Thursday, September 29, 2011

Can You Do The Can-Can?

Just when I think I won't go through the hassle, I find myself at it again.  What can I say?  There is something so elementally comforting about the sound of the water bath bubbling, the lids sounding their urgent "pop" when a seal makes itself known.  It brings me such pleasure. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to find myself returning here again and again with every harvest I am blessed with.

This time I found myself tempted by the Junior League of Denver ladies.  They have a unique spin on Peach Jam, unique enough to catch my attention: (if I keep using the word unique it won't be so unique anymore, ugh!)

Spiced Peach Jam

4 cups peeled and finely chopped Peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamin
5 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons liquid fruit pectin

In large pot, mix peaches with spices and bring to a boil.  Add sugar and boil hard for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add pectin.  Stir well and skim off foam.  Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.

Not only do I love the comforts of canning, the smells from this Jam are amazing.  It smells like Christmas!  This is supposed to make a great ice cream topping when you mix 1 tablespoon of rum with each 1/2 cup jam.  Ho ho ho!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to Ewe

If you need to stock up on ANYTHING related to fiber arts, today is as good a day as any to head over to Shuttles for their birthday sale, %15 off EVERYTHING in stock in the store.  Books, buttons, needles, yarn, wool roving, you name it.  Just sayin'!

The prayer shawl is coming along nicely, may have to pop on over myself.  See you there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Look Who's Stepping Out

What a glorious day today, the first day of Autumn.  Although we started in the 40's, with the clear blue skies we quickly climbed into the 70's and beyond!  Thought it was time the brood got out to do some high stepping:

Looks like they weren't the only ones for some high times:

One of many daily launches!

The rest of the brood is steppin' out this weekend as well.  Rachel is in Winter Park overnight for some high altitude training, and loads of fun with the Cross Country team.  Brad and Max are headed down to the Springs with the Scouts to camp out at Air Force and catch the game.  That leaves me here to tend the animals and garden.  Someone has to cover the tomatoes and shut the ladies in at night!  However, I will do some of my own high steppin'.  Going to see The Help tonight with a friend.

I hope you all have a splendid weekend!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Firefly Handmade

I had the good fortune to make my way over to the Gypsy Caravan Market today, held at the Boulder Commons, formerly known as Sutherlands Lumber Yard.  It's a pretty amazing experience.  All these incredible juried artists sharing as much handmade goodness as anyone can muster.  What's really neat is the fact that these gals put their creativity to use transforming something that was vacant into a magical realm of color and light.  Don't miss it.  It's being held again tomorrow from 9-3 pm.  Here's a sneak peak:

Mountain Love - an adorable gal who creates great stuff when not teaching first graders!

I'm a sucker for anything egg related!

Some of the funnest felting ever!

Goodies galore!

AND . . . if you're so inclined to retreat into a crafty land, The Makerie is your event.  Otherwise,
be sure to mark your calendars for the Holiday Market, Dec. 9-11th.

See you there!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

May I Take Your Coat?

Today seemed as good as any to can those tomatoes.  They have been staring me in the face every time I go outside to take care of the ladies.  I worked hard this week to get most chores and town errands done so I could tend to them before the varmints did.  Seeing that we're enjoying cooler weather and dinner was in the crock pot (split pea soup - Max's favorite!) I set about this task.

Canning tomatoes is just like any other task in life.  It's all in the prep work!  Get your work stations set up (ice bath, pot of boiling water, compost bin to discard the skin) and the rest is a breeze.  Still I found myself dragging my feet a bit and thinking, "why am I going to spend this time when I could just buy canned tomatoes?" and "how much gas am I going to use canning?"  But what's the point in growing the stuff if you don't do something with it.

It wasn't until I was slipping off their skins (taking their coats) that it occurred to me just how beautiful each and every tomato was just under the surface.  Despite the scars, or a little discoloration, each one was lovely and had value.  Which got me thinking, of course: we're not all that different than tomatoes. 

Just to bring the point home, I'll share a little what I learned yesterday volunteering at my daughter's high school.  Those people who "check in" and greet visitors?  They're really there for those kids.  Why am I surprised?  One gal said she makes sure to say "good morning" to as many kids as she can, even bringing candy to get them to come up to her.  She believes she may be the only friendly face some see that day (shout out to you Kris!).  The other gal believes "there are no bad kids, just kids who haven't gotten something they need."

Incredible.  So was the canning worth it?  You bet!  I guarantee you this lesson wouldn't have occurred to me as I hurriedly drove into town and hastily looked for parking.  Maybe there is something to the old Shaker song "tis a gift to be simple."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Knitting As A Spiritual Practice

It feels great to be back, and feeling almost 100% again.  As always, Mommy Chicken is the last one to catch and recover from the family's colds.  The down time did give me a chance to start a Prayer Shawl for someone special, and pick up one of Max's favorite reads The Hunger Games, fantastic!

I've been curious about these "Prayer Shawls" for some time now and always thought they must be worn when praying.  Sure one could use them that way, much like the Tallits in the Jewish tradition.  However these particular shawls are made WHILE repeating prayers, blessings, hopes, wishes, good intentions, mantras (you catch my drift?) much like Mommy Chicken Prayer Flags.  I love that, don't you?  It's a bit of a longish story how I came about targeting this project, but let's just say it's culminated in my offering a Knitting As A Spiritual Practice class.  Check out the link for more details and to register.  I'd love to have you join me!

This weekend we were also lucky to get a visit from "The Uncles" or "The Brothers," Brad's two siblings, Mark and Ted.
Ted, Mark, and Brad (L-R)
They filled their time as much as possible with football games, meals out, bike rides, and visiting on the back porch (priceless). 

At a family favorite, Brasserie Ten Ten

Rachel, Ted, Brad, Mark and Max (L-R)
Saying goodbye is always tough, especially for Brad and I.  As he so poignantly shared, "You don't think about the repercussions of the decisions you make when you're in your 20's, but you sure do feel them down the road," and sometimes it's tough.  He's referring to the fact that all our siblings and parents live in other states.  How nice it would be for all of us to have each other's support more than on occasion.  Alas, I get melancholy. 

I guess I will sum up by returning to gratitude.  How lucky we are to share the time we do.  Perhaps we value it that much more?  Now I will bid you all adieu until next time, and try to be good to yourselves and one another.  Our choices are all we really have!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Labor Day

I'm wishing you all a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  Ours started today with the kids off school due to an "In Service Day" for the BVSD teachers.  Sadly, our girl is home with Strep throat.  No Pasta Party tonight.  No Cross Country Race tomorrow.  But, lots of cuddle time with Mom, and you know I love to be needed, especially by one of my teens.

This weekend is also the unofficial start of the ski season with "Powder Daze," "Snigab" (Bargains spelled backwards), and "Ski Rex."  So many great deals, it's hard to resist (as evidenced by the smile below):

As Max is fond of saying, "There are only 2 seasons.  'Ski Season' and 'Getting Ready for Ski Season'."

Any guesses when the first snow will fly here in Boulder?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...