8 hours ago
Monday, August 31, 2015
I'm loving my new muck boots. I usually come from the garden with wet sneakers from morning dew, so these are a definite improvement. I'm happy to be joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today. I harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash, okra, pawpaws, basil, chives & corn. Canned tomatoes. Bought packs of marked down carrot, beet and lettuce seeds at Walgreens, as well as mechanical pencils with a coupon, which I'll save for my nephew. Froze pawpaw pulp. Harvested two pears. I found a cluster of elderberries that had broken off and dried, and added them to the jar of dried berry pulp for bird suet.
This tiny frog kept me company while I picked cucumbers. I went through swagbucks for a purchase I needed to make from Lowe's. Decanted some of the first jar of elderberry tincture, to help me get over a lingering cold. To keep from making a special trip to town, I got creative with the pup's meals for a couple of days. I cooked eggs and brown rice, gave them a small amount of bread, yogurt, kefir and cheese, some beans, and a larger than usual amount of grated raw vegetables (though still not the 70% their last vet recommended). There was always a bit of kibble mixed in, though I definitely stretched it. They absolutely loved the variety.
Cleaned the chicken coop, & added it to the compost pile. I harvested more hazelnuts, roasted & ground them and added them to a homemade gelato. Also made tomato cheese pies, asian cucumbers (I know you're not surprised :o), and roasted green beans for a dinner with friends. Our guests brought homemade sourdough rye, dark chocolate brownies, pimento cheese & crackers, & a kombucha fruit drink. It was a happy coincidence that our friend, who is from Estonia, grew up spending days gathering hazelnuts with her grandfather, which would eat through the year. The hazelnut gelato with her dark chocolate brownies was heaven.
I canned tomato juice with the pulp, and it is delicious. I can imagine what it will be like to drink a glass in the cold months. Quite like summer in a jar. I gathered a bouquet of beauty berry, poke berries, autumn clematis, obedient plant, soapwort and a canna lily for the house. Made kefir, kombucha and yogurt. I washed all laundry with homemade soap and hung it on the line.
Guinness was keeping me company while I was picking tomatoes. When I looked over, I saw he had gotten into a writing spider's web. Looks rather like Frankenpup, don't you think? My silly pups make me laugh almost every day.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
J & I harvested squash from several vines that had died- spaghetti squash, hopi grey, butternut and others I've forgotten the name of. I started several cherry & grape tomatoes this year, including some Sweet Millions that were my Mom's seeds. I throw some of these tomatoes in with the larger ones when I'm canning, and we eat them fresh, but there were lots coming in, so J came up with the idea to try juicing them with the new juicer. I added in some of the smaller paste tomatoes, and did that. This time, I just steamed them, and it is a thin juice, not like store bought tomato juice. I'm thinking it would be best added to soups, or possibly vegetable dishes. For a thicker juice, you can blend the remaining pulp and add it into the juice. I think I'll try that next time.
We had some nice rain this week, so I replanted some of the fall vegetables that didn't come up with the first planting... more kale, spinach, 2 types of collards (one that J's grandfather grew, and Morris Heading), and a patch of mixed winter greens. It's too late to plant more rutabagas. Hopefully, I will get a handful of them this year from what did germinate. That vegetable has been a real challenge for me. I still want to replant beets and carrots, and get some cabbage and broccoli plants. In the winter I had filled TP tubes with dryer lint and a bit of candle wax. As I had a good amount of these, I've been tearing up TP tubes and tissue boxes and adding it to the compost bucket. A good portion of the year, it's mostly kitchen scraps that go into the compost bin, so more browns are always welcome. I cut a bouquet for the house, using zinnias, forsythia limbs that needed cutting back as filler, autumn clematis, and beauty berry.
|okra, squash, pawpaws & hazelnuts!|
Once I removed the husks, there was just a bit over one cup of hazelnuts in the shells. There are more on the shrub, not a lot, but some. These are what were on the ground, or shaken off. My Mom made the best gelato using hazelnuts. I think I may have just enough to make it.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Monday, August 10, 2015
Borrowed and read A Nickels Worth of Skim Milk, a Depression era book. I made a purchase on Amazon, and remembered to go through Brandy's link at The Prudent Homemaker, so she will benefit a little from my purchase. Did laundry using homemade laundry soap and soap gel, and hung all loads on the line to dry. I took advantage of 35% off homesteading books at Chelsea Green, and bought J a present for the holidays.
|one of the lovely quilts seen at a quilt show|
|the view from our B&B room|
I canned 2 qts of blueberries. They are fading, with fewer and smaller berries, so I will leave the rest for the birds. I dug the remainder of the potatoes. There were slightly more than 12#. Less than we'd hoped for, but I'm grateful for what we did get. I separated out the smallest of these, and canned them. I've never eaten canned potatoes, but with all the little ones, it seemed like a good idea. I've kept the dehydrator going all week with summer squash. The big bat of a zucchini I found when we got home from vacation has been grated and frozen.
|Quilt in the restaurant at Heartwood|
Monday, August 3, 2015
I'm joining in with The Prudent Homemaker's Frugal Accomplishments today. As we were getting ready to go away for a few days, I knew I needed to have a bit of a "preserving marathon", so as to lose as little as possible from the garden. On Day 1, I harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, tromboncino and zucchini squash, and elderberries. M harvested blueberries, and I'm thankful for that. My preferred method for preserving summer squash is freezing, but I just didn't have freezer space. In the cooler months, I usually use it in pasta dishes or soup, and an occasional casserole, so I'm hoping that canning it will do just as well for those things. Same with the blueberries... no room, so I canned those as well. I had already canned jam and syrup, so these will be used for cobblers and possibly pancakes or muffins. I began another jar of elderberry tincture.
|removing elderberries from stems|
|Corot noir grapes|
Of the seeds I planted recently, many of the zinnias and nasturtiums are up, and I'm hoping some spilanthes (toothache plant). It's been a while since I've had any luck in starting them, and I forget what they look like as seedlings. Hopefully, they're not weeds. All the squash ends from canning went into the broth bag in the freezer. The chickens got some soft fruit and vegetables, and the leftover tomato bits from canning. I shared cucumbers, squash and tomatoes with friends.
Laundry was done with homemade laundry soap and soap gel, and hung on the line to dry. I made kefir and yogurt. I checked on the pineapple vinegar I started a few weeks ago, but it's not tart enough yet, so I'll leave it for a while longer. I colored my hair at home. With all that accomplished, I'm ready for a road trip!
We had a wonderful time, and got back Sunday evening to many cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and elderberries needing to be picked and preserved. A few days to relax and unwind makes it all worth it. I hope your weekend was a good one.
Monday, July 27, 2015
|corot noir grapes|
|artful tromboncino squash|
|Joe Pye weed|
I sometimes shop sit for one of the potteries, and they have blueberries that they offered to me to pick. In between customers, I picked a quart. J & M have been asking for blueberry ice cream. I must admit, I wasn't so sure about that one. I found a recipe to make, which used one quart of blueberries. This is the recipe I used. It was good.
|milkweed tussock moth|
Monday, July 20, 2015
Merry Monday, everyone! If you've been here before, you've probably guessed I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today. I cut a bouquet of zinnias, bee balm and ironweed for the house. made yogurt & kefir, canned dill pickles, and harvested and dehydrated lambs quarter. I usually freeze the lambs quarter, but with freezer space at a premium, I want to see how I like using them dried. I've been enjoying handfuls of blueberries in fruit salad or on my cereal at breakfast. I picked up a few things at the discount grocery, including 2 bottles of organic rose hip oil for $2 ea. The oil nourishes skin, hair and nails.
I harvested cucumbers, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, dill, basil, zucchini, and tromboncino squash. One of the tomatoes had an interesting bullseye pattern on it. Not sure what might have caused that. Our yellow crookneck squash didn't germinate, but we had planted some of my Mom's zucchini seeds, and were happily surprised to find they are Gold Rush zucchini, so there's still a colorful combination of squash. I shared cucumbers with a friend, and neighbors.
I helped J pound in rebar stakes for most of the tomato cages, so a strong wind won't knock them over. I gathered seeds of columbine and money plant, and am letting some carrots go to seed. We planted rutabaga, carrots, beets, lacinato and Red Russian kale, and broccoli for the fall garden, and another round of cucumbers. I harvested mint a couple of times. The first time was for mint tea, and the other was for fresh mint ice cream, perfect for a day with a heat index above 100.
I prepared a homegrown breakfast, which my Italian grandmother called Popeye cream eggs. The story goes that some of us grandkids were not too keen on eating it, so she renamed it, and being we were into Popeye, we all ate it without problem. You saute some garlic in olive oil, add diced tomato and salt, then beaten eggs and heat until done. Eat with buttered toast. Yum! I purchased bulk Pomona's pectin, due to a comment on The Prudent Homemaker. I had not realized that it was sold in bulk, and that it lasts indefinitely if kept dry.
I bought the batting for my quilt online, going through ebates, and using a 20% first time purchase code. I also purchased some batik fabric from the site. It was on sale, with additional 20% off, and got me up to the free shipping minimum. I hope to make shorts with the material, modeled on batik shorts which I purchase at a local show. This vendor sells clothing, created in Africa, only at shows, and I remember the shorts run somewhere in the mid $30's, so if I can create them or something similar, that will be a significant savings. I haven't ever attempted to copy a piece of clothing, but I've seen tutorials, and will see what I can do. I spent time with a few good friends on a nearby lake. We watched the sun set and then the moon lower in the sky while out on the boat, stopping in a cove to eat our dinner. There is little that relaxes me more than being on the water. We saw quite a few osprey and herons, and a threesome of raccoons along the shore. Sweet summer days.