Aug 8, 2011

Canning - Trial 1

I'm calling my first canning attempt a success.  Although it doesn't quite match what I had imagined, it is totally my own fault for sucking a following directions.  I refused (was too lazy) to measure out the spices the salsa recipe called for, so my salsa ended up with too much cumin.  I probably could have added some sugar to help balance it out, but I got too impatient.

Sigh.  Story of my life.

But, it turned out edible, and not too shabby for a first attempt.  Any ways, I'm no Casey Rhea, so I won't go into the canning details too much more.  Plus, I'm a horribly sloppy cook and pictures would have demonstrated me sloshing tomato juice and seeds all over my counters, floor, stove, and even poor Martini's head.

For the next batch, I'm thinking I'll have a salsa making party like a couple people have mentioned.  Then I won't spend all night chopping up tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.  Get ready for your Facebook event invite. 

No worries though, I'll bribe every one to help with some margaritas and cheese dip!

Aug 2, 2011

Too Hot For Gardening!

For those of you are lucky enough not to know, lately the Midwest has been experiencing kind of a scorcher.  And believe it or not, when the temperatures rises above 100, it isn't that much fun to spend time outside in the direct sunlight.

So long story short, my garden is being ignored.  I go outside only long enough to pick the ripe veggies and occasionally water my poor plants when they look like they are on death's bed.

But, never fear.  I have enough tomatoes to try to can a batch of salsa!  If every thing goes as planned, I'll have that adventure to share tomorrow night.

In the mean time, I thought I'd share how much gardening has been impacting my small little life.  The Hubby and I have recently been house hunting.  We're being a little picky and taking our time with our next house, so it's kind of fun.  The sad thing is, I am now judging a house on how garden friendly it is.  I already know I went too small scale with this year's, so I have to make sure our future home will allow me to continue my new little hobby!

Here's my three current faves.

Jul 26, 2011

Effing Ameren

*Mom, you're welcome, and you're right, "effing" instead of "fucking" does make me seem classier.*

A couple weeks ago, I received a little post card in the mail from Ameren notifying me they would be trimming the trees in my neighborhood, and I was entitled to free woodchips if I was interested.

Obviously I was interested.  While my little veggie garden booming, the rest of the landscaping is kind of lacking.  Free mulch could only help.

Now, we have two giant trees in our front yard that shade our humble abode.  These beautiful, nay magnificent, trees even survived the inland tornado of May 8, 2009 (also known as my 25th Birthday Storm).

But they didn't survive Ameren.  My poor trees are now just giant trunks.  It looks like the sad tree from The Giving Tree, only without a little boy to love.  Not only are the trees sad, but my plants in my front flowerbed, which have always been full shade plants, are now wilted as they are in direct sunlight.

But, as if that wasn't enough, this was sitting in my driveway.

Why yes, that is a 5 ton pile of mulch in my driveway.  What am I supposed to do with all of this?!?!?!


Jul 12, 2011

Future Schemes

I have way too many effing tomatoes, especially considering the Hubby doesn't like them.  But, he does like them cooked into things, and I spend a fortune on diced tomatoes from Krogers year round.  

These lead to the logical solution that I need to learn to can this shit.  I have high hopes of canning home made salsa, diced tomatoes, dill pickles, and sweet pickles.

It looks like there are a couple canning methods, and surely it can't be that hard, right?  I mean, people used to do this kind of stuff back before the power of Google and YouTube, which means I can definitely conquer this.