Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Summer

I cannot believe we will be back into full swing school very soon.  Public and private schools have already begun.  We've done some school throughout summer but it's felt like a great break from full-time.  As I was canning some sweet relish today, I realized it may be the last of the cucumbers to process this year.  The tomatoes are still coming but I'm going to treat today with a solution of epson salt for blossom rot.  My pear tomatoes have been mostly fine but my romas have suffered.  My heirlooms didn't produce like they should've either.  Big beautiful plants....late on making big beautiful green tomatoes and then just few of those.  They also got hit with the blossom rot. The watermelons are still feeding us dessert a few times of week but we only have a few of those left either.  We tilled up one area that was "done"and are getting ready to plant some fall veggies soon.  It's been a lot of work but I really enjoy the end result....fresh, healthy, no chemical food for the family.  Now I've got to finish the white pillowcase dresses for the girls before we head to the beach.

We've got one last beach trip to make and I'm soo looking forward to it.  A few more days to hold on to the joy of summer...building castles in the sand, older boys skim boarding, all of us jumping waves and floating, and most of all laughing a lot together.   Until then, finish dresses for beach pictures, wrap up garden, hopefully get some painting done that I thought I'd get to this summer.  I can't even imagine what boredom must feel like.

We got rid of cable this year and so a few times a week I've been listening to things on the computer at night while I'm busy folding clothes, catching up e-mails, playing family feud on facebook on the weekend, doing a sudoku/crossword, or just holding the baby.  You can find some great listening at sermonindex.net.  It's really been some great challenging stuff.  A few nights ago, it was "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" that we enjoyed listening to.

Well, better run finish making my sweet cucumber relish before the baby awakens.  It's a new recipe so I'm hoping it turns out as pretty as it looks.  Above is what it's supposed to look like.  Aren't they just gorgeous!  The only differences in mine is that I chopped the veggies with my Pampered Chef crinkled cutter into small cubes and diced onions really small so no "wee"ones would object to the relish in their tuna.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful Jesus-filled summer.  Until,  Michelle

P.S.  Heres the recipe from "Joyous Home" (joyoushome.com):

Sweet Cucumber Relish
Just like Bread & Butter pickles, except much tastier!
~Makes 4 quarts or 8 pints~

In a large saucepan combine the following:
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup + 3 Tbsp. pickling salt
3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. celery
2 tsp. dill weed
1 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns

Stir well until well combined and bring to a low boil.  Stir and simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Set aside and let cool.  While the brine is cooling, prepare the vegetables.
4 qt. (about 12 large) peeled and sliced cucumbers, about 1/8" thick
3 large sweet bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), diced
2 large white onions, thinly sliced
Evenly divide all of the vegetables between two large bowls, or all together if you happen to have an extra large bowl!  Mix together well.  Pack and fill the jars very tightly.  The relish really will shrink up in the brine, so fill the jars all the way to the top and pack down as tight as possible.  

For Refrigerator Relish:  Fill the jars with the cooled brine almost to the top, screw on the lids tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. 

To Process:  Once the brine has cooled to room temperature, fill the jars 1/2" away from the top.  Adjust two-piece lids and screw snugly.  Process 10 minutes in boiling water.  The processing time given is for sea level.  If you are a at a higher altitude, you will need to adjust the timing accordingly.

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