Monday, August 9, 2010

Revisiting the Summer To-Do List

I made this list the first day of summer, and with 46 days of summer left, (many of which the kids will be in school), I thought I'd revisit and make some adjustments. In itallics I updated and marked completed ones, and I've bolded the ones we still need to complete.

1. Put fireflies in a mason jar. We caught/watched tons of them this year, so consider this done even though we did not bring out any jars.
2. Go for a hike in the Kettle Morraine.
3. Bird watch here.
4. Let the kids paint masterpieces outside. We bought a huge bucket of chalk a few weeks ago, and the kids put a mural on the sidewalk and sides of their clubhouses. Hunter pee'd on Ben's artwork, right out there on the front sidewalk. Pretty hilarious, a memory I'll never forget. I still plan on letting them paint with paints, and I have some huge easel paper they can use.
5. Go fishing on the Sugar River. Done. It was wonderful!
6. Swim in Lake Michigan.
7. Go to Cedarburg.
8. See Josh Turner, and Jason Aldean sing, live. Not together. Missed Jason Aldean for girl's weekend in July, but it was totally worth it. Seeing Josh Turner Sept 3rd at a fair.
9. Smell lilies growing in the garden. Done.
10. Make homemade Pesto. Done. And Yum.
11. Go camping. Next week!
12. Watch a sunset. Done.
13. See these waterfalls. Combined with #11, next week!
14. Sun-dry my home grown tomatos.
15. Photograph a hummingbird. Done.
16. Sun-bathe. Done. I put on a bathing suit and everything. Hadn't done this in ages, and it felt great!
17. Laugh uncontrollably. Done. See #4 as one example.
18. Learn to can. The jars are on the counter, and we have the stock pot, but we need some sort of rack? Also the literature on tomatos is confusing, some say we need add acid, others don't. I made sauce without garlic and froze it instead, (I guess garlic doesn't freeze well, so I'll add it when we use the sauce) and I plan on doing more this week. I don't know if the jars will get used this year. Freezing seems easier.
19. Take the kids to a water park. This one may not get done for financial reasons, but so many of the water parks in the Dells are indoor, so we could add this to winter.
20. Look for Moose in Northern Wisconsin. Trying next week, combined with #11 and #13.
21. Have a picnic. Done this last weekend at the Zoo, but it wouldn't hurt to have another!
22. Have a garage sale.
23. Allow myself to sit in the garden, and relax. Done.
24. Join the local Garden Guild. Can't find the info I'm looking for on this one. A lady was supposed to drop some info off, and never did. Still trying.
25. Watch fireworks & play with sparklers. Done.

Happy Summer!


leena! said...

Hey lady,

I know freezing seems easier, but really, I feel like canning would do those gorgeous tomatoes of yours more justice than freezing. When it comes to canning tomatoes, you do need acid if you are using a water bath canner, because tomatoes are a low acid food. Otherwise, you'd need to can them with a pressure canner.

The reason why you're getting conflicting info on what should go into a canned tomato sauce is probably because of the date the canning recipes were made--newer ones have acid, and are safer.

I have a great crushed tomato sauce recipe from the Ball book of canning, if you'd like it for next year. The trick with canning is to follow the rules---use a published, relatively recently published recipe, make sure your cans are hot and sterilized when you fill them, don't over-fill them (usually leave 1/2 inch-1 inch of space at the top), fully wipe down jars before putting lids on, and never ever change the heat, sugar or acid in the recipe. Everything is safe is to play with.

I know it sounds like a lot of rules, but its like riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it, its really easy and you never really forget. I just canned some delicious tomato basil jam last weekend.

Good luck on your list!

Jamie said...

Ah, Leena. I love you. I was hoping you would come to the rescue. I still have tons of tomatoes to work with right now (an will continue to for a few weeks it seems). I want to use a water bath canner. Are they expensive? I'm going to check at the store tonight, and see if I can make it fit in the tight, tight budget right now. What kind of acid do I get for regular italian tomato sauce? I'd love the recipe from your ball book right now, if you have time to send it my way via facebook?

I want to learn so badly!

leena! said...

PS- you will need a lid for the pot you use to can. FYI.

leena! said...

It seems to have deleted my massive response to you. The long and the short of it--no special water bath canner needed. Just use a deep pot with a steamer insert or round cake rack, and make sure you can have water 2 inches over the cans.

just emailed you a few recipes via facebook!