Trying This Canning Thing

Yesterday was my first time canning. I started with strawberry jam, then pickled cherry tomatoes, and finally some pickled zucchini. Woah, this took all day! Next time I’m hoping it’ll be faster, but yesterday I took my time to make sure I followed the correct steps.

When I made the strawberry jam, I noticed that the fruit all floated to the top of the jars and didn’t look that great. I read online that if I put them upside down for a bit after about an hour, it will help the fruit disperse throughout the jar. And the internet never lies, right? Well…it didn’t work.

The pickled tomatoes were pretty simple compared to canning the jam. I can’t wait till they’re ready to eat. It looks like all the jars sealed, so all I need to do is wait. And wait.

Last thing I did was pickle the zucchini. This was a three-part step, which was nice to get a little break from the kitchen. First the zucchini and onion soaked in salt water for two hours, then it sat in the vinegar/mustard seed concoction for two hours. Then I boiled it and ladled it into the jars for processing.

After bottling it all up, it was about 11:30 at night and I was done! I’m a little nervous about how the food’s going to hold up in the jars. I think I did everything correct, but I guess I won’t know until I see mold growing in a jar when I open it or it explodes with tiny botulism spores spraying everywhere in my kitchen.

No Knead Bread

So I started this bread today. I’ve never made bread from scratch – this recipe seemed pretty easy!

Here’s what I used:

  • 6 cups of bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of active yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 2/3 cups of water

I mixed the dry ingredients together, then mixed in the water to make a dough. I wrapped plastic wrap over the top and left it in the dining room overnight.

The next morning, I had this:

no knead bread dough

I folded it over a few times, let it sit wrapped up in a towel for an hour and a half. Then I set the oven to 400 degrees with a cast iron pot inside and let all that sit for a half hour. Then I pulled the pot out, put the dough in it and threw it into the oven (covered) for 40 minutes. After that, I took the lid off and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

And then….I had this!!!!!!!!

no knead bread

Juicing!

We started juicing on Saturday. Never one to eat my vegetables, I was extremely skeptical. Drinking only juice for 3 days seemed not only tough, but impossible to me, since I have derby practice for 2 hours most nights of the week.

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The first day wasn’t too bad – we drank hot water with lemon in the morning and drank about 5 different juices throughout the day.

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The next day was awful. I swear I was hallucinating at some point. All I could think about was food. I tried to focus on the health benefits, but it was really not helping much at all.

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Later that night, I had derby practice, and knew I wasn’t going to be able to skate without some energy to help me. I was afraid I would pass out on the rink, so I stopped for some chicken nuggets on the way there. After that, I felt awesome. I mean, who doesn’t feel awesome after eating chicken nuggets?

On the third day, I went back to juicing, but was extremely hungry again by the evening. All in all, it wasn’t a bad idea, but just not very doable for an active lifestyle. We now try to juice at least 1x a day in order to get the extra nutrients that don’t fit into our daily meals.

Pulp

As an added bonus, we get extra compost to use for the garden this year!