Monday, September 1, 2014

Sampler Quilt, Canning Update, & Zucchini Report

I love sampler quilts.
I love sampler quilts in spite of the fact that they require a ton of stitch-in-the-ditch.
I had fun with this.  Lots of straight lines, pearls, and motifs.
This quilt was rolled back and forth several times.
  1. all the black s.i.d. work and black straight line work, with the big base attached.
  2. all the black freehand background swirls with the big base off.
  3. put the IQ tablet on, quilt the black borders with the IQ.
  4. change to red thread, quilt red sashings & red motifs using IQ.
  5. put the big base back on, quilt straight lines in red thread.
  6. change to green thread, quilt straight lines (big base still attached).
  7. remove big base, quilt green IQ motifs.
  8. change to gold thread, quilt IQ motifs.  Demonstrate risky behavior and quilt a few diagonal straight lines without putting the big base on.
  9. Whew.  Done.  Unzip and check back, clip threads, reload and requilt a tiny spot.  Ok, now it's REALLY done.  Cocktail hour.  :-)
Oy.  Tomatoes.  This week I did 12 quarts of basic tomato sauce with Italian seasonings, and an additional 6 quarts of Marinara Sauce.  I also tried Carmelized Onion Relish.  Recipe here.  This is good, but (I think) a bit too sweet.  I may try it again some day and skip the brown sugar.  To be fair to the recipe author, I used those gargantuan sweet onions instead of red onions, and that may account for the sweetness.

But I also want to reiterate my love for the pressure canner.  No water boiling all over the stove.  Low temp on the range.  Shorter processing time. 
Here's an example from all these darned tomatoes:
  • follow directions which say add 3 quarts water to canner
  • I put the empty jars in there and heat them up while the water is getting hot
  • fill the jars & put the lids on
  • close the canner - it now takes about five minutes at high heat to start spitting steam
  • allow it to vent (steam) for ten minutes.  I can turn the burner down to mid-high for this part, as long as I still have steam venting.  (for once the steam is coming from somewhere besides out of my ears! ha ha)
  • turn the heat back to high and put the weight on the steam vent, allowing pressure to build to 11 lbs. - this takes about eight minutes
  • when 11 lbs. is reached, time the processing for ten minutes.  Again, here I can turn the stove down to low, or to off, to maintain that pressure.
  • done.  Total stove time - 33 minutes.  For about a third of that time I have turned the burner either OFF or down to LOW.
I think (?) if I were using a water bath these would have required 45 or so minutes in the canner.  I know the canner was expensive (over a hundred bucks) but I'll have it forever and those benefits I listed make that outlay worthwhile to me.


Picked this week:  5 (one of these was huge - bad DH foisted it on our favorite neighbour)
Picked YTD:       54

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