Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dry Canning

I've not been feeling well for over a month, so I've had lots of time to be on the Internet looking for new ideas.  When I saw this particular idea, my mind was blown! I love, love, love canning and to find another way to do it is like a HUGE deal to me.  And even though I have basically been couch ridden, the instructions were easy and quick enough that I was able to be up a few minutes at a time and do a couple batches.

I found a couple of pins on Pinterest where I gathered all the information I needed to start.  You can find them on my Pinterest Preserves board.

Never heard of dry canning? Neither had I. What it is, is canning dry ingredients, such as oats, flour, corn meal, dry beans, some lower fat nuts, etc in the oven.  Once sealed these jars of food are supposed to last up to 30 years.  (I wouldn't want to be the one to test that theory!)  I'd like to use mine up within 5 years.

The process is easy.  Take clean, dry jars.  This is a great way to use up those 1/2 gallon and pickle jars you have laying around.  Just be sure they are not too wide. I don't think the heat can reach the middle if it's too wide.  I used some jam jars from the grocery store, cheese whiz type jars and lots of canning jars.

Now fill them up to 1/2" head space with whatever you are canning.  I canned oats, barley and multi grain cereal I had gotten from a bulk order and I canned the bag of pecan halves I bought from Costco before Christmas and didn't end up using.

Put these jars on a cookie sheet and place in oven.  Do not put lids on them yet.  Now all the instructions I found online said to bake them at 200deg for 60 mins.  But, as I read all the comments, I found a lot of women saying they had condensation in their jars after they were sealed.  This meant they had to do it all over again. But one lady left a comment that she baked the jars at 225 for 90 mins and has never had a moisture issue.  So, I chose her method and didn't have any moisture build up.

So, you put them in the oven on the cookie sheet and then turn the oven on to 225.  This ensures the jars have a slow heat increase and lessens their chance of cracking.

After the 90 mins is up, take the jars out one at a time and wipe the rims with a barely damp cloth, place the lid or snap lid on and tighten.  Place on a tea towel on the counter.  As they cool, the lids will seal with a pop.  I read that for this type of canning that you can reuse your old snap lids as long as the rubber is all still intact.  So, that is exactly what I did.  Here are some of the lids I used.

After they have all cooled, check that they have sealed, write the year on them and store in a cool, dark place.

Even though I really am only going on the word of other women that have been doing this for years and have never had any problems, I feel safe using this method of "canning" because these are just dry food.  The worst that can happen to them, is they will get rancid or stale, which would happen anyway.  But with the absence of bugs and air, it really should last longer.  Just remember to use your own judgement.

This post is linked up to;  The Homesteading Hippy   So Much at Home Wake Up Wednesday

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Little Craft Project

My awesome neighbour invited me to "Craft Night" at her church last Saturday.  I had been to two last year and loved them. The lady in charge does such a great job and plans projects that are so amazing.

This time we made a picture holder out of a piece of wood.  She had the words cut from vinyl, but you could use a stencil.

We stained the wood and put the letters on.  Then we glued the paper heart with words onto a wooden heart she had for us and then glued the heart in place.

We screwed little binder clips to hold the pictures and tied jute around it.  I glued this in place when I got home so it wouldn't fall off.

It turned out great.

Here are the things we made last year;

I will leave you with the quote we heard at the craft night in regards to "Every heart has a story to tell".  She said she had seen it on Facebook and it gave her a lot to think about and it could give us a lot to think about too.

"There wouldn't be a person you didn't love if you had read their book".

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year

As I face another year, I'm thinking I need a little encouragement.  This year has had it's challenges and I look forward to "starting a new".

But I know the only way for me to have a better year, is to focus on the Lord.  I pray that God will guide and strengthen me to face what this next year might hold for me. And I pray for God's blessing of a good year.

I'm not going to make any resolutions this new year. Well, only to put my life in God's hands and do the best I can.

It makes me think of this bible verse;  (which I copied off my daughters blog.)

I pray for God's blessings on all of you in 2016. God Bless and happy New Year!

Monday, November 30, 2015


Yesterday marked the first Sunday of Advent.

Our church celebrates advent for the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas and also on Christmas Eve at our candle light service.

It is so good to keep advent in mind as we approach Christmas. It is our way to prepare our hearts to worship our Savior who's birth we celebrate and to keep our focus on what's important.

Advent simply means, , coming, as in Christ who came into the world as a baby to die for you and me and who is coming again to take us to Heaven.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Generally, to celebrate advent, we use a wreath and 5 candles of different colours.  Each week we read the advent reading and light a candle.

The wreath is a circle, with no beginning and no end, symbolizing God's love for us.

The first candle we lit yesterday was the purple candle, which is the Candle of Hope.

And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:12-13).

We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises He made to us. Our hope comes from God.

When I was a child we always had an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. I didn't think much of it then what it all meant.  But as our children use the same advent calendar I used as a child, I hope that Larry and I can show them daily how much God loves them. Enough to send His son to earth to die on a cross for their sins.  This can be a daily act of worship to God.

Here is our advent calendar all ready for tomorrow.  I bought halloween candy on sale to fill it.

God bless!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

DIY Burlap Bunting

There is something about burlap that seems so right. Especially during Fall.  I made some Fall burlap banners to sell at the market and wanted to share with you my process.

I just bought 2 small packages of burlap from the dollar store. Each $1.25 package made 2 banners. I also liked that this particular burlap is kind of stiff. So it works well for this project.

I used my straight edge and rotary cutter to cut the triangles.  I figured out from the angled lines and measurements on my straight edge how to get the size of triangle that I wanted.  It would be too hard for me to explain though. So just fool around until you think you have it.

Before I cut the triangles, I cut the burlap into strips. Then I cut the triangles from the strips.

Once I had the triangles cut, I painted the edges very thinly with glue to help them not to unravel.

For the letter stencils, I used Word and found a font I liked.  I made it bold and put the size at about 180. Then I printed it on card stock and then cut the letters out.  Using an exacto blade would have probably been easier, but I couldn't find mine. So, I poked a whole through the letter using a steak knife, then I got my scissors in that and cut out the letter.

I also printed a picture that would go in between the words. For the "Happy Fall" banner, I used a crow and for the "Give Thanks" banner, I used a maple leaf.

To stencil, I used those foamy paint brushes, because my hubby just bought a big bag of them, so I thought I'd try it. They worked really well.

For the letters like "p" and "a", remember to tape the center piece in place on the burlap, so that it has the whole where it should be.

Once all the triangles were stenciled, I glued them on a strand of twine using contact cement for glue.

I was using the paint bottles to hold the twine straight while the glue was drying. It wants to curl up.  I glued the triangles right on top of the twine and spaced them apart a bit.  I also left about 10 inches on either end and tied a loop on each end for hanging.

I just love how they turned out!

This post is linked up to;  Happy and Blessed Home

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Making Chalkboards

I have a new obsession.  I have been making chalkboards.

I keep my eyes open at the thrift store or garage sales for cheap picture frames.  Like these;

I bought these at a garage sale for $0.25 each.  Then I take them apart and clean them up a bit.  Next I spray paint the frame itself.  For these I chose white and light blue.

Then I make the chalkboard by spray painting the glass that comes with the frame.  I use spray-on black chalkboard spray.

You can see my spray paint area.  I use an old oven rack over newspaper.  It will take 2 or 3 coats to get the right coverage on the chalkboard.  Then I just put it all back together and have a great chalkboard.

The can of chalkboard spray paint only costs $7.00 and I have made 6 chalkboards so far, with lots left in the can.

I'm trying to find other items to experiment on. Such as an old wooden cutting board. I'll just have to keep my eyes open.

This post is linked up to;  The Dedicated House  I Gotta Create  Blooming Homestead  The Idea Room  I Should Be Mopping the Floor  Making it in the Mountains

Friday, September 4, 2015

Canning Peaches with Honey

I was fortunate enough to have some yummy BC peaches delivered to me this year.  I haven't canned peaches in a couple of years and was excited to add these to our pantry again.

Instead of using the traditional syrup method, I used honey as the sweetener. My neighbour told me this is how she cans her peaches and I remember seeing her year old peaches in her pantry.  They still looked delicious.

The recipe is;

Per pint;
1 Tbsp honey
packed peaches
hot water to fill

Then process in a hot water bath. I think I did mine for 15 mins.

Because I rarely have ice in the freezer to use in the ice bath, I used a couple of ice packs in cold water. They worked great!

I saved the skins and pits to make Jalapeno Peach Jelly again.  We all love it on bagels with cream cheese. SO GOOD.  You can find the recipe here.  I just put the skins and pits in the freezer until I have time to deal with them.

Thanks for visiting!

This post is linked up to;  Stoney Acres   Happy and Blessed Home