Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

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~

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Canning Pepper Mustard Sauce ~ Tidbits

I froze more zucchini and squash for winter soups, sauces and casseroles.  Yesterday was a race against the clock.  Trying to put up the garden, and clean house both were a challenge.  

See that straw?  That is my food saver bag method.  It's a bit hillbilly, but it works for now.  I simply seal the bag all the way to one corner, slip the end of the straw in, suck out the air, quickly seal as I pull the straw out.  Boom-ba-da-bing - sealed and most of the air removed.  

Tip:  Just don't try this with corn (ha ha ha! I did and trust me you don't want corn juice in your mouth).  

My kids laugh at me, but it saves me the cost of a food saver, special bags and more so, the space it requires to store.

Hot banana peppers are up in the garden now, so I picked some and canned 4 quarts of pepper mustard sauce (click here for the recipe).  We love this stuff!  Last year we simply poured it over boneless chicken in the crock pot (and served over organic/non-gmo brown rice), but it would be great for meatballs and other dishes.  You can can this in pints too.  I use quarts on account of the size of my family.

I forgot to chop my peppers with gloves.  It was about when I was chopping up the 34th hot pepper, that I realized my hands were not feeling so good. Burn!  Dawn soap helped, but my hands burned all day long. And of course I have not replaced my aloe plant yet....adding that to my list.

I also froze a several green peppers.  This is a blessing, as we had zero in our freezer last year.

For two days, I have been telling myself to pull my garlic and hang it up.  For two days I have not.  Finally, I got that job done too.  I had to weed that raised bed this time.  I couldn't believe the grass in it this year.

Back in the house, while kids washed the dishes (and trust me there were a lot of dishes), I started cleaning my bathroom.  Then it was back in the garden to weed out strawberry beds, and get laundry off the line.

By 8:30pm, we had flag pole mounts installed, most of the yard weed wacked, and a leaking sink crisis under control.  I had been at the kitchen sink rinsing some broccoli and cauliflower I brought in from the garden.  I and asked the kids to take the rug outside to dry.  I assumed the kids sloshed water when they were doing dishes.  After they took the rug out, I could see water coming up through the flooring, as I stepped on it.  Yea, another "oh poo" moment.....sigh.

We store a large bottle of vinegar and our homemade dishwasher detergent under the right side. Evidently, when the vinegar is put away, it's pushed up against the plastic pipes and it knocked them loose enough to leak water (which wasn't seen when opening the cupboard).  The water was going down through a hole in the bottom of the cupboard where piping also goes, and then underneath the flooring.  

You can imagine what we are thinking at this point.  Most likely it will have to be ripped out, including the cupboard now.  And it happens the night before the welcome home/congrats/send off party for Son.

A fan has been drying things out overnight, and the first thing on my list is to clean up that toxic mess, and put it all back.  However, the large bottle of bleach and vinegar will not be stored under there anymore (we use bleach daily for the milk bucket). 

It was then I realized I had not put up the jalapeno peppers.  Those went into the fridge, along with some shucked corn.  That job didn't get finished either.  

I did get another batch of homemade cream cheese started, but realized this morning, it will not be ready to drain until this evening, so it won't be ready to eat for the party - bad estimation on my part.  Phooey.

Well, I must get busy.  I need to make whiskey sticks, pasta salad, cheesy potatoes, and homemade sloppy joes for tonight's party.  Hopefully, I can get some help from the girls and have them cut up the watermelon for me too.  Family is bringing the rest of the food.  It  rained, but hopefully it will stop for the evening fun.  The kids want to take the gokart out for a spin too.  At least if it does continue to rain, we can still use the front porch furniture.


Mama Pea said...

Holey Cow! Whadda day and night and next day and . . . just too bad you're such a lazy sloth of a gal and never get much of anything done! Throw in a little (ha!) plumbing event such as you had and I would have run for the hills. (Or my bed, I'm not sure which.) My hat's off to you, Kristina, you are a Wonder Woman of the first degree!

Kristina said...

Mama Pea, you made me laugh. These plastic pipes here are the pits. I have had issues in our utility room with the utility sink lately too. I'm about to enter a home-make over contest, ha ha!

Kim said... certainly are setting an example for a wonderful work ethic for your kids. Now the question is will they choose to follow suit? I use to use the straw as well till I found a food saver at a yard sale! And I have been looking for a hot pepper mustard recipe. Thanks.

Kristina said...

Kim, I know my older two are following a good work ethic, but the other kids have yet to commit. I do believe they get too much ipod time, so I am working on that. It makes them lazy and mouthy if they are on electronics too long.

Liz said...

Wow you made me tired just reading that and its only 9 in the morning! I am adding the pepper relish to the canning list this year. I just usually pickle mine. Have fun at your party tonight! Hope no more oh poo moments the rest of the weekend!

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Whoa Nelly! you must have a naturally high metabolism...I just don't know that I get that much done in a week, let alone a couple of days!
I have been using a straw too! I love that idea. I don't remember where I saw it...but glad to know that I'm not the only one who does it. I don't think it's, we'd say Redneck! hahaha

RB said...

One $$$ saver that I've done for years is, I buy the cheap sandwich bags with the tail and flap (not the zip). Then, I buy large family-sized packages of meat on sale or red-tagged (but you could also do this with vegies or whatever). To prepare packages for freezing, I turn a sandwich bag inside out, stick my right hand (or left if you're a lefty) in it like a glove, grab the tail end (the long one) with my left hand (so it doesn't get all tangled in the raw meat, pick a single piece of meat up with the bag "glove," fit the meat into the bag (using tongs if needed), tuck the bag tail in over the piece of meat and fold the flap over it. You can stick many of these single portions into a large freezer bag so when you need them, you're not pulling out a bunch all stuck together. This makes it easy to pull out as many individually as needed, enough to feed one or ten. You're only using ONE expensive freezer bag instead of many, PLUS you can reuse it if you're very careful. I put all of the same exact thing in each freezer bag - like all chicken thighs in one, breasts in another, hamburger patties in another, roasts in another, pork chops in another, ribs in another, etc., which makes it easy to find exactly what you're look for when you're looking for them, instead of having to root through a bunch of bags to get enough of what you need.

I do "burp" each freezer bag before closing it by folding the top over, pushing on the parcel, THEN closing the zipper shut.
And you can even do this with liquid items fold over the top before zipping it AND keep the top folded over as you lay it on a tray and put the tray into the freezer until it's frozen. Then those frozen flats can be easily be shoved into whatever narrow space you need to store them in within your freezer.

When I'm thawing the parcels for use after freezing, I pull as many as I need and put them on a plate or tray because they will leak as they thaw, and you don't want that dripping all over your kitchen. The frozen flats I put into a plastic bowl to thaw, cause they WILL leak as the liquid thaws.

God bless.