Life Lessons Learned from Dandelion Jelly

 

IMG_3595[1]It starts with the flowers arriving after a long winter. Those little burst of yellow flowers are like little suns in the yard and pasture. Hope for warmth and summer. Then we get a basket and spend time picking the flowers. Only the ones that are fully open. Leave the rest for the bees and to re-seed.  Time spent together talking, enjoying the sun and each other. Priceless.

Next, we go inside and prepare the flowers for the tea. We stand together with our scissors and snip the green off and put the petals in a glass jar. Talking again. Spending time together gives you the opportunity to answer questions and really get to know each other. Also, scissor skills for the left-handed children! IMG_3596[1]

Finger stained with the blessings of spring! Next, the water goes in and the jar sits all day to be blessed by the sun. We watch that jar and talk about how yummy that jelly is going to be. All the work and patience that comes with it just adds to the flavor. The blessings from the Earth and the Sun and our time spent together are brewing all day in that glass on the porch. We add to the blessing every time we walk past and feel the joy of thinking about eating that jelly.

IMG_3584[1]

The next day, the petals are strained and the jelly is cooked and canned. Then we wait some more. Listening for the pop of the jar lids. Can’t disturb for 24 hours? Patience is learned. Anticipation for what is to come from our labors is learned. Appreciation for what it takes to have that sweet treat is learned. That is what makes our jars of dandelion jelly taste so wonderful. Life lessons in every jar. Time spent together working with nature and family. IMG_3604[1]

In this picture next to the jelly are the soap balls Maria and I make together. Scrap soap ground up, a bit of water , essential oils, and whatever else we have around to make them special are mixed and molded into balls. Soap balls on the sink to wash our hands. Life lessons learned in every ball. Time spent together. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Looking at things from a different perspective. And pride. My children are proud every time someone uses something they have a hand in making. Convenience comes packaged in ready to use items. But what are you doing with the time saved? Life is about living. Are you living life or going through the paces?

How I came to love pigs

When I was growing up there wasn’t such a thing as a pet pig. There were hogs and wild boar. And both sent a fear up my spine. I had never encountered a wild boar. The stories I was told made me glad I hadn’t. They were fierce killers with large tusks that would rip a man to shreds. And fast as lightning. No one could outrun them. Now, I had encountered just about every woodland creature by the time I was a teen but I have yet to meet a wild boar.  Then there were hogs. Hogs are kept for one thing. Food. I didn’t have anything to do with the animals that were destined for the table when I was growing up. It was difficult for me to even eat animals. I was the kids whose friends were all animals. Once I met them I would never have been able to eat them.  I found a chicken one day that had drowned itself getting a drink. It was easy to convince myself that if they were too stupid to get a drink of water without dying then they obviously were meant to be eaten. The beef cattle were so dangerous that I didn’t even have to tend to them until I was around 12. The steers were the ones destined to be dinner so I just stayed away from them. It was easy. They are mean. I would rather run up on a bear or mountain lion any day.  These animals have no desire to be pets. There is a wild survival intelligence to them. Very basic thought process. Now, I’m not saying they aren’t smart. Just very wild still. Maybe it was just the herd we had. Maybe people have wonderful pet cattle. I didn’t. My experience with them every time I had to tend to them was life or death. But, I wasn’t afraid of them. It was an understanding of the way things were.

Now to the hogs. I’m not sure how old I was. I was very young though. My first memory of hogs shaped my feelings about them for my whole life up until a year ago.  I went with someone to slop the hogs. Me, standing outside the pen, this massive 700lb hog looked me in the eye. I was so tiny and she so large we were face to face. I froze. This beautiful blue eye that was exactly like a human eye was looking straight into my soul.  Even as a young child I knew there was intelligence there. It wasn’t motherly, or gentle. It was frightening.  Like she was thinking, you eat my children so I’m trying to figure out how to eat yours and show you how it feels.  Those cartoons where some animal had a plot to take over the world had it all wrong! Hogs should have been the main characters. If they had thumbs we would have a problem. I was terrified of hogs from that day on. I didn’t really understand my feelings at the time the way I do now. I couldn’t have put into words the reason for the fear I had of them. We had books like Babe and Charlotte’s Webb, when I saw them I feared for all the children’s lives that would be lost due to the misleading portrayal of these beasts! I know, it sounds silly, but I was a child. I had a great imagination. Even with my fear of them It just didn’t feel right to eat them after that. If one ever did take over the farm I needed to be able to look it in the eye and say “I never ate one of you!”.

On to adulthood. The internet came along with all the cute pictures and videos of pigs in all shapes and sizes and breeds as pets. They seemed better than dogs. They were so cute and pretty. Did cute tricks. I found myself enjoying their entertainment. These were not hogs. These were bred to be pets. I had nothing to fear!  One day a few months after we took over the farm I got a call from the animal shelter asking if we could take a female pot belly that was a pet the owners abandoned.  My gut said yes and I always follow my gut.  Miss Piggy Porkchop came to live with us a few days later. She was not and is not the cute little pigs I see in the videos. But when I looked into that human like blue eye I didn’t have fear. I saw a loving, grateful animal, with a thought process. She became my animal best friend. Miss Piggy took up residence in the front yard. She wasn’t keen on living in the barn with the horses and sheep. She pretty much doses what she wants when she wants. Don’t mess with me or she may knock you down. I have a guard pig. lol. At the end of summer my husband brought home a micro pig that wasn’t in great health. Bacon Bits a.k.a. Baby Pig stayed in the big pen with Peter Rabbit until we had her good and healthy. She is blind and Miss Piggy doesn’t like her so we couldnt let her run around for her safety. When it started getting cold I brought her in one day and she hasn’t been put back out except to sun herself on warm days. she is a spoiled brat that runs the house. She hogs the heat from the fire and crowds the recliner. Baby Pig is not the cute little playful pigs I watch videos of either but she fits.  Now we have a male/femal pair of mini pot belly pigs. Who knew there were so many kinds! Dave and Sugar. Sugar is a sweet little lady. She is what you see in pictures. Kind and gentle. Dave is a ham! lol He is full of spunk and play. His very favorite thing to do is wrestle. He doesnt have a mean bone in his body. Look out though because he will knock your legs out from you playing. This pig can’t be worn out! We have tried. He plays with the sheep and horses until he wears them out and they run him off.  Funny fella with a great personality. And he smells good! I thought males stunk but not Dave. His musk could be bottled and sold.  I am confident he will supply funny videos for the farms Facebook and Instagram pages.

We have a pot belly, 2 mini pot bellies, and a micro mini pig. Not one of them are like the videos or pictures of people’s pet pigs. Maybe because of the lives they had before they came to the farm. Maybe the internet makes things look better than they really are. I’m not sure why but I’m sure glad that they came into our lives. That being said, pigs are not pets for everyone.

 

Dad is learning to cook biscuits

One of the biggest changes for us has been meals. I have made our food from scratch since I’ve learned how to cook. I use cooking as school lessons for the kids. As soon as they could hold a utensil they were helping with meals. Since I have been a full-time student dad has taken over many of the meal duties. And, since I’m not home all day cooking many things from scratch isn’t possible. It has been difficult to find quick replacements that we will actually eat. Frozen biscuits replaced homemade. That didn’t last long. They were acceptable for a short while then one day Michael came to me and asked if I would show him how to make them homemade. Let me give a little back story before I continue. I spent 6 months preparing a 3  ring binder full of my homemade recipes modified for him and the kids to make without me there. Dad has never cooked. Dad is the grill master. Dad refused the 6 months of cooking lessons I offered and made the decision to use fast foods. Dad regrets that decision. A few months into it he decided to open the binder and give one of the recipes a try. He used 1 cup of garlic instead of 1 tablespoon when the recipe clearly stated 1 TBL not 1 CUP. He had learned his lesson and asked for a crash course. I had overestimated his cooking skills to say the least! So, when he came to me wanting to make biscuits my mind started trying to figure out a recipe that he could handle. Which meant no kneading, no cutting, minimal measuring of ingredients. Easy peasy right? hahahahaha… We got together in the kitchen and came up with this modernized version of old fashion pan biscuits.

Turn oven to 425 degrees. We have an aluminum 8×8 pan reserved for bread. Put a big dollop of shortening in pan and set it in the oven to pre-heat while you mix the batter.  In a bowl add: 2 cups self rising flour, 1/4 cup shortening melted, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and about 2 cups water or milk. Amount depends on how accurately the other ingredients were measured.  Mix all with a big wooden spoon until it resembles cake batter. By this time the oven should be preheated. carefully remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into it. The hot grease will sizzle and that what you want it to do. Put in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove and turn out onto plate to cool slightly. The bottom should not stick and be crunchy. If it sticks then add more oil to the pan next time. And make sure when you pour that batter in the oil is sizzling!

A Very Fortunate Woodduck: Scrappy Dappy Doo’s Story

fullsizerender
Scrappy Dappy Doo all grown up

 

 

One morning in early spring, Marcus (6-year-old son) and I were walking by the pond for the morning duck check. We were startled by a brown duck when it suddenly flew up from the cattail and headed for the woods.  At the time we only had Peking ducks so we knew it was a wild female.  We were all very excited at the prospect of a wild duck nesting in our pond!  My home school mom brain went into overdrive with ideas surrounding the opportunity!

Everyone kept their eyes out for her return.  We have never seen her since.

About a week later our ducks refused to leave the pond.  This was of great concern because they were fed in the front yard and had never missed a meal.  In fact, we are woken every morning by them quacking for breakfast.  We tried everything to get them to come on land.  To no avail.  I asked everyone I knew what could be going on with them.  Did one have a nest? No. They were all to young.  None had started laying yet.  This lasted about two weeks.

Finally one morning I was summoned to the pond by calls of excitement and joy coming from Michael and Maria (8-year-old daughter). There was a ducking in the pond! What?! How? From where? The Pekings had a baby! They were very proud.  We weren’t exactly sure how a duckling arrived in our pond.  We were sure we were in for some exciting pond watching.  This little ball of fluff had spunk and personality.  By the end of the week we had named it Scrappy Dappy Doo.

Scrappy ran the pond from the get go.  The Pekings worried themselves constantly trying to keep him safe and out of mischief.  All the while Scrappy was living it up. Chasing dragon flies and nipping at any duck that tried to get in his way.  As the weeks went on and Scrappy grew things got even more exciting to watch.  He started going through the fence pickets into the yard to eat with the rest of the fowl.  You see, we had to start feeding the ducks at the pond because they kept Scrappy safely in the pond or at its banks.  They were very good parents and were not going to chance him getting hurt by taking him near the other animals.  The Pekings would go into full panic mode! They wanted him safe and surrounded by them in the pond.  Scrappy got very good at sneaking off.  Then, with the Pekings in full panic he would sneak back to the pond without them noticing.  We would laugh at him swimming around the empty pond having a big time watching his parents have a panic attack at the fence.  Eventually, one of them would see him and I swear you could read their body language. “This kid is going to be the death of me!”  “Scrappy! Your safe! We were so worried!”  “Don’t do that again!”  This was obviously a game for Scrappy.  Which made it very entertaining.

About this time we started getting new ducks given to us.  In a two-week span we acquired eleven new ducks.  Pekings went into “protect the baby” overdrive.  Scrappy went into “beat all the new ducks up and be the boss from the beginning” overdrive.  Keep in mind Scrappy will fit in the palm of your hand.  Every other duck in the pond is at least 10x his size.  When you’re the new duck in the pond and the bully that is picking on you has 6 parents that will flog you if you get near their little precious you let the little bully have his way.  Fortunately for them, it didn’t take long until they were accepted by the flock and grew to love the little trouble maker as much as the rest of us.

Things calmed down and everyone returned to a normal feeding routine.  All the ducks, including Scrappy, started feeding in the yard again like normal.  One day a friend and park employee Dale stopped by when the ducks were in the yard.  As soon as he saw Scrappy he knew he was a wood duck.  We finally knew what breed he was. Now we were sure how he came to be in our pond.  The wild female that flew away never to be seen again was a wood duck.  Scrappy must have been her only hatchling and she must not have thought it worth sticking around a pond full of Pekings with humans so close for one baby.

We are enjoying every day we have with him fearing the call of the wild will take him this fall.  If he goes, we will wait patiently for spring to arrive and bring our Scrappy back to his fair weather home.  Because, where better place to raise your family than the farm that adopted, loved, and cherished every moment it had with you?

Leather Britches

It has come to my attention that there are people out there that don’t know what leather britches are. I’m so sorry that some of you haven’t had the pleasure of eating these wonderful beans.

Leather britches are green beans that have been strung up and dried. When completely dry they can be stored long term in multiple ways. I personally store in freezer bags in the freezer for extra safety. I don’t want these to ruin. In days of old they were stored in a dry dark spot in an old pillow case. Everyone in my family looks forward to cold winter days with a pot of leather britches cooking in the culdron on the fire. This is the preferred way to preserve and eat green beans by everyone in my family.

Cooking methods vary from house to house and I guess we all think our way is the best. But, I will share my way for those who are interested. I use an enamel coated cast iron cauldron. Chop and fry an onion in some bacon grease add a little garlic then a mess of the dried beans. Top with water and beef bullion. Then place on the wood stove or over the fire where it can simmer all day. Keep adding liquid until they are tender. Once they are tender I put the heat to them and evaporate all the liquid off then stir them and let them fry a bit in the grease. Not enough to brown. If I have potatoes I add them at the end. Just long enough before the beans are done to cook the potato.

I hope that all of you will get a bushel of beans and get to stringing them up!

Summer Homeschooling on The Pioneer Farm

Lots of people ask about how we home school so I thought I would share our summer routine with you. We school year round so that we can take breaks whenever it is needed.  Summer involves lots of chores and learning from nature. Not so much book work or indoor work. The kids are expected to interact with the visitors to the farm and relay correct information and answer questions.  Chores are a big part of school year round. Lives depend on our care and nurturing. Properly doing it is a skill that I feel is very important. Gardening and preserving food is taught as it is done. Basically, our children are involved with everything. I mean, everything. They are with us and involved with every single chore, daily task, and event that happens. Life is a lesson and we take advantage of every lesson given.

I was going to clean and arrange our school area nice and neatly but then decided to just be real. school2

We are incubating chicken eggs right now. That is the big white box on the table. The kids monitor the temperature, humidity, and days to hatch. Then they are a part of moving them and caring for the chicks. They have hand raised all the chickens we have.  Each has their own peg board for displaying whatever they want or anything that I want them to take notice of. The chalk board is for their daily assignments so that we can keep track and not forget anything. The wall space is changed according to what we are working on at the moment.

Right now we are going through all 50 states.

school

school4 Highlights Which Way USA is wonderful. It has a map and the magazine is full of information and games and puzzles on each state. I also use Confessions Of A Homeschooler material along with the magazine.  Her lessons include animal classification and more detailed geography pertaining to each state.  I printed off a black and white state map and a color state map and cut the color one into puzzle pieces. As we move to a new state they put the color piece on top of the black and white one. We are learning the States and Capitols by song. Earlier we learned all presidents in chronological order by song so stick with what works!

Marcus is using these writing practice sheets that I got from Confessions Of A Homeschooler. I laminated them and he uses dry erase markers. Maria has already went through these so they hold up pretty well.

school5

McGuffey Readers are a great reading lesson. I got the books for free online and print off pages as we progress. They have vocabulary words and even teach cursive writing along the way. Great free resource.  These are the books used to teach kids in the pioneer days one room school-house where they taught multiple grade levels. anything I can do to combine lessons is a time saver.

school6

I buy worksheet books as I find them to use. Maria is working on this one right now. I think I found it at Staples. She hates worksheets! I try my best to make learning enjoyable but we all have to do things that aren’t fun in real life so……

We read tons of books. I can’t stress how important I feel it is to read kids quality literature. Not just the fluff. We love Fancy Nancy but that’s not all we read. The Tale of Desperaux, Charlotte’s Webb, etc. These movies were books first! And the books are much better than the movies anyway. My kids think so. We read the book first then watch the movie. They are always disappointed in the movie versions. So that turns into another lesson! Life gives us lessons we just have to take advantage of learning from them.

Our winter schooling is very different. More crafts, reading, and writing and videos. When nature lets us be outdoors we take advantage! Public school kids love snow days my kids love Sun days!

And the Summer Rolls On

The family is surviving my first month of nursing school! One of the reasons I haven’t posted lately.  I am happy to say The Pioneer Farm is getting better every day. It seems new lives are added weekly. I think since the last post we have added another horse and two sheep. But, honestly I can’t keep up with who is new and who isn’t. It seems they just become family so quickly we feel like they have been with us forever.

If you follow along on the Facebook page you know the house has gotten a renovation.  The front porch is now complete.  The goal was to keep it as old as possible and I believe Michael and his dad accomplished that. The feedback has been all positive.  I think next on the list is repairing the well house roof. He is going to try to get the major stuff out-of-the-way this year so next year we can concentrate on farming.

Which brings me to the garden…. I think I touched on this subject on the last post so forgive me if I repeat myself (nursing school brain syndrome). We started out with a beautifully laid out, well planned, very large garden. Then the hail storm in May wiped out almost everything.  Moving in, fence repairs, settling the animals in, and building repairs were happening at this time so the destroyed garden took a back seat.  When we finally got the chance to replant what we thought would have time to grow the rain started! Geesh, cant a gardener get a break this year?  Anyway, what was actually growing became a tasty meal for one of our neighbors (deer). Dakota thinks that all animals are pets and doesnt chase them out of the garden. He is happy to share. This garden has been a thorn in Michael’s side. If you know him personally you understand.  He has big plans for next years crops with beauty and bounty being of utmost importance.

We have met some great people over the past weeks. My children have made some friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. Some of them are even educational like Maria’s new pen pal in Florida.  Marcus makes friends with every boy that comes down the lane. He usually has some crazy tale to spin to anyone that will lend an ear. I keep saying he is going to be the next camp story-teller. I think his favorite one to tell is how he got bit by a coyote while walking in the woods by himself. The survival side of it changes from person to person. Maria is very informative on the animals and history of the farm and will answer any questions you may have. You can actually believe what she tells you. Marcus knows all the correct answers but tends to add and change things according to his imagination that day.

The next few posts will be short and sweet and most likely relating to recipes or homeschooling on the farm. Maybe a few short cuts for busy moms. I don’t graduate until June of 2017 so things will be hectic! Thankfully, I leave my family in the loving care of The Pioneer Farm and I know that they will not only survive nursing school, but will probably be the ones that get me through it! The workers on Twin Falls State Park are a family. And we are so thankful that they have decided to make us part of their family.

I will leave you with everyone being happy, healthy, and looking forward to the next adventure!

Our Adventure Thus Far

Now that we have a few months under our belt I thought I would let you all know how its going.  The Farm has a few unexpected additions and a few losses.  Not long after we moved the chickens onto the farm coyotes did a night raid. We lost 11 hens and a rooster (Big Daddy’s brother). The hen-house is now secure and no more have been lost. Thankfully some chickens and chicks were donated by a park employee to replenish the flock shortly after. They are Americana chickens and lay colored eggs.  Another loss was Webby the duck that thought it was a chicken. That one is hard. We really got attached to Webby. One night she decided to be a duck instead of a chicken and stayed in the pond with the other ducks. An owl got her.  We know it was an owl because a few days after she went missing we were woken by the ducks flapping in the pond around midnight. When Michael ran out to see what was going on he witnessed an owl with both talons in a duck trying its best to lift it out of the water. Thankfully the duck had a lot of fight in it and Michael had good timing because the duck was dropped unharmed.  A little bannie rooster was dropped off to us and is now in a house for all to view. He is quite cute and i assure you he is full-grown.

The garden isn’t doing to good. Between the crazy spring weather and moving in during planting season we didn’t get to invest as much time into it that it needed. Potatoes are doing well. Pumpkins are blooming and tomatoes will be late but they are growing.  The sunflowers are growing gloriously though so the animals will get a good treat for sure.  I’m already starting my chart for next season. The compost pile is growing daily. Next year is the gardens year i promise.  Im going to order heirloom seeds and start them in the greenhouse. Any extra I plan on selling.

We have met people from all over. The kids have gotten to talk to people from Sweden, England, and Canada. People from all up and down the East Coast and a few from the west. Never would they get to meet such a variety anywhere else! And that’s just since March. I think we are going to start a map of guest and pin everywhere visitors have come from. We are still working out a school schedule. I have been a bit lenient in it since I am starting school myself in July and their schedule would have to change again anyway. I will warn you, my daughter has learned the names of all the presidents in chronological order and is very proud of it so she tries to tell everyone who visits. If you don’t want to hear it just change the subject lol!  The kids have done a good job learning the history of the farm and I am confident they can present a basic introduction and answer some questions independently. I consider this part of educational study so they are not quite getting a free pass.

Some people want to know about ghosts and spirits or if the farm is haunted.  I wont go into the stories of old in this post as they are easily found. I will tell you about what we have experienced so far. Things get moved, some are hidden well. It is always things that will be noticed immediately. Doors and gates open and close as if someone is entering or leaving. None of us have seen any ghost or heard anything that would be considered a spirit. We are hopeful and patiently waiting for some great stories to tell. But, until then we just say hello or goodby when the doors and gates open and close.

We sleep with the windows open, eat when we are hungry, rise when we wake, and go to bed when we are tired. Dont ask us what day it is or what time it is unless you want an estimate.  We are sore, tired, and fulfilled. We love what we do and do what we love. Everyday is a hard-working vacation with a lesson in what life is really about. It’s not the life for everyone but it is the life for our family and I can’t remember a time that we all have been so fulfilled and happy.

Meet and Greet

The animals are very popular on the farm so I thought I would introduce some of them and share a bit about their personality.  We have quite a few so I’m only going to do a few today.

big daddy

Big Daddy is our resident rooster. We purchased him from the feed store in Oceana, WV when he was still just a little fluffy chick. He is a mixed giant breed and was a science experiment from a student at Oceana Middle School. My daughter raised him, and because of her love and attention he is the friendliest chicken we have. Lots of kids have been taking their picture holding him.

peter cottontail

Peter Cottontail is a Flemish Giant. He is located in a pen on the hill in the driveway so that visitors can pick grass and hand feed him. Peter was given to us by a local resident. Her and her children made him into a very friendly bunny. We are happy to have him on the farm. People are amazed at how large he is. We are told he was the runt of his litter!

ducks

The ducks. We haven’t named them. They are just the ducks. Since they always run in packs it fits. The white ones are Peking and the brown are Mallards. Hopefully the Mallards will stay this fall and if not maybe they will return to the farm in the spring. The ducks are always a hit when we call “duck, duck!” and they come waddling and quacking up to the front yard. They don’t like to be touched but will eat at your feet and sometimes out of your hand.

pete

Pete the donkey. The best way to describe his personality is comparing him to Eeyore. He doesnt like to be brushed or smell good. But, he loves to be petted and given treats. In this picture he is hiding from me. I’m trying to brush him.

abby and storm

Storm (black) and Abby (paint). They love treats at the fence. Abby is very friendly and will take all the petting you can give. But, if someone else has a treat she will leave you in a heartbeat! Storm is a bit more stand-off. She likes treats and will tolerate petting from a select few. Abby is a bit of a brat. She doesnt like to share food or attention. If Pete comes around she usually runs him off. Don’t let that fool you she is a sweet girl.

That’s all for this post. I will introduce the rest another day. Gotta get back to the farm!

Canned Coleslaw that’s crunchy!

West Virginia is known for its slaw dogs.  Although, I’ve never heard a native call one a slaw dog.  It’s just a hotdog.  And they only come one way in these parts.  Homemade chili sauce, homemade slaw, some add onion, ketchup, maybe even mustard.  But, as long as it is slaw and chili it’s a hotdog.

I have yet to master the chili sauce.  I’m ashamed of myself.  It’s not difficult.  I’ve tried every recipe given to me.  It is just never right.  So, I cheat.  Please don’t tell my family.  They havent figured out my trick yet.  I buy canned hot dog chili sauce (gasp!) and I add a big, huge, squirt of ketchup.  They havent complained yet so it must work.  I have, however, mastered the slaw.  Maybe thats why the chili passes under their radar?

I am always looking to streamline meals.  Anything to make prep work quick and easy.  I’m busy and usually spend most of the day outdoors or teaching.  So, most often I forget to make the slaw in time for dinner.  One day while checking out Facebook I came across a recipe for crunchy canned coleslaw that was posted on Bunny’s Best page.  Impossible, I thought!  It has to taste like the awful store bought stuff.  I saved the recipe until I convinced myself to take the plunge.  I figured I was wasting ingredients and the time it took to can.  I knew it wouldn’t work. Well…. I was wrong.  Everyone loves this slaw.  Even the natives.  It has become a staple in this kitchen.  All I have to do is drain the liquid, add some mayo and pop it into the fridge to chill. And I leave it all in the canning jar so no extra dishes!  Easy peasy.

Grate, chop, however you like your slaw 2 medium heads of cabbage, 1 large carrot, and 1 medium onion. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt and put in colander for about an hour to drain. Dont rinse it. I use my ninja chopper by the way.13236080_1297130683648669_402731759_n

While that is sitting put into a pot to boil 3 cups vinegar, 1 cup water, 4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoon celery seed, 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  I never have mustard seed so i used ground mustard.  Let this completely cool before moving on.

13250570_1297130696982001_1053806662_n

after it has cooled

13227998_1297130726981998_1682734188_n

While your waiting you can clean your jars and heat up your canner.

13219874_1297130760315328_455700463_n

13219849_1297130800315324_1835003175_n

Then mix your liquid and cabbage together, pack into jars leaving 1″ head space, pour the remaining brine into the jars also. Water bath for 15 minutes. This makes about 8-10 pints. I find most often it is 8.

13250477_1297130856981985_1133756404_n

13235894_1297130876981983_370292778_n

Let them cool before moving them and listen for the pop! Beautiful. Just drain and add a healthy amount of mayo!