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Scattered Sundays

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This week I was in the kitchen, cleaning some lettuce from the garden, because I know how to party. Out of the window I see a woman with a German Shepherd walk up our driveway.

It’s summer, so all the windows were open, and I said “can I help you”, and she said “yes, I’m here about the kitten. I know someone who wants to adopt it”. Huzzah!

If you missed the story last week, we had a stray tiny kitten living in our woodshed. This week, we were actively in the process of trapping her for our new friend, the cat adoption lady. But Baby GG was not cooperating – she was too light to trigger the door to our trap. HA!

We’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to acclimate her to humans and to see us as friends. I think our ultimate goal would be for her to come out and snuggle with us (coughBennettcough) and then we could just gently hand her over to her new owner.

a boy and his dad both in blue shirts and boots in front of a woodshed.

We know nothing about cats and winning over feral kittens, so, our efforts involved feeding her and sitting outside the woodshed and meowing back and forth. She would talk back but was sitting tight in her little well-organized wooden palace.

She finally triggered the trap on Wednesday and the woman who found someone to adopt her came and got her later that morning!

We’re so sad to see her go, but now I won’t have to lay awake at night during the winter wondering if she is cold or wet outside. Maybe we can go visit her someday.

a boy looking into a cage covered in a moving blanket
We had to keep her in my dad’s place because of Troy’s allergies. She spilled kitten food EVERYWHERE.

The boys and I are headed up tomorrow to see Katie and her family in Canada. Troy is staying stateside, so I have their birth certificates and a nice signed letter saying I’m not trying to kidnap them.

I want to tell the guard “do you see how loud they are? Why would anyone steal these kids?”, but I feel like that is not the correct way to go through border security.

a hand holding a tiny blue chicken egg.

Quick question for the group: do you have any interest in learning about electric canners? These are not the big ol’ canners you put on your stovetop. It’s closer to an Instant Pot that you plug into the wall and can place jars in.

I found a great deal on an electric water bath canner at a local farm store (that online price is STUPIDLY HIGH), and am stalking an electric pressure cooker to try to find a good price. I can use my normal canner, but I’m wondering if trying out the electric versions might help my readers.

I don’t think people are avoiding canning because they don’t like the size of the canner, but from an accessibility standpoint, there is a lot to be said about not having to lug a giant pot full of water. Adding jars and pressing a few buttons is desirable, especially for people with mobility issues.

So, I’m going to try to get my hands on both models and then update all my canning posts (there are soooooo many canning posts!) with instructions using alternative devices. Cause I know how to party.

What I’m reading this week

I finished The Foundling, and I enjoyed it. I found some of the writing kind of “meh”, but overall the story was engaging and the ending was a good one. You can find a synopsis of the book here on Goodreads.

I started Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. I’m not very far into it, as I’m finding that 2023 is just not my year for crushing my “to read” list. Alas.


Longtime reader, Tina, left this five-star review on our Chopped Cabbage Salad {Pin this recipe}:

This is now a way I can get kids to eat the cabbage we get in our CSA shares that I never can use up! My youngest said, “Mom, this is a ‘Make-Again’ one!” That is high praise in this house!! I did use bacon crumbles from Costco and heated them up a bit along with the seeds, and had them on the side for people to add as they wanted. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the love. Thank you!

a white and blue bowl full of kale chopped salad


Secret squirrel prepping for winter week continues here on Sustainable Cooks, where we’ve been busy sharing and preparing ALL THE THINGS!

Canning CherriesAn easy step-by-step tutorial on Canning Cherries. This recipe for how to preserve cherries is perfect for beginners and experienced canners alike. Instructions include low-sugar and no-sugar options. {Pin this recipe}

4 jars of canned cherries with mint.

Peach PreservesHomemade Peach Preserves is a delicious spread for toast, yogurt, or dessert recipes. Made without pectin and lower in sugar than traditional recipes, this recipe can be frozen or canned in a water bath canner. {Pin this recipe}

3 jars of peach preserves with fresh peaches and sprigs of mint on a white board.

Dill Pickle RelishA simple and easy recipe for canning homemade Dill Pickle Relish. This tangy dill relish recipe is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, in potato or chicken salad. {Pin this recipe}

Three jars of homemade dill relish with cucumbers and a pepper


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14 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I have a Carey/Nesco electric pressure canner and I like it for it’s not so fussy use. Once the steam has decanted and you turn it to seal, there’s no work till it’s done. I still use my 23 qt canner for big batches. The Carey is great for when you have a small batch. I’ve heard good things too about the electric boiling water bath canner. I’m just not spending the fortune they currently cost.

    • Oh, so glad to hear personal experience with the Carey/Nesco!

      The current online price of the Ball water bath canner is absolutely ridiculous. I use a Chrome extension called Honey and it allows you to check the historical pricing of items online over the last year.

      On Amazon, the electric canner almost tripled in price in mid-June. Until then, it was pretty affordable. I’m guessing it’s market demand due to canning season. Buying the canner in the off season would make the most sense from a budgetary standpoint.

      I found one at a local farm store for a reasonable price.

  2. I would love the canning tutorial!!!! That would be so awesome. I have no idea where to even begin.

    • I do have an existing equipment and supply list post that you can access here. And each of my canning recipes (archive is here) have step by step instructions.

      Buuuuuuut, I’d definitely also add step-by-step info on how to use the electric canner options.

  3. Aww, thank you so much for helping rescue that little orphaned kitten!  Does my heart good to see people caring about the animals.  I’ve got my eye on a feral in my ‘hood too right now.  He’s a ginger kitty and some of the neighbors think he might have been dumped by a former owner.  I’m trying to look for a way to help.

  4. I would love to read about using an electric canner. I recently bought an electric pressure canner, but haven’t yet tried it. I’m hoping it works well enough to let me abandon my big, bulky, heavy pressure canner. And I laughed out loud about your imagined conversation at the border crossing. Safe travels and have a great time.

  5. I’m very happy that the kitten has found a home!  I hope kitty and her humans are very happy together.  That was very sweet of you to take care of her the way that you did.  She is a lucky kitty.

    As for the canner.  I am very interested!  Many years ago, I inherited a canning pot from a neighbour  (I have known her since I was nine years old  -I’m 53 now)  but I cannot use it on my stove.  I have never bothered to lug it outside to use on the burner of the barbecue.   Apparently you can’t use pots like these on a glass stovetop.  I forget why though.

    But I love the idea of canning, so learning about electric alternatives would be awesome.  I would LOVE to be able to can my diced tomatoes instead of them taking up valuable real estate in my freezer.  

    • I have used a canner on our old flat, glass top stove, but you have the have the right pot. I think it needs a perfectly flat bottom, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.

  6. I would love a breakdown on canning! I’ve done water bath canning in the past with our tomato surplus, but I also tend to just freeze instead of trying to can. I’ve always been intrigued with pressure canning but have no idea where to start.

    • I do have an existing equipment and supply list post that you can access here. And each of my canning recipes (archive is here) have step by step instructions.

      Buuuuuuut, I’d definitely also add step-by-step info on how to use the electric canner options.

  7. I would be interested in electric canners, especially with a how-to post.