Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor day means you "labor" all day right?

Isn't the Labor Day holiday for putting aside a weekend to work? Why is it I hear about everyone having picnics and BBQ's and going camping on Labor Day weekend? Gee, I must have been misinformed about this as I thought it meant you had to "labor" all weekend! : ) Just kidding! It is true that is what we have been doing for our Labor Day weekend. Let's see, first we made relish, juiced pears and put up pears in the freezer, then we peeled and sliced apples for drying, juiced some apples, made some applesauce. After Ed finished doing the apples for drying today he went out to the barnyard to do some more chores. He fixed an inner door that was dragging on the floor when you open it, lowered the roost for the turkeys, and put up some chicken wire to keep the baby chicks in their own area with their mama.

Have I mentioned we have had an abundance of cucumbers this year? Some of them got too big before I realized it. What to do with over ripe big pickling cucumbers? Feed them to the chickens, ducks and turkeys, well yeah some of them we did. But then I thought I should make relish from them. You may know they are full of seeds in the middle when they get that big. So you have to cut that out before using them as the seeds are quite developed and tough.

I have a neat thing to share with you, and I have to give credit where credit is due................. this idea was Ed's. Do you know what the little tool is that is called an apple wedger? Looks kind of like a wagon wheel? Well never mind, I will show you in a picture what I am talking about. You know, a picture is worth a thousand words and all that.......

After they are washed, slice the ends off.

Now this is where the handy apple wedger comes in. Set the cuke up on end and position the wedger in the center of it.Now push down on the wedger, and Ta Dah!!!!!! The cuke is wedged with the majority of the seedy center cut out in one piece.

I set the seed part aside and line up the wedges of cukes. The seed core goes into the chicken bucket. (A bucket that I collect scraps in that we feed to the poultry.)

Next I run my knife through them to make smaller chunks. These go into the food processor. Just pulse them and don't put too many in at a time. If you do, what happens is the cukes on the bottom get pureed to mush and you still have big chunks on top that never get chopped. How do I know this you ask????? LOL! Yep, experience is the best teacher.

Here they are in the food processor.

This is what mine looked like after a bit of pulsing.

And this is the finished product. From that dish drainer full of big cucumbers I made 16 pints of relish. There are some of my sweet banana peppers and some onions in their besides the cucumbers.

Here is the dehydrator full of apple slices. This will make a nice little snack item for our girls this winter.

Here is a close up of the apple slices. (Don't pay any attention to the laundry supplies on the shelf beneath the dehydrator.) : )

Here is a picture of the two bags of pears that I put up today. To the right are bags of cranberries we bought last season.

This is the drawer in my freezer where I put up the 26 quarts of green beans from the garden this year.

And last but not least is our two quarts of applesauce and two quarts of apple juice. Not a bad couple of days work. Whew! Am I glad "Labor Day" is over! Now tomorrow I can just pick more peppers and freeze them and pick some plums to can, then there are more apples to do, the cucumbers I am going to try and sell some. I have made enough pickles to last us well over a year!

Oh speaking of pickles, here is my crock full of pickles being made the old fashioned way. I am using a jar of water on top of a plate to weigh the cucumbers down and keep them in the brine. Looks kind of goofy, but hey, it works! Over top of that is plastic wrap to keep out the dust and what have you, and to keep little girls who might live here from poking their fingers or other objects into the brine. ; )

Tomorrow I will get the updated photos of the ducklings posted. I hope!


Mary said...

I love your blog. Did you use a specific recipe for your old fashioned pickles? Do you can them or just leave them in the fridge?

Mrs. Swinson said...

I am happy you enjoy my blog, Mary. Yes I do use a recipe for the pickles. They are the brine cured pickles. I can give you the recipe if you want it.