Woodpile in August

Well, summer is almost over and the heating season is just around the corner.  Since Woodpile in July my husband has gotten some more wood cut but it hasn’t gotten split or stacked yet.

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Zucchini-Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping

It seems as though the only non-objectionable way that I can cook zucchini in this household is in sweet baked goods.  Last year I had a bumper crop from two plants and I was making zucchini bread 6 or 8 loaves at a time.  I found It’s a lot easier to give away zucchini when it’s already baked into a sweet, cinnamon-and-sugar topped loaf of bread, so if I knew someone would be stopping by I would have a loaf or two ready for them to take home.  Although zucchini season came a little late for us this year, we’re finally into it.

So, last week I was eating some zucchini bread from my first batch of the year.  It was delicious.  It was moist and cinnamon-y and sweet, but suddenly I had a revelation that something was missing.  It needed something… something zingy… it needed rhubarb!  I decided I needed to make that happen.  And I am glad I did!Read More »

Making Tomato Paste

Well it has certainly been a busy week!  I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I last posted.  Last Friday we took a trip to the zoo!  It was our toddler’s first time and she had lots of fun.  She really liked the seals and the monkeys, and loved her first ride on a carousel.  Little Dude had fun too – he especially liked the butterfly house with all the bright flowers and the butterflies swooping around him.

Back home we canned a few more beans (just 5 pints) and lots of corn (21 quarts and 5 pints).  I made zucchini bread (my vengeful zucchini took less than a month from germination to harvest).

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The variety is “Tondo di Piacenza.”  It’s round!  I’ll get you a photo of the plant next time… next time will be soon, there’s another little zucchini on already.

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Canning Corn

If you’ve been following me all summer you know we planted quite a bit of corn.  Roughly a quarter of an acre.  We started eating it about two weeks ago, but the time has come to start preserving it for future use… because there’s a lot of corn.

We planted three different varieties with three different maturities, so luckily all of our corn isn’t coming due at once.  We’re right in the midst of our earliest variety, and we just picked the first few ears from the second variety for dinner Saturday night.  All of what we canned this time was harvested from the earliest variety.

First you need to pick (or buy) a bunch of corn.

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How to Make a Piping Bag from Freezer Paper

I once tried using a zip-top bag with a piping tip.  The issue with that is plastic stretches and the pressure of the frosting causes the tip to blow out of the end of the bag.  At least that was the case for me.  It was a buttercream icing, it wasn’t too thick, and I had a large tip.  I think I eventually got the plastic coupler to snag the cut in the bag just right and was able to get through frosting my batch of cupcakes.

Sure, you can get disposable piping bags for relatively cheap nowadays.  But in my case that would mean ordering them online and waiting a week for them to arrive via free shipping.  And let’s be honest, I don’t really need 100 piping bags for the roughly 3 times a year I need one.

A reusable piping bag?  I 110% do not want to have to clean that.Read More »

Flowers on a Friday

Since sharing a bunch of flower photos is a great way to start off the weekend… welcome to the second edition of Flowers on a Friday!

Again, we’ll start with some phlox.  First off, all the phlox currently growing in our yard were here when we moved in 8 years ago.  We’ve moved some, we’ve gotten rid of some, and some are still where they were originally planted.  However, they were all purple.  Two or three years ago I noticed a single stalk of white phlox in the septic tank garden.  Now this year there are about a dozen stalks of white phlox.  I’m not sure why or how this happened, but I’ll take it!

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7 Tips for a Successful Canning Day (that you might not think of)

Over the years we’ve done a lot of canning, and we’ve gotten more efficient at it.  We know who is better at doing what (my husband peels the tomatoes, I’m faster at halving and seeding).  Just like anything, you find little tricks along the way that they just don’t cover in cookbooks and users manuals.  Here are 7 tips for a successful canning day that you might not think of.Read More »