Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apples, Part 2

39 quarts of apple sauce later, we can fit all the rest of the apples into our refrigerator.  It's pretty exciting!

This is our set up. All outside on the back patio.  Keeps the stickiness away from our house.  And the ants out of our house, too.  Plus, the chickens love when we throw apple peels and cores for them.  And then Daisy gets jealous, so we have to give some to her, too.  Figures.

We set up the camp stove outside for the water bath, too.  It saves so much on clean up!  Thank goodness Clint saw his mom doing this when he was growing up!

Checking the seal by picking up the jar by just the lid.

Mmm. . . applesauce!  It's so good to eat as a snack and really nice for baking, too!

I used the two jars we bought at Jacksonville's city-wide garage sale (for 25 cents!) to put some apple peels in to make apple cider vinegar.  Hopefully it'll work!

And all the rest of the apples fit in our fridge!  Yay!!!  More later on what we do with the rest of them. . .

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apples, Part 1

Saturday my family and I went out to Detering's Orchard and picked some apples.  And by some apples, I mean a lot of apples.  About 120 pounds of various types of apples.  I'm not even sure what types of apples we got, entirely (sometimes the orchard is a little confusing), but there's some big ones, some little ones, and all in all, they're pretty delicious!  Here's some pics:

Clint tasting an apple.
Clint enjoying his apple.
Dad in an apple tree.
Clint in the apple tree, too.

Mom and Dad and some apples.
Mom and Dad from inside a tree.
Me from inside a tree.

Even after the boxes were full, we had to pick more!
Yep, I'd say the box is full!
Four boxes?!  What were we thinking?!
I think the boxes grew when we brought them in the house.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


What better way to spend a rainy weekend (like ours was last weekend) than to can tomatoes!?  We bought about seventy pounds of the suckers at Thistledown Farm just north of Eugene for 49 cents a pound, and canned away!  Actually, what started this whole shindig is while we were down in Medford, Nancy let us pick a bunch of peppers from her garden, so we wanted to make salsa, but since none of our tomatoes are ripe, we had to buy some.  And to get the cheap price on tomatoes, we had to buy the whole box.  So, we decided just to can some regular tomatoes, too.  And then we decided to go back and buy another box of tomatoes, and can them, too.  And now I'm thinking I may want another box or so. . . but that means we would have to buy more jars.  Hmm. . . I'm thinking about it.

Salsa ingredients
We canned seven pints of salsa, fourteen pints of diced tomatoes (one didn't seal), six pints of tomato sauce, and seven quarts of whole tomatoes.  Now we'll really see how many tomatoes we eat in a year.  I bet it will be more than we canned.
From left to right: diced, whole, salsa, sauce.
We also dried some tomato slices in the dehydrator.  We're not sure what to use them for, but I'm sure we will figure something out.

Dried tomato slices in a jar to be put in the freezer.
I don't think you have to freeze them after they're dry, but we did, just in case there's any moisture left, we don't want them to mold.

Cannded goods storage in our garage.
Also includes twelve quarts of peaches we did earlier,
and empty jars waiting for applesauce!
We also made tomato soup and spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes, so we figure we only canned about sixty pounds of the seventy we bought.  Anyway, the recipes were really good, so I'll probably post them soon.  If I can remember where we got them from. . .

Tomato soup with Asiago cheese, yum!
Well, that was last weekends adventure, once Clint gets his homework done, we can move on to this weekends adventure:  Applesauce, round one!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rafting and the Redwoods

Clint and I both got to go rafting. . . without each other, of course.

I went with my boss, a couple co-workers and some people from the Outdoor Program at school (they were our guides, and filled the extra seats on the raft) on the McKenzie river.  I didn't take any pictures of my raft trip, but suffice it to say it rained and was really cold.  But still fun.

Clint went a couple days later with his summer co-workers down in Medford on the Rogue.  It was beautiful, sunny, warm weather.  Not fair at all!  But, anyway, he took some pictures while on the trip.

I can't really tell you who all these people are, other than Clint's co-workers.

Then there was kareoke.  They made Clint kareoke for a job, but he conviniently had the camera in his pocket when he went up to sing.  Figures.

The next day we went down to the Redwoods and did some short hikes and enjoyed the woods!

Redwood Dugout Canoe at the Visitors Center
The fog was pretty intense on the coast.
I've never actually seen the fog "roll in"!
There were some pretty gosh-darn big trees!

It was still alive!

Of course, I'm a tree-hugger : )

Inside a tree

Very much like the "lost boys" hide-out!
The trees become hollow when they get burned by forest fires, but they usually survive and keep on living.  Plus, the fire prompts new trees to grow from nodes underground and at the base of the tree, which makes the trees grow in rings.

A ring of trees
When the forest gets thinned (by logging, usually) the remaining trees can become too saturated with salt from the ocean air, and since they aren't used to it, the tops of them die off.

These trees literally lean on each other for support, sometimes.
Even when one of these trees falls down, it still provides good habitat.  And, since it has so many natural insecticides, it takes forever to rot away!

Lots of stuff growing in the crack of a fallen redwood.

These suckers are huge!
They make good chairs, too.
Sometimes, when they fall, the burls get activated
and grow a whole new tree right over the old one!

The trees grow mostly in height in their first few hundred years of life.  Then, after they've reached their max height, they start growing in girth over the next few hundred years.  So, you can kinda tell how old they are by how girthy they are.  Clint and I figured some were around in Book of Mormon Times.  How crazy is that!  While Moroni was writing the end of the Book of Mormon, some of these trees were saplings!

This one is called "Big Tree", because it is so incredibly big.
And therefore old.

The forests are still inhabited by Paul Bunion and Babe, the Big Blue Ox. . .

We drove home along the coast, which was nice, but since it was dark most of the time, we will have to do it in the daylight again sometime.

The sunset over the ocean was quite lovely, though!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alsea Falls!

A couple weekends ago Clint and I went for a hike to Alsea Falls. . . it was lovely!  Here's some pictures. . .

The trial up to Alsea Falls.

A cool stump Clint saw.

The Falls!

The best pic we got of all of us in front of the main falls

Us by the smaller, lower, Falls

Clint and Daisy in the water, of course

Daisy realising that the water is really cold!

A pic Clint got from the middle of the stream.

Clint climbing a tree and Daisy wishing she could, too.

Me with the flower Clint picked for me in my hair.

Another spot along the trail with some cool water features.

Alsea Falls is a great day hike, and not too hard, either.  The drive out through the country is beautiful, and filled with awesome old farmhouses to drool over, too, so I'd say well worth a day trip!