By Kristine Farley
This is the most rewarding time of year; the garden is in full production and there is always something to pick and eat. If you don’t have a garden the farmers markets have everything in them now. Or go to www.pickyourown.org/WA.htm to find local farms and produce. PickYourOwn.org is a great site for recipes and preservation tips.
Here’s our family recipe for bread and butter pickles. They are easy to make and everyone loves them. My husband says he could eat sandwiches everyday if he has these pickles to eat, too.
Bread and Butter Pickles – Makes eight pints
4 quarts of sliced, unpeeled, medium cucumbers or zucchini
6 cups thinly sliced onion
2 cups thinly sliced green or mild peppers
1/3 cup sea salt
Combine the cucumbers or zucchini, onions, peppers, and salt in a large bowl. Cover with ice cubes and plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least three hours or overnight. Drain well.
In a large stockpot, combine:
5 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons celery seed
Over medium high heat, bring to boil. Add cucumber mixture and bring to boil again. Turn off heat and pack hot into jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Process in water bath for 10 minutes.
Plastic grocery bags are in the news here in Washington and other places of the country. Visit http://news.opb.org/article/4052-washington-state-bag-regulations-discussion-legislature/ or http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/01/21/AR2009012103538.html.
Cloth grocery bags are for now. As you will see from the links above this is not just a passing fad and will become the way we shop, unless we want to pay extra. Almost every store is selling reusable grocery bags now, but if you look at the tags, most are made in China. No insult to China, but I prefer to use items made in the United States. Plus, I don’t like to be like everyone else. So why not try an easy and basic sewing project? Maybe you’ll want to make them out of used jeans, tablecloth or some fabric that you have. Give this project a try: http://tipnut.com/35-reusable-grocery-bags-totes-free-patterns/
As always you can check out what we are doing at Herbal Momma’s School of Domestic Arts Blog: www.herbalmommasda.blogspot.com
Here are some of my favorite online resources for living green:
“MaryJane’s Ideabook-Cookbook-Lifebook” by MaryJane Butters
“Homemade – How to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products” by Reader’s Digest
Eat and buy a variety of local, organic, bulk, whole foods and save money.
Kristine Farley is a mother of many, energy wellness coach, herbalist and teaches a variety of classes. In her classes, Kristine shows people that healthy options are not hard and that they can be adapted to your current lifestyle. She lives in Bonney Lake on a mini-farm with her family. Visit www.kristinef.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check outHerbal Momma’s School of Domestic Arts blog, http://herbalmommasda.blogspot.com.