Sunday, September 26, 2010

And the winner is...

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and sweet wishes.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

300 Post Giveaway!

At long last!

To thank all of you for reading my ramblings, I am giving away a couple of things I made with lots of help from Julianne. (Thank you Julianne!)

First we have a green gingham pillow, decorated with flowers crocheted by Julianne. I kept requesting flowers in additional colors and she cheerfully kept crocheting them for me. Isn't she sweet?

Also included is a jar of black forest preserves, with a jar cozy crocheted by Julianne.

The black forest preserves are another recipe I tried out of Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving. It's a nice cherry jam with a hint of chocolate.

The book suggests using the preserves as filling between layers of cake, which I tried with good results. I think it'd also be great for thumbprint cookies or a fruit-filled bar cookie recipe.

Please leave a comment on this post to enter, with a way to contact you if you should win. Drawing is open until Saturday night. Winner will be chosen sometime Sunday.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Triathlon and a sneak peek

About three months ago, a young friend of ours (next to Allison in the picture below) asked the girls if they would like to be part of his triathlon team. The triathlon is held at our church campground and is more about fun than serious competition. I guess you probably already figured that out when you read "team" in conjunction with "triathlon".

Almost all of Josh's family was planning to participate. His older brother couldn't race today but did end up tagging along with his grandma for the running portion to keep her encouraged. I was incredibly impressed that his grandmother did the whole race. That would be three events more than I've ever attempted.

Allison did the swimming portion. She was the fourth one out of the water. I couldn't believe she was so fast when she hasn't done much swimming this summer, and none at all in the past few weeks.

It was a rather chilly morning to have to go jump in a lake.

Julianne did the biking portion of the race. When she was through, she said "Never again". We'll see if she remembers that if Josh asks again next year.
It might have gone better for them if any of them had decided to do a little training prior to this week. ;-)

Now for the sneek peek...It kinda snuck up on me but I'm only one post away from 300.
Keep your eyes peeled for a little giveaway I am working on with Julianne's help.

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Monday, September 6, 2010


In the library last week, I noticed Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving on the new book shelf. Turns out, it isn't actually a new book, it's just new to my library. Oh, my, am I glad I spotted it and brought it home.

This is shaping up to be one of the best years for tomatoes we've had in a long time. I usually can my tomatoes after we've sauced them with the occasional few jars of peeled, diced tomatoes thrown in. But since we have a cool gadget (it isn't this one, but it's similar) for easily making tomatoes into sauce, I seldom feel a need to scald and peel them.

That may be changing.

I tried the Fresh Vegetable Salsa from the book. I've never made salsa before because, well, I have this cool gizmo so saucing is easiest...and anyhow, my best friend gives us a lot of her homemade salsa every year so I've never been terribly motivated to make my own. Cinda, I never fully realized how much chopping is involved in making salsa. I'll never take it for granted again.

I tried the recipe within a couple days of checking out the book and made 15 pints of salsa from our garden produce. A few days ago, Julianne used one of the pints on top of chicken enchiladas (I'm not a fan of enchilada sauce so we use salsa instead). We loved the new salsa enough that we decided to purchase more jalapenos from the farm stand and make more.
Somehow, I ended up with more than a stockpot full. Clarence suggested using my roaster, which I thought was brilliant so I'd have enough room to mix it well. Hmm, that almost didn't work either.

I ended up with almost 27 more pints of salsa, plus a quart of tomato sauce from the tomatoes we had peeled but didn't need for the salsa.
I may not have a single jar of green beans canned for this winter, but I think we're set for salsa. Maybe.
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