Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cabbage and Freezer Slaw

Not much going on today but I am making the last of my cabbage into freezer slaw. You can find the recipe and tutorial at the link below:

I freeze it in small freezer containers overnight

Then transfer the frozen slaw to vacuum sealed bags

O Wise One and I have begun cleaning up the flower beds and cutting back the perennials for the fall. We get up early every morning and vow to spend 1 hour together in the flower beds every morning. Just that 1 hour for 2 people makes a huge difference and we were making great progress until this latest heat wave hit. I got overheated one morning and got sick to my stomach so we have decided that if it is over 80 at 7:30 a.m. it will just have to wait. So we have had several mornings off here lately. They are predicting that the temperatures will start to cool again on Thursday so I am sure we will be back to flower bed duty.

We have also started scraping the porch every afternoon in preparation for a new paint job. We wait till the afternoon when the porch is shady and cooler. 

I also want to make some more zucchini bread for the freezer while I have plenty. 

I roasted a pan of plum tomatoes in the oven and they made the whole house smell wonderful. 

The bell peppers are starting to ripen and I will start to put them in the freezer next week. 

Most of the plums are gone except the ones in the very top of the tree and we have decided to just let the birds have them. We have put up our fair share, gave lots to family and the neighbors and we are just about plummed out. 

Next month it will be the apples. I can't wait for some fresh apple fritters.

So as you can see winter isn't here yet and we are still awful busy. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Purple Hull Peas

I continue to knock out my canning a crop at a time. These are purple hull peas a southern mainstay and an open pollinated heirloom. While many eat black eyed peas for a traditional New Years meal we feast on these. The variety is open pollinated "Pink Eyed Purple Hull" and was originally bought from Seed Savers Exchange. They are canned as a dried bean. They can also be dried or simply blanched and frozen. If you search my blog you will find a tutorial on canning these. 

I serve these as a side dish many times with pork chops or ham cooked in a cast iron kettle. A smoked ham bone or hock thrown into them makes a great seasoning. I usually have a nice skillet of buttermilk corn bread as well. They also make a great jambalaya combined with cooked rice, sausage or bacon,  onions and green peppers. 

The dog days of summer have indeed hit Hickery Holler. The mercury has soared into the hundred degree range for the last few days and we struggle to keep the animals all cool and fresh cool water available at all times. We have tried to stay out of the gardens as much as possible unless it is early in the morning or late in the evening as it begins to cool slightly before sundown. 

As autumn approaches we continue to feast on fresh okra, tomatoes, squash, beans and melons. I can a small batch or two here and there as jars are emptied and become available. Soon the apples will be ripe and I want to can some apple pie filling. 

Hope everyone is staying cool in this heat.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Monday, August 25, 2014

Canning Green Peas

It's August now and the spring peas are long ago done but I wanted to write this post because I had not done a post on canning green peas and I had taken the pictures in the spring and had not published them. 

When the springs are wet and cool the peas are plentiful here in Hickery Holler. My family adore homegrown peas. Every year we plant peas. Some years if it turns off hot too early and dry they linger and don't produce well. For us the trick is to get them in as early as we possible can.   Many years it is a gamble and some years it pays off well. 

Peas are one of those crops that are easy to preserve and probably the hardest part is the time it takes to shell all those peas. 

Many times I like to freeze my peas by simply microwaving them for 2 minutes  and them transferring them to a sheet to freeze. 

Once frozen they are ready to bag.

We love these frozen peas cooked or in salads

This year I wanted to can some to help and conserve freezer space.  First I shelled and washed my peas and then added clean peas to hot jars. 

Then I added a half teaspoon of canning salt to each jar.

Then I covered the peas with boiling water and used my bubble tool to help release all the air bubbles. 

Then the pint jars were sealed with hot lids and rings and pressure caneed for 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. 

Although we prefer the taste and texture of peas frozen with freezer space at a premium this year these canned peas will do. 

Peas are one of those things I hardly ever see fresh in a grocery store or farmer's market.

 You have never lived until you have tasted fresh peas from the garden. Sweet as candy it is hard sometimes to keep the grandkids out of them.  
Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Friday, August 22, 2014

Horticulture Beans

Early fall is the time of year in the garden for the shell beans and dried beans. I have brought in many an autumn day sitting in my rocker shelling beans. 

A soft cushioned rocker, a good movie in the DVD player or maybe some soft gospel music playing and a pan of beans to shell or several. 

Louisiana Red Beans and these Horticulture Beans are our favorite beans to keep on hand canned. They both cook into a thick and rich gravy and with some ham or sausage and maybe some chopped onions thrown in and cooked low and slow they make a nourishing and hot meal on a cold winter day. 

Those long term readers have seen me can these many times year after year.  The variety is "Lina Cisco Bird Egg" and the seeds were originally acquired many years ago through Seed Savers Exchange.  They grow well in our area and are easy to can just as any other shell bean. 

When done both the bean and the shell take on  mottled purple streaks. They can also be allowed to dry in the field. On our farm however we do not allow them to dry because if we have a wet fall they will mildew. 

The seeds dry very well and we store in the freezer now. 

Well that's another week here in Hickery Holler. I have dill relish that has soaked in salt overnight that I will be jarring this morning and some weeding to do as always. With temperatures topping out at around the hundred mark I will enjoy being inside canning. I'll take plenty of pictures of the relish and hope to see you all on Monday.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mid August In The Holler

The weeks go by quickly and another Autumn is here already. We are starting to see the first leaves turn and fall. School is starting and the canning is slowing down somewhat.

The grapes were loaded this year and the grape juice is tucked safely in the pantry now. We shared some with the neighbors as well. 

The peppers are loaded and it will be time to deal with those soon. 

The plums harvest was beyond our expectations to make up for no peaches or blackberries. 

The apples continue to ripen on the trees. 

Right now the lilies are blooming 

The Naked Ladies lilies are thick this year and I think will have to be thinned again. 

The gardens are winding down quickly now and we have planted very few fall crops. With both freezers full and canning jars running scarce we are not planting fall crops other than a few greens and such to eat fresh.  I have about 2 dozen empty canning jars left and refuse to buy any more. I think that the thousand or so that are already full will have to be enough. The pantry is full with no more shelf space left. I want to add some apple pie filling to the jars that are left and some pickle relish. I will freeze the peppers  and we are thinking to call it a year and get our seed saved for next year. 

I hope that all of you have has a productive fall as well and we look forward to a winters rest. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter
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