Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good exhaustion!

I had a burst of energy after work tonight so I started ripping up my old kitchen floor. It's in pretty bad shape so the ceramic tiles come up easily enough. Getting the screws out of the cement board is tougher but mostly time-consuming and dirty. I can see why my contractor quoted much higher for them to do the removal. It doesn't take any skill so there's no reason for me not to do it myself. They get to put in the bamboo flooring though.

My tomatoes have already been zapped by the cold nights. So much for the polytunnel extending my season! I've got green tomatoes to use up now...thinking of trying chutney.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Is tolerance so rare?

I just read a news article on all the religious community uproar over California's Prop 8. I will never understand how so many people can be so full of hate. Why is it ok for athiests to marry but 'oh noes!' don't let the gays marry?

So much for freedom.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I made a yummy roast with veggies the other day (huge shock for everyone who knows me and my deplorable lack of cooking skills). It was a good way to use up the last of the carrots from the garden that didn't get canned. I didn't get a chance to take a picture because my parents dropped by just as it was finishing...hmmm, what are the odds?

I wish there was a course available to learn how to cook real foods in a flavorful way. Not the sort of dishes in cookbooks where ingredients are shipped in from around the world and have to be hunted for in the store. I read about Stonehead http://stonehead.wordpress.com/ cooking every meal from food he's raised or grown himself and those meals are colorful, varied, and interesting. His family certainly isn't suffering with boring, cooking-rut menus which is all I'd manage in those circumstances.

I never watch cooking shows, but I love cleaning shows like How Clean Is Your House and Clean House. My house is certainly not antiseptic and sterile (not likely with all these pets!) but I can't relax and feel comfortable if it's cluttered. Tonight I'll be curling up in a clean living room to watch Life. Now, what to do about dinner...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is my little polytunnel. It's the largest for the smallest price I could find and it's just big enough for my tomatoes. I started looking when I realized the growing season was going to end before I would get much out of my plants. Today it's windy and definitely nippy outside, but toasty warm in there. My plan is for the straw bales to protect the tunnel from strong winds then mulch the garden next year.
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As you can see the tunnel barely covers the tomatoes. It was fun putting it up without damaging the plants!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canning -- How to:


Answering a request for how I canned my carrots here is the process I used...

After washing/preparing the carrots pack tightly into jar up to within an inch of the top. Add 1 tsp of salt. Pour in boiling water until carrots are covered and screw on lids. Place in pressure cooker trying not to let the jars touch each other. Boil for 10 minutes, then place pressure disk on lid at the 10 pounds pressure setting for 40 minutes. Remove from canner and as they cool listen for the pop as each lid seals.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Canning!

My very kind mother brought her pressure canner over today so I could save my little carrot harvest for winter. Pressure canner is now firmly on my want list. She had fun too since I had the carrots cleaned and ready to go all she had to do was help me fill the jars and get it hissing away on the stovetop. Then we sat back with a slice of zucchini (courgette) bread and zipped over to England via a Midsomer Murders dvd.



Thanks to Mom I went from this:















To this: