The end of the garden is so near. Canning is going full time here at my house..every day it is one or two things being made. August thru the end of Sept. is like a rat race for me.....and then add Fall cleaning on top of it, makes the home very busy and active and different!!!! I take down the summer lace on all the windows, and put up the heavier lace and heavier drapes. In some rooms I have a thick velvet drape,over the lace, and in others, I have a heavy cotton with liners, over the lace. Have to keep the cold out!!!! Pillows change on the sofa, porch furniture gets a scrubbing and put back for the winter.. we have wicker. Summer clothes out, Winter clothes, in, from the storage trunks....mattresses are turned, comforters brought out, and the most important!! FLANNEL SHEETS!!!! We get the wood box filled, the wood stove primed and ready, the cords of wood covered......flower beds mulched, straw laid on the perennial vegetables, roses are covered with
burlap, fruit trees mulched and
tender trunks covered from the hard winds. and, the list can go on!! But, I get
it all done by the end of Sept.! so I can enjoy Fall ! We live on a high hill,
with a deep woods on one side, so the winds are always there....the woods
protect from one side, but we also have winter animals that come into the yard,
looking to nibble trunks, or anything they think they can!! Most of all we have
gets covered, caged, mulched, in some way-
Canning becomes so routine, it is
boring! So I look for new things to try! Carrots are one! How many carrots can
you freeze, shred, can?! I have a very easy, quick, spiced pickled carrot recipe
to share. Also, peppers!! Not the green , sweet bell peppers, but if you grow
these, or find them at the market, and do not want to cook them or freeze them,
you can thread them , and hang them to dry!
Bell peppers do not always work well this way, as they are too
fleshy, too big, and can easily spoil before drying. If you have smaller bell
peppers, it will work. They will eventually turn red, and be dried. If you want,
you can cut them into small strips for pimentos....in cheese dips,sauces,
Anaheim, banana,Poblano, Hungarian yellow wax, cherry pepper, cayenne,
are the most commonly grown, after bells, and they dry beautifully.
carpet thread, it is heavier, and more durable, and a darning needle. Gather
your peppers, wash, dry, then thread them on a long string of carpet thread.
Take the darning needle and go just under the top of the pepper, the part
usually cut off, where the stem is. You want the pepper to stay well on the
thread and not spoil, taking the needle into the flesh proper, will cause
spoiling. slide the pepper down to the end of the thread, where you have already
tied a knot, and thread another on, slide it down to where it just reaches the
first pepper, but not touching, if possible. Some parts of the peppers will
touch, and that is ok, you don't want the whole pepper touching the next whole
pepper, they need space for air to move around them. Thread as many as you want,
and watch that it does not get too heavy. When you have a good length of
peppers, make a BIG loop at the top, and hang that loop over a hook, somewhere
that will be out of the way, in the
kitchen. Some sunlight on it will not
hurt it, but not all day sun. I have cast iron skillets on the wall, and I use
the hooks for the peppers, hanging them right over the skillets!! when I need a
skillet, I move the peppers. They will take about all winter to dry....sometime
in Feb you can test them, if they are truly dry enough, place them in a jar, and
on your cooking shelf! I always put a few bay leaves in the bottom of the jar
first..never know if you dried a few live bugs too!!! The bay leaves keep bugs
out, or kills them.....When you are cooking and need a pepper, you have a jar
full of them! I like to keep them on hand for making tomato soup and catsup.
Handy for sauces too. and, your friends, when they stop by will be so impressed
with your decorating skills!!! Especially when you tell them you can eat your
Bell peppers are best frozen, in halves, with the stems
and seed out, wrapped several at a time, Using waxed paper, lay one half on the
waxed paper, roll the paper over, add another pepper, and so on. Slide into a
plastic bag, or a plastic container, and freeze. They can also be chopped and
You can buy the baby carrots in the bag, or use your own home
grown ones, or market finds. This recipe is easily halved. so if you have just
one pound, it can be put in the fridge, or 2 pounds, it will can 3 pints, 4
pounds will can 5 pints.
4 lbs carrots-
6 c white vinegar
2 t canning salt
mixed pickling spices
2 t whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (
or one large one , broken in half to fit into a spice bag)
1 t whole
allspice ( if you want a spicier pickle- I did not use it)
carrots- if using the baby carrots, wash well, no need to pare.
1/4'" sticks ( baby carrots need only to be cut in half)
Cook carrots in
boiling water 5 mins.Drain.
Combine sugar, vinegar, salt , in pot, put rest
of spices in a muslin bag or cheese cloth, add to the vinegar mix. Bring to a
boil, 5 mins.
Add carrots to the vinegar mix and bring to boil again, cook 5
Pack in jars, leave 1/2 " head space, pour the vinegar solution over
the carrots( the solution is what you gauge your head space).
Hot water bath-
10 mins, for pints.
These are a sweet, spicey, pickle....not a "hot"
If you are growing winter squash, it is too early to cut them
from the vine, and if you buy them from the store, or market, and have several,
be sure they are in a place where no sun hits them, and it is a cooler room.
winter squash, in the house, stored this way, can last thru Feb.!
you enjoy this time of year...try the carrots! You can use a small bag- and put
them in the fridge, eat them in about 5 days- they need to marinate in the