Sunday, September 19, 2010

and a cucumber in an apple tree...

Sorry. I know, I am a complete dork...but that's what goes through my head whenever I see this ridiculous sight in our backyard. (And I don't even like that song!!!)

But come on, isn't this just bizarre looking?!! And yes, it really is a cucumber growing there in the apple tree. One of our cucumber vines managed to make its way into some lower branches of the tree. It's now literally grown about 10 or 12 feet up into the tree. I'm not even sure I can reach this cucumber without the ladder. :P

Okay, apologies for posting such a stupid thing for the lovely Heather's Saturday Farmers Market round-up. But it would have been just too depressing to link up my previous post. :(

I am not pouting...I am not pouting...I am not pouting...

Yeah...I am so full of it. I am pouting big time. :(

See this?

Yeah, you know that old saying--pride cometh before a fall. That's me. Oh yes, I was ever so pleased with myself. This is how I spent my Tuesday...and believe me, it took a big chunk of Tuesday! But in the end, I had five beautiful pints of applesauce made from apples from our very own tree. Oh yes, I was feeling proud! Yes, the words "domestic goddess" even escaped my husband's lips.

Oh, but the fall. The fall was hard. Yesterday I discovered that the lids had not actually sealed, as I had originally been convinced that they had. I've no idea where I went wrong. I'm guessing it was really more than that pride thing. ;)  Anyway, I admit, I cried a few little tears as I dumped out all my hard labor.

I feel sort of guilty that I already counted this towards my new 50x50. But Rich picked me loads more apples yesterday, so I'll make another attempt this week. And that will even things out, right? If I succeed, that is.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

feeling fruity (yeah, what's new, huh?)

A day late. Again. My excuse is that our farmer's market is on Sunday mornings. That's really not a good excuse though, because I don't think I've ever actually posted pics from there anyway. And we haven't yet gone this morning either. No, a more true-to-life excuse would be that I'm scatter-brained.

Seems to be a heavy on fruits kind of week...

I canned another 4 quarts of tomatoes, bringing the total up to 9 quarts so far. Should definitely at least double that by the time the rest ripen up.

Our peach tree, which we'd given up for lost a couple years ago, actually produced some beautiful peaches this year! We've harvested about 15 juicy, incredibly delicious peaches so far. And there's a few more out there to come. The squirrels have had their fair share as well. Normally, I'm not even a huge peach fan, but these are just so yummy! (That whole "I grew it myself" thing, I guess.)

Our rogue melons look to be about ready for harvesting, too.  (We didn't plant any melons this year, because we've never had any luck with them in the past. But these guys just popped up in the garden--from seeds in the compost, I guess. Seems to be the way to go. :P ) In fact, Rich picked this one yesterday. 

And there's a couple others in the garden that we should be enjoying later this week as well.

And finally, we've been eating apples straight from the tree for weeks now. But yesterday I went out and picked a hopes of making and canning applesauce this week. Wish me luck! I'll likely be making apple crisp this week, too...first time this season...mmmmm...

And now...well, I'm actually off to the farmer's market. :)

For more deliciousness, head on over to Heather's place. And thank you again, Heather, for hosting Saturday Farmer's Market--it's just so fun peeking into other people's markets and gardens and kitchens. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

not a bad morning...

1 loaf of bread baking

2 loads of laundry washed and hung

3 lunches packed

4 quarts of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes canned (yes, all by myself!)

5 pages of "William Wilson" read (yeah, not terribly impressive, but I couldn't think of anything else I'd done 5 of...and somehow it just seemed like there should be a 5)

Amazing what can be accomplished when one stays off the computer for a few hours. ;)  Anyway, I've decided that I've earned myself an hour of working in my creative space before getting back to cleaning the kitchen. Yes, at this point, the old creative space needs many hours of loving care to get it cleaned up and useable again...but that's okay, it's fun just to be in there and I find ideas just begin flowing. (Note to self: Take the time to write those ideas down in inspiration notebook! You *know* you never remember those ideas later when you don't!) (Another note to self: Take some before pictures.) Thank you to my dear friend Chris for inspiring me...seriously, Chris--thank you!

Friday, September 3, 2010

from garden to cupboard...

My wonderful mom came up Wednesday to give me a refresher course on canning. (It's been many a year. Since I've canned, that is. Not since my parents have visited.) We had a wonderful time all around...and I'm positively giddy with what I have to show for it. :D

Fresh picked from the garden.

 To the canner. Yep, that's my lovely mama.

To the jars. Just five jars this time, but there's plenty more tomatoes to come.

To the cupboard. My incredible new-to-me vintage cupboard that my mom just found at an antique mall. Yeah, I know you can't see those tomatoes inside it, but I just had to show a picture anyway because I am so freakin' in love with my new little cupboard. :D

Now the question is: Can I do this all by myself next week?

Friday, August 27, 2010

sewing lessons

Max. As rough-and-tumble as they come. Sitting still doesn't come easy for this little guy. Everything must be taken apart to discover how it works. Or just destroyed for the sheer joy of it. Best little hugger around. Rarely forgets to thank you for even the littlest things. Loves to create...maybe to make up for all the destruction :p).

A few weeks ago, he wanted to try his hand at sewing. And what did he want to sew? Well, a cat--of course. :)

Let me tell you, the Maxidoodle is such fun to create with. He somehow manages periods of patience that are rarely seen elsewhere in his daily life. While it did take us a period of three days to complete his cat, when he was working on a specific task, he stuck with it until it was done.

Making a pattern:

Pinning it (we used an old shirt):

Sewing on its button eyes/embroidering its nose:

Sewing up its body (I had to do the tough areas like the legs, but he did an incredible job overall!):

Stuffing it:

Hand sewing the opening:

Showing him off:

Great job, Max! Next, could you make me one?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

this simple salsa...

is literally the best I've ever had. Though I may up the jalapenos next time, as it's not terribly spicy. (Yeah, I know the picture isn't making it look particularly appetizing, but I swear it even looks good in person.) And as I said, it's just as plain and simple to make as could be. Best of all, much of it came from our own garden. :)

Fresh Garden Salsa:

4-5 medium to large tomatoes, diced small
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced (not from our garden, though I hope we end up with a good harvest this year)
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped (not from our garden)
juice from 1 lime (not from our garden, though I wish we could grow limes here)

Mix it all together. Mash lightly with fork. Stir again. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (though it gets even better after a day or two).