Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birthday Bullets!!!!

Once again, I'm a little slow on the draw and blogposts, but better late than never!  August is a slow Birthday month for our family, but Annika turned 11 yesterday, so we celebrated with her and the family on Sunday.  I'll need to explain just a little bit of background.  My Dad is a pretty sensitive guy, even though he may come across as a "grumpy old man" at times, and one of his life's goals is to be eccentric.  Well, I think he's arrived!!!  Just kidding Dad, and I really think eccentric is a good thing and hope one day to achieve that status myself.  Anyhoozit, one of his past times is going to his 100 acre woods in Southeastern Ohio, and spending time at his little cabin.  The grandkids also like to tag along, and help out, as well as learn a bit about wildlife and nature in a unique setting and with someone they respect and look up to.  Dad has taught each of them about gun safety and a lot of times they'll target shoot while down at the mountain.  Miss Annika (don't let the cute haircut and sparkly clothes fool ya!) has turned into quite the little Annie Oakley, so for her birthday her Pa bought her a box of shotgun shells!  Nanny buys the cute clothes, but Pa really came through on this birthday, and I know they'll have a great time at the mountain blasting tin cans!

Happy 11th Birthday Miss Anni-belle!!!!!
Do you remember when you were 11?  Those were some good times!!!!
There has been some weaving goin' on around here, along with the garden chores and continued work on the chicken coop and hen house.  The goal is to be pickin' up chicks (the little yellow fluffy kind) on the 16th of September.  So this weekend will be a big one working on the windows and roof so those little peeps have a safe dry home.
This is the fourth scarf on the multi-colored warp.  Nice bold stripes, but almost came up short on the oatmeal colored rayon.  I need to plan better!!!!   

Don't you just love to see a box full of yarn arrive!
August was also a bit of stash-building, especially when WEBS had a great closeout on Rayon Chenille.  Got some bulkier weight this time to try out, and will be anxious to get the loom re-warped in a couple weeks.

The Weaver's Guild of Miami Valley is participating in A Wool Gathering in September and asked if I would contribute some rag rugs for them to display at their booth.  I gladly said yes, and only wished that I could help out that weekend, but my brother's stepson is getting married, so too many other commitments going on.  If you happen to be in Yellow Springs Ohio that weekend, be sure and look them up.  The event also happens to be held at one of the best ice cream spots in Ohio, Young's Dairy. Stop by if you can.

Have a great long weekend!  Peace!  Kent

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beans, Beans, BEANS!!!!

The garden is finally coming along, in fact I picked our first ripe tomatoes of the season tonight after work.  So late getting them planted this year, I'm thankful that we finally have some ripe ones.

Last weekend I picked about a bushel and a half of green beans first thing Sunday morning, then when it got too hot in the afternoon, I sat on the porch and got them prepped to can.  Lots of work for something you can buy already processed at the grocery for 59 cents!!!!  At least I know there are no pesticides on our beans and I use a simple recipe that my Mom has been using for years to can them, and the jars seal every time!!! 

Here's the recipe:
One Gallon of fresh green beans
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of salt

Put all of the above in a large stock pot and cover beans with water, just slightly.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until beans are tender.  While the beans are cooking fill six pint jars with boiling water.  (I put mine in the sink to prevent messes.)  You want the jars very hot when you put the beans in.  You also will need to have your canning lids in boiling water (I use a small saucepan) for a few minutes, and then keep them simmering until the beans are ready.  When the beans are ready, empty one jar at a time of the boiling water, and fill with the beans, packing them down as you go.  Fill with the liquid, leaving about a 1/4" of headspace.  Put your hot lid on and tighten down the screw band.  You should start to hear them seal within a few minutes.  

Because of the vinegar, when you are ready to serve the beans, rinse once in the jar, and once while they cook on the stove.  They usually don't need any additional salt, just a bit of butter and pepper.
Not the best photo, but I did two batches and got 11 pints!!!
I also took some time on Sunday to run into town to breeze through the Dayton Celtic Festival.  I had heard from a friend that there was a weaver that usually is demonstrating, and sure enough, this gentleman was dressed in period attire, processing flax for linen, spinning the fiber, and then weaving on this ginormous loom!  He actually was a speaker at one of our Weaver's Guild meetings this year, so I didn't stick around for long..... I had beans to can!!!!

Isn't that loom amazing!!!!  I'd hate to have to haul that puppy around!
I was able to get another scarf started at home...... still the same multi-colored warp, but this scarf is with bold stripes!  Be sure to speak up if you're getting sick of this warp!!!!  LOL

Have a great rest of the week!!!!  Peace!  Kent (and Chris)