Friday, January 15, 2021

ANOTHER GOOD CANNING DEAL


Recently I posted about finding the leak-proof reusable lids for canning jars.  The ones I found were for the wide mouth and I scored two packages of six for $2.00 per box.  The other day I went to another store of the same chain and they had the regular mouth reusable lids for $1.50 per box with the same clearance sticker on it.  Turns out it was shipped over from the closing store and they just left the sticker on there!  So I bought both of them so now we have a dozen of each.

Just as their canning lids, it's great that these fit on all regular mouth size jars, including the small little 1/4 pint jars I posted about as well.

They do sell these on Amazon HERE. Obviously more than we lucked into paying (so check your local stores).  Really looking forward to having them to use.  Thanks for all the suggestions, keep em coming now that we can use ANY Ball jar size or shape.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

FRESH MISTLETOE

Some of our trees in the cleared area near the house have mistletoe growing in them.  It's hard to see in the Spring and Summer when they are all filled out and obscured by the leaves...


...but in the Winter we can see where they are.  These are several trees by the way, not just one with many branches.  We know Mistletoe is a parasitic organism but after some research, as long as the trees are well watered, there shouldn't be any harm to them.  Indeed, these trees have had these for years and they are just as healthy as ever.

Anyway, our thinking is that maybe in a year or two, we can do something like this...


...and give away (and/or sell?) fresh mistletoe bundles for Christmas!  The funny thing is, I have a huge roll of red velvet ribbon, just the right size, from a project a friend of mine had a few years ago...maybe it's a sign!

Monday, January 11, 2021

PREPPING FOR THE FREEZE

Got to the farm Saturday.  It was clear and cold but really pretty.  The yard and pretty much everywhere was SOAKED.  We had another couple of inches of rain on top of the almost six inches we had last week. I was going to work in the garden but it was just so wet and still pretty cold. 


Found two shingles in the yard so we had some pretty strong winds out there.  Of course, we've lost a few others over the years.  The house is safe though, that old hard wood in the attic repels water.  Another reason we need to do something out there so we can make the house our permanent home.  However we don't want to sink money into a new roof for something that might be torn down or gutted and remodeled.  We'll just include the new roof with whatever we do.

Anyway...then we had to wait for this:


...yep, we might have sleet and/or snow! We know those of you that live with snow all Winter probably go, "um, no, not big snow fans here", ha. 

The temps will just touch freezing but not for long and not enough to worry about freezing roads (at least in the Houston area) but with wind chills currently at 29, we need to protect the plants at the farm so that was my goal on Saturday...


I put our old standby box around the banana trees that are on the porch...


I covered the pineapples (have had those things in the pots for over a year, not going to lose them now, ha)...


And lastly for the citrus, I did something a bit different than last time.  The last time I used larger freeze cloths  and there was too much extra fabric flowing around and it touched the trees.  So this time I put blankets around the base of the trees and up the trunks and then used these smaller freeze cloth bags.  I put the poles with the tennis balls around the base and the fabric was perfect not to touch the trees (don't have to worry about leaves, they have all fallen off, ha).  

It's only one day and one night of crazy weather then temps go back up.  2nd Family is going to to go uncover the stuff once the danger is passed.  

It's all we can do long distance.


2nd Man took the cold weather in stride and made a pot roast with vegetables with cornbread on the side.

OMG so good and so wonderful on a cold, yucky day!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

AN AUDIENCE

Yesterday, while at the farm prepping for the Winter storm coming, I had watchers...


...these adorable donkeys!

This is the neighbor side that had the goats.  They goats are kept in a different area of his property and the donkeys are now on the side by us.  The fence was fixed so no worry about donkeys in the yard.  I walked over to the fence line to say hello, the one in the foreground came over and let me do head scratches and loved it but the others were too hesitant about this strange man making weird noises at the fence.  But they stayed around the whole time I was outside.

It was a good day, more of an update on that tomorrow.  Today we just wait...


...we're the red dot and the line between sleet/snow and just rain is getting ever closer to us!

Friday, January 8, 2021

SERIOUSLY 2021?

The terrible events of Wednesday...

COVID is mutating into new strains...

The ever worsening pandemic with over 4000 deaths in one day...



At least this made us laugh when we saw it.  Hope you all get a small smile.  Sometimes we have to laugh so we don't cry.  Hope to get to the farm this weekend (weather permitting) and get a break from the news.

More later this weekend.

Everyone stay safe.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

FRESH TOMATO BASIL SOUP IN THE VITAMIX

It's always nice to have a bit of Summer in Winter.

A few days ago, I found some heirloom tomatoes that were greenhouse grown.  It's a great way to have fresh tomatoes this time of year.

We made fresh tomato soup...


So yummy!
And so easy!


We use our Vitamix blender.  We put the chopped tomatoes in, some olive oil, a little salt and pepper and send it for a spin...


For those not familiar with a Vitamix, the centrifugal force heats the soup after a few minutes of running.

It gets cooked of course but still has a wonderfully fresh tomato taste...


We popped in some fresh basil and let it go for another minute or two...


That's it. It comes out piping hot. Seriously, there is steam coming off the top when you pop open the lid...


We poured it in bowls and made a grilled cheese sandwich (because, tomato soup and grilled cheese, am I right?).  Oh my, comfort food at it's best.



Monday, January 4, 2021

FOUND A GREAT DEAL

 Recently, there was a grocery store location going out of business near my office.  Well, they were closing this location but there are others in the chain.

The sales came in waves.  Always excluded were fresh produce, meat and things like milk, eggs, cheeses. I guess those items are best moved to other store locations.  The first part was all medicines, vitamins, and items like toothpaste, soap, shampoos, deodorant etc, were 50% off.  We stocked up.  We're good for a year or so on that stuff.

Then they made some food items 25% off.  Canned and boxed foods.  I bought a few things.  Then it went to 50% off and I bought more.  We got some good deals in the pantry and stocked up on the expensive things like oils and pasta sauces and canned tomato products.

The items I was most waiting for were the Ball canning products.  Unfortunately others were waiting too.  At 75% off whatever price was already marked, this was all they had left:


I snagged two boxes of these leak-proof lids.  They only had the wide mouth size but that's ok, they were $2.00 per box.  I put one on a tall wide mouth and they are really nice.  They will make for nice ways to store homemade dressings, sauces etc in the fridge.  These of course are not canning lids just storage lids.


I was hoping to get a bunch of jars but alas, they only had these left.  They are the small quilted crystal jars, a dozen of the quarter pint size.  I think the whole box ended up being about $3.00.  25 cents a jar.  Not a bad deal and this was a size I didn't already have so I'm sure I'll find something to can with them someday.

Maybe small amounts of canned jelly or jam to use as gifts?  Any thoughts?


Saturday, January 2, 2021

NEW YEAR NEW WEEKEND

Well so far, 2021 doesn't seem any different than 2020 but hey, it's early.  We have to have hope.


We had champagne.  It's about the only time of year we have champagne.  We have wine every month or two so that makes the champagne special as it should be, ha.


I promised a pizza pic, here it is on the plate.  No worries, we'll have more coming up on a post just about the Lodge pizza pan.  It was a simple pizza, tomato sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni on a thin crust.  2nd Man makes a dough that he puts in the fridge for a slow rise which develops great flavors. He also divides it into four dough balls and we have them for pizza or calzone or even just a pizza bread he makes.  We'll have the recipe for that later too. 

Today as this posts I'll be at the farm.  It'll be VERY wet, I think the final rainfall total was almost 6 inches.  Probably won't be much I can do in the wet yard but I can check the trees and water the items on the porch.  Tis the season that's the opposite of Summer...not much we can do because of cold and wet.

The first dry weekend I'll use the Zen Machine to mow some areas that we want to clear before Spring.

Hope your 2021 is off to a good start.

And remember...


...it's not over.  It will be this year but not yet.

Stay safe.