It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Of Pickling and Pies

I'm sorry I've been such an absentee blogger these last few weeks. I have some major health issues that I haven't quite figured out how to deal with, and it's taking its toll. From bulging discs to narrowing nerve tunnels at the base of my spine, I spend a lot of time on a heating pad and I'm having to take pain meds, which I HATE!!! My doctor is have trouble finding something that works for me, because the pain meds that might help and would put most people to sleep, which is good, well, they keep me awake. I mean for 24 to 48 hours awake! And the body that doesn't sleep, doesn't heal. I just get more and more tired, which doesn't help anything, either.

Okay....on to another subject. In August, I took a class that was offered to the community garden volunteers to learn how to preserve the food from the garden. I have done quite a bit of bottling, but it was YEARS ago, and I know things have changed, so I signed up. And I had never really done any dehydration before, so I wanted to learn that, too. We bottled dilly beans, pickled beets, catsup, salsa, tomatoes, tomato juice, relish and tomato-apple chutney. We dried those same vegetables, too. We had a wonderful teacher. Her name is Marian and she is a Master Food Preserver and Educator. She is really funny, too. She kept us going, but kept us on track at the same time. Her other half, Gene, is a great guy, too. Here are a few photos from that experience.

This is some of the produce from the garden.

We grew some delicious tomatoes!

Here we are, listening to Marian as she talks about
food preservation safety.

This was our group.

And this was part of our bounty.

On Monday and Tuesday of this last week, part of us got together again to learn how to process squash and make pumpkin pies from scratch. In those two days, we made 80 pies! 40 of them went to the Men's Gospel Mission in Medford, 20 went to a group home here in Gold Hill, a few went to the custodians of the middle school, whose kitchen we used, a few to some other people, and the rest were split between the 6 of us doing the baking. I got home with three pies for our family. We gave one to Hally's Girl Scout leader. It was fun and I learned a lot. Since winter squash comes on during the school year, I never saw my mother process it, though I know she did, so this was all new to me. Here are some photos. I forgot to take a picture of all the pies before we boxed them up and shipped them out, darn it!

This is Gene with his saw. We
never could have done it without him!

Lots of squash.

Waiting to be scraped for processing.

This handy gadget separates the stuff you don't want
from the stuff you do. When we were bottling tomatoes,
it sent the peel and seeds one way and the meat of the
another way. With the squash, it sent the pulp
one way and the meat the other way. It was great!

Boxing up the pies!

The quiche we made for lunch on Tuesday. It was yummy!

Well, that's a little bit of what I've been doing with my time. I may not be up to par yet, but I'm mot totally out of it! Until next time, remember.......what you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it! Take are all, 

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