Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sweet Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

If you grow cherry tomatoes, you know that there is usually have no shortage.   This is a simple way to preserve cherry tomatoes.

*5 teaspoons dill seeds or cumin (whichever flavor you prefer)
*2 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
*10 dill sprigs
*5 garlic cloves
*8 cups cherry tomatoes, hulled and pricked with a sterilized needle
*4 cups of vinegar (I made 2 batches, one with apple cider vinegar instead)
*1 1/4 cups water
*3/4 cups sugar
*1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Start by heating water in canning pot (enough to cover 5 pints). Soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.

In a dry sauté pan over medium heat, toast the dill seeds and peppercorns.

Divide the spices among the jars, using about 1 1/2 teaspoons per jar, then add 2 sprigs dill and 1 garlic clove to each jar. Pack the tomatoes evenly among the jars.

In a pot, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Transfer the brine via ladle and pour over the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar. Check the jars for air pockets, adding more brine if necessary to fill in gaps. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug.

Place the jars in the pot with the rack and make sure there is enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 15 minutes (start timing when the water reaches a boil). Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.

Yield: 5 pints

For a vinaigrette, blend 1 cup of the tomatoes (plus their liquid) with 1 cup of olive oil.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Caramel Puffcorn

2 bags hull-less popcorn
1/2 lb butter (margarine does not work)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
Cook butter, brown sugar, and syrup together until butter is melted and mixture is bubbly (does not have to boil).
Add 1 tsp baking soda. (This will cause mixture to foam up.)
Pour over popcorn and stir until well coated.
Place on cookie sheet in oven at 250 degree for 45 minutes. Stir every 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove from oven stir several times as it cools.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sweater Pillows

Sweater Pillows
Sweater pillows are fun way to up-cycle old sweaters.
Take an old sweater, turn inside out.
Draw an outline of pillow (12-16 inch pillow form).
Double sew around lines that have been squared off;
leave and opening to turn right side out and insert pillow.
Trim off excess sweater.
Turn right side out; insert pillow and sew opening closed.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Buzz

The Buzz on Bees

 Did you know---

·         Honeybees will not sting unless they are protecting the hive from intruders or provoked like mowing too close.

·         Worker bees are the construction workers of the hives; they also guard the hive, serve as undertakers, take care of the sick, and keep the house clean and in order.

·         The queen bee lays up to 2,000 eggs a day in the spring.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Extra Peppers
Darin likes to cut and freeze extra peppers
to use in fajitas in the winter.

Simple to do - wash, core, cut and lay out on a cookie sheet to freeze.
Store in a freezer bag and take out what you need when cooking.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Girls and cats

The girls have been busy with cheer and dance at school.
 Kayli having fun!
 Kayli (with purple headband)
 Aubri dancing!
Aubri's soccer team.
 Kayli's soccer game.
 Cats - found 4 new kitties.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cinnamon Stick Pickles

Cinnamon Stick Pickles

 The sticks/slices of cucumber.

 Adding lime to the sticks and water. 
1st day-
Wash, peel, and remove seeds from large yellowed cucumbers. Slice into sticks or chunks.  About 2 gallons of cucumbers.  Soak 24 hours in 8 1/2 quarts of cold water and 2 cups pickling lime.

2nd day-
Drain off lime water. Rinse off with cold water. Soak in cold water for 3 hours.

1 cup White vinegar
1 T. alum
1 ounce red food coloring
add enough water to cover and simmer 2 hours.
Drain off liquid.

Bring to boil in large pan:
3 cups vinegar
11 cups sugar
1 - 120z package red hots
8 cinnamon sticks
Pour over cucumber sticks/chunks and let set 24 hours.

3rd day -
Drain syrup off of cucumber sticks/chunks into pan and bring to a boil.
Pack cucumber sticks/chunks into jars.  Pour boiling syrup over leaving 1/2 inch headspace in jars. Put on jar flats and rings.
Process in boiling water bath for 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy! These are Darci's favorites!