Fall is definitely here…..Tuesday Garden Party

Wow it has been a busy 2 weeks.  No time to blog at all.

I found this recipe a few years ago in the American Profile insert magazine that comes in our Sunday paper.  I made it the weekend after it came out.  I was talking to my BFF that day and told her I made a new recipe.  She said she did too.  We both made the same recipe the same day, trying it out.  It was definitely a keeper.  Unfortunately my bundt pan died and I tried making it into a loaf pan.  I thought it was done, but the middle was not (I should have taken a picture to share for the failure thread!).  I scooped it all back up with a pancake turner and put it back into the oven at 300 for an additional 20 minutes or so.  The outside was a bit overdone, but it did not matter.  A little whipped cream and it was divine…..

http://www.americanprofile.com/recipes/view/703/fresh-apple-cake-caramel-glaze.html

My winter garden is growing nicely.  That steer manure and prep really did the trick as evidenced by all the weeds growing right along with the lettuce, spinach and turnips!

                                                                           

I visited the local pumpking patch with my granddaughter’s play group.  I then bought a bale of straw and actually did an entryway decoration.  The scarecrow was put together by my daughter and our neighbor (another young mother).  They had a blast going through my fabric.

Speaking of fabric, I am totally in love with the new Moda line Bliss.  My daughter has already asked me to make her a quilt out of it. 

Finally what has been keeping me busy is apples!  I made apple butter and yesterday put up 9 quarts of apple pie filling.  I still have a plastic dishpan left to process.  After hand processing the apples for apple butter and complaining….. DH reminded me we have one of those old fashioned apple peeler, corer, slicer thingees.  That made all the difference!

I have not canned for many years.  It is really easy, just a bit time consuming.  My neighbor (young mother) came over to watch and is all jazzed up to try it too.  My own daughter has no interest of course!

I would love to do more apples and next year tomatoes.  I see trees hanging with apples around, but do not have the nerve of Jamie’s BIL.  I wish I did!

Monday October 4th Menu Plan

Okay after 2 months of being at home full-time I actually have it together enough to participate in Menu Plan Monday.  I actually have almost 3 weeks of October done.  I sat with my husband laptop while we watched the Giants win here in the West and looked at everyone’s post from last week, which reminded me of lots of dinners that we like.  So thanks everyone!!

Monday -Tacos with leftover venison chili from yesterday.

Tuesday-Chicken breast stir-fry and baked brown rice a la Alton Brown.

Wednesday-Spaghetti and meatballs.

Thursday-Leftovers and turkey sandwiches if needed.

Friday-Homemade pizza.

Saturday-Lentil sausage soup.

Sunday-Pot roast, carrots and potatoes.

Tuesday Garden Party, late again!

Boy life is busy with a 2-year-old in the house.  My daughter was gone for 5 days and she kept me running.  I did manage to get next door to pick apples with my husband and Ally.  The house is empty, for sale, and the owners told us to be sure and get the apples and not let them go to waste.   I got about 10 pounds, but left lots on the dwarf trees too.  I wanted anyone viewing the house to see the lovely apples.  And YES I use empty clean milk cartons to hang my ziplock bags to dry!

My little seedlings are coming along, just about 3 weeks old at this point.  I did go out with a flashlight last night and picked slugs and snails.   Strangely enough they were all over my onions that are still in the ground, the green “leaf” part. 

I am so envious of all the garden links.  They make mine look a little pathetic, but hopefully each year I will get better and better. 

I am coming along with my cake decorating class.  Here is my latest effort:

And lastly, here is Ally helping clean the apples for future apple butter.

Yes that is another ziplock bag on the hand soap dispenser……up in the right hand corner you can barely see my plants that I am trying to germinate, is that the right term?  Basically they fell off or accidentally got pulled off the main plant when I was watering the garden and I put them in water.  I have a geranium, a minature petunia and one other plant.  I just checked the two small plants and they have “hair”.  I guess that means I should plant them huh?

We are having beautiful Indian summer days here in Humboldt.  My absolute favorite time of year.

Wow Tuesday Garden Party, the week flew by!

Probably because DH was hunting and my cake decorating has become serious!!  So on Saturday night while others were having a good time, I was messing around with frosting, well okay I was having a good time too!

Our weather has turned rainy and the garden is fading.  I am not ready to be done yet.  My elderly former neighbor’s kids were home and had a garage sale.  I was able to snag every single pot for gardening next year:

I took two shots this week of my volunteer flowers growing from cracks or between the driveway and border of our side yard:

Here is some evidence the garden is fading fast, along with what would no doubt be an award winning dandelion… how did I miss that?

And lastly this week, the edibles are from mom’s garden.  There are still many thornless red blackberries, but I am not sure it will get warm enough for them to ripen, and the zucchini.  The smallest is that perfect eating size.  I think I will make an au gratin with the middle size and zucchini something with the big one (as in cake or bread).

My seedlings are still growing well along with lots of little weedlings.  I will post a picture next week.  Happy gardening!

Tuesday Garden Party on Wednesday

Okay I woke with a migraine yesterday and tried Maxalt for the first time.  It worked!  But I did have to take it again later in the day.  So needless to say, even though it worked, I felt like I had a hangover, but very little actual head pain.  Thus, I did not post my garden pictures yesterday.  And I had so much to say!!!

Enthused by other posters to Tuesday Garden Party I asked DH to help me plant seeds for a fall/winter garden.  I am on the northern coast of California in Humboldt which is a zone 9b.  We can actually plant lettuce almost year around. 

We planted these seedlings on Monday, Labor day, which also happened to be my DH’s birthday.  3 days later I met him as he got home from work.  I said, “Oh let’s go to the backyard”, bypassing the front door.  “Why”, he asked, eying me suspiciously.  Well okay so he is on cement all day and probably could not wait to get his work boots off.  “Because” I said mysteriously.  “Those are not seedlings, they are weeds”, he says to me before we even get to the gate.  That is what happens when you have been married as long as we have.  We read each others minds.

“I bet you”, I said.  “Okay” he responded.  I said, “I will bet you a new purse”, with him not realizing I had purchased a very cute Vera Wang at Kohl’s for 80% off that very morning!

He was very surprised when he arrived to this:

We planted Bibb lettuce, turnips, swiss chard, spinach, cilantro and basil.  I have no idea how the basil and cilantro will do, but I thought what the heck, they seem to bolt so quickly in the summer.

I did confess to him I already bought the purse:

He laughed and said, “I figured”.  New purses are not something I buy very often.  In fact, this is probably my first new purse in over 10 years that I bought.

I also wanted to get a picture of my Japanese Maple Tree before all its leaves dropped off:

 It’s been a busy week.  I have received many new plants/pots/etc from my neighbor’s family who are having an estate sale this weekend in anticipation of selling the house.  I am so happy to get the plants that my elderly neighbor so lovingly cared for the 23 years we have lived next door.  Next week I hope to have some photos of them.

Happy gardening!

Forgiveness Friday

 

What do you say to your SIL when he is leaving for a very dangerous place for several months?  How do you convey the depth of your feelings for him?  How can I express my respect, my love for this very fine, strong, wonderful son, husband and father? 

There is really nothing.  All I can do is honor him, honor our family by being the type of wife, mother and grandmother that I aspire towards.  I am a work in progress as are we all. 

Today is forgiveness Friday.  For me that is forgiving myself first of my inadequacies and start today to really work towards my mission of making my home a tower of strength for my family, along with that safe place to land.

I will start today.

Happy 32nd Anniversary to Us!

Wow 32 years!!  My life has changed suddenly with my “retirement” and today is the day I am making a comittment to be truly a homekeeper.

I have so much to do and so many projects, but at the same time I need to be careful of my body.  My daughter and granddaughter will be back in a few days, and I must take the time to do my exercises when they get back.  It is so easy to devote myself to their needs and forget about myself.  They will be with us such a short time really, and live so far away, I need to find the balance between taking care of myself and my husband, but spending every minute I can enjoying them.

Today will be spent with my husband as he is taking as much of the day off as he can, so I best get up and pick the house up and do as much as I can before DH gets home.

I dropped the dog off at the doggy beauty shop, and already got the oil changed in DH’s truck this morning, so I have accomplished something!

Tuesday Garden Party

Mom is away… I drove her to Grants Pass halfway to my oldest sister’s house in Salem.  She put her on the train for Seattle to go on a vacation with the middle sister. 

So I am watering mom’s garden and taking advantage.  I picked these and made a cobbler, which turned into DH’s birthday dessert yesterday too!

There is my recipe right next to it.  See all the grease stains on the page.  I have used this cobbler recipe only over the years and it turns out yummy.  Sometimes I add a little cinnamon and nutmeg.  It is from Home Grown Fruits and Vegetables 1977.  I got married in 1978, so I am not sure when I bought this magazine.  It has many great recipes and a story of a garden from year 1 through year 3.  The apple butter recipe is wonderful too.

So here is the cobbler recipe:

Blackberry Cobbler

4 Tbsp of butter or margerine

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sale

1/2 cup milk

4 cups blackberries

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup apple juice (optional, I have never done this step).

Beat together the butter and sugar.  Stir together in another bowl the dry ingredients, then add alternately to the butter/sugar with the milk, stirring until combined.  Turn the mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole (I use an 8 by 8 pan).  Top with blackberries.  Sprinkle with sugar. 

Heat apple juice to boiling and pour over all.  Bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until done.  Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.  I layered ice cream, cobbler with a dollop of whipped cream.  Delicious!  My oven runs a bit hot.  So I baked at 350 for 40 minutes this time and to me the berries are not cooked quite enough, so you may need to adjust since 375 for 50 minutes in my oven tends to overcook.

Himalayas are everywhere here in Humboldt County California and my berry stash in the freezer is getting low, so I need to go out and start picking!

Motivated Monday-DH’s Birthday

It hit me this morning when I got up that I have known my husband for 40 years.  Wow that number is huge!  He was 11 or just turned 12 when I saw him for the first time.  It was love at first sight.  Sappy, but true.  Unfortunately it took him almost all of 7th grade to fall for me!

My motivation this morning is physical.  Yes I am getting up, doing my devotional and I have my exercise plan, but I am amending it.  At this point I am not worried about aerobics so much as get my body moving. 

With coming home comes the guilt of not contributing financially, so I feel like I have to be doing something all the time to contribute my share to the marriage/home.  I have forgotten what brought me home in the first place, which is my body could not physically take being a medical transcriptionist and I need a break.  So what do I do?  I start weeding and cleaning and cooking and grocery shopping and cleaning and weeding some more!  

Being at home I have the time to indulge in my love of fabric and quilts and worked on this all day yesterday. 

It is made completely of scraps mostly leftover from my oldest daughter making a baby quilt for a friend.  I  did switch it around a bit (per her advice) since taking this picture……

By the time I stopped and sat down for dinner, getting back up again was daunting.  Apparently I cannot cut and sew and press for 5 hours straight anymore.  So today’s motivation is to get better and quit feeling like I am 80.  I woke with a crick in my neck and my midback really bothering me, probably from the bending over the dining room table cutting.

So my goal is 30 minutes at a time of activity interspersed with a few minutes of stretching and changing up the activity.  So I can weed for 30 minutes, do some stretches and then water, then stretch, back to weeding, etc.  This morning it is getting the sheets in the washer (Monday’s are master bedroom days), then eating some cereal while checking e-mail and posting.  Then I will get up and walk on my treadmill, then a shower, then an activity, then stretching, etc. 

I keep hearing my accountant telling me to work smarter, not harder.  I didn’t know really what he meant at the time and am not really sure how to implement that, but I am going to try!

DH and I are alone this week since YD and granddaughter flew to San Diego to spend the last few days with my SIL before his deployment to Afghanistan.  I know I have to get my back strengthened as my granddaughter gets bigger and more grandchildren come along, because when she says, “Up grandma”, I can’t say no.

Tuesday and my phlox are finally blooming

Okay it’s August 31st right?  My phlox that I planted at in the spring are finally blooming.  Well sort of.  Both of these pots and a few others were planted with at least 5 phlox each and you can see my phlox crop?  This is one of the reasons I am not buying anymore plants from Costco.

See the snapdragon in the upper left?  It is growing in the crack between the driveway and the paver around the planting area in our side yard.  Last year I had Batchelor Buttons growing in the cracks. 

I still need to get my vegetables in.  I think I am resorting to plants from Miller Farms.