Small Batch Sweet Mustard Pickles | Mustard Stain Removal Counter top :)

First time making pickles Mistakes!
So for the first time ever, I made some Sweet Mustard Pickles!!!!!  This was my first time canning and boy, did I ever learn a lot! My biggest lessons:
1. A canning funnel is a must, or a funnel of sorts that will fit pickles!
2. Reg dollar store tongs(the tongs with the sharp edges pic) to get the jars out of hot water and the covers(the sharp edges help to get uder the covers that lay on the bottom of the pot), should be a must, those things were hot!
3. Mustard sauce will stain your counter, next time I will sit jars on a plate.
4. Mustard stains off the counter, plastic? Yep it will come off,  paper towel folded up and held over the top of the bleach bottle to wet, then wipe over the stain and gone! (then wash the counter afterwards good) My counter is the plastic kind.
5. Do not peel the cucumbers, jsut remove the seeds(or don’t)! I peeled my first batch thinking it would taste better.. WRONG lol They need the skin for the added crunch.

Overall they were edible, but here is the RIGHT recipe with detailed instructions for  beginner pickling! 🙂

Recipe Small Batch Sweet Mustard Pickles:

  • 2-3 large cucumbers not peeled but seeded and sliced
  • 1-2 cups cauliflower florets (1 small head washed and rinsed well)
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced(use rubber gloves to cut if you donot like the onion smell on your hands afterwards)
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt(not regular salt, apparently it makes a big difference)
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard(got spices at Bulk Barn in Yarmouth cheap!)
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 cups vinegar white or apple cider 5%
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. THE DAY BEFORE: Combine salt with  water, stirring until dissolved in a large container(they say to use non reactive but i really have no clue what that means? maybe not metal? but thats what I used? ok moving on! 🙂 ). Cut the ends off of each cucumber and cut in half. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds by dragging it down the middle of the cucumber half.  Cut into quaters and cut into thick slices. Place cucumbers, chopped up califlower and sliced and parted onions in the salted water.  Make sure vegetables are covered in the water, or dissolve a table spoon of salt in a few cups of water and pour over to have them covered.
    I use gloves for cutting up the onions because I hate the smell it leaves on my hands, then you dont ahve to wait days to get the onion smell off your hands! 🙂
  2. THE NEXT DAY: Get a large pot of  water and put jars and covers in the pot and start the boiling. You need to get your jars ready, you cannot over boil them so take your time!
  3. SOOO its been 24 hours! Drain the vegetables well, and rinse them well in cold water a few times, you want to get the salt taste off a little!
  4. In another pot, combine sugar, flour, mustard, celery seeds and tumeric in a large saucepan, stir these dry ingredients until well mixed. Mix in vinegar and water. (while stiring proceed to step 5!!)Then bring to to a boil over high heat stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  5. Remove hot jars(not covers, keep them boiling) from boiling water(with tongs) while the sauce is cooking. Stuff with just the veggies and sit aside uncovered(I used the funnel and a cup to get the veggies in)
  6. When the sauce is done, pour immediately into the jars(using the jar funnel again if you have one) watching the sauce sink and waiting for it to go through the veggies, take a butter knife to remove the bubbles!!!! 🙂
  7. After jars are full, remove covers(the tongs should get them out leave the water boiling), wipe rims with a damp cloth and using over mits or a dishtowel, put the covers on tightly and immediately return to the boiling water. NOTE: you may need to remove some of the water as the jars are now full!
  8. Process 10 minutes for pints (500 ml) jars and 15 minutes for quart (1 L) jars.
  9. Now take the jars out of the boiling water, I dump the water down the sink and grab the bottles with oven mitts.
  10. Wait for the popping!!!! To know the jars are sealed, you will hear the covers pop as they cool, this could take 2 minutes or 2 hours, but you can always check by pushing the cover to see if it moves.

These instructions are as detailed as I can remember to answer all the questions I had as this was my first time, my second time went much better this these few mistakes corrected!

Why make pickles? Well honestly to save money, it’s cheap, they make great gifts and I enjoy it! 🙂



Bumble Bee’s, Sedum Spectabile & Sunflowers

My brother used to plant sunflowers each year and I loved them, they grew huge and he would save the seeds and feed them to the birds, I thought they were the coolest things ever! So this year when planting the garden I decided to go ahead and attempt growing sunflowers, wow was it ever easier then I expected, although I should have known that as from bird seed last year a mini sunflower grew!

Here are some pictures of the sunflowers so far!

Also my pepper plant this year smells awesome, here is a picture of a bumble bee resting on the leaves! He sat so still, it was almost like he posed for me! 🙂

And Mike split up his sedum flowers (Spectabile  Version) and  brought them down and planted them in the spring and they are just starting to turn pink, I love these flowers they are mega cute 🙂 And wow did they ever take off really well!  They feel rubbery and they are almost impossible to kill! Which is great for me I forgot to water them all summer lol.

Egg In The Hole Recipe | Toad In The Hole | Eggs in Frame

Growing up, one of my favorite breakfasts I used to have was Eggs in a hole. It’s such a simple concept, but the combination really does make a whole new flavor combo!.. no really, it’s different then just frying and egg and eating toast lol.

Start with cutting a hole out of your bread, I just used a knife and cut out a heart, you can use cookie cutter, a glass, the biggest thing to note, do not make it too small, or too big, guesstimate the size of your egg.

Butter one side of the hole and one side of the bread, place in a pan and butter the other side, also butter the piece you cut out:

Turn the heat on just below medium and crack the egg into the hole:
I use the hole to test the browning of the larger piece and the egg:)

Now after flipping just keep checking, if you like your eggs runny, take it off earlier:)

On a side note, check out the chocolates I got from Carino Confections this weekend at the market!:

Have a great Sunday! 🙂

Culloden Digby NS | Mill Road Trail Acaciaville Inukshuk

For Mike’s birthday I decided to go up to Digby to spend it with him. As I left Yarmouth it was a wet dreary day, as I got closer to Digby, it turned out to be a beautiful evening. Mike actually bought me a sandwich and coffee(noting it was his birthday, hes too sweet:) and we went for a drive to explore. Our first stop was to the wharf to see if we could fish a bit. Unfortunately it was not the right time, so we went to Culloden in Digby County Nova Scotia.. All I can say is wow, it was beautiful there! Here is my beautiful boyfriend.. well maybe handsome is a better word lol, but here he is checking out the rocks and crevasses. It was beyond peaceful there, the water was calm like being on a lake!

After looking around here for a while, me and Mike took off and he took me to a trail in the middle on nowhere’s. This trail is apparently called Mill Road Trail in Acaciaville, the trail is not maintained but it’s absolutely stunning! Be careful on the boardwalks they are tipsy! lol But the trail was beautiful! Here are some of the pics I took! 🙂

The place was beautiful! This flower Mike called a wax flower, because it does feel like wax! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotropa_uniflora commonly called Ghost PlantIndian Pipe, or Corpse Plant. It is apparently a really rare plant, I am a curious person, I want to see what do people use it for, what is it used for? Here is what I found:)

“Monotropa uniflora as a safe remedy for children suffering from epilepsy, lockjaw, or other spasmodic conditions.

The Cree tribe chewed on the roots of this plant to ease toothaches. It was also used externally for inflamed eyes and bunions and warts. Monotropa uniflora was included in The Canada Pharmacopiea in 1868.

The root is known to be a tonic, sedative, nervine, and antispasmodic. It has also been used in fevers, as a sedative and diaphoretic. The powdered root can be given in instances of restlessness, pains, nervous irritability, etc., as a substitute for opium, without any deleterious influences. In convulsions of children, epilepsy, chorea, and other spasmodic affections, its administration has been followed with prompt success; hence its common name Fit or Convulsion root. The juice of the plant is often combined with rose water as an excellent application to inflammation of the eyes, to ulcers, and to inflammation and ulceration of the bladder.

Interesting I think, especially the substitute for opium part lol!

 

Hortons Landing Elm Tree | French Cross, Nova Scotia | Grande Pre

Vacation 2010, so these pictures about about a year old, but last September me and Mike went to the Valley geocaching. Mike took most of these photos:)
Corn Field Valley Nova Scotia Grande pre

This picture above was taken as we were driving through corn fields looking for a geocache, shortest distance to cache can take you on some interesting roads! However once we got to the cache, this was our views, it was amazing!

Hortons Landing Elm Tree

 

This old tree  was awesome, I just found out today that this old elm tree fell down in a storm about a month after we took this picture! Mike sent me a email at work today with the link to the article here: http://www.kingscountynews.ca/Arts/Cultural-activities/2011-08-15/article-2707156/Elm-tree-lives-on-at-Grand-Pre/1

Here are the rest of the picture:

Horton Landing Gaspereau River