Monday, August 20, 2012

A Break in the Heat

Finally, the temperature outside is reasonable. lovely. fresh. 

I'm feeling like nesting...
I came across this wonderful old seed packet and was so inspired - just had to "homemake".
Had to put something by, stock up. 
So what to do when all your canning jars are packed away, stored deep in a garden shed along with all the canning equipment ( and almost everything else that one could live without while living in a temporary location ). 

I have discovered Ice box pickles. 
And a reason to bring home some pretty jars when I couldn't logically go out and intentionally add to an already ridiculous collection of canning jars. 
I've heard more than once "Oh, Karen, you can; would you like some jars? I'm ( also my mother or my Grandma is ) not canning like I  ( she ) used to..." ) How could I not accept such a gift?
This is how it happens. One day you're begging folks to return the jar when they finish the jelly, then your asking your friends to help move 36 boxes of jars. 

Ice Box Cucumber Pickles

Bring to a boil:
4 cups Cider Vinegar
10 cups water
1/4 cup pickling salt
1/4 cup sugar

Let cool to room temperature then pour over  

4 quarts of quartered 4 inch cucumbers 
2-4 tbsp pickling spice ( the more you use the more mustardy they will taste )
10 cloves garlic
1 jalepeno pepper ( optional ) 
a bunch of fresh dill 

I used 2 really sweet 4 quart jars 

It'll be tough, but wait a week to eat them. They are super crunchy, and super yummy!  And you can keep adding cucumbers to the jar - the lighter the pickle, the newer the pickle. 

And what do do with a couple of beets and a few turnips?

Ice box Turnip Pickles ( Kabees )

Pack into jars: 

6 turnips peeled and cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks - raw
2 large beets - peeled and cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks - raw
1 or two cloves garlic
1/2 jalepeno pepper seeded and sliced 

Mix and pour over: 

1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water
2 tbsp salt per quart jar
2 tsp mustard seeds

The beets turn the turnips a beautiful shade of pink.  These are terrific in salads and sandwiches...mmm especially cold roast beef  -  or straight out of the jar! 

What to add to some fresh spinach? 

Pink Pickled Eggs! 

Just put peeled hard boiled eggs in leftover pickled beet juice ( from when you've already eaten all the beets )  and wait a week or two.
To your spinach, add your eggs, some crumbled bacon, sliced red onions, a little crumbled feta - voila!  Lunch is ready! 

Ice box Pickles - give it a try and let me know what you think!

<3 karen="karen" nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

Monday, August 6, 2012

Backyard Babies

 Just look at what I found while cutting the lawn this past week.

I don't know how I saw him scramble through the grass. He was such a wee little guy - no bigger that my baby finger.
I  mowed over the nest in the grass. 
 I put him back where I found him and covered him up with the ball of fluff and dead grass and left him for his mumma to find.  I imagine she did. This little guy may well be responsible for infestations in my house in the fall, but what else could a mother do? 

This baby robin was hopping along the side walk chirping like crazy! Shhh! your mother knows where you are! 

I've never seen so many bunny nests as this year. I'm sure they just find a divet in the lawn and fill it with fluff and grass then call it a nest. Still, they are difficult to see even if you're looking right at them! 

This little oriole was hanging on for dear life; it was so so windy.

Notice the similarities between this little new guy and this old guy?!
( Sam the eagle from the Muppets )

Hope all is well with you!

<3 karen="karen" p="p">