A bit of Rambling

For the past week or so, things have been so busy. Coming home from our camping trip at the beginning of the month, it feels like the to-do lists have not stopped. It is all work at home type projects so for that, I am grateful. You will not find me out running about off our little property often. I like my home and I enjoy doing work around it with my family and children.

We re-did the school room, which meant massive organizing of books and school related supplies …

I have been canning everything I can get my hands on, which then means the canning room downstairs in our 100 year old basement (not too pretty) needs refreshing and organizing … the meat birds are growing and needing a new pen … we signed up for a bulk ordering program and our first order arrived this week. This, too, means some more organizing and locating of storage bins for food (our first order was fairly small, but still, it needs some organizing).

{breakfast outside on a hot summer morning}

A little thing … I started a sour dough started and am praying I can follow through with it – just need a little determination. 🙂
Our garden is doing great – despite the drought-like conditions this summer in Ontario. We are struggling to keep it watered and I will secretly grateful, in some ways, to finish up the garden. In other ways, I am already excited to plan out next year’s garden as I would like to see MORE produce coming from our little plot of land.

Things we missed out on growing or needed more of:
we need more onions
more potatoes
more carrots

I’m sure there is more but that is what I can think of right now.

Things we did great with:
despite having the horned tomato caterpillar to contend with ….
(we picked three bushels in one day! We will probably have more today, Lord willing)
beans (next year, I will grow more)
squash (not quite ready but looking good)

We invested in some meat – 50 lbs of pork and 50 lbs of ground beef from a Mennonite farm so that meant the freezer(s) were to be organized, as well. I hope to make sausages this fall!

This weekend, my plans are to organize the canning room and can away all the tomatoes that we have harvested from the garden thus far.
I might just can them as diced tomatoes or I may make up a sauce to can since the kitchen herbs are so lovely to use right now. Salsa is on the agenda for next week.

We have canned/put up the following so far:

strawberry jam and mint jelly
{We still have a great variety of jams in the canning room so I did make many types of jam this year}
green beans
sweet corn
(frozen – as pressure canning on my wood cookstove for the required 1.5 hours did not sound appealing in this heat wave we have been experiencing)
dill pickles
bread and butter pickles

{shucking 220 cobs of corn}

I’m tempted to try canning potatoes – is that odd? And maybe some stews and soups for the fall school days.

I am SO looking forward to apple season! It is such a delight to put up apple preserves, apple butter, apple sauce, apple pie filling and more for the winter months. And it makes your house smell so cozy and lovely! Although we do have our own little orchard, we tend to just eat all the apples as they ripen. However, every year, we have a friend who allows us to pick her apples and we had more than enough for last year’s supply. It was such a blessing!

And tonight, we are dedicating our sweet baby boy – it is a pleasant way to get together with loved ones and family to celebrate your baby and promise to raise him according to the Bible. There is no fancy formal dedication – just a grandpa praying over his grandson, but that stirs my heart plenty. I’m grateful for godly grandparents on both sides of our family. What a heritage. God is good – I know both sides of the family have had their struggles in their early years of Christianity and I am so very, very, very grateful that both sets of grandparents have stayed true to the Lord. Praise God!

How is your week going?

P.S. I have some cute pictures of Lazarus in his *adorable* dedication outfit – I shall work on posting that for this weekend … if I can stay up past the girls’ bedtime and not fall asleep myself. 🙂

August 24, 2016 - 10:47 pm

admin Laura, I am going to have a lot of squash so I am thinking about canning it … we shall see how it goes. Thank you for your kind words.

August 24, 2016 - 10:46 pm

admin Jen, I’d love to share some recipes. I will post some for you, although it sounds like you are doing a great job already. 🙂

August 23, 2016 - 8:48 am

amy do your canned beans turn out mushy? We canned some this year to see if we’d like them, but since we like our beans a little on the crunchy side to eat…not a success as they were very soft. I guess I will use them in stews.

August 22, 2016 - 10:42 am

Najla Hi Gillian, I work with Kim and was introduced to your blog by her. I enjoy reading it from time to time as it reminds of Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. It is so refreshing and your photographs are beautiful!

August 20, 2016 - 7:41 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) You are going to be so blessed to have those wonderful canned goods during the winter months!! Good job, Abby Gillian and girls 🙂 Btw, we will have lots and lots of purple plums ready in a couple of days. You are welcome to as many as you want … just you have to come and pick them 🙂 Hurry because all the neighbours will be taking too them since the orchard home is unoccupied right now. Love Mom xo

August 19, 2016 - 10:13 pm

Jennifer Heemskerk Gillian, I am so intrigued by your canning abilities. I would love to hear how you can apples or make apple preserves. We have an apple tree in our backyard and each year we make homemade apple juice and sauce- but the other options you mentioned sound scrumptious. Care to share your recipes? =)

August 19, 2016 - 7:54 pm

Laura Canning is an awesome way to preserve food for the winter. My oldest daughter and I have canned winter squash in the past. It makes it really convenient to mash and use later. We have not canned potatoes, but a friend of mine has. Easy to make mashed potatoes. I have also heard that canning zucchini and yellow summer squash is possible. I guess it’s used in casseroles. My daughter (15 years old) and I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. You seem like a kindred spirit.