Friday, August 16, 2013

Bloggers Block

You know that commercial that shows a person who says that they have reached the end of the internet.  I believe I have reached the end of ideas to blog about.  After writing 228 blogs in 8 months,  I am having bloggers block.  I could write more stories about babysitting our grandchildren.  I doubt if anyone is very interested in that. We went to take care of Ewan for a while today and he drove his blue truck to the park.  Of course, we were with him.

Today Ewan drove his blue truck to the park.

While we were at the park, my daughter drove by.  Sam and Jack wanted to get out and play also.  Sarah ran home to put food into the crockpot and left the boys.  Soon everyone (especially me) got so hot, we decided to return home.  Ewan drove and his cousin Jack hitched a ride.  Sam was too big and had to walk.  As you can see, Ewan was taking his job seriously.

Poor Sam didn't fit, he had to walk.

At about 4:00 we headed home because Friday night is the night we go out for fish.  My dad looks forward to it, and it's one night I don't have to cook.  Sound exciting and worthy of writing about, probably not.

I could write about how sad this time of year is.  Our pond dries up.  The flowers start to fade and turn brown.  The birds are loading up on food so they can leave. The bucks have grown their antlers not realizing that soon they will be hunted down for sport.

Our pond is almost dried up leaving us with a mud flat.

The Orioles are so busy eating jelly.

The hummingbird is getting fatter.

The milkweed it starting to wilt and the flowers are dying off.

This buck has at least 8 points, maybe 10. 

I could write more stories about our town, but no one even knows where in the world Princeton is.  If I get a new original idea, I will write about it.  I noticed the same ideas and recipes are making the rounds over and over again so I'm not going to write about that anymore.  I suspect Pinterest is responsible for that.  So if or when I get motivated again, I will be back. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beet Pickles

This is a Tuesday recipe that most of you will not be making, and it was the first time I tried.  If you read my blog, you know that I recently received a large amount of produce.  Fresh Produce  In the batch was a bunch of beets.  My husband will not eat beets in any form.  He says they smell and taste like dirt.  Being a person who doesn't like to waste anything, especially if it is free; I decided to try to make Beet Pickles.  My mother made them every year, and my dad likes them very much.  Since mom isn't around to ask how to do it and dad doesn't know, I did a search for beet pickle recipes.  There are many recipes using a variety of ingredients.  I came up with a recipe from Mr. Food for Amish Beet Pickles.  There aren't any fancy ingredients in them, so I proceeded to try.

The first thing I did was wash all the dirt off.  I read that you leave the root and top stub on, so I did.  Supposedly the nutrients won't escape when they are cooked.   I decided to cook them in the pressure cooker, which is my favorite small appliance. My Favorite Small Appliance   I pressured for twenty minutes,  I took them out and then let them cool.  After beets cook, the skins slip right off.  There is no need to peel them.  I used gloves because I didn't want purple hands and finger nails.

These are cooled, cooked beets.

The skins slide right off.

The beet all cleaned off.

After the beets were all skinned, I sliced them up and warmed them up in the sugar-vinegar mixture. 
Although these may not be for you, they are pretty.  I have to admit, they taste pretty good too.  Much better than I thought they would.  If you want, you can keep these in the refrigerator and use them up.  Or you can put them in jars and can them as you would any type of pickle. 

Amish Pickled Beets

What You'll Need: 

10 fresh red beets
2 teaspoons salt, divided

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 
1 cup water 

What To Do:

  1. Cut the leafy tops off the beet stems, leaving 2 inches of stem. In a large saucepan, place beets in enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 1 hour, or until fork-tender.
  2. Drain beets, allow to cool slightly, then slip off the skins and cut into 1/4-inch slices; discard remaining stems. Return sliced beets to the pot and add remaining salt, the sugar, cider vinegar, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until warmed through.
  3. Transfer to a glass dish or jar , cover, and chill overnight before serving.  The longer they sit the better they taste.

    Finished jar of Beet Pickles

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Lost the House Wren Battle, But I Won the War

I have written two other stories about the darn house wrens that taunt me.  On June 22, 2013 I wrote and I wrote about the taunting in the blog on July 20, 2013 called

Throughout the years, this little bird has driven me crazy.

A couple days after I wrote the blog, another egg appeared which made four total.  The mama Wren flitted around never spending a lot of time sitting on the eggs.  Maybe she did at night, but most of the day she sat in the trees and sang.  Last week I saw her with a grub in her mouth, and I thought that the eggs had hatched and she was feeding the young.  At this point, her voice changed and she sounded like she had a sore throat.  It was more of a growl than a trill.  Then a couple days ago, I didn't see her at all.  Once I saw her trying to get into the back of the house and was clearly confused.  So yesterday I decided to look and see what was going on.  Of the four eggs, two were missing, one was unhatched and a newly hatched baby was dead.  I don't know what happened.  As much as I dislike this bird and didn't want it to use the birdhouse, it was sad to see the dead bird.  I cleaned out the house and will disinfect it so it's ready for next spring.

Sometimes you lose the battle but you win the war.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bees and Butterflies

Tonight I'm posting some of my favorite butterfly photos.  Some are old and some are new.  I mainly wanted to organize them all in one place.  The butterfly population is down this year for some reason.  We hardly had any bees either, until today.  After the rain, they discovered the jelly.  Hopefully we will get more butterflies before the summer is over also.

iphone video that isn't great, but you get the idea

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Monarch Butterfly

Here are a couple moths that I don't know the name for.  Anyone who knows, please let me know.