We had a great week with putting up food and getting things ready for winter. The garlic is in, the garden is ready, and most of the food has been put away. I still have a bit of squash and sweet potatoes to do.
I canned 6 quarts of pumpkin to try. I've read opinions on canning it, and some people swear by it and others don't like it and prefer to freeze it. The Ball Blue Book does not recommend it, but the guide from the Cooperative Extension has it listed. So, I tried a batch to see for myself.
I'm also planning on putting up some canned kidney beans using Garden Gnome's method. When I used the directions from the guide I got from the Cooperative Extension, the beans became thick and exploded and not in any type of juice like you'd buy in the store.
Taste Of Home Cooking Schools
We went to one of the Taste of Home Cooking Schools last week. We had a blast. Hubby and our son went along with us this year. This is the third year my daughter, my brother's girlfriend and I attended, and a first for the guys. My son met a historian/author that was promoting her book at the vendor show, and he got one of them signed by her. She also invited him to a some meetings that her society has, and an archeological dig to boot! He was flying on cloud #9 all night. He's been corresponding with her since the show. Cool, eh?
The show was nice but we ended up with terrible seats. We went early (like usual) to get the good seats, and instead of filling the middle first, they went across the rows from side then middle than side. Where we were, the audio was terrible and we couldn't really see the instructor, but instead the screen. DH and DS were on the inside end, so it wasn't so bad for them. In fact, DH won a nice prize of a bottle of oil, a bag of spices and baguette wrapped in a Christmas print towel. It was a nice surprise! DH thought it was cool :)
Our gift totes were nice and filled with items from the vendors as well as a few things from Reiman Publications. The one thing that confused me though, was they gave the recent issue of Taste of Home magazine. Well, almost everyone subscribes, so that seemed a waste. I wish they would have given another of their cooking magazines instead. But all in all, it was worth every penny we spent to go. (like every year!)
Even though I've cooked for a long time, I always find some great hints and come home with a little more knowledge than when I went. My best lesson was that chefs and profession cooks burn things, too - but they call it carmelizing! LOL
My brother's girlfriend gave me a wonderful surprise when we got back. She bought me the Taste of Home Winning Recipes recipe book, and it's fantastic! That is going to be one well used book in my kitchen library!