Some people have asked me if I work, and I do. I own an online business, which is what pays our bills, so when I post what I've done today, that is around work, and kids, and such. I couldn't do all that, and all the extra stuff I tell you about, without my amazing husband. Husband is a wonderful Dad to our two girls, and a great supportive Husband to me, both physically, in helping tending to the animals and the general upkeep of this crazy house of ours, but also emotionally. He's very excited about our homesteading and all the things I do around here, from the canning, to the garden, to the making of clothes and other things. Well, he has some exciting news of his own. Husband will be Jonathan Harker in the play Count Dracula, at our local Opera House this October! I'm so excited for him!
Today was a busy and full, but fabulous day. I spent a lot of time working this morning, in between some foofy canning. I'm loving foofy canning. I've always felt my canning efforts were worthwhile, and the sense of satisfaction made it worth it, but I never understood canning blogs, and "canning for fun". But now that I've ventured in to the world of "canning for fun", I'm there. I totally see it now. I love this kind of canning. Small batches, small jars, heck I even canned the stuff I did up today, in my regular kitchen pot. I lined it with a towel so the jars wouldn't bang around too much. So much easier than moving around huge canners filled with water. Yes, I see the alure, and I shall do more of this foofy canning. So what did I can today?
The batch of the Tomato Butter, and I LOVE it! Husband and I decided it tastes like ketchup, if ketchup was real food. It is so lovely. I will be making plenty more of this. I canned it in the 1/2 pints for a couple reasons. One, it's a great gift size...if I find myself feeling generous enough to share. Also, I find that condiments take up too much space in the refigerator. You open a large bottle of something and often it lasts 6 months, so it kicks around in that space for a very long time, despite not being used much during that time. I decided that for my condiment storing pleasure I will can in small containers so I use it up in a couple weeks, and then it can stay in dry storage until I need more. I'm hoping it works as well as I think it will. Oh, and reason number three, to can in small jars...they are so stinkin' cute!
My second foofy canning was to make up a batch of melon ball pickles. The recipe came from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. My friends made a batch and very generously shared a jar with me. I loved them, so I decided to make up a batch. My friend Abe has had an amazing crop of musk melon this year, so that was perfect to use for these! Now I don't have to completely say goodbye to this delicious fruit. I am sure I've never had a musk melon/cantelope, in my life, that come close to the flavor of the melons Abe grew this summer.
After getting my work done, and the canning, I went foraging! Jessica and I got the last of the elderberries at a neighbors house, then stopped at my Gram's to drop off some eggs. We scouted out her grapes, and they were ready, so we picked!! I don't know how many pounds we got, they are hanging out in Jessica's walk in cooler (we are so glad Abe bought that walk-in cooler for us to store all our crazy summer projects...oh, wait, that's right he bought it for his farm produce, we'll we're still glad). The grapes are beautiful, and quite yummy. I was glad to have Tina's basket hanging out in my car, so we had a way to bring them home, and it made a great photo.
I'm looking into ways to make grape juice, as Jessica and I both think we'd like that over jelly. The elderberries are cleaned. I was very particular with this batch, so I can use them in Jam. The antioxidents in the Elderberries, Grapes, Autumn Olives and Cranberries are phenomenal, and all those are available in my town, for free, with a little time and some long pants and boots. I love foraging! And, Wow, I love days like this.