Friday, September 21, 2012

Beautiful bounty for a Equinox Evening

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The fall is always a very full time for me.  School starting again and the preservation of food just picking up.  I feel like I always am needing to be somewhere or do something.  It gets overwhelming.  But most afternoons I can find a few minutes to get in the garden and gather a bit of the bounty I started from way back at the start of the season.  I clear away the spider webs (literally) and gather up the goodness, bring it inside and make it into something I can taste all winter long and enjoy.  In this case, it’s the roasted tomato sauce

I can’t wait to have my first batch, fresh out of the oven, with some spaghetti and some fresh corn I bought from a road side stand.  Perfect dinner for a fall evening like this. 

HAPPY EQUINOX EVERYONE!

{this moment} - happy kids

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A friend for Logan

Look what Logan got for his first day of Kindergarten!

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Logan named him Maximilian.

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Some introductions went better than others.  Winking smile 

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But he’s been here 3 days now and it seems that all is calming down and he is settling in well.

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He’s a pretty sweet addition to the family!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mudcake Store is now OPEN!

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This is one of many mudcakes that have been in my backyard these last few weeks.  My kids and the neighbor kids have all been invested in making the best mudcakes they can and finding the best combination of ‘batter’. 

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The latest (and I am told, greatest) batter included the saw dust from the playhouse project to give hold to the mud as it was formed into layers.  I had never seen a three tiered mudcake before!! 

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I wish I had gotten more pictures.  They even had a berry pie!

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What fun and strange things were your kids into this summer?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My best and brightest canning posts of seasons past

I am buried…  In apples that is!  I have two laundry baskets full sitting in my kitchen and I am trying to start our school year, and Don’s parents are coming into town… all this week.  I figured that instead of sharing what I am doing now, I would share what I have done in the past that has been well loved.  Because most of what I am doing now is on there somewhere.  Enjoy!

Apple Peel Jelly

Zucchini Candy

Canning labels

Ginger Plum Sauce

Strawberry Applesauce

Lavender and Blueberry Jam

Sugar-free Canned Peaches

And my most loved and most used canning recipe ever -

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Happy Canning!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yummy overnight crusty bread!

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Seriously?  Does that not look like something that you would find tucked into a brown paper bag at some fancy booth at a farmers market?

Overnight Crusty Bread recipe at Simply So Good.

I have made quite a bit of artisan bread this past year with the help of “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” and this recipe is EVEN EASIER!  You leave it over night and then you cook it in a cast iron Dutch oven.  I only have one Dutch oven, but I had to make two loaves for dinner.  My whole house smells divine right now! 

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The first loaf is Pepperjack/Salsa Verde, the second is Sundried Tomato/Gruyere cheese. 

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Both of these babies went to a squad potluck.  There were satisfactory “oooooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” from all attending.  I don’t think anything is quite as impressive as bread.  It seems like the thing that people don’t really make anymore.  So prepare yourself for many compliments from friends, even if you know how easy this bread is.  (And you better not tell.  Winking smile)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Campout in the Backyard Hideaway

Cyan and Logan camped in the playhouse the other night! 

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Cyan is reading Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech.  It’s a wonderful poetry book about a little boy who’s dog passes away and he gets a cat as a replacement.  I highly recommend it to anyone around 10-14.  It’s a very sweet and funny book!

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Morning came and before they got up I took them both cups of cocoa just like ‘real’ camping.  They were thrilled!

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“Best day ever!!”

Apparently, at least one of the cats was out there with them all night long… keeping them warm.  The cats have taken quite a fancy to the hideaway as well.  For many reasons.

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I call this picture “Cat Feeders”.

Friday, September 14, 2012

{this moment} - Last camping trip

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In my kitchen ~ 2:57 on a Thursday afternoon

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I smell: white bean & sausage soup cooking on the oven with kale, onions, herbs, and carrots in it.   All from the garden.

I see: Cyan busily filling another pot for applesauce before Alex notices she has taken over his job at the corer/peeler/slicer.

I feel: pie crust dough under my fingernails as I try to lattice the crust on a blackberry pie with blackberries picked from the apple field.

I hear: Pracilla Ahn’s song “Dream”

Today, I am content.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The unveiling of our backyard hideaway!!

Tucked away in the trees and bushes in a quiet corner of our yard is this sweet little space…

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It’s finally done! 

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It has taken us all summer.  It was worth it though.  I can see my grandchildren playing in this cheerful space far far in the future.  We had wonderful help with the deck and the roof from friends, but most of this was The Man and me.  It was wonderful to work so well with him.  I think I have a handy husband in the making.  You would be amazed what we both learned!  (One of them was that we should take a few months between huge projects.  ;) )

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  It’s under a beautiful maple tree that I wasn’t sure was going to make it through Ice Storm 2012, but it has come back beautifully and shades this area in such a way as to make a charming dappled glow.

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I painted the chairs from Logan’s preschool table bright yellow and green and placed it right next to a window where you can watch sweet birds feeding from the feeder hanging by the eves outside. 

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With two bird feeders and our entire birds nest collection in the rafters, I aimed for it to be as inviting for my nature loving kids as possible. 

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I see many a school day sitting and watching the birds as they read in the mini easy chair I found for $5 at a garage sale this summer.

My kids have spent the last two weeks up there.  They have made a mud-pie/cake store, camped out inside (all fire inside was LED candles), and made a waterslide with a hose running down the slide.  Already, the spot is worth it’s weight in neighborhood friends, too!  Kids flock to our house just to see what I have finished on it that day.  During the waterslide day we had 11 kids here!

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This is just the start of our backyard revamp in the next year.  We are going to do a bunch of work that includes fences, trees, and outbuildings that need to be remade or repaired, but this had to be first.  9 years in the making, this space is an incredible blessing for our family and I am so excited it’s done!  Bring on the last backyard BBQ’s of Summer! We are ready!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

In the garden - 9:02 on a Saturday morning

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The Fall plantings are going really well!  I have herbs, lettuces, and Winter greens all coming up in places that were bare just two weeks ago.  I am still watering every couple of days because we have had 43 days with no rain… which for here is nearly a record.  As the rest of the country is dreading the drought, we are reveling in it, enjoying the extra sunshine and warm nights and trying not to think about what it means for everywhere else.

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A sunflower fading out as others are fading in.

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Basil

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One of my last purple cabbages

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Oregon Sunset Heirloom tomato

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Romaine Lettuce

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Hello sweet lady!

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Oak Leaf Lettuce

Happy Gardening!