A Wonderful SurPRIZE
"Dirt Lover" Lori celebrated her blog's first birthday on August 11th., and she recently offered a lovely prize to one of the readers of Beyond Dirt - My Creative Journey to celebrate the occasion. I happen to be the recipient of said lovely prize, and couldn't be happier! It arrived in the mail today, thank you Lori!
A beautiful hard covered volume of Country Gardens
Gorgeous floral photos
Full of ideas for decorating house and patio
An entry I can only dream about
Lori's blog is one of my favorites. I hope you all join me in following her Creative Journey.
Spinning My Wheels
Mr. Granny came into the kitchen last night, around eight-o'clock, and told me I was just spinning my wheels. He said I'd been working all day, and the kitchen was just as messy at eight as it had been at four! It did seem like I was working really hard, yet accomplishing very little, but everything I did yesterday was so time consuming.
First there was that big basket of tomatoes, out on the patio table, that had to have something done to them soon. They got washed, cut up and put in the big pot, simmered until they were soft, pureed with the stick blender, strained through the chinois (fancy name for the strainer), and back on the stove to simmer down to half the original volume.
That took care of all the tomatoes but two, which will be used as slicers today.
While the tomato sauce was simmering, I decided some home made hamburger buns would be good for a dinner of grilled hamburgers, so I had the bread machine whip out the dough, then got them in the oven to bake. As soon as the dough was out of the machine, I filled it again for a fresh loaf of bread. I'm sure loving that new bread machine! Once the buns were out of the oven, I decided to bake a "pumpkin" pie with the half of a baked butternut squash that was languishing in the fridge. I know, I know....I said I'd never bake another butternut squash pie after the knock down drag out fight I had with Mr. Granny over the last one. It's been just over a year since the last butternut pie was baked, and I haven't let Mr. Granny forget about it for a moment. I'm one who holds grudges.
Fresh baked bread, buns and pie. Yes, I had a big slice of it. Then I had another big slice of it. I'm going to have another big slice of it for lunch today. I'll eat the whole damned pie myself!
Oh, notice the new Crockpot in the picture above! I replaced the one with the cracked crock last weekend. Mr. Granny bought himself a new 42" LCD TV, so I treated myself to a new Crockpot. Somehow that doesn't sound fair. But that was another job accomplished yesterday, the cooker was filled with enough chicken thighs for a week's worth of dog dinners.
The other day I dug down to the bottom of the chest freezer, and retrieved a 10-pound turkey breast that had been hiding for a couple of months. I put it in the refrigerator to thaw, thinking it would be ready to cook today, but it was ready yesterday. That meant the grilled hamburgers on home made buns had to be put on hold while I cooked the turkey. Buns were packaged and frozen, the roaster oven was hauled off the shelf in the garage and set up out on the patio, and the turkey was put in to roast.
It's unbelievable how fast a turkey roasts in these roaster ovens. I usually forget I have this one sitting out in the garage, but every time I use it I wonder why I don't use it more often.
The turkey was moist and tender....and ready two hours before our regular dinner time! We decided to have an early dinner, so I did a quick microwave stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, while Mr. Granny made a quick run to the store for some canned cranberry sauce. Don't tell me you're shocked that I'd eat canned cranberry sauce....I love the stuff.
With dinner finished, and my third load of dishes in the dishwasher, my job still wasn't finished. The tomato sauce was still simmering on the stove, and ready to be canned. I rummaged through the refrigerator and found one pint jar of jam that was nearly empty, transferred the jam to another container and washed the jar. Then I went out to the garage and checked all the cupboards. I found three more pint jars and 10 quart jars. I brought the pints inside and got them washed, started the water in the canner cooking, and assembled all my canning tools.
The four pint jars were filled, as well as two freezer containers.
That's the absolute end of the pint jars, so once I fill those 10 quart jars with diced tomatoes, and maybe round up enough half-pints for one more batch of hot pepper jelly, my canning will be finished for the year.
Granny, you are such a great blogger (not to mention gardener). I would love if you wouldnt mind taking a look at my blog as well. I'm not a total newbie to the blogging world, but just starting to get back into the swing of thing. Thanks! tinygardener.blogspot.comReplyDelete
(giggling) a crock pot for a 42" TV?! It amuses me that this man-behavior apparently doesn't improve over time, it just manifests itself in continual new ways. There is no hope for them, is there? So he said the place was a mess huh? Did you tell him you were going to "spin HIS wheels" and not in a good way? LOL.... I just love your posts, Gran and good job with all that canning!ReplyDelete
Congrats on winning the book. Looks awesome! Oh my goodness, you are amazing in the kitchen! Hamburger buns, turkey, sauce and a pie. Wow and wow!ReplyDelete
Granny, do you can your tomato products in a water bath canner or a pressure canner?ReplyDelete
I want to try my hand at canning some tomatoes this year, I even bought some jars.. but all I have are two little ripe cherry tomatoes. :( I'm going to have to buy them at the farmer's market I guess. *sigh* We've only had about 2 weeks total of warm weather this year.
Tiny gardener, thank you for the compliments! I peeked at your blog, and became a follower. You are now in my side bar. I'm wondering, did your peach jam not turn out? And yes, you MUST add acid to the tomatoes...I use lemon juice, and always follow approved recipes like those found in the Ball Blue Book or the USDA website.ReplyDelete
Erin, do you get that picture of cave man Mr. Granny dragging me across the kitchen by my hair? I agree, he could have stepped in and helped with the dishes when I became overwhelmed with multiple chores. I guess I should be happy he went for the cranberry sauce. I'll get him back, by the way, I'm thinking maybe a new laptop computer is in my near future.
Meemsnyc, and bread. Don't forget the bread. And dogs' chicken. ;-)
Chelsea, I use a water bath canner for the tomatoes. Just be sure to follow recipes exactly, and make sure they are from an approved source, such as the Ball Blue Book or the USDA website.ReplyDelete
Thanks for becoming a follower! The peach jam turned out so great! Its delish! I ended up with 4 pints and 12 half pints. Sadly still waiting for the tomatoes to come in.ReplyDelete
Granny, maybe you should consider going on a solo vacation for a few days and see how Mr. Granny likes having to take care of himself without you "spinning your wheels." Heck, you don't even have to go away, just declare yourself a Home Vacation for a few days. Mr. Granny can make himself a hamburger with stale store-bought buns, wilty lettuce and mealy tomatoes, or make pasta with grocery store tomato sauce. I bet he'll be asking you to spin your wheels some more in no time! :)ReplyDelete
Boy you will need to remind Mr Granny of all your hard work when he is enjoying your preserved tomato sauce. I am so lucky, K would have jumped in and helped me if it looked like I was getting overwhelmed.ReplyDelete
Now you have the dogs chicken for the rest of the week, pie for breakfast, turkey leftovers for lunch, and grilled hamburgers and fresh buns just all ready for dinner tomorrow.
Granny, thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you liked your book. Congrats! Hey, what a great life for a dog, having you cook like that for them. You were certainly busy with your cooking, baking, canning, and doing dishes! Whew, now I think it might be time for a nap.ReplyDelete
I'm a canned cranberry gal, myself, but I only like the jellied kind. That was such a nice gift you got!!ReplyDelete
I borrowed my neighbor's roaster last year and fell in love with it!
Thyme2, do you realize that tomorrow I'll have been waiting on that man hand and foot for 48 years? Sheesh, am I a glutton for punishment or what? Good thing he's so cute, or I'd trade him in for a younger model ;-)ReplyDelete
GrafixMuse, and leftover goulash for dinner tonight. Made with some of those home canned tomatoes, and good stuff.
Lori, I spoil my dogs just like I spoil Mr. Granny. It's just my nature ;-)
Ribbit, I like the jellied the best, too. I loaned my roaster to a gal in AZ., and had to go "remind" her to give it back three months later. I told her I had to bring it home to WA, and then I did bring it (Granny won't tell a lie), and now I'm glad I did. I really need to try something else in it. I did bread stuffing for a crowd once, and it turned out fabulous. I did a spiral ham once, and cooked it to death. It was nearly inedible.
Funny how you keep pulling jars out of thin air! You probably have all sorts of tricks up your sleeve!ReplyDelete
You had a very busy day! Time to kick back, pretty sure you deserve it!
Apple Pie Gal, I still have a few cupboards and shelves in the garage to check out. Hmmmm, I wonder if there are any jars in the attic? I think I got all of those out last year ;-)ReplyDelete
The quart jars were behind the paint cans. I'm surprised I found them.
Spinning your wheels?! Are you kidding me?! There is no way that the day you described is anything but a mega productive day. Good gracious!ReplyDelete
Oooh Granny, that is so cool that you have a garden shed that was built with reclaimed products. Do you have pictures of this shed. We are building one next year! I'm doing research on it now!ReplyDelete
Kitsap, I thought so. Oh, Mr. Granny ate a piece of the squash pie tonight. Went in and cut it himself...didn't say a word.ReplyDelete
Meemsnyc, I blogged the shed from day one. You might have to scroll down some of the later ones, but here they are, in order:ReplyDelete
I am shocked that you'd eat that canned cranberry sauce. I only like the homemade myself, and it's so easy that even I can do it. I'll buy a few bags of cranberries when they go on sale and leave them in the freezer until I'm ready to use them. Now, if only I could cook everything else half as well as you I'd be in business.ReplyDelete
Oh boy Grannie that turkey sure looks good! We have one of those electric roasting ovens... they make the best turkeys!ReplyDelete
Sounds like another busy day in the life of Grannie to me!
Oh Granny forgot to ask... could I have your bun recipe?ReplyDelete
That books looks fabulous! What a dream book... I can just picture you flipping thru it in the winter... plotting and planning... Look out Mr. Granny!
My husband probably wouldn't have gone for the cranberry sauce (as he doesn't eat the stuff and rarely shops). But then again he does dishes. I'd say he washes (ie puts them in the dishwasher and takes them out again) about half of them (all of them if I leave them on the counter - but rarely the ones we have to hand wash), so I can't complain too much about that.ReplyDelete
It's practically Thanksgiving at your house! I'm on my way ;)ReplyDelete
I have one of those roasters! I love it! I use it often. Several times a year, and definitely for every holiday I have to cook a meal! I practically use it like a crock pot since it holds so much! You can fit tons of ham, potatoes, carrots and the rest of the fridge in that thing!
You've certainly been very busy, and have a lot to show for it! I love cranberry sauce too, and not just with poultry, but we can't very easily buy it here in Spain so I'm going to add it to my list to bring back from the UK. As for tomatoes... after saying that I'd had enough of them and totally run out of jars and freezer space, I just can't bring myself to let them all go to waste and so have bought some more jars!ReplyDelete
This was not a good post to read with a rumbling tummy, congrats on the new book! You deserve a rest, thank goodness is the end is in sight for you.ReplyDelete
Cheryl, it's not the ease (or lack of it) that keeps me from making my own, I just happen to like the canned jellied kind better.ReplyDelete
Toni, I just use the same recipe I use for white bread.
Daphne, Mr. Granny used to help around the house. Never much in the kitchen (except to make a mess), but vacuuming, dusting and laundry. Lately he's doing nothing!
Shawn Ann, I need to remember it when the whole family is here. Other than an occasional roast or turkey, it's too large for just the two of us. I guess I could leave it on the patio all summer, and not heat up the house with the regular oven. When I had it in AZ, I'd fill some bread pans with food and cook them all at once in it. That worked well.
Jan, I have no more room to store the food. I have 10 quart jars left that I'll fill, and I hope I can find enough small ones for a batch of jelly, but I'm not buying more. I need to empty some of those I used last year.
Kelly said "thank goodness is the end is in sight for you."
Do you know something I don't know? Should I reserve a plot at the cemetery? LOL!!!
You've just inspired me to get into the kitchen and get cooking and preserving some of my lovely veggies. My dog Buddy just LOVES pumpkin pie! How about Annie? BTW, you would be very welcome to submit a photo for my dogblog if you would like? xx MatronReplyDelete
Matron, pumpkin is very good for dogs, high in fiber and all that. I can't get Annie and Otto to eat it, or any squash, which is rather surprising. They love carrots and green beans, but turn up their noses at squash!ReplyDelete
Their photos are in your blog, dated September 30, 2009!