Early Christmas Present

For the past few years I've been searching for the teapot that goes with my mother's china set, I found it at GoodWill this afternoon.  The only down side was I had to buy the entire set of china to get the teapot!  So I now have 13 extra place settings and a second gravy boat and a second butter dish.

Top of the tea pot, this set was in very nice condition!

The three pieces I was really wanting!

My dad purchased this set in 1966 when he worked part time at the Texaco station in Minot, North Dakota.  He was station at the Air Force Base there and mom really wanted this set of china, it was sold as a premium.  He has some interesting stories about riding his BMW motorcycle to work in the snow that year.

Bread and Butter Plates - I Bet you thought I Forgot!

Bread and butter plates a potter once told me, make bread and butter plates. When I questioned his sanity, since I'm a mixed media fiber artist and not a potter, he told me to always have something small that my admirer's would want to purchase from me. 

In the Artist Conspiracy (I'm an affiliate) this past year we have been learning about managing multiple streams of income, this has been both a hard and an easy goal for me.  Easy to think up multiple streams of income.  Hard, because I often lack focus and am still working on the organization skills needed to move towards my goal. 

So what are my bread and butter plates?  Well stay tuned because those are coming soon, many of you already know about my eBooks and my fabrics,  but there's more coming! 

So what are you doing to add to your multiple streams of income?

Swine Flu Update

Well I'm recovering, finally, from the swine man swamp flu!  I still have a cough hanging on.  The canning came to a near screaching halt, John took 4 days off from work but the reality is 1. I'm more organized than he is, which isn't saying much btw, and 2. there was way more that needed canning than one person could do alone!  He did get a dozen or so pints of pear butter put up and a dozen or so quarts of tomatoes canned.  I'm feeling better but not by much, a simple drive across town  and back still wears me out and I need a nap just to recover from the experience.  To make matters worse I have a show coming up this weekend and I"m no where near being ready for the event.  More later from the kitchen!!!

This weekends canning short list

First up can the remaining unsalted butter and then start in on the salted butter - in half pints.
I have five heads of green cabbage that need to be canned up as cole slaw and then if I have any time or energy left I'm going to try my hand at canning a batch of carmalized onions.

A picture of the neighbors crabapple tree, the squirrels like this tree better than ours, the neighbors crabapples are sweeter.

Canned Butter

We finally tried a jar of the home canned butter and it was actually pretty good. It was missing something and I'd have to say that it is the salt since I canned the unsalted butter. It was creamy just like stick butter.

I used a double boiler to melt my butter, I've heard tales of it being gritty but they didn't have a double boiler which leaves me to believe heat is the culprit. Shelf life is about 3 years, I'd say that's stretching it a bit, more like a year and a half to two years. Ours won't last that long so it's not a problem.

Got Pickles???

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath and your done! Consult the Ball Blue Book for more specific directions.

The color of the pickles changes from bright green to that cooked pickle look with which we are all familiar.
The boiling spice solution is then mixed in with the newly drained and rinsed cukes and onions and brought to a boil.
Spices are mixed together with sugar and vinegar and brought to a boil.
You start with some pickling cukes, and a whole lotta onions, they are soaked in some pickling salt for awhile to draw the water out of the fruit.

Dh helped me put together three batches of Bread and Butter Pickles tonight. I do the pickle making around here, as everyone loves the way they taste ;-) Here's some pic's of how it all went together.

Apple Butter

That's my kitchen floor that you are seeing, yep it really is, off to the sides of the table! It's been in this condition for something like 13 years now, long before dh and I got married it's just bare maple and in other places bare plywood making it a royal pain to wash. There's no sponge mopping in this room I use a real mop one of those big commercial ones, as it's the only thing that doesn't fall apart when used on this floor. Also if your thinking of going the bare plywood floor route note that vacuuming it works far better than sweeping for getting it really clean!!! Everytime I mention painting the floor dh says GO AHEAD and then immediately has apperplexi~!

Lodi Apples make the BEST apple sauce and apple butter!!! Ok maybe some people don't like their sauce as tart as I do but lucky for me DH does! Dh says the apple butter shown here tastes like his apple sauce, hey what can I say I followed the recipe in the Ball Blue Book!