Stock pot cleaning

New stock pot

New stock pot

Just want to share some of my over zealous results while canning. I bought this new pot while in Jamestown. I was so excited to use it. On Friday night after the football game, I filled it with apples, but did not pay attention to the liquid. After turning the heat on medium and continuing to ignore the pot, I burned the bottom badly. I dumped out the apples and salvaged them then soaked the pot. Later I gently scraped off the burned apples, but even after a couple of soaks and stove top cleaner and water and salt and boiling with vinegar it still looked like below.

Some cleaning completed

Some cleaning completed

Closer view

Closer view

Well after complaining but before pictures, I received a tip from Mountains mom. (I now follow her, she has spot 1 on my list). She said boil it with about two cups of water and 1/4 cup baking soda. I did it twice, only because I am not so patient and had to try again. Here is the result, and super much thanks!!! Now I can use it to make some salsa this afternoon.


Resting Sunday

Since I did not have to preach today, I am trying to take the day to rest. I have been trying to follow the take Monday off rule since starting at the church in Eureka, but that doesn’t always happen. This morning our church hosted the community Schmecfest worship. I was never at one of those so really did not know what to expect. I will be better prepared in the future.
At home I am doing up the laundry, as we were gone yesterday and both James and Paulina need certain items for tomorrow. Paulina is conjuring up a soup recipe that she found on line. I am outside sipping coffee on the patio.



If only more people recycled their old toilets. I love the planter it gives me. I can leave it out all winter without worrying about it cracking, and now I realize it can double as a cup holder.just love my cosmos this year!

Roger is hanging out on the swing beside me. She loves it outside when I come out with her. Earlier, she and Tigee were taking a break under the propane tank. Some day I need to paint or build a lattice around that thing with morning glories growing up it. Ya, I think I like that last idea best.

Oh ya that soup, I can smell it from here. We did not have any rosemary in the house, so I hope that doesn’t ruin the flavor. The smell of the garlic is pretty strong. Good thing is we won’t have to worry about vampires for a few days. It called for carrots so I dug some from the garden. I see now that I really need to get in and thin that crop or plant a tape rather than just scatter seeds.
Well this is about all I know today, I am trying hard to rest up because with canning, two days of substituting, a day in the church office and possibly helping with the move on Saturday, this could be a busier week than the last one.

P. S. So Roger decided the toilet bowl planter makes a great cat seat.


Out and about after canning

We didn’t get much canning done today.
Last night after the football game, Paulina and I peeled and cored a mess of apples. I threw them in the new pot with a little lemon juice, but no water. Dumb move. All the other apples we had been doing were really juicy. I should have caught on as we were peeing that these we’re less so. Well, the brand new enamel stock pot is seriously black on the bottom. I dumped the rest of the mixture in the old stand by aluminum pot, and started over. After adding the sugar, cinnamon and a little nutmeg, it was all good. It got fairly late so I put the pot in the fridge with the idea of finishing in the morning.

This morning when I got up I took out the food processor. I cannot believe that I have been so stupid all these years by not using this machine to grind up the apples. In the end, I had 4 3/4 quarts of Apple butter. The partial jar is in the fridge to be used right away. As that was cooking, I also did up 3 quarts of whole tomatoes. Doing all of that this morning made me feel less guilty about the trip to Bismarck.
We went to watch a cross country meet. A couple of our track runners run with Shiloh Christian in a cross country co-op. It was worth the trip. We saw several athletes from around the state that we know. It is an interesting sport. James did not remember watching many meets before. Of course I would not ever admit to not seeing a meet before even if I was new to it. Truth is, I watched sisters, daughters and other athletes in cross country. Fun event.
A few photos below to show the yard when we got home.






Back to canning

Well, I made it home last night around 10 p.m. as you probably know from the blog of yesterday. I should have posted something today, but got a bit carried away with doing things around the house. Also Glenda came over for a bit of chat time and some coffee. Yes, we were having coffee without the rest of you. I won’t add the usual words from Great Aunt Emma, rest her soul. We did a garden inspection, and I got back to work when she left. So, what I did today was mainly back to canning. It seems that the tomatoes are waning, though there are still plenty around. I filled the largest steel bowl that I have to the rim, and then went to the car shed and filled it with everything ripe.

Bowl of tomatoes

Bowl of tomatoes

Set up to get started.

Set up to get started.

The picture above is after I had all the tomatoes blanched and they were in containers cooling. I have the bowls to core, the blender and the strainer all set, plus the stock pot to mix up the soup recipe. It turned out pretty well.

Tomato-Basil Soup in the cup.

Tomato-Basil Soup in the cup.

Soup on the left and whole tomatoes on the right.

Soup on the left and whole tomatoes on the right.

When it was all over, I had 8 quarts of Tomato-Basil Soup (I used fresh basil chopped to oblivion and threw it into the regular soup recipe. I am pretty sure that I posted it last year. I fill my stock pot about 3/4 full and add 1/4 cup of canning salt, 1 1/4 cup of sugar ( the sugar is to the taste, so it varies with the tomatoes) 1 stick of butter and the trick is the flour. This time I added 1 cup of flour, but I do it by taking about 3 cups of juice out into a container and adding 1/4 or so cups at a time and mixing it with an electric mixer. This really helps to avoid any lumps.

Sink full of apples, some already run through the peeler and corer.

Sink full of apples, some already run through the peeler and corer.

New stock pot.

New stock pot.

Before I go to bed tonight, I intend to cook up a batch of apple sauce. We want to head to Bismarck to watch a young man in his cross-country race. I was hoping to stay home and work on more canning, but he specifically asked me at the football game (home team won 28-14)┬áif I was going to come and watch him. I just cannot be so cruel and skip again. James is part of my group in track, and he does anything you ask of him and more, so what can I say, they don’t make many like him anymore. Well, I will post this and head downstairs to help the workers already on the line. We have a large container of tomatoes ready to do up in the morning before we leave. It is work now, but will be worth it this winter when all we have to do is open the cupboard and eat up. Happy Canning!! Oh, and I hear we might run into some little Clark children in Bismarck tomorrow. That won’t really be a problem for any of us. Ha!!


So in the morning I will write a real post about my week. Suffice to say the North Dakota Farmers Union Women in Leadership Development event was way worth the time, money, road miles and on and on. I just wish I could take daughters or sisters or aunts or cousins or friends or all of the above along next year. We just would have to get a bigger hotel room than the one I had this year, though it had the best maid and room service ever!

Jess and I got a picture with Julie Powell.

Book by Julie Powell with pictures of actresses from the movie.

Book by Julie Powell with pictures of actresses from the movie.

I will fix this picture in the morning. It must be morning. Ha, Hey for more information on the big event, go to Jessica’s blog and check out her take on it. Remember she is #45 on my list of those I follow. More to come tomorrow. I see she has a terrible picture of me in the shot with Taniya Nayak. She was soooooooooooooo awesome, I could have listened all day.

Trip to Dickinson

Last night we went into Dickinson because Victoria had to do a drug test to return to work on Monday. She had to go to her place of work to do it, so I got to see the Stallion yard and Jaxon’s daycare. I have a few pictures to share.


The top picture is where Victoria works and the bottom one is where Nate works. So they entered backwards, when I loaded them.
Ok for those who need to see children, here are two pictures. The boy eating ice cream is Jaxon and the baby is Ana.



Off to Hebron

On Monday I headed to Hebron to help with the packing. I was reminded why I sit in the passenger seat when we go places. I don’t mind driving; it is the traffic I hate. In that case I should stay out of western North Dakota.
John Steinbeck wrote a book about his trip around the US with his dog called, Travels with Charley. In the chapter where he drives through North Dakota on Interstate 94, he remarks that the map should fold where you cross the Missouri River. I have always thought that is one of the best statements about our area.

But the area has changed so drastically. I wonder what Steinbeck would write about us now. I love his books for how well they are written and tell you the truth about the times. I hate his books because they make you look at the worst of what is happening to people in their times. There would be many subjects for him here: the land owners who get rich from the oil virtually over night, but lost their way of life; the workers who leave poverty in other areas to make a great income, but find living conditions difficult at best; the service sector workers and all their struggles; those who try to take advantage of all the others in the area. It is an endless supply of topics and subjects.

The pictures I nabbed don’t really capture what I wanted to share, but it was all I could get at the time. All I can say is that as I drove west, I became tenser and tenser, gripping the steering wheel in a strangle hold. Sandwiched between semi-trucks, and feeling the whoosh of air as pickup trucks pass you to the left, several times I shuddered at how I was able to stay focused and in the lane. Nate (son-in-law) yesterday noted that there is virtually a death a day on the roads in the Dickinson to Williston and surrounding areas. A car driven by an 18 year-old woman side-swiped another vehicle yesterday as it was passing, they both went into the ditch. The car being passed rolled and an 85 year old man and 65 year old woman have funerals pending. Progress is not without a cost!




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