Rosey the Riveter

Friday, June 21, 2013

Goings On

We finally got around to getting in the bees yesterday.  The first Nuc we made is ready for its new home!  All the frames are drawn out and queenie is laying well.  We were also pleased to discover eggs in the second Nuc, which hopefully means we've got a good queen in there, too.  We'll check back in a few weeks to see if we can find her for marking/clipping.  We didn't really get into the two hives... took off the honey supers and verified we had eggs and closed them back up!
Wednesday's Produce Auction haul included a $4 case of zucchini, $15 for 30 lbs of tomatoes, an $8 box of sweet potatoes... new red potatoes, onions, and a cantaloupe.  I also stopped and got the first peaches of the season at the orchard right down the road.

So, yesterday after I got back from the bees, I spent the whole day working on those boxes.  I made my Basil Simmer Sauce... and only ended up with about 10 pints after it all cooked down.  Not very time or cost effective, considering the same amount of Ragu would have cost about half that... but I love how it tastes.  Ragu is actually one of the few 'processed' foods that I still buy... it has 5 ingredients that are 'real' food and there's no way I could make enough sauce for our family.  This batch will be used judiciously for special occasions!
Since I knew I wouldn't be giving any of the sauce away, I decided to give my reusable Tattler lids a try (I bought a case of the regular and a case of the wide mouth last year when they were on sale.)  I've read over and over again online that there's a learning curve and I expected to have some that didn't seal... but I got 100% on my first try!
I still have shredded zucchini in the freezer from last year (it took up so much room!), but I recently read about dehydrating it, instead.  In this quart jar is twelve cups of shredded zucchini that will be reconstituted for use in breads and our beloved lunchbox squares... talk about saving freezer space!  I can also grind it up and sneak it into sauces for some additional veggie-boosting goodness.  1/2 cup of the dried stuff is equal to 2 cups fresh (needed to put this in here in case I forget!)

I will be spending this afternoon and all day tomorrow at the Spring meeting of the Virginia State Beekeepers Association.  I'm looking forward to learning all sorts of new things, and especially tomorrow/s session on Top-Bar Beekeeping by Wyatt Mangum.

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