Monday, August 29, 2011

Peas and Elderberry Jelly...

Wow, this year hasn't been a productive year as far as our garden goes but we put up a few things anyway. Fortunately, neighbors sharing and the farmer's market made up for what we lacked.

Today is the last day as far as "putting up" for this year. I blanched some purple hull peas and set them out to cool and dry before bagging them up for the freezer.

Next, I got the elderberries we'd gathered along the roadside out of the freezer to make into jelly.

Here's the recipe that I use from TennZen's blog.

I put the berries in a stockpot, covered them with water (just enough to cover the berries), and simmered for 15 minutes. Then I strained the juice into a bowl by pouring through a colander lined with a damp flour sack towel. I don't have a true muslin jelly bag and I find that cheesecloth is too porous and flimsy. Flour sack towels work quite well and they can be easily tied up and hung for the juice to drip.

I ended up with about 3 1/2 cups of juice - just perfect for my jelly recipe:

Elderberry Jelly
3 1/2 c. elderberry juice
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 pkg. powdered pectin
5 1/2 c. sugar

Stir elderberry juice, lemon juice and pectin together. Bring to a full rolling boil. Add sugar and return to full rolling boil. Boil exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat, skim off foam and pour hot jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars. Place hot caps on jars and screw on bands finger-tight. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Yield: 5-6 half pints

I had about a cup of juice leftover so I made a pint of elderberry syrup for when we have colds this winter. It has so much vitamin C it's as good as Tamiflu!

Speedbump, Corrie and Violet are enjoying the weather that's not so hot.

As you know, the stick game rages on!

So now all I have left for today is laundry and cooking supper! Blessings to you all from the holler...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Never be a Christmas card...

I stood out in the back yard with the pack and a treat bag under my arm to try and get one of those perfect Kodak moments. The best picture I got was this one. Of course, Scrappy is running after something.

Mostly, the outing consisted of me sweating lots in this humidity and the dogs running around totally oblivious. There was lots of this...

And lots of this, one of them is definitely watching Charlie carry his stick around...shesh!

Oh well, I tried. Let's face it, without photoshop we'll never have a doggie Christmas card. Lesson learned, no big dealio.

Have a great weekend and blessings from the holler...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Out with the Shepherds...

Basically I avoid the out of doors in the heat of the day. The air is so hot and thick it makes breathing hard. I really don't know how athletes train/play in this weather. Maybe that's why they're skinny and I am not. Today, though, Daisy and Charlie gave me the "please mom" look when I came in from filling the hummingbird feeder so I grabbed the camera and braved the heat for a few minutes.

We went to the garden to see what was still out there. I have officially given our garden over to the critters. A few weeks ago all of our ripe tomatoes were picked and eaten by birds of every size. Then, the bunnies moved into the zucchini patch so I let them have it. All I want is the few cherry tomatoes we get for eating salads and fresh pasta and today I snagged a couple of slicing tomatoes. The marigolds are thriving :O)

Daisy and Charlie like to go and salvage any berries or tomatoes they find on the ground. Today, they were ready to go back in soon and they were on the front porch before I could get up the stairs. So, I played the mean momma and made them sit while I took one more picture. I love those two faces to pieces. Now, you all know that I love the other four as well but the Shepherds are king/queen of the front yard.

Blessings to you all from the hot holler...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Recently from the kitchen...

Lately we've really been turning out some good eats. Well, we think they are at least. On months with five Sundays, we have lunch at our church on the fifth one. Our smoked, pulled pork and barbecue sauce have become favorites there. My Mom and Dad are always ready to help, so we make a family day of pulling the pork.

Also, JP made some Mexican Chorizo which is dynomite!  We make it into patties (as shown here) or scrambled with eggs to make a breakfast burrito. Also pictured here is our first attempt at making some bacon, which we cured and then smoked with apple wood.  It is also delicious.

Okay, I'm through bragging. We are truly thankful for all we have and I just wanted to share these yummies with you. As always, blessings from the holler...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe you'll ever need...

Our grandson is turning 15 this week and I got to make his birthday cake. He is such a good kid and of course, I adore him. Anyway, I looked in the pantry and found no cake mix. Ugh,,,so I poked around on the world wide web and found this chocolate cake recipe.

The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You'll Ever Need!

Well, I checked the reviews and decided to go for it. After all, it had been a long time since I'd made a cake from scratch. It was a moist and delicious cake. I could have just dusted it with powdered sugar and it would have been enough. I did frost the cake with a chocolate-peanut butter icing recipe I found since the birthday boy loves Reese's cups. I made mine in a bundt pan but you can use this recipe for a sheet cake or layer pans. If you make this cake, have no fear at the thinness of the batter it's supposed to be that way and is probably why it was so moist.

I know you've noticed the candles. My mom has a few numbers and if we don't have what we need we are totally fine with home-made numbers. Maybe that should be one of the "you might be a red-neck" jokes. If your birthday cake has numbers drawn on paper and taped to a candle....your whole family just might be red-necks!

Blessings from the holler yall....

Monday, August 1, 2011

I've probably said this before...

I know that I've probably said this before BUT,,,I think it's so funny when, after mowing the yard, the dogs come in and look like they have on green shoes. I know, I'm easily amused. I come from a long line of people who love to laugh.

Blessings to you all from the holler...