also a lot of scrubbing on EVERYTHING. The basement was dingy and needed freshened up but at least it just needed some paint. 

  

Most of our summer went to working on that place. Which allowed for picnic lunches, walks around town (because it’s in town and we live in the country, so it’s a big deal) and a feeling of being on vacation for 2 months!! Glad it turned out so nice! I’m that girl that loves a good project and this is definitely one for the books! 

The Sidecar Motorcycle

I’m that girl, that girl that loves riding a motorcycle!! It is a passion my husband and I both share. However it’s been something we could not share with our children until now!! We got a sidecar motorcycle!!! It is the greatest thing ever!! Haha! It gives us the opportunity to take our kids with us and share the biker lifestyle we enjoy! ​

​I am so excited for this new chapter in our lives!! ​

Independence Day! 

In hopes of starting a new tradition, we hosted the Fourth of July at our house this year. What a blast! Not nearly as big of a shin dig as mom and dads hog roast but it’s a start. Just realizing I didn’t get any pictures of our fireworks. Hahaha. Guess they were that good! What are your families traditions for Independence Day? I’d love to hear about them.