Retro 70’s Flashback…

I was lucky enough to have gone through the 70’s in my teen years.  Actually, lucky enough to have made it through to see the 80’s.  The era of bell bottom jeans and platform shoes, cut-off shorts and halter tops, tasteless leisure suits (shudder) and Classic Rock blaring from muscle cars parked by lake with everyone trying to look cool in aviator sunglasses.

Smokey & The Bandit, Jaws, Towering Inferno and The Godfather (to name a few) were the blockbusters of the drive-in movie theaters for the decade.  Who misses the drive-in?  Actually, there is still a few operating in … Read more...

How To Make Your Own Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Here is how to make them indoors instead of using the traditional sunshine method, because unless you live in Arizona or New Mexico, Canada’s humid climate isn’t practical unless you want shriveled, mouldy tomato slices.

Instead, make your own sun-dried tomatoes using that lovely steel box sitting in your kitchen.  You know, the one that heats up when you turn the dial thingies?

It’s called The Oven.

All you need is a passel of tomatoes (I am currently inundated with cherry tomatoes and when that happens, I make my own sun-dried tomatoes), a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and … Read more...

Preserving and Canning Food Guidelines

In light of recent news of a jam being responsible for the food poisoning episode last week at Toronto’s annual CNE (Canadian National Exhibition), it shows that even a commercial maker of jam’s and jellies can slip up when making their product.

Home cooks must follow a very strict and rigid set of rules when canning/preserving food for their families to avoid serious illness contracted from bacteria as a result of improper food handling.

I preserve a lot of food for my family, most of it being different types of jams, jellies and tomato products.  I have always taken every … Read more...

Tom-ay-toe or To-mah-toe?

I have oodles and oodles of the luscious red garden fruit and have been in tomato heaven for the past couple weeks.  Highlights have been making Tomato~Basil Jam, Green Tomato Relish, eating them every morning with my toasted cheese and tomato sammie, as well as thinly slicing them for pizza nights.  I have also spent part of this past weekend making homemade pasta sauce.  Which turned out 1000% better than last year’s batch, mainly because last year I had those stupid tomatoes that wouldn’t turn colour until December, no seriously, I had tomatoes sitting on the counter at … Read more...

Painful Weekend

I am so very grateful this morning.  Grateful that it is actually Monday.  Monday should be called the ‘day of rest’, not Sunday.  Hubby and I hurt in so many places, every time we move even a pinkie we both wince.  Watching us get up from a chair, you would think we were in our 90’s.  What is wrong you ask?


The weekend forecast called for clear skies, plenty of sun and temps in the range of 22C to 24C.  Not too hot, just about perfect weather for climbing up on the garage roof to strip off the old … Read more...

It’s Roofing Day!

Or weekend for that matter.  Last year we replaced the roof on the Homestead cottage (read post here), but the garage didn’t get done at the same time and now it needs to.

So up we go again.  Hubby says I don’t have to help with this one as it is a straight 2-sided peak, no funky angles and stuff.

So do I continue to can tomato sauce or go help him?

Tough decision…… I think tomato sauce will win this battle.

Stay tuned for a recap next week!

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Mint Jelly

We are continuing the Jelly theme this week.  Mainly because I have an overabundance of mint (who woulda thunk such a thing could ever happen!), anyone who has ever grown mint can attest to the virility of the fragrant herb.

I used to have mint planted IN the garden.  Then it tried to take over the world.  I dug it up in the Fall a few years ago, then spent a couple Spring’s digging/chopping out runners that were popping up all over.  After 3 years, it has been eradicated from the garden.  Until last year when I started one from … Read more...

Peach Jalapeño Jelly

Peaches are probably my second favourite fruit….right after Strawberries.  Good thing one is out of season before the next comes in, otherwise I wouldn’t know which delicious, delectable delight to grab first.

I have already put away loads of Strawberry Freezer Jam, Strawberry Lemon Marmalade and bags of whole frozen berries…but now it is time for…

Peach Bonanza Season!

Chipotle Peach Jam was made first, with Peach Jalapeño Jelly hot on its heels.  Less labour intensive than the Chipotle Peach Jam, as you just seed and roughly chop the peaches and chop the peppers leaving most of the seeds in … Read more...

Tomatillo Monster

I have a gardening success.
A HUGE gardening success.

I have effectively mastered the art of growing Tomatillos.

Last year I tried to grown them and I failed miserably.  Out of the three plants that were lovingly placed in the ground, 2 died and the third one grew and grew and grew and put forth masses of flowers and continued flowering like it was the last flowering plant on Earth.

But not one Tomatillo developed.
I was devastated.
OK, not really, but it was rather upsetting.

Reason being, Tomatillo plants need another Tomatillo plant beside them in order for the … Read more...

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I am back from Vacation.  Did you miss me?  I hope so.

I love vacations.  They allow you to spoil yourself with too much food, too many spirits, too many late nights and too many days sleeping in.  All that spoiling leads to weight gain and a vacation hangover of monumental proportions.

Time to get back in control before I become the eighth Dwarf named Glutton.

I did accomplish quite a bit of stuff around the Homestead though.  The gardens kept me busy picking and weeding, along with herbs being trimmed, washed and hung to dry.  With the bounty … Read more...