Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rising Bread by the Fire

The house gets a bit chilly this time of year, making it difficult to get my bread to rise. Today I set up a small table near the fireplace and set my loaves to rise there. It did the trick!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where I've Been

  • In the kitchen, of course! Here's what I have " put up" for winter so far.

  • 3 pounds Carrots, dehydrated
  • 5 ears Corn, dehydrated
  • 5 lbs. dried black beans
  • 8.5 pounds Roma tomatoes, dehydrated
  • 10 pounds pears, dehydrated
  • 40 pounds apples, dehydrated
  • 32 Stoplight Peppers, dehydrated
  • 7 half- pints Blueberry-Lime Jam
  • 7 half-pints Cherry Love Jam
  • 7 half- pints Spiced Rum Peach Jam
  • 8 half-pints Cherry Jam
  • 9 half-pints Strawberry Pineapple Jam
  • 16 half-pints Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade
  • 17 half-pints Blueberry Jam
  • 16 half-pints Peach Jam
  • 15 half-pints Blackberry Jam
  • 19 half-pints Triple Berry Jam
  • 19 half-pints Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
  • 2 gallons Blueberries, frozen
  • 3 gallons Strawberries, frozen
  • 38 half-pints Strawberry Jam
  • 3.5 gallons Blackberries, frozen
  • 3 quarts and 20 pints Dill Pickles
  • 5 quarts and 8 pints Volcano Pickles
  • 7 pints Beets
  • 7 pints Apple Wedges in Cinnamon Red Hot Syrup
  • 5 quarts and 7 pints Tomato Sauce
  • 15 quarts Applesauce
  • 7 quarts Peaches
  • 2 quarts and 1 pint diced Tomatoes
  • 4 quarts and 14 pints Pickled Cauliflower Medley
  • 11 quarts Spaghetti Sauce
  • 14 quarts and 1 pint Tomato Juice
  • 27 quarts and 1 pint Mixed Fruit
  • 36 half-pints Banana Peppers
  • 74 pints Salsa
  • 55 quarts Sweet Corn
  • 61 quarts Green Beans

And I'm baking for the farmers' market several times a week. I've made literally hundreds of jars of jam to sell there, too. Time's a wastin'. Gotta run!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Busy as a Bee

July has been filled with weeding, and sowing, harvesting, and canning, and little else. The days are long and the nights are short, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day.

One long day of canning I noticed the temperature was steadily climbing in the house. I called my wonderful neighbor who happens to have a wonderful husband whom installed our air conditioning. The capacitor had blown. It would be morning until it could be fixed. (Yes, I do know how short a time that is! I'm blessed by these people!) That night I thought back to summers years ago when we didn't have central air, but a few room air conditioners. In the heat of the day I would get my children settled playing, and sneak off to the boys' room where I would crawl into one of their twin beds and blissfully sleep while the air blew over me. Thankfully, those days are past.

*Disclosure- CSN asked me if I'd like to review a product for them in exchange for linking back to their company. They're offering me a gift card to use toward the purchase of anything I'd like. I couldn't pass that offer up!

Friday, June 18, 2010

On Being a Parent

Life moves quickly, ever changing. Just when I find myself settling into a routine, life happens and the cart gets turned upside down. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, just different.

Children grow into young adults before our very eyes. Many assume this means the parenting days come to a close. They assume wrong. Parenting changes? Yes. Ends? Never. Our little charges become our friends, sharing their hearts, struggles, and joys. Sometimes the struggle is harder than others. There's a delicate balance when you're a parent between helping, and helping them find their own way. For several of my children, I'm now about the business of the latter.

My two older children left our home this past year: one got married, and the other went to college. Having them back in our home has been good, but we've had to step back and re-evaluate. Working on relationships is time-consuming and sometimes emotionally draining, even when things are going well, which they are.

Having older children in the home should be beneficial to both the parents and the children. For the young adults, they need a haven, a place to return at the end of the day where they know they are loved. Home should be a place where discussions can be had without being judged, where they can try new things without too much risk. At the same time, no parent wants an adult child free-loading while they are left behind to hold everything together. Relationships are give and take, and thankfully, we've discussed that for years in our home. This doesn't mean that we don't have our conflicts just like every other family, but it does mean that they aren't hearing something new for the first time.

And so, our family dynamics keep evolving. Autumn returned home from a failed marriage, Mac returned from college for the summer, Collin headed off for 5 weeks to work as a camp counselor, and Abigail, my baby, has a regular baby-sitting job earning $10 an hour!

Mac and Autumn are working 40 hour weeks, arriving home exhausted, but still pitching in to do dishes, mow the lawn, etc. This is the stuff real life is made of. Good husbands and wives can't arrive home at the end of the day and expect to do nothing but think of themselves until they return to work the next day. And so, the training continues.

As for me, I'm busy in the garden, preparing school lessons for the upcoming year, and building relationships. My husband continues to bless me daily with his patience and love. We are well. Thanks for asking!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jam Sessions

It's the time of year to start preparing for the winter. Here's what I've put up so far:

  • 16 half-pints Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade
  • 19 half-pints Triple Berry Jam
  • 38 half-pints Strawberry Jam
  • 7 half- pints Blueberry-Lime Jam
  • 7 half-pints Blueberry Jam
  • 8 half-pints Cherry Jam
  • 9 half-pints Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
Are you canning yet?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Home Bakery

For years I've dreamed of opening a very small bakery with scones, and muffins for breakfast, soups, quiches, and salads for lunch. And desserts. Pies, cakes, cookies, cheesecakes- you name it.

It isn't happening anytime soon, but that doesn't stop me from selling out of my home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Keeping Busy

In the past week I've:

visited the farmer's market three times,
baked and decorated two cakes,
made 19 half pints of strawberry jam,
frozen two gallons of strawberries,
welcomed Mac back home from college,
cooked many meals,
taken the children to piano lessons,
picked 12 baby chickens up at the post office and become a "chicken mama",
planted several gardens,
mulched the flower beds,
and done load after load of laundry.

What have you been up to?