Canning

Oh, hello there!

I have been busy blogging over at, Where Feet May Fail after the sudden passing of my father, but did want to get back to you guys and the happenings of life in Minnesota.

Our daughter has gone back to school already and is in the 1st grade and loving it! Last year she was the last class in Minnesota of 1/2 day Kindergarteners, and now all schools must provide all day kindergarten to all of their students. The transition in to a full day of learning leaves our little one tired, but also excited for learning! We can’t wait to see how she grows this next year!

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I’ve been signing up for the “Pick of the Week” program at Minnesota Fresh Farm which has proved to be an invaluable find this summer! Each week I pick up $25-30 worth of produce for just $20. I have been getting fresh cucumbers (since mine went to crap), tomatoes (since mine went to crap), green beans, peas, corn, and more! We’ve gotten so many cucumbers I decided this weekend to make pickles! I’ve never made pickles before, but thought I’d give it ago. I had two different recipes making for two different kinds of pickles.

Traditional Easy Refrigerator Pickles.

IMG_2656 My co-worker Breanne who blogs over at Borealis ~ Northern Life passed down her grandmothers recipe to me! I felt like I had won the lottery because aren’t grandmothers recipes the best, and always completely delicious!

It called for:
7 c. very thinly sliced cucumbers (into very thin coins) – Approximately 4-5 cucumbers.
1 c. sliced onion (I rough chopped mine since my husband hates onions, but doesn’t mind the flavor)
1/2 c. green pepper/cut lengthwise
2 T. Salt
1 T. Celery seed

Mix all together and place in 1 quart canning jars.

In a small saucepan heat until boiling together:
2 C. Sugar
1 C. White Vinegar

Pour sugar/vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in the canning jars to the top and refrigerate.

I have no idea how long they take to “cure” – so I need to find that out. They are so pretty however right?

Fresh Pickles
I found this baby on my favorite website – Pinterest! Of course it is complements of the blog Red Star Lone Star.
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2lbs small cucumbers ( I used regular size and just cut in half and then cut into quarters spears or more)
1 bunch fresh dill
Several cloves peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups (1 liter) unflavored club soda/carbonated water
3 tablespoons salt

Trim the ends off cucumbers. Layer cucumbers, dill and garlic in a glass container. Dissolve salt in water, pour over the cucumbers to cover them completely. Cover and brine in refrigerator at least 24 hours.

Apparently the carbonated water is supposed to make the pickles extra crunchy! I’m actually not a big fan of pickles… but my husband loves them, so I thought why not try something new. Plus homesteading is so much fun!

JAM packed Saturday!

Miss K was supposed to have a soccer tournament today, but with most of the fields still saturated the tourney was called off. So we decided to head up to Minnesota Fresh Farm, and handpick strawberries. Neither me or my daughter had ever picked berries before today, and it was on my goals to continue to fill up her memory bucket! After we take home our haul and make jam we’re headed out to the Minnesota Zoo with Jason’s brother Jeremiah and his girlfriend Amillie for a fun filled family day!

(Scroll down for all the pic’s)

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Woke up early and headed to the farm up the road! We’re going to make homemade jam today before we head out to the zoo!

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Me and my girl being strawberry pickers! We were the first ones to pick this year! (They don’t open for appointments until tomorrow, but they let us sneak in! ~ Thank You!)

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Working on getting lots of berries for homemade freezer jam!

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Look at that load! We have lots for jam and plenty to spare for a chicken strawberry salad tomorrow on Arugula and Kale!

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Destemed, slicked and now time to mash mash mash!

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Starting to look like jelly, or the beginning of strawberry wine!

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Time to stir in the sugar and pectin!

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And finally scoop all of that into jars. Let sit for 30 minutes, and then pop them into the freezer! Easy as… JAM!

Minnesota – Week 18

Pinterest in Action! ~ Prepping the garden!

Today is an absolutely glorious day for Minnesota weather! With temperatures flirting with 60 it was a great day to get out and do some yard work and prep my garden! I grabbed the rake and removed all of the dead plants and debris, and pulled a few weeds. I also turned over some of the soil as to bring up some of the nitrogen from the bottom.

First I hauled an old screen door we found up in our rafters out to my garden. I wanted to give my garden a more homey feeling, and after looking on my favorite website  Pinterest. I have a few ideas.

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Next after seeing myriad pallet ideas on Pinterest and after my husband came home with a truck full of pallets, I moved this baby to the garden to use as a green bean and pea trellis.
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I then headed to Fleet Farm where I picked up an aluminum mailbox to keep my gardening tools and gloves in! There is nothing worse than heading out to the garden only to realize that your tools and gloves are scattered about. Now I have them all in one convenient place! To make it more rustic feeling – on of our trees snapped this winter due to the brutal winds and heavy snow we endured, so I repurposed the tree as my mailbox stand!

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Lastly – here is the whole finished product! Now I just need some consistency in the sun so I can plant my garden!

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