See these 2 beautiful German shepherds....they are very majestic looking but they are about to drive us out of our mind. We can no longer hang out in our back yard nor sit on the deck because these 2 dogs bark non-stop at us. Also, can no longer play with our own dog because then they start jumping, darn near coming over the fence, like they want to tear up my Chrissy girl. She is now afraid at times to even go outside to tinkle.
They leave these dogs out all day and all evening. They put them in the garage at night because our homeowners association complained to them about breaking the noise ordinance...which is 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. But that doesn't help us at all.
tomorrow, I am buying an air horn and I'm going to blast it at them every time they bark and see if I can break them of the habit. It's sad...it's not their fault. They are not trained and really, they are not socialized at all with the family they live with. I feel bad for them but I also want to be able to enjoy my yard.
It's that time of year again...time to can some "maters"! I love canning and I especially love having these tomatoes in the winter to put in my soups and chilli. And these are so much better for you than those canned ones you buy in the store...and taste better too!
here's how I can tomatoes...
1. I wash the jars and then dip them in boiling water to sterlize. You can use your dishwasher but mine was running and I didn't want to wait for it.
2. Next put your lids and rims in a pot of water, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
3. Wash your tomatoes up good.....have a pot of hot water and a large bowl of cold water. I put 3 tomatoes at a time into the hot water, wait about a minute, then ladle out and put them in the cold water. Wait just a minute and then they are ready to peal. The skin will slide right off!
4. Core them and then quarter them, drop into a large pot.
5. As you can see from the pic above, I just use my roasting pan set across 2 burners. Put your sterlized jars in there and add water to the pan, turn burners to low. You want to keep your jars hot.
6. Put your big pot of tomatoes on, bring to a low boil and let boil for 5 minutes.
7. Using a funnel, ladle the tomatoes into your hot jars. You want to fill to within 1/2 inch of the top. This is important as you do not want to leave a lot of air space.
8. Next take a wood spoon or spatula (no metal) and slide it around the inside of the jars in case you have any air pockets. Add 1 tsp of salt to each quart jar, 1/2 tsp for pint jars. Just put it in the top, no need to stir.
9. Take a clean cloth or paper towel and wipe the rims of the jars to make sure they are clear of tomatoes or juice. Using tongs, put the lids on, then the rings.
10. I do not use my canner for tomatoes as they are so high in acid, the jars will seal fine without the 30 min hot water bath.
11. Next set your jars on towels, not touching, and then cover. I use my beach towels as they are heavy and will hold in the heat. You do not want them to be in a draft. So wrap them babies up good!
12. Keep them covered......it takes anywhere from 1 to 2 hours for them to seal. You will hear the "pop" sound as each jar seals and you can check the seal by pressing down on the lid....if sealed, you should not be able to press it down.
I know it seems like a lot of work but I actually enjoy it. To me, it's just another part of cooking that I love. I canned 3 boxes which gave me 24 quarts and 4 pints. These are so yummy in your soups and chilli in the winter time. My kids can even tell the difference once I run out and have to use the store bought tomatoes. I'm going to can some more this Saturday and that should be enough for this winter.
Let me know if you can.......I would love to hear your stories and methods.
This is what we came back to from vacation.....our front yard covered in leaves. And parts of our maple tree with green leaves and part with brown leaves falling. The trees that line the entrance to our neighborhood is also doing the same.....not sure what is going on. Maybe it's just the heat and high temps!
So Jake and I headed down to the Mattapani River. Bucky's mom rents a house for a week every year and she had invited us to join her family for a 4th of July cookout on the river!
this is the view from the backyard
and these are the very long steps heading down to the dock!
here's Jacquelyn on the water skis....she hasn't skied since last year and she just popped right up! I always loved water skiing but about 8 years ago pulled my back out pretty bad so I no longer do that. Sure wish I could though....
You always see abandoned buildings and docks along the river. I always wonder what the story is on them.
Jacq also did the wake board....now I would never be able to do that. But I think with being a snowboarder it might help some. Jake wanted to do it so badly and when in the water trying to put it on, one of the screws popped out and of course is on the bottom of the river now! But he did try the knee board. I was on the dock and didn't get good pics of that as they were further down river.
Jacquelyn and Jake are pretty competitive no matter what the game....cornhole included! So they teamed up and pretty much dominated the games!
and of course you have to rub it in a little!
Jacquelyn and Melissa
Tom cooked beef brisket and pork tenderloin in the smoker all day. Yummy!!
it was a fun day. Jake and I decided to miss the fireworks and come home early as we know how afraid Chrissy gets when she hears them in the neighborhood. It was a good thing we decided to do that. We are keeping Jacquelyn and Bucky's 2 dogs while they are at the river for the weekend and when we came home we found Ziggy stuck! He had one of his nails stuck in the weaved blanket on my bed and couldn't get out! It was very sad. Of course no idea how long he had been like that but we were glad we came home early.
If you go to the Home Depot on Thursday's about this time of the summer, they start marking plants down. And really, it's still very early and still a good time to plant things. We picked up these beautiful palms for the deck last night for 10 bucks each....not bad! I'll get them planted in to planters this weekend.