Did you miss me?!? Well, I didn’t die…

Hello faithful followers,

I have neglected you. After July 26, 2014, I just vanished.  If you follow me on any other social media sites, you probably have somewhat of an idea about what my life has been like the past three months.  It has been this incredible blur of doctors, hospitals, dietary changes, therapy appointments, new medications, excrement and emesis, and a taste of normalcy thrown in here and there.  I took a quick look at my calendar and, literally, the day following my last post is when the ‘S’ hit the fan. If you could see my calendar, you might actually cry. But the good news is: we survived! Continue reading

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Of Course I Can! Blog Hop: Failure.

This is my most recent installment of the Of Course I Can! Blog Hop. Next month I will publish a post reviewing whatever it is that I end up canning first.  That is the post that I want everyone to link up to.  Can up something fantastic (or otherwise), take some photos, write a post, and link back to my post.  Let’s get this canning season rolling!

Of Course I Can! Blog Hop

Of Course I Can! Blog Hop

I’m getting excited! This should be my last post before I post about my first canning of the season! I have already put up some zucchini and cauliflower, but that I froze so its not really as interesting.

OK, onward and upward!

Failure.  That is a scary word, but I want you to get ready to embrace it.  In the cooking world (and in most instances, really), failure is not wholly bad.  Every time I fail in the kitchen, although it damages my pride a tad, I always come away with a lesson learned.  Even when it is simply a lesson in humility.  Lately, my baking prowess has been challenged by the adversary of gluten-free bread.  However, that is another topic for another day. Continue reading

Of Course I Can! Blog Hop: Blackberries!

Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor a professional in the field of food preservation.  My expertise comes from personal experience that has been passed down generationally.  Always refer to published, up-to-date guides for cooking times.  If you need help finding a resource for your area, please let me know.  My favorite book on all things food preservation: Putting Food By.

 

Seriously. Turn your back for a MINUTE.

Living here in the PNW, blackberries are a fact of life. People that aren’t from here have this overly romanticized idea of the blackberry and that it is the quintessential Oregonian foodstuff.  I even have one set of distant cousins that have gone so far as to try to get them to grow in Iowa. All I can do is shake my head and wonder why they would want to inflict such pain on the rest of their unsuspecting state.  I love the taste blackberries, but if any plant can be accused of being sent straight from Hell, this is the one.  My family has been battling blackberries since the original homestead and it is never ending. If you turn your back for a minute, you’ve lost your house underneath a mountain of thick, sinister, sticker bushes. We Oregonians are a crafty bunch, so we fight, but we also learn to find the silver lining, so-to-speak. Making food with the fruit of this evil is like flipping the bird to the Devil. Continue reading

Of Course I Can! Blog Hop: What do I need?

Of Course I Can (3)

Of Course I Can! Blog Hop

If you have never done any canning before, you might be wondering what you need, other than food and a canner. Well, I am here to help!  I thought for this post I might just give you a little run-down, list style.  Here we go! Continue reading

Of Course I Can! Bog Hop: Pressure or Boiling-Water Bath?

As promised, here is an installment for the Of Course I Can! Blog Hop.  Please note that I am not an expert nor a professional in the field of food preservation.  My expertise comes from personal experience that has been passed down generationally.  Always refer to published, up-to-date guides for cooking times.  If you need help finding a resource for your area, please let me know.  Also, this is meant to pique the interest of the novice and assuage fears and insecurities.  I won’t be going into much of the science behind food preservation methods.

Now that we have taken care of the disclaimer, let’s get down to the question of the day: pressure canning or boiling-water bath canning?  I say: both!  There are many people out there, possibly you, who are deathly afraid of meth lab-like explosions happening in their kitchen thanks to those intimidating-looking pressure canners, but let me assure you, this is very nearly impossible.  Do you feel better?  I hope so.  In all seriousness, the pressure canner is essential.  If you don’t have one you can kiss your dreams of home-canned green beans and tuna fish goodbye.  Why you say? Because you would have to boil quarts of green beans for 4 hours, that’s why.  My maternal grandmother was one such anti-pressure canner and she, in all actuality, boiled batches of green bean for 4 hours at a time.  No thanks.

Continue reading