On the homefront

Thank goodness I’ve got a week to be at home in the evenings!!! Last week filled up fast and somehow I was out every night except Monday, and most of the day Saturday and Sunday. So this week’s clear schedule to catch up at home is much appreciated!!! Although after spending the last two evenings doing canning / kitchen stuff, so far the house isn’t looking much improved. Maybe tonight.

On Monday night I picked a bunch of grapes from the grapevines along my back fence. They originally came from my neighbor’s corner, and have grown about 2/3 of the way across my back fence. Being a grape growing novice I haven’t pruned, or really done anything to them. So the grapes are rather small and sour. But I decided to give homemade grape jelly a try. So Monday night I picked, washed, smushed, cooked with water, and left overnight to strain the juice. Last night I made the juice into jelly… I guess we’ll see how it turns out once it cools and gels. The jury is definitely out on this grape jelly thing. It’s especially difficult to know if you’ve reached the proper “jelly” temperature if you don’t have a candy thermometer- so I was sorta guessing…

Monday I canned a couple more pints of homemade dill pickles. I think the cukes are slowing down in the garden and I have plenty of pickles to go around.

Monday night I also peeled and diced a bowl of tomatoes before realizing I didn’t have several of the necessary salsa ingredients… so last night I stopping off at the grocery store and finished a batch of salsa after dinner. Every time I make salsa, I am soooo grateful for my food processor. The first year I did a lot of salsa I chopped everything by hand and was usually crying my eyes out by the time I’d diced all the onions and jalapenos. Not so with the food processor- you just put it all in there and it does all the work. Now the only thing I cut by hand are the tomatoes! So much faster!! Here’s the recipie, in case you’re interested. It is my favorite canned salsa by far because it still tastes garden fresh when you open the jar months later.

Canned Salsa8 cups peeled, cored, chopped fresh tomatoes
1 to 2 cups seeded and chopped fresh
jalapeno peppers; use more or less to taste
2 cups chopped onion

8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh
cilantro
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Pour hot salsa into hot pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal jars with two piece caps. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Makes 5 – 7 pints.

I’m definitely loving the domestications. It’s relaxing and satisfying… sigh of contentment… on second thought, maybe it’s not relaxing, but it’s definitely satisfying.

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