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Garden Update

I have decided to TRY to record the garden changes here.  I am curious to see how the garden changes from week to week.  It’s funny, I always have some sort of garden amnesia at the end of the season.  I don’t even remember the time when it was puny and did not look like it was going to make.  Also, I hope that I will be able to look back on it in years to come to bolster my spirits when the garden is at it’s beginning in the spring, when I am sure I can squeeze one more tomato plant in that bed or maybe I need to plant a few extra zucchini “just in case.”

So here is the garden one week after the last set of photos.  

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What I’ve been up to>>>>>>>

Hello to all of my three readers!  I thought I would stop by and fill you in.  I have been:

Walking for MS

 

Planning and planting

 

Enjoying the girls’ May Faire

 

 

Sorry for the picture heavy post and I will try to elaborate on some of the things later…but let me say…it’s been a busy spring and only promises to be a busier summer!

Becca on my mind….

Irony of ironies….I’ve spent the weekend cooking and this evening knitting.  Of course, this is not unusual for me.  The weekends around here include all things home….cleaning, cooking, spending time with the girls, hanging out, knitting…ect.  None of this could be considered ironic or even odd, except that I’ve been thinking about my sis in France over the last few days, a lot.  I was getting ready to post my photos of dinner tonight and my new knitting project, when I just realized that my new favorite cookbook is named Around My French Table and the pattern I just started, Wrenna, is from a book called French Girls Knits.   Oh, and I forgot…I made French Onion soup for dinner yesterady!!  The recipe for the Onion soup was in the same cookbook.

I also took a photo of the left over scones I made Saturday morning.  Some friend of ours moved from here to Decatur, GA this summer.  Thier youngest was best buds with our oldest.  So, we had them over Saturday and invited the girls from Grey’s class.  I made three batches of scones for us to nibble on and made a fourth batch to take to our new neighbors about five houses down.  Henry and I have appointed ourselves the unofficial welcoming committee on our street.  We may branch out into the neighborhood…just depends on my baking keeping up with the moving!  Anyway, out new neighbors are actual a family from our girls school..  We are so excited to have them.  The number of children in our neighborhood seems to be growing.  I am very excited for the girls.

Here’s a photo of the dinner and a photo of the knitting.

By the way…notice all of those pears?!  My Aunt Nancy brought them to us.  There is about 3 gallons of them.  I plan on making a pear and port compote to can.  It sounds like autumn so much, I can’t resist.  I am imagining serving the compote with turkey this Thanksgiving.   Becca, I wish you were going to be here.  Maybe I can ship a jar of compote.

K is for Kanning (I know, it’s spelled with a “C”)

I am not going to do knitting for the K post because that is too predictable, especially from me.  So, I cheated a bit and I am going to do canning for K since at least the first letter sounds like a K.  It’s my blog and I reserve the right to do as I please ;-).  Anyway, I have been canning all weekend…by that I mean 12 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday.   This is my first real go at canning.  I am starting this year because for a while Henry and I have really been interested in where our food is coming from and what goes in it.  In early spring we decided that we were going to take down a few trees, build a retaining wall and have a really big garden.  It is not finished as it was a bigger undertaking than I first thought, but it will be ready for next year.  I decided to stick my feet in the canning pool this year using vegetables that someone else grew.  We have a really good farmers market in Nashville, so I made a trip last Friday and stocked up on some in season favorites and supplemented with some items that were regional like peaches, as well as some things that are a little further afield…lemons.  My mom let me borrow my grandmother’s water bath canner and a bunch of canning books.  I also bought a pressure canner because I knew some things we would want were not acidic enough to be safe in the water bath canner.

I made lemon curd, peach salsa, peach and almond jam with thyme, red pepper jelly, tomatoes and preserved lemons (salt preservation, no canning for it).  I have to say that while it was not the easiest thing I have ever done, it was not the hardest either.  I do think it is going to prove enjoyable and very, very satisfying and will get easier as I develop a system.  The only real issue I had was something called “siphoning.”  This happens when the contents of a canned item migrates from the jar into the pressure canner.  This happens when the pressure changes too rapidly….the pressure changed too rapidly in my case because I failed to read the part that suggests leaving the items in the canner for five minutes after the pressure returns to zero and after you have removed the vent weight.  Live and learn…I had to reprocess the lemon curd.  now, the taste did not change, but the color changed significantly.  The lemon curd was a beautiful sunny yellow until the second run through the pressure canner…now it is a muddy brown.  I have photographic proof of all of this activity below….even the mud brown lemon curd.  We have already been into everything and found it to be well worth the effort.  I know it will be doubly worth it this winter when we can relive the glory days of summer through food.

J is for Just In

I finished my French Girl Knits Delphine lacy cap sleeve top last night.  Here’s the Ravelry link.   http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Slipping/delphine-lacy-cap-sleeve-top    I just finished it last night in time to wash it and dry it so I could wear it this morning for work  I may have mentioned…I work in a knit shop and I love wearing hand-knits in the store.  I get excited and that makes customers excited and it’s just more fun.  Anyway, I had to weave in the ribbon this morning and made it just in time to get to the store.  The top absolutely has to have the ribbon…if not, it is not a just a “French Girl” knit, it’s a “French Girl in a Bordello knits!”  The sleeves fall down to an off the shoulder type garment….not a good look for a 40-ish year old mom with chunky arms!!!!!

I is for International Traveler

My nephew, Remi, arrived last Wednesday after much anticipation!  We were so excited that we would get to see him again after only 6 months.  This is unheard of.  Remi lives in France with my sister, niece and their father.  Becca, my sis, has been there for about 15 years.  Usually they get to come back to the states once a year.  This time Remi got to travel alone and visit for 2 weeks.  Here he is with Nanny (great-grandmother) fresh off the plane.

G is for Grateful

I have so many things to be grateful for this week.  As you may have noticed, I missed “G” last week.   We were in the Blue Ridge Mountains in GA with our best friends and their twins.  I have a number of photos to show you as proof positive that I have so much to be grateful for.  I’m grateful for a husband who is a better partner than I deserve and who is the father that the girls need; for my beautiful girls who find everything exciting and fresh; for my dearest friend who lets me be crazy while all the time gently nudging me toward a saner place;  for two amazing 15 year olds who are excellent role models and friends to my girls;  for my hubby’s best friend who is always there; and last, but not least, my snuggly bed, two cuddly cats and a cup of Earl Grey with my favorite cookies before bed.  

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PS>>>>> Check out more ABC Posts at the Accidental Knitter  http://accidental-knitter.blogspot.com/2011/06/h-is-for-hairband.html