Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm still in the kitchen

I intended to sew this afternoon, but I haven't made it yet.

This morning I put up 12 quarts and 12 pints of chicken and rice soup.
For this I use thighs and legs since DH has an aversion to dark meat, but this way he doesn't notice. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. I really don't measure anything and just go by taste. I use chicken broth, bullion, water, salt, chicken, celery, and carrots.

I made a quick run by the farmer's market and came home with corn. I kept meaning to call the guy in the paper and never got it done. I hope they have more.
It's shucked, silked, and cut off the cob.

I'll deal with it tomorrow after I get two new tires for my car and pick up DH's boat from the boat doctor.

I think I'll go visit the sewing room and see if a quick project jumps out at me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Glad to be back

Whew! I wish I could say we had a pleasant trip, but that would be a lie.

My FIL is getting to the point that he can't keep his opinions to himself and feels the need to openly be a bigot, in public, in a very loud voice. It's bad enough that DH doesn't want to be in his company and I can't say that I blame him.

We did have a good, but too short, visit with my BIL who had lost his mother. I knew his mother before I knew my husband. We were married quite a while before I realized that Hazel was my brother-in-law's mother. Small world.

Let's just say Friday was a very tense day and leave it at that.

We spent Saturday with DH's two daughters and went antique shopping. DH bought me four plates that match the glass pattern I collect as an early birthday present. I bought the covered butter and four cups. I really added to my collection this weekend. I've never seen the butter top and bottom together that were affordable. This was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. The pattern is Holiday or Buttons and Bows by Jeanette Glass Company (1947-1949). Not technically Depression Glass, but darn close.

In other news, I'm going to be a step-grandma in January. I'd be fibbing if I said I wasn't excited. I'm excited! We find out on August 18th if it's a boy peanut or a girl peanut. I need to make more bibs, and blankets, and a quilt, and.....I'm sure there's a ton of other things.

I've still got sewing stuff to share, but my laundry is calling so I'll have to catch up later.

Finally home

That was the longest 3 days of my life. I've got lots to share and pictures, but until I get it up you can see a few pictures from our trip at Through My Eyes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spiced peaches and other fun stuff

DH and I have to leave town tomorrow for a funeral on Friday and I've spent the afternoon trying to get this produce done up into something yummy before I lose it.

I had enough peaches to do two quarts of spiced peaches plus two little bowls for snarfing.

I used the tomatoes and made four 12 ounces jars of salsa. Have you seen the new quilted jelly jars that hold 12 ounces? They are so pretty.

I got 15 pints of purple hull peas. They look so yummy.

There was enough okra for 2 more pints of pickled okra and just enough banana peppers for a jar of pickled peppers.

I hate that I'm going to miss the farmer's market on Friday and Saturday, but it can't be helped. Maybe they won't have anything good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

To market, to market

Purple hull peas. Yum!

Granny never would let us kids shell these because they can turn your fingers purple and they always got ready right before school started. She didn't want us starting school with purple fingers.

I always wanted purple fingers and now I have my chance.

I picked up some more peaches, a few onions, some okra, and peppers. I have no idea what I'll be doing with those.

In crafty news, I made a cute pillow and started another one. I also have thrifty news to share a little later.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Green chili stew

Mom made green chili stew because both she and DH love it. I don't care for it, but that's okay. I still love them and will can it.

I knew she made a big batch because it filled the water bath canner, but I had no idea how big. Try 36 pints big. I was surprised. I thought 24 pints maybe. Nope, 36.

I know a couple of people who are going to be eating well this winter.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Veggies and thrifty shopping

I got up this morning a bit bleary eyed after yesterday's black-eyed pea canning session (20 pints). I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and forged on.

My first stop was the farmer's market. All I bought was tomatoes and a couple of cantaloupe.
Mom called and met me at the house and after a quick breakfast we went thrifting.

I found this mop bucket for $1. Please ignore my dirty kitchen floor. Obviously this was a much needed purchase.
This little bird cage was a steal at $5, according to the antique shops in town.
88 balls of crochet/tatting thread for $5 plus a pattern for a bedspread and two crochet hooks.
21 fat quarters for $3.
A salad spinner from France for $1.
I also bought DH some t-shirts, myself a house dress and pair of overalls all for $1.30 and six cups for mis-matched snack sets for 30 cents. I'm sure there are other things, but I can't remember them now.

We made a full day of it and I'm pooped, but I sure did have fun.

I hope you had a wonderful day.

Thankful Thursday on Forgetful Friday

I forgot about Thankful Thursday until today.

This week I'm thankful for our little rain showers. From what I understand, rain in July isn't normal. Although, if someone would like to define normal for Oklahoma weather, I'd be willing to listen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Winning Wednesday

I bought some lovely tomatoes at the farmer's market. Unfortunately I bought too many to eat and not enough to really can. I decided to send them through the food processor and can them in half-pints for use in tomato gravy later.

The yellow ones are Lemon Boy, low acid and I couldn't tell you what the red ones are, but they were huge. I ate a Lemon Boy and it was yummy. I really couldn't tell the difference in the acid content, but then it doesn't normally bother me.

I dropped by the thrift store and scored 2 dozen quart canning jars for $3.60 a dozen. You can't beat that price with a stick.

Annie came to see me

And I was a terrible hostess. I didn't even offer her or her hubby water or tea!

She had emailed me to let me know she was coming tomorrow. I read the email yesterday morning and thought tomorrow was today (Wednesday). LOL! Nope, she sent the email on Monday.

I felt like such a goober. My shirt was filthy and my face probably needed scrubbing. I'd been canning beans and had just gotten home with 18-1/2 pounds of black-eyed peas when she called to say they were in town. I was flustered.

She brought me a box to swap for some glassware. I didn't open it until after she'd left and mercy, would you look at what she gave me.
My very first piece of Fenton. I love it!

We had a good visit and I sent her home with cinnamon pickles and jam. Hopefully she and her hubby weren't too put out by my lack of hostess skills and will come and see me again. I promise to do better next time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Out and about in the yard

I decided to walk off my beans and cornbread by visiting the yard.

The miniature crepe myrtle is blooming. It looks like I need to do some grass removal.
This tree is growing around the Bristol hook that holds one of the bird feeders. Considering the hook has only been there a couple of years, that tree is growing pretty fast.
In the garden I have purple bell peppers. Aren't they pretty?
My oldest grape vines have black spot. I haven't been able to find the fungicide around here that is supposed to take care of it.
One end of an old metal baby bed. The other end is behind my yellow climbing rose.
This is the orphan grape. The dog chewed it and I neglected it. Finally, I planted the poor thing and it's doing well. I put a baby bed side behind it for climbing.
Future home of a greenhouse. I hope. I have another place to put the swing.
I wonder how many 2 x 4's are up there? I should check on that.

Monday mutterings

It's Monday and I'm already pooped.

I attempted to can pinto beans this afternoon and ran into one problem after another. I'll try again tomorrow. All isn't lost though since we're having beans and cornbread for dinner.

I've scoped out a spot in the backyard for a little greenhouse. Maybe. If things work out and we can swing it.

I haven't been in the sewing room except to make sure the rain wasn't flooding it. Hopefully I can do a bit of sewing this week. I'm feeling the need.

Other than that, not a lot is going on. I hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cinnamon twiddle pickles

Pickle Log: Friday
Start with 2 gallons of sliced, peeled cucumbers, with centers removed. Rinse well and add 8-1/2 quarts water and 2 cups lime. Let stand for 24 hours.
Pickle Log: Saturday
After your 24 hours is up, rinse cucumbers until the water runs clear. You want to get all of the lime off of them. Cover cucumbers with cold water and let stand for 3 hours. Go twiddle your thumbs. Drain.
Make a mixture of 1 cup vinegar, 1 ounce red food coloring, 1 tablespoon alum and enough water to cover cucumbers. Let simmer for 3 hours (go twiddle your thumbs again)and drain.
Make a syrup of 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups water, 15 cups sugar, 12 sticks of cinnamon, and 30 ounces of red hots. Dissolve red hots in water and then add sugar stirring diligently until it dissolves. This is no time to be twiddling your thumbs.

Pour mixture over rings and simmer for 3 hours. Does anybody but me see a trend here? Go twiddle your thumbs. Turn off the burner and let the mixture stand. It's not going any where and honey, those are pickled. What could possibly happen to them? Go to bed. That's what I did.

Pickle Log: Sunday
Simmer pickles for 3 hours. Again, twiddle, twiddle, twiddle. After 3 hours of twiddling, I mean simmering, bring the pickles to a boil. Immediately put into jars and seal. There you have it, cinnamon pickles.

Aunt Jo's changes: I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I decreased the sugar considerably and used 3 cups of Splenda baking blend instead. I'm sure die hard pickle purist will hate me, but I can live with it. I can't live with blood sugar over 1000 which is what would happen if I'd used 15 cups of sugar. Can you imagine?

I was stingy and wouldn't pay 5 bucks for five dinky little half cinnamon sticks. I bought a bottle of cinnamon extract and an extra bag of red hots instead.

Other than those two changes, I did it by the book. Not only are my pickles plenty sweet, they're also plenty cinnamony.

Oh yeah, I have one pink finger and a pink thumb. I'm so proud.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Well, that was interesting

About 3:30 a storm popped up out of no where.

We had hard driving rain.
So hard the gutters couldn't handle it.
The streets couldn't handle it either. Several places in town have pavement that buckled.
This fence is just barely handling it. Their backyard is almost completely under water.

And then, the wind blew. And it blew some more. Finally, it was done and this is what it left behind.

This is the neighbor across the alley. He lost his big old tree.
This is what's left of The Mark's sign. It landed on Main Street in the middle of four lanes.
Here's part of an interstate exit sign. I wonder where the rest of it is?

Oh look! Here it is. Whew! I thought we might have lost it for good.
This is my favorite. This poor truck was minding it's own business when all of the sudden an out of control storage building crossed the parking lot, hitting him broadside.
Excuse me while I go count my blessings.

Friday, July 11, 2008

If you find yourself in a jam...

I hope it's strawberry.Mom and I put up 12 jars of strawberry jam last night. It sure is good. I licked the spoon. Yum!

This morning I overslept and didn't get to the farmer's market until 7:15. I got okra, peaches, and cucumbers.

Mom came over and helped me put up 11 more jars of peach jam and 4 jars of pickled okra.

We peeled, cored, and sliced cucumber to start the 3-day Cinnamon pickle marathon. Seriously, three days to make pickles. Let's just say when somebody, namely me, read the recipe she didn't register that this was going to be time consuming. That's okay though. It's going to be worth it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Hosted by Annie at Life Served Sweet.

I'm thankful for the rain we got earlier this week. I would have liked more, but I'm not going to be greedy.

I'm going through a spot and finding myself unable to mentally and physically do things. I want to grumble about it, but instead I'm trying to be thankful that I have the strength and know-how to be creative. The number of things I can do far outweighs the number of things I can't do.

I'm thankful for the invention of seam rippers.

Quilt along week 10 and 11

I'm caught up.

Week 10.
Week 11.I cut the sashing strips, but couldn't lay my hands on the block material. I'm not sure what I've done with it.

If I can't find it I'll either have to see if I can get more or punt. I really don't want to punt. I'm a very bad punter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hey pickle puss

You're a peach! 8 pints of bread and butter pickles with onions (the way Granny made them) and 6 half-pints of peach jam.

I wish I'd gotten more peaches. Unfortunately, they were packed up and gone when I went back. Tonight is the regular farmer's market so maybe they'll have something good.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Long weekend

Our long weekend is almost over. We'll be back to the grind bright and early tomorrow.

Saturday DH and I went to garage sales and puttered around. He found a bunch of work pants and I found a punch bowl with 19 cups and 6 saucers. Don't ask why. It's a sickness.

I picked up this little case to use for travel sewing. It's the perfect size and in really good shape.

Here are the latest five Dear Jane blocks.

Once again, I'm behind on the Stars quilt-along. We're so close to the end that I may start doing blocks every two weeks instead of once a week.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is raring to go this next week. :)