Sunday, September 25, 2011

Progress on Shed

The weather is cool and cloudy gray today. We've experienced a few sprinkles, enough my husband was concerned and started working on the shed, to protect our tools. My son joined in to help. They put the roof on, shelves, the back, and hinges for the doors.

They still have to hang doors, finish the shelving and trim. Plus there will be all the organizing of stuff. Which I believe will be delegated to assist with.

He asked me what color I would like to paint it? My husband's way of saying he doesn't like to paint and it's my job to do the painting. What color would you suggest?

Working hard and hardly working.
Son putting on roof, husband taking a break to watch chickens.  

My Sunday Canning Project in Steps and Pics

It is Sunday.  I went to church then came home to attempt to put a dent in all the peaches I picked. This is my second time of canning more of them. I've found canning is time consuming and laborious. I tried to develop a system this time to make it a little easier. I believe I did.

My first peach canning adventure, I canned seven quarts and 1 pint. It took four and a half hours. This time I've canned ten quarts in about three and a half hours. Progress! Still a lot of work though, I think I need a nap.

Here are the steps I used for canning this time;

  1. Gather all equipment: bowls, pots with lids, large spoons, canning funnel, jars, lids and bands, butter knife, pot holders, quilt, jar grabber, measuring spoon, and food ingredients.
  2. Wash jars, lids and bands.
  3.  Place jars in water bath canning pot, note how many can fit.
  4.  Boil jars to sterilize them.
  5. Mix your sugar and water in a pot to make your syrup. I used a medium syrup consisint of 4 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar. Simmer until mixture is clear. Set to the side.
  6.  Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into 4 cups of water. This solution will prevent peaches from turning brown. 
  7. Wash peaches, cut in half lengthwise (this will make peeling easier).
  8. Boil water in large pot.
  9. Place cut peaches in pot and blanche for one minute.
  10. Remove and spread out on clean surface i.e. towel, cookie sheet.
  11. Peel peaches and remove seeds. 
  12. Place peaches in lemon water.
  13. Remove peaches from lemon water and rinse with fresh water.
  14. Place peaches in hot syrup. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  15. Have jars ready, place peaches in jars using funnel to avoid dropping peaches. Leave 1/2 inch head room.
  16. Pour syrup in jar to 1/2 inch headroom. 
  17. Take butter knife or small spatula and insert between jars and peaches, moving knife gently around the inside of the jar. This will decrease air bubbles. 
  18. Place lid and bands on jar. 
  19. Place jars in water bath canning for set amount of time, determined by size of jars and elevation of where you live. I live over 4000 feet above sea level and used quart jars. My process time for my peaches was 70 minutes. I usually leave them in another 5 minutes for safety. 
  20. After alotted time, remove jars and place where they will not be distrubed, to finish process. I place mine in a quilt to keep them warm a little longer.
  21. Once they are sealed (the center of the lid is no longer elevated) label and shelf them.
  22. Give as gifts or use for your family consumption.
Using a step by step system made it easier and more enjoyable this time to can. I'm looking forward to canning the rest of my fruit, to enjoy this winter.

Sterilze jars. 
Sugar and water for syrup. 
Lemon water. 
Wash peaches  and cut in half lengthwise.
Blanche, lay out to cool for peeling. 
After peeling place in lemon juice, then rinse with fresh water.
Place peaches in syrup to simmer 2 minutes 
Put the peaches in jars, add syrup, use butter knife to get rid of air bubbles.
Apply lids and bands. 
Process in water bath canner for appropriate time. 
After water bath, place to the side undisturbed to allow sealing
After sealed and cooled, label and shelf. 

Still Canning

I'm still canning, trying to put up our harvest. There is just so much this year. I'm not complaining, just running out of time to do all the work. Besides all the fruit I have picked, I still have apples and peaches on the trees. Fortunately many of my peaches are still a little green. They weren't getting enough sun to ripen on the trees. They are now going to sit in the sun and ripen for a few days on my tables. This will allow me time to put up other fruits.

Ripe and unripe peaches to can. 
Apples to pick and dry.  
Shaded unripe peach.  
Ripe peaches.
1st canned peaches. I canned 7 quarts and 1 pint.

Male Dominance

Every morning our chickens and turkeys rush out of the coop. It's like watching a mini-stampede; all the feathers fluttering and little legs running. And, every morning after the stampede our male turkey shows his dominance; or what he thinks is his dominance.

King of the chicken yard. 
Scary fellow.  Look at that blue face. 
He first fans his tail feathers, puffs up his back feathers and begins dropping his wing tips to the ground, all in an effort to enlarge his size. He draws back his head and holds his breathe, turning blue, attempting to give a mean look. It is quite the show. The only problem, the chickens and other turkeys don't care. They go about their business scratching and even turning their heads and walking away from him.

Back end of white turkey walking away from his dominance.  
Chickens too busy scratching to care about turkey dominance. 
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