Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pea Hull Jelly

I was asked about the pea hull jelly that I made. It was pretty simple. I googled it and got the following recipe:


4 c. pea hull liquid
7 c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 box sure-jell

To prepare juice; rinse 2 large handfuls of purple hull pea hulls.
This will be almost full in an 8 quart blancher pot.
Add enough water to almost cover.
Bring to a boil and simmer about 5 minutes or until liquid becomes dark reddish purple.
Strain and measure out 4 cups. May need to add water to make 4 cups.
Follow directions on package of Sure-Jell to make "cooked jellies". Yield 8 cups.

It was one of the easiest jellies I've made. I washed a bunch of pea hulls(fortunately mine were pretty clean and had no bugs, but I washed them a couple of times anyway). I put them in a big pot that I use to do tomatoes in. It has an insert with holes in it for straining. I put as much water as I thought I could without it bubbling out, and cooked them probably a half hour. The recipe said 5 minutes, but I just didn't think that would be enough. I added water about midway through the process.

Then I strained the liquid through a cloth to make sure there was no sand or anything left in the liquid, and followed the directions on the package of sure-jell.

I ended up with enough to make 4 quarts or 8 half pints.

My brother laughs every time I mention it. I gave them a jar, but I haven't gotten any feed back on whether they liked it or not.

The folks here at work liked it, but then I brought hot biscuits for them to eat it on. It tastes a bit like grape jelly.

Then I

Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh Fall Where Art Thou?

My brother planted a small garden in my yard space. I didn't think it would offer a lot of veggies, but if we all got a bite or two of something, then it would be worth his time.

For the size of this plot, it has produced abundantly. First we had green beans. They were totally delish. They didn't last a long time and we didn't have enough to can. When they finished, he pulled up the vines and re-planted. We don't know if they will make before cool weather, but no reason to allow the space to go to waste.

We are getting several tomatoes, lots of cucumbers(most of them are going to our step-mother. She's making pickles). We are getting bell peppers. They are small, but will be great in soups and other recipes this winter. Once the okra started bearing, it has been a real treat. We've had several 'messes' and should have okra until fall. My son got enough to make some pickled okra last week.

Our pea patch didn't last very long, but my brother began picking from a patch of a friend of ours. He picked a lot of peas, and my son picked enough for 3 cooker's full.

We also have a few watermelon vines. They aren't ready yet, but should be soon.

I've posted a picture of the 'fruits of my labor'. It includes peas, tomato juice and pea hull jelly. Since this picture was taken, I've canned 2 quarts, 5 pints and 2 half pints of lime pickles. I added jalepeno peppers to give them some kick. I don't know how they taste yet, but I'm hoping they will be good. The cloth on which the canning is resting belonged to my children's great great grandmother. The bowl on the easel is depression glass and belonged to my great aunt.

But I'm about ready for cool weather.
I'm also posting a few more pictures of the pillows I made for the girl's room. I'm glad this project is finished. I haven't seen the room yet, and don't know if it's been painted or not.
The girls are going to Nana and Papaw's for a week to attend Bible School. I figure the kids will paint while they are gone.

Now I have their dresses to finish and on to something else. I really need to do some housecleaning, but don't know how much will get done.

What have you been doing during this hot weather? Pray for a reprieve from the heat. Love one another.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What I Should Have Learned!

When you have a commute to work, you have time to think about things. So this morning, my thoughts took me to things I should have learned. Things I should have learned from my mother when I was a kid. Things I should have learned from my grand-mother-in-law after I married(way too young)and she had to finish raising me. Things I should have learned from reaching out to others who had information I could have used later in life.

My nephew is going through some difficulty, and has been on my mind a lot lately. I think one of the things I should have learned early on and something he is learning the hard way is that life(real life, not the board game)is the hardest game you will ever play. I've digressed.

Yesterday, I was out looking for some dill weed for my son who is the pickle maker in the family. The lady, who was gracious enough to give me some, even though I offered to pay for it, and I were talking about how Mrs. Rosie(my grandmother-in-law)used stems and whatever else she could get when making pickles. So this morning, on the way to work I was thinking about her and all she had to offer in the way of knowledge. Why didn't I ask more questions? Why didn't I pay closer attention when she was making pickles and chow chow, and canning vegetables? Looking back(and I know you are going to say 'Hind sight's 20,20')I should have been at her elbow and looking over her shoulder, taking notes and learning everything she had in her vast intelligent mind.

My mother taught me to sew, crochet and make a mean pan of biscuits. I was only 19 when she died, but why didn't I know how to churn, how to make butter. Why didn't I learn to quilt rather than sit and read a book. She and Mrs. Rosie were veritible fountains of knowledge, and I allowed all that knowledge to go to the grave with them when I could have had it in my head or in a notebook.

A lady from our church quilted beautiful quilts. I expressed a desire to learn to quilt, and she offered on more than one occasion to teach me. Did I take her up on that...you know I didn't.

So now I have to do what so many people who want to make things are having to do. I'm having to go to the internet. If there's something in particular I want to do, I google it and find out all the information I can. The ladies I've mentioned above would have imparted their knowledge and wisdom(a subject for another day)with love, love for the craft, love for the sharing, and love for me. However, google just spits it out. No love with that knowledge.

If you have an opportunity to learn something from someone who has been there and done that, don't pass it up. Learn all you can from older people. They are an absolute wealth of knowledge.

I hope you learn something new from someone else, not the internet. Pray that we have people who will teach us about life. Love one another.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All Finished!

The quilts I've worked on since April are completely finished. I made the quilt tops, and had them quilted. I fell out of the sewing mood, and they sat for a couple of weeks(about a month actually), then I put the binding on them and gave them to the girls. Next I made the pillow shams, but they seemed a little blah, so I laid them aside for a couple of days(about a week actually).
I made wide bias binding and stitched it around the shams, and they looked much better. I made two little square pillows and added some bling I found in my sewing stash(girls, what would we do without our stash?). The bolster pillows have a section in the middle that has their initial embroidered and a pair of flip flops appliqued on them.

When their mother took them in, the girls got excited and both said they felt rich. Doesn't take much to make two little girls happy. I was a bit worried they might argue over which got which little pillow since they are different, but they didn't. I just know they slept much better last night for having their new pillows. They now just need their parents to paint their room. They are two very lucky little girls. They have wonderful parents.

I hope you have had something lately to make you feel rich, whether it's financial, inspirational or anything else that can make a person feel rich. Pray for someone special to you. Love one another.

Friday, July 09, 2010

A Shrimp Recipe

We played cards last night, and the hostess served shrimp creole and an appetizer called 'Bang Bang Shrimp'. Her husband is a fabulous cook, and he did the cooking. The recipe for the Shrimp came from a place in Memphis Tn called BoneFish Grill. I'm putting the recipe in my blog because 1. I can, and 2. It is wonderful. If you enjoy shrimp, you will thank me at least a hundred times for putting it out here.

The recipe is not hot, hot, it just has a bit of heat left on the palette after you swallow. Not enough to burn or make you grab a glass of something to drink, but just the taste. I don't know that I'm going to buy the bottle of Hot Chili sauce just for 3 drops, so I'm going to leave that out the first time I make it, then I'll decide if I think it's important enough to add it in the next time. Then if I see I'm going to make it often, I'll splurge on the Sriracha hot Chili Sauce.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
3 drops Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (or to taste)
1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
Dry cornstarch
oil for frying
chopped scallions


Mix mayonnaise with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. Add hot sauce to taste. Dredge the shrimp in cornstarch. Deep fat fry the shrimp until lighty brown. Drain on paper towel, put in a bowl and coat with the sauce. Serve in a lettuce lined bowl, top with chopped scallions.

This recipe for Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp serves four.

I hope you've had a wonderful post 4th of July week. It hasn't been quite as hot as a few weeks ago, but still pretty warm. Pray for those less fortunate than yourself. Love one another.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Half This Year Is Gone!!

Just the other day, I was trying to remember to use '2010' rather than '2009' on my checks. Now, suddenly, I am writing 'July' on everything. Where has the time gone? It's funny how time flies whether you are having fun or not.

Have I accomplished anything this year? Not much! Am I exercising like I was sure I would? Not Much! Have I cleaned out my sewing room? Nope! I'm just 6 months older is about all.

Are you doing anything special for the 4th of July? Since we had the big catfish feast last week, I'm not really planning to do much of anything. I'll have 3 days off, and the weather is a bit nicer than it has been, so maybe I'll get a few things done. One thing that is really needed is to clean my vehicle out on the inside. It needs to be vaccumned and all the interior dusted and wiped down. I even bought one of those long handled sponge washer thingee's like you see on tv(except I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond)to wash the inside of the windshield about 6 months ago, and it's still in the package. Who knows, maybe this weekend, I'll break it out and get busy.

We're getting purple hull peas, okra and cucumbers out of the garden. Our squash has been disappointing. We've gotten a few bell peppers, and some several messes of green beans. I think they are going to be removed and replanted for a second harvest. The tomatoes have been loaded, but the leaves have curled up and they look awful. We either have a bad case of heat stress or possible contamination from chemicals used on the farms nearby. We've had a few ripe ones, and since the weather has cooled, we'll see if they do better.

Oh, and we have watermelons. Right now there are 4 that are pretty good sized, and more small ones in the vines. I'm just hoping they don't taste like squash.

I hope you are planning a perfect holiday. Be sure to thank God for his kindness in allowing us to live in this country. Remember all those who serve and have served to give us the freedoms we enjoy. Love one another.
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