Yesterday, I finally received my birthday present. The ENTIRE Homestead Blessings dvd collection!!! You have no idea how excited I was to see that box in the mail lady's hands. Of course, I dove right in. There are 11 dvd's in the collection and I am going to post a review on each of them. Let me just say that I HIGHLY recommend these dvd's. They are done by the West Ladies which is a mom and her 3 daughters. They are absolutely enjoyable to watch and very informative.
Yesterday, I watched the one on canning. WOW! It takes place in their "summer kitchen" which is an outdoor area with tables and a stove and plenty of country kitsch. They walk you through, step by step, the process of using a water bath canner and a pressure canner (something I have only done once because it terrifies me!). They show you what equipment you will need and the basics of how to can jam, green beans, pickled eggs and okra. There is even a segment on sauerkraut. I really love that what you see is what you get with them. It is obvious that this is a way of life for them and not something that they no nothing about. They are such a sweet family and they even sing some of their songs on a couple of the dvd's. If you get a chance to see these dvd's or purchase them, I highly recommend that you do. I ordered directly from their site Homestead Blessings and the cost for all 11 dvd's was $179. I know, it's pricey but they are so worth it. You can also get them from Amazon but the price I found was $10 higher than directly from the West Ladies. I will be watching these dvd's over and over again. There is just so much information in them. In honor of reviewing the basics of canning, I canned some Cherry Marmalade this morning. I'll be sharing that recipe soon.
One more thing I want to share-the other day, I canned tomato sauce. The recipe I followed was pretty easy but it did involve straining out all the pulp, seeds and skins which was a bit time consuming. My husband asked why I couldn't just puree the tomatoes and can all of it. I told him that wasn't how my recipe was and I just don't know enough about canning to experiment. Well, I popped in the canning dvd the next day and guess how they make their tomato sauce? They puree the whole tomato (minus the core and ugly parts)! How's that for learning something pretty quickly?! Now I only wish that I had canned the tomatoes AFTER I saw the video!