Thursday, September 30, 2010

Those September Blues

I love this time of year.  I love it that we get to wear sweaters in the morning, even if it's sweltering by midday. I love the last furious burst of bloom in the garden, the harvest moons hanging low in the sky like dollops of butter, and I love how in our little part of the world, September never fails to be beautiful.  As the days grow shorter we all feel a little nudge to get out there and enjoy the sunshine before the real autumn comes.  Sapphire is September's birthstone and the Chinese Moon Festival takes place this month. 

So I made a little collection of things I like on Etsy a little sapphire eye-candy .... Enjoy!

Once in a Sapphire Moon

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mid-Week Wonder -- Peachy Pear Jam

Do you know why our grandmothers engaged in the time-tested activity of canning?  

They didn't have freezers.

They had ice-boxes and ice-delivery-men (hope they were cute and well-built, because they made frequent visits hefting big cubes of ice into the kitchen). Very vintage. Not too convenient, however.

I have all the stuff to can: jars, a big pan to "water-bathe" my jars, canning recipe books. It's busy employed in taking up space on a shelf in the garage.

In my dreamy moments I envision myself canning with my friends and children.  We'd be pleasantly flushed about the cheeks as boiling water steamed from the stove, we'd happily peal bushels of peaches and stand back at our  gleaming jeweled jars of jam with pride and satisfaction.

Ha! That ain't gonna happen any time soon.

But I don't want my over-ripening peaches to go to waste! Which got me to thinking,  if my grandma lived my daily life, she just might employ the marvelous freezer. What with all our time-saving devices, our "free" time is full of other things -- some meaningful, some not so, just like all our extra cash. But that's business for another day.

Today is about making beautiful luscious Peachy-Pear Jam in under an hour.

What you need:

4 large peaches and 1 or 2 pears
(very ripe is fine :)
1 packet Ball Brand Fruit Jell Freezer Jam Pectin
1 1/2 Cups sugar

Three bowls
One for the peels, one for the fruit, one for the pectin and sugar

Something to chop/crush your fruit.  I have a tool, but a clean can will do.

4 9.5oz (280 ml) snack size freezer containers.

You can enlist a helper, if you like.  Mine played with a very messy-watery-hot-wheels track on the kitchen floor most of the time -- when we were all done, we swished a beach towel on the floor and called it mopping!

Mix the sugar and pectin in one bowl.  Use your fingers or back of a spoon to break any pectin clumps that may have formed.

Peel the fruit -- if it's very ripe, this is a cinch, messy, but easy.

Aren't they beautiful bits of sunshine?

Chop up the fruit -- this is where a helper can have some fun.

Mix the fruit and sugar/pectin mixture.

Ladle into clean freezer jars and snap on the lids.

Stand back in wonder --
Check the time, because I'm sure, like me, you have somewhere to be in a few minutes.

Label and date the lids, pop into the freezer and enjoy when you want to.

Make sure you serve your preserves in a pretty vintage bowl and serve with a silver spoon while you enjoy the fruit of your half hour labor.

A midweek wonder that we can freeze up a little bit of summer sunshine to enjoy on waffles or toast on a snowy winter morning.

Grandma would approve!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Magie Belle Vintage Loves Greenbluff ... 26 ways from A to Z


Glorious Galas from Hansen's Orchard

Honey-making marvel


Farm Dog Keeping Watch

Excessive Extra Toppings
sprinkles, gummies, coconut and peanuts + caramel + apple = love

Fluffy Clouds

gorgeous grapes

Harvest House
four feet tall this year

Italian Plums
Italia, amore

perfectly pumpkin

Love them

g r o w i n g

Mixes for Soup and Bread
bags of yummy magic

Never Ending Views
as far as the eye can see

Our Traditions
every year we do this

Perfect Pommes

Quirky Crafts
scarecrow with a frightfully bare head

Rusted Rooster
ride 'em cowboy at the Barn @ Trezzi Farm

Simply Sunlit

truly tasty

Under-Arbor Hideaways
a secret spot to sit and think

V-Shaped Twigs
how many letters can you see?

White Pumpkins
ghostly globes

X-tra, X-tra Big Bites
chew with your mouth shut!

Yellow Gourds
growing sunshine

late bloomer

Beautiful, magical .... Greenbluff, Washington, I just want to say I *heart* you very much!