November 14, 2011 by Scooter
With the abundance of tomatoes and basil we had in the garden this year, I started to do some research as to what to do with it all. This summer, we picked up a pressure canner at the thrift store and suddenly a new hobby was born. Spending time clicking through search engines for different and unique jam recipes, I came across a Yellow Tomato Basil Jam recipe over at Food In Jars… This is a great blog on canning with many recipes!
Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam
makes 3.5 pints or 7 half pints
4 pounds Sungold or other yellow tomatoes
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of two lemons, divided
1/4 cup roughly chopped basil
Cut Sungold tomatoes in half, or, if using larger yellow tomatoes, chop them into smallish pieces.
Combine chopped tomatoes with sugar in a large, non-reactive pot and stir. Let sit for at least one hour, or until the tomatoes release their juice.
When ready to cook, prep canning pot and jars and place jam pot over high heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Cook at a boil for 30-35, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and the syrup has gotten thick. Check set with plate test. Once you’re satisfied with the set, remove the pot from the heat and stir in half the lemon zest and chopped basil. Taste and add remaining lemon zest only if you feel the jam requires it.
Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from pot and let them cool on a kitchen towel. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use promptly. All sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Category Canning and Preserving | Tags: basil,canning,DIY,garden,heirloom,jam,jars,kitchen,preserving,storage,tomato,tomatoes,yellow | Comments Off on Yellow Tomato Basil Jam
October 31, 2011 by Scooter
Fall is here and the leaves are falling… and what else makes for great compost… but leaves!! Not wanting to have any of our newly raked piles go to waste… we spent an afternoon building a compost bin in hopes that some of that leafy mulch will turn into gardener’s gold come spring!
$$ – (Under $26)
4 shipping pallets – Side of the road… (free)
8 wooden (or metal) stakes/ posts – Habitat for Humanity Outlet… ($)
Window Screen (optional) – Home Depot … ($)
Wire – Home Depot… ($)
We picked up 4 old fencing posts and decided we could cut them in half to get the 8 stakes that we needed…
Next, we stood the pallets up on their sides to form a square and then hammered in the posts at each end of the pallets. We also drilled 3 of the 4 pallets together for extra stability. The forth pallet gets wired to the other three on the one side to act as a hinge for opening and closing.
Since we have dogs that like to eat just about anything, and squirrels that make a mess of our yard… we decided to line the inside with screen mesh to help prevent spilling out… Using a staple gun, this was secured down…keeping in mind of the pallet that will swing open.
Category DIY Projects | Tags: compost,DIY,Fall,garden,leaves,organic | 2 Comments
October 10, 2011 by Scooter
This project was inspired by the Wriggling Snake Wreath over at MarthaStewart.com!
$$ – (Under $26)
black acrylic paint – Hobby Lobby… (under $3)
vinyl snakes – Halloween or toy store, we found a bag of 8… (under $10)
Floral wire, 20-gauge – Hobby Lobby… (under $3)
Black water-based spray paint – had around the house… (free)
18-inch grapevine wreath – .. (under $5)
1 75pk of creepy creatures – Big Lots… (under $5)
Paint grapevine wreath using water-based spray paint; let dry.
Paint vinyl snakes in assorted shapes and sizes using acrylic paint; let dry.
Attach snakes, spiders, bats and any other creepy crawly creature to wreath: For flat snakes, twist floral wire around in 2 places, thread wire into wreath, and secure at back. Coiled snakes can simply be wrapped around wreath.
Category DIY Projects | Tags: bats,black,decoration,DIY,Halloween,snakes,spiders,spooky,trick or treat,wreath | Comments Off on Halloween Wreath
October 3, 2011 by Scooter
This project was inspired by the Snug Mug Spoon Wall over at ReadyMade!
$$ – (Under $45)
scrap cabinet grade plywood – found in alleyway… (free)
assortment of spoons – thrift store… (under $4)
Nuts, Bolts, and Washers – price depends on size. we wanted large, so spent a bit more… (under $10)
2 36″ square steel tubing – $5.57 each… (under $12)
2 Flat Brackets – depends on size of your board. We went with 48″ brackets @ 6.51 each.. ($13)
Steel Adhesive – we went with SteelStik… (under $6)
Burlap Coffee Sack (optional) – had around the house…(free)
First we arranged the spoons and the steel bars on the board…
Now, take a hacksaw and score the spoons and the steel tubing where they will attach. Next we took SteelStik and adhered the spoons.
Set up the brackets and mark where you would like the bolts to go… We did 4 on each side between each bar.
Next, drill the holes…
We then set it up and trimmed the brackets. We had a coffee sack lying around that we thought would make for a nice cover to the board.
Last we added some mounting wire onto the back and the spoon mug wall has been created!
Category DIY Projects | Tags: coffee,DIY,kitchen,mugs,spoons,storage | Comments Off on Spoon Mug Wall