Thursday, August 16, 2012

Everyday Living

Summer is an extraordinarily busy time of the year as we prepare for the long winter months.  We fill our days with gardening, canning and wildcrafting (among the normal household and business busyness).

I have to admit, August is one of my least favorite months.  It is hot, hot, hot.  And, it is filled with canning - everything from green beans and corn to tomatoes, onions and peppers.  Now, don't get me wrong, I like to can.  But, I really love canning when it is all over and the jars are lined perfectly on shelves.  My favorite type of canning is fall canning.  In the fall the wood cookstove boils along, warming the house at it cans our food.  If the kitchen becomes unbearable, we just open the door and enjoy the bliss of crisp, cool, fall air.

But, I am getting ahead of myself.  Now is the time for summer canning, which means standing before the stove watching the pressure gage, damp with perspiration.  Today was just such a day.  Green beans are in season so we must "make hay while the sun shines".  We prepared 60 pounds of beans (1 pound of beans yields roughly 1 quart of canned vegetables) and had a yield of 59 quarts/liters.  We used a combination of Weck canning jars and Kerr/Ball jars with Tatler lids.  I love using the Weck jars for green beans because of the huge opening.  It is by far larger than a standard wide mouth jar and so filling the jar with whole beans is a snap.  By the time I got to the narrow mouth Kerr/Ball jars, I had been reduced to cutting (gasp) the beans so they would fit in the jars.  All in all, I would say we had a very productive day!

Knowing that we would be peddle to the metal all day, I planned an easy, quick meal for dinner.  Chicken Fajitas are perfect on a hot day (and did I mention quick?) and particularly tasty.  They do require a bit of cutting, but the effort is well worth the work.

Chicken Fajitas
4 T canola oil, divided
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 medium green pepper, julienned
1 large onion, cut into rings

Flour tortillas

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and seasonings; add the chicken.  Seal and turn to coat;  refrigerate for 1 - 4 hours.

In a large skillet, saute peppers and onions in remaining oil until crisp-tender.  Remove and keep warm.

Discard marinade.  In the same skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat for 5 - 6 minutes or until no longer pink.

Return pepper mixture to pan; heat through.

Spoon filling down the center of tortillas; fold in half.  Serve with cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole or sour cream.

*I always double this recipe.

Sauteing peppers and onions
Browning Chicken
Ready to add salsa, sour cream, or whatever floats your boat!
I hope all of you are enjoying summers perfect bounty.  We truly are blessed.


  1. Fajitas look yummy! Your beans are beautiful too. I canned some dilly beans recently myself. It is oh so hot here in GA too. I feel your pain! :)

  2. Looks so good there.They have good Fajitas here!

  3. sitting on the floor of my "pantry" and gazing at all i have done this summer is like looking through a kalaidascope and seeing all the stained glass colors. and through the winter, eating "out of season" foods is wonderful too .

  4. Looks delicious. I love fajitas. I just finished reading The Prepared Family Guide to Uncommon Diseases. It was great and a must-have for all homes. I got it for my birthday (thanks, hon!)

  5. Wishing my garden did better this year! Oh well at least I have a few things doing well, maybe once the heat goes down things will do better. Love and one day I will do gren beans, well once I get a pressure canner, gotta save up for that!