I'm so excited. Clark bought me some freezer jam jars, a water bath canner and a pressure canner this weekend. I have long talked about canning and having fresh food for us all winter long, but never seemed to get it done (plus pressure canners scared me after hearing the horror stories my mom and grandmother would tell) but this year I'm going to get it done. Since we have a small garden this year and it is doing well and the price of food it going up all of the time, I want to make a greater effort to can and freeze as much food possible. I'm starting with freezer jam which I have done successfully before. I have found a great recipe for freezer jam that use Splenda as the sweetner so Clark can have as much as he wants. Also Ball now makes a No Sugar Added pectin for canning so that will help with any jams and jellies that I decide to can for the winter. I also have experience with the water bath canner and canning tomato sauces, but I normally just use my stock pot so I can't seal very many jars at one time. With my new canner I can seal seven quarts or ten pints at once. Much better! The pressure canner will be my new experience so I plan to read the directions very well and talk to people who can on a regular basis to get any advice possible. So if you have any to throw my way, go ahead. It will be greatly appreciated. For the things that just do not can well, I still have my chest freezer to store things in. I plan to put food up from my garden, trade things from my garden for things from my friends gardens and of course buy from the farmers market. I can't wait until harvest time. We have a few things at the farmers market now, but it will really pick up by the end of June. This gives Clark a project to work on as well. I need somewhere to store all of this wonderful food, so it is Clark's job to build some shelves in our downstairs office closet. It is coolest room in the house and I really don't store anything in that closet so it will be shelves and Ball jars from floor to ceiling. Wish me luck and of course I will post updates!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I just love it when you get a good candid photo that you know will mean so much later when you look back on it. This is my new favorite picture of my daughter. I was changing out my closets the other night, switching the winter clothes to the guest room and bringing in the summer clothes to the closet in our room. Clark offered to take care of Abbey for me and so they just played on the bed and watched TV in our room so we could all be together and I looked up and saw this so I ran and got the camera as quickly as I could to have it as a reminder of the two people I love the most in this world. Just wanted to share!
Posted by Carrie Sparks McClain at 8:27 AM
Friday, May 2, 2008
Many of you know my cousin Shanna, who I'm very close to. Some of you might also know that she and her sweet husband Josh have had a hard time getting pregnant. Although the reason behind the difficult time was different than our situation, the empty feelings were the same. They tried for two years and saw a couple of different doctors who told them the same thing. Chances were slim and they might want to concider InVitro. This coming on the heels of our success with IVF, they were eager to give it a try, and I'm proud to say that this morning they discovered they were expecting. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They used the same doctor and the same clinic we did so it really became a family affair and we are so happy for them. It will be a couple of weeks before they know if they are having twins or not and even longer to find out if it is a boy or a girl, but that just gives them so much to look forward to. Now I get to dig up all my pregnancy books to pass along to them and I do so gladly. Great going guys!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see Abbey's little cousin and have history repeat itself. I know they will be very close too.
Posted by Carrie Sparks McClain at 9:23 AM