Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining


And just as soon as my headache goes away I'll begin looking for it in earnest. But for now it aches and I am hitting roadblock after roadblock in trying to can. It's beginning to look like we'll miss yet another get together tonight with friends because of the hangups.

I dug out jars and washed them all up. :)

I borrowed my mom's old pressure canner and water bath canners.

I bought the official canning book of the world and a utensil set.

I even got this, but I'm not sure what it is anymore.

I took a good look at the old racks...

And decided to buy a new one.

Then I discovered that my glass top stove is not suitable for canning. So I borrowed this camp stove.

Then I realized that was going to be a pain with all the rain we've been getting - 4 inches in two days was not going to be outdoor canning weather. So I dug out a tiny little pressure canner, and was able to to 5 pints of pie filling yesterday.

I had to go buy lemon juice and corn starch and I saw this small stock pot. Excitedly I brought it home, only to read.... "Not suitable for glass top stoves."

This morning I bravely began to can in small batches. I figured one little step at a time will get me there eventually, right? :)

But after all my prep, I discovered why my MOST DELICIOUS caramel from last Christmas never would set... My stove will absolutely NOT get anything above 205 degrees before the regulator shuts it off, to keep it from shattering.

I now have a giant pot of unjelled gooseberry jam on my stove, surrounded by splatters of pink goo everywhere, and no way to complete the process.

So looks like I'm heading to town to borrow my parent's kitchen. I don't mind it, but the thought of dragging everything is annoying the heck out of me right now. LOL


Good thing yesterday was so nice. :)

After the pie filling, which siphoned due to my impatience in getting it out of the pressure canner before leaving, we went to town to do errands and meet friends. We missed the sewing class, but arrived just as it was over and we met with two families for the afternoon at the lovely home of one of them we'd not had the chance to go to before.

I am going to share pictures of this place. Gary built it himself, from trees he cut himself. It's just beautiful, and sits on 14 quiet acres. This is the family we are having the giant pumpkin contest with. :-D

The front door. It has a story we got to hear. :)

The LR. Yes, he does rock work too.

The hall, and I refrained from taking pics of the bedrooms, though they were gorgeous.

The kitchen.

Look at the detail.

While we oohed and ahed over the inside, the kids all went out to the back porch and played checkers. It was sunny, with amazing clouds, a light, cool breeze, and about 88 degrees.

The girls had the same idea I had. I tell you, these are the most wonderful kids for Michael to have as friends. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by great kids.

Here's the back porch from a distance.

Angie made music for us.

We took a walk about. The place is amazing. And they bought it without even looking it over. It was sort of a happy accident that turned out REALLY well! LOL The chimney work.

The matching garage with apartment over it.

Which even has a back deck.

In leau of crown molding, they used this cool rope.

The end of the house, taken from the deck of the apartment.

Some teak root benches. That one on the right is not a dog, but it sure looks like one.

Going down the driveway to the open field where we went to see the garden, the portable saw mill, and the kids riding the 4-wheeler.

The house, from below. That's a full length porch, complete with rockers and a swing. MY swing! LOL

Heading to the garden.

Hmmmmmmmmmm.... Our rival giant pumpkin plant. Must get more fertilizer!

The mill.

Having way too much fun! They all took turns giving each other rides. Angie was even able to join in, despite having arrived in a skirt and sandals. :)

Dear friends.

We love them so much. :)

So I swung on the swing, and they rocked. And we chatted a bit, and we listened to the birds a bit, and we just enjoyed the beauty.

Playing Curses.

Ginseng and Cohosh, I believe.

Then we were off to Michael's Court of Honor.

OK, I better pack it all up! :)





  1. What fun! I loved the house...I am envious! OH...and the rock work...and the DOOR!!!!! Beautiful! Isn't it a blessing to have the time to spend with friends....good friends are one of God's best blessings!

    Oh... and I would save for a gas stove for your canning. I have all electric(BOO!)..and everything works well... but if I had it my way... Gas is best for canning!

    Do you sell your jam? I would love to taste some of that gorgeous gooseberry!

    Have a great day!

  2. I have all electric too. I love the glass top for cleaning purposes, but it will not do for anything but basic cooking, apparently.

    No, I've not sold it. I found gooseberry jam online for 40 dollars a 1 cup jelly jar. Hand deseeded with the quill of a goose.

    HA HA HA! People will pay for ANYthing! LOL

    If I ever get any made, I'll let you know. :-P


  3. Whoa....that is some house! What a blessing to gather together with friends!

  4. Faith,
    How fun you have gooseberries! They don't grow here, red currants is as close as it gets.

    I'm sure you know this but be sure to have the canner gauge checked every year, as well as the rubber gasket. Our county extension office does this for free.

    For canning a propane burner, either rectangular or round with adjustable flame controls would suit your needs best. Are you farmiliar with Harbor Freight? They sell them relatively cheap. In fact email me and Mike says he has a three burner one new in the box if you are interested.

    That how is beautiful! Your friend and wife are very talented people.

  5. WOW about that house!! The door, all of it-incredible. I loved all your canning pictures. Your life is so full-in a wonderful way. Holly

  6. Cyn,

    It sure is. I was reminded of your front porch, too. :)


  7. Kelle,

    Really! Now I would have thought all ribes would have the same climate tolerance... However, I do know the gooseberries made it when I lost my currants. I had red, white, and black, and they are all gone. I will try them again when I get the chance, but give them more shade and little better soil. I just checked and they are good in zones 3 - 8. Have you tried them yourself? You have a green thumb, I bet you could make them grow. :)

    Nope, I didn't know that. LOL Thank you!

    I am familiar with Harbor Freight, but I would not have thought of them. It's been a long time since I've seen one of their catalogs.

    I might be interested. Let me do some thinking. :)

    It sounds like you are experienced. I need to ask you some canning questions!


  8. Holly,

    It is really. We don't get too much rest time in the spring and summer, but we'll have plenty of that one day. LOL

    We lost another activity for the summer. Now scouts is over, so that will free up Tuesday nights. Whew!


  9. OMG! What a stunning home! The wood has such a lovely warm glow! Now that's something one could be proud of!!


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