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Some photos for you to enjoy :) (Another Quick Catch Up Post)

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Festival

Tonight was our fall festival at church. I made some chili this morning to have for our chili supper. We had great fun tonight. There were games and candy for the kids plus we had a pumpkin patch. It was an all around good time for everyone I think. It has been a cold and rainy day here with the possibility of snow again in our mountains. There is also a small chance we might have some flurries here in the valley. I saw on the news where the east is preparing for a major snow storm this weekend. I hope every one has their warm blankies :) have a warm and snuggly night tonight :) Blessings! ~ Nikki

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

After making pumpkin butter for years, I recently ran across some online articles touting its "unsafeness". I was surprised. Hmm, I've never had as problem personally but I guess you never know.Anyway apparently after canning, if you decide to do that instead of freezing, you should refrigerate your butter. Does anyone else do this? Comment and let me know your techniques. Are you a canner or a freezer?
Anyway, here is my post on how we can pumpkin butter. Just a note, pie pumpkins make better butter but larger varieties give you quantity although you lose some of the pumpkin flavor. I would suggest maybe using one of each for both quantity and great "pumpkiny" flavor.
First, you need a beauty like this one:

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25 pounds = $5
Then its on  to cleaning out, slicing, peeling and cubing. (Preacher sure makes a great helper :)

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NOTE: Weigles did not sponsor this post but their 32oz drinks are $.89 this summer so we picked up a cold soda while on the road ...ahhhh....

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Add water and cook till mushy (yes,mushy is my technical term). If its too soupy then cook a little longer.
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For a fine texture for your butter; puree it. Thank you Momma for my immersion blender! You are the best Momma in the entire world and I love you ! As you can tell from my previously expressed joy, an immersion blender works best :) but you can do it in a food processor but BE CAREFUL. At this point I also add my spices. I use sugar, pumpkin pie spice and individual amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg to suit our palates.I would add spices according to your own tastes. Some may like a sweeter or spicier butter.


Fill your previously prepared hot jars (you should have also boiled your lids). Leave about an inch of head space.

Water bathe for 40 minutes (quarts).I should have used my bigger pot but this worked fine.

I also did some jelly jars. Bathe for 30 minutes. Look how pretty!

Easy Blue Ribbon Garlic Dill Pickles

UPDATE: 7/6/2012
I'm linking this post to

Laura Williams' Musings


Ok y'all, this is a family secret recipe. We will have to employ special spy techniques in order for me to get away with this but... I'm just kidding. Although Preacher's Aunt B might not be too happy I'm giving away her secret, I'm excited to share it with you because its less work for the home canner like ourselves. Bless you B. And anyway, she doesn't read my blog and I won't tell if you won't ...deal? (plus there are similar recipes online lol).
Here's the drill: wash and prepare your jars, lids and cukes.
Next, fill a pot with:
1 qt vinegar
3 qts water
1 cup canning salt
Get it on the stove to boil.

While that is boiling, get to slicing. I do chips mostly but Aunt B does spears.


Peel some garlic. 1 clove for each quart.

Fill jars with cukes, garlic and a sprig of dill. Aunt B also uses a grape leaf but I didn't have any and they are not vitally important.

Spoon your boiling mixture into jars and let sit til cool.

Then pour "juice" back into the pot (be careful and don't dump your cukes and other goodies). Bring to a boil again.
Add 1/8 tsp alum to each jar (I was using 1/2 gallon jars here so I used 1/4 tsp). Then fill again with boiling mixture. Seal with a new hot lid and ring and you're done. No need to water bathe and you will have yummy pickles in no time.



Yummy :)                 I'm sharing this post at the

The Barn Hop


I hope everyone's Fall has gotten off to a great start. Mine has been particularly busy and so therefore my blog has been ignored :( But I am back to ramble on about everything and anything cause it is of course what I do best right? School has been pretty intense for me the past few weeks. Lots of studying and homework. I'm doing ok on my tests.I turned in my Nursing School application. I will hear back from them by mail during the first week of January. I'm praying I get accepted. My advisor seemed confident that I have a shot at it.
The weather here has been amazing! We have had our windows open for weeks now since the temps have dropped so drastically. I can't wait to get our new electric bill to see how much it has fallen. We have some slight color to our leaves and fields everywhere are a riot of color with the goldenrod and ironweed blossoms. We took a drive to Cataloochee a couple of weekend ago. The elk were beginning to rut. Nothing like watching a few bucks go at it. They are so huge! I love the sound of their bugle's. Kinda wimpy for such a big animal lol.
Our fair was great this year. The temps were wonderful. No nasty hot weather to contend with while strolling the midway. Our kids paired off and met some friends to go ride so Preacher and I got to stroll around all alone. First time for that. It was nice though. I got some great pictures. Don't worry, I'm gonna share :) Roosie and I ended up being the only ones to enter some things. We both won several ribbons. I got several blue ribbons for my canned goods. Roosie got first and second place ribbons this year.
I've been doing some canning. I put up some pumpkin butter.I want to head out to the orchard to get some apples to make applesauce.The farmers markets will be closing soon so I want to check them all out this weekend for some last minute produce.I'm praying for a better garden next year. Maybe the weather will cooperate.
Well, here are some pics of the fair .Enjoy!
The new sea dragon that was added to the carousel.
Fried snickers YUM!
Just because you were raised in a barn doesn't mean you shouldn't be well dressed.
Every sheep knows the hay tastes better on the other side of the fence.
This one didn't focus well but if you look close you will see the grasshopper. He matches the tractor.
Preacher posing with his new friend.
The show wagon. One of my entries is on there :) 1st place for pickled banana peppers.
Bad hair day.
This guy was hittin' me up for some corn. Probably how he ended up behind bars anyway :)
The most beautiful chicken I have ever seen. this picture doesn't do it justice.