Showing posts with label Canning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canning. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{10/52 & 11/52}: a bloom before spring

Updated 3/19: I forgot to tell you about my article that was published last week on Natural Parents Network, 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me.

If there's one positive that comes out of being plunged in cold weather for so long, it's that I'm motivated to try new indoor activities to clear out the doldrums. For the kids, this means new art projects like shamrock potato stamps. For us, this means new food and drinks to brighten our dreary days.

This week I spotted a big bunch of Meyer lemons--my first ever!--at the seconds table of our local farm stand, so I made bubbly marmalade and lemon syrup. I've been stirring the marmalade into my oatmeal and yogurt, and we tried out a new cocktail (recipe below) that received our highest rating: restaurant-worthy. On my first sip I decided it's the perfect balance between a feminine and masculine drink, a little sweet but with a punch.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

food day 2013: pickled red cabbage & more

Last week I mentioned it was World Food Day. Today we're celebrating a nationwide Food Day, with a particular focus on helping children cook real food. Spread the word! The more we can get the conversation started about real, local, sustainable food, the better.

In honor of the occasion, today I'm putting up (canning & freezing) a bounty of soups, chutneys, and jams with the season's harvest. I'm also sharing my three year old's favorite recipe for pickled red cabbage. This recipe originally came from The Joy of Pickling, but I've modified it to make it my own. I love having the blog to document all of my quirky home recipes, but I only share the adaptations that I think make the recipe better. Otherwise I just link to or cite the original source.

Monday, September 16, 2013

reboot family dinner {+ a giveaway of two great books}

{Note: Congratulations to Emily and Jessica, the winners of the giveaway books. I hope you enjoy them, ladies!}

I enjoy our summer lazy routine where we let the girls watch more TV and eat more ice cream, but there's also a quiet bliss to our back-to-school fall routine. We begin spending more hours indoors, whether in school or in our living room, and our busier schedule makes those rarer family trips outdoors to pick apples or play t-ball all the sweeter.

With school fully ramped back up, I am getting back into the swing of family dinner. I admit to struggling a bit at times, continuing to serve the girls summer staples of deviled eggs or tuna salad before Nate and I have our own dinner hours later. And pretty please don't ask me whether they've been eating lots of snacks.


We've had our successes too. On Sunday, for example, we went out to pick apples and filled our bellies to the brim with fruit, so we weren't as interested in a full dinner that night. Instead, the girls played happily in the next room while we chopped and simmered apples close by in the kitchen. They loved to sample a bit of still-cooking, piping hot applesauce, and Daddy whipped them up a quick grilled cheese sandwich and mug of tomato soup while we were still mixing and canning apple creations.

Charlie's favorite part was the bluegrass band playing at the farmstand. Girl after her mama's heart.

We've all heard in recent months about the importance of sitting down to dinner as a family. Lately I've been pondering the definition of "family dinner" and wondering if there's more room to bend the rules a bit. I'm happy to be working with The Family Dinner Project (FDP) to experiment with my neighborhood pals and see if we can make family dinners better together. They have some fantastic ways to fit in food, fun, and conversation with your children into your day.

I'm betting you can guess Vivi's favorite part of the day...

On apple-picking day, we didn't all sit together at one time to share a big spread of food; however, we did connect as a family in picking and putting away a bounty of fall's delicious harvest together. Later on in the evening at bedtime, we played a game FDP calls Rose & Thorn, asking them what their favorite and least favorite parts of the day were and sharing our own.

If you are interested in making family dinner better in your household, I encourage you to check out the FDP website. They have so many wonderful (and free!) resources. I'm also happy to be offering a giveaway today of two books that have helped us keep the kids interested in trying and eating new and different foods, which is one of the important pieces in the family dinner puzzle. Thanks to their generous publishers for making it possible to share these books!

Here are the books you can sign up for a chance to get for free (sign-up is below, and it will be open until Sunday September 22nd, 11:59pm ET):



1. French Kids Eat Everything. I wrote about this book in April, and the post was syndicated on BlogHer. A publicity manager of the publisher, HarperCollins, found what I wrote and offered to share the book with two readers of this blog. I absolutely loved this book; it changed the way we eat dinner forever, and it has made the experience so much more pleasant. See more of what I wrote here.


2. End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad. Here's what I wrote about it in July. The publisher offered to give y'all one of these books as well, so sign up below if you're interested! My kids love this one and still to this day call it the pickle book because of the illustrated pickle who helps make the salad.

WIN THE BOOKS!

Use Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! It's that easy. Just submit a comment or drop me a line by email or Facebook if you're having trouble figuring it out. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

jam session

Snow on rhubarb mountain

I am making a ton of rhubarb preserves this week, while also packing and organizing for my trip. I suppose you could say I love rising up to a good challenge. What's more true is that I am sad that I will miss out on strawberries again this year (note to self: no out-of-town trips in June) and don't want to miss out on rhubarb too. So I bought 8 pounds (!!!) of rhubarb from our local farm and have been steadily chopping and simmering my way through it. I'm making three recipes from my favorite preserving book, Food in Jars, which are:

  1. jam with vanilla and Early Grey
  2. jelly
  3. chutney


If you've moved on from the basic stuff and want your rhubarb life spiced up, check out Marisa's (of Food in Jars) rhubarb round-up.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

methods of conserving water: a gardening season primer


I'll never forget my first lesson in conserving water. I was at summer camp, and our head counselor stood in front of the group and explained how we could use less water when brushing our teeth by turning off the water when not using it. As an adult who has been doing this practice most my life, it seems so elementary as to require no explanation, but I remember feeling astonished at this news as a child. Oh, right, I don't need to run the water when I'm not using it!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

spicy pickled carrots: {UFH challenge update}



This year is roaring by at top speed; I daresay it's the fastet-moving year of my life, and the omniscient they say that life only starts moving more quickly the older you get. Sheesh. I love that this blog gives me a chance to document all that happens around here, as these days I can't be relied on to remember it all, and I suspect (ala the wisdom and wit of Nora Ephron) that my memory will only get worse too. While conducting my mid-year time-flying assessment, it occurred to me how long it's been since I updated y'all on my Urban Farm Handbook challenge. Not since March?! Whoa baby.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

canning round-up [squared] & my first of many mistakes

Making yogurt is easy.

I'm beginning with the above affirmation, both because it's the message I want you to walk away from this post with and because I am adopting it as a new mantra after my less-than-easy first experience. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As part of my Urban Farm Handbook challenge, I made it a goal to make yogurt (in keeping with the dairy theme of March) by the end of the month. It was a modest goal considering all I technically needed to take on the task was...leftover yogurt with active cultures and milk. Seriously, that's all. I say 'technically' because I knew there a few other items that would make the experience more user-friendly, so I opted to grab some canning jars and a jar-extractor-thingy from my favorite local hardware store.

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