Tuesday, August 10, 2010

PLAYPENS & PICKLING

Well a big HI there and hello this Tuesday morning! How are you doing today? I'm good... a bit tired but once I shake the cobwebs out, it will be ok LOL. I have lots of things planned today so I have to get motivated somewhat quick like LOL! I got a couple of freecycles to pick up this morning and some errands to run and of course there is my sewing, etc. Now to my mother and her comment yesterday... I don't know how I come up with the themes... its just whatever hits me at the moment I guess. Like this weeks theme... you know how I love peppers and when I went to the store last, I found these ginormous beautiful jalapenos and thought of all the different things I do with them and how it might be fun for everyone else. So basically they just normally start with something I like, or see, or think about. And I won't lie, there have been a couple that came to me that I immediately 86'ed cause once I sat and thought about it, it didn't excite me. So there ya'll go... the method behind my madness LMAO!



I want to tell everyone this... which you already know but I will say anyways LOL... I LOVE SECOND-HAND STORES! OMG... so you know how I am watching my DN now right and have been looking for baby stuff to make it easier to care for him. Well yesterday, we went out and was looking for bigger things like playpens, strollers, etc. cause we plan to have him overnight quite a bit very soon. Well we went to this one store specifically for kids called Small Changes Kids in League City and they had some really great stuff. BUT you know what makes them an even BETTER store?? I was able to rpint off a $5 coupon off their website!!!!!! TOO COOL! Resale AND Coupons?? OMG I am so going back for more things whenever I need them LOL! If you are in my area and have little ones, be SURE to visit the site and then go to the store and check them out! You won't be disappointed... I wasn't! We found a like new Graco Pack 'N Play for less than half the normal selling price!

Alright, time to stretch your brain a bit! I was reading an article on Yahoo finance about how the rich rule the economy basically (DUH) and then I was following some links and stumbled across a page showing yahoo's top 5 questions and answers. One of them particularly caught my eye... and I want to show you... shoot ASK you the same thing! It really makes you think about life and what is important to you.

OP was ID of "sandhaw" asked: What could I buy today that would greatly enhance my life if the dollar became worthless?

Best Answer by "kricket" said: Not exactly sure what you mean by "greatly enhance my life", but Ill try to help. Seeds for edible plants. MRE's or other preserved food. Possibly a book or two on edible plants that grow in the area where you live. Bow and arrows. Water purification kit. In my opinion, if you can eat and have water to drink, you should consider your life as being "greatly enhanced". Hope this helps


I think its an extraordinary question actually... can you answer it? First off, how would you want to "enhance your life"? Are you the kind of person who wants the "name brands"... BMW's and big houses, etc. or do you want middle class luxuries or what? I think to answer this question, one must do alot of soul searching and maybe find out what is really important to them if they don't already know. Did the author maybe mean to "sustain" his life? In that event, you have to think about the bare necessities to survive. Changes outlooks and answers completely! Either way, I wanted to bring this little thought provoking gem to the table this morning. Come on folks, exercising the brain is good for you! So gnaw on this one for a while!



OMG while exercising my brain LOL and thinking about some crafts to do, I just realized how close homecoming is and that I need to get started on mums for the girls! Wow, I have about a month and I still haven't even looked to see what I need, etc... man I am seriously far behind LOL! Guess maybe I should add that to my list of challenges? LOL! Homecoming for us is September 24th I believe... and each year at MINIMUM I have to make 2-3 full-size mums... I am talking ribbons, mums, trinkets, trappings, bells and whistles, etc.! Crazy I know, but the BFF's are so happy to have matching mums... and as the "cool mom" I can't let them down LOL!

Ok now for your crafty visions today, I found this idea at Allfrecrafts.com and thought OMG that is too cute! Then I can see them for locker magnets for school which starts soon YAY! LOL... and I am always recycling old jeans and such, so why not? So I bring it to you today!



Craft Idea of the Day: Denim Pocket Magnets

Supplies:

denim jean pockets cut from old jeans

fabric paint

lace trim

ribbon flowers (optional)

fridge magnet

hot glue or craft glue

Instructions:

1. Carefully cut the pockets from the jeans.

2. Beginning and ending at the back, glue lace trim around the top of the pocket.

3. If desired, glue a small ribbon rose to each top corner.

4. Write "Coupons" or "Notes" or whatever you wish on the front in fabric paint, following the manufacturer's directions.

5. Glue a magnet to the back of each denim pocket and stick the fridge. Enjoy!

Ok so for today's choice for HOPPIN JALAPENO WEEK, I am going to preserve these royal lovelies! I must savor them all year long and there is no better ways to have a taste of summer abundance than canning and pickling and jellies! Jalapeno pepper plants put forth a high yield over a long growing season and can in all but the worst years easily produce more peppers than a single person or family can use as they come. Many hot peppers-cayenne, ancho, and pasilla, to name a few-can simply be dried, but the thick flesh of the jalapeno limits its usefulness as a dried pepper.

Pickling is a common alternative, and known as "jalapenos en escabeche" it is traditional. Pickled jalapenos are a common condiment-the jalapeno pepper rings often served with ballpark nachos are pickled-and can be used in place of fresh jalapenos to add heat and pepper flavor to a dish as long as the recipe is adjusted to account for the vinegar.

The simplest way to prepare pickled jalapenos is in the refrigerator, but for long keeping, pickled jalapenos can also be canned in a hot water bath. One refrigerator pickle recipe and two canned pickle recipes (based on current USDA guidelines) follow:



REFRIGERATOR JALAPENO PICKLES

Ingredients:

Jalapeno peppers
garlic (optional)
onion (optional)
vinegar
sea salt or canning salt

Method:

1. Peppers can be either left whole, cut into rings with the slicing disk of a food processor, or have their tops removed. If leaving whole, cut slits into the pepper lengthwise to allow vinegar to enter.

2. Pack the peppers into a Mason jar or swingtop jar, layering with garlic cloves and chopped onion if desired.

3. Mix one teaspoon of salt with each cup of vinegar being used. The total amount will depend on the size of the jar and how tight the peppers are packed. Heat salt-vinegar solution to a simmer and pour over peppers. Close the jar and store in the refrigerator.

CANNED WHOLE PICKLED JALAPENOS

The USDA recipe, but with jalapenos only, and with an extra teaspoon of salt in place of the sugar. Scale it downward in size by keeping the brine proportions the same. This can also be turned into a mixed-pickle recipe by adding garlic, onion, carrot, and bell pepper; a hot carrots mix is especially good if seasoned with a bit of cilantro.

Ingredients:

7 lbs jalapeno peppers
5 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
1 cup water
5 tsp canning, sea, or kosher salt

Procedure:

(1) Either cut the jalapenos in half, remove their tops, or slit them deeply, three or four times per pepper, so vinegar can penetrate to the inside of the fruit.
(2) Pack the peppers into pint jars. Add garlic or other seasonings if you like.
(3) Mix the vinegar, water, and salt and heat to a boil.
(4) Pour the brine over the peppers



Jalapeno Jelly

Ingredients

1 large green bell pepper
12 jalapeno peppers
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 pinch salt
4 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces liquid pectin
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
A few drops of green food coloring (optional)

Directions

Combine the green bell pepper and 12 jalapeno peppers in the container of a food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped. This can be done in batches, if the peppers do not fit.

Transfer the peppers to a large saucepan, and stir in the cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through at least 2 layers of cheesecloth, and discard pulp. You should have about 1 cup of liquid.

Return the liquid to the saucepan, and stir in the salt and sugar until dissolved.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down), boil for one minute, then stir in the liquid pectin.

Stir in the food coloring and remaining jalapeno peppers, and ladle into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal jars in a hot water bath. Refrigerate jelly after seal is broken.

(**NOTE the more seeds you leave in, the hotter your jelly will be!**)

Well everyone, that's it... a little bit of spice in your life courtesy of the jalapeno! I hope you have enjoyed today's visit and will come back tomorrow for more crazy fun and adventures. As for me today? Time to take it easy... I have GOT to get my back working right again so its resting and easy crafts and such. I might even put the back brace on today LOL! I'm off "Aunt Duty" so I am gonna use this time to catch up on household things... unless of course something better comes up (anything is better than cleaning LMAO!). SO be safe in wherever life takes you today and everyday and until next time... HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"August 10, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    That WAS a very good question you posted today in your blog and I agree with you that it really depends on priorities and how the words "greatly enhance" is perceived by the reader. To me, if the bottom fell out of the economy and "the dollar" was worthless the first thing one would have to consider would be your everyday survival. There are many people in this mode of thinking already. You would be surprised. I even get a magazine called "Backwood Homes" that covers many situations in this catagory. If you stock your pantry to include food for several months at a time you are in this mode. If you recycle, reuse, repurpose and remodify things, you are in this mode. If you grow a garden, catch rainwater in barrels, sew your own clothes or can repair the things you have, you are in this mode. So you see, the question depends on priorities. Do you have extra cash on hand all the time? Do you roll your change and put it in your sock drawer? Do you use coupons to buy things? Do you shop for only the necessities most of the time. Then you are in survival mode. Pretty funny to put it that way, huh? For me, its being frugal and wise. For others its survival. Funny how people perceive things, isn't it? You see.....I think about that question a lot! LOL
    I love those pocket magnets! Those would be a fun gift card holder for a tween or teen too. Or maybe even to put on your frig as a way to hold a reminder note or kids picture they are proud of. Cool craft you found there!
    I have canned jalapenos before and believe Renee when she says their delicious. Theres something about canning yourself that is not only fulfilling but fantastic. When you do it yourself, there are no preservatives in them and you can definitely taste a difference! My son loves when I make homemade salsa. He says that he can taste the freshness of the peppers in it and he loves it. It makes me smile when we are in a restaurant and they serve chips with salsa on the table and he says, "Its good but mom's is better". Love that boy! My kids are great kids. They all know how to make me smile in their own special ways. LOL
    Well, since my body is achy, I think I will take a cue from Renee today and make it a resting and easy crafts day today too. Til next time.......

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  2. Your mom is right. It all depends on how we look at things to what is important to us. A very good question to ask. And your mom is also right that you make your blog fun to read with your great themes and ideas and such. I am sitting here in my car right now reading. Thank you so much for all you do for so many of us.

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