Canning Season, A Long Run, and August’s StrideBox

It’s officially one of my favorite times of year! It’s canning season!! Yay!

Unfortunately we’ve had a pretty bad growing season. It’s been hot, the sun has been intense, and we haven’t had nearly enough rain, and my garden is suffering. My zucchini plants died, one of my berry bushes died, my cucumber plants aren’t doing so well, my watermelon plants haven’t even grown new flowers for at least two weeks, and my tomato plants are looking really sad. But they have started producing enough tomatoes for us to start doing some stuff with them, so yesterday Luke and I made a jar of tomato sauce. 🙂

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It is kind of a long process for one little jar of sauce, but we thing it’s totally worth it! First you have to blanch the tomatoes, then peel the skin off and then cut off the stems, quarter them, and then let them boil in a sauce pan until they’re completely broken down and add in salt and lemon juice. While all of that’s happening you have to sterilize your jar (boiling it for about a minute works pretty well 🙂 ) and once your sauce and jar are ready you pour the sauce into your now sterile jar, put the lid on nice and tight, and then boil it for another 45 minutes or so. Then you let the jar sit on your counter until the lid seals (hearing it pop shut is a very rewarding experience haha) and then store it for future chilly or pasta sauce, or whatever. Aside from the salt and lemon juice we don’t season it at all. That just makes it more versatile when you go to use it! Obviously this is just a super simplified version of what happens. Maybe once I feel like we’ve perfected the art of canning I’ll share our step by step instructions. 😉

After our single jar of tomato sauce was done we moved on to making a few jars of berry jam, just for fun. We had to use store bought berries though. At this point none of our berry plants are producing enough fruit for us to do anything other than eat right away haha. But I have pretty high hopes for my strawberry plant! It did fantastic this year and it should do even better next year! Anyway, making the jam was pretty similar to making the tomato sauce. We just had to smash the berries before boiling them to break them down even more and then adding lots of sugar haha. So I mean, it’s not very healthy in that regard, but at least we know exactly what went into it (berries, sugar, lemon juice) and it doesn’t have any corn syrup, artificial sweetener, or weird food dyes in it. So I think that’s a plus! And it’s just a lot of fun to make! 🙂

So now we have one jar of tomato sauce, two jars of strawberry jam, and one jar of blueberry jam. Not Bad! And I’m sure come fall we will have added more to our little store of homemade canned goods. 🙂 Growing, processing, and cooking your own food is such a fun and rewarding experience! I think everyone should do at least a little bit of it! I personally thing those are all very useful skills to have. 🙂

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Our tomato sauce and two jars of strawberry jam. Haha the blueberry wasn’t quite done when I took this photo. 😉 

So Luke and I were pretty busy yesterday! In the morning we had to go grocery shopping and then took care of a few other things while we were out. Then we had to fix the tarp on the chicken coop (the wind keeps blowing it around and messing it all up) and then just kinda played with the chickens for a while. We did all of our canning and then cleaned up the kitchen (both of which took a while haha) and we still managed to get to be around 10 pm last night! Good thing too, because I needed to wake up at 5:00 this morning so I could do this week’s long run before it got too hot outside.

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We actually got a nice little break from the intense heat and at this point it’s looking like we wont be going back to having all sorts of heat and air quality warnings like we were having in June and July, but the hotter weather is back and that means I have to wake up super early to get out before the sun. Yuck. Waking up at 5 am is not my favorite thing to do, and I totally got spoiled from our little break from the heat so I’m not used to doing it anymore haha. I did it this morning though and was treated to a very nice sunrise.

All of those pretty colors didn’t actually last very long. The sky was pink for maybe 5 minutes, then it turned more yellow/orange for a few minutes, and then it turned to more normal daytime colors. I guess that’s what makes sunrises so special though. They don’t last very long and in the summer you have to get up pretty early to see them.

Anyway, had yet another uneventful long run. I wasn’t feeling too great today, but I also didn’t feel too terrible either haha. Tomorrow might be a lot more interesting though. Since I’m training for two half marathons in two days I plan on doing some back to back long-ish runs. So the plan for this weekend was to do 8 miles today, which I did. 🙂 And then do 5 miles tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ever run the day after a long run before and if I ever have it was probably a super short one. Maybe like 1 or 2 miles. So tomorrow will be a brand new experience for me! I feel like my legs are going to be super tired, but that’s pretty much the whole point of doing it haha! We shall see though. Hopefully it wont be too bad.

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I’m only two weeks into my training plan but I’m currently just trying to take it one day, one run, and one mile at a time, and not think too much about what I have coming in the future or what I did in the past. I’m hoping getting into and then staying in that mindset will help me get through the rest of this training cycle (because it’s gonna be a big one for me!) and then my two half marathons. I don’t think overthinking is going to help me so I’m just gonna try to do the exact opposite. 😉

Anyway, not long after I finished my run the mail came and my August StrideBox did too!! That was a pleasant surprise, because last time I had checked the tracker for it, it said it wasn’t going to get here until Monday. 🙂 This months box came with all sorts of fun snack like things, which is pretty much my favorite thing to get in my StrideBoxes. It also came with another cooling towel which is awesome because I lost mine haha. I’m not sure where or how my old one got away from me, but at least now I have a new one! 😉 I’m also pretty excitied the protein gummy’s that came in it. I didn’t even know protein gummy’s were a thing, but I love me some gummy candy and have a slight issue with consuming enough protein on a daily basis, so I enjoy finding tasty things that help with that.

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Also, I just need to take a second to express how awkward it is for me to see the word “daily” spelled out properly. Ever since I got married my last name has been Dailey (pronounced the same way as “daily”) so the normal word just looks weird to me now every time I see it. Haha I know that’s kinda weird, but these are the things I experience in my life. 😉

Okey Dokey then! That is all for today! I’ll let you know how my 5 miler tomorrow goes in my weekly recap that will be up tomorrow evening. 🙂

Happy Saturday!

~Ashley

 

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3 thoughts on “Canning Season, A Long Run, and August’s StrideBox

  1. Pingback: Weekly Recap: July 30th – August 5th, 2018 | The Running Rebel

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