July 3, 2009

Follow-Up Friday

This week...

-- I attended a canning class sponsored by our county extension office, taught by Dr. Barbara Brown. Although I've done a lot of boiling water bath canning before, I hadn't even taken my new pressure canner out of its box yet because I was afraid of it. Each class participant took home a pint jar of pressure-canned carrots and of water-bathed apples. I learned a lot at the class and am very glad I attended.

-- My Foodsaver vacuum sealer has been seeing a lot of use. The first thing I tried it on was marshmallows in one of the Foodsaver canisters, just for fun. We had to buy a bag of marshmallows as we only use them occasionally to make Rice Krispie Treats. We tried to predict what would happen to the marshmallows. I was sure they would expand, but most of the family thought they would shrink. I enjoyed being right. ~smile~ There is even a YouTube video about what happens, if you are interested.

I've been vacuum packing pasta and grains in glass jars, by putting the jars into a Foodsaver canister. I had wanted to buy the Mason jar lid sealer when we bought the vacuum unit, but it was out of stock on their website, and now it isn't even listed, and I'm wondering if has been discontinued. I did find the accessory at amazon.com and placed an order. It is also available at Cabela's.

-- We've been busy cleaning house for our granddaughter's visit, and general decluttering. We freecycled two TV's, recycled a computer tower and monitor at Best Buy, took the aluminum cans to be recycled, and have a load of items to go to the thrift store in town. We have four boxes of young reader and elementary age books to send home with our granddaughter too (have I ever mentioned that we love books?).

-- Haying season is in full swing. Our neighbors have fields full of round bales; we are baling ours by hand as we usually do. We've estimated how many small handmade bales we will need to feed our livestock for three months over the winter and are working toward that total. We will continue to bale hay all summer.

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