Thursday, December 8, 2011

Checking In...

Well.  Three and a half months can sure get away from you!  I kept intending to blog as I continued to can and prepare for winter and our little arrival, but finding 20 minutes to sneak upstairs to write about it proved more difficult than one might think.  Anyway, our little bundle of joy arrived right on her due date:

Adelyn Rose
4 lbs 14 oz
18 1/2 inches long

The entire month leading up to her birth was not what I had envisioned for us at all, but one thing this little girls has taught me is surrender and acceptance!  More on the birth story later.

In other news, I did manage, in those past few months to put up more beautiful things in jars: chicken stock, cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly, apple sauce, apple jelly, vegetable stock.  

My husband's aunt generously cleaned out her basement and donated all her old canning supplies to me.  The neat thing being that she lives in Canada, and many of her jars are vintage Canadian Mason jars!! 

I apologize for the scattered nature of this post, but I wanted to get in a quick update on things before the baby wakes up! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Canning Galore

I've had the last few days off from work, and that's given me the time and energy to do some more canning!
After a trip to see my grandparents Friday (and a deal scored on a half-bushel of tomatoes) and a trip to the market I was ready to go:
It took 9 1/2 hours but I ended up with: 

9 pints of salsa
8 half-pints of sweet relish
6 pints of pasta sauce
6 half-pints of tomato jam
1 pint of pizza sauce

1 jar of salsa for the fridge
1 jar of tomato jam for the fridge
1 container of diced bell pepper for the freezer

Dinner:  BBQ chicken with corn zucchini and tomato salad.

Also, my mom scored a box of heirloom tomato seconds at the market for free, so I plan on making ketchup with those today and tomorrow!

 My kitchen, mid-project.  Not too bad, but kind of chaotic!

My friend Lindsey came over for some help with Klezmer music, 
and then I put her to work! 
(No worries, I fed her dinner also!)

Phew!  Next weekend I hope to put up some peaches and crushed tomatoes.  And maybe one more batch of salsa...We'll see!

24 weeks and growing!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Catching Up!

It's been forever, I know.  But every time I think "I should blog," I sit down to realize that I don't have anything to say.  So.

It's been a wild ride these past months, with the big news being that we are expecting our first child! I am 23 weeks along with our little one, and we are eagerly anticipating her arrival! (Yes, it's a girl!)

On that note, it took a little extra time to get the garden in this year, as I wanted to expand it and needed more help than in past years:
My husband, brother, and grandfather using the 
oldest rototiller in existence to till the new garden space!

With the garden getting in so late, I felt behind in all my preserving for this year.  Today, I sat down and took stock of what had been done so far, and to my surprise, it's not too shabby!  (Partially thanks to a marathon canning session yesterday with a friend:

Here's what we got so far:
8 pints salsa
30 oz raspberry vinegar
500 mL garlic scape vinegar
3 jars (half-quart?) pickled asparagus
3 8oz jars cherry balsamic preserves
6 half-pints rhubarb chutney
8 half-pints strawberry jam
3 pints raspberry jam
1 pint red&black raspberry jam
2 half-pints blueberry-maple conserve
2 pints apricot jam
2 pints black&blue berry jam
4 half-pints apricot-plum (and a peach!) jam
7 half pints jalapeno jelly

In the freezer: (including some preparations for when baby arrives!)
2 tubs pesto
1 quart garlic scape puree (in cubes)
1 quart chili
1 stuffed zucchini
1 pint caramelized onions
1 dozen pancakes
1 pan stuffed shells
4 quarts blueberries
2 quart bags of multigrain bread slices
1/2 quart green beans (for baby food!)
1/2 quart peas (also for baby food!)
1 cooked sweet potato (again, baby food!)

So I guess being unproductive wasn't really what I was up to, although it certainly feels like it sometimes as I am learning each day to live with this new experience of pregnancy!

As I put up more foods, I will *try* to update counts here!

To answer any lingering/burning questions:  We are due December 2nd.  I am feeling very well, although I tire more easily than in the past.  The baby's room is NOT ready...hopefully more progress on that as the weather cools.  We are not naming her before she is born, we will have a list of names to choose from, but would like to meet her first!  I have not had any strange cravings, just a taste for fresh fruits and veggies, which could be also due to weekly farmers' market trips :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I decided to try and see if I could remember my password, and whaddya know? It worked!  
We've been lying low, waiting for the end of winter to finally get here.  We did some yard work, took down the Christmas lights from the front of the house, and got our spring/summer wish list together.

I have big plans to expand the garden this year,  and have been pondering just what sorts of things I want to can and dry for next winter!  I do know one thing: a few less flavored vinegars, and a few more flavored liquors are on the docket!  

We want to spend some more time outdoors this summer, gardening, walking, biking, and hiking.  We've already been on one hike, a couple of weeks ago, it was chilly, but nice for a hike!

 Almost 6 months to the day after our wedding, we returned to the "scene of the crime!"


We've got some trips planned also, my sister graduates from college, and Mike has 2 sisters who are getting married, and one who will be having a baby!
It's shaping up to be just as busy a spring and summer as it was a winter and fall...but now that I know my password, I just may be updating here more often!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brain fuzz...

I've had several posts that I've wanted to write over the last few weeks, but I can't remember my blogger password...I'm posting this from my phone, but the photos I wanted to share are on our computer. Bummer. The photo above is downtown after we went to the symphony last weekend: it rained, then sleeted, then snowed like 5 inches over 3 hours! Crazy, but it sure was pretty on those trees.
Also, I found an amazing rug for our living room. It was only $150, and the perfect colors and size!
And lastly, I've begun using some of the fruit-infused vodkas that I made over the summer: this week was strawberry vodka mixed with vanilla seltzer. It tasted like strawberry shortcake! Yum!
Hopefully I'll remember my password soon to share some more great food ideas with you :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I always have to have a quiet smile of satisfaction whenever my house smells like one of my grandmas' house. While you may not think that's such a good thing, let me explain:

First, both are still living (well and lively, and with both grandpas, I might add) in their own homes.

My house often smells of one house early in the morning: cold, old hardwood floors and brewed coffee (freshly ground of course!)

The other takes a bit more effort, and I wouldn't have been able to name it until tonight, but my other grandma's house smells like cookies!

My rational side says that Grandma and Poppy's doesn't always smell like cookies, but to my memory, it does...isn't memory a funny thing?

Do you ever unintentionally recreate or encounter something from childhood that triggers a memory? Mine ares often smells, usually food related...

I have learned and continue to learn so much from my grandparents (and parents too), but I am especially grateful for this:
Learning how to make a house into a home.

I hope your homes are all cozy and comfortable this night and always :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I've been making some awesome food lately.  I thought I'd share my "recipes" with you so maybe you'll be inspired too!
Saturday, I made a big pot of Chicken noodle soup.  This may not sound inspired, but..
Sautee a diced onion , a diced carrot, and 2 diced potatoes until they're translucent.  Add 1 clove of minced garlic just at the end.  Add some chicken stock (I used 1 quart chicken stock, 1 quart turkey stock)  Oh, while this is all happening, be roasting some chicken in the oven.  Simmer the veggies in stock until tender.  Then, puree using your new immersion blender (Or you could use a regular blender.  Or skip this step altogether.)  Once it's pureed, it'll be nice and thick-ish.  Add more veggies (I used frozen corn and peas).  When they're cooked, puree them too, cause your husband doesn't like cooked veggies. If you like, drizzle in a little heat, I used Garlic Chipotle Sauce from Dinosaur BBQ.  In a separate pot, cook your pasta.  I used Primavera Orzo blend from  It's Lemon Garlic, Parsley, Chive & Plain Flavored Orzos.  I get it from Jon himself at our regional market, but he does sell it online.  Soo good!  Anyway, back to the soup.  Cook your pasta separately so it doesn't gum up your soup after multiple reheatings.  Also, then you can pressure can any leftover soup without pasta bricks in the bottom!  When your chicken is done, let it cool enough so you can shred it and add to your soup.  For best results, I use a mix of light and dark meat.  Put some pasta in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup over it and voila! 

Monday night, Winter squash risotto with blue cheese.
I used a carnival squash, but butternut, acorn, or delicata would all be good here.
Peel the squash, carefully! Cut in to 1/2 inch to 1 inch dice.  Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 degrees.  While that's going on, make your risotto.  For directions, click here.  I use white wine first and broth after, I used a combination of vegetable and beef because it's what I had on hand.  When the recipe calls to add parmesan cheese (and for the love of everything, do not EVER purchase it from a green can!!!!!!!!!), also dice up a small wedge of blue cheese, I use saga blue which is a soft-ripened blue/brie cross.  Meanwhile, your squash should be done, pull it out and mix it in.  For an added treat, toast up some walnut pieces and sprinkle them in too.  A-Maz-Ing.

Wednesday night:
Bacon melts:
Before work, pull out your "emergency" baguette from the freezer (I sometimes buy an extra and cut it into thirds, wrap in saran, throw in a ziplock and freeze.) to thaw.
After work, lay out bacon strips on a baking sheet and cook at 350 until crispy.  (I don't cook bacon on the stove...too messy! But you can if you want!)
When the bacon is done, slice your baguette pieces in half horizontally, smear some tomato chutney on the cut insides (or other tomato product), layer on some cheese (I used pepper jack) and some bacon.  Put on the lid, roll sandwich tightly in aluminum foil and toss in the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt the cheese (It's still warm from the bacon, right?)  That's all she wrote.

Thursday night:
Homemade Mac and Cheese with Bacon
Start a big pot of water to boil.  Start a smaller (medium) saucepan with 2-3 TBS butter melting slowly.  Round up all your leftover cheese from the fridge (Tonight, I used a combo of cave-aged gruyere, extra sharp cheddar, pepper jack, and 2 individual servings of cheese product given to me as a gift)  Add 2-3 TBS flour to butter, whisk for a minute.  Add 2ish cups of milk, whisking.  Cook gently until milk thickens.  Cook the pasta in salted water.  Drain but DON'T RINSE!!!  while the pasta is draining, cut up the leftover bacon from last night and toss in the warm pasta pot.  Add your cheese to the milk, turn off the heat and stir until cheese is melted.  Pour into bacon.  Add pasta.  Toss.  Enjoy.  

Sorry for all the words and lack of photos, but I didn't take any of the delicious food this week.  Whoops!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Well! I didn't intend on taking a month-long hiatus from blogging, but with all the craziness this holiday season, something had to give, and blogging and cleaning my house were it.  I guess this holiday season wasn't any crazier than years past, but I often to much of my shopping/crafting beginning in the late summer/early autumn, and this year, just didn't get to it (that minor task of planning our wedding got in the  way!)
So, here I am, back on the proverbial horse, with a list of resolutions (which I won't bore you with sharing).  Instead, I would like to share with you some of the highlights of our holiday season:

We got our wedding photos (digitally, at least!)

 Got new phones (that's the hubby, phone in one hand, remote in the other)

 Thanksgiving leftover pizza: Cranberry Sauce, turkey, 
Mozzarella, and balsamic onionsDefinitely my favorite 
leftover creation to date!

Picked out and decorated our tree

 Spent time in Canada with the in-laws!

 Hubby got me a label-maker.  He'll be sorry! 
The first thing I labeled was him: Husband

No trip to Canada is complete without a trip to Harvey's!

 Some things I didn't take photos of: The amazing Feast of the Seven Fishes, hosted by my amazing Grandparents, our midnight drive to Canada, hanging lights on our new house, Snowmageddon (we do live in the Northeast!), and our decked-out house.

I hope your holiday season was as blessed as ours was.  Each year, we are more and more thankful for the wonderful families we have both been gifted with. 

Farewell to 2010, you were an awesome year! New house, marriage, continued health for us and our loved ones.  Hello 2011, hope you live up to your potential to be the best yet!