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Last week Sprouts had a spend $30, save $5 coupon. Right under their 18 ounces of blueberries for $1.98 ad. Right, I thought. Challenge accepted. And I went to the store and walked out with sixteen of those 18-ounce clamshells in my shopping bag.

Saturday, as Jazzy and I are still sickish and I do NOT want to spread this to the other babies, we skipped Mommy-Baby Yoga. And since I had the morning free, I turned the first six clamshells into five quarts of blueberry pie filling. Except the darndest thing happened. When I opened the water bath canner, there were blueberries floating on the water. My heart sank. A jar broke, I thought. It happens sometimes. Except, as I fished the other four out and set them on trivets to cool, I saw the jar hadn't broken.

Somehow the ring had unscrewed itself and the lid had floated off.

I've never had that happen before.

Regardless, the contents appeared to be good and mostly in place, so after it cooled I placed the jar in the fridge and used its contents to make a blueberry pie this morning.

I love the convenience of having pre-made the filling. But the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. We'll see what it tastes like when we cut into the pie tonight.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Today has been a day of ick and crud, starting with a couple hours of insomnia at 4am. Yet somehow, paradoxically, today has also been a day of getting stuff done.

Part of this was facilitated by not going to Squiddle's Thursday morning class. I didn't want to pass on whatever I have to twenty toddlers. Instead, we stayed home and made jam. On Monday, we'd gone to the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival (basically like a mini county fair, complete with fried everything) and I'd picked up an entire flat (12 baskets) of strawberries for $26. Today, a third of that flat was transformed into four and a half jars of strawberry-honey jam flavored with thyme.

This afternoon, Squiddle and I went down to my parents' place (they have fully developed adult immune systems; I'm as leery of getting them sick) where I oiled my mother's Singer 127 treadle and installed the new belt I'd ordered. She moves nice and sweet now. I've recently sold my Singer 15 treadle onward, for reasons of (1) toddler, (2) space, and (3) lacking the skills to re-veneer the cabinet. Given Squiddle's fingers heading toward the flywheel as I was working the oil into the 127, I think that was the right decision. I can have a treadle again in seven years or so....

I also took a fifteen-minute soak in my parents' new hot tub, which banished the achiness for a while.

But for now, dishes are washed, sewing is at a stopping point, and bed is calling my name.

Catching Up

Feb. 4th, 2015 05:30 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
Wonderful Husband and I celebrated our anniversary on Monday. Eleven years, hooray! We went to see Big Hero 6 before it left theaters, and very much enjoyed it. I think this is the first Disney film where I want the artbook not for cosplay purposes, but just for looking at the world Disney created. OMG, such gorgeous backgrounds and art and concept and everything!

I'm giving my mother's 201 a workout by piecing a quilt top on it. I've won an auction for the quilting foot I need, but given that it's coming from the snowed-in section of the country, it may take a while. A couple days ago I also found this tutorial, and it spoke to me. So I cut strips from all my green Christmas fabrics, and raided my box of 2.5" strips for more, and sewed them to various white/cream strips and cut and cut and cut... and still only had 362 of the 480 white/green sets I need. Grr. Back to more cutting and sewing, as needed.

I've also started this year's jam-making. Thus far I've done a small batch of lavender pear jam, and one of chocolate pear jam. I have plans for a habenero kumquat jam batch as soon as I get some more lids. Giving jars of jam as Christmas presents neatly cut down my oversupply of half-pint jars, to the point where I'm raiding my mother's oversupply for this year's. ^_^ I also need to start another batch of sauerkraut going, as it turns out the Squiddle likes real kraut as much as I do. (Wonderful Husband is less on board with the lactofermented flavors thing. I'm working on him.)

Last night we went through Squiddle's oversupply of toys and winnowed out the ones he doesn't play with, and the ones that are too young for him, and boxed those up. There's so much more room in the office now! But I still need to make a couple fabric baskets for storing things like his Megabloks.

And, lastly, yardwork is slowly getting accomplished. I've pruned all fifteen rosebushes at our house, and need to find time to go over and do the ones at my parents'. Weeding of the kitchen garden is a slow, steady task, but at least I've finally tossed the contents of the weed-ridden pots, and tossed as well those plastic pots in less than great condition. I need to move my succulents up into bigger pots, and now I have some free. And I've started starting seeds. I've got three flats of two kinds of corn (one had weevils so I'm expecting a low germination rate), and another flat filled with soil, ready for other seeds to go in.

And that's the news from Chez Greenwood. How're you all?
sakon76: (Sakon)
Feeling a bit better after a bout of depression yesterday that led me to skip my writing class. I'm attributing the downs to one part that class and anticipating the remarks on my next ten pages, one part my parents leaving for six months sailing around Baja, and one part my period. At least the latter is finally back on a four-week (rather than two-week) schedule.

Things that are making me happy this week. I'd heard, months ago, about the Detroit Land Bank auctioning off vacant homes, and thought it was a good idea. Then this article popped up on CNN, reminding me of it, and I went to look at the DLB's auction site. If I lived anywhere in the midwest, or didn't have roots and a mortgage here in SoCal, and a milder climate wasn't better for Wonderful Husband's health, I would be on this like white on rice. Meanwhile, my mother, sister, and I can all use this website to fuel our Rehab Addict-inspired daydreams.

Also making me happy: getting back in my homemaking groove. I put up four half-pints of Marisa's Honey Lemon Apple Jam today to go into the stash for Christmas gifts. And now, while Squiddle's asleep, I'm going to attempt to triage first the dining table, and then, if I'm lucky, the living room.
sakon76: (Sakon)
It's been a hot weekend, so we've mostly been hiding inside until the heat of the day dies away. By opening doors and windows in the early morning, and evening, and then keeping them closed during the heat of day, we manage to keep the inside of the house about fifteen degrees cooler than the outside. The difference between 100 Fahrenheit and 85 Fahrenheit is significant!

That said, I feel like I've gotten a fair amount done this weekend. We had my parents up yesterday for brunch, the last chance we'll have before they sail off for six months in Mexico. I went through twenty pages of edits on Field of Stars. I made sun tea, swept two rooms, and realized my Italian plums weren't going to last another day, so put up four and a half half-pints of Peach-Plum Ginger Jam.

Today I've gotten less done, so feel like a bit of a slacker in comparison. I've done the laundry, swept two more rooms and the hallway, made chicken cacciatore for dinner, and edited ten pages. Wonderful Husband and I also did a bit of grocery shopping.

But mainly we've been staying cool.

Mwahaha!

Jul. 24th, 2014 07:13 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
While I was on vacay, between time with [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage and time with my sister, I made two dozen jars of jam. Largely because on the Monday Wonderful Husband had to work, I kept myself and the Squiddle entertained by the picking of blackberries from the bushes in front of our hotel. And ended up with a LOT of berries. And decided to just keep going from there. Of the two dozen jars, I kept half, with a thought to presents for this Christmas. These dozen jars came home in the checked luggage. Having flown with jars of homemade jam one time before, I was pretty much betting on what would happen.

I opened my luggage to find pretty TSA ribbons (okay, sticker tape) festooning my jars of jam. Or at least the bubble wrap around them.

I have made TSA-approved jam! :)

(In other news, home at last. Until godass early Saturday morning, at least. Also, the Squiddle took both flights well, nursing on the way up and then sleeping through the first hour and a half each way. And he's popped four teeth pretty much simultaneously, two on top and two on bottom.)
sakon76: (Default)
I was planning on going to the CGW meeting this afternoon, but got caught up weeding the kitchen garden while Wonderful Husband mowed the lawns. By the time I'd had some lunch, the meeting was already an hour in. So I pulled about half the radishes out of my patch, washed them and cut them into spears, and turned them into refrigerator pickles. Eight pints' worth....

This evening, for our anniversary, Wonderful Husband and I went to our local Morton's, since [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage and [livejournal.com profile] haamel praise their Morton's to high heaven. And they're right, the service is incredible, and the food very good. But after finishing our evening there, Wonderful Husband and I discussed it, and decided we both marginally prefer our local Ruth's Chris. It's less, mm, family-style in its setup. And given that Morton's is right by Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center, perhaps that's a conscious choice on the part of this branch. But the Ruth's Chris is just half a block down the street from them, and gives us more of a "fine dining" vibe.

Either way, feet are happy to be out of the heels.
sakon76: (Default)
Six quarts and one pint of tomatoes canned. Will open the pressure canner in the morning to see if they all sealed. Also harvested all the other ripe tomatoes; will likely can the large ones and roast the small ones tomorrow.

Wonderful Husband sanded two of the four closet doors. I went to Lowe's and discovered that, as with the hallway cabinet doors, they apparently no longer make fittings that match those of our 57-year-old doors. We'll need to get a wire brush or wire fitting for the dremel and remove the old paint from the ones we took off the doors.

While Wonderful Husband sanded, I cleaned another fan (living room), finally painted the crown moulding in the hallway, and also put a second coat on the hallway side of the bathroom and bedroom door frames. I then applied two coats of paint to one side of one closet door. And then it got dark. Three door sides remaining to do tomorrow, two coats each.
sakon76: (Default)
On the way home from work, I stopped at ACE Hardware, since I know they carry a good selection of canning materials. I was there to get a box (6) of half-gallon jars so I could finish up turning cucumbers into pickle spears.

(I was good. I resisted the boxes of (9) wide-mouth pint-and-a-half jars that were on sale 2 boxes for $14.)

The store not only had Ball's Blue Book, which is one of the canning bibles, they also had plastic lids. BPA free, even! Not for use in canning, but for storing. Like, dry stuff in a cabinet, or stuff in a fridge. Things where you don't need the two-part ring and a vacuum seal to guarantee freshness.

Having been getting heartily sick of lids and rings rusting in the fridge, I bought a box each of the regular and wide-mouth. I washed them, and swapped them out for the ones in the fridge. I am happy. No more looking at the lid of a jar and wondering if its corrosion has tainted the pickles/chutney/jam....

(Oh, yes, and the pickles are now done. Three half-gallons and one pint, tucked into the fridge. Yay!)
sakon76: (Default)
Four more quarts and one pint of tomatoes cooling in the pressure canner (love of my life; it cuts an hour off tomato processing time); if they all seal, it'll be 16.5 quarts put up this weekend. Yay!

While Wonderful Husband was clearing his electrical homework off the dining room table, I stabilized the neck of that dress I haven't gotten around to sewing yet. Then I cut out strips of felt and made the first four sample flowers for the felt and rickrack flowers class I'm teaching this weekend. Chrysanthemum, zinnia, carnation, and rose, all done as rolled strips.

Weekending

Jul. 28th, 2012 10:32 pm
sakon76: (Default)
Two of yesterday's jars didn't seal (they both had the same type of lid; I've isolated and will discard those), so I only got five jars of tomatoes yesterday. I rejarred and reprocessed those today, along with five others, so if they all seal, that's twelve quarts of tomatoes. And another half-basket to do tomorrow, so maybe four more? Sixteen quarts won't be bad, for a single weekend. And then I'm caught up on tomatoes for a few days.

Last weekend while gardening in a sarong, my back got the worst sunburn I've had in over a decade. Wonderful Husband has been slathering me with aloe goo all week. The burn started peeling today. Eww!

During our course of running errands today, the two of us went to see Brave. Which I very, very much liked. Though, honestly, fabric-geek me wasn't as impressed by Merida's nigh-prehensile hair as by "Ohmygod her dark blue dress is felted wool! You can tell!" Though I reserve the right to bitch most copiously about that eight-centuries-too-early corset. (For those who haven't seen it yet, stay to the end of the credits.) The short that went before it, La Luna, was also very good. Though I have to wonder what became of the stars. Maybe they got tossed into the ocean and became starfish?
sakon76: (Default)
Yesterday I picked a basket of lemons, and, at the behest of my coworkers, took them in to work today. Something around the area of 40 good-sized lemons. Barely made a dent in the tree.

Today, I picked an even bigger basket of tomatoes, and with Wonderful Husband's help, turned them into seven quarts of canned tomatoes. (With a few left over that will go into tomorrow's batch.) Barely made a dent in the fruit on the plants.

I know what I'm going to be doing again tomorrow, and Sunday....

I need more things to do with lemons. At least the tomatoes will get used up over the course of the next year - salsa, sabzi, cacciatore; there's always something they go in. There's a good deal less BPA in one jar lid than in the entire lining of a can, and a good deal fewer ingredients I can't pronounce. (My canned tomatoes have precisely two ingredients: tomatoes, and lemon juice.)
sakon76: (Default)
So I had made pickled Brussels sprouts once before. And they were okay - mini pickled cabbages.

But the second time I actually canned them rather than just making them in the fridge, meaning the sprouts got cooked in the process.

It has made a WORLD of difference! Tangy and umami and tasting just a little bit of that unique Brussels sprout flavor but not very much, and they are so very very yummy with some sharp cheese. I don't think Wonderful Husband will like them, but mostly because he's not big on vinegar pickles.

Sprouts season is pretty much over where I am, so I'm glad I have several jars of these tucked away in the cabinet.

Jar Count

Mar. 10th, 2012 05:59 pm
sakon76: (Default)
I do canning, and I do estate sales. Sometimes these two habits intersect, usually in the garage of an estate sale where I find a dusty old jar or two. (Twice I've found copious hauls of dusty old jars.) This morning, after dance class, I dragged Wonderful Husband to the sole estate sale within range (I will go to a five-mile radius of my house). In the garage I found four canning jars. As I eyed them, he made noise about how I already have so many. He was correct, so I put three of them (cup jars) back. The wide-mouth quart jar for $.10 I bought.

This afternoon, I pulled all my not-in-use jars out, organized them, and tallied. I have:

2 half-cup jars
43 one-cup jars
4 one-and-a-half-cup jars
36 regular pint jars
5 wide-mouthed pint jars
2 twenty-ounce jars
25 regular quart jars
18 wide-mouthed quart jars

(Total: 135 canning jars.)

6 bail wire pint jars
1 bail wire one-cup jar
1 bail wire spice jar
2 bail wire bottles

Plus whatever I have in the fridge or cupboards holding pickles, jams, soups, and dry ingredients. I should inventory my mother's stock of canning jars as well, and determine if the two of us need to shift any around in either direction. Just as well I passed on those three other jars this morning; I apparently have an abundance of one-cup jars....
sakon76: (Default)
Cranberries (jellied*) done.

Cranberries (non-jellied) done.

Tomorrow morning: succotash and one apple pie. Pie first.

* My non-jellied recipe is one I cut out of a magazine years ago and my family loves. The jellied variant is a first for me, but is one of the many fine recipes I've gotten from the wonderful Food in Jars website. The recipe is here. Though I molded it in wide-mouth pint jars, not repurposed BPA-free commercial tins. We shall see tomorrow how/if the family likes it....

NaNo Fail

Nov. 7th, 2011 10:27 pm
sakon76: (Default)
Did no writing today. Caught up on some RL stuff instead: dishes, laundry, ironing, cleaning catbox, and devirgining the pressure canner I wheedled from my mother with Wonderful Husband's Nan's green tomato chutney recipe. Will try writing more tomorrow.
sakon76: (Default)
Title: Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English
Author: Ashley English
Length: 135 pages

review )

Title: Transformers: Exiles
Author: Alex Irving
Length: 375 pages

review )
sakon76: (Default)
Did the gym again tonight, and am now virtuously working on my homework for writing class while the peaches and the water bath heat on the stove.

Except, how do you really critique memoirs that explore how the writer was sexually molested by her father? I can't. I just can't. So I'm sticking to correcting spelling and grammar errors.
sakon76: (Default)
Today I:

--cleaned both bathrooms
--swept the whole house
--baked bread
--made salsa
--washed two racks full of dishes
--got petrol
--did grocery shopping
--went to the gym
--trimmed trees and stuffed the yard waste bin full of the trimmings
--cleaned up the kitchen
--blanched, peeled, and did the first half of Texas peach pickles, which smell divine thus far

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