Saturday, December 3, 2011

A few of my favorite things

There are many things going on outside my bathroom window. My three boys working on the firewood. A couple of snow piles, a kayak and a clothesline. Life is good and full of hard work!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Señorita has a sister. Her name is Trixie Hermana and they get along wonderfully!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Sandwich

Celebrating the chickens returning to the coop on their own!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My new Noro Hat

Just in time for fall colors, I made this Noro Iro hat to match my favorite fall scarf. Not that this Indian summer is giving me the weather to wear it but at least I am ready! I love it! After blocking it I had to dry it quickly so it was ready for the fair - so I thought it would be fun to show you the kitchen through out the day! :)


Señorita Orejas!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Newest Noro Hat

I made this for my dear friend Thais. She won this hat during the silent auction portion of our hockey's golf tournament fundraiser. I love how well these colors match her beautiful eyes! Enjoy it sweet lady! See ya at the rink soon!

Sandwich from Sunday

This is my first mobile blog post.
This was Sundays breakfast sandwich after SP, my puzzle piece, returned home after two weeks in Michigan.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A busy canning weekend

5 cans of green beans, 4 pints of chutney, and two more cans of sauce! It was a very productive weekend canning and I am the proud new owner of a pressure canner!

The chutney is extra special dear to my heart - Mom's recipe but made with fresh tomatoes for the first time! It is a little lighter in color because many of the tomatoes were beautiful yellow ones.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Step one of Making Tomato sauce

Step 1. Clean your sauce tomatoes and remove greens and stems. Gently core tops.

Step 2. Place prepared tomatoes in a stock pot such as a dutch oven or this Le Creuset and bring to a boil.

Step 3. Turn down heat and simmer until tomatoes fall apart. You can also use a potato masher to assist. You will have a wonderful start as pictured below.

The next step it to run it through the food mill twice. The first time on the largest sieve to strain the skins. The second time use the smallest sieve to catch the seeds!

Then you reserve the tomato pulp and use it to make sauce, according to the recipe you choose.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our cute little coop

Here's the front and side views of our new coop. I just can't wait to fill it with hens. Aurucanas and Ameriaucanas here we come!

I wonder what we should name them.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Sandwich

You guessed it right. We bought a hen house. It was a huge weekend on the homestead! Next step - chickens!

Hurricane Irene Tomato Sauce

In preparation for the unknown, I harvested all ready and ripening tomatoes before Hurricane Irene arrived. These two pints happily joined the blueberry jam on the top shelf of the freezer in the basement.

I am happy I made these wee 2 pints  because we didn't have power for four days. I am also happy I didn't do any more drastic harvesting before Irene's arrival because our garden weathered the storm just fine! One week after Irene, my green tomatoes have ripened and I foresee much more sauce in jars this weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From two to more!

I made more simple jam today but this time I doubled it AND used fresh WILD Maine blueberries!
I am quite a fan of those freezer jars, but I was so excited to find the larger ones with the green lid. We will soon be going through jam like mad so I figured a couple of extra large jam jars was not a bad idea.

The one that is only partly filled is living next to the toaster now, but the other three are nestled into the chest freezer in the basement.

Pickled Tomatoes

Thanks to the Ball Blue book, I found something to do with all my sungold and sweet 100 tomatoes!!!! There were four jars, but Heather took one home last night!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomato Harvest

Got up and out of the house early this morning so we could beat the heat and tend to the tomato jungle. When we were done we carried a whole hod-full up to the house to be sorted. Below are all the ripe ones, freshly washed and draining in my very bright sink.

In our work, many green tomatoes fell off the vine. They are now ripening by the back porch.

I'm wondering - are the semi ripe tomatoes in the bag enough of a catalyst to hasten ripening, or should I go get a ripe banana to add to the bag?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First beet Harvest

This wee 8 ounces is my first beet harvest. It is also the bulk of my first beet planting, which sadly did not do well. I look forward to the beet relish I am making from Janice Cole's Chicken and Egg. I think it is time to plant a fall crop of beets!

Saturday Sandwich

This one makes me happy for and yet miss Puckstopper. He has been in North Carolina for a week visiting his Grandmother. Together they took a class and received their scuba certification. Today they are diving on a shipwreck. We pick him up tomorrow at Logan. It will be great to have him home again. Happy Saturday - it's a glorious day in Maine!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bread and Butter Pickles

A family favorite, I put up six pints of bread and butter pickles yesterday. I must say though, that I should have added a dash extra sugar when I added a dash extra vinegar to cover them in the pot. They are almost Bread and bitter pickles! None the less, a crowd pleaser that makes my tuna salad quite lovely!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new...

This is baby food that was just evicted from our freezer. This baby food is over 4 years old. Why have we kept it so long? Maybe because it was the last vestige of our beloved the Dairy Queen and Queen Lactina.
Our baby starts Kindergarten with in two weeks, and there is no better way to get ready for months of lunchboxes x 3 than to can!


Out with the baby food and in with the blueberry jam! We are blessed!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicken and Egg

My mother-in-law gave me this for my birthday and I am SO excited!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 Tips to Eating Sustainably

My brother in law sent me a copy of Natural Awakenings this spring. It's a free booklet he gets monthly in Connecticut. This list is from it's March 2011 edition. There's a lot of "top ten" lists out there, but I have had this little scrap of paper saved for a while, so without further ado....

10 Tips to Eat Sustainably, Healthy, and Smart
1. Buy certified organic and local when possible.

2. Always choose certified organic when shopping for the "dirty dozen":
peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes

3. When buying local, but not organic, ask the farmer, "Why not organic?" He or she may be doing something close.

4. When joining a CSA, ask the farmer if he or she ever adds non-local food to the basket. If so, ask where it comes from and how it is produced.

5. At a farmer's market, ask the management how they choose their vendors. Must they be local or certified organic? How are they screened?
* this totally does not apply at my, or similar, rural farmers markets *

6. If buying "natural", learn how the producer defines it. The government has a very vague definition of what "natural" means.

7. Eat less meat. This lowers your resource consumption significantly.

8. Plant something edible - anything from a garden to a window box.

9. Learn about good sources of healthy foods available each season.

10. Take a cooking class. Eating prepared and processed foods is not sustainable and poor for your health!

And now... I just stumbled upon a lovely blog - Lemonbasil - that I shall now follow - but here's a lovely post about How to Eat Sustainably On a Budget!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Largest Radish Ever

This is apparently called a Spanish Radish. I am struggling to know what to do with it. There are several more where this came from, but I didn't have the bravery to look too closely this morning.

Help me Rhonda!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Subsidize Vegetables! Tax Soda!

Ah! I recently used food subsidies as a project for a decision making and problem solving class I took! We could have totally written this article!
No we couldn't have. We are not New York Times writers.
Anyway, I was enthralled to say this least to see this on my NPR news feed!

Please go read this informative article by Mark Bittman. Link is below, but hiding. Sorry.

Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fill my plate...

Half full of fruits and vegetables!!!!

I am entirely too excited about the new USDA food icon for balanced eating!
What a better reason and opportunity to buy more of the local fruits and vegetables that are increasingly available at this time of year.

I wish Gillespie Farm was still producing strawberries. Shamefully, I ate every last quart I bought and didn't make any jam. I not only didn't freeze any fresh strawberries either, but also used the remainder of last years stock to make sorbet during our heat wave, which has made our usual bumper crop of red raspberries and blackberries tiny and water deprived. Sigh.

I must return to our latest sorbet churning on the counter - peach cherry. Yum.
Thank you Bangor Daily News for this great blog picture and your article.

Eat Maine Foods!

With great improvements on their map and website navigation, this website is only getting more helpful for those of us who are seeking local farms from which we can buy our food. I am adding them to my Twitter feed as well.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Sandwich

I bet you can guess what we did to escape the heat this afternoon!?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


OMG! Check these out! I am so flippin' excited to have found them! Now I just need to find a couple hundred bucks so I can buy one for each of the kids before school starts!

Planet Box Lunchboxes!