Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dill Pickle Relish

For the record, I'm not a big fan of pickle relish.  I do like a spoonful in my tuna or egg salad but I don't eat it on hot dogs.  But again my kids, specifically my 'pickle boy' loves all things pickle! 

The other day I made the mistake of purchasing Sweet Pickle Relish.  My kids quickly let me know that they prefer Dill Pickle Relish.  

Armed with a extra cucumbers from yesterday's canning, today we made Dill Pickle Relish for the first time and it was really simple! 

Spicy Dill Pickle Relish

4 lbs cucumbers (cut in 1/2" slices)
3 cups white onion (finely chopped)
2 jalapeƱos (de-seeded and chopped)
1 tsp turmeric
3 Sprigs of fresh dill 
1/2 Tbsp dill seed
1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
3 Tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water

Run the sliced cucumbers in a food processor or blender to finely chop your cucumbers.  If you are using larger cucumbers, cut the cucumbers in wedges instead of slices and remove the center seed pocket.  

Place chopped cucumbers, salt, turmeric, and water in a large bowl and let set for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, rinse and drain cucumber mixture using a strainer.  Rinse the cucumbers and rinse a second time. 

Combine cucumbers, chopped onions, jalapeƱos, fresh dill and dill seed, mustard seed, sugar, and vinegar in a large sauce pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Ladle hot relish into hot sterilized jars leaving approx. 1/2 inch headspace.

Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), and process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Jars can be stored for up to one year.  The jars I used were decorative blue tinted jars giving my relish an extra blue-green shade! 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. Matthew 23:23

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Caleb is home for one of his favorite events of the school year, the Scarborough Renaissance Festival Student days.  It is like stepping back in time complete with 24 stages of Medieval Times entertainment including full combat jousting, Birds of Prey exhibitions, knife throwing, fire whips, jugglers, high flying acrobats and sword fighting just to name a few. 

There are also plenty of shoppes of crafts and artisan demonstrations like glass blowing and sword making. Plus, Children’s Knighting Ceremonies, a Grande Parade, Renaissance rides, games of skill and so much more.  The food is fit for a king including turkey legs, gyros, cakes and tarts! 

Caleb's favorite event would be the jousting but to be honest he really goes for the food.  Abigail's favorite is the tomato throwing booth where you can throw whole tomatoes at a jester for $1 per toss. I don't want to know how much she spent throwing tomatoes but my softball girl had a blast and she did nail the jester! The whole time the jester was hurling insults at her!  

The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.
Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.
Proverbs 12:15-16

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jalapeno, Garlic and Dill Pickle Spears

My pickle boy is home and we are now out of spicy dill pickles!  It's a good thing it's cucumber season!  It's even better that Caleb is home to help me prepare our crop.  Spicy Dill Pickles are one of the first foods I ever canned almost twenty-five years ago and they remain  a staple in our pantry.  These are such a staple that I grow my own dill, jalapenos and garlic to have on hand!

Spicy Dill Pickles

3 lbs of 4" pickling cucumbers
6 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
¼ cup pickling salt
1 large sprig of fresh dill per jar
1 cloves of garlic per jar
1 small jalapeno per jar

Wash and scrub the outside of the cucumbers, cutting the stems and blossom ends off.  In a large pot bring to boil water, vinegar and pickling salt stirring until salt is dissolved and boil for approx 3-5 minutes.

In each sterilized quart jar place 1 garlic clove, 1 large sprig of dill, and one small jalepeno. Next, pack each jar with cucumber spears. Fill each jar with the prepared vinegar liquid mixture leaving ½" space from the top of the jar. Wipe jars and rims clean and place sealing lid and tighten bands by hand.

Process the jars of cucumbers by placing them in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes.

Let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks before serving.  Jars can be stored in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.  This recipe yields four quarts. 

We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  Numbers 11:5

A Good Day's Work

It was a good day at the pantry today!  We had quite a few donations come in from church friends.  

One of the elderly guests who has a disabled spouse.  Their washing machine is broken and beyond repair.  I asked friends at church if anyone had an extra washer for this family.  Friends of ours came through with in just a few hours! 

Jon and Caleb were able to pick up the washer and dryer, deliver and install it for the family!  

Next we have guests who are expecting but were in need of infant car seats.  Again I asked my church friends and a nurse at NICU came through with three car seats! 

That's a good day serving with the family and friends! 

In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. I Timothy 5:25

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Family traditions are important and one of our traditions are early morning celebrations. Every birthday is celebrated with breakfast in bed, singing and gifts.  All the family members work together early in the morning allowing the one member who is being celebrated to sleep in. 

This tradition holds for all birthdays, Frankie's adoption anniversary, Mother's Day and Father's Day. That's eight opportunities per year to pile onto one bed with breakfast dishes, sleepy eyes and warm smiles.  

Because Mother's Day and Father's Day always fall on the Lord's Day they tend to be an abbreviated version of our celebration.  In fact this morning I got ready for worship and then climbed back in bed when breakfast was delivered by the kids.  

Every Mother's Day the kids each make my cards which is pretty impressive to have hand drawn cards from a 16, 19 and 31 year old! Their gifts included accessories for my Instant Pot; paring knives specifically for canning; and a little bling.  They know me so well! 

Jon supervised the breakfast production of bacon and eggs!  It was a great way to start the day! 

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of your mother. Proverbs 1:8

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Dog's Life

Some days a girl just needs a good bubble bath and today was that day for this sweet girl.  At twelve years old a bath requires a lot more energy.  Fortunately Caleb was able to help her in and out of the tub at Hakuna Matata.  

The girl loves the bath and pranced around the rest of the day, well, right up until we took fer to the vet for her comprehensive exam.  But, that's another story!  Good news is she's in great shape for her age, bad new is she's old and needs to loose a few pounds, don't we all! 

 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” Matthew 15:27

Friday, May 12, 2017

Celebrating Friends

It's not everyday that you get invited to a Willy Wonka birthday party!  A few weeks ago Abigail and Frankie received a 'golden ticket' invitation to this special guy's birthday party! 

Abigail babysits for several really great families at church and it makes her super popular among the elementary age kiddos.  Sometimes when Abigail has several families to care for in the same evening, Frankie has accompanied her.  So both girls were included in tonight's celebrations.  

There was pizza, a pinata, games and cake. As Willy would say, "Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous!" 

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
John 1:12

Harvest Food Program Pick-Ups

The boy slipped back into our normal routine of food pick-up for the Harvest Food Program benefiting the food pantry.  I guess after so many years of doing the same thing every week it's easy to step back into that routine.  

It was great to have his help today because we had three full baskets of breads and desserts donated from our first stop, Tom Thumb.  We went on to pick up almost fifty pastries from Starbucks.  Next were our two stops at area Papa John's pizzerias.  

That make for a lot of loading and unloading and it's much easier with an extra set of hands!  Plus it just makes me smile to see him hanging out with us! 

In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kyodai Formal

This post is a little out of order but I just now downloaded the photos off of my phone.  This year in addition to LCU's Honors Program, LCU's Ambassador Program, Student Senate, tutoring math students, working in the Bible Office Caleb was also an officer in Kyodai.  Tonight was the big end of the year celebration for Kyodai.  

Caleb and Sonny had a wonderful evening.  It was pouring down rain getting in and out of the event venue but everything else went off beautifully. When I downloaded the pictures Sonny texted me from the banquet, I thought it would be fun to include some of the other pictures of the two of them from this school year.  Aren't they darling!  Caleb looks good in his tux but he looks even better with Ms. Sonora standing next to him!  (The couple in the bottom photo with Caleb and Sonny is Sonny's roommate and her date.) 

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
Ecclesiastes 11:7

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Family Photos

For Mother's Day I requested family pictures both as a gift for me and to have as a gift for the grandmothers. I know they will arrive a little late but with Caleb in college and Abigail has worked every day for the past week, I took what I could get.

I was really ecstatic at the results.  These are a few of the outtakes, I didn't want to post my favorites from the proofs until the grandmothers receive them.   

If you're in the area and need a fabulous photographer who is just a joy to be around, and incredibly humble, I can hook you up! 

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders I Thessalonians 4:11-12