This weekend past, and yes I apologize for my neglect this week, I had a deadline at work that needed to be met today and well, let's just say that I had my hours for the week plus a few for next week in the bag by this afternoon so I was a bit preoccupied working to support my gardening habit. But as I was saying; this past weekend, we were able to put up a few more jars of food from the garden. Our boys loved the bread and butter pickles that we put up last year, and begged us to make more so with our first harvest of our pickle cucumbers we made 4 quarts of them. A~ worked hard on Sunday, while I was actually at the office for a few hours. When I returned she surprised me with those two quarts of red goodness. Pickled beets! I can't wait to break into those babies. She also took 6 pounds of our hamson and san marzano tomatoes and made a great smelling spaghetti sauce that we canned. Three pint jars full and one nearly full that we'll be eating soon.
We also did something a little different this time.
We used our fire pit for the hot water bath method that we used to can with. It was all very "Little house on the prairie". The last time we did any major canning, we noted how much it raised the temperature of the house. Since we have been trying to use as many passive cooling methods as possible to keep the inside temps down, we didn't want to heat it up just to can a few quarts. A~ had gotten a good start already on the prep work in the kitchen, and I had gotten the pot set up as seen above and started the fire. Our 10 and 11 year boys were placed in charge of this and that was their contribution to the process. (I have to add here, that keeping a fire and respecting it is something we have worked on with them for some time, and at no time were they unsupervised for very long.) Using the fire worked very well and allowed us to burn off some scrap OSB that we had laying around.
Now that I realized that our fire pit can be used for more than just roasting marshmallows, I have a couple of things that I think I'll try out with it. Stay posted for that. I should have a few good "catch-up" posts that I've been meaning to get around to this weekend.
Thanks for the patience,