Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday we returned from our five day camping trip and I have to say we had a great time. We went with our good friends, the Masons, and stayed in the Uintas. We didn't stay in a designated campground (which saved money), but it was a great spot with a ready-to-use fire pit and even a perfect spot to do all our dutch oven cooking.
I do have to confess that we didn't go tent camping. We hauled our 37-year-old prowler trailer up there. The fresh water tank sprung a leak, unfortunately, and the second battery proved to be a dud, but we had plenty of other water we'd brought along (plus they have places for refilling your water up there) and several flashlights to light our way.
We went hiking and fishing, took a tour of the fish hatchery, cooked by fire and dutch oven, ate smores and had a blast! I have to say that it was good to get away. Tony's work at the school hasn't kept him as busy as we'd hoped. He's starting to get sent home again. It was great to get away and forget all that for a few days. It was a sanity-saver to think about something else for a while.
The views up there are just breath-taking. The peace you feel as you take in the scenery tends to remind a person of God's existence. I would definitely recommend the great outdoors as a prescription when you're feeling down and out. It's given me a boost and now I feel like I can continue trekking along, come what may!
My hubby came home with four ready-to-burst grocery bags of apricots from his dad. While I love apricots, and some would say we're a good-sized family, I have to say that there was no way we could eat all of those before they started rotting. I set them all on the counter while I contemplated on what to do.
We were leaving for a five day camping trip in four short days and had much preparation to do there, but I couldn't just ignore this bounty bestowed upon us, could I? I was tempted though--that is, until I woke up the next day, moved the bags out of the way so I could make breakfast and saw that they were already beginning to spoil. I got out all my books, gave my good friend and neighbor a call and made a decision. I was going to learn how to can, and I was going to learn FAST!
My friend and I did two double batches of canned jam, 4 batches of freezer jam and two batches of canned apricots in syrup and even some homemade fruit roll-ups. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and thanks to my mother-in-law for giving me lots of jars years ago (in hopes that I would use them, I'm sure) and to my grandma Artheta who gave me her canning bath a few years ago (also in hopes of me learning this great skill) and also to my mom who gave me a dehydrator over a year ago (lots of people wanting me to preserve!) I didn't have much to buy (lids, seals and pectin--I already had tons of sugar in my food storage). Two days of canning later and I have a quite a bit to show for it :)
If you're interested in canning, check out this site to learn the benefits, acquire the know-how and get some recipes. I'll definitely be doing this again! It's a great way to build food storage and to save money!