Gardening, raising kids, and other fun stuff,
all under the Florida sun.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Some more work...
This week I became one with my food saver. Truly. I feel that I owe this machine a large apology. It's been sitting stored away for a year now!
A whole year! How can that be, you ask? Well, see I had been given the gift of a far inferior brand. A generic copy of this lovely machine a few years back. It worked, well, kind of anyway. It hated me. The sealer didn't always seal and the vacuum didn't always uh- suck. (yes, pun intended) But this is most indubitably the biggest case of 'stear clear of the generics' I have ever seen. For all of the lackluster of the review of my older unit I can honestly say this review gets all the luster it can hold, baby! This sucker, SUCKS! AND it seals, and it does so without me having to stand on my head and jiggle around and press as hard as I possibly can while breaking a sweat trying not to change where the pressure point was so it wouldn't break the suction. I simply stuck the end of the bag in that slot and the machine did ALL of the work. Every.last.bit. Amen.
I'm (needless to say) completely thrilled with it and while I was driving home dreading the experience, I am now oh so happy I picked up the 4 extra large packages of pork sirloin on sale for $1.59lb. My freezer is happy as well 'cause now I'm gonna go shopping for the bins I'd been putting off buying because I had given up packaging meat this way. And, don't you know because it isn't so much work any more I'll not be so grumpy next time. Oh, and Rich finally got the thanks he deserved LAST Christmas when he gave that to me as a gift.
Wanna know what I bought this week?
That's right. Canning jars. I've decided to do it this year. I'm going to can. I CAN after all. I just can't stand the idea of buying *gag* aluminum cans of mush, I mean green beans and feeding them to my children. Besides my husband is honestly begging me and that means.... he'll have to help! :-D
Off to get jelly jars and freezer jars this weekend in preparation for the Strawberry freezer jam I will make. I LOVE the fresh taste of the freezer jam. The only problem I have is where I live. Enough in the boonies that I'm not close to anything, and close enough to the city that I can't find supplies like this. *sigh* I need something to strain the strawberry seeds and that is not an easy find to begin with. I won't want to strain them all out because after all the fresh taste of freezer jam wouldn't be the same without actual hunks of berries. So at least I have chosen the very easiest of tasks for my honey to cut his teeth on. I will probably get a pint of blueberries just so I can make some traditional jam to put away and give him a taste of the water bath while we are playing with pectin.
Last but certainly not least....
Oh, wait that was dinner that isn't the work I wanted to talk about... those need to get on the grill while I'm thinking about it...
The newest section of the garden is being laid out. It wont be finished this weekend as I would truly like, but I know that it has been started at least. It will be approximately 2.5' x 40' This will be the main area for tomatoes and bush beans for 2011. Next year they will be moved back into the main garden to try to rotate crops as much as is humanly possible in my tiny yard. I'll have 15 indeterminate tomatoes along the fence with 32' sq of bush beans. Plantings for snaps will be 8' sections every 3 weeks and replacement plantings will be summer crops of cowpeas and dry beans. For now what my seed stash has to be used is Pink Eye Purple Hull, Black turtle, and limas. They are the few beans that will still produce over our long, hot humid summers. They take longer to produce, too so at least I won't feel like I've wasted that time waiting for them. Still looking for SOMETHING that the stinkbugs don't like to try to keep them away from the beans. They especially seem drawn to the pinkeye beans. I especially seem drawn to finding a tiny vacuum for sucking them up this year. I'm tired of hand picking them, and squishing has never been my thing.
The work is finally getting done though it is taking much longer than I like. I wish there was a way to lay out the garden the opposite direction of the way it is. I think Richard might have my head if I asked this of him. So, I'll save that for a few years from now once I have manage to thoroughly brain wash him. As it is he doesn't think he can eat veggies from the store without complaining now, so I'm getting there! I like the idea of 5 or 6 smaller beds running east/west rather than these long beds, but I'm oh so happy with what grows either way! Soon I'll update that the sod is being torn up and that is back breaking work. Wish me luck!