One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Blooms ~ Random Homestead Tidbits

Here are a few new blooms around the homestead this month.

These are everywhere this year.  It's like they are haunting me to can more jelly, ha ha!

Yesterday I cut some spearmint to dry for making mullein tea for Hubby and I.  

I resorted to ordering organic mullein tea leaves to make our tea.  We cannot shake this cough that came along with the head cold we got.  I do have a recipe for homemade cough syrup that I can use until the tea leaves arrive.

So, no, we are not healed completely.  We did go ahead with our camping weekend, because we feared the kids would not have another chance before school started.  Our reservations had been made for a month, so we decided to grin and bear our colds and camp.  We did have a fun time despite. 

Interestingly enough, my youngest is now begging us to play a round of rummy.  So glad we taught them something new, that does not involve an electronic.

The dirt was back between my toes yesterday.  I brought in a large amount of cauliflower, which I plan to make pizza crusts (cauliflower, egg, and mozzarella cheese) with this week.  I also brought in a bunch more green beans and squash.  My zucchini and yellow squash are about to end soon - squash bugs.  I brought in 6 pounds of beets, which required me to come in, wash myself up, and head to the store for ice (to can pickled spiced beets).  I need to ice bath them first to peel them.  I have no room in my freezer to even make ice now.  I also brought in about a dozen tomatoes, a few cucumbers, one pound of jalapeno peppers, one cabbage and a few hot banana peppers.  We'll top our pizza's with green peppers, onions, and hot banana peppers.

Updating to add the recipe for you all:

Spiced Pickled Beets
6 lbs. baby beets (1 to 1 ½ inches) *
3 sticks cinnamon, broken in half
2 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 ¾ cups packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. pickling or canning salt
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water

   1.   Trim beets and place in large pot.  Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently for about 30 minutes or until fork-tender.  Immediately plunge into a large bowl or sink of cold water and let stand until well chilled (30 minutes to 1 hour).  Peel off skins and set beets aside. *see note

2.  Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars, and lids.

  3.   Place cinnamon sticks, allspice and cloves in center of a square of triple-layers cheesecloth and tie into a spice bag.

  4.    In a clean large pot, combine spice bag, brown sugar, salt, vinegar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium, add beets and return to a boil.  Remove from heat and discard spice bag.

     5.    Using a slotted spoon, pack beets into hot jars, leaving about 1 inch headspace.  Pour in hot pickling liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace.  Wipe rims with damp cloth before adding lids.

  6.   Place jars in canner and return to a boil.  Process for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let jars stand in water for 5 minutes.  Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let stand 24 hours.  Check lids and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.

*Note:  I never use baby beets for this recipe, and I have no idea where I even found this recipe.  However, I simply pull what beets (mostly larger sizes) I have ready to harvest and weigh out a little over 6 lbs. of them.  I allow a bit over to account for the weight I’ll lose when I cut the roots and bits of top off after they are boiled.  After they are iced and cooled, I peel, and cut into same size bite pieces.   I typically get 7 pints canned this way. 


Susan said...

Oooh - pickled SPICED beets! I think I must have that recipe. I am faced with a large crop of beets and plain old pickled beets just don't move me. Hurray for Rummy! I love card games and regularly play solitaire.

Michelle said...

Like SusanI like spiced beets.I would love the recipe. Looks like you are one very busy woman.

Mama Pea said...

Your blooms around the homestead are just lovely. My zinnias are just now starting to form buds. They like warm weather, you know, and we haven't seen much of that here this year.

Sorry to be a party pooper, but I don't like spiced pickled beets. Sure do like the regular ol' pickled ones though and have so many left from last year I must have been planning for a 5 year supply!

My Garden Diaries said...

I do so hope you all get over that cough soon! Your blooms are all gorgeous! I loved that sunflower against the red wood! And a big high five on your harvests friend! Nicole xoxo Thanks for the recipe as well it sounds delicious!