Summer in Oregon

It has been a busy summer here in Oregon.  Last week I canned 21 quarts of peaches and baked a peach pie.

The garden isn’t doing as well as last summer but it still nice to have.  The spaghetti squash alone has been wonderful!

Last week I picked a gallon of blackberries.  The blackberries grow wild and are everywhere!  I am going to try to find a recipe for blackberry salsa.  I had it on salmon once when I was visiting the coast.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Talk about delicious!

I’ve been doing some crafty things, as usual.  It is just fun to lose myself in some creative endeavor.

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Canning, baking and birthdays

I have been enjoying the fall weather and continuing to do some canning since I last posted.  Today I am finishing up some pickled figs.  Our tree has produced so many figs it is ridiculous!  I am completely amazed at how much one little tree can put on!  There are still little ones growing too!

A week or two ago I made some chili sauce using a recipe from my Great Grandmother Empey.  Now that is some delicious chili sauce!

Before that it was grapes.  I am looking forward to drinking that home-canned grape juice this winter.  Yum yum!  We have a couple different varieties of grapes, concord and a lighter variety.  You can see the two side by side in same jar in the picture.

Since the weather has been cooler I have been doing some baking as well.  Nate loves ginger cookies so I made him a batch.  I have to admit that it was my first time baking ginger cookies.

Today is Miss E’s birthday!  So she is the recipient of my first ever hand-carved stamp.  She is OBSESSED with the band, One Direction!  So I made her a “1D” stamp.  I hope she likes it!

I hope everyone is enjoying the last little bit of fall clean-up.  What a beautiful season!

Handcarved stamp for Miss E’s birthday

Culinary creations

Today I decided to try out a new bread recipe.  You can find it here.  I used my kitchen-aid mixer and did the rest by hand. Next time I think I will bake each loaf in it’s own pan… maybe.  I am worried that it won’t quite be done where it touches.

It looks so good!  I can’t wait to eat it tonight!  Ooh we need some honey!  I love honey on fresh bread.

I’ve been able to try out some new recipes lately and it is so fun!  I have a recipe book that is from my mom’s mom’s family.  I am going to start going through those and trying out some of those recipes.

My first real cookbook, that I have used for 30 years, was a Betty Crocker Cookbook that I got at a garage sale, so this baby is old!  The recipes are great though!

I have a cookbook that the county I used to work in put together.  That is a fun one to use too!

The best source of course is always mom’s recipes.

What are your favorite recipes?  Where did you get them from?

In a Jam!

We have been canning since July!  This last week I did 21 quarts of pear-apple sauce.  Yesterday we made tomato jam!  If you have never had it, you are missing out!  I have to say that it is my favorite jam we have made so far.  I like it because it isn’t as sweet as some of the berry jams.  So good!

We planted different kinds of tomatoes this year.  One is a yellow tomato.  It is so good!  I would take one of those tomatoes over a red tomato any day.  I love roma tomatoes but these are even better!

I’ve decided that Oregon has two seasons… wet and dry.  It has been dry for months now.  The lawn is brown.  We have to hand water the garden because it costs too much to just let the sprinkler go.

It has been a good summer though.  I have really enjoyed canning and watching the shelves fill up with food.

So I’m going to show just how yummy the tomato jam looks and our delicious yellow tomatoes.  Too bad you can’t taste it.

This is the recipe we used:

Red Tomato Jam

6 Cups tomato pulp

2 pkgs pectin

2 tsp lemon peel grated

1 tsp salt

4 tsp lemon juice

7 Cups sugar

Combine tomato pulp, pectin, lemon peel and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Add sugar stirring until dissolved.  Return to a boil.  Boil hard for  one minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.  (We didn’t have any.)  Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Place two piece caps on.  Process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.

Yield 5 pints