Kaylee's Strawberry

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Screw the Lids On, Loosely...

Reading my Ball canning book, there was so much stress on not heating the screw rings, not leaving them on....I guess I thought they were there for transport.

We are eating the stuff anyway, and it's color is amazing.  No food coloring, but so bright.

I just finished reading Sandor Elixor Katz book, Wild Fermentation.  I was moved by his perspective, and really inspired.  I especially liked his discussion of death, because it is not at all unlike my own views.  This is an area that our culture needs healing on, and needs to come to grips with.

So, August is almost over, and I made a semi-canned batch of strawberries....but I will try to get some saurkraut made (or started, anyway) before 8/31!

Oh, and I tested and stored the herbs I dried in my window.  Will try cooking with them at intervals over the fall and winter, to see how they handle it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

HELP!!!! Canning fail!

I tried strawberry jam.  Not as daring as the canning challene, which wanted me to make my own recipe, but since I've never canned before, it seemed a good start.
All looked good, following Ball's recipe, until I placed my jam into the water.  While waiting for it to boil, I saw that all the lids had floated off.  Since it was 10:30 pm, and I had to work in the morning, I placed them in the sink to cool.
This morning, I was ready to toss them, but it looks like only the top half inch was penetrated by the water.  So I stuck 'em in the fridge, for now.
Do I :
1. Toss them
2. Refrigerate/or freeze and eat them in an appropriate amount of time?
3. Reprocessing them?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Urban Farm Handbook Challenge

A year late, but I'm diving in.  I haven't even read this book, but when I looked at the challenges, they seemed "doable" to me.

If you want to sign up, you can click on that banner below.  OR, click here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I Am A Failure

I am a failure.

I read the famous "Your Money Or Your Life" by Joe Domiguez and Ricky Robin, early in our marriage, circa 1994.  We are currently a two income family, with each kid having a device.  We eat out at lease 2 x per week, mostly fast food.

I had my first child at home, the subsequent two in the hospital.

I am lucky if we eat a home cooked meal once a week.  My efforts over the years to reduce sugar or increase fiber have met with wars, only.

And I have decided....there are legitimate reasons for each decision we have made.

That I need to address those legitimate reasons if I will ever transition to the lifestyle I want to live, sustainable, home centered, psychologically and physically whole.

I can start again.

I won't apologize.

I won't feel guilty.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Other Goal...

I stated early on that the goal of my blog was to set goals for the home....I'm adding another Goal:

Not giving up.

I have done a lot of starts, restarts, quits. etc.  But I've learned a lot in the 8 years we've owned a home, mostly about the garden.  So, I've started, again....

Right now, the front yard has Purple, White, and Mexican Hat cone flowers in a container.  I've order Bee Balm and Lavender for the fall, and before they come, I'm going to mulch the North East part of the front lawn, and plant these herbs.



I've also finally created a plan for the front center (East) of the lawn; two opposing L-shaped raised beds, with an island in the middle, which we calculated would give us something like 102 sq ft of planting area.  I'd like to get them in in the fall as well, and if I don't have the time to plant them, I'm putting a cover crop of legumes for the winter.

I intend to break up the concrete path to the gangway.  Now that we have a fence, the entrance is blocked off, anyway, and it will allow more water to go into the ground, as well as make room for a more natural path.

But about today.....I was crazy herb woman.  I am not an expert forager, but I know a few plants, that, fortunately are plentiful in our wild back yard.  I took a few wood sorrel,
a bunch of lambs quarters,
and some lovage (not wild),
 and set them up for drying.



Then, after making chicken soup, Amy and I edged the NE part of the front yard with left over bricks we've had piled in the back:  


Time for a nap, huh?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mice, Mice, Mice!

Just found a hole that looked tiny, but fit almost two whole steel wool bricks in it.  I'm seeing more activity in the utility room, as I cut off access to the kitchen.  I figure I need to drive downward and outward (outside entrance is on the basement level) before I seal off the outside.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Amphora

I don't expect many people to read this blog...it is mostly for me.  But if you are in the Chicago area, I created a link to Amphora, in Chicago.  This is a friend of mine who shares an elementary school with our family.  Tamara's services are somewhere between therapy and home organization/home decoration services.  She's very compassionate and understanding, as well as having excellent taste, and great ideas!  Check out her website.