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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wedding Preparations

The other day my mom's friend Laurie came over and created these amazing covers for candy bars for the wedding. I think they turned out very very cute!

She also made these little dots to go on the bottom of Hershey's kisses.
I don't know which design I like better? Any suggestions? Please let me know!!!

Apricot Jam

This one was a first for me. Chris's family was able to get a harvest of some apricots off of their tree, and since his dad has just had his surjury, he is not able to enjoy them, and he won't be home for a few more weeks so we decided to make some jam out of them. I don't like apricots, so I didn't have any, but Chris said it was good!! So here is how we did it!!
Chris and I first brought over the harvest. We had three bowls like this that were completely full. Not bad for a first time harvest on this tree!
Then we chopped up the apricots into little tiny pieces.
The recipe that we had called for 2 1/2 cups of apricots, and we doubled that because we had so many apricots still! Then we had to bring the apricots and one package of pectin to a rolling boil.
When it came to a boil, we added in 5 1/2 cups of sugar per batch (so really we added 11 cups of sugar) and stirred that in and brought it to another rolling boil and boiled it hard for 2 minutes. (Only do 1 minute if doing one batch at a time)
And then we filled our jars until about 1/4 inch from the top of the can. (and yes it gets a little messy!)
Then you wipe off the can and the top of it so that the seal will seal and not seal haha. That doesn't make any sense but you want to wash off the very tops of the jar and the rest of it is sticky and hot, that is why I am using a wet rag to hold onto the jar.
For doing jams/jellies, you don't have to pressure cook them, instead you steam them in a steamer, so we got our steamer out and got the water hot inside of it and filled it up with our jars.
This was after all of our jars were finished. We steamed them for about 25 minutes, just to make sure the seal would seal and then we pulled them out and Chris took a jar to his dad in Tucson while he is still recovering! Hopefully he thinks it is good! When we doubled the batch, we got 11 half pint jars filled. Also, when you do any kind of jam recipe, you want to follow it EXACTLY if is says only 2 1/2 cups of fruit, don't add any more than that!! It will mess up the jelling process to make the jam thick.

And this is what we did early one morning. It doesn't take very long at all and then you can have some different kinds of jam/jelly on your shelves for your food storage also!

I have a title.

Attention everybody. Andrea Ferrin is no longer just regular Andrea Ferrin. Andrea Ferrin is now officially....

Andrea Ferrin, CNA

That's right. I passed my test yesterday!!! After all of the stress and worry and waiting for 4 stinkin' hours, it is official, or will be once I get my card in the mail!!! Yahoo!!! Nursing program here I come!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kim, this one's for you!!

Okay my pictures aren't in order, but I did my best. The last picture is supposed to be first and until I can figure out how to get it there, its going to stay at the bottom for now!! So let's start there! First you start off with your million pounds of potatoes. Okay, not really, but thats about how many we had this time around so thats what we did.

Then you peel the skins off of the potatoes. (and yes, I wasn't very happy about doing this job!!)

Here I am, still peeling away the skins!

Then you wash the potatoe under water, it doesn't matter if its hot or cold, you just want to get any dirt off that got on the potatoe from the skin while peeling.

Then you cut off all the bad places on the potatoe.

These next two pictures are mixed up. First you want to dice them up and put them into a bowl of water so that the potatoes don't turn brown.

The potatoes chopped up on the cutting board. Be careful not to cut your finger!

Here is one box of potatoes that I had. We had a whole other box of potatoes we had to can as well!

Then you put your potatoes into your canning jars and put them in your pressure cooker. You pressure them at 15 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes, and it take about 60 more minutes before you can open the pressure cooker! So when you can potatoes, make sure you have nothing else going on during the day so that you can monitor your pressure cooker!!!

Engagement Photos

These are my favorite engagement pictures in no specific order so far. They might change as I keep looking at them though!! let me know what you think!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spring Break-Air Show

Okay, I realize Spring Break was a long time ago, but I forgot to blog about that too, so here goes nothing! My cousin married a guy that is in the Air Force, and during Spring Break, there was an air show and they invited us to come and watch it, so we did because we have never been to one before. And it was really fun! We went with my aunts family also. I don't really have a whole bunch to say about it because I don't know what the plane names were or anything, but here are some pictures that maybe describes how it was!
Before the air show, we went and visited Chris's grandma. Chris actually had to miss the air show due to work rescheduling him to work that day. Yes we were both sad.
It was a fun day. By the end of the day, my sister and I looked like little crabs!! I think the next air show we go to, we will remember to wear sunscreen!

Button Button, who's got the Button?

One Sunday after church, Chris noticed on his suit there was a broken button. So when we got back to my house, my mom has these really huge containers full of buttons, all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes. So we decided to start looking for a button!!! We got the help of everybody and eventually found buttons that all matched and were the same size, and even matched the suit! Yay! Go us! As I was looking through the camera I found these pictures and thought that it was a fun day!! If you ever need a button, just let us know.

Canning Tomatoes

This last week my mom went up to Girls Camp as a cook. And every year when the week is over, there is always a TON of leftover food. This year, there were lots of tomatoes and potatoes. But since I've already blogged about canning potatoes, today I'm going to talk about tomatoes. And it is a long process. But totally worth it, as is canning or preserving any food. So let's start with the pictures.
We started with two flats. The other one had a few more tomatoes than this one did.
Then you wash your tomatoes in the sink.
You get a pot with hot boiling water in it. And its best to wait until the water is boiling because then it doesn't take as long for the next step!
You put your tomatoes in the pot until they "blanch"
Blanching is when the skin starts to split. You don't want the skin on the tomatoes and it makes it easier to take the skin off when it is blanched.
After the tomatoes blanch, you put them into a different bowl that has ice cold water in it. It will cool down the toamtoe so that you can actually touch it and peel the skin off.
Here are the skins!
After the skin is off of the tomatoes, they are ready to start getting diced. You can actually can the tomatoes whole, in halfs, or diced, and since I don't even like tomatoes, I think that the diced ones are perfect so that when you use them, it is easier to blend them up in the blender to put in your food! :)
You get your cutting board, knife, and tomatoes ready.
You cut out the center where the tomatoes connects to the stem.
And then you chop them up! Tomatoes are really watery and you want to make sure that when you move your tomatoes into your next pot that you move the liquid over also.
Once you get about this many tomatoes on the board, they are ready to be put into the pot.
This is my mom's big huge soup pot that she has. When all of the tomatoes are cut and put into the pot, you put the pot on the stove and you boil the tomatoes for five minutes. I don't start the timer until the tomatoes are at a rolling boil. Then you can turn the fire down a little bit so you don't get tomatoe splatters all over the place.
You want to make sure that your jars are clean and you fill them up until there is about a 1/2 inch of space left at the top. (Being the slacker I am, I forgot to get a picture of pouring it in. But I think you understand) Then you put them in your pressure cooker for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. And then you have lovely tomatoes on your shelf for your food storage.