Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Making pickles

Well, my sewing machine died. *Right* in the middle of sewing Rebekah's birthday pinafore that I need to have done by Sunday. No local repair shop could get it fixed by Saturday so I drove it to Walnut Creek which is 22 miles away. They will have it done Saturday morning. I have a back-up machine but it too needs adjusted, so that's no help! Since my sewing is derailed I decided to make more pickles; this brings my total to 30 pints. I'd like 50 which is very do-able since there seems to be about 4 metric tons of cucumbers in the garden just waiting to get big enough for me to pickle. This is my own pickle recipe, if you'd like to try it. We'll call it...... Pastoral Pickles in honor of our farm.

Slice up your cucumbers into a 1 gallon container and add 1/2 cup of salt and cover with cold water overnight. In the morning drain and rinse. Pack into jars and place in your oven or dehydrator on 145 to 180ish. This is so they aren't stone cold and will seal better. Then put 3/4 cup water with 2.5 cups vinegar in your blender or Vita-mix or what-have-you. Add 1 medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic and whiz until pulverized. Pour into big kettle and add 4 cups sugar (I never said this was healthy), 1 t turmeric, 1 T pickle spice, 1/2 t celery salt and 1-2 T dry mustard or 1.5 T dijon mustard or pretty much whatever you have. Bring this to a rolling boil and pull your jars out one by one, fill with sauce, remove air bubbles, wipe rim, put on lid & band, and return to oven/dehydrator until your jars are all filled. Turn off oven but leave jars for an hour or so then place on counter and voila'! Pickles! Well, not really. They need to "pickle" for a week or two but canner to tend in July. ;-)

I have also been dehydrating my green beans. I've got almost 2 gallons so I'm pretty pleased with that. We've got potatoes too, but I haven't canned any yet. Yes, I can my potatoes; we can't store anything in our basement.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Elisabethe's new dress

Here is Elisabethe's new dress, all done at last! I did the sleeves on the bias and added a ruffle like a little girl in a CdV that I have. She actually has 2 ruffles on hers whereas Elisabethe only has 1. She's pretty pleased with her new dress in case you can't tell. ;-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shoes and dresses

Finally, this week, after a long wait, I got my Robert Land boots! I'm so thrilled. The really neat thing is that he made them just for me, how rare is that?!? An actual shoe maker made my shoes. OK, so other people probably think I have a real problem with the stuff that I get excited about; but I can't help it! Here's a picture because I knew you'd want to admire them for yourselves.
My other great project has been to finish up the dresses that the girls need for ---. I finished Katie's on Monday and Rebekah's today. Rebekah's is for her birthday and I'm pretty proud of the fact that I got it done with 11 days to spare. Now I need to sew her pinafore. Here are their pictures.
Katie's really laughing here; hence the look on her face!