Tattler Lids and Flying Knives

If you recall, I was sent some reusable Tattler canning lids to review several weeks ago. I wrote the review based on positive feedback I’d heard from my friends about Tattler, but I’ve been waiting for my tomatoes to finally turn red so I could actually can something myself and use my new lids!! Finally, last weekend I was able to play with my new “toys”.

I’m very excited to share, in response to many of you asking about Tattler lids, “Do they really work?”  YES! They really work!

Because I was so giddy with excitement over my first canning experience of this season, and because based on this happy jar sealing experience, Tattler and I are going to become extremely close friends, I got a little bit camera happy.

Here we have my Tattler lids sealed on tomato sauce jars with okra, peppers and cucumbers in the background:

Here we have an extreme close up of the Tattler lids sealed on the tomato sauce jars. I think their smiles look so nice in this one, if in fact Tattler lids can smile (and I think we would all agree that they can, indeed, smile):


Here they are again, sitting next to their box with my water glass to the right, and my bouquet of last week’s birthday flowers in the background:

And here is a picture of three of my boys painting last Tuesday. While I love my Tattler lids, I love my children more. Sometimes I’m guilty of snapping pictures of weird things like butter splattered on pineapple and taking umpteen pictures of canning jars at a variety of angles, and I fail to take pictures of my children painting dots with q-tips.


We have been studying Australia, and came across a special painting style the Aborigines use:  Warlpiri. We decided to try it. Unfortunately, all of our paint colors except red and yellow were dried out and crusty. Therefore, my kids got to paint Warlpiri art using only red, yellow and orange for color choices.  All of our paintings looked kind of like an Australian sunset, but it sure was fun.

How does the picture of my boys relate to Tattler and canning tomato sauce? It doesn’t. Although, if you look real close at my pantry doors right behind Elias, you can see a plastic knife stuck through the door handles. I first noticed that Malachi had parked his “weapon of the day” between the pantry door handles while my arms were full of freshly canned tomato sauce jars, which made it impossible to open the doors with my foot, which had been my original plan. After setting all of the tomato jars back down, I may or may not have yanked the knife out with a grimace and flung it into the living room so that I could resume my task.

I bet you didn’t know that sometimes finding my boys’ toys in precarious places all over the house causes me to fling knives into the living room.

Although now that I see a picture of it here, I find the knife through the pantry door handles rather endearing.

Remind me of this cuteness tomorrow after I’ve just tripped over a lightsaber.

Gratituesday: Oh, the Abundance

gratituesday

I am writing this Gratituesday post as a reminder to myself to be grateful for Pete’s sake. You know why? Because lately I have been a whiny baby who has been feeling very sorry for herself. 

What in the world is wrong with me? 

I’ve been whining because I have tomatoes and peppers needing to be picked at a crazy fast pace. I can hardly keep up with making them all into tomato sauce and salsa. They are constantly covering my counter-tops.

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Also, my friend gave me a huge bunch grapes that I need to hurry and do something with.  And I have two sacks of apples that I keep tripping over that really should be made into applesauce. And there are more apples to be picked if I could ever get around to going to pick them.

My kitchen is exploding with abundance…and I am whining.

I’m whining because I have too much food.  Really Laura? I’m whining because I have so much work to do, really?

It’s time for me to stop whining and be grateful. 

Thank you for letting me confess my rotten attitude and for holding me accountable to changing it.

God is good and if I can’t remember that…perhaps I should just take a good look around my kitchen at all the abundance. Because of Him, my family will not go hungry. 

Nope, in fact…we’ll be eating like kings.

What are you thankful for this Gratituesday? Write about it on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for!

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Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

The Garden

Several of you have requested to see how our garden is growing this year. Therefore, I braved the millions of mosquitoes and took several shots of our glorious soil with green things growing out of it.

I can take absolutely NO credit this year for how the garden looks. Matt has worked VERY hard and keeping the weeds under control and everything looks so, so pretty.

I basically started on one end of the house and went all the way around the back to the other side taking pictures. Yes, we have more than one garden spot. If it has the capability to grow things (and it isn’t an area used regularly to kick soccer balls), it has been tilled and it shall bear fruit. Well, vegetables as the case may be.

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Here we have several tomato plants and some pepper plants. 
Looks like the beginnings of salsa, wouldn’t you think?

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Ah, more tomato plants. Yes, there will be many tomatoes. We are not afraid.

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Ooh, the first fruits. Vegetables. Wait. Tomatoes are a fruit. 

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We planted the corn in two stages so that it would be ready at two different times. 
The first round is just a bit taller than me. We’re so proud.

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Here are more pepper plants growing in the raised garden bed Matt made last year. 
Our yard is really not crooked. I just took a crooked picture.

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Here’s our little garden of potatoes. See all the blossoms? 
That means there are lots of french fries growing underground.

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Beside the potato plot grows our beloved peach tree. 
There are only a few peaches on it, so this year we will be mooching peaches off of others if possible. 
The tree sure looks pretty though.

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And last but not least, the green beans. Four long rows of green beans. And look:

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I picked a whole bowlful on Tuesday!! 
When I steamed some that night, I thought perhaps I was in  heaven. 

And then we may or may not have steamed more of them for breakfast this morning. Who could resist?

Awesome Easy Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

It’s almost that time of year again…  The time when we can warm up at lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup!

I LOVE this recipe that was given to me by my friend Anne…who got it from her friend Anne. (Yeah, like that’s not ever confusing.)  Along with canning lots of tomato sauce and tomato juice and salsa, I love canning several jars of Anne’s tomato soup for the winter! (Wait, which Anne is that?)

Most of the tomato soup you’ll find at the store will have high fructose corn syrup or sugar in it…

This recipe has no sugar…which is amazing because it tastes so yummy and sweet! Once when Matt was eating some, he asked at least three times, “This really doesn’t have any sugar in it?”  :)

Homemade Tomato SoupYum

5 pounds chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
3 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put everything in a big pot and cook it for about 3 hours. Then, put it into your blender and blend until smooth. Freeze it, or can it following these canning methods (25 minutes in the water bath).

I love having recipes like this that are so simple to make and healthy for my family!