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Pre-Fall Ramblings

It sure has been a long, hot summer. I don’t normally like rain every day but we’ve had rain two days in a row and its been great! Its cooled everything off and greened up the grass. And its washed dust off of everything.
The garden needed a big drink too, more than we could give it with the hose. Its growing again and making squash and okra.

I am having coffee and sitting here with the two youngest children while they work on their school work. Sam is using SOS World History and Lydia is using Rod and Staff English for 6th grade.

Yesterday I went to the library and checked out a few books for inspiration. I have an itch to make somethings from the vintage fabric I have. And I want to start dehydrating veggies as they come in from the garden…
My plan is to dehydrate the small amounts that come in and then put them together in a storage container in the freezer.I already to this with okra and I want to start doing it with all the vegetables that come in little by little.

Some of the vegetables, I will put into home-canned vegetable soup. I will add some beef to some of it. We eat a lot of beef-vegetable soup in the winter.

We eat a lot of apple pie filling too! Our trees haven’t made enough apples to can much so I will be on the look out for apples to buy. Here is one of my canned apple pie filling recipes:

10 pounds mixed apples
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 1/2 cups organic sugar
1 cup corn starch or clear jel
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
10 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

You’ll need 7 wide mouth canning jars, lids and rings.
Wash the apples, peel, core and slice. Place slices into a big bowl of water with lemon juice added ( 2 teaspoons lemon juice to 5 cups water).

In a large pot, combine sugar, starch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and water. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 15 minutes or until its thick and caramel colored. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Place apples into sterilized quart jars. Ladle the hot liquid over the apples to within 1/3 inch of the top of the jars. Remove air bubbles by running a small wooden chopstick or pick down the insides of the filled jar. Clean the tops of the jars, apply hot lids and rings.

Process quarts 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. Or refer to a canning manual for complete instructions.
This recipe yields 7 quarts.

Fall is nearly here and that means lots of fun and family activities for us.  Candle-making is one of the first. Just as soon as it cools off a little more we will build a fire outside and dip beeswax candles. Since we are Civil War reenactors we use a few more candles than most people and we use them here at home as well. I am not sure how many we’ll make this year, but most years we make several hundred.  I hope to sell a few this year, too.

Speaking of Fall…. here is another recipe that we love … Potatoes Anna. Its a any time of the year dish but somehow I make it more in the Fall. Its fresh potatoes sliced thinly, fresh lemon zest, fresh thyme, butter and a little oil. Its all baked in an iron skillet til brown.

Another thing we do is have tea outside in the Fall. We have tea most every day all year, but in the Fall we take it outside and enjoy the weather and the beauty … without the heat that has been with us all summer.

Its time for me to get busy in the house now. I am so thankful to be a stay at home mom, a teacher of my children and a help-meet to my husband!  I would not want any other life because this one is a blessing from God.

What lies ahead for you and your family this Fall? Do you have any projects that you just can’t wait to get started? I’d love to hear……


  1. Robin

    Thank you, Sylvia – that is good advice! I think I will make a list of all the things I plan to do, and try to decide which are necessary, and which are just ideas. Maybe this will help me to prioritize better so that we can accomplish the most important things! Thanks again – Robin

  2. Sylvia

    I love to hear about all your plans and things you do in the Fall!

    Tina, you may be able to search for clear jel and buy it online. There is instant clear jel which doesn’t have to be heated and regular clear jel that must be cooked. I use the regular in the pie filling.

    Robin I have had that same struggle through the years. It helped us to prioritize. We made sure to get the most important things done first thing each morning. Then we had lots of time to take off on the spur of the moment field trip, walk or start an unplanned project.

    I’m glad you found us too! Thank you for the blessing, I hope you enjoy your time here and that it ministers to you.

    I’m excited for you too! New beginnings are such a busy and exciting time. God bless you in all your endeavors.

    Thank you for coming by! God bless you in your business.

  3. Tina Lahr

    I love to can and have never tried the pie fillings. I have a recipe for Peach and Apple pie filling. My problem is that I can’t find the clear jel. Does anyone now where to find it?
    Autumn is my all time favorite season! I live in central NC and it usually doesn’t hit until late Sept. or early Oct.. I’m starting to get excited that is will soon be upon us! Although I will miss my oldest, who is having a wonderful time in her 1st year of college.

  4. julie jones

    I am busy doing the same. Trying to keep up on all the produce that is coming in. I will certainly be thankful for this come winter. We have not started homeschooling as yet. We have about a week and a half left of break. I have two craft booths in town and the most popular item I sell are aprons. I have orders for them now I am working on. I am also thankful to be a stay-at-home mother, one that homeschools and is a help meet. For me – it is a choice. A Godly one. 🙂

  5. Robin

    Fall is my favorite time of year – all the fresh produce, cooler weather, beautiful trees, and back to school! We got a head start on the school, as we started our homeschool year at the beginning of August. We also have had our first eggs from our first-ever hens! I’m struggling right now with getting everyone on a schedule, and still leaving time for the wonderful spur-of-the-minute opportunities that come up. Anyone know how to do this?

  6. Kathy

    What projects this fall for our family? Big changes are in the air for our family of 4 people and 2 pets. My husband and I are gearing up to launching our first child out of the nest…his name is Skyler and he graduated from highschool this past spring….Sept 13th, he is headed for US Marine Boot Camp in San Diego. This has been a dream of his since 4th-5th grade. His little sister , Britt, younger by 2 years, is really going to miss him because they are very close…sharing many friends and this will be the first time in high school with out him. I can already see her confidence in herself becoming a bit shaky, but brother is saying to her that she will be fine. My hubby and I are bravely and proudly behind Skyler’s choice in careers, but this will be the first time we as a family have been seperated. Our boy is one of the rare ones who has never been ashamed to say i love you, give hugs, to us or to kiss us goodnight…..changes are coming, but I know our Lord has us all in His hands and what better place to be when changes come.
    I am new to this sight, and I am sure glad I have found you…I have enjoyed reading your blog these last few days. God bless you and your family!

  7. Tamika

    We are an Army family and we have just recently made a move to Germany. After this extremely hard move for us, we are very anxious to get settled and begin enjoying our new spacious habitat and each other! We are also trying a new approach to our schooling this year and all of us have been watching our mailbox for the materials to arrive.

    A year of new beginnings for us. So EXCITING!