Canning and Caterpillars

I saw some decapitated parsley plants, and kept looking for swallowtail caterpillars. I found some in the next couple of days after finding the chewed parsley. They were on the dill in the next planter.  I was wondering if frass serves as fertilizer.The red in the background of the caterpillar shot is the periwinkle (vinca) that DH has nutured through 2 winters.




I left the pupa alone to try to see the butterfly emerge. I always wanted to do that when I was young, but my mother would rather have the parsley and dill plants.

I made real old fashioned fig preserves yesterday. No ginger, just figsm sugar and lemon. I have one Dutch oven that six pounds of figs and five pounds of sugar barely fit into. I cooked it over an hour, which is about how long it takes the canner to boil on the extra burner because we have a ceramic cooktop. I really have to start using the hot water pot.



I also made some more crushed tomatoes today-using the 5.5 qt Crock pot, rather than several. I made some oven-roasted sauce with onions and garlic and fresh basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano for lunch.


Speaking of tomatoes, I picked some cherry tomatoes (below) and froze them whole, after being inspired by this blog post. The Virginia Peach was too pretty to cook today.


In other gardening news, the gourd vine is encroaching on the patio. I have dubbed it the John L. Ells, Sr. memorial gourd vine because my FIL loved to grow gourds and make birdhouses. We think the seed was from one of his gourds. One year, a vine went up the gutter and on the roof and TV antenna.


Look, knitting! I have gotten a lot done on Sedona (in Rowan Calmer yarn) in the past couple of days. DH had gasric bypass surgery Wednesday, and I knitted in waiting rooms and his room. I have the pdf of the pattern on my new ASUS Transformer tablet. It is an Android 3.2 tablet, which looked really different from my Android phone, until the phone updated itself to Android 2.3.  Now they both really look pretty much the same. At least I only have to get used to the new operating system once. Does that even make sense?


UPS brought me a new canner. I broke down and ordered the Ball Elite stainless steel canner. I could hardly get my graniteware pint canner's lid to close yesterday with six pints of fig preserves. It does better with half pints.


I did not can anything today because I had a bad headache, plus, after it was gone, I spent time getting that label off. I peeled part of it off right away. I should have listened to the reviewers and either set the box outside for a time, or used a blow dryer on the glue. I refused to use Goo Gone and bring back my headache, so I tried soaking it in soapy water, and got the paper off. Then I Googled, and tried rubbing alcohol. Then I found the Simple Green and sprayed the glue and let it sit. Then I was able to get the glue off with an old  toothbrush and elbow grease.  There is a Ball logo above the label. as well as on the glass lid. It has a flat rack, which allows more jars to fit. I  need to pick figs.

One thought on “Canning and Caterpillars

  1. Paula, I received the fig-ginger jam. Thank you so very much, it is pretty jam. When I go to the grocery store, I am going to buy English muffins to have with the jam. I am looking forward to tasting fig jam. The only fig I ever ate was Newtons.
    You have inspired me to put up some of this summers bounty.

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