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Sunday, August 1, 2010

The dog days of summer

We are having the typical Kentucky weather for the past few days. Hot and humid, kinda drains the energy out of ya. Had a long night last night, didn't get finished canning and git in bed till around 4 am this morning. So that made for a late morning for me, which is normal. After I finally got up and moving around, had my coffee and got started on the day. I went to the summer kitchen to wash off all the jars of canned stuff from the night before and get them ready for the cellar. I had picked some hot banana peppers the evening before and was thinking of slicing them to pickle. Then I had second thoughts. Well ya know, I wear contacts, and can not imagine how painful that could be to have hot pepper on your hands and then stick ya finger in ya eye. Nope not me, so Rodger volunteered to de-seed the peppers. Well now he is complaining, but we ain't goin there. Anywho this is the recipe for the pickled peppers.

1 peck(2 gallon hot or mild banana peppers)
1 ½ cups salt
4 quarts water
10 cups vinegar
2 cups water
½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons chopped garlic 
Wash peppers, cut off stem end and split length wise and take out seeds. Mix water and salt to dissolve and add peppers. Let set 12 hours or so. Drain and rinse and drain well. Make pickling solution of remaining ingredients and heat to boiling. Pack peppers into hot jars and pour boiling solution over them in jars. Seal. If you choose these can be water bathed for 10 minutes. This made 5 pints.

I don't think we will need any more hot peppers for a bit. But if there are more on the plants, I reckin I would have to can em.
The blackberries that I had taken out of the freezer yesterday had thawed enough today that I could mash them up and get the wine started. So that is doin its thing in a big 6 gallon bucket in the kitchen.
I went to the cellar to get jars for the peppers and be dang, I noticed my crock of kraut. Gosh it has been in there for seems like a long time. I got it down and toted it to the kitchen to see if I had let it ruin or if it was kraut. Well it was kraut and dang good at that. I will need the crock in a week or so and decided to just pack the kraut in canning jars for storage. As you know I got this new vacuum sealer thingy this year and we decided to give it a try on vacuum sealing the kraut. Well it worked like a charm. I don't like to heat the kraut because that destroys all the good healthy bacteria that is in there that is good for your belly. The German fermenting crocks are a neat trick, they have a rim around the top that you fill with water to make a sort of water lock to keep out air which can cause kraut to mold and get soft.
So here I am packing it in jars.

The kraut needs to be pushed down and pressed and have enough of the liquid from the crock to cover it. This will help prevent it from becoming dark as it sits.
Now this is a proud vacuum sealer operator after the jars are sealed. Now they are stored in the cellar just waiting for me and my fork.
Then Rodger went off to get the yard mowed before it rained again. This is the first year that we have been up here on the hill that we have had what you could call a yard. We really have grass now, and no weeds. We didn't use any chemicals to accomplish this either, just mowed on a regular basis and it kills the weeds out. Now we still need to trim, but thas minor detail.
Oh and I forgot to share a beer with ya last night too. Gosh how rude of me! But anyway the pale ale that we bottled last weekend is the one we were sampling last night. After tasting the ale, I don't think I can drink any store bought beer now. This was smooth, one of those you could drink yourself into a stupor and not know till ya couldn't walk. The alcohol content was at 9% which is perfect for me. More adventures on the beer making later. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



The Apple Pie Gal said...

Mmmm...kraut AND beer! Now you are talkin! Never done either, would love to do both!

small farm girl said...

I'm glad your kraut came out! I'm REALLY glad the beer came out great!!!! Now how about a tasting? hehehehe

stella said...

lol kraut and beer? well dont know about together. But both the kraut and the beer were good. I just like eatin kraut cold right outa the jar. Was kinda surprised the vacuum sealer worked on the jars with all the liquid in em but it did.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Oh yeah, next time you make corned beef and cabbage or smoked sausages w/ kraut, throw a can of beer in...yummy!!!