canned salmon~

Yesterday I took a break from making jelly and jam to switch it over to another item in the freezer that needed tending too.  It was a couple packages of salmon that Sam had caught with his cousin last summer and they had put them into the freezer whole... in anticipation of grilling them. 

Well... then never did end up on the grill and I hate to see anything go to waste so I canned them up... before they got freezer burnt.  Plus... those whole fish were taking up a LOT of room in my freezer.  I hate it when the boys do that ~  I like to have my freezer half way organized and I want to know whats in it and how long it's been in there and like to keep things rotating. 

I really really do hate waste when it comes to good food; and hate to see something get freezer burnt and need to be discarded.  I was going to brine some in salt water and brown sugar to smoke; but there wasn't enough there to mess with.  It seemed like I had a lot; but by time I got them all cleaned up there wasn't as much as I anticipated.  I did get 7 quarts though of the canned made.

I feel better now that I have that little task taken care of.

What a treat to have canned salmon on your pantry shelf when in need of a quick meal or appetizer.  I love taking the canned salmon and mixing it with some creamed cheese to make a spread for on crackers.  Yum.  I also like to take it and add some crushed crackers and a few chopped up onion, green pepper and a egg and shape it into a salmon patty and lightly grill it.  Double Yum.  But my Triple Yum way to make it is creamed with peas  over homemade baking powder biscuits. 

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


what's goin' on~

I just got my morning call from my brother inlaw JD with the morning question, "what's going on?"
Not much really... I'm going to be canning and smoking some salmon later on; but this morning it's catching up on some laundry and house cleaning... and a little blogging.  That fun domestic stuff we wives do.
I made some more jelly yesterday ~
this one is strawberry rhubarb... I love when it comes to that full boil and gets all foamy in the pan. 
 and coats the spoon... letting me know it's at "that stage" ...
Time to skim off the foam and get it processed into the hot sterilized jars.
I also did up a batch of cranberry jelly  ... isn't it pretty?  I just love the color and flavor of cranberries.

So far I've put up two batches of raspberry jelly, two batches of raspberry jam, two batches of caramel apple jam, two batches of strawberry rhubarb jelly and two batches of cranberry jelly.  I still have to make plain strawberry and blueberry and possibly a  mix berry of raspberry/blackberry/blueberry/strawberry.  I would love to do a straight batch of blackberry; but I don't think I have enough berries for it.  Then Sara asks me yesterday if I had any apple butter or peach cobbler jam left.  Dang.. now I have to think about those two flavors.  I'm getting jelly headed thinking about it! 

Well... I'm outa here for the time being ... time to go and play with some fish and get them brined for the smoker and cut up for the canner.  I'm taking a break from the jelly for a couple days.

I heard yesterday that Fifield is getting a new consignment shop ... hmmm... another outlet for my jelly??

Plus... I found a new recipe for homemade fondant that I'm dying to try out.  I need more time in a day!!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


time to jam~

Every year around this time I put on the 70's classic rock vinyls and jam.
Not just to the tunes... but to the berries.

Get the raspberries out of the freezer and into the kettle.

Next..Stir up a little SureJell with water~
Add that to the berries that I smashed up and drained half the seeds off with some sugar ...
Boil away.
Do it again...
This time I'll dice up some apples ~
Throw some heat to them ... mash them with the smasher ...  add a little secret ingredient or two ~
and presto!
A couple hours later ...
I have two batches of Raspberry Jam and two batches of Carmel Apple Jam sitting on the table waiting for some labels. 
That was fun!  Tomorrow I'm doing it all over again with some blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb.


my background~

Okay... I must admit... I'm going blind looking at backgrounds!! So.....
for now... I'm sticking with the butterflies until I change my mind.  
When that will be? With me... you never know.

Can you believe this?  I painted my bathroom 5 times in two weeks.
Just kidding.
FACT:  I only painted it 4 times.

Have a great day all my cyberspace friends!!



there's a gazillion of them out there... and i just have to try them on!
So please bear with me while i'm checkin' 'em out.


new toy~

Sam has a new toy ... 
and I wish it was mine.

 I don't know how to play it yet ...
but I will learn ...
and then some day I will get myself one of those
guitars and be a Super Star!!!

 Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.



My sister Dar had made a post about the bears coming out of hibernation and it reminded me of my scrapbook pages I did last year of  "my" bears.  Well... they're not technically MY bears; but they were the ones frequenting my back yard and deck last summer. 

I know some of you have seen these pictures before, but just for grins and something to post today I thought I'd share my bears with you one more time:

I haven't seen any bear around yet this spring ... but I know they're out there.  The dogs were making a terrible ruckus the other night ... doing the bear bark (they have a distinct bark when a bear is in the yard) ... so it's just a matter of time and I'm sure I'll be getting new bear photos to share.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


pit stop at the flea market~

okay... I know I said yesterday it was my last pit stop of my vacation post; but I'd thought I'd take you along to one more place.  A flea market.... but not just any little ol' flea market... this one is a biggie!  It's the flea market held only on Saturday and Sundays in Grand Prairie, TX called Traders Village.

It's over 100 acres in size and claims to have almost 2000 vendors!  You can find anything and everything imaginable there.  From car parts to party lights ... perfume to pudding ... a new pet to a new all terrain vehicle ... candles, crafts, jewelry, pots and pans, wind chimes, etc...  a VERY interesting place to wander around and spend a day.

It also has an amusement park area with rides for the kids.  Food booths are every where... and bras and socks.  Seriously, I never seen so many socks and bras for sale in one place in my life.  You could buy a bra there for $2.00 and a hooded sweatshirt for $5.00.  Honestly, I'm set for a couple years now! lol

I loved checking out everything!!!  I just LOVED the fresh fruits and veggie and floral market.   It was so cool seeing the women scraping off the pickers of the cactus and seeing the bonsai trees.

Traders Village is often referred to by the locals as 'little mexico'.  Well... I have to admit... I learned a lesson while in 'little mexico'.  Don't order anything preceded by the word "hot".  I had a hot link that had my eyes watering and had me gasping for air.  Phew... when they say hot they mean it!  AND... putting the cheese sauce over it does NOT cool it down.  AND just because you see a little kid eating it does not make it safe ... Mercy!!  I knew I should have had the turkey leg or roasted corn on the cob.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


pit stop at the mt and in the theater~

I hope you're not too bored with my pit stop post ~ but it's a good place for me to keep track of things here on my blog.

It was Thursday, March  4th and we were on our way north, home to Wisconsin, after spending a week in Texas.  When we went down to Texas we pretty much stayed on Interstate 35 from St. Paul/Minneapolis right down to Fort Worth.  Coming home, we decided to do some sight seeing and come home through the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri.

We chose to travel the Scenic Byway Hwy 7 north of Hot Springs, Arkansas.  What a beautiful route; but talk about some winding, curvy roads and very hilly country.  Driving through the Ouachita National Forest and up to Dardanelle, Arkansas was our destination for the first day.  It was breath taking ... even with the foilage off the trees.    Then off we went to climb up Mt. Nebo which is just a five mile skip from the town of Dardanelle.  I have to thank George and Betsy from Tennessee who visit my blog and have their own blog over at Joyful Reflections for their sharing of this wonderful place called Mt. Nebo.  It was because of their post that perked an interest in me to go and see the place in the first place. 

The roads were fun ... as long as I wasn't the one having to drive them. Talk about hairpin curves and not knowing what was around the corner or over the ridge!

While we were standing by one of the scenic overpasses we heard a plane; then all of a sudden there were two of them right straight out from us.  I did manage to get off a few shots. It was pretty cool to take a picture of a plane looking straight off a mountain top to do it without tilting my head up towards the sky to do it.
  What I can't figure out though on these pictures is why the sky color looks so different in each one?? It's no doubt just my funky little camera... but honestly, they were shot one two three in consecutive order.

Driving through the Ozarks too... the water is such a beautiful hue of turquoise or aqua marine.... just beautiful!
From Mt Nebo we headed up to Branson where we spent some time checking out the shows and gift shops.

One show that we took in was the Legends Concert at the Dick Clark Theater ~ talk about some talented people. 
There were impersonators; but soooooooooooo real .... you would swear you were right in the room with the originals.
I hope you enjoyed the conclusion of my vacation photo tours.
Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


pit stop at the garden~

Well...  let's try this again.  I tried earlier today to make this post and somehow I lost it.

I'm still making pit stop post of our vacation. 
One day while Slim and my bro-inlaw Mike were busy cutting up some mesquite for smoking some meat ~
and got side tracked by some beetles that were boring holes and making sawdust of the woodpile~
and side tracked by a dead gecko I laid on a stump ~
Colleen and I decided to jump in the car and head a mile down the road from her place to take a little walk through the Weston Garden.  We knew the flowers weren't blooming yet; but she suggested I might get some ideas for my place over there.  So off we went.

The garden was originally built in the 1930 and 40's by Leon Bandy.  It is in the process of restoration now.  What a cool place ~ I really enjoyed it.  It's advertised as "English Gardens ~ Texas Style".  As you meander around the pathways it's so relaxing.  Listening to the rippling water of the creek and the waterfalls, seeing tons and tons of motar and stone walls and pathways and even an  Italian grotto. 
 There is an altar area where weddings can be performed ~
and many other little nooks and crannies to investigate.  Also, are some very interesting statues and garden ornaments.

One of the pathways leads you to a swaying bridge ~
that crosses over to the most interesting thing ever. 
Something you would not expect to see ~ a stone ship!

Leon Bandy had it constructed to hold dances.  It was completed in 1942 and originally had a two story cabin on it that had burnt in 1972.  It is in the process of rehabilitation and should be done in two to three years. 
Now... when Colleen mentioned that I should go to the garden with her for ideas ~ does she think I need a ship in my back yard??? I say yes!! How cool is that!

Weston Garden also sports some pretty fine old trees ... like this big old bur oak ... the picture doesn't do it justice.
Also, there are a lot of cats meandering around.  I even spotted one up on the roof.
 Look at these cool chairs ... I'm gonna make me some of these:

I hope you enjoyed my little photo tour of the garden.
Tomorrow... I'm heading up Mt. Nebo in Dardanelle, Arkansas and the Dick Clark theater in Branson, Missouri.  Talk about some twisty turning hairpin roads and some talented people.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.