Tuesday, July 29, 2008
That figured into our camping schedule this year. It isn't much more expensive to stay for a month than it is to stay for 10 days so we have had the trailer at camp for a month at a time the last couple years. Clarence would stop at home to do his chores, then head over to the camp each night. I'd come home often enough to throw some laundry in, pick up some food from the pantry or freezer and go back to camp. Unless it rained a lot-then we'd stay home for a day or two.
Unfortunately, that doesn't work really well if you want to maximize the garden harvest or preserve any of it. This year we decided to forego the month-long camping adventure so we could try to salvage our garden. Only being home when it's raining means you never pull weeds or pick much.
So, the annual canning adventure has begun. I am thankful that my family cheerfully helps me every year so it makes it more fun, less like a chore. By the end, it is indeed a chore but I am so happy all winter long to have our own organic beans, beets, and tomatoes on the shelf. We usually also do purchased peaches and the past couple years have added pears to the list.
Last year, I experimented with one canner of pears. I added vanilla to each jar (I hope I wrote down how much in my book!). They were extra yummy so I'll be doing that again if we get ahold of any pears this year.
Monday, July 28, 2008
This is the zucchini after baking. It probably could be browner but it was getting late already and it smelled so good.
I prepared my favorite zucchini recipe tonight for dinner and took pictures as promised. Served alongside fresh green beans from the garden-it was wonderfully yummy. Ask Kathy how good this stuff is-when I shared the recipe with her a couple years ago, she became highly addicted to the stuff. It’s that good.
The original recipe can be found in “new kitchen garden” by Adam Caplin with recipes by Celia Brooks Brown. As I recall, it’s a beautiful book (I checked it out from our library).
You start by cutting the zucchini into long, chunky strips. I use as much zucchini as I can fit on my baking sheet(s). And yes, I made two pans of it for my family of four. We, too, are hopelessly addicted to this stuff.
Bake at 350º, or 400º, or 425º until golden brown. The original recipe says 425º for 20-30 minutes.
Hmm, two of my pictures are gone. That's odd.
Here's how I make this-as always, it is adapted from the recipe I discovered in the book.
Honey-Roasted Zucchini with Feta
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, whole -- cut into chunky strips
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces feta cheese -- coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons honey
freshly ground black pepper (I always forget the pepper!)
Put the zucchini in a large ovenproof dish in a single layer. Add the garlic and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using your hands, toss the zucchini until they are evenly coated with the garlic and oil. Spread out the zucchini evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the feta cheese over them and drizzle on the honey and pepper. The saltiness of the feta means that no extra salt is needed. Roast in a preheated oven at 425 F. for 20-30 minutes until deep golden all over. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
Anyhow, she was able to go to the 3-4 year old classes during the adult services and came back with this beautiful artwork painted on her face Saturday. She loved it and didn't want her face washed all day.
Aunt Julianne and Auntie Alli kept her busy a lot of the time. They took her to the playground, joined her in playing with the toys she brought along, watched Veggie Tales with her, took her for the horse/wagon ride most days. Grandpa and the aunties took her to the beach so she could go swimming. By Saturday night, she was worn out and fell asleep at the dinner table. She missed her mom and dad a time or two, but simply mentioned it in conversation-didn't have a fit or anything.
Camp was a lot of fun, as usual. The services were thought-provoking as well as uplifting. Although having a 4 year old around for an extended visit is a radical change for us, we had a lot of fun having Miss Leta come camping with us. We're looking forward to having her stay again next year.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The camp Allison is attending this week takes pics of the kids each day and posts them on their website.
Apparently, she's making new friends.
It has been hot this week (90ish) and last night was really stormy. The camp is only about 20 minutes away so I was pretty concerned about what the weather was like for them. We lost electricity and our phone last night. Hopefully, it wasn't too scary for the kids-or the horses.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Julianne harvested some basil yesterday for her lunch. We are quite fond of variations on a sandwich we had once at Ikea. I don't remember what the bread was but I always make a braided onion bread for them. The only component we always have is the roasted red peppers-Ikea uses fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and a balsamic vinaigrette. It's yummy. I don't often have both fresh mozzarella and basil on hand so we've reinvented many times. Yesterday, we had cream cheese with fresh chives chopped into it spread on the bread. Jarred red peppers next, then either the leftover pesto from the fridge or fresh basil leaves. It seems hard to ruin that sandwich, I tell ya, and it's great to have something that tastes a little special without having to cook.
I love that we are almost ready to harvest the first green beans. And the peppers. Now if my zucchini would just hurry up!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I know there are things I'm supposed to do with it, but admit that I'm still pretty clueless about how. Sorry.
So, instead, I offer my thanks to her for the honor and ask forgiveness for being so late in acknowledging it.
Be sure to take a look at Mrs. Rabe's blog-I really enjoy it! In fact, today is a tour of her home, complete with before and after shots. Lots of fun!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Yesterday afternoon we took Allison to horse camp for the week. She is thrilled. Surely, she cannot be my child, can she? She is unconcerned about using pit toilets all week. [huge shudder] She is happy to muck out horse stalls, pick horse's hooves, brush horses down, and, of course, ride horses. None of which appeals to me in the least. Julianne, I believe, shares my shock and horror.
Here is a picture Julianne took of one of my roses yesterday. The girls had asked what I wanted for Mother's Day and I told them "love and obedience". Julianne gave me two rose bushes instead-but named them "love" and "obedience". LOL This is love in the picture.
Next year they will be studying Luke.
Friday, July 11, 2008
We arrived home safely this evening. Our 18 yo neighbor who was taking care of the animals was here. He had mowed the lawn for us, too! What a sweet surprise, especially since rain is predicted for tomorrow.
I am anxious to sleep in my own bed tonight. Laundry is started and will continue tomorrow. Allison leaves for horse camp on Sunday, so there's no putting it off. Then there's the weeding to catch up, and getting the trailer ready for family camp, and...
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Not being a sports fan, I really have no understanding of how DE tournies work. The round robin quizzes have an impact on how the teams start out in the DE, but everyone actually starts the day with a clean slate.
It was still a pretty grueling day for our team. They ended up taking 2nd place in their division and it was an intense and exciting thing to watch.
Aunt Penny drove down and watched them all day. Having never seen quizzing in action before, she was quite surprised at the intensity of it. It was a good show for her-they had her on the edge of her seat many times.
We are very proud of our girls and their teammates. Not only for the performance they put in, but also for the sportsmanship they displayed. They are not unique here-there are a few hundred really great kids roaming around this campus this week. It's been a great experience.
Tomorrow is the awards banquet and then we head home. I'll try to catch up with everyone within the next few days.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The girls' team was undefeated in every round today(7 altogether). Julianne quizzed out in every round but the last one (and individuals). Allison also quizzed out three times today. We are very, very proud of both of them.
Their team worked really well together-they truly had a team effort going. Sometimes, it seemed that their biggest competition was their own teammates. They really spur each other on.
It's amazing to see these kids recall so much of what they've studied all year-not just our girls, but all the quizzers. It's a wonderful experience.
The girls are off to the "Olympics" tonight. The college admissions dept. plans activities for the kids in the evenings. It should be lots of fun. Clarence and I will take in the coach's meeting (even tho we aren't coaches).
Monday, July 7, 2008
Tomorrow starts the 2-day round robin competition. Thursday is the double elimination competition. The "individual" rounds take place in between some of the team rounds. Julianne is competing individually, Allison isn't old enough to qualify. Individual finals are Friday for those that make it that far.
We are all renewing friendships made through the year with kids and coaches from other teams. It is off to a great start. Continued prayers are appreciated, as always.
I didn't expect to be able to get near a computer here but most of the kids are doing other things tonight it seems. I'll post again if I get a chance-but I'm thinking it isn't likely.
Oh, and another little note-the book said that daylily can be somewhat diuretic so enjoy them in moderation.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
It's a weekend long reunion with various activities planned but we only joined in yesterday (Clarence is working today). The activities for today include a driving tour to visit all the old family homesteads in the area, dinner out together, and a visit to the cemetery. Sunday they plan to be back at the park to share brunch. My hat is off to the couples who planned it all-what a lot of work!
We are spending our day finishing laundry to pack. Bible Quiz nationals starts on Monday and we will be gone until Friday. Any prayers are appreciated-for the girls and their teammates as they compete all week-and for us old folks who are just as tired as the kids by the end of the week.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
We had a pretty low-key day today. Julianne chose the dinner menu once again and opened her gifts from Allison and us.
Clarence and I have been laughing because one item on Julianne’s gift idea list was a library card. Yep, a *free* library card. Poor child, her mother has never bothered signing her up for one at the library we frequent the most. So, last week she and I did the necessary paperwork. Her card came in the mail Saturday so, cruel mother that I am, I added the envelope to her gift.LOL Clarence’s coworkers want him to bring them some of our water. They can’t believe how easy to please these girls are.