Smiling at yellow packages that arrive from Germany. For twenty years now? Always full of chocolate from our German family. Such a treat for us all.
Appreciating each frog and toad I see as the days grow cooler. I always miss their peeping over the winter. Soon they will be hidden and sleeping until spring arrives.
Splurging on some fall items. I may have gone a bit overboard. I needed new shirts badly and I am smitten with thredup. Have you heard of them? Thy're an online consignment shop. Their prices are great and everything I have ordered looks almost new. You can save $10 off your first order by using this link. And you can see some of the things I ordered in the picture. Which is strange, but also cool. I'm slightly addicted to Ann Taylor Loft tshirts. Love, love, love.
Sweet bunnies. This one ear up and one ear down guy always cracks me up. Sophie & Joe recently built them a huge addition to their little hutch. So now they can go outside and jump around. They used fencing as the bottom so the bunnies can nibble grass, but they can't dig their way to freedom.
Bookworm number four. He is insistent on reading us a story every night and tells us he is a professional (proficient) reader.
Yellow leaves and buckets of apples & pears from our fruit CSA. It was our first year participating and it's been such a gift to be eating so much local fruit.
New favorite breakfast : plain yogurt, muesli & apple butter. (Apple butter like this one, but I skip the sugar and add just a little maple syrup to taste. I skip the lemon too, because we've just been eating it fresh. If you can it, leave the lemon in)
I guess that's it for now. A whole lot of ordinary. Happy weekending to you….
Last year we only found a few wild grapes here & there. It had been a hot and rainy summer. This summer was cooler and dryer and the grapes must have liked that a little better because they are hanging in heavy clusters from their vines on the trails behind our house and alongside the road. I fight the urge to travel with a ladder and pull over to pick them. Somehow I'm thinking winding new england roads and crazy woman with a ladder spell out accident waiting to happen. We did walk the trail behind our house and pick some from a few spots. I'm sure the birds enjoy them too, so we left plenty for them. We ended up with almost 20 pounds. Enough for a double batch of grape jam. The guy of the house was rather excited about this, having grown up making forts in the woods behind his house and eating his own weight in wild grapes every summer in upstate New York. Late into the evening I cooked the grapes down with a bit of sugar, just enough for a hint of sweetness. They never did quite jell, so I added a small amount of Pomona's to give the jam a soft set. It's not the color of the grape jelly we grew up with…. and nowhere near the cloying sweetness. The taste is right on though, with a hint of tartness just like eating the grapes fresh. I was so happy the jam retained their pungent heavenly scent as well. The kids like it on pb&j sandwiches. I like it on crackers with some soft goat cheese. Delicious either way, for sure.
Another canning post… yes I know. Apples are coming soon….
I'm sheepishly popping in about a MONTH late to share my swap goodies from Amanda's summer blog swap. I was late sending my swap partner her package, but certainly with good reason after the longest summer ever. The good thing about sending the package out late was being able to include some of our honey! You can see the little collection of goodies I sent her below. Treats from my garden, favorite fiber shop, and personal fabric stash. Plus some shop goodies for her kiddos too.
I received my box of goodies from the lovely Marcela of Naturally Fun Days. It was actually waiting for me when I got home from Alaska after being with my mom. It was such perfect timing to have a box full of lovingly crafted goodies. Marcela & I are soul sisters for sure because I loved everything she sent…..
I really, really love participating in these swaps that Amanda pulls together. It's such a treat to send someone a box of handcrafted goodies, and of course to receive one as well. I've gotten to know a few more kindred spirits in the blog world, which is a nice reminder of why I do love this space so much.
Happy weekending to you.
PS!! I've been pooling friends on their favorite way to keep up with blogs. we just updated our computer and I can no longer subscribe to blogs via rss feed in my email without buying an app of some sort. Apple users, what are you using as an rss reader? Everyone, is there a good blog reader out there? I would love to know!
I could have probably stopped in to write you once or twice this week.
It would have been the same thing every day. I blanched this, peeled that, pickled those and put them in a jar. Hot water bathed them all and listened to the pop-pop-pop of the jars sealing after I plucked them from the bubbling water. Hours upon hours worth of it. Every day. For the past two weeks. I think I have an addiction…
I'm not really cool enough to be a canning blog. (But Marisa sure is if you're looking for one) My canned pantry is expanding though, and I've had to buy jars three times in the last ten days. Also, why oh why is it impossible to find those simple half pint wide mouth jars. Can. Not. Locate. And I refuse to pay Amazon two bucks a piece for them. The wide mouth are my favorite because they are so freaking practical. Easy to clean & stable when stacked several high. Back to the food part though….
In the last few days I have made :
peach lavender jam
spicy dilled beans
spicy basil pickled eggplant
spicy curry pickled carrots
wild grape jam (which I'll show you pictures of soon. wanna be canning blog lady that I am)
With the excpetion of the raspberries that I got on sale at the grocery store, everything else was local. This makes me geek out with happiness. Quite by accident, all my recent recipes have come from Tart & Sweet (pictured) it's a good one. I just picked up Food in Jars from the library and I adore it. I have pear butter cooking in the crock-pot right now. Yum!
Do you have a favorite canning blog or book? Do share, I'd love to check it out.
Off to start (yet another) hot water bath….
ps – thank you for the sweet words on my last post. my do they grow quickly…..
the sticky hand you once held and later instructed to hold your belt loop in the grocery store while you pushed the cart and held their baby sister is no longer there, even though in your mind you still see them running through the woods…. not letting their little sister win even once on the trail to the beach. you can hear their eight year old laugh. it's stuck there, in your heart. but time moves on…
sometimes easily, other times hard. you stumble through adolescents and then the teenage years. oh my do those years keep you busy, praying for wisdom. and patience.
they get taller than you. especially those boys.
they become men and you finally figure out what your own mama meant when she said she would always worry about you….
yes, just like that, they become grown ups.
happy 18th birthday to my big boy….
I felt guilty clicking on the farm's facebook page after I booked my ticket home.
Maybe I'll catch the tail end of blueberry season, I thought.
I had read before leaving it would be a bumper crop. I hoped the cool summer might make the season last longer. Turns out it did.
We made it out to the farm twice. I love it there. Quiet. Peaceful. Meditative. You berry pickers know.
The first time the younger two and I went alone and we picked 26 pounds in an hour and a half. They were done after the first hour, but I convinced them to help me finish up the last bucket. Okay, convince might be a stretch. I bribed them with a coffee shop visit before the fourty minute trip home. Amazing what kids will do for a cocoa and cookie. As we left the farm, the kids discovered sour cherries and picked a handful each…. squealing with puckered faces as they gobbled them up.
The next time Joe came too and we took three of ours plus two extras. (the girls had friends come along.)
One of the big girl's friends was perplexed as to why anyone needed this many blueberries. With a straight face I told her we were preparing for the zombie apocalypse. For a minute I think she beleived me. She had watched Joe & I can fifty pounds of tomatoes the evening before and we do have chickens & bees. My girls burst out laughing…. thank goodness…. and said something about best homemade jam and putting gallons of berries in the freezer.
While we picked, the big girls wandered away from us and sang show tunes the entire time. I went looking for them at the end and another picker asked, are you looking for two very theatrical young women? I told him yes and he pointed me in the right direction. He and his family had gotten quite a kick out of them performing and simultaneously picking blueberries. We picked 33 pounds between the 7 of us in just under two hours that morning.
Bringing the total to 59 pounds this year.
7 gallons in the freezer. 7 pints of blueberry-lemon-honey sauce. 16 pints and 7 half pints of blueberry-lemon-honey jam (recipe in this lovely book!).
My corner in the basement is being filled little by little with canned goods. It's a ton of work. For sure. And not my favorite on the hottest of days.
But blueberries don't wait.