Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Making Pickles & Preserving Peppers

Anyone who knows me well is probably laughing at the title of this post. In the past, I've had absolutely no success growing anything - much less preserving it for future use. But, I thought it would be fun to make pickles as a science experiment - too bad I didn't grow cucumber and dill this season!

Fortunately, I have a good friend who knows her way around both the garden and the kitchen who was willing to break out her canning supplies and help me out. The kids played while we did the prep work, then they helped us by counting the cucumbers, grape leaves, horseradish, garlic, dill, peppercorns, mustard seeds and cloves for each jar. Twenty minutes later we had pickles - piping hot pickles, of course, but pickles nonetheless. They are currently cooling, and I suspect that we'll dig in tomorrow.

Since I was in the pickling spirit, I decided it was time to do something with our bumper crop of banana peppers. They were literally growing faster than we could eat them (and Jim can put away some banana peppers!) So I found some simple tips for preserving them online: sterilize a jar, put in sliced peppers, fill with boiling white vinegar and seal with a hot lid (leave it in a boiling pot until you're ready to put it on). Voila!

We've been enjoying the peppers raw, but Jim really likes the pickled ones so I was excited to try this. Can't wait to see how they turned out . . . and to get the dozen or so fresh ones that we still have ready to pick later this week!

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