Hello world!

Welcome to Natasha’s Blog on WordPress.com! This is my very first post. Hopefully it won’t be the last.

Several years ago we had a really big garden with lots of tomato and pepper plants.  That year, I made salsa and canned it.  The next several years the garden didn’t do well.  It was too wet one year (the river got the garden), then it was to hot, then too dry, then the BIG flood it and we were to busy with clean up to plant a garden that year.  This year I just couldn’t get motivated.  It would have been nice to have had more fresh veggies, but with the record drought this year, I’m glad I didn’t try.

This year I’ve become almost obsessed with canning.  My uncle had an abundance of tomatoes, so I made several batches of salsa.  Mr. Picky, aka The Boyfriend, even liked the salsa.

Then, a neighbor had an entire field of green beans that needed to be picked before they went to waste.  So, on a very hot afternoon, I picked several bags of green beans.  I spent the next evening hovering around my pressure cooker and reading thru my canning book as I was canning all those green beans.  I even went back a few days later and did it all over again.  However, pressure canning still makes me nervous and I prefer to use the boiling water method whenever possible.

After the green beans, I got on a blackberry kick and made a couple batches of canned blackberries.  Then I made pickles and pickled okra.  Mr. Picky says the pickles almost taste like his grandmas.  I also made pickled okra, but not sure how well it’ll turn out.  Here’s a pic of the pickles.

I made apple pie filling using a recipe I found in my canning book.  I can’t wait for the holidays to try it out!  All I have to do is make my pie crust, dump in a can of filling and bake the pie.  The next night I had a little bit of apple pie filling leftover.  There was a recipe on Pinterest to put apple pie filling in crescent rolls, then wrap them up and roll thru sugar and cinnamon and bake as normal.  Here is the link that I found on Pinterest:  http://www.thingsthatsparkleblog.com/2012/01/pintrest-inspiration.html I tried that and it was delicious!

So I had to make another batch of apple pie filling and put in pint jars for smaller recipes.  Next I tried a recipe for brandied apples.  The recipe says these apples can be used in place of your apples in your baking recipes.  I haven’t tried it yet.  Maybe in an apple cake?

The last recipe I tried was for BBQ Sauce.  The first sauce was a little too chunky, but still tasted like BBQ Sauce.  I tried it again yesterday.  It’s a little smoother, but still pretty thick.  It also has a lot better flavor.  I deviated from the recipe a little (you’re not really supposed to do that when canning – you need to maintain a certain pH and vinegar amounts).  I don’t think my changes will hurt though.  I added extra brown sugar and a little more hot pepper sauce.  I could taste a little bit of spiciness that the first batch was missing.

Here’s a pic of the 1st batch of BBQ Sauce

Well, I think this is enough for a 1st Blog.  If anyone is interested, I’ll share my recipes and what canning books I like to use, as well as more pictures in a future blog.