Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tea & a Book C.S. Lewis


"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Coming!

Just a couple more days! My favorite season is around the corner!

You wouldn't know it though. It's been in the 90's. We actually swam in the creek yesterday. Ah well, time is on our side.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We Have a New Baby!

Meet Zoey!
Pronounced Zo-ee.


Grandpa Rick brought her to fulfill Emily's birthday wish.
Thank you Grandpa!



We have three very happy children
and
one
very
happy
kitten!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'll Have to Move the Teapots Soon


Before you know it, it will be time to move the teapots to a safer location. The old woodstove will be cleaned and filled with dry wood awaiting the strike of the season's first match. Most likely it will take several matches since we're out of practice since last year. Ah well, there are always firestarters. Living in the country as we do, we have propane heat. Propane is way too expensive. So, we'll be looking for a place to stock up on nice, well-cured, dry, firewood. In the winter time, I'll use the top of the stove to heat water for tea and to cook pots of stew and beans. Well, that's a look into the future....
Cozy Thoughts from Harvest Lane Cottage
Laura

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just a Note on Freezing

Apple, peach, and pear butter. Be sure to leave a full inch of headspace in the top of your jar to allow for expansion during freezing.

Don't ask me how I know....

~grin~

Laura

P.S. Thanks for all the great comments. If y'all haven't read them, and you plan to try the recipe, take a look.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peach Butter

I made peach butter this week. I was going to follow the directions in the Ball Blue Book, really I was. I just didn't have enough peaches. So, I adjusted the recipe and did it my own way with delicious results.

First, I peeled my peaches. I didn't want to take time to dip them in boiling water. I just took my knife and peeled just the skin off carefully. Then I took the pulp off with my hands, breaking it up as I went. This saved chopping time. I measured two cups of pulp and three cups of sugar into my three quart saucepan. I added one tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cloves.

I brought this to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. I then turned it down to low and let it simmer all day. I stirred it ocassionally as I passed through the kitchen. While I was busy in the kitchen, I turned the heat back up to medium to speed it along. Then, I turned it back to low when I left the kitchen. I let it cook down until it rounded up on my wooden spoon.

The fragrance was better than any potpourri or candle I've ever burned. When evening came, I didn't feel like doing a boiling water bath. So, I simply put it in canning jars and put it in the fridge to cool. It made 3 pints. I kept one out to enjoy; and, I put the other two in the freezer the next morning to enjoy this winter.

It's going to be so very nice to open up a jar of late summer when the weather outside is frightful.

Have a wonderful Sabbath Sunday! We'll be celebrating my Emily's 13th birthday with friends.

Laura
Buttering and Jamming!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fun Day

We enjoyed a visit to George Washington Carver's boyhood home today in Diamond, Missouri. They were celebrating Prairie Day. They had some wonderfully talented folks demonstrating old-time crafts such as spinning, weaving, soap-making, crocheting, quilting, wood carving, and candle making. They had live folk music. There were story tellers. It was just wonderful.

So begins festival season in Southwest Missouri.

Blessings to you!
Laura

*Edited to add
Emily told the conservation officer about throwing a rock and hitting a hawk in the head as it was trying to carry off our hen. We were worried that we'd be in trouble since hawks are protected in Missouri, but all was fine.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jamming, Sewing, Knitting

Hi Everyone,

I had a lot of comments on yesterday's post. And why not? The most wonderful topics, Fall, making Christmas gifts, sewing, knitting, making jam...ah maybe this is the most wonderful time of the year!

My peaches were on sale at Aldi for $.25 each. I bought a case. I worked up half of them this morning. I decided to make regular peach jam this time. I just followed the instructions on the Sure-Gel package. I thought of making the second batch without pectin according to the Ball Blue Book recipe. After reading it, I found it took quite a bit longer to cook. I was ready to get off my feet; so, I took the quick and easy route of powdered pectin again. I've still got half a case of peaches. I'm thinking about whether I'd like to make more Harvest Peach Jam or whether I'd like to try making peach butter. It will be a question for tomorrow morning.  Harvest Peach is just as easy as regular jam.

The dresses were pretty easy to make. The hardest part was finding time to work on them when Amy wasn't around! I finally went in my bedroom and threatened the kids not to come in. ~smile~ They know that if they find out about a gift ahead of time, they won't get it. It keeps them from sneaking and peeking. I truly believe it does. That and the fact that I never ever want to know about my gifts ahead of time. I love surprises and so do they. The Vision Forum pattern was a bit pricey; however, I've already made three gifts and will make more dresses from the same pattern. Do you know how to save your patterns to make them last?  I traced the pattern pieces on a piece of regular dress interfacing. I then transferred the markings to the interfacing and cut the pieces out. This way I didn't have to cut my pattern at all. You can do it with any pattern if you have a big enough piece of interfacing or other tracing paper.



 

I started the Fuzzy Feet Saturday. They are basically giant socks that are felted (shrunk) down to the wearer's size. I knit them on circular needles from Knit Picks. I like them because I can work two socks on two different cables and use just one set of needles. The needles are interchangeable; so, they can be moved from one cable to another. Here's how I do it.

This pair is being worked from the top cuff down; so, I knit the cuff on the first sock. Then, I removed the needles and put caps on the ends of the first sock's cable. I then used the same needles with another cable to knit the cuff on the second sock. Continuing on the second sock, I knit the heel flap. Back to the first sock, I knit the heel flap and turned the heel. Returning to the second sock, I turned the heel and picked up the stitches along the side. Back and forth between socks. Get the idea? Two socks on two different cables. Working each part of the sock on both socks before going on to the next sock. Why? I find I can keep it straight in my mind better if I work all of one type of knitting at a time. I also finish both socks at about the same time.

I also am taking advantage of spare moments to take a stitch here or there. For instance, I've been knitting while I'm blogging. I knit while I wait for pages to load. Busy as a bee!

Well, you're probably tired of reading. Enough for now. Greetings to my friends who commented. It's been awhile since I've heard from some of you. Thank you for caring enough to write to me. It means so much to me.

May God bless you as you gather your harvest whether from garden, field, farmer's market, friends, or the grocery store.

Laura
So thankful to be in the service of my King and my family

~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Busy Busy Sewing and Knitting

I've really got to get my camera out and take some photos. In the last couple of weeks, I've made three dresses for my Amy's Vision Forum doll, Evangeline. She's like an American Girl doll. I've also made a sweet little yellow baby hat for a lady in Mexico who is having her first baby. Now, thanks to receiving my Knit Picks order, I'm getting started on a pair of Fuzzy Feet slippers for my Michael. Then, I'll be making a pair for Emily.

I've been thinking about Christmas. I have so many things I want to knit and sew. I just may have to make a list to share. Yes, that might just be a good idea.

I'll give it a bit more thought.

Tomorrow or Monday my peaches will be ripe enough to make Harvest Peach Jam again.

One thing's sure. I've got to get the camera out!

Blessings,
Laura

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Admit It!

I cannot wait!

I've been trying to wait, really, I have. It's all my friend Joyce's fault! I went to her house Wednesday for Bible Study. She'd done it! Her house was a fall wonderland! So, I've decorated for fall, too. I'm looking forward to adding some pumpkins and a mum or two.
I've been looking around for great blogs. I've added some to my lists at the side. Do take a look. I've just found the statistics bar on the design page. I'm starting there. Did you know that you can now see who is sending readers to you? I'm visiting all you that comment as well.