Friday, June 24, 2016

Can Do

The Rogue Valley is a generous when it comes to farmer's market bounty. Fruits and veggies of all stripes abound from April to November and this year I'll be saving a little of that summer in a jar and learning to can. The glass electric cooktop we chose 16 years ago was a poor choice for canning and not my favorite but neither one of us wanted to bring in liquid gas for just a cooktop. A couple of years ago Ball came out with an electric water bath canner and I waited a bit longer to see the reviews come in and got one first hand locally too. No time like the present.

The canner came this past Wednesday and I picked up a hefty assortment of Strawberries, Tay, Blue and Marion berries and one little pint container of Raspberries. Those may end up as nibblers. The weather is cool and I'm thinking a perfect day for our first foray into an age old art. With luck I won't poison friends and family.

We've had our share of visitors this past week. Miss Raccoon has been feasting at the buffet under the bird feeders. This was taken about 8:00p.m. Monday night. Her usual arrival time.

 The birds throw a good amount of the seed around and with her sensitive little fingers she sifts through the shells for the fat rich intact seeds. I didn't get a picture but Raccoon and Fox happily share the seed. They were side by side, a whisker apart, searching peacefully. There is a lesson in that.

The fox retrieves the eggs nightly.

egg 1
egg 2
 One evening I saw the pair out together and I'm betting the youngsters were out also on the forests edge waiting for the evening hunting foray to begin in earnest.

Weaving came to halt last week, a little progress was done on the linen and hemp warp, but not much.
We did get two apple trees planted and caged from deer.  These two are Pink Lady.

 If they take well I'll try putting in a few more and maybe a pear or two.

In the sewing salon a few easy quick makes made it out. The patterned portion of this cute tank was a sale fabric from the winter.

There was only a bit over a yard so I paired it with a lightweight natural linen I had in the scrap box and did a cute shirt tail type hem.

The white linen crop top is all leftover fabric using the top portion only of the Peplone pattern.

 I added pockets but I'm not sure they are worth the effort for future short versions.

Lastly is the beautiful black and white border print I picked up on Etsy. I used a TNT crossover tunic pattern and spent a lot of time carefully cutting it out to maximize the pattern.

 I'm very pleased with it. The cotton fabric is such a beautiful weight and weave, smooth and light, almost like a lawn but not quite. This print is made by Art Gallery Fabrics.

I need to get new pics of the gardens for next post. The weather should be darn near perfect this weekend and I want to spend a bit of time just kicking back and enjoying it, time for some fresh air spinning I think.

Parting shot: When you look over your shoulder, I'll be there.


  1. We went with a glass top range for the same reasons but you know what? it works just fine for canning! I use the big old enameled waterbath canner on it every summer. BTW, we freeze all our berries; we like their flavor much better that way. I save canning for tomatoes, prunes, cherries, apple and pear sauce and butters, pickled green beans, grape juice, and green tomato salsa.

  2. I know you enjoy all the wildlife around your place! How wonderful that you get to see a fox so clearly....usually they're a blur as they streak away!!! LOVE the new tops!

  3. I hope that your canning adventure goes well! My husband loves to make jam, so he's does the canning in our family. Fresh berries taste so good! I hope that your apple trees thrive. That's cool that you get to watch the wildlife each day, coming to get food. Thanks for sharing the photos!

  4. I hope canning went well yesterday. I've got a glass top stove too (2nd house with one) and they've worked just fine for canning using my enamel canning pot. The electric canner looks great though.

    Love the new sewing.

  5. Cindie, Canning did go well and I'm pretty happy with the electric canner.

    Judy, Lucky you to have a go to canner in the family. The berries this year are fab. I'm sure he more normal winter water-wise helped.

    LA, I do, wildlife watching is always entertaining. I get to see things a lot of folks don't. Blessed I am, except for the deer. ;-) I love the new tops too.

    Michelle, Great info, but I have to admit for this canning newbie, the electric canner with it's continuous boil made me feel better, esp. with our elevation and the extra time I have to add. We did freeze up some strawberries for fresh tasting smoothies come winter!

  6. Happy canning! I've done it over the years, but pretty much have retired for now, except for an occasional chutney.

    My favorite combo for freezer jam (if you do it) is raspberry/peach or tayberry/peach. We grow lots of berries here. They're almost weeds! This year, I'm trying vinegars made with raspberries & tayberries.

  7. Jack, you are such a cutie pie! Theresa, love the cross over tunic pattern, the fabric you chose is perfect!