Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!
L and I did a little crafting today. I've had a roll of chalkboard vinyl sitting here for half of the past year and I thought I better do a little experimenting with it before the end of the year! Besides the labels on these jars we made a message board on our kitchen door and a little message area on the side of the fridge right at L's level so she can leave us some little drawings.
Consider this the start of my handmade 2011!! I have a couple projects for friends to finish and I will be off and running on handmade projects this year! Can't wait to show you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little gift from me!

Is anyone else snowed in today besides me?

If you are snowed today or not and find yourself wrapping Christmas gifts without any tags. Here are some tags I made you can download, print on cardstock and cut them out as they are or use some decorative edged scissors.

Merry Christmas to you from me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Time is Here!

The tree is up and decorated! We were really hoping to get a new tree this year but we needed to make due with our current tree. We got this pre-lit one on Black Friday at JoAnn's two years ago for something like $30. It's the perfect size for our small house it's just not the sturdiest. We put a wooden dowel inside of the center of the hollow metal trunk and it helped a little bit.

We have acquired quite a large ornament collection, so many that not all of them will fit on our tree. One of these days we'll be able to have a big enough tree to hold them all. For now, here are a couple of my favorite ornaments.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Goldfish Alternative

While L and I were in our small local health food store picking up a couple cold remedies for myself I let L pick out a snack. Being a goldfish, shark and whale cracker lover, she picked these Cheddar Bunnies. I will have to get some real goldfish crackers again to compare the bunnies too but even I prefer the bunnies over the cheaper whales and sharks. L says she likes them more than goldfish and I think I do too plus I know there are better ingredients in the bunnies!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Visiting Kitties

L and I went to visit some kitties today that a relative has been taking care of. Aren't they cute?!? I love the turtle one! But my husband and I are both allergic so a cat is out of the question. L enjoyed the visit. She got to feed them and pet them. Her quick movements were a little much for them at times though.

This was her favorite one mostly because it was probably the most friendly one or the least scared kitty.
I hope they all find a good home!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Savings Time!

Since being laid off work I am pushing hard to get back into savings coupon mode. I wanted to take a photo of all the food I got this morning but my husband was putting it away when I brought it in and I plum forgot!

Between Meijer, CVS and Jewel I spent $64 and saved $56! I hear about people that spend like $10 on $100 worth of groceries but I haven't quiet figured that out yet! Saving $56 is pretty darn good for me and the more I do this the more I have been saving.

Here is everything I got for $64!
2 pkgs Fresh Pork Chops
2 pkgs Jennie-O Ground Turkey
2 cans Starkist Tuna
3 boxes of Pop Tarts
2 bottles 50 oz. Wisk laundry detergent
4lbs. Chicken Thighs
1 Country Crock butter
2 boxes FiberOne bars
2 boxes Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches (husband loves these!)
2 family size Stouffer's lasagna
2 huge boxes of Rice Krispies
2 gallons of milk
3 condensed soups
1 bottle mustard
1 bottle ketchup
2 ranch dressing
2 frozen orange juice
2 loaves wheat bread
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 bag frozen peas
1 jar salsa

I know some people think, but you have to drive all over town. Actually for me we don't live in a big city and all the stores are all placed on one road not far from each other so I can do everything in one trip. I'm sitting here thinking it doesn't look like that much as a list but it sure looked like a lot in all the bags and dest of all my husband is thrilled to have some all the chicken, turkey and pork in the house again and the BOGO sales at Jewel on the Jennie-O Turkey and Pork Chops made an awesome deal!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dreaded Cookbook Shelf

You are probably tired of seeing my disorganized messes but it's holding me accountable for finishing organizing. This is how my cookbook shelf looked tonight. Since then I've taken everything off, dusted, found other better homes for misc. stuff and put back the cook books.

The problem:
What do you do with all of the recipes you've printed from online? Taken out of magazines?

I think I need to start by paring it down to recipes that we've actually tried. Maybe I shouldn't keep so many in the "want to make" pile.

Happy Fall!

Happy first day of fall!

If you've landed here from iFellowship, welcome! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful first day of fall. I wish you a wonderful day in whatever it may be that you are doing today!

I am cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. I was laid off work last week and I'm finding the good in it. I'm getting to see my husband in the mornings now where I used to be at work and never saw him. I am getting more time to do fun things with my daughter. AND my house is going to be spotless soon! Wow! I didn't realize how bad it was. I deep cleaned our bedroom yesterday. I moved all the furniture and swept under it all and washed all the large bedding and curtains and dusted EVERYTHING! It smells so fresh and clean in there again!

Have a wonderful blessed day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

busy with artwork

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I've been finishing up some artwork that I've had ideas for. Mostly inspiration that my greyhound Doogie gave me while he was with us. Gosh I miss him but he sure left me with a lot of inspirationg.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall is in the air!

Can you tell I have fall on my mind? First the fall crafts with L, then I sewed up the first part of Halloween outfit for her yesterday. Not her costume, but an outfit from this cute fabric I bought a few years ago. I had the intention to make her an outfit then but I was disorganized and pressed for time, so it never got done.

Good thing I kept this fabric around! I'm finally getting a chance to sew it! Here is the first part, the skirt made from the Miss Claire skirt pattern by The Handmade Dress. Love love love her patterns!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Button Indian Corn

L and I decided to start fall today even if it doesn't feel like it outside!

First up we did a Button Indian Corn craft.
I cut out the corn and she glued on all the buttons. Once all the buttons were on it was really heavy so I glued together 2 pieces of card stock and glued the finished corn onto that to make it more stable.

She was rather pleased with herself!
Then we did a L planned craft. She wanted to make a sparkily leaf. A PINK sparkily leaf. I could not find any glitter anywhere. But I have gone through everything so I know I don't have any. I need to get some because this girl wants everything to sparkle. She was so serious with her pink leaf and the blue background she had me put it on. I found some little rhinestone type things for her to glue on as well as some little white pompoms. She had a blast even if I didn't have any glitter!

It was so hard not to push that leaves aren't suppose to be pink, etc. I got over it and let her creativity flow and she had a blast!
Here's another photo of my craft area with even more progress made. Today was the second time I've been able to go down and make something without having to dig for supplies.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What is a mother to do?

The weather turned cooler and L needed to wear pants instead of shorts and dresses so I went to the top of her closet where I usually have clothes for the next season. I looked. And looked some more.

PANIC!! L has very few clothes for the fall!


Whew, okay thanks for letting me get that out.

Usually I try to buy a few staple pieces - jeans, plain shirts, etc. the year before when they are on clearance. In all of our pinching pennies and watching what we spend I completely looked over this small detail that she doesn't have anything to wear. A friend of mine passed down some outfits from her daughter to L but the problem with most of them is they are too big in the waist and fall off of her skinny bottom. Even the ones that have the adjustment tabs, I pulled them in to the smallest button hole and they are still too small. But her legs are so long that they will be high water pants by the time they fit her in the waist!

What is a mother to do with 6 sewing machines, piles of patterns and fabric at her fingertips?

What I better do it get busy sewing her up a fall/winter wardrobe!

Do you have any favorite patterns for skinny little girls clothes? L is a 4 in height but about a 2 in the waist!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oh what lovely fabric goodness!

This photo makes me so happy! All of my fabric together in one place.
L was with her Grandma yesterday so I spent the entire evening after work going through every single piece of fabric I own. This old bookcase wasn't being put to good use in the basement so I moved my grid shelves out of the way and moved the bookcase in.

Mostly knits with a little flannel and fleece on these 2 shelves.
All of my pattern wovens on the top shelf. The next shelf is corduroy, denim, coordinating cotton wovens and a few satiny pieces.
I can't wait to get the rest of the space organized so I can some in pick up a pattern, pick out the perfect fabric and start sewing!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for...

1. the 4 short years I was able to spend with my beloved greyhound Doogie. I still miss him every single day.

2. Crystal, my beagle/brittany/who knows what else mutt who makes the most adorable yet strange sound when I come home. And when it's been a bad day, she makes that sound even louder and crazier and wiggles her butt and that makes all the worries go away.

3. my husband who works so hard for his family.

4. my husband's job. After having a few rough years and being laid off. I am so thankful for his job with a great company.

5. our insurance. I am so thankful to not have to put off going to the doctor because we don't have insurance or the money to pay for it.

This blog post was inspired by the post by Julie at Another Chance Ranch

The "Before" Photo

As I've mentioned a few times, we have been downsizing anything and everything. We have made ourselves think seriously and realistically about everything that is in our home. The main part of our home is 866 sq ft. not including the small basement. We learned that we are just going to have to live with less stuff living in a small home.

My area of the basement has been a huge undertaking. Here is a photo I took today, after taking out TONS of crafts off the shelves on the pegboard on the left side of the photo and off the grid shelves on the right. I had a full table of crafts, fabric, scrapbooking and stamping supplies at the garage sale and I am happy to report that the majority of it sold! There was just a few things that went off in a box to the thrift store.
This photo looks like such a mess doesn't it?!? It really doesn't look as bad as the photo appears. You should have seen the true before but it's really been a year process as we had a garage sale last summer too. The boxes you see in the middle don't really belong to the craft area. There are a couple totes of my winter clothes in there.

So here it is for the world (or just a few people) to see. This holds me accountable to finish my space into an organized and decluttered space.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Reward

My reward to myself for downsizing so much for our big garage sale was to keep a few items from my husband's aunt. She used to have a couple booths at some antique-y type places. Yes I know antique-y isn't a word but I didn't know what else to call them. They have some antiques and some things that are only antiques to some people, to others it's junk. Anyway, she had joined us for the big garage sale and had several tables full of glass. She gave us a glass baking dish and three glass Pyrex pie plates before the sale. I told her I'd take one because we didn't have one. Not sure what I'm going to do with 3 though! Not sure what I'm even going to do with one because my husband doesn't like pie unless it involves chocolate.

As we were packing up the leftovers from the sale she offered us the set of 6 small glass bowls. Custard cups I think she called them but I'm going to use them for prep cups for cooking. I've always wanted some little bowls for that.

Here is the small baking dish and the 6 small cups. All of them were made by Fire King. As I washed them up I was noticing how much character the glass has.
The one thing I spotted as I was helping her pack up was this old Ball Jar. I LOVE it! Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I love it! It will become a decoration somewhere in the house.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oh how I missed that purr

The old Elna Supermatic is purring again. It's been so long since we've been able to sew together. Sorry no photos. I'm experimenting on how to get a decent photo in the basement.

Our big garage sale on Saturday and the months of downsizing has allowed me this space to sew again. I started a pair of grey corduroy pants for L that have real functional side pockets! I also finally put the under stitching technique to use. So easy and it makes such a neat finished edge hiding the lining! I'm not sure why I've avoided these two things before!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Little Angel

Am I the only one that goes to wake up your child from a nap and you have to run and get the camera and snap photos before you wake them?

Please tell me I'm not. Doesn't she look like a little angel?

She was exhausted and wasn't being a little angel and needed a nap before she fell asleep.

She's growing up way too fast.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friendly Friday

Just came across this blog hop and even though it's now Friday evening I thought I'd jump in.

Friendly Friday celebration is hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog!

Welcome Visitors!

Friendly Friday Button

Another exciting addition of "From the mouth of a 3 year old"

If you didn't catch the last addition to "From the mouth of a 3 year old" you can go back and read it here. I really wish I had a way to go back and record this on the spot.

Story #1:
Yesterday evening I was rolling the trash down to the street as Grandma pulled in the driveway with L. She got out, had our usually hugs and kisses hello. Then L started to walk towards the house, looking up and around at the sky she said. "There calling for rain again." She said it just like an old man sitting on a park bench saying it to his friend.

Story #2:
After Grandma and I controlled the laughter from story #1, Grandma told me another thing she said to her. They were leaving our house earlier in the day and she saw L was picking her nose. She turned to the back seat and asked her if she needed a Kleenex, she could get her a Kleenex. Without skipping a beat, L said to her Grandma "Just Drive." What?!?! Grandma had the same reaction I did. Now we did have a little talk about this one with her. About being respectful and kind. I know my L, especially after talking to her, she didn't mean it in a disrespectful way but we still like to nip those things before they get out of hand. We let her know "No thank you Grandma" would have been a better choice.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

When it works, stick with it!

When you find something that is well loved and it works, it is always best to stick with it. In 5 years we have bought many dog toys, some for the inside, some for the outside. When it came to outside toys Crystal had her favorite, until a loose neighbor dog came by and stole it. Looking for new toys at the pet store I came across this rubber ball with feet. It was bouncy and it squeaked. Perfect. Ever since we found the first one, our dogs have never wanted to play with anything else when they are outside. They fought over who got to play with the toy until we bought another identical toy. And then ended up still fighting over the same toy. Crystal loves to play fetch with it where Doogie loved to just lay in the grass and squeak it. The feet make it easy for L to hang on to when she flings it across the yard for Crystal to fetch.

This is what it looks like after 2 years of staying outside 24/7 in the rain, sun, mud, snow and of course dog slobber! It's the Tough by Nature Bad Cuz. (or you can get the Good Cuz that doesn't have the little horns)
Since Doogie passed away Crystal has both of them to herself and she still can't decide which one to play with! I think we need to get her one new one to replace these.
Doesn't she look happy after a round of fetch with the toy? Okay, maybe she doesn't really fetch. It's more of a we throw it, she chases it brings it back but not all the way too you and then won't let go of it, but it's still fun!
*I have no affliation with this toy manufacturer or Amazon. And I'm not receiving anything for telling you about this awesome toy. Our dogs just plain love it which makes me love it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome iFellowship!


If you've landed on my little blog from iFellowship, Welcome! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful day today! My name is Sarah and I'm a mother to a 3 year old daughter, a hound dog mutt and my husband who is usually referred to as Cowboy.

I love to sew, craft and just make things with my hands! I talk about cooking sometimes, both successful things and some failures. You'll find gardening, canning and preserving talk. And there is always room for some completely random thoughts in there as well.

Thank you for coming by and I hope to see you again!


Surprise Mail!

I love being surprised with mail that I've forgotten about. For Christmas, my husband got me a subscription to Ottobre Design pattern magazine. Except for the first one, every other issue that has come out I've completely forgotten about. That has made for several pleasantly surprised trips to the mailbox.

The newest issue is one of the women's issues. There are a few things that caught my eye. I just need to try to figure out where to squeeze in sewing time. My machines are beginning to wonder where I've been. I'm beginning to wonder where I've been.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dishes. Oh how I despise thee.

Yes. I despise dishes. I wish every day that a dishwasher would magically appear in my house. I do realize that I wouldn't be able to put everything in the dishwasher but it would sure take care of most of them. The piles of bowls, plates, cups, silverware. I love to cook but I hate the dishes that come with it and the dishes are twice as bad when you're trying to maneuver and cook in a tiny kitchen. There is no perfect work triangle here.

Or I could just magically snap my fingers and all of these dishes could clean and put themselves away? That's not too much to ask is it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Photo Friday: A Different Point of View

Have you ever taken the time to slow down and walk through a familiar place with a different point of view? Cowboy and I used to do this all the time before we got married and started a family. We would pack up our cameras and head out on a journey looking for interesting things. Over this past weekend we had the chance to set out on one of these excursions again. We packed up the cameras and headed downtown. Now our downtown leaves much to be desired when you're driving through in your car. A handful of shops, art gallery after art gallery and more empty store fronts that you can count. It's really just one of the streets that will take you to the beach. We took our time on foot, through allies and backs of main street buildings, not really looking for anything particular, just looking for something to jump out at us.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Already?!?


Ah Wednesday. Is the week half over or has it only half begun? I'm having a "Is the week really almost half over already?!?!" kind of day. We're on a mission to condense our belongings to only a comfortable amount that fits in our own 866sq ft. home. We had so much STUFF in our basement as well as boxes of kitchen items we didn't have room for in our tiny metal cabinets that were stored at my mother-in-law's house. There were also boxes and boxes of my daughters things over there from the past 3 years of her life! If you put all the shoes one little girl has worn in 3 years, you would be amazed. I never realized how many pairs of shoes she had. Cowboy REALLY wants to have a garage sale this weekend so the "is the week already half over?!?!" feeling is from rushing and trying to get through everything. I don't know if I'm going to make this weekend! Might have to push it another week later or we just donate anything else we find from here on out because there is already a TON of stuff in the garage.

Today is also iFellowship day at Seeds of Faith!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

I made a combination of the Stuffed Zucchini Boats and the Crunchy Stuffed Zucchini Boats recipes from Kraft Foods.

1. Don't miss the step about par boiling the zucchini. Thankfully cowboy likes his vegetables on the crunchier side and loved this.

2. I was trying to make this a light meal and it needed something more to the filling. Next time I make this we are going to put ground Italian sausage in the filling and more fresh tomatoes.

3. Plant more zucchini and yellow squash next year so I can have enough to try all these zucchini recipes I'm finding now at the end of the growing season.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wake up and smell the peaches!

It's peach season here in my neck of the woods so we drove up to a local farm and orchard and picked up a big bag of peaches. They were by far the sweetest and juiciest peaches I think I've ever tasted in my life. Many of them were devoured as they were but the rest had another fate. After getting the hang of making jam with strawberries and blueberries already this year I thought I'd try peach jam. Even through following the directions exactly I thought I had turned it into candy. Thankfully it came out with a nice jam consistency but the little pieces of peaches in it taste like they've been candied. I don't know how much of it I will be using on toast with breakfast but it will definitely make a delicious vanilla ice cream topping!

The remaining peaches found their way into the jars with just a light syrup. This was my first try at just canning something simply the way it is instead of turning it into a jelly, jam or relish. I've been having great luck getting all of the jars sealed but I'll have to wait and see how these are when I open the first jar.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Goodbyes have been said...

tears have been shed and I guarantee there will be many more tears shed. On July 27th we said goodbye to my beloved greyhound. That day will forever be a bittersweet day as that was also the day 4 years prior we signed Doogie's adoption papers and brought him home.

To back up in the story of our life a little bit, on September 25, 2004 we adopted a very sick little beagle mix. She was to be mine. I wanted her and cowboy said okay despite how horrible she looked. A funny thing happened though, as much as we said Crystal was mine, she had other plans. From the day she came home she was cowboy's best friend and his lap dog despite being over 30lbs. Now cowboy is not a small man by any means at 6'5" tall or so depending if that's with or without cowboy boots. So Crystal has always been the perfect size to curl up on his chest on top of him on the couch. If I get up before cowboy, she immediately gets in my spot in the bed and continues to sleep until he gets up.

Skip forward to 2006. While cowboy was working a booth at the county fair he called me to tell me he had found a big dog for himself. Still claiming that Crystal was mine he still wanted a big dog to match his size. I looked at photos online and I said okay to this big dark brindle boy without seeing him. As soon as cowboy brought Doogie home, I spent most of the next few days with him getting him settled into, trying to get a routine going.

Now it wasn't always a match made in heaven. He escaped from the bottom of his crate and tore down our mini blinds in our bedroom. He broke out a hole in the side of his crate and chewed a huge hole in our lovely pillow top mattress. He pulled our bedspread and sheets into the crate and chewed holes in them. Okay, we won't put his crate near anything then. How about the middle of the living room where the crate didn't touch any furniture? He processed to break a bigger hole in the side of the crate and somehow got a hold of our couch, pulled it so it was touching the crate and chewed half of it up. So many of these acts remain a mystery at how he actually accomplished them. I would have loved to have had hidden cameras! Doogie started going to work with me for half the day and slowly he settled in at home, without a crate. He had free range of our bedroom and kitchen. There were many many times cowboy wanted to take him back but I said NO. Doogie was MINE! And that love grew stronger and stronger between us with each passing day until we overcame his "issues" of being home alone. He was such a good boy and he walked on a leash like a dream! Everyone that met him loved him. He persuaded many a non-dog people with those big dark eyes and a loving lean against them.

Two years ago Doogie started to have seizures. For quite awhile they were one every several months. Then they became more and more frequent. When we were at the vet to get his leg checked out again that was first thought to be an injury from a bad seizure turned out to be bone cancer. Osteosarcoma of the femoral head. The vet estimated no more than a month more he would be with us. We didn't even have 3 more weeks with him. We loved on him and spoiled him even more than he already was.

On July 26th, I came home from work and Doogie couldn't get up. His good back leg had given out and he wasn't using the leg where the cancer started anymore. Doogie tucked his head into me in the loving way he always did and I knew it was time. We said goodbye to him the next morning, 4 years to the date from when we brought you home. Maybe one day soon I'll pull out some of many of the photos we have of him, including the eaten mattress which by the way we are still sleeping on! There is a pillow stuff in the hole and it's duct taped on. Right now I can't look at many of them at a time.

We miss you more than anything sweet boy. We know you are in heaven with Cowboy's dad and his sweet Cleo, all three of you free from your cancer and your pain.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bedtime Stories

Haley's post about Mommy Guilt on Mainstream Mommy really got me thinking today. I could have written that exact post! It really got me thinking about the things I feel guilty about and one of those is not reading L a bedtime story every single night. Since L was born, bedtime was always daddy time. She used to fall asleep on his chest on the couch when she was little. Now that daddy has a different job, he usually doesn't get home until after she's already in bed. She does get morning time with daddy while I'm at work, but it's not the same as their special time that had before bed.

So I can't take daddy's place at bedtime but I can sure make it special for us!

Now I don't do good making up the crazy elaborate bedtime stories that daddy does but I can have her pick out some of her many books to read. Tonight I picked out a childhood book of mine - A Child' Treasury of Beatrix Potter and L picked out the Miss Moppet story. I had forgotten how much different some of the old stories are! Miss Moppet isn't a bad one, but there are some that are just not happy stories to me now. And L picked out a second book for me to read to her - Home Sweet Home. It's a very cute story pop up book about a lady bug trying to find her perfect home.
While looking for a photo of the book cover I found out that the Busy Bugz are a series of pop up books! I didn't know that!

I would love to know, do your kids have a favorite bedtime book you read them?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

From the mouth of a 3 year old

L is a funny little girl. She was blessed with her daddy's imagination and comedy. Now, her sayings will lose half the cuteness or hilarity since you can't actually hear her, but I still want to share some of her thoughts and sayings. Try to picture a high pitched little voice that speaks very clear and matter of fact sometimes.

L actually took a nap today. She doesn't take many anymore but she was exhausted from a long holiday weekend still. She is also potty trained except for a night but she had an accident during her nap today. When she got up I was using some wipes to clean her up and she said "You know mom, wipes should be warm."

Over the weekend I was out and about in the rest of the house and L and her daddy were in our bedroom playing with the dogs. All I hear is a little voice holler "A little help here!" I was thinking, what? Did she just say that, yes. Now where in the world did she get that? I have no idea! Cowboy and I and her grandparents are probably the only one that thinks it's hilarious, but trust me, if you would have heard it, it was funny! She was trying to get a toy out from under our bed and was trying to get herself back out and up on the bed. She could have said, "daddy help me" or something like that but no, it was "a little help here!"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I wonder how many things I can do with squash?

After losing 10-15 yellow squash to blossom-end-rot, I've been picking 2-3 every other day or so. We've steamed them and topped them with butter and parmesan cheese. On the 5th, our 4th of July holiday from work, we brushed them with oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and put them on the grill until tender. Since I just picked another yellow squash this afternoon plus 2 zucchinis I need to look through my recipes to refresh my memory of what else we can do with them.

Some of the squash from this weekend and today:
I have had people ask me why I pick them so small. It is simply because I like to use the whole thing. When they get to be the size of the county fair entries you have to scrape out the huge seeds and stringy stuff in the middle. When they are smaller I just slice off both ends and can use the whole thing with out the mess of taking all the seeds out.

Today is also iFellowship day at seeds of Faith!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

and the garden keeps growing and growing...

L and I did a large picking of lettuce which we added to some we had in the fridge from previous days and we finally had enough for wilted lettuce salad! Yum! Wilted lettuce is a taste of summer from home for me. We always made it with the abundant lettuce from grandpa's garden.
It's never just the same as mom made it but the recipe is as follows: Cook your bacon, reserve 1/8 cup of grease. Combine 4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 4 Tbsp. sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add reserved bacon grease and a diced small onion. Now, here's the part I'm wondering about, my mom always took the dressing and microwaved it until hot but there were many occasions that it cooked too long and exploded in the microwave. I'm wondering now if it wouldn't be easier to just heat it back up on the stove again, not as fast, but it might take the exploded risk out! Anyway, crumble the cooked bacon over a big bowl of lettuce (or spinach) and pour the hot dressing on. Toss and eat immediately!

Also in the photo are 3 tiny yellow squash. I've been having trouble with end rot on my yellow squash, lost about 8-10 but these 3 hadn't started rotting so I picked them quick! They made a one serving lunch for me. Chopped them up, steamed them and put butter and parmesan cheese on it.

Happy Summer Eating!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mmmmmm.... I LOVE Jam!!

Yes, I made more strawberry jam!! Cowboy and L bought me 4 more quarts of strawberries at a local farm market. I prepared them and put them in the freezer until I had time to make the jam. I followed the recipe in the Ball pectin package again and got 9 jars! (one went right to the fridge when cool to eat!)

When I went to buy the case of jars I also picked up the book from Ball, their Blue Book Guide to Preserving which I checked out from the library many times last summer and for a very
reasonable price it was a good investment for me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Garden Progress: 6/21/2010

HAPPY SUMMER!! Today is officially the first day of summer so we got out the kiddie pool and L splashed and played for a couple hours!

Not a full update on the garden, but a partial update of 2 of the boxes in the backyard. We've been enjoying lots of spinach, lettuce and radishes. The radishes and spinach have almost reached their end but there are plenty more vegetables come in!

I have 6 big tomato plants all blooming! The onions are coming along nicely. We've been picking some here and there to use in cooking already. And the carrots are hopefully coming along since all I can see are the big tops!

My one big mistake this year, the yellow squash plants on the left were not suppose to be a bush variety, then were planned to climb the trellis, so I planted a couple more lemon cucumber plants to grow up the trellis with the ones I had started earlier. The lemon cucumber are sending out their first "climbers" and wrapping around the trellis. What is the name of the little things they send out to wrap around things anyway??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Garden Harvest 6.1&2.2010

The first couple harvests out of the garden weren't photo worthy, just a few spinach and lettuce leaves here and there and a few radishes. Yesterday I was able to harvest enough spinach and lettuce to have a salad along with a bunch of radishes. Today brought another bundle of radishes!

This was today's bundle, one odd white one in there!
I know that I can let them get a lot bigger, but my husband prefers them when they are smaller.

And yesterday's harvest:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Canning and Preserving: First batch of 2010

For the first time last year I attempted canning and it went great! Since last fall when I did my first canning, my mom passed my grandma's canning pot onto me so I couldn't wait to do more!!

The first canning of the 2010 season: Strawberry Jam
It would be even better if I had grown the strawberries, but I bought them. I just used the recipe in the Ball's pectin box. I think I might try a lower sugar recipe because this is super sweet, but it's REALLY good!

One thing I learned is that the 8oz. jars set up better... so we're just going to eat the bigger jars first! I cracked one open this morning to put on toast and it was delicious!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden Progress: 5.20.2010

The gardens have been getting some healthy rain lately so I had to wait to get some new photos! Dh and I built a trellis for the lemon cucumbers to grow up from PVC and twine that we had on hand. You can't really see the twine grid in the photo.

6 tomato plants went into the old bed that's surround with the crazy onions and tiny carrots coming up.

Here's a closeup, on the right bed is a tomato plant, onions and carrots(that you can't see yet!)
On the left you see the edge of the trellis where the cucumbers are planted, a row of radishes in the front and the other tiny green things are the lettuce. The lettuce is growing so much slower than the spinach!

On the left is the spinach, they are growing really fast and starting to sprout the second set of leaves, in the front is more radishes including the part of the row that was dug up, my probably a neighborhood squirrel. The 2 plants under the trellis are yellow squash.

I'm seeing so many gardens so much further along, but we are in the north and we just had hopefully our last frost last week!