This weekend was pretty nice. Friday we cooked out on the beach with our friends. We are lucky to live only a few block from Lake Michigan. We grilled fajitas on our little Smokey Joe and made a bonfire once it got dark.

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Rocks = ring of fire, kids keep out!

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The parents had just as much fun with that plane as the kids. ūüôā

The kids got sooooo dirty rolling in the sand and being crazy!

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“For just pennies a day you could make a difference in the life of a child.”

My friend sent me this picture of Morgan with that caption.. Damnit! I about died laughing.. Which is probably completely¬†inappropriate… But you know it’s funny.

Saturday Gianna and I went to the farmers market in the morning- I love going there every week. I meet the nicest people and the food is great.¬†Later we went out for sushi with grandpa (trying to show gramps¬†some¬†culture, at an 80’s decorated sushi¬†place, in S.E. Wisconsin.. ha! It’s the best sushi I have ever had though!), then we went to the shooting range. We had the range to our self, which it always nice. ūüôā

Sunday afternoons I like to bake. I made and froze pancakes for the week. I made banana bread. Then I made a small batch of pickles from the cucumbers in my garden.

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The recipe I used was Bread and Butter Pickles. This is the first time I have used a mix to make pickles. It was really easy to make. The Ball mixes have good reviews, I figured it was worth a try. Has anyone used one of the Ball mixes before? I usually use the pickle recipes in the Blue Book guide. When I get more cucumbers, I will do my favorite dill pickles!

Canning is pretty simple. Keep everything clean, “when in doubt, throw it out”, and try not to kill your family with botulism… I only can high-acid foods, so hopefully I wont have to worry about that. For the past¬†4 years I have canned jams in the spring, pickles¬†and tomatoes in¬†the summer, and apple butter,¬†sauce, and pie filling in the fall.¬†It’s really a good skill to learn and get comfortable with.

 

                                                            Bread and Butter Pickles РBall Recipe

You Will Need:

  • For every 2 quarts of pickles:
  • 3 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 14 small to medium)
  • 2 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ball Bread & Butter Pickle mix
  • 2 Quart (32 oz) Fresh Preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:

  1. CUT ends off cucumbers. Cut into 1/2 inch slices.
  2. COMBINE vinegar, sugar, and Ball Bread & Butter pickle mix in a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil.

3.¬† PREPARE canner, jars, and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions.

4. PACK slices into hot jars. Ladle hot pickling liquid over slices leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.

5.  PROCESS in boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude*. For best flavor, allow pickles to stand for 4-6 weeks.

 

The hardest thing about making pickles is the waiting to taste them. The waiting is kinda fun too though.

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Homemade canned pickles and jams, etc.. make really nice gifts. They have colored jars now, like these green ones, and craft stores have fun labels too.

 

Hopefully my cucumber plant does really good this year and I can make jars and jars of pickles to eat all year. ūüôā

 

I hope you had a nice weekend!

-ash

 

 

 

 

 

 

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