Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What to write...

Well since canning is officially over and garage sales are through for the year, I know summer is officially over. I can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of fall. This fall however seems to be rushing by fast. As tomorrow is our Halloween in our city, which is one of those little quirks of this area--the Thursday before Halloween is the trick-or-treat night. And we have yet to get our pumpkins and get our memorable family pictures in the pumpkin patch. Today as I passed the sign for Wenger's Produce, I saw they were closed! My heart sank a little knowing that this little memory will not be taken, but there is still tomorrow afternoon before we get all gussied up to go out. I can't wait to see my daughter in her outfit that we are borrowing from a very sweet friend and my son in his first costume. I can hardly wait!
My blog is going to take a turn for the remainder of the year, no longer will I update you on canning, as again canning season is done, however, I don't know what I am going to be writing about yet. Most likely, my kids or a good deal here and there! I also want to share about what I am learning in my devotions. Keep your eyes peeled as there is more to come...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dilly, Beans!

Yes, I said Dilly Beans...they taste like dill pickles, but are really green beans! Yum-o!!
Last summer we were at my friend, Maryann's and she offered us a taste of her dilly beans! Kyle and I loved these! We have tried making our own dill pickles in the past and they have tasted very vinegar like and the pickles were very limp-like! So I thought I would try these this year, thank you Ann Spain for this great recipe! I can't tell you yet if they turned out, because they have 3 more weeks to sit on the shelf!

Recipe for Dilly Beans:
2 lbs. of green beans clean
1 tsp. or less of cayenne pepper
4 cloves of garlic
4 tsp. dill seed or 4 heads of dill
2-1/2 cups water
2 -1/2 cups vinegar
1/4 cup salt

In 4 pints, pack beans into pints, put in 1/4 tsp or less of cayenne pepper per pint, 1 clove of garlic per pint, and one head of dill or 1 tsp. of dill seed per pint.
Bring salt, water and vinegar to a boil and pour over beans.
Put caps on and process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
**This recipe yields 4 pints, double, triple, quadruple your recipe for more green beans. I bought a gallon of vinegar and one box of dill seed and that was enough for 2 recipes of dilly beans!** Your cayenne pepper will last longer.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sauerkraut, you too can make saurkraut!!

After several tries, we have finally found the best way to make sauerkraut! Now 'kraut is something that not everyone likes, but many do. It took several New Year's dinners for me to even try it because the smell was just awful!! But now I guess I can say I really enjoy pork and sauerkraut as well as kielbasa sausage and sauerkraut. I have always enjoyed cabbage and really anything with cabbage in it...but it's the fact that it's sour...eww! However, my tastes have changed as I have gotten older. Well here's our recipe for sauerkraut.
Things you will need:
Kosher salt (only--do not use iodized salt of any form, i.e. table salt, it will ruin your batch)
Crock of 10-12 gallons with lid
Bag of water and plastic garbage bag
kitchenaid mixer with attachment (we use
the largest attachment for shredding cabbage)
stomper (or a wooden baseball bat will do as well)

Start off by taking the outside leaves off of your cabbage. Go ahead and take off all the darker green leaves as these do not shred up very well. Cut the cabbage into small enough pieces to put into your Kitchenaid mixer attachment. Make sure to cut out the hearts of the cabbage, they will not shred up very well also. Use a large bowl to catch the cabbage in once it is shredded.

Once you reach 5 lbs of cabbage collected, add 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt to your cabbage and pour into your crock. Immediately begin stomping your cabbage. You want to stomp your cabbage and you will have lots of bubbles and water form over the top of the cabbage.

Continue to stomp the cabbage while you continue to shred cabbage and keep adding 5 lbs. of cabbage + Kosher salt (3 Tablespoons) at a time.

Once you have cut up all your cabbage and stomped the cabbage and made a lot of water and bubbles you will want to seal off your cabbage. You will cover the cabbage with your plastic bag and add the bag of water on top. Add the lid to seal. Place the crock in an area where it can rest for 6 weeks. Make sure this is a place it can bubble
over, since it will most likely do as such. We place ours in the corn crib for the 6 weeks.
After 6 weeks, take off the lid, take out the water bag and plastic garbage bag and load the sauerkraut into quart sized ziploc bags. Freeze your sauerkraut in your freezer or deep freeze.

For 20-22 heads of cabbage, it yields about 9-10 gallons of cabbage, and we yielded about 30+ quarts of sauerkraut.

**This is a job for a family to do together! We usually have a couple of people cutting, someone running the Kitchenaid mixer and pouring the salt. We also have a couple people taking turns on stomping the cabbage. You will also need several people with very strong arms to carry your crock to a place to store! It is EXTREMELY heavy!!! **

Enjoy your sauerkraut!!!

Canning Green Beans

Well the time is amoung us! It's canning time at the Gantz home!! It seems once we start, veggies are ready in the garden in the matter of days apart! I have several posts to do from the last two weeks that we have done, but I could not find the time to write and can at the same you'll receive these posts separately but probably in the matter of today or tomorrow.

Kyle and I went out and picked green beans one day and we have a little over a half a row. This is a good year for green beans, as our first picking we yielded 2 Wal-mart bags full=one 8 quart kettle overflowing of snapped green beans! To can green beans, I would suggest getting a pressure cooker canner and using 10 pounds of pressure for the canner (follow directions in the caning book). For the canner, once the canner starts to steam/bobble starts to jiggle vigorously, then you start timing for 20 minutes. After a good 20 minutes of jiggle, turn off the burner and let set for 45 minutes or until pressure is released from canner. If you are using a water-bath canner, this will take you 3 hours! (So invest in a canner--I think this will be on my Christmas list this year!! or borrow from a family member--thanks Jamie! or friend).

To prep, clean your jars and rings in hot soapy water, rinse clean. If these are new cans, you are set, but each time you re-use a can you will have to purchase new lids, as they will not seal again once they have been used. The lids are generally between $1.00-$2.00 for a set of 12 depending on if you need small or wide-mouth lids.

Out of my overflowing 8 quart kettle of snapped green beans, it yielded 25 pints and 1 quart of green beans. I decided to go with pints, because I have a ton of pint jars and need to save my quarts for tomato soup, grape juice, etc.

For the green beans, you will need salt, green beans and water to can.

1. Cut off ends of green beans and snap into 1 inch pieces. These do not have to be precise, as we worked together as a family. My 3-year-old helped too!! (This is a great way to get your kids in the kitchen to help you prep for the canning!! They enjoy being apart of the project as well!! And the more you do together, the more fun you have and great memories are made!!). I generally stop up my sink on both sides, pour my snapped beans into one side and rinse them and pour them into the other side, repeat twice and you'll have clean beans!

2. Pack green beans into a clean jar.

3. Pour salt over the beans (1/4 tsp. per jar of salt for pints, 1/2 tsp. per jar of salt for quarts)

4. Boil water on the stove, once boiling, pour water over beans, leaving one inch of head room at the top (meaning I usually stop at the bottom of the neck of the jar, if my beans are a little taller I just make sure they are covered, but do leave some space at the top). Be sure to use a canning funnel (it fits into your cans and will prevent spills and burns). Use your sink to pour the boiling water into the cans.

5. Put lids on top and put rings on tight.

6. Fill canner with amount of cans canner can hold according to directions. (If you are using a pressure cooker canner, be sure to put in 1 Tablespoon of vinegar to keep calcium levels down.)

7. Follow directions above depending on which canner you are using!

8. When cans are done, use pot holders and jar lifter (below) to pull cans out of canner.

9. Let cool and let the cans set on your counter before storing for 24 hours. You should instantly start to hear seals pop. You will be able to tell if your cans have sealed, by feeling if there is a bubble in the top of your can lids. If there is a bubble, you will have to recan them. If it is flat, they have sealed. I had two that did not seal, so I just set them in my refrigerator to use soon.

How fun is it to do something as a family!! What a blessing it is to can the veggies that God has given us! I am so grateful for the learning from my grandparents and Kyle's family on how to do this and the blessings it brings to my family! As I am doing each vegetable, I am amazed at how amazing God's creation is. How different each individual vegetable is by color, by taste, by appearance!! How could anyone not believe in God?? That is beyond me!! What an amazing God we serve!!

Happy Canning!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Swing

Today I put the swing away, and I am realizing once again I have an older infant. Where once a sleepy little one that was tucked all around with blankets (so he wouldn't slide) was found is now a busting out of the seat and more interested in other things little boy! Where did my newborn go? Where did his need to be held scurry away to? He is now jumping in his jumper, quickily finding little bits of things on the floor (as I am hurridly using the sweeper more often again) and playing with the toys he can now grasp. Every mother I meet has always said, "Hold them when they're little because it goes by so fast." And here we are 6 months later and time has flown. I get a little sad when they move stages in their clothing (he is wearing 9 months--big boy!!) and even in different sizes of diapers...those newborns are so teeny!! And they quickly move on to size one, two, three... And now I am seeing he is starting to be a big boy. No more swing is the first sign of being a big boy. The space in our room is more open, but do I dare say, more empty. This is only the beginning of goodbyes and only the beginnng of more independence for my little man. I can't believe I would ever be so weepy to clear our room or put away a toy, but to me it's only the beginning of my son growing up. I see where my daughter is now, and I know it's only a matter of time. Children grow O so quickly. Love them everyday and enjoy each moment! Today it's the swing, what will tomorrow bring!?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Why do plans bind us so, and when they are broken why does it bother us? I am a planner, to the core. I love lists, I love order, I love checking off my lists, I love to-do's, circling ads for garage sales, finding deals in my CVS ad and making a list and order in how I shop there...O how my list can continue. The last two weeks my order, my things I want done, my fun things are not getting done because I am or my child or my husband is sick. I have come to realize that in all things, God has provided a greater good for me and to not go to something or not have my list completed is because He is providing me a detour and I need to not be flustered when this happens. Last week for example, Kyle came home and I didn't have plans or didn't have anything on my to-do list so he took us up to Indian Lake where we walked around the water, played in the play area and enjoyed ice cream at Dairy Queen. I was so thrilled for this spur-of-the-moment, end-of-the-day, memory-making family event. And since I didn't have plans for us, Kyle felt he could take us! (Why don't I do this more often) I didn't plan it, I didn't have it on my list, I didn't make invitations or even plan a meal. It was carefree and time with my family! What a blessing from the Lord! I know I will always have great memories of that day. Maybe I need to be better about being more carefree--I used to be. I used to go anywhere on a whim or do anything if I was dared (within in the realms of legality and conviction). Where did I loose this child-like wonder and joy! They have been lost to my lists. And though I don't think I could give them up, I am finding I would rather enjoy these last minute plans better--and I need to be more easy going as I once was...afterall I am a mother of two wonderful children and doing various things and activities that are not necessarily planned will be good for them and myself. All this to say, I know God has a purpose for my life and it is nothing that I can plan or have control of. How thankful I am that He is control of my life, my future, my all! Lord, help me to enjoy the moments away from my to-do's and make them memorable!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

This picture does not show how yummy this pie is!! I will never claim to be a perfect pie maker, nor do I make my own crust, though my aunt tried to teach me! Since being married to Kyle I have found my love for pie and here is a recipe to help you use more of your buckets of fresh strawberries. This recipe is not my own, it is from The Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book, 12th Edition. If you know of someone getting married, or who needs a great cookbook that has everything--this is the book for them, a great gift from my Mom!
One box of Pillsbury or chilled pie crust (they come two to a box, so you can make two pies with a crumble topping or one double-crust pie).
2 cups of chopped fresh or frozen strawberries
2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of finely shredded lemon peel or 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (I always use the cinnamon--yummy!)

Follow directions on box for bringing the dough to room temperature. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pastry dough.
Combine sugar and flour. Stir in strawberries, rhubarb and cinnamon. Toss fruit until coated well. (If your fruit is frozen, let mixture stand for 45 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy).
Transfer fruit mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie plate.
Cover the fruit with second pastry, seal and cut slits in pastry for steam. Crimp edges if desired.
Use a pastry brush and cover top crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Cover edges of pie crust with foil. Bake at 375 degrees in oven for 25 minutes (or 50 minutes if fruit is frozen). Remove foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden. Cool on wire rack.

Enjoy your strawberry-rhubarb pie!! Yummo!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What to do with a bucket...or two...of strawberries

Summer is one of my favorite times of year...especially strawberry and raspberry season. Though the weather, depending on the Ohio day, can very steamy and muggy and sticky, I love going with my husband and my kids and pick raspberries and strawberries. Raspberries are more adventuresome, considering the ones we generally pick are I love the adventure and it reminds me of the time of year (usually around the 4th of July) when my husband and I got engaged and our anniversary (July 3rd). Well, anyway, I thought I might share what I have done with our strawberries we have picked this year. First of all, I am hoping to have a good crop of strawberries next year, as my little girl bought me 6 plants for Mother's Day (with the help of my awesome Mom-in-law). We have already enjoyed a few fruits this year, but next year there should be much more! I can't wait! For our strawberries, we generally go to Wengers Produce. The land they farm on is the land rented from Kyle's Granddad's land, so it is right down the road from their home. If you do not have a close produce stand in your county, check out a local farmer's markets, generally they are held on Saturday Mornings, and there are lots of fun items there. At our Logan County Farmer's Market, we currently have maple syrup, local honey, locally made cheese, pastries, flowers and strawberries. As the summer goes on there will be other veggies and fruits available!

My family and I went out a couple of weeks ago to pick a couple buckets of strawberries. Needless to say it was an adventure to go with a 3 year old and 4 month old, but we had fun and we will have those memories! The strawberries were juicy, a vibrant bright red and ready to be picked. We brought our strawberries home and made some yummy things with them!

One of the first things we made was Freezer Strawberry Jam! My husband loves peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches (I am just a peanut butter fan!) and he has those throughout the year for lunch, my daughter has started to love them too! Jam can be used for many fun recipes, which I am planning on sharing with you as well!! One of the best parts about doing the freezer jam is there is no cooking and no processing of the jars, so you can use any jar!! I save all my jars I use throughout the year, for example, olive, pickles, salsa, jelly jars, again any jar can be used since you do not have to have a seal!

Here is how to make yummy freezer jam:

First you need to buy Surejell Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin (this recipe can be found on the inside packet, as this is their freezer jam recipe). (I use the liquid, because with the powder, you have to boil water, and with two kids, I like the easier methods the best and again I am sticking with the no cooking method!!) There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, but there are also other types of Surejell you can buy that are Reduced Sugar, just look where they sell your Surejell, which can be found in the bakery aisle. For each recipe of jam, you will need one pouch of liquid pectin per recipe.
You will need 2 pints of strawberries, whole to start with. Out of the 2 pints you will need 2 cups of squashed strawberries (after squishing them with my hands the first time, I used my immersion blender--thanks to my hubby's idea!!)

You will need 4 cups of sugar (yes I said 4 cups of sugar!!)

Also, the recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. I forgot to buy lemons, so I used my refrigerated lemon juice, which worked perfectly.

First thing you do is get your strawberries to a good consistency and measure out 2 cups. You will add your 4 cups of sugar, mix well and let them set up for 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to make sure your sugar gets mixed in well.

Pour your Surejell Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin into a small bowl and add the 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, mix well.

After the 10 minutes is up, add the Surejell and lemon juice to the mixture and stir for 3 minutes.

Then pour into clean jars with lids. You will have to set your jars on the counter for 24 hours to set before putting them into your freezer.

One batch of Strawberry Freezer Jam usually yields 2.5 regular pint jars (ball or mason), you may get more or less jars per batch if you are using other various sizes of jars.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The First Post

This week I turned 30--yes the Big 3-0! And considering my love for creative writing I thought what better way to celebrate my venture into the new decade marked with 3's than to venture into the world of blogging. However, I have been unsure of what to even write about or even how long my entries should be. I am not a big picture person, so looking at what this whole blog should be about is a hard one for me. Let me break it down: looking at the title, A Glantz in Time, our last name is Gantz, so a lot of what I am writing will be about my family, what it is like to be a Mama and wife, my two favorite things in the world and I am so thankful that God has given me this great gift. Another thought is to encourage anyone who reads what I am writing with God's Word and what I am learning from reading His Word.

This summer I am planning on writing about canning. It's a blessing to be given a garden full of vegetables and fruit to save for the winter. I have the opportunity to work with my Mom-in-law and my sister-in-law, almost every Friday of the end of the summer to save yummy produce to enjoy all winter. When I was a child, I would can greasy beans and freeze sweet corn with my grandparents. Every summer I think of them and the memories of spending a week in the summer in Tennessee with them as I am canning and freezing produce for my family. I am thankful that my grandparents taught me to have a garden and grow our own food, it's so much better than store-bought, and to save the fruits of your labor. I am so thankful that God has given us ground to work with and the blessing of His crops to give to our family. Kyle's grandparents let us use part of their garden to plant in. We get to help care for the garden and plant our own veggies.

I may not write everyday, but I am hoping once a week. We'll see how this new venture goes...til next time!