Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Antique lace,
Soft flowing linen,
In a minty shade of lemongrass....

A sweet, ruffled pinafore...

Perfect for gathering the harvest
of Indian Summer.

Garden chores
with a friend....

Picking flowers...

This is the prototype for a pinafore apron.
I have been dreaming of linen aprons
with soft, flowing lines,
maximum coverage,
reminiscent of a more romantic time period.

Today I drew the plans on tissue paper
(I save tissue paper, iron it, and reuse it for patterns),
and worked until the pinafore was finished.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Making Hay

We brought in the hay this weekend.
With the help of a neighbor and his equipment,
we cut and baled and stored about 400 bales of hay.
We had harvested 800 bales earlier this summer.

Luckily, 3 of our 4 kids were home to help with the job.

Traditionally, we have a big supper after hay harvest...
to celebrate a job well done.

This time I decided to go all out and try a whole bunch of recipes
from a book that I just received as a gift.
(Thank you Eileen....I LOVE it!!)
This book if full of beautiful pictures and wonderful
recipes from restaurants in the Brandywine River Valley, PA.
As I digested each page, I made a list of recipes
that I wanted to try.
Today I tried them all....
in one delicious feast of a dinner.
I have to say, though, I cooked all day long.
(It was worth it!)


Wild mushroom and jumbo lump crab soup 
(fabulous...I will include recipe below)

Leek and herb tart

 Pan Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

Individual loaves of herbed wheat bread
(herbs out of the garden)

London Broil, marinaded in our secret family recipe.

"Scallops From the Garden"
pan seared,
on a bed of homegrown, sauteed succotash,
with a pesto drizzle....
beautiful as well as delicious.
I garnished with fresh parsley and Nasturtium blossoms.

This book is a treasure....
a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
Our dinner was wonderful...
the perfect ending to a hard day's work.

Much thanks to our kids for offering their time and strength!

Wild Mushroom and Jumbo Lump Crab Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup sherry
1 pound portabella, shiitake, and white mushrooms, sliced
(Pa is the Mushroom Capital...so these are local for us!)
1 quart chicken stock
1 pint heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In large pan, heat olive oil and sherry.
Add mushrooms and saute until tender.
Add stock.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer.
Add heavy cream, simmer.
Add crab meat, and salt and pepper.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Re-purposing Idea

Yesterday, I dumped this 50 lb. bag of birdseed 
into the bin that we store it in on the front porch.

Every time I empty one of these bags,
I feel like there is something I should be doing with
the bag rather than adding it to the trash.
It is some sort of woven plastic fabric;
and I don't think it's recyclable.

So I saved it, cleaned it out and brought it into my sewing room.

One cut, and a few seams later and here is the repurposed bag....

Ready to use for groceries or storage....a tough tote bag.

You can make two totes from one 50 lb bag.  
Simply cut the bag in half across the middle.
Open the bottom and top seams.
Sew a seam across the bottom
and square your corners.

Fold down the top and hem.
Add straps.
And that's it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm On a Roll

Apron number 2 is finished!

Order complete.

This was to be modeled after an apron 
that I had made in the past
called Minerva's Laundry Day Apron.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find that vintage
laundry fabric.

So, although the fabric is different,
the idea is the same....large roomy pockets 
perfect for filling with clothespins.

How easy to hang up laundry,
when your clothespins are right at your fingertips!
And, I added a cell phone pocket at the top...

although, it could also be used for a granola bar or chocolate bar.
We all need a little extra energy when hanging up the laundry.
Oh, but chocolate on your fingers while you are hanging up 
clean clothes might not be such a good idea after all!

Monday, August 23, 2010

As Promised....

By golly, Henrietta has been busy!
She's gone and hatched another everyday work apron....

Perfect for chores around the homestead,
 or trips to the henhouse....

With ample pockets for egg collection,
or stuffing with fresh produce!
Extra long ties.
And, a button almost as yellow as the yolks of our eggs.

This apron is one of two that were ordered specially.
I will be starting (and hopefully finishing) the other
some day this week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why Is This Child Smiling????

It's because he is watching his Grammie dance and sing!
She finally had some time for sewing!!


I received a request for a couple of aprons.
One is finished and I will share pictures with you
on Monday or Tuesday.

I have also started a second special order!
Oh, it feels so good to spend some time in my sewing room.
And Tyler loves when his Grammie celebrates!!!

PS....does he have my chin, or what!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jack's Juice

Move over Welch's!

Hubbs has his power juicer going....
(no, we're not stomping them with our feet!)

and we are making fresh-from-the-farm grape juice.

Our grape arbor is full of juicy, ripe Concord and Mars grapes.

This year's harvest is the best yet.

We planted our grapes about 4 years ago.
Each year's harvest is better than the year before.

Fresh grape juice.....so much better than store bought!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Well Preserved

Well preserved!
Isn't that what we all hope we end up being?
Living on the farm may not keep me well preserved,
but it has afforded me the opportunity to make plenty of preserves!

Here is this summer's bounty, preserved for use this winter.
Fear not, I am not yet finished.

This morning I am going out to the garden to pick more tomatoes
and start another large kettle of spaghetti sauce.
Puttanesca sauce to be exact (we love olives)
Everything in the sauce will be home grown,

except for the olives.

Which, believe me, if I could I would grow olives.
They might be my most favorite food of all!
(Did I mention that at one time I could fit 18 in my mouth all at once?)
Don't ask me whatever possessed me to try that!
(Or was it grapes...oh well, same size!)

Oh, and here is the kitchen help....
Joe Cool!
No, his feet are not that big....it's just the camera angle!

Speaking of buddies,
Here's Hickory.
She has just discovered (after 15 years if life... in her previous home)
the world of toys!
See how she's smiling?
Who would have known that balls can be such fun!
Especially ones that we can keep away from Maddie!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Still in The Kitchen

This summer has brought us a wonderful harvest.

Most of my spare time has been spent either in the garden,
or in the kitchen dealing with what comes out of the garden.
I have canned spaghetti sauce, salsa, stewed tomatoes,
peaches, beets, pickles, and hot pepper spread.
Blueberries and blackberries have been transformed into jams.
I have frozen green beans, corn and broccoli.

I have also tried my hand at infusions.
This jar is the start of Blueberry Basil Vinegar.
This concoction has been brewing in my cold cellar for a month, now.

Four weeks ago I put 4 cups of white wine vinegar
4 cups of crushed blueberries (from our bushes)
1 cup of basil (from the garden)
and the zest of one lemon
into a large pantry jar and covered it.

Every 3 days I would gently shake the jar to mix the contents.

Then this morning I filtered the mixture
 through several layers of cheese cloth.

One lastl filtering through a coffee filter....

And here is the final product...labelled.

I am happy with the clarity 
and will use this vinegar for salad dressings.
The label is courtesy of the Graphics Fairy.
I imported it into photoshop and added the text.
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