Tomato Sauce Night!

I started my week by picking a bunch of ripe heirloom tomatoes from my garden. Since there was a lot of them I decided to let them sit for a week to soften up so I could make homemade tomato sauce.

I started by cutting, trimming and peeling all the tomatoes. I then smooshed all the chunks through a wire mesh strainer to make all the seeds and white parts easier to remove from the tomatoes.

Added all my spices and let it simmer for a while. It really smelled wonderful while this was simmering. Even my dog Taco was interested.

The final result! A little thicker than normal but it looked great over the pasta for dinner. ❤

Its Pickling Time!

I finally had an opportunity to make some bread and butter pickles out of my Mexican Sour Gerhkin harvest.

I used a recipe that I found on pintrest and made a few alterations. For starters, I had to double the recipe for the amount of cucumbers I harvested. Due to availability, I could not get ahold of mustard seeds so I used ground mustard instead. I also did not submerge the jars into water to seal them.

The brine itself smelled so very yummy while it was simmering. Very aromatic! Since I did not want to locate, unbury, and clean the large canning pot I had to go with a refrigerator pickling method. After the brine was ready to come off the heat, I allowed it to cool.

After the brine was cooled it was time to fill and close the jars. 3 jars in total for this harvest and more are still growing.

Seahorses at the hospital

This week I had a family member in the hospital. So I’ve spent quite a bit a time sitting around, reading, and waiting. To break up some of the reading time, I got this nifty engraving kit to work on while I’m here passing time.

Today I was just hooked on it and finished. Not bad for about 5 hours of work. Now to figure out how I’d like to go about framing it.

First Harvest

Last night was my first harvest from my garden! Very late in the planting season I got an heirloom tomato, 5 Japanese eggplants, and 6 cucumbers as baby plants. I then planted them in one of the flowers beds at my grandparents place. I had to plant around the peony bush, but I think it turned out well.

The plants have been growing since the end of June. I honestly doubt I’m going to get eggplants this year because of the rats and squirrels eating anything that gets to be about half the size they should be.

I finally have 1 heirloom. I’ve had a lot of large green tomatoes sitting there for a long time. 1 of them finally turned red. It’s not in the best of conditions but a large portion of it should still be eatable.

I also had a very interesting surprise with my cucumber plants. I thought I had regular seedless cucumbers, after they started growing I realized that these were not normal cucumbers and did some research.

Turns out that these little guys are Mexican Sour Gerhkins. It’s a rare seed variety (in the U.S.) that only grows to the size of a grape. The skin is eatable so rinse and snack is an option. It tastes like a cucumber with a bit a citrus/sour flavor.

I think though with this amount I’m going to pickle these guys. Unless someone out there has a recipe I could try?

Querkles

This past week has been very difficult and stressful for me. So this time I’d like to share with you all my latest puzzle book, Querkles.

Querkles starts out as a puzzle of many intersecting circles like this

These can be completed in 1 of 2 ways.

  1. Use 1 color and cross hatching the different shades or
  2. Use 5 different colors organized from darkest to lightest.

For this particular puzzle I chose to use 5 different colors.

Basically what you do is start by filling in all the number 1 spaces with the darkest color.

Then color in all the number 2 spaces with the next, lighter, color.

And keep going lighter for the number 3 spaces

And number 4 spaces

And finally number 5 should be colored with the lightest color.

Ta da!!! Simple enough, right? These puzzles have been really helpful in trying to distract me from overthinking for a little while.

If you are interested in finding your own querkles book, I found mine at Michael’s mixed in their adult coloring book section. I have only seen the animals themed book in stores but there are more out there for sale on the internet.

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Old Lady

Today is my grandmother’s 90th birthday! Since I will be off enjoy her Surprise Garden Party today I thought I’d share some of the pics I had to clean up for her picture boards.

Fair warning: I don’t really do a lot of photo editing. All I have to work with is the original photo and Windows photo editor.

Before:

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After:

Fixed

Before:

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After:Fixed 2

Before:

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After:

fixed 3

Baku the Dream Eater

Baku Gengar

This is my latest Kreation for my Mythical Creatures Challenge. Most creatures on the list I am familiar with to some degree (I know a little of the history or I know it by a different name, etc.) but this Baku creature was completely unheard to me before this challenge. So I had to do a little bit of research before I came up with concepts.

Basically Baku is a dream eater/nightmare eater(a brief history if you are interested https://tinyurl.com/ya4x4ndl).

My immediate first thought was of Gengar and his dream eater abilities as well as this shirt that I own.

I decided I should combine the 2 creatures together for this piece. I think it turned out fairly well, even if it is the wrong pokemon :-P. Heres hoping that the next mythical creature is something just as interesting!

Welcome!

20180803_211225.jpgWelcome everyone and thanks for joining me at Katagi’s Kreations!

I decided to kick off this blog by posting something simple, Dinner. Tonight I went with a prepackaged dill buttered salmon fillet and my very first attempt at cooking zucchinni noodles dressed in a lemon vinaigrette.

Be sure to check out the menu in the upper right corner for a little about me, what kind of stuff I will be posting, and some of the long term projects I have going on at the moment.

Any comments, questions, or suggestions are always welcome 🙂