Lavender Lemon Zucchini Cake

FullSizeRender 46.jpgSo your garden is overflowing with zucchini and you’re wondering what to do with it all.  Or maybe a few of your neighbors have gardens that are overflowing with zucchini and they brought you their zucchini…and pretty soon your counter is overflowing with giant zucchini.  Either way, this lavender lemon zucchini loaf can make quick work in freeing up your countertop and providing a winter’s worth of delicious mini treats.  Bake it and freeze it.  Or maybe give a mini loaf back to your kind neighbors.  This recipe makes two loaves OR six mini loaves.

Lavender Lemon Zucchini Cake

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (or substitute 1 cup applesauce instead of the oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
zest of 2 lemons (reserve 1 tsp. lemon zest for glaze)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dried lavender, chopped finely (optional)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest

Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.   Prepare 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and a dusting of flour.  Alternatively, you can make six mini loaves.  I love the mini paper loaf containers if I’m giving them away.  Check the packaging on the mini paper loaf containers for prepping instructions.  Mine didn’t need spray nor flour.

2.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and lavender buds.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until smooth.  Add oil (or applesauce) and sugar until smooth.  Add buttermilk, zucchini, lemon zest (minus reserved 1 tsp.) and lemon juice.  Mix well.

4.  Slowly add dry mixture into the batter until thoroughly combined.

5.  Pour batter into your prepared loaf pans.

6.  Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

While loaves are cooling, prepare the glaze.

For the glaze: Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk and lemon zest together.

Drizzle over each loaf.  Let cool before serving.

 

Note about shredding zucchini:  I use a spiralizer made by Veggiespize.  I like that it has an easy-to-use hand crank and it has three interchangeable blades.  I use the shredding blade that makes noodles like angel hair pasta.

 


The Beauty of the Olympic Peninsula

This week I want to share the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula.  I’ve traveled a lot throughout this scenic country and have spent time in many communities on our way to explore our state and national parks.  While traveling in an RV caravan on our vacations, I have fond memories of my friend Brenda calling over the CB radio and saying, “Deb, how about here?”  She was, of course, talking about our chatter of finding a beautiful place to retire.  I would have a lavender farm and she would have an animal rescue or farm next door.  Maybe grow some grapes…  These are the planted seeds that gave birth to my desire to live someplace beautiful.  And beautiful to me is no traffic, no tall buildings (except grain silos), a small town, fresh fruits and vegetables are grown within a few miles or my own garden, a small town with community events, no worries of leaving a bicycle outside overnight.  You get the idea.  I have found that place on the Olympic Peninsula.

My little town lies where the majestic Olympic mountains meet the ocean (technically, the Strait of San Juan Fuca) with a big river and many creeks.  I’m told the pioneers diverted the melting snow from the mountains throughout the valley and the reason why we have so many “creeks” every couple of miles.  I have a year-round creek that runs along my property and then there is another creek on the other side of me about an acre over.  The Dungeness River is the larger river here and is located about two miles from me.  I’m inland a couple of miles from the ocean so I can hear the fog horns, but I don’t usually get the fog.  I’m also a couple miles down from the foothills so while they may get a couple of feet of snow, I only get a dusting that lasts a day.

All of the photos shared in this post were taken by me except the photo above of Lavender Mills, which was taken by my neighbor under an incredible sky.  I love our skies.

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The wildlife here is incredible.  Almost every day I see something amazing.

 

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Bald Eagles

 

 

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Elk

 

 

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Swans

 

 

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Pheasant

 

 

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Swans and Elk

 

 

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Happy Cows

 

The many family farms provide everything one could need.  I love that some farms have kiosks out front with produce, eggs, and even trees for sale on the honor system.

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A few more scenic photos because I can’t just leave them out!

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I almost forgot the dynamic skies.  They change from minute to minute.

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It’s a lovely place and I still cannot believe I actually live here.  I used to think as I drove through little towns what the people did for a living and how they liked living there.  As I drive through downtown, especially during the tourist season, I remember that feeling and now I am one of those that live here and I love being here.


Farmhouse Construction Update #2

There have been setbacks and there have been some gloomy days.  It took a new project manager to really get this little farmhouse back on track and I am now the number one priority of the company, or so they say.  It’s about time!

IMG_0007See the dusting of snow?  Believe it or not, the weather has not been the cause of the delays.  After the concrete foundation was poured and the framers showed up and began framing, it was clear that the subcontractor who was hired to put in the concrete foundation did such a poor job that the homebuilder actually said they couldn’t continue and had to bulldoze the whole thing.  Yep, the house and barn were completely bulldozed and hauled off to the dump.  It was a terrible setback.  Even though I would not have to pay for the re-do, I was pretty upset.  The build was already extremely far behind for a variety of reasons and excuses.  Let’s just say that it took five months to get to this point.  Ugh.

IMG_0015Much better.  This was a solid, level pour.  The forms came off and the lumber arrived and ready for the framers.  In the mix, the excavators had to come back and clean up what the bulldozers took out and had to re-do all of the excavation and drainage around the house and barn.  All of this work has expanded the footprint and created a muddy mess.

IMG_0015 2The framers began to frame in the house.

IMG_0011Truss day! This is an exciting day because the trusses allow one to really start to see the shape of the house.

IMG_6234The roofers completed the entire roof in one morning.  Amazing!

IMG_0018It figures that this barn/shop gets the most attention.  Most of the male visitors want this barn.  I don’t blame them.  It’s one heck of a barn and super tall for drying all that lavender.

So, windows are in, plumbing is done (with showers/baths installed), gas is done, electrical is partially roughed in, cabinet maker has measured for cabinets and fireplace has been installed.  I had to refuse the exterior doors, twice.  The first time they came unwrapped and were completely covered in mud.  The second time they delivered in an enclosed truck.  However, two of the French doors fell over inside the truck onto the other two French doors in transit.  Glass everywhere and I had to refuse the doors, again.

IMG_0020In the meantime, I have been working on the property.  This slice of heaven was once pasture and has extremely furtile soil and no rocks.  Seriously, I have not found a single rock.  Lots of digging and prepping for the lavender fields.  I also decided to add a little kidney-shaped hill for some interest.  I had 16 yards of soil brought in and Blueberry Hill was born.  Three crabapple trees (above) and four blueberry bushes call it home so far.  Along the street and outside of the white fence, 16 cherry trees (8 Rainier and 8 Bing) were planted and 48 lavender bushes (Royal Velvet Lavender) were planted.  Cubby (Cadet) has been mowing, limbing up trees near the creek and moving lots of dirt.

IMG_0012  It’s a sunny and beautiful morning and my job today is to finish cleaning up the street and start to hack out brush toward some hidden and neglected mature fruit trees along the creek.  When I first moved here, I found two cherry (one tart and one sweet), a pear, an unknown, and two apples completely covered in blackberry bushes.  When everything went dormant for the winter, I discovered a plum and a few other unmarked fruit trees that I need to clear from the pesky blackberries.  I’ll have to share with you all the 10-foot crazy and invasive blackberries overgrown along the creek.  Debbie vs. Blackberries.  It should be interesting.

Happy Sunday, y’all!


Lemon Snowbars

I love this lemony bar and I challenge you to have just one bar.
I think I’ve had this recipe since high school.  A classic and easy lemon bar.

Lemon Snowbars

1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. lemon juice – Meyer, if you have it
2 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
powdered sugar for dusting on top

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square pan.
  3.  Sift together 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
  4.  Cut in butter to pea-sized pieces.  Pour into greased pan.  No need to press down.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and lemon juice until it thickens a bit and smooth.  (About 8-10 minutes.)
  7. In a separate small bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. flour and baking powder.  Add to the egg mixture.
  8. Your crust should be ready.  Pour the egg mixture over the baked layer.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Sift powdered sugar over the top and cool.

Farmhouse Construction Update

Construction is finally starting to rev up.  There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing the trucks pull up in the early morning hours and men drinking coffee while discussing the day’s work in my driveway.

It all starts with the excavator.  This is part of the project that I am in charge of and luckily I found a great excavator.  He does a lot of the prep work.  He clears the footprint of the house and moves a lot of dirt around.  Like a lot of dirt!  (He’s also the trench digger so think septic, electricity, cable, telephone, water from well.)

 

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Footprint cleared and ready for foundation.

Maybe it’s me, but there could be worse places to work while moving dirt around.  Check out the scenery!

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I find it funny that rain doesn’t stop the work up here.  I have seen the rain halt all work in California on many occasions.  These guys are like the postal service.  Not rain, sleet, snow or frozen ground will keep these guys from working.  Out there in freezing temperatures like it’s no big deal.  You’ve got to admire that.

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Rain + Sun  = Lots of Rainbows!

Next, the septic tanks went in and the pipes were connected to the drain field.  (I was lucky to find a property that already had a drain field that was put in by the previous owner.)  In my rural area, there is no city/county sewer or water system which is why I have a water well and my own septic/drain field.

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Concrete septic tanks perfectly placed.

A huge crane had to place these concrete septic tanks.  If you don’t know how a septic system works, a pump will deliver waste from the house to the septic tanks.  The solids settle in one tank and the liquids spill over into the second tank, which in turn is pumped with fresh water to the drain field.  By the time the liquids get to the drain field through sand etc., it is absorbed and processed with microbes and Mother Nature.

On the other side of the house are these dry wells.  All of the rain downspouts will deliver the rain to the dry wells which are giant holes filled with river rock.  This prevents flooding.

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Dry wells to prevent flooding.  These are much larger than they appear in this photo.

Then the foundation guys arrive.  These guys form up the foundation for the house and concrete is poured from a pumper.

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After a couple of days, the concrete sets and it’s time for the “walls.”  My house will be built on top of these walls with a subfloor.

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When they kept telling me the walls are going up, I thought, you know, real walls.  I finally figured out that these were not the walls I was thinking.

Yay!  Lumber delivery day, part one.

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Offloading lumber.  You can see the concrete walls.

French drains going in around the house to deliver rainwater to the dry wells.

fullsizerender-37-copyMy construction zone.

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Framing guys were here working on Saturday and they will return this week to begin putting up real walls.  Next load of lumber for the second story will be delivered on Thursday so expect to see an update with something that looks like a real house.

After all the delays I’m finally going to see my farmhouse take shape!  Stay tuned.


Pomegranate Linzer Cookies

Traditional jam-filled Linzer cookies for Christmas.  I make them with homemade pomegranate jelly but usually they are made with raspberry jam and almond flour.  Wilton makes a Linzer cutter and you can find the traditional recipe on the back of the packaging.  One more thing to note: Cookies are usually baked and then jelly added between the sandwich.  I like to add the jelly first and then bake.

Pomegranate Linzer Cookies

1 cup shorteningimg_4491
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour, sifted
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup of pomegranate jelly
Powdered sugar

In your mixer combine shortening and sugars until creamy.  On slow speed mix in egg yolks, milk, and vanilla and set aside.  In another bowl sift together all dry ingredients and then combine with your shortening and sugar mixture.  Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thinly roll out dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch.  Cut out cookies using your fluted cookie cutter.  In half of your cookie squares, cut out a small hole in the center.  Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jelly onto each whole cookie.  Top with the cut-out cookie and gently press edges together.

Bake on parchment paper or an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.

 


Fences

I couldn’t take it anymore!  I had to do something.  Anything.  So I built a fence.

I moved to Washington in May of this year and I had this crazy idea that I would be sleeping in my new farmhouse by Christmas.  Ha!  What I didn’t know is that nothing is done quickly on the Olympic Peninsula.  As I looked out the window of my 5th wheel and dreamed of what Lavender Mills Farm will one day look like, I felt discouraged.  Nothing had happened yet.

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Yep, that’s my temporary home!

Well, something had happened: Apparently, I am the only one in Sequim that works quickly!  Within weeks of moving to Sequim, I had my new Washington state driver’s license, registered my car, applied for and received my new address, had temporary power installed and run to the 5th wheel, had the water lines run from the well to the 5th wheel, had internet and Dish tv installed.  Not long after that, I had the plans for my house and barn approved by the County and even had the excavators out to prepare the site for the house.  I completed all of this on my own and waited for the home builder to begin.  And waited.  And waited.

Back to daydreaming while looking out the window; I had that ah-ha moment.  It occurred to me that I don’t have to wait for the house, I can start on the farm right now.  Yes!  I am a woman of action and I am not waiting any longer.  What will be the first and easiest task?  A beautiful white fence.  After receiving a few estimates I had the fence installed within a couple of weeks.

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What I didn’t expect was the psychological boost of a white fence.  I feel like I actually live SOMEPLACE.  That I’m not just squatting in a humongous open field.  This fence marks a location.  I have a driveway and pillars that welcome all to my place.  I have outlined my farm and now I can start to color it in.

So today I planted 200 yellow daffodil bulbs and that is another story…


The Beginning

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I am often asked the question: “What made you decide to move to Sequim?”

I visited Sequim many years ago on a family vacation and loved it.  Whenever I think about living someplace else other than Southern California, I would think of Sequim and it’s beautiful mountain views and valleys of lavender and farmlands.

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Many things happened in my life at the same time: retirement, the end of a 30-year marriage, my children beginning their own lives with a wedding and both moving out of the house to follow their dreams.  I became an empty nester and I ended up living in a quiet, five-bedroom house by myself.  It became clear that I needed to make a change.  I didn’t have a direction and to be honest, it was a lonely time.  The family home became a burden and felt very heavy.

I was talking with my boyfriend and he said, “What do you want to do?”  I responded, “I don’t know…I always wanted to be a lavender farmer.”  He said, “So do it. Look at flights and let’s go to Sequim and check it out.”  What?  People don’t just book flights and go check out towns, do they?  He prompted me again and I booked a flight to Seattle and made a reservation at a hotel in Sequim.  I thought it would just be a fun vacation.  We spent the week exploring and talking over every detail.  Could I really do this?  Could I really move so far away from my family?  Could I really follow a dream?  After all, it was just a dream.

The more I looked at it, the more it made sense.  The affordability alone should convince one to make such a huge change.  Even if I didn’t make a profit on the farm, I would still come out ahead.  I kept running the numbers over and over.  I researched every detail.  At the same time, the 30-year-old house was making demands that 30-year-old houses do.  It was by far the hardest and scariest decision I’ve ever had to make.  I was on an emotional rollercoaster and I think I cried for weeks.

The next question I get is, “How can you leave your children?”  Yes, this one stings a little.  It reminds me when I was a working mother and my job demanded that I be present and I couldn’t chaperone a field trip and if I took a vacation day or was able to make an activity, the teachers would say to me, “So glad you can finally join us.”  Ouch.  There it is – that feeling of guilt that I should do more or give more.

My kids are grown adults now.  They are busy with their own careers and their own lives and that is as it should be.  I am so overwhelmingly proud of each of them.  They are successful and happy and that is all any parent can want for their child.  It is time for me to focus on my next chapter and that includes something I’ve always dreamed of doing and building a memorable destination for my kids and grandkids to visit.  The key here is FaceTime and quality visits, not quantity visits.

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So, now that I am in Sequim it feels right.  This is where I am supposed to be.  I wake up every morning and look at the mountains and I pinch myself because I cannot believe I live here.  I cannot believe that I am actually doing something I only dreamed of doing.  I feel so fortunate that I put aside all of the reasons why I couldn’t (believe me, I made up a lot of reasons why I couldn’t/shouldn’t) and I tore down the wall.

We really can do whatever we put our minds to do.  My soul is happy that I made a change and I’m chasing a dream.


Haying vs. Mowing

IMG_2998.PNGOne of the first things I noticed when I arrived to Lavender Mills is how tall the grass had grown. How on earth do I get this stuff mowed? I can’t purchase a mower yet because I don’t have anywhere to store it. I made a phone call to the only person I know in Sequim and she gave me a referral number. She also told me that it is not “mowing,” but “haying.” Good to know.

I made the phone call and the guy on the other end said he would be over in the next couple of days to “hay” it. Feeling pretty good about myself because I was using the correct terminology, I showed my ignorance when I asked how he is paid. I never imagined that he hays it for free and in return keeps the hay. I’m pretty sure this would never happen in California; I imagine I would be charged for hauling away my perfect hay.

Sure enough a man that I call Hay Guy showed up in a tractor and started haying. I saw this same guy all over the valley the next week working on various lots. He keeps everyone’s land cleared and keeps the hay. Win / Win.FullSizeRender 3 copy 4.jpg
I never actually met Hay Guy. He just shows up and waves at me as he drives by. He even leaves some of his big ol’ tractor equipment behind. After the hay is cut, he lets it dry out for a few days.

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A few days later he arrives with a different piece of equipment that flips the hay over to dry the other side in the sun.
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Another few days Hay Guy arrived with with Hay Guy Two and together they baled it. Very cool watching these guys work. One tractor takes the dried and spread out hay and puts it back into neat rows and the other Hay Guy drives over the neat rows and picks it up and spits out a perfect bale of hay.

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I never thought in a million years that I would have bales of hay. I have bales of hay!

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It was the next week that I noticed everybody, and I mean everybody, on their mowers mowing. Well, apparently after all of this work one must mow because the hay is still about four inches tall. I stopped a guy down the street who was mowing and he said he would come over and mow mine the next day.

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He showed up with a friend and this time I had to pay for mowing service. However, the guys were great and both work on a large organic farm on the weekdays. They even agreed to help plant my lavender and hook up irrigation when the time comes. Yes!


Awesome Wicked Cool Doors

Starting my 1,299 mile journey to Sequim, Washington from Santee, California, I had the brilliant idea to stop at an architectural salvage shop in downtown San Diego. I was looking to find some really awesome wicked cool doors for my farmhouse to-be. After all, how often do I have a trailer in tow to pick up and transport such awesome wicked cool doors?

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Let’s just say I think the doors were meant to be mine. There was a huge Art Walk going on downtown and I miraculously found a parking spot – on the street – for me and my trailer. I walked into the shop and standing before me were my doors. Tall and green and perfect! Just one problem: the doors are huge and my trailer is, umm, not so huge. I told the shopkeeper that if we could get them to fit I would buy them. Believe it or not I have photographic evidence proving that I had only one inch to spare. Success!

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After traveling on the road for some time with my mom and high school best friend, I discovered that the trailer’s roll-up door was not going to open. Not even an inch. The awesome cool wicked doors had settled and wedged the trailer roll-up door shut. I spent three days living in my travel clothes and borrowing literally everything from my two companions.

On day four it was time to return the trailer and somehow we had to get the bleeping roll-up door open. We stopped at an RV mechanic shop in Sequim and two nice men who reminded me of Laurel and Hardy came to the rescue and tried to force the roll-up door open. We tried driving and hitting the brakes hard for a shift. Nothing. My best friend tried her best Karate Kid move on the doors and nearly kicked a dent into the roll-up doors. Nothing. We tried jacking the door open. Nothing. At least an hour we worked on the roll-up door. Somehow we managed a few inches and I could start to unload my contents in the small gap. My bestie then got the roll-up door open about a foot and decided to slither up and inside the small gap. She did it! From inside the trailer she was able to hold the wicked cool doors up while Laurel and Hardy worked on the roll-up door. It worked. The roll-up door rolled up and my bestie celebrated by screaming F*** ya!

I have awesome wicked cool doors for the entry to my studio at Lavender Mills Farm and it was totally worth it.


Lavender Wand Tutorial

I’ve had a couple of requests for directions on how to make the lavender wands, so I thought I’d share with you. Easy to make and the scent lasts a very long time. Great for drawers or closets. How about placing one on a gift package for a little extra something?

Lavender Wands

Lavender Wands

Instructions: Because the wands need a firm stem, I prefer to use English Lavender. It has a long stem with the flowers at the end of the stem. You will see lavender sold in the home improvement stores like Spanish and Goodwin. Spanish lavender would not work well because it has a bulky flower head and Goodwin Creek Lavender is a bush with stems that are too short. Look to plant English lavender (Lavandula Augustifolia), also called true lavender.

Cut Lavender

For the wand, choose stems that are strong with firm flower buds.

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Discard stems that look like this:

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You will need 1/4-inch lavender colored ribbon, fabric scissors (to cut the ribbon), floral wire, and wire cutters. Optional: 1/8-inch lavender colored ribbon to tie the wand at the bottom.

IMG_6838Cut 4 feet of 1/4-inch ribbon. Gather 13 lavender stems and trim off any leaves. Some of your stems may have branched out with two smaller flower stems. Pull those off as well. Place 1/4-inch ribbon so that one end of the ribbon is about 2 inch past the end of your flowers. Wrap floral wire around the stems and the ribbon. (This photo shows only an inch of ribbon – you want the ribbon to be another 3 or 4 inches so that the ribbon is hanging past the flowers about 2 inches.)

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Turn the bundle upside down and begin folding the stems over the wire.

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Again, make sure you have more ribbon hanging past the flowers than this photo shows.

Fold over stems in a circular pattern.

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You will have the short tail of the ribbon and the long tail end of the ribbon inside the bundle with your flowers. Pull out between the stems the long tail end of the ribbon and begin to weave to the right. Keep a tight weave.

IMG_6845Continue weaving around over and under. Sometimes a stem will hide behind some flowers and you’ll lose your place so if you come to an over/over or under/under, you’ve skipped a stem.

IMG_6846Continuing weaving all the way down until you just pass your flowers.

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Grasp your short tail ribbon that was inside the wand and the long tail ribbon and wrap around once or twice and tie an overhand knot.

IMG_6851You may want to pull off any flower buds that are poking through the ribbon and tie the bundle at the very bottom with 1/8-inch ribbon to keep the stems neat and tidy.

photoTo freshen up the wand, gently roll between your palms to release the lavender scent. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 


Papertrey March Blog Hop Challenge #2

Hello friends.

As promised, I’m posting another card for the Papertrey March blog hop. I embraced the challenge and used purple sheet metal by Architexture in a Papertrey cover plate. I’ve had the sheet metal in my stash for years. Looks like I bought it on clearance for .50 cents. The sheet metal cut through like butter. Gotta love the shine. photo 1

I also cut tissue paper wrap and white card stock in the cover plate die. The background is the printed paper that shows through in some of the windows.photo 2

Thanks for stopping. Hope you’re enjoying the blog hop.

Debbie


Papertrey March Blog Hop Challenge

Hello friends.

I’m joining in Papertrey’s March blog hop. The challenge this month is to use something shiny. Isn’t this a happy spring birthday card? Do you spy something shiny? The button! I sewed the clear button on a piece of satin ribbon. (I wonder if satin counts as shiny.) Just a couple of stitches to sew the button and ribbon together and no worry of it coming apart. The sentiment is embossed as well.

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Enjoy the blog hop. Since I was so quick to get this project done, I will submit another project with a little more shine. Hop on back in a while for another shiny project.

Debbie

 


Papertrey January Blog Hop Challenge

Hello friends. It’s a Papertrey blog hop! I’m looking forward to hopping on everyone’s blogs for some Pink inspiration. If you’re starting on this blog, visit Nichole Heady’s blog for details on the hop. I had fun with this challenge and made a couple of cards to share.

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I have to say that my favorite stamps to use right now are from Mum’s the Word and Background Basics: Postmarks. I also love Tag Sale #3 and I hope Papertrey releases more de-bossed dots shapes in the future. hint hint. I did take the neutral color options and used white and a little grey for the leaves and stems. I started with a scalloped vellum envelope and cut it in half. The back flap is what you see and I tucked the tag behind the flap of the envelope. I tied up the corner of the flap with DMC floss #899, which matches the pink Hibiscus Burst well. I embossed the sentiment on the vellum envelope flap from Hello, Friend in white.

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My second card.

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I used an embossing folder for the base of the card. The vellum is stamped with Inside & Out: Well Wishes and I tucked the pink Faith and Hope die cut ribbon behind the vellum. Washi tape and a satin ribbon finishes it off. IMG_4813

The third card has some green and linen, so it’s not technically part of the blog hop, but I thought I’d share as a little bonus. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂

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Same gorgeous Mum’s the Word stamp, tag and background. This time I added the die cut hello. To give the tag a little shabby chic look, I used a white-out pen along the edges.

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Enjoy the blog hop and thanks for visiting.
Debbie

Ingredients (all Papertrey, unless noted otherwise):

Well, Hello There
Mum’s the Word
Background Basics: Postmarks
Tag Sale #3
Hello, Friend
Hibiscus Burst Ink
Other: DMC floss #899, Memento Long Fog ink, vellum envelope, brad

Take What You Need
Inside & Out: Well Wishes
Faith and Hope die
Other: Cuttlebug embossing folder “Charles”, washi tape, ribbon, brad

Hello
Mum’s the Word
Background Basics: Postmarks
Tag Sale #3
Hello die
Hibiscus Burst Ink
Ripe Avocado Ink
Other: washi tape


Make It Monday #148

Hello friends.

This week’s Papertrey challenge is presented by Dawn McVey. She shows us how to generation stamp with line images and multiple colors. Check out her video.

Here’s my take on the challenge:Love 001c

A close-up of the generation stamping using a single line image. I stamped in two colors: Spring Moss and Ripe Avocado.

Love 003c

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s cards. I had a little trouble finding a line image to use. I guess I don’t own that many line images. <grin> Time to browse my wish list!

Have a great week. We have a Santa Ana blowing through so unseasonably warm days and we really need the rain.

Ingredients:
Papertrey Stamps – Tweet Talk, Lovely Leaves
Papertrey Inks – Ripe Avocado, Spring Moss, Dark Chocolate
Papertrey Die – Tag Sale #8
Liquid Pearls


Make It Monday #147

Hello friends.

It’s Monday and I do love Mondays because I get to play along in another Make It Monday challenge from Papertrey. This week’s challenge is to use a multi-layer image from a single stamp. Betsy has an awesome tutorial here. Yet another way to look at and utilize the stamps I own. Here’s my take on the challenge:
Best Day 001

Here’s a close-up of the multi-layer image from Big Ticket Basics.Best Day 002

Used:
Big Ticket Basics
Get To the Point
Wonderful Words: Congrats


Pear Fruit Leather

Hi friends.

Sharing my super simple recipe for fruit leather today. We received a huge box of various fruits, candies, nuts, etc. for Christmas. The pears were individually wrapped and were amazing. However, the pears began to ripen faster than we could eat them. Time to fire up Guinevere, my awesome Excalibur dehydrator, and make some pear fruit leather.

Pear Fruit Leather

3 pears
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. lemon juice

1. Wash and dry the pears. I do not like to peel the pears – hello, all sorts of nutrients and fiber here – but I do core them. So, go ahead and core the pears. Cut up into pieces and add to your food processor.Pear Leather 001c

2.  Add the cinnamon, honey and lemon juice. Puree until you have a nice consistency. You may want to add a little more sweetener at this time.

3. Pour pear mixture onto the non-stick dehydrator sheets for your dehydrator. Using an off-set spatula, spread out on the sheet to about 1/4 inch thickness.Pear Leather 002c

4. At this time, you can add any other ingredients. I sprinkled toasted pecans, flaked coconut and chia seed.

5. Dehydrate on 135° for 6 hours. You will know the leather is done when it is dry and not sticky to the touch.

6. Let cool on sheets. When cool, pull off of the sheets and cut into strips. You may want to roll up on parchment paper. Store in an airtight container. Can keep up to a year in the refrigerator.

Peach Leather 003cThis recipe is for pear leather, but you could adapt it for any other fruit leather. If you want to read more about homemade fruit leathers, visit the Cooperative Extension Studies website.


Make It Monday #146

Hello friends. I spent some time today working on Papertrey’s Make It Monday – Angled Backgrounds challenged. Be sure to view Ashley’s video for a tutorial of this technique.

Here’s my take on the challenge:

Chapel 001c

I chose various shades of white and grabbed a few embossing folders to give some dimension. Love it! The textures and shades really turned out great. Foam adhesive is used under the tag to raise it a bit from the card. Chapel 003c

Papertrey: Love and Marriage stamp set, Tag Sale #8 die
Embossing folders: Cuttlebug and Sizzix
Swiss dot ribbon, heart medallion
Chapel 005c


Papertrey December 2013 Blog Hop

Hi friends. I’m participating in Papertrey’s blog hop challenge “tied up with string.”

Here’s a gift that I made up for some very special friends. It includes a wicker charger, plate, teacup, napkin, lemon and candy inside the teacup and tied up with a green velvet ribbon, tea bags, and a label attached with a sparkly clothespin.

Teacup 001I put mahjong tiles in a teacup and had each gal pull out a tile with a number. The number corresponded with her special tea cup.

tea cup 002

teacup 003The label was made with Papertrey: Stylish Sentiments Holiday Stamp, Label Basics Stamp.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.
-Debbie

 


Make It Monday #145

As promised, I’m sharing the card sets I made for my Circle of Friends (a group of women I’ve known for over 35 years). I’m reposting for Papertrey’s Make It Monday #145 Al la Carte.

Gift Set 001c

Gift Set 002Aren’t the onesies cute? My family joked that I was setting up a nursery. I left the cards blank so the girls could fill them out and send as a congrats card, but I can see this used as an adorable baby shower invite as well.

The set included a birthday card and matching envelopes. Danielle Flanders made a really cute boxed set of cards using Papertrey’s plastic containers here. Great idea! I saved the packaging from Papertrey stamp sets I’ve ordered in the past. It fit the cards perfectly. With a little more time, I could probably fit another two cards in each box…say, a wedding and just-a-note card?

Here’s a close-up of the onesies:

Onesie 001 Onesie 002 Onesie 003 Onesie 010 Onesie 005 Onesie 006 Onesie 007 Onesie 011 Onesie 008 Onesie 009

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Onsies Group

I could make these all day! Again, just using little bits and pieces to dress them up.

Using the onesie die from Papertrey, I cut the card base onesie and then another in whatever paper I was using for the top. Paper piecing tip: If you cut your decorative onesie in half, you have a top and a bottom that you can mix and match on two different cards. The little raised dot embellishments are made with Liquid Pearls. Also used tiny snaps, tiny buttons, flowers, lace, trim, ribbon and border dies. All rubber stamping and animals are from Papertrey stamp and die sets: Bitty Baby Blessings and Sweet Baby.

I finished the box off with a wrap-around sleeve and then added Everyday Photo Finishers. I love how the set turned out. So much so that I made two of every card so I could keep one. I think I need help.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit. Have a very merry Christmas!


WMS Pajama Party Christmas

Salt Shakers 001cHere’s another project for the Waltzingmouse pajama party to create something Christmas. I love this project!

I’ve been collecting little Christmas bell jars for years and this year I decided to make one of my own. After an unsuccessful and exhaustive search for an affordable small glass globe, I happened upon some salt shakers. Just about the right size to fit tiny Christmas trees. These little Christmas shakers were born. I hope you love them, too.

Although no Waltzingmouse in this project, you could easily add an adorable little WMS tag. I’m new to WMS and I see quite a few sets that would be cute with this idea. I just might try a garden theme with a nest and little eggs. Wouldn’t that look adorable for spring?

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Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Here’s an easy crock pot meal. Similar to something I like to order at Chipotle.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

There is even enough for leftovers tomorrow night.

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
8 oz. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
avocado and sour cream, if desired

For rice:
1/4 cup lime juice
1 3/4 cup water
1 cup rice

Combine ingredients (except rice ingredients) in crock pot with chicken on top.

Cook on low for about 10 hours or on high for about 6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with fork. Add shredded chicken back to crock pot and keep warm until serving.
Serve over rice. Garnish with sliced avocado and/or a dollop of sour cream.


Pomegranate Hard Candy

Our little pomegranate tree put out almost two gallons of juice this year. This does not include the poms we left on the tree for the birds. After 40 jars of pomegranate jelly we were left with about three cups of juice. Bring on the candy!pomegranate candy

Pomegranate Hard Candy

1 cup pomegranate juice
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Put all ingredients into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Turn on high heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil (without stirring) and let it boil until it reaches 290° – hard crack candy stage. Watch closely and you may even want to reduce heat when you are close to 290°. Immediately remove when it reaches temperature.
2. Pour onto a marble surface or alternatively, a lightly sprayed  jelly roll pan. Immediately score with knife or pizza cutter into 1-inch pieces. When cooled, break into squares.pomegranate
3. Dust with powdered sugar by placing sugar and candy into a bowl and stir or large Ziplock and shake. Use a kitchen (paint) brush to brush off excess powdered sugar to give a more professional look.
4. Store in sealed jars.
Things I learned:
– Don’t use cooking spray if you pour onto marble. It makes the candy oily to the touch and affected the powdered sugar coating. I didn’t try the baking sheets.
Immediately remove when it reaches temperature because if you leave it on too long, it will turn from red to brown quickly. Don’t fret if it browns; it still tastes good, but the color changes and the candy looks like broken beer bottle glass instead of deep red pomegranate glass.
-Keep stored in sealed jars (I prefer small mason jars) because if you just put it in a bowl on your counter, then I guarantee you will have a giant hunk of candy that will be nearly impossible to chip off a piece. 😉

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

I love this soup. In my opinion the relish makes the soup so you may want to double or even triple the relish. Pumpkin soup by itself was a little bland, but the added spicy relish puts it over-the-top good. I made this soup for a neighborhood progressive dinner and kept it in the crock pot until serving. Both the soup and the relish keep well in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

Ingredients:
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped
1 med. onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 Tbs. flour
2 tsp. ground thyme
2 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-oz) can cooked pumpkin purée (Or fresh if you have it.)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Relish:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 cup dried or fresh cranberries, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:
Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion, salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Add flour, thyme and hot sauce, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in pumpkin. Simmer for a few minutes and then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat until ready to serve.

Relish: Combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.

Serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

Note: I love the cool crunchy relish in the warm soup and I like a bit of relish with every bite, so make extra.


Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

1/2 lb. diced bacon
2 Tbs. flour
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups potatoes, cubed
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups corn (fresh, frozen and/or creamed-style)
2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups half and half

1. Cook bacon in a large pot until crispy. Drain liquid, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pot. Add flour to make a roux.

2. Add onion to pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, corn, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover pot and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. Slowly add half and half, while stirring. Simmer for 10 minutes.


Cranberry Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

Here’s a jelly you are going to want to make! Terrific and beautiful jelly for gift-giving during the holidays. Don’t forget to include crackers.

Cranberry and Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

Pepper Jelly

Pepper Jelly

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (not low-calorie)
1 cup vinegar
2 to 4 medium fresh jalapeño chili peppers, halved and seeded*
5 cups sugar
3 oz. package (1 foil pouch) liquid pectin
5 small fresh red serrano peppers

1. Start boiling water in a water bath canner. Add half-pint jars to canner to get hot. Also start a small pot of water for the seals.

2. In medium stainless-steel, heavy bottomed pot, combine cranberry juice, vinegar and jalapeño peppers. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-meshed sieve and discard peppers. Measure out 2 cups liquid. I have never ended up with two full cups of liquid, so add hot water to make up the difference (probably about 1/4 cup).

2. In pot, combine the 2 cups liquid and the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Stir in pectin and serrano peppers. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim off foam with a metal spoon.

3. Remove hot jars from canner. Ladle hot jelly into hot canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Add a serrano pepper to each jar. The peppers will probably float up. I like to use a chopstick to push the pepper down, but they never seem to stay. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids to finger tight.

4. Process filled jars in your boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner to cool on a clean dish towel.

Makes 5 half-pints.

*I used 3 jalapeños, without seeds, and one fresh green serrano in each jar. Although it has a distinct pepper taste, there isn’t any heat. Very mild.  For heat-loving friends, include some seeds in #1 above.

Original recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens special addition of Canning, pub. 2012 with comments and modifications from yours truly.


One Watermelon

Watermelonc

One Watermelon

One watermelon = 2 1/2 quarts of dehydrated red flesh, 4 pints of pickled watermelon, 1 tub of peels to compost and enough dried seeds to grow another garden full of watermelon next year.

Sadly, I don’t have enough room in my garden to grow many sprawling plants, so I purchased my seedless melon. Here’s a thought: As consumers we’ve grown accustomed to seedless watermelons. No seed, no plant, no diversity. Just sayin’.

Watermelon – Dehydrated

Slice up your melon into 1 inch slices.

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Slice up the red flesh of the watermelon and place on your dehydrator at 135°. I left mine overnight – so about 12 hours. Fruit will be pliable.

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I have an Excalibur dehydrator named Guenevere.  Get it?  {chuckle}

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I sealed my melon in jars with the Food Saver Mason Jar Sealer. Isn’t it beautiful?

Watermelon 005

Watermelon Rind – Pickled

1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rinds. Slice off any meat. You want just the white part of the rind. Throw all the trimmings into the composter.

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Place the white rind (I had about 2 quarts of rind) into a bowl with 3 quarts of water. I also added about 2 cups of ice cubes. Add 3/4 cup pickling salt. Put in refrigerator overnight.

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Now comes the fun part. There are many, many recipes out there for pickled watermelon. Most either use peppercorn/mustard seeds OR cinnamon/lemon/cloves. I started with a recipe from Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine pub. July/August 2010 with the peppercorn/mustard seeds.

The original recipe calls for 4 quarts of watermelon rind. Since I only had 2 quarts of watermelon rind (1 medium-sized watermelon), I halved the recipe as follows:

2 quarts watermelon rind, prepared as above
1 gallon of water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/4 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
3 1/2 cups sugar
4 pint canning jars with lids

The first thing I like to do is to get my canning pot of water started and bring to a boil for processing. It always takes awhile to bring the water to boil so do this first! Add your pint jars to get hot. Also prepare a small saucepan of water for the lids.

Meanwhile, place rinds in a colander and drain off water, thoroughly rinsing. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook watermelon rinds with 1 gallon of water. (I buy well water, but you can use bottled water and here’s why.) Cook the rinds until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Return the pot to heat and add vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add watermelon rinds and cook until translucent, about 10 or 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place lids in the small saucepan of hot water. Remove hot jars and spoon rind in the jars. Pour vinegar solution over rinds, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth and seal jars with lids and rings, finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow to cool on a clean towel on the counter overnight.

rindSweet and delicious.


White Chili with Chicken

Since my last post on preserving corn, I have been looking for a new recipe to use up the leftover corn. I found a recipe on Pinterest (Cooking Classy) and it was a huge hit at my house. Daughter said, “Add this to the recipe book, immediately.” So, here it is with a few modifications from yours truly:

White Chili with Chicken

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up into small chunks
1 med. onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken broth
1 small can diced green chilies
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground coriander or 1/3 bunch of fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (8 oz.) pkg light cream cheese
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
2 (15 oz.) cans Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Monterrey Jack cheese, for serving

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add chicken and diced onion. Saute until chicken is cooked through. Add garlic and saute a minute longer.

2. Add chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes.

3. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in corn and cannellini beans. Simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered.

4. Using an immersion blender, blend until its smooth but still a little chunky. Simmer another 15 minutes. Stir in fresh lime juice.

5. Garnish with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and chopped cilantro. My family likes to add additional lime juice to their bowls.


Preserving Sweet Corn

Last week was a week of corn.  I froze corn – I canned corn kernels – I canned corn relish – I dehydrated corn. Five ears for $1.00 is a decent price for corn around here, so I filled my bag. Forty ears of corn for $8.00 produced 4 quarts of frozen corn kernels, 8 pints of pressure canned corn kernels, 6 pints of water bath canned corn relish and 1 pint of dehydrated corn. What a cost savings! I think next year I’ll put up more corn relish for family and friends because visitors are threatening to walk off with a jar or two.

By the way, here’s an awesome Pinterest tip: Cut corn from the cob by placing the ear of corn in the center of a bundt pan and run a knife down the cob. The kernels collect in the bundt pan. Works like a charm.

Want to bump up a hamburger or hotdog? This is the relish.

Corn Relish  Water Bath

5 to 6 pint canning jars

8 cups corn kernels (abt. 8-9 ears corn)Cornc
3 cups water
3 cups celery, chopped (6 ribs)
1 1/2 cups sweet red peppers, chopped (2 med.)
1 1/2 cups green peppers, chopped (2 med.)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups vinegar
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. pickling salt
2 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. water

1. Get your water bath canner going with hot water and add your canning jars. Start another small saucepan with hot water for the seals. Remove husks from corn. Scrub to remove the silks and rinse. Cut kernels from cobs.

2. In a large stainless-steel heavy pot, combine 8 cups of corn kernels and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 4 to 5 minutes or until corn is nearly tender. Drain.

3. In the same pot, combine corn, celery, sweet peppers, and onion. Stir in vinegar, sugar, mustard, pickling salt, celery seeds, and turmeric. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water. Add to corn mixture. Over medium heat, stir until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir for 2 minutes more.

5. Remove hot jars. Ladle hot relish into canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids, finger-tight.

6. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner and cool on a dish towel.

Corn Kernels  Frozen

1. Remove husks from corn. Scrub to remove silks and rinse.

2. Blanch the corn cobs in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove the corn and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

3. When cooled, cut kernels from cob.

Shucked corn ready for processing.

Shucked corn ready for processing.

4. Place corn kernels in freezer bags or Seal-A-Meal (corn will freeze in a solid chunk). If you want loose corn kernels, then spread out on a baking sheet and freeze. After frozen, remove from baking sheet, Seal-A-Meal in bags and label.

Raw Pack Corn Kernels  Pressure Canned

6-8 pint canning jars

1. Start a large pot of water to boil. Add pint jars to pot to get hot.

2. Remove husks from corn. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks and rinse.

3. Cut kernels from cob. Scrape the cob to get the inner part of the kernels for a creamed corn.

4. Remove pint jars from hot water. Add cut kernels. Pour boiling water over the corn, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add seals and rings.

5. Follow your pressure canner instructions for processing. My canning instructions recommend processing the corn-filled pint jars for 55 minutes at 10 lbs. of pressure.

Corn Kernels  Dehydrated

1. Start a large pot of water to boil.

2. Remove husks from corn. Scrub to remove silks and rinse.

3. Blanch the corn cobs in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove the corn and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

4. When cooled, cut kernels from cob.

5. Spread corn kernels on a sheet in your dehydrator. Follow your dehydrator’s instruction manual for dehydrating vegetables. I have an Excalibur Dehydrator so I set on vegetable setting, 125° for 6-10 hours. Corn should be brittle.

6. Vacuum pack in a mason jar with your Seal-A-Meal.

Creamed-Style Corn   Pressure Canned

See the Ball recipe for creamed-styled corn at: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/cream-style-corn

 


Let’s Salsa!

There are just some things you have to know if you live in California. Making a decent salsa is one. Whether it’s a chunky tomato salsa, green salsa, or mango salsa, I don’t think it matters.  It’s all good!  Today I’m sharing our favorite chunky red tomato salsa recipe.

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As you can see, I used a variety of garden heirlooms for this batch. Use whatever you have on hand.

Salsa Daunis

10 Roma tomatoes, chopped*
6 tomatillos, steamed, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 chili peppers, seeded and chopped**
15 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime
salt, to taste
1 can tomato paste

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Remove about 2-3 cups from bowl and pulse in blender until pureed. Add mixture back to bowl. This adds a nice smooth texture; not too chunky and not too watery. You may want to add a bit more salt to taste. Refrigerate and stir before serving.

Makes about 1/2 gallon.

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A big bowl of salsa.

* Roma tomatoes are a firm paste tomato and make a nice salsa. However, If you are using a variety of tomatoes, such as heirlooms, you may want to add more or less to the blender to get a preferred consistency.
** Depending on heat desired, use a variety of chilies (jalapenos, serranos, yellows), with or without seeds.