Arg!

Posted August 19, 2014 By Ruth

So today I decided to make some bone & marrow broth out of the insane number of buffalo marrow bones I have stuffed away in my freezer.

Get out the pressure canner, its been stored on the top shelf of a closet so that I don’t have to worry about anything being set on it.

Load it up, turn it on.  It starts dripping around the edge of the seal, but it always does that, it stops when it gets up to pressure….

Except this time its not stopping.  The canner appears to reach pressure ok, but even after 10 minutes its still dripping and burping steam around the edge of the lid.

Turn off the stove, release the pressure, let it cool.  Pull out the gasket, clean it and the lid, oil the gasket, put it all back together,  turn the canner lid around so that its not lined up the same way (this is ok with this canner, I understand with some thats not possible) and try again.  The gasket’s only a year old…..

It does it again.

Dig out the spare extra gasket I ordered when I got the last one (cause this canner uses a funky sized gasket so I ordered extra).  Replace the “old” gasket, set back up the canner……

Its still doing it.

This time I let it sit for 20 minutes, and realize that its not maintaining pressure correctly.  Apparently the lack of seal is indeed bad enough to affect the pressure.

Pull out the new gasket, clean pan lip, lid, and gasket, oil gasket, try again.

Same thing.

*headdesk*

 

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Red Hot…

Posted August 18, 2014 By Ruth

My jalapeno’s are ripening!!!

IMGA6872

And I’ve got chocolate peppers:

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The big chocolate peppers are sweets.  The little ones?  Those are habaneros……  The orange ones are Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, and of course I’m sure you all recognize the onions as onions ;)

Speaking of the hot peppers, can someone explain something to me?  I’ve always been under the impression that hot peppers are a hot dry climate sort of plant.  Not desert dry, but, well, we’re very wet here, and especially this summer we’re decidedly cool.  And yet, with the sole exception of last year when everything drowned, I’ve had HUGE luck with the jalapenos, I’ve seen them even withstand a light frost that killed other plants with only minimal leaf damage.  The bases of the jalapenos this year are close to an inch in diameter (I tried to get a picture but it didn’t turn out), and they’re falling over with the weight of the peppers.  And this year, both habanero plants were TINY when I transplanted them out….and now they’re taking over!

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Am I just lucky?

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Not my usual sort of music

Posted August 17, 2014 By Ruth

 

But I’ve always appreciated the use of “classical” instruments to produce non-classical music.

H/T to Bayou Renaissance Man

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Soft Molasses Cookies

Posted August 15, 2014 By Ruth

I’m not sure how I never posted this recipe on here….its one of my favorites.  Bit of a pain to make, but the cookies are to die for!

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large eggs

1/2 cup molasses

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon nutmeg

 

Cream together shortening and brown sugar.  Stir in egg and molasses and mix well.  Fold in dry ingredients and stir. 

Cover and chill till firm (1-2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°.  Roll dough into small balls and roll in white sugar.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. 

Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes. 

Leave on sheet one minute until set.

Makes ALOT of cookies!

 

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I need plant ideas

Posted August 14, 2014 By Ruth

Alright peoples, I need ideas.

We’re digging up the horseshoe pits that were put in by the former owners, and I’m thinking I want to plant something in those spots.

I want something that flowers (berries or no doesn’t matter), but that either isn’t fast growing or that will stay less than 10ft in height.

I’d prefer no thorns. But if you show me something that’s otherwise perfect I’ll tolerate thorns.

It MUST be tolerant down to USDA zone 5 and I’d prefer zone 4 tolerant.

It MUST be tolerant of having “wet feet”. We have a very high water-table here, and if I dug a hole a foot deep right now the bottom couple inches would be full of water.

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Minature white cucumbers–review

Posted August 13, 2014 By Ruth

My last plant isn’t dead yet, but it looks to be getting there, I don’t expect any of the remaining baby cuc’s to grow any further.

I got a total of 79 edible cucumbers off of 3 plants.  Another 5 were tossed in the compost because they “looked funny”. 

Two of my 3 plants died back in the middle of July, both reached the 3ft mark and stopped growing.  The 3rd reached a height of 57 inches (or 3 inches short of 5feet).  So much for the reviews that stated that they rarely got over 3ft in height……

These are awesome little cucumbers.  Perfectly sized for a snack, or a personal salad, or for slicing into slices for pickles.  Wonderfully tasty, raw or as pickles.  Without the bitterness you can sometimes get in storebought cucumbers.

I did have some issues with Striped Cucumber Beetles.  And I’m half convinced that they’re why the two plants died when they did.  But I’m going to try growing this again next year I think, cause they were just that tasty!

Edit: I was wrong, got another 6! cucumbers off the plant since this was posted, bringing the number to 85.

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Canned potatoes

Posted August 12, 2014 By Ruth

I’ve been looking at alternatives for storing my potential crop of potatoes this winter.  I still want to try the modified fridge,  but I’m not having any luck finding a fridge in the general size I’m looking for (ie: a full size fridge thats not huge, that works, that doesn’t cost a alot).

I’d mostly decided on dehydrating the large majority of the potatoes.  And no matter what I’ll be dehydrating at least some of them.  But I just ran across the fact that you can pressure can potatoes too!  After reading a variety of blog posts on it I ran across this one, where one commenter stated that they did a cold pack of french fry cut potatoes……I’d mostly decided that at least SOME of the potatoes I was going to dry would be a french fry cut…..I might have to try that…..

Does anyone have any experience with home-canned potatoes?

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Tomato sauce 3

Posted August 11, 2014 By Ruth

Same recipe as last time, except I remembered the oregano this time, and I added a dash of red pepper flakes

2lbs 2ounces of tomatoes

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Color/theme change

Posted August 7, 2014 By Ruth

No, its not your eyes.  I got frustrated with my previous theme.  Or rather the changes that the guy who actually writes it keeps making (which I then have to fix to make it look the way I want).

So I’m playing with a new setup…….

Feedback on colors and setup appreciated!

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Compost

Posted August 6, 2014 By Ruth

Back in the spring I started looking at compost bins.  We’d not done proper composting here, for a variety of reasons, alot of which boiled down to having a ton of things to do.

With almost two acres of property, almost all of it grass (or well, grass, clover, and a variety of green weeds that mow just like grass), on a property were I not only don’t have to water the grass to keep it green, we have to mow it twice a week at least over the leach fields to keep it from jumping to knee high.  If we used the bagger attachment for the riding lawnmower we could fill up one of the little compost bins in one mowing.

But the big compost bins are way to expensive for what they are. 

So I started looking at building a bin.

And then after some discussion we decided to skip using a bin at all.  I doubt anything other than steel would keep out our wildlife if it really decided it wanted into the bin anyway. 

So now I have a compost pile down by the southern back line.  I know the rabbits (or something) have  stolen some of the vegi greens and trimmings out of it at least a few times, but thats ok.  They don’t seem to be inclined to dig through the whole pile, which is what I really cared about.  I gotta say its composting nicely.  Can’t wait to have good dirt for next spring’s garden additions!

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