Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rockin' Saturday like Nobody's Bidness...

I almost couldn't sleep on Friday night because I was running all the things through my head that were on the agenda for Saturday.  I love having weekends in town.  It hasn't happened in a while!  So when we get one, we have to make the most out of it.

We started out our morning early with a visit to our CSA farm! It was really cool to visit Northern Harvest Farm and see where the goodies we get each week come from.  In addition to our farm share, we decided to also purchase a bean share, which they offer as a "pick-your-own" add on.

The sky was pretty hazy, and there was no shortage of humidity.  I'm so glad it wasn't 100 degrees out.

We all did our part to fill our buckets.

Not difficult to find enough.

FYI, two 5 gallon buckets gives you a heckova lotta beans.  I think it only took about an hour for the four of us to pick these.

When we were done, we took a little tour of the rest of the farm. 

I'll be anxious to see these babies in a few weeks.

And I'm pretty sure we'll have more tomatoes than we will know what to do with.

Such pretty cabbage!

Yeah, they are ok sometimes. :)

The "tunnel" amazed us.  It was the biggest greenhouse I've seen, with so many different things growing all the way to the ceiling!

Yeah, they clearly know what they are doing.

On the way home, we stopped for a few photos at the St. Louis River Valley overlook, and to impersonate Peter Pan.

We got home in time for lunch, and to start snapping the ends of the beans.

Thank you, Redbox for letting me reserve this movie on my handy iPhone app so we'd have something fun to watch while our fingers nearly bled.

We had to pick up a few supplies before we could pickle our beans, so Nate dropped us off at Office Max for school supplies while he went to the grocery store.

Yeaaaaah, we'll see how "durable" you are in 3 months when my children manage to rip you to shreads, you dang 3-ring-binders!

Good ol' trusty number 2's!

Then off to a quick stop at Tar-jay...


And finally Sam's Club.  I think we finally have everything we need.  We had better, because I was exhausted already, and there were still things to check off on my to-do list for the day.

Priorities first, people. 

There are always a few extra minutes for a quick dance partaaay in the kitchen.  My kids think I'm pretty weird.  But only for a minute before they join in.

Time to get to work.

And in the end...

23 quarts and 7 pints of pickled green beans (and half of a pot left over), 8 tired feet, two sore backs (sucks getting old), and a day spent together.  All 4 of us.  It was awesome.

I feel like I won.  I beat you Saturday!  Ha!  My list is checked off!

Today?  Blogging, knitting with some friends, and laundry.  A lot less time spent on my feet.  Yesssss!

Enjoy your Sunday!



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Second Annual Blueberry pick!

Last week we took another trip to Blackbirds and Blueberries, a local blueberry farm owned by some dear friends' parents.

If you recall, our trip last year was very fun, and proved very fruitful.

So on a beautiful Monday evening, we headed out once again to see what we could find.  Isn't he cute?  Or maybe it's a she?  I dunno but I almost took it home with me.

I was glad to have Morgan along with me to keep me company (and sissy in the background!).  Although listening to the other pickers conversations was interesting too.  There was an expectant mother with a friend a few rows over and they were discussing all the things expectant mothers are expected to talk about.  I loved hearing the excitement and yet worry in her voice as she debated the color of curtains, car seat directions, and stroller brands.  It sure seems like yesterday that those were the most important thoughts running through my head too.

We moved over to another row where the berries were also abundant.  We listened to an older gentleman explain to the person he was with that his mother had the best pie crust recipe in the world, but it wasn't written down, and he's never been able to duplicate it since she passed.

And then the owners were talking to everyone how we all should have been here last week because there were so many more!  And they were twice the size!  Really G?  More than this?  Well, I got more than my share, and they were gorgeous.

I almost lost my helper a few times in the bushes.

Thankfully I didn't, because she picked one of these whole buckets, and I did the other.  That's 10.5 pounds of juicy blue goodness.

And now the work begins.  Now, I know what some of you are going to say.  "Nancy, I thought you didn't cook???"  Well, my kind of cooking is PB & Js.  So with the help of hubs and Morgs, we decided to tackle blueberry jam this year.

Seriously, what did we do before the internet??  Do you see my phone right there with the recipe up on it?  How awesome is that?  Who needs cookbooks anymore??

The colors on these are pretty funky because it was getting dark outside so I used my flash.  It wasn't nearly this pink.

This is simply pureed blueberries.  Nothing yet added at this time. 

Look mom!  THREE pots going on my stove at one time!  And all four burners being used at once!  There's a first time for everything, right? 

I found this cool site online that told me you could substitute most of the sugar you add with natural fruit juice.   So I did one batch with a little sugar and some peach juice.  It turned out SO GOOD.  The other batch is fully loaded with sugar though.  We wouldn't want to go too healthy here.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 pints later, and we are good to go!  How freaking satisfying is it to sit down after removing your jars from the canner and hearing each and every one of them pop to seal shut??

Thank you for loaning me your supplies mom.  I was going to give you your jars back, you didn't need to go label them so permanently.  ;) 

(Seriously though - these are some kickin old school Mason jars that I really DON'T want to give back.  Ever.)

Anybody want a sandwich?