Saturday, August 27, 2011

Apricot Chutney

My own special recipe for Apricot Chutney...yum!
Tally to date: 7 quarts & 19 pints

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Gonna Be A Great Year For Blackberries!

Sunday evening, on the walk home from dinner at Mom & Dad's we ate dessert:
These are the first of our local wild blackberries this year! Three weeks of sunshine after a mild winter and very wet spring, we are going to have a bumper crop of blackberries this year! Hope the dry weather holds!

These a few of the berries we picked last night. They are bigger than the tip of my thumb! Bigger than a quarter!

Dressed in heavy jeans, armed with my "come-hither", the pruning shears and buckets, we picked over 5 pounds in less than an hour, and that included the walking time there and back!

What's a "come-hither"?

A "come-hither" is an invaluable blackberry picking tool. Version 1.0 was a wire coat hanger from the dry cleaners that had paper dowel as the bottom rung. I removed the paper dowel, and duck taped it to the wire arms that had been folded together, so that the hook was at the top of the stick. This one was dubbed the 'spider stick' as it was used to clear the spiderwebs that blocked access to the juiciest of the berries. (Spiders are pretty smart! They know the bugs will be after the berries as soon as they ripen!)

Version 1.1 is a long wooden dowel with a large cup-hook screwed into the end of it. Much sturdier, a bit longer but still lightweight. Helps to clear spider webs, lift thorny branches and pull down those big clumps of berries that stay just out of fingertip reach!

You've heard the saying "If your knees are not green by the end of the day, you haven't spent enough time in the garden"? Well, I'm paraphrasing it to "If you don't have seeds in-between your molars, fingertips are not purpley, your hands and arms not itchy and scratched, then you haven't spent enough time in the brambles!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ha! Tongue-in-cheek Birthday Wishes aka Pie In The Sky Dreams

A photo of a recent desktop sticky note conversation:
Brent responds, "You know I can't deny you anything! Act surprized when you open it, k?"

If you can't read the link, here's another photo of where it leads:

If only it were a princess cut. *sigh*  I'd have to take him up on this!

Boy, I can think of alot of other things I could do with a million dollars before I'd wear it on one finger!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dad's Workshop

Exciting news at Dad's place across the street. We are making huge steps towards Dad's new workshop.

Foundation frame set and level

Fill dirt for foundation form with enough leftover to grade surrounding soil away from building

A tidy delivery!

After shoveling and compacting the area within the frame.
We are ready for the big day!
Here it comes!
At the start of the pour...

The Dads provide supervision.

Looking pretty good!

Brent directs the flow

All hands on deck!

Almost there...

"Hmmm, we seem to be a bit short of concrete."
 Driver scrapes out every last cement cover nugget.
"Who has a Plan B?"

"Hey, what if..."

Some quick thinking and "This might work"

With several concrete stepping stones buried in the center of the pour, it looks like we might have enough!
 After several more passes with the skree and some smoothing around the edges, the job will be complete.
"Here's to a job well done!"