Friday, August 13, 2010

Bits and Pieces to Wrap Up the Week

All right.....first, the carrots.  They're done.  They're safe in the jars.   They'll stay tasty giving us a ray of sunshine in our winter fare.  For those who are doing canning on a large scale (is anyone?) I wanted to give you a "heads-up" on lids.  Lehman's has a fabulous price on bulk canning lids.  They are generic in that they have no printing on the lids.  They are packaged in paper "sleeves."  And they are considerably discounted from what you would buy at the most economical retail store (Walmart).  So, if you're looking to save, check out Lehman's offering.  They shipped in a day.

Also, I want you to know that I cheat when it comes to carrot flavoring, as well as tomatoes. corn and beets.  I add two teaspoons of a mixture of sugar and salt, to each quart jar.  The mix consists of two parts sugar to one part salt.  It gives the produce a tiny flavor boost and removes bitterness.

Finally, the Shin Karoda carrot grows well in clay soil, is about 7 inches long with a distinctive triangular shape, with a very pointy growing end, that quickly ascends to a FAT top.  They are tasty, too, and mostly easy to can because of their size.  We purchased our seed from Fedco Seeds

But canning carrots is not for the faint-hearted.  It's a bit tedious, and because we have those dratted wire worms, (plus the fact that the ground freezes each winter down to about a foot to foot and a half) it's not practical for us to leave the carrots in the ground, even well-covered.  If it doesn't freeze, we get the worms; if it freezes, we get mushy the alternative is to sort and can them.  And, with a little patience and persistence, we wind up with a very nice product.

Hazel nuts.  I mentioned these because right now, we are harvesting our nut crop for the year.  See how lovely they are?  And I did the "hand-shot" thing just to show you the size of our Royals.  They are huge compared to the normal hazelnut size.

Plums.  Our plum crop this year, aside from the yellow ones which came early, was basically a failure.  These are the only ones I was able to save.  Mold which came from rains at the wrong time, pretty well wiped out most of the tree's produce this year.  So, you win some, lose some!  There's always next year, and this little box will make a small batch of jam. 

Here's the lovely crepe myrtle blooming still!  Comes late and leaves late.

Last night we sat out and watched the meteor shower for about an hour and a half between 10:30 and nearly midnight.  And YES!  We saw several HUGE ones!  I could barely keep my eyes open, but I kept propping them up, waiting for the next one to zip across the sky.  The Milky Way was incredible with its frothy wake purling across the sky!  And the mini-comets streaked right across the Big Dipper.  It was an unexpected gift as we hadn't thought we'd be able to see those Perseids!

The coyotes visited us again last night with their creepy songs, but everything's O.K. this morning. 

On to another week.  It doesn't feel like anything is winding down to any extent!  The State Fair of West Virginia opens today, and it's looking like the weather's going to cooperate!  Best of luck to the fair crew, including Marlene Pierson-Jolliff, Manager!  You go, girl!

Thanks for your visits this past week.  Here's to a lovely weekend for everyone!
See you Monday!


  1. A busy week! We had a house guest and some of the hottest, stillest weather yet -- so were happy to take a day or two off and just visit.

  2. My grandchildren love carrots - unfortunately all they've had at their house is canned from the store but their mom drains the can adds some butter and brown sugar, warms them in the microwave and they eat every bite. :) blessings, marlene

  3. ````````and a lovely weekend to you too Elora and MM -- barbara