Here's what's going on in the kitchen at our house this weekend:
One thing I want to do this summer is to place cut flowers in the house. The Zinnias are a wonderful flower for cutting and they are almost ready. This bouquet is made up of yellow and orange Lantana and Day Lillies. The Day Lillies are not a good choice for cutting because they close at night and their life is over! But, the Lantana is great. It makes a great filler for the vase and they last a long time. The only problem for mine is that they are orange and so they won't go too well with the many pink and red flowers in the yard. Hopefully, some of the Zinnias will be orange, so that I can make a more peaceful arrangement of flowers.
I decided to go ahead and purchase a water bath canner. I figured for less than $20.00, it would be a great tool for homemaking. Our cucumbers are just beginning to bear and we don't have a huge cucumber patch, so I may be making small batches of pickles all summer. I estimate that 24 quarts would be plenty of pickles to last us a year. It would also be nice to have some extras to give to friends, neighbors and relatives. So my goal is about 30 quarts of pickles.
I also bought a jar lifter which is a necessity when canning. It worked well and made the job much easier.
My second batch of pickles was made in the new canner and consisted of 2 quarts. They turned out beautifully.
I am researching some more recipes that I can make in the new canner. Water bath canning is limited to pickle type recipes, jelly type recipes and tomatoes. Some possible choices are pickled squash, pickled okra, watermelon rind pickles and green tomato pickles.
We also found a used good quality, small chest freezer for sale and jumped on it. The freezer is fairly new, so it will be more energy efficient than an old freezer would be.
Right now it only contains some grocery store convenience foods, but as the summer goes on we will add frozen vegetables and meat bought on sale.
Here are some menu ideas I plan to implement this week:
Turkey polska Kielbasa cooked with onions and peppers served over rice
Hotdogs with the works, slaw
Chicken Pot Pie
Jello with fruit
On any given day the side dishes will be based on what is coming out of the kitchen garden. Right now there are squash and cucumbers, so we might have fried squash, squash casserole or squash fritters. You just never know what form the squash will take around here!
This morning I am going to the grocery store and will spend some time planning and preparing for the upcoming work week.