Wednesday, August 25, 2010


One of our favorite things to make each year is Salsa. Araya will eat store bought if that is all there is but let me tell you she loves the homemade.

Here is our recipes and I am including the changes we make when we make it up.
20 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained (we don't drain them and I use closer to 25 cups when I make it)
4 large green peppers, chopped
3-4 Banana peppers, chopped (you can use whatever sweet peppers you have, our last batch was not banana and its great. Also I use closer to 5 to 6 in ours)
1/2 cup Jalapeno peppers, remove seeds and chop fine (if you like it hot leave the seeds in)
2-4 large onions, chopped (I normally do 4-5)
1 cup vinegar
4 Tablespoons canning salt
4-6 teaspoons crushed red pepper (we prefer to use fresh red peppers, either chili's or something equivalent)
2 teaspoons garlic salt
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
3-4 cans tomato paste

A note here, if you like hot salsa as my dad does, he is known for adding a Habanero pepper to his batch. Just remember that a little goes a long way in the world of hot peppers

Combine all ingredients, simmer to cook down about 30-40 minutes. Pour into jars and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes

Makes approx 14-16 pints or 6 quarts.

I hope you enjoy this. It is a very good anyone can eat salsa when made by the recipe.

A busy week of Canning

This week has been very crazy. Long days with lots to do.
I started on Sunday at my moms. We picked a 10 gallon tote of green beans that was 2/3rds full. We also brought home enough tomatoes for a batch of salsa. On top of that I had a bunch of tomatoes (more than a batch of salsa worth) sitting at the house from our garden.

So Monday I snapped all the beans to prepare them for canning. We ended up getting 14 quarts of green beans when I canned them on Tuesday.

Tuesday I started my day with getting a batch of green beans in the canner and set in peeling the tomatoes. I filled my huge water bath pan with diced tomatoes by the end of the day. After we had supper I mixed up salsa and cooked up 2 batches, equaling 37 pints of salsa. We have a grand total of 54 jars for the year. Araya is thrilled as she loves to eat it on anything she can. I was also able to get 7 pints of diced tomatoes and tossed out about 4 more to the chickens as I was out of space in the 2 water bath canners that had at this point ran twice after putting kids to bed. I was so tired, it was time to call it a night.

Then Wednesday I peeled, cored and sliced up a grocery sack full of pears and got them ready to can. I put them in an extra light syrup which is just perfect for my family and canned up 11 pint jars of them. Now if I can get enough pears to do that 4 more times we will have enough to get through the year.

Thursday I will start my day by getting Applesauce cooking and then peel, core and slice up apples to put in the freezer. Tho they don't look the prettiest they make great apple pies and apple crisp in the middle of winter.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Labor of Love

I love to create new things. It doesn't matter if it is sewing, knitting, paper crafts, cooking, I love to create.
Lately when I am not canning I have been knitting. I made Carter 2 pairs of knit shorties which he absolutely adores.
Then I decided it was time for something different. I cast on a sweater for my oldest. I had gotten this yarn a year ago to make a sweater and had not gotten around to do it.
I chose Elliebelly Crayon yarn on Ellie BFL. It was divine to knit up.
I decided on a cardigan with a hood. It is a knitty pattern and while it was not horrible to knit up it was not my favorite and it doesn't fit the way I would like it to. I added 2 inches to the length and I sure am glad I did because it would not have fit at all had I not.
But the most important thing is that Araya loves it. She loves the colors, loves that mommy made it for her and that it was ready to wear today when it was cool outside.

I used the most adorable buttons every from Tessa Ann Designs. They are all handmade and so incredibly adorable that I want to add them to everything!

The little kids thought it was great and want to know when theirs will be ready. Nevaehs is next, right after my week of insane canning. I have to get another skein of yarn because I didn't order quite enough for her sweater.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1st Day of Kindergarten

How is it possible? It seems like just yesterday my little girl came into this world and brought so much joy to our lives. Then it was oh so recent that she started off to preschool and was gone for a few hours a day a couple days a week.

But now, today she went off to school for the first time. She walked right out to that big ole school bus and climbed on and sat down. She never looked back. Mom and Dad cried their eyes out and were beside themselves all day. I found myself looking at the clock over and over to see what time it was and if it was time for her to come home yet. You had better believe how happy I was when I saw that school bus coming down the road and my baby girl climbing back off.

When I asked how her day was she told me "good" I asked what she did and she said "we didn't do too much today because we were not there all day, but we got to play on the playground twice" Upon more drilling she said that was her fave thing of the day but that she LOVED when they went to the library and they read to her. She is my little book worm that is for sure.

So it has been a year of firsts for her, going to stay for a WHOLE weekend (3.5 days actually) with her Aunt and Uncle and starting school. Mom was so not ready for any of it and wishes she could keep her home all the time. But they all have to grow up and we are so incredibly proud of her and how confident she is. It really is what we had hoped for all along and we couldn't ask for anything else.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Going to the Movie with Daddy

Araya got to spend a weekend recently with her Aunt and Uncle in Omaha, however her sister was less than impressed that she didn't get to go. So we tried to make her time as fun as possible. This didn't work out as we had planned as she ended up running a fever and feeling ill for most of the time she was gone.
She did get to go to the movie with Daddy and see Toy Story 3, even if she was ready to come home an hour into the movie, she had fun and that is what mattered!
Next time she will stay the whole time I am sure, and we will try to not have her being sick when we try it again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saving the Boy Parts

Carter has thing lately about taking his diaper off and trying to play with his wiener. Now this wouldn't be nearly the issue it is if he didn't pee on the floor everytime he is naked. So I went to using prefolds and snappies when we are in the house because even shorts don't stop him from removing his diaper, he just takes those off as well.
So the other day he is playing in the living room and all of a sudden I notice that he has pulled his wiener out of the diaper and it is now loosing circulation from the snappy. This was the last straw I cast on a pair of knit shorties that can be tied on, that night. Well in just over 24 hours they are completed, tho they are not exactly what I had wanted as they are tighter and longer in the legs than I planned, they are finished and will work for the rest of this summer.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beyond Belief

I am having a challenge with my 5 year old. She is of the mind that nothing in the house should be her responsibility. She doesn't think it is fair that she has chores, or has to help out in any way. She doesn't think it is fair that we make her participate in the things that are done around here. I think she is old enough to help out. She can help with picking up the toys on a daily basis, make her bed and help to feed the dogs. Her chore list is very small, when she does it and doesn't complain it takes her a max of 30 minutes to have it all completed and I am there helping along the way. Am I way off on this.

The part that is hardest for me to deal with is that she knows how to act. When she is not at home she helps pick up, doesn't throw fits and is an all around good kid. She proves that we are raising her to be a productive member of society. However when she is at home she is the total opposite. She is mean to her siblings, complains about everything and is all around miserable to be around 90%of the time.

What do I do to help resolve this issue? She is going into kindergarten, she is in dance and is allowed to have fun time away from the farm and her siblings at least 1 time a month besides this. I have tried rewards, not sure what would work for punishments but nothing seems appropriate.

I am open to any suggestions that anyone has.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet Pickle Relish

Our family uses a lot of sweet pickle relish but the stuff we can find in the store always has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. I have worked very hard to prevent my family from consuming this but had not been able to find a way to prevent it with this particular staple other than to make it ourselves. We have tried in the past, never finding what we want. However, we found it! It is perfect and will be a recipe we use for many many years to come.

You can find the recipe for it here at Heritage Recipes. They have so many great recipes that I will be trying out as well.