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I'm just a girl with a labelmaker

Welcome to a little side page dedicated to weekends spent at my Gramma’s house, learning things only Gramma’s can teach…

Canning at Gramma’s

My grandparents used to grow a garden that, as a child, I thought was the biggest garden ever…looking back now it was maybe an average size garden, but it was awesome! Rows of corn, green beans, tomatoes, peppers and so much more. The kitchen would be steamy hot while green beans boiled for canning, or tomatoes cooked for Papa’s spaghetti sauce. Recently I realized that, even though my garden consists of 1 tomato plant, 3 pepper plants and a few herbs, I needed to learn this art of canning…and straight from the source – well, my source 😉

My Mom and Gramma both gave me a couple books on canning, which have been great references!First we had to get the jars out of the barn, but before that the door had to be dug out…

It’s been a while since any canning has been done around here 😉  First I washed and cut up the peppers (excuse the lack of step-by-step photos, my hands were covered in hot pepper juice). We put a pot on the stove of the water, vinegar, garlic mixture that was needed for the peppers.

Meanwhile, Gramma had been washing the jars and adding them, the lids, and rings to the large pot of boiling water.

– I mixed jalapeno, serrano, and banana peppers into the jars, some whole, some sliced, some with garlic

– Poured in the water, vinegar, garlic mixture

– Added some pickle crisp

– Wiped the rim dry

– Fished the lids and rings out of the hot water and secured them onto the jars

– Processed them in the hot water bath (we roughly used the Hot Peppers recipe on page 56 of the Ball Blue Book)

I think the hardest part of canning will be waiting to open the jars 🙂

Baking at Gramma’s

When I was a little girl I had no interest in baking bread, or baking much of anything for that matter. My Gramma would be busy mixing and kneading while I  built roads  and mountains in the container of flour. Baking with Gramma usually meant there would be flour, measuring cups and mixing bowls  all over the kitchen – now that was fun for a kid! One of these baking days I had mixed up my own concoction of who knows what and filled my plastic muffin pan with it, being the stubborn kid I am was,  I decided that this could definitely be put into the oven – Gramma tried to tell me it would melt – I argued that it would not – I think we know how this ends…one melted muffin pan and a lesson learned! Sooo, this time around I followed Gramma’s instructions closely…

This is the basic white bread recipe my Gramma has always used, along with instructions from the cook book below…well, until she got a bread machine…but I got her to pull out the ol’ mixing bowl and yeast 🙂

Ruth Baxter was her sister

First I measured & sifted the flour, while Gramma enjoyed a cup of coffee (it was early & we had been up late)…

I mixed everything together & dumped it out for kneading..

I then put the kneaded dough back into the bowl and…we waited…let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, we turned the oven on and sat the bowl on the stove.

In my family, this is a good time to get the snacks out 🙂

Once the dough was doubled in size I divided it in half(sort of), folded the ends under and placed them in greased bread pans

Next, more snacking, I mean…each dough ball must rise again, nearly doubling in size. Once doubled, I baked them (and this time my pans didn’t melt 😉 ) When they came out of the oven I rubbed butter all over the top of ’em and let them cool…more waiting…

Bread made with love 🙂

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