Thursday, August 30, 2012

Colourful week...

I've kept busy this week canning after buying more produce in bulk over the weekend.  Tomatoes were on for $20/40lb. box... so you can guess what I did.  Yeah, I bought two boxes! 

I kicked off my week with making more salsa. That first box of tomatoes provided me with 15qts and 5 pts of salsa, along with 8 qts of canned tomatoes.  Not bad for one day's work. ;o)
Don't these colours make your mouth water?  .
Tuesday, I was kept busy with a kitchen install, so I only managed to make a couple batches of apricot jam (5pts worth) on that day.
Wednesday was a big day for canning.  I had that second box of  tomatoes to deal with and 40lbs of peaches.  I started my day with the peaches.  I canned 20qts of peaches in honey and used the remaining peaches to make a couple of batches of jam (4pts. worth).  Then I tackled the remaining 40lbs. of tomatoes and canned 13qts. of romas.  Whew.
No sugar in my canned peaches!  I make a light syrup using honey, to compliment the peaches.

 As you can imagine, with all the canning I've been doing, I haven't been spending much time in my sewing room.  I'm just so happy that I've been able to take advantage of time between kitchen install  work with my husband, to get some food preserved for our family.

 My guys are also quite excited to see the jars filling up and to have been sampling things along the way. ;o)   One jar of salsa has already disappeared (surprise, and any jam that wouldn't fill a canning jar has also been eagerly consumed.

Although making jam is something I knew how to do from the beginning of our marriage, I haven't made jam in years (because I stopped using sugar in anything I make). This year I've finally gotten round to using a pectin (Pomona's Pectin - a brand that a good friend recommended) that doesn't require sugar to make jam or jelly.  I have to say that I love the results! The jam set beautifully.  I used a small amount of honey and Pomona's Pectin to make the fruit jams and it tastes delicious.   My sons are over the moon to have home made jam, which means I will have to get another box or two of Pomona's Pectin so I can make more jam for them. lol
Here's how my kitchen table has been used lately... lol

Canning season started with 63quarts of dill pickles... and now I've canned 16qts. & 33pts of salsa; 30qts of tomatoes; 34qts of peaches'n honey; 5pts. apricot jam and 4pts. peach jam.
Since I still have some empty jars... canning season hasn't ended just yet for me!

  Now that I've dealt with all the fresh produce for this week, I am hoping to get in some sewing for the next blog hop (yay!) I'm participating in ... after I wash, label and pack up those filled jars from yesterday.

Hey!  Do you know about the newest blog hop that's been announced?  It will be Wicked fun. ;o)

I've been having lots of fun being a participant in the blog hops that Madame Samm puts together (with her fabulous cheerleaders! Hello, Jane, Lesley, Carol, Corrie, Cherry and Wendy...) and want to encourage you to join in.  Why join a blog hop?  Well, personally I've found that I've been making new friends, finding new blogs, plus I've been enjoying all the inspiration that comes from sharing the love of sewing.  Oh, and how could I forget to mention that giveaways are always a part of the fun!  Anyways, there's still time for you to sign up if you're interested in being a stop on the blog hop, "Wicked".
 Visit Sew We Quilt for more details....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baste a quilt. Bake a cake?

Crawling around on my hands and knees basting is not my favourite part of quilt making.  Never more so than when the quilt happens to be king-sized.  I'm lucky to have the floor space to do this, so I won't complain too loudly.  


My first king-sized quilt top.

I'll just take my time with it, take
some breaks... and "Yes!". I think I'll have a piece of cake. ;o)

Tomato Chocolate Cake?!?   Mmmm, it's delicious.
 Find my recipe here. 
 **once again, I have been substituting ingredients in my recipes.  This cake has coconut oil  instead of the vegan margarine and spelt flour was used instead of whole wheat flour - FYI,  the results still taste yummy. So go ahead, try it!  
P.S....The glaze is made using coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder.

My sons were curious about the occasion for baking a chocolate cake... I told them it was because I had a pint jar amount of canning tomatoes left over from earlier this week.   Should I have told them that this cake is actually a reward for basting? lol

If you haven't yet, please check the particpants for today on the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop...


Julie S. (no show)

Kim O. (no show)Martine (no show)


Wow!...Day # 13 Bowls with Borders Blog Hop

Hope you're having a great Saturday!  I wanted to share the quilt I'm working on and a bit of baking with you... but Blogger is not allowing me to upload my pictures.  I'll try again later... until then, let's do some hopping...

August 25th

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Peachy!

Sewing has taken a back seat this week as I work my way through the produce I bought to can.  Along with those 40lbs of tomatoes, I brought home 40lbs. of peaches.  I LOVE fresh peaches.  Truly nothing says summer to me the way a fresh ripe peach does.  When they were first in season, I came home with a 20lb. box for eating...  and we devoured every single one within that week.  Obviously, double that amount wouldn't see us too far, but I thought I could at least can some for the winter months from that amount.
They are every bit as sweet tasting as they look!
Once those peaches were at the peak of ripeness, I set to work.   Now, I don't like a heavy syrup on them because I want to taste the peach - not some sugar laden syrup.  Once again, I messed around with recipes until I came up with one that suites our family's taste and it doesn't use any sugar!  I actually used honey for my canning syrup.  I know the canning books don't recommend this, but in all the years I've been using honey rather than sugar, I've had no problems.  They are delicious!

Obviously, I didn't can every peach on hand.  I had to leave some for my morning oatmeal! lol
There's just something beautiful  about seeing my canning jars fill with seasonal goodness.  It feels so rewarding!   Crazy thing is, I just want to can more and more.  Happens to me every year. lol

Looking for today's list of blogs for the Bowls with Borders Blog hop?  Here they are!

August 24th
Gudrun Z. (no show)

Keep hopping along...  Carol has the full schedule!

Canning Season!

I just love this time of year!  I've been busy filling my pantry for the upcoming months by preserving the freshness of this season.  If I was to rate my family's top picks in home canned goodness... my dill pickles are at the top of their list (thank goodness, I've checked this off my to-do list! lol) and next would be my homemade salsa.  While at the Farmer's Market this past Sunday, I discovered that all the ingredients I would need were in ample supply for making salsa.  I was even more motivated to tackle some canning this week because I was able to get 40lbs. of roma tomatoes for only $25. Romas are just the best for salsa!
Washed and ready to take a dip into boiling water to remove those skins!
Salsa is not something I grew up with, but marrying a man that loves his salsa (the hotter, the better!), meant that I was keen to learn how to make my own.  Years ago, when I first started canning, I would diligently follow a salsa recipe in the Ball Blue Book of Canning.  Apparently, it was too mild for my hubby's taste, so I started experimenting with adding various hot peppers to kick up the heat.

 You can imagine my disappointment years ago to have added all sorts of hot peppers (jalapeno, red chili, hot banana) to find that it still wasn't hot enough!  That's when I thought about leaving in those seeds and "ribs" in all the hot peppers.  That did the trick.  My salsa is eye-watering hot and that's exactly the way my guys like it.  Salsa this hot isn't for everyone. I will admit I can't eat the amounts  my hubby and youngest son can, but they think I'm a rockstar when it comes to salsa making, so I'm not complaining. lol

 Salsa making is more labour intensive than most anything else I can, due to all the veggie chopping it entails (I hand chop everything but those hot peppers), but it makes a thicker salsa which is so worth the work.   Once I had used up all my onions, bell peppers and assorted hot peppers,  I chopped up a few ripe peaches to make the salsa extra special.  Salsa complete, several pounds of romas remained.  They were canned on their own.

Here's the final results: 28pints (and 1qt -for immediate received two thumbs up by my taste tasters... lol) of hot, hot salsa and 9 qts of romas (for winter soups and chili making).  Doesn't look like much when I know how fast these jars will be devoured.  I think I see more salsa canning in the near future.  Did I mention how much I love this time of year? ;o)

Are you still following the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop?  I am! 

There are still several days left before it ends, which means more fun and inspiration to enjoy.  Check it out...

August 23rd

Need the full schedule?  Carol has it! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hoping to sew and hopping along...

Since yesterday was my birthday, and I ended up working a 12+hour day assisting my husband in a custom kitchen installation... I feel the weekend should be dedicated to sewing.  I've got a little project underway, a gift for a friend, that I really want to finish.

I'm kinda of excited because I think she will like this...

Now you know why I was using my ruffler attachment the other day...;o)

Meantime, I  will visit a few new friends and see what they've been sewing for Day #6 ...

August 18th
I hope you've been hopping along and leaving comments when you visit.  You know that there will be some giveaways along the way... plus the chance to win some prizes at the end of the hop?  You don't want to miss out!
Looking for the full blog hop schedule?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Be "Bowled"...

and see something beautiful. ( Get it?  Bowled and Beautiful??? lol.. It's okay, I can be a little silly today... it's my birthday, so why not have a little fun?  It's better than dwelling on the fact that I'm another year OLDER...  ;o)

Ready?  Let's go check out the blogs listed below as today's stops on the Bowls with Borders Blog Hop.
August 17th

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Keep bowling along...

Looking for the full schedule?...
Carol has it!
Did you know that you can win prizes for following along?  Leave your comments on each stop of the hop and you'll be qualified to win!
 * Get the details...HERE...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

... Bowls with Borders Blog Hop Day #3

Welcome!  I hope you're having a great time visiting all the blogs in the hop.  You are leaving comments on each, right ? ...*hint, hint*  It means so much to receive your comments and be cheered on.  Thanks for being here!  

Okay, I'll admit it.  This is the first time I've paper pieced, even though it's something I've been wanting to try for awhile now.  Now, I think I can understand the addiction for paper piecing! lol
 If you haven't tried paper piecing yet, this pattern is a great one to start with!

My Ghastlie babushka dolls had to make an appearance alongside, as they match so nicely with these bowls! By the way this is an enlargement of the original pattern.  I went for a block that would finish at 10.5"

Thanks to Regina for allowing use of her cute bowl pattern. How generous!
(Want her pattern? Click here for details).

 Now before you head on your way to see the rest of the bowls being shared today, I want to let you know that if you need the full blog hop schedule, you can find it at Carol's.

 Many thanks to Carol for being our lovely hostess, and to our inspiring head cheerleader, Madame Samm, for making this blog hop happen!

Okay, off you go to visit the talented ladies I'm sharing Day #3 with...

August 15th

Sew Me Something Good (that's me!)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bowls with Borders Blog Hop Day #1

It's a new week and today is the kick-off of a fun new blog hop! 

Ready to be inspired and have some fun? ... Yes!  
Here's the talent lined up for today...  Enjoy!

August 13th

Just Let Me Quilt

* Carol, our lovely hostess for this blog hop, has the full schedule (click here)

I hope you'll join the fun!

Ready to be "bowled over"? ;o)

I hope so!  Tomorrow is the start of a fun blog hop, hosted by the delightful and funny,  Carol.  It will feature all of the 160+ participating bloggers using a cute paper piecing pattern by  Regina.  (Thank you Regina!)
Now, you've probably guessed that since I haven't been seen in blogland lately, I've been working and you're right.  Long hours that have me quite tuckered out, but I have managed to squeeze in a little sewing time.  I'll be set to go for my day on the blog hop.  Meantime, I'll leave you with a little peek at something else I've been working on....
 Hope to see you on the blog hop!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Think Christmas Day#5

Are you ready for another day to be inspired?  More great Christmas quilt blocks, projects, giveaways and more are waiting for you ...
Let's go blog hopping!

Don't worry if you're just finding out about the hop.  You can still visit everyone that has shared so far AND remember, there's still 2 days left.  Santa Lesley (our lovely hostess for this hop), has the full schedule (click here).  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Think Christmas Day #4

Have you been looking for some sewing inspiration for Christmas?  You're in luck, because there's a fun blog hop happening this week and it's all about Christmas!  Yesterday was my day to share on the hop and I was sewing right down to the wire... now I can relax and enjoy visiting all the stops for each day.  C'mon, join me!  It's not to earlier to start getting your Christmas sewing figured out. ;o)
August 2Grandmama's Stories
Sandra Kaye Designs
North Hills Quilter
Quilty Doodads
Quilting in South Carolina
The Raspberry Rabbits
Charise Creates
Traveling Quilter
Nancy B at That Other Blog
Selina Quilts

If you're looking for the complete schedule for the hop, visit our own Santa Lesley. :o)
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