Friday, August 31, 2012

Year Three - Week Twelve: More Fruits Than Veggies!

Some days life happens and you don't get everything done as soon as you want to. Some days you need to do other things. So, while out madly trying to catch crashing waves with my camera...

How Stars are Born


The share was delivered, so had to be photographed on the kitchen table in poor (read not ideal for photography) conditions with my point-and-shoot.

Week Twelve

So, technically, I think if you count everything minus the cilantro, it's even, but it *looks* like more fruit than veggies. Which makes me happy. So, that's what I am going to believe.

1 handful cilantro
1 bag Asian salad greens
1 small head lettuce
1 bunch beets
1 large handful green beans
2 eggplants
1 canary melon
1 QT nectarines
1 QT grapes
1 QT plums
1 PT red raspberries
5 apples

Cilantro: Put right in the dehydrator. I'm tired of all the wilted herbs, but I'm tired of just putting them in the compost bin.

Asian Salad Greens/Lettuce: The usual.

Beets: Made beet chips in the oven. A little oil, a little sea salt - a lot of NOMs!

Green Beans: Canned along with some my Dad had brought.

Eggplant: More eggplant fries. :) Nom.

Nectarines: Nectarine Salsa.

Grapes: Made some grape-apple-pomegranate jelly.

Plums: Plum BBQ Sauce....

Red Raspberries: Another one of my downfalls. More so than blueberries. I literally ate the whole PT with milk and chocolate sauce. It was delicious.

Apples: Applesauce.....

Year Three - Week Eleven: The Soup Share!

More than halfway through the CSA season and still going strong!

Week Eleven

1 small head lettuce
1 large bunch kale
2 onions
9 small potatoes
5 apples
6 ears corn
2 green peppers

I call this the soup share because I finally got to use most of this share to make my co-teachers kale soup recipe that I've had since the beginning of the season. We had some kale left over from a previous week, so I threw that in too.

Lettuce: The usual

Kale: The aforementioned kale soup

Onions: Used 1 in kale soup, used the second in spaghetti sauce

Potatoes: Used all of them in the kale soup.

Apples: Lunches and applesauce.

Corn: Had the folks out and did it on the grill.

Peppers: Used one in salad, second in spaghetti sauce.

And the fruit share.....

Week Eleven Fruit

1 cantaloupe: Made melon sorbet

1 QT plums: More plum BBQ sauce ...

10 apples: More applesauce ....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Jam Exchange Results

So, this year I participated in my first Jam Exchange! I already am involved with two swaps (a fabric postcard swap and a birthday blocks swap, both on LiveJournal, but this was different.

steph chows jam exchange 2012

Ironically, I had met Steph before I connected the Steph who took pictures at my friend Val's wedding last year to the Steph from the blog stephchows. They are one and the same! So...Val sent me the link to her jam exchange. A couple of weeks later I am helping Val move and Steph is there - we connect faces with internet IDs.

So, sometime in August we are paired with our jam partner - mine was Allison. Having a *ton* of jam and jelly in the basement....

My goodies

(See? That is a lot more than the average person has on hand I think.) I was all ready to pick my jams and jellies.


I sent Allison 2-4oz jars (Pomegranate Jelly & Blueberry Jelly) and 3-8oz jars (Blackberry Lime Jelly, Concord Jelly and Lemon-Lime Jelly).

Today, I arrive home to find my package from Allison!

Jam Exchange 2012

She had sent two jars - One Carrot Cake and one Monkey Butter! I laughed when I got the Carrot Cake because that one was on my list to try - so I'm really excited to try it. She suggested that I use the Monkey Butter on a sandwich or ice cream, so I'm also pretty excited about that one, too!

Now, I look forward to next years Jam Exchange - you should sign up too!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Year Three - Week Ten: Revenge of the Melons!!

Last week when we got our share, the muskmelon/cantaloupe was over-ripe. Like you couldn't eat it over-ripe. During the week we received an e-mail saying something along the lines that we weren't the only one - apparently there was a rash of complaints about the cantaloupe being over-ripe - and that they were working to fix the issue. Good news is that this week's cantaloupe wasn't *as* over-ripe and we got two watermelons too! I think it's going to be time to freeze some watermelon....

Week Ten

My dear friend Val picked up the share this week as I was in Baltimore, MD for the last of the summer vacations, so some things didn't survive the week (lettuce and basil were the casualties).

2 watermelon
1 muskmelon
1 QT peaches
1 QT plums
1 QT heirloom tomatoes
1 eggplant
2 banana peppers
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 handful wax beans
1 kohlrabi

Watermelon: 1 gifted and 1 frozen.

Muskmelon: Already cut up, hopefully for breakfast/desserts.

Peaches: Peach Pie.

Plums: In the BBQ sauce I mentioned last week.

Tomatoes: Canned & sauced.

Eggplant: Made eggplant fries. Much better this time, fried instead of baked.

Zucchini: Shredded and frozen.

Wax Beans: Steamed and eaten.

It's already Sunday and in two days there's another share to pick up! Oi! It'll be a busy cooking week here. I want to try eggplant fries again, I think I'll actually fry them this time, they evaporated in the oven when I tried to bake them last year....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

12 for 2012 - Summer Catch-Up

So, I've been behind for my 12 for 2012 projects. Despite that, I've already started my list for 13 for 2013 - but having participated in this year, I will schedule myself the smaller tasks during the summer months.

June - Finish blocks for SIL present

Lauren's Top 2

I still need to add the two borders, but I am hoping that by the end of August I have gotten in touch with a long-armer who can quilt it for me. Okay, on to add border #1 and look at July's 12 for 2012 project and at least get all my supplies in order for that ....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Overdue Finishes!

So as I alluded to in a previous WIP post - I've had some things at the framers...and here they are!

First, "Pathways" is framed...

Pathways Framed

Although "Pathways" has been done for a while, I waited to get it framed so that it and "Daffa Down Dilly" could have complementary framing done. They are displayed in the same room, although not next to each other, but they both look great!

Daffa Down Dilly

And just because I want you to have some sympathy for me -- look at all the beads that I had to put on this piece!

Daffa Down Dilly Close

The last piece is a Jeanette Douglas Design, "Mini Pom & Pear". It's also been done for a while, and is now framed.

Pom & Pear

If I never do 1 over 1 again, it will be too soon!

Friday, August 10, 2012

12 for 2012 -- Summer Lull

So, although I'm still really excited about the 12 for 2012 concept, I have realized something for next year's 13 in 2013 -- summers are hard! In-between the school year ending and theatre productions and vacations, it's just hard to commit to a lot of projects. Add to that the fact that we've had one of the hottest (and driest) summers in the Northeast -- and the craft room has been really too hot to work in. Not to mention that it's a disaster currently, although it has been worse.

So far my progress has been good through to May. The summer months leave much to be desired though.

June - finish blocks for SIL present
July - Assemble very late wedding quilt topper
August - 2x blocks for birthday_blocks

I didn't get June and July done yet, but did get the birthday blocks done. Originally three needed, one member got dropped, so I only had to do 2, which I just finished.

The first block I finished was Kristel's Improv Block. I like how this one came out, but I should have been more scrappy when I was cutting I think.

Improv Block

The next block was Selina's 8-pointed Star Variation. I, like many quilters, dislike and have a problem lining up points. To that note, I have to say that this was one of my better attempts at doing that.

Seldear's Block

But, on another note, I did get a lot of bonus finishes in....

In May we started another BOM on LJ. This one was a little different in that 12 of us are each picking a block to do, so that's pretty fun.

{Remember my last BOM fiasco? About not liking my child? If not, or if you just need a chuckle, you can read about it here.}


Block 1 for 2012-2013 LJ BOM Project:

Round 5 - Block 1

Mini Pom & Pear:

Pom & Pear


Block 2 for 2012-2013 LJ BOM Project:

Round 5 - Block 2


Daffa Down Dilly (companion piece for Pathways)

Daffa Down Dilly Close


In addition to the 2 required Birthday Blocks for this month, I got caught up on the 2012-2013 LJ BOM Project and did both of the July and August blocks...

Block 3 for 2012-2013 LJ BOM Project:

Round 5 - Block 3

Block 4 for 2012-2013 LJ BOM Project:

Round 5 - Block 4

I feel good about the progress I've made because not only am I posting the Block 6 for the BOM, but my June 12 for 2012 project is almost done. All of the main blocks are done, I just need to do the finishing border, a bunch of flying geese and eight patches - so I'm hoping to get caught up on that before the end of the month. If not, then it's going to be hard to finish my 12 for 2012.

But, I got so many bonus projects done (not to mention a ton of canning) - that's got to count for something, right?!?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Year Three - Week Nine: Ready, Set, Root!

So, there was just a piece on the news this week about how hot this summer has been in the Northeast (hottest in 100+ years). Combine that with the dryness we've experienced, apparently some crops are loving it - like pumpkins. Yes, seriously. They have begun talking that there may be a pumpkin shortage come October because pumpkins are already turning orange already - in Mid-August!

So, on that theme, some of the root vegetables have also started to come on strong.

Week Nine

3 cooking onions
3 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large scallion
1 bunch carrots
5 mini apples
2 green peppers
4 peaches
3 tomatoes
1 head fennel
1 small head lettuce

Onions: Used in homemade Spaghetti Sauce.

Potatoes: Made homemade potato chips for the first time. Used this lovely recipe from Emily at Joyful Abode: The Best Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips Recipe.

Scallion: Used in dinner.

Apples: Applesauce

Green Peppers: Used in aforementioned homemade Spaghetti Sauce.

Peaches: Made peach crisp. Mixed these in with some local peaches I bought last week.

Tomatoes: See above. Spaghetti sauce.

Lettuce: The usual.

Speaking of pumpkins, the melons are also coming on strong. So, the fruit share...

Week Nine Fruit

1 cantaloupe: Breakfast and desserts and snacking

1 PT blackberries: Got put into the zucchini-blackberry-almond bread

Plums: Tried out this Plum BBQ Sauce recipe from Jenn's Gardening Spot.

Make sure to keep coming back throughout the week to see how I've been using stuff up as the week continues.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Year Three - Week Eight: Getting In Full Swing!

As we are hitting the stride of mid-summer, produce becomes heavy and laden in the fields as well as the shares that go out. What started the season as half a Wegman's bag (reusable tote) full are now up to two to get the share home.

Week Eight

1 PT blueberries
1 bunch beets
2 small zucchini
1 small head broccoli
1 cucumber
1 small head lettuce
1 bunch kale
1 bunch purple basil
1 QT Tomatoes
1 PT heirloom cherry tomatoes

Blueberries: Breakfast. Sometimes dessert too.

Zucchini: Got made into this great zucchini-blackberry-almond bread. Yum!

Broccoli: Got used in one of my favorite recipes, Lime Rickey Chicky

Cucumber: Pickles. Inbetween the two gardens (mine and Dad's) I had enough for a double batch of Bread and Butter pickles. So....21 PTS later, I'm stocked up on Bread and Butter. Up next, Lime Pickles!

Lettuce: Salad. It was a small head so it only really lasted two days, one dinner for two, one lunch.

Purple Basil: Wilted really quick, despite me putting it in water immediately.

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes: Salads and snacking.

Fruit Share!! This is amazing for the sheer fact that there is apples and stone fruit in it. With the early warm and late snow/cold snap, most of the stone fruits got hit hard, but the GFC was able to find some, and crops are/did rebound better than expected.

Week Eight Fruit

14 apples: Waiting to be made into applesauce. Well, those that haven't been eaten yet!

1 QT assorted stone fruits: I've been eating peaches this week, the nectarines are waiting for inspiration.

1 PT long blackberries: Eaten and added to others that live out back for future processing. I need to make more blackberry jelly soon.

Now that I'm all caught up, it's time to pick up Week Nine! Now time to get caught up on the 12 for 2012 projects....

Year Three - Week Seven: Fruit Share Really Begins!

So, although we've received little treats earlier for being part of the fruit share, this is when it really started in full force. I didn't separate the fruit share items out this time, but will in future posts.

Week Seven

2 pts blueberries
1 large bunch chard
5 ears corn
2 green peppers
1 Daikon radish
1 handful green beans
3 tomatoes
1 bunch lemon basil
9 apples
1 eggplant

Blueberries: Breakfast and also made some blueberry jelly. That was the theme these week, I made three batches of jelly.

Chard: So much chard this year! So, I pulled out this lovely recipe from epicurious: Swiss Chard Lasagna with Ricotta and Mushrooms

Corn: Cooked it for dinner with the family.

Green Peppers: One was used in veggie pizza, the other was sacrificed to the kabob gods.

Green Beans: See above mentioned dinner with family. I picked more from the garden to supplement these.

Tomatoes: Tomato season is starting to get upon us rapidly. So, I am feeling a sauce/puree day coming up pretty soon...

Lemon Basil: Back to the Lemon-Lime jelly. One of the aforementioned three batches I made this week.

Apples: Lunches and applesauce is on the calendar, since the apple trees in the front yard are producing too now.

Eggplant: Cut up and used in kabobs.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Where the Ocean Meets the Land...

So...I'm behind again. No huge surprise. But, in missing Week 6 there was a good excuse! (It's also the reason I'm behind on 7&8 - but I'll be caught up by Monday hopefully) Main(e)ly (HA!) it was because I was uploading and editing these photos...

Maine in a Nutshell

Maine. Rapidly becoming one of my favorite places. (Salem, MA is my number 1 and has been for years.) Maine emerged in 2007 as I searched for someplace to vacation in August that wasn't hot. So, you go North.

Foggy Path

Day One was foggy, but still great weather for getting out and stretching the legs on one of the many hundreds of miles of trails in Acadia National Park.

Light to moderate hiking was made easier with my new Keen sandals.

New Kicks

As you can see, it didn't take long to christen these bad boys.

One of my favorite things about Maine is that it appeals to me on a soul-level. An Astrological level if you will. There is something about the junction of the ocean meeting the land and the rocky crags that very much bring me to peace.

New this time was camping at Seawall. Which is as it is named, seawall where the ocean really meets the land. Dozens of tide pools....

Ocean Art

and rocky shores abound....

Reaching BW

Most trails are a frustratingly beautiful combination of R&R ...

Roots and Rocks

roots and rocks...

But the view....

The Beehive and the Beach

is always worth it.