Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I won!

A little while ago I entered to win a giveaway at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.  It was wonderful to get home from karate last night and find a big box on my front porch full of wonderful things!  Photo Dude has a new set of gloves and Mama has chocolate!!!   Everything in the box is from Seeds of Change.  The seeds are packaged in neat resealable packages that will be much nicer to keep all winter than trying to tape the others shut.  The chocolate is delightful and the reusable bag it all came in is wonderfully sturdy.  I'm so grateful to have gotten this prize.

I love A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, the posts cover a wide variety of topics from cooking to gardening, chicken keeping and the not so easy parts of homestead life.  She also hosts a wonderful weekly blog hop.  Please head on over to Ms. Bauman's blog and give her a "Hey there" won't you?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How does your garden grow?

      What in the world is wrong with me?!  I couldn't believe it the other day when I realized there were no photos of the garden up!  Geez!  Sorry about that I feel so silly.  Here are a few of the photos I took this weekend.  Please forgive the fact that we haven't cut the lawn or weeded.  The kids and I got out after I did the photos and got the beds cleaned up real nice.  Here are the three beds that Photo dude and Molly got built for us.  They are working quite well.  The heat and humidity that we've had seem to have really made the plants happy too :)  At least something likes the weather. 

The tomatoes are growing great and all of the plants have bunches of tomatoes.  The Hungarian Hot peppers are also doing really well and are almost ready to be harvested.   

I'm not sure we are going to get more than what you can see in the photo the plants don't seem to have more flowers on them.  Oh well, the Jalapeno plants are going gangbusters so we'll have plenty of those for poppers (or jalapeno jelly). 
I did not have the best planning skills this year.  My pepper bed is nicely organized in straight staggered lines but then you look at the other beds and they are no were near as neat.  The middle bed is especially a hot mess.  Every year those darn zucchini plants surprise me with there size!  

This bad lad is about four feet by four feet, it takes up most of the bed.  We also have three broccoli plants growing and a bunch of bush beans, watermelon and cucumbers!!!  What on earth was I thinking?  Guess that by the time we planted I just wanted to get stuff into the ground.  I will be making much better notes for next years garden.

   Photo Dude is very good at getting the vine plants trained up the lines.  He does yell at them a bit like they are kids invading each others space and I think it is really cute.  That's my guy :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tarnished Silver

 When we had our  BBQ not too long ago I wanted everything to be perfect.  Of course there is no such thing but I did want to at least try for things to be done up nice.  That meant getting out the silver service that we were given after Photo Dude's grandma passed away.  It may seem strange to have silver out for a BBQ but we thought she would enjoy us using it whether for a fancy dinner or serving corn relish and dilly beans.  When we pulled out the set several of the pieces we wanted to use were tarnished and needed a quick cleaning.  It was the easiest thing ever just follow the directions below!  So no excuses go grab your silver and use it for dinner tonight make grandma happy ;)
Cleaning Silver
Get a soft cloth damp and sprinkle on enough baking soda to make a paste.  Scrub the silver the way you would normally wash flatware by hand.  The tarnish should quickly come away.  
If you have a lot of silver to polish make it a family event, sit around the table and get it all done together you will get to talk to each other without the distraction of the TV and I find it easier to bring up some of the big topics when I can keep my hands busy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Homemade Lemonade

Last weekend we had a family BBQ.  It was wonderful :)  I had very much wanted to be over the top and do everything from scratch but the heat and time made me step back and only do a few of my intended projects.  One thing I did get to do was make fresh from scratch Strawberry Lemonade.  I followed the recipe from the Ball Canning book.  It was delicious!  On the tart side instead of the too sweet side and we found out that it was extra delicious when mixed 50/50 with unsweetened sun tea.  The recipe for this lemonade is on page 192 in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

Sorry for the lack of posting; it has been weird getting used to the kids being home all day again.  Just a quick photo to share.  This is the catfish Little Miss M caught yesterday up at the family cottage in Caseville MI.  It was about 14 inches long and probably weighed four pounds.  She reeled this sucker in all by herself!  There was much debate about whether to eat it or set it free but in the end it went back into the channel.  Hope you have a great Fourth of July everyone!!!