Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can't Get Enough Kraut

I'm back into the groove of sauerkraut production and I might even try to can some of it this time. It's just so good and easy to make, I can't say enough about it. The recipe I use is from Sandorkraut's Wild Fermentation, of course.

Nicole's wedding was gorgeous and personal, as you would expect. Pictures to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nicole's Nuptuals

This weekend Jaja and I are off to Colorado to celebrate Nicole's wedding! Here's an example of the beautiful work she does, from her natural patterns alphabet. This was a gift she gave me back in June when I visited her in CA. Now I have several pieces of her artwork, two larger drawings and three buttons.

Of course my gift for her is not ready yet, but it's on its way, I swear. Congratulations Nicole!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

He loves me, He loves me not

He loves me.

i have found what you are like
the rain,

(Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily the pale club of the wind
and swirled justly souls of flower strike

the air in utterable coolness

deed of green thrilling light

with thinned

newfragile yellows

lurch and.press

--in the woods


And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut

your kiss

e.e. cummings, Tulips and Chimneys (1922), Chimneys, Sonnets-Actualities XVI

Happy birthday to me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canning Bonanza

A few weeks ago the Garden Tenders and I had a huge canning bonanza in the kitchen of one of our group members. The garden group has basically become a social group, as these things often do. So we all spent a night in the kitchen putting up tomatoes and peaches. The work went quickly with so many hands and we all came away with two jars of tomatoes and one of peaches!

The first step was to blanch the produce then dunk it in ice water and slip the skins off.

Then we quartered it all and boiled the peaches with some sugar for a few minutes.

The peaches went into the jars in that sugary state, and the tomatoes went in with a single leaf of basil and a squirt of lemon juice.

Then we processed the jars for about 40 minutes.

So simple, and look at the results:

I can't wait to pop open that jar of peaches in January!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Since life and darkness got in the way of my CSA pics (except for last week), here's a picture of the produce from our community garden. Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, green zebra tomatoes, a black krim tomato, zinnias, and a few strawberries that the squirrels seem to have missed from the container on the porch (they blend in pretty well).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Perfect Penny

Here's the other pup in my life. Her name is Penny and she belongs to my college friend Debbie, who believes that she is pretty much the most perfect thing to walk this earth (because she is).

In August we took her to the Wissahickon Creek to go swimming and I just thought I'd share this photo because it was just a little precious. I mean, look at those freckles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Harvest

This afternoon I finally had the time to pick up the CSA during the daylight hours.

It's a nice combo of apples, pears, fingerling potatoes, squash, green peppers and lettuce. It's fall!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We're up to our ears . . .

. . . in pickles. Of every type. We started with jars of dill and sweet turmeric pickles, then moved on to dilly beans, pickled beets (delicious, seriously), pickled hot peppers, and pickled onions and carrots. My next experiment is pickled green tomatoes. If it works I may have found a way to outfox the animals who keep stealing all my tomatoes, mwahahaha!

I also put up some peaches in simple syrup the same way I did the sour cherries. The peaches also came from my neighbor Katrina, who just happened to have some extra from a recent trip to the orchard. She is amazing.

So far we've been keeping these things in the fridge because we don't have a pot with a rack and jar lifters and it's a pain in the butt to properly sterilize them for the shelf without those things. Plus, we eat them so quickly there's almost no point.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Garden status

Right now the winter squash vines are taking over the garden. It's a rookie mistake, the same one we made when we underestimated the size of the potatoes in the spring. These squash vines are causing us to sacrifice other crops to make room for their huge leaves.

***from the north***

But check out what we'll get in the end! Little ponca butternut squash and casper pumpkins.

In other news, unfortunately our tomatoes are suffering from blight and pooping out way earlier in the season than we expected. We also had to rip out our cucumber vines a few weeks ago for the same reason. We've resorted to using the farmer's market to supply our insatiable pickle addiction.

We also dug up the remaining potatoes to make room on the south side of the garden for fall crops.

***from the south***

And the eggplant is very happy we did that.

The end. For now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Basketweave for Baby

The baby is here and I finished this blanket just in time. The pattern is NMCRS Basketweave Baby Blanket ver. 2 by Cathy Waldie, ravelled here. I altered it a bit by including different colors, and I don't know if I made it the exact same size as the pattern because I stopped reading the pattern after a few reps.

Here's one of the big brothers showing off the new blanket. The mom, D, absolutely loved it and told me that it's the first hand-made blanket the kids have. I was so proud. This baby is the first girl of the family and her room is almost completely pink so I'm glad the blanket is a bit more androgynous.

I was babysitting the boys the day they brought the baby home and it was so incredible. Emotional and exhausting, but incredible. I guess I've experienced that before, but at the time I was 2.5, so I was better able to understand what was happening this time.

The next project I'm working on is for my lovely friend Nicole who is getting married later this month. Jaja and I are reading a poem at her wedding!! Both of them are secrets and since I know Nicole reads this blog, I will be silent on the subject until the reveal.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Umeshu progress

And now, back to our regular programming:

Here's the ume plum wine, about 2 months into its life.

All of the sugar has dissolved and the plums are starting to shrivel!