Friday, July 6, 2007

I am getting more and more domestic in my old age!

I feel as if I have been on hiatus! I haven't blogged in over a week, I have been really unmotivated this past week. I guess catching up on camp from Eric, planning on what to do for the holiday that fell in the middle of the week. And trying to find all kinds of sales for school clothes, I just haven't felt like doing all that much talking. But I believe I am back! Yipee! More stuff to fill your in boxes. More stuff to let y'all know that you have a new blog or blogs to read from me.

We have decided to purchase an upright freezer, haven't gotten it yet, but we have looked at Lowe's (I can smell the wood as I type ;) ). Anyway what brought us to this decision is that it is cheaper in the long run to buy and freeze a half of cow, to freeze fruits and veggies too. So, then that lead me to this, I think I am gonna try my hand at canning. I can't believe I said that, but yes, I think I would like to can my veggies, stews, fruit, jams, pickles etc... Sure why not? It would be better for my kids and for the family.

I made my first batch of refrigerator pickles this past Saturday. I used 4 jars, and gave 3 away, kept the 1 for us. Only because I was a little leary about something that I have never made before. So, I pop open the can on Tuesday, taste one.....mmmmmm! It was GOOD! Real good actually!

It was funny, Chuck doesn't care for pickles, not at all. He eats them when he has them on something, but would be ok in life without them. Well, he finally got his burger on the 4th and there weren't any pickles left. He picked them over so much that he missed out on putting them on his burger!

So, Wednesday, before the family came over for the cookout, I made another batch. My mother-in-law liked them so much that she took a jar home with her. And then I shared another jar with one of the teachers at school. I still have 2 left, but now my dad wants one. So, needless to say, I am keeping all the jars I can, so that way when the cucumbers come in, we have more pickles.

I realized how easy it was to make them. That took no time because of the food processor slicing everything for me. In the long run, it is cheaper for me to make them since we do have the garden, instead of me buying them.

So, I then realized that it would be so much cheaper and easier, in the long run, to make a lot of the stuff myself. So, I am gonna try my hand at things like apple butter, tomato sauce, and green beans. I am actually looking forward to making homemade strawberry jam, and peach butter. I know the work involved, but this is something you can't find at the store, not like that anyway!

And my neighbor informed me that the lady at the cannery is open everyday, but the best days are Tuesday and Thursday because the farmers are there. This lady has everything to can, we just bring the food and the jars. She helps with everything else. It is an all day project, but it is worth going because she helps everyone that needs help. Ok, well, I won't have to buy the pressure canner, and I won't need the rack and I can do all of the major work there. This is so cool. I really thought that canning was a dead thing, but once my interest got perked, I am finding more and more about it.

So, now I am officially domestic. I cook, sew, quilt, bake, clean, iron, cross stitch, embroidery, paint the rooms, and whatever else you can think of. But now I am gonna add something else to my list.... canning and freezing.

My groceries will be cheaper, I will only have to go to the store for the packaged foods, chips, butter, milk, cereal, cheese, rice, noodles, and whatever else that I just can't do at home. Ok, so basically, if I don't have to leave my little commune, I won't.

I have some tomatoes to do something with, so that is my first step. I don't need a pressure cooker for that, so I am gonna try the tomatoes, and then I am gonna buy STRAWBERRIES ! I can't wait! I am always willing to try something new, if I don't like it, I won't go back. I do believe I am gonna try it first at the cannery and then purchase what I need if I really like it. I have a feeling I will really enjoy this.

This is a new experience in the boys' lives too. They get to help me out, they get to learn something, they get to try something new too. I know that doing this isn't only for me and Chuck, but it will also be memories for the boys with the time that we will spend together.

Also, I know that a homemade jam, salsa or something makes a nice gift. Or when I get home and I don't have anything to eat, well, pop open a jar of gumbo or stew, make rice and have a nice dinner. I don't prefer to eat out any longer, only because I pick apart what I am eating and I know how much it would cost me to make it at home. I am so picky!

Well, this one I am diving in head first. If you don't hear from me, you know the food poisening got me! New experience, new memories, yep, this will be good for all of us!