Spilled beer :: End of summer

Today Tyler, Finn and I ride downtown and took in what felt like the last best summery afternoon. As we walked up the concrete stairs at the sculpture park, Finn bent over, letting his hands hover over a stair and said, "it's nice and warm." Nuff said.

Good labeling

Good labeling on canned goods is crucial because all canned goods have a specific shelf life and shouldn't be left too long. I finally have my system dialed in. The metal/rubber seals are not reusable, so I always write on those now so I know for the future that that seal is spent. And I date it and name it specifically so it jogs my memory about the recipe a bit. I did these jars yesterday from my neighbors green tomatoes which make really yummy hot dog relish. Really easy. I made it like preserves, boiled the fruit, spices, sugar and vinegar until the fruit was soft. The I strained out solids (but only as much as I could get with a slotted spoon and sieve over the pot) and cooked liquid down to a syrup. Then, blammo, into jars for water bath seal 10 minutes! Oh, fir half the batch I added a whole bunch of red pepper flakes. I hope it's spicy!


I want to go to there.


Cans + confit

Tahoma Farms / Terra Organics offered nice tomatoes this week 10# for $15. Always a sucker for a deal, I got 20#! I mean, that's 1.50 a pound, and I shouldn't even say I'm a sucker fir a deal because I couldn't bring myself to buy any until the price dropped this low!! What I should say is, I'm just frugal and now I can finally enjoy local toms. I canned 2/3 and made confit(David lebovitz) for freezing from all but a few. The rest are for BLTs and fresh salsa!

Herbs are dry

It took a few days, but the oregano and thyme still smelled great. It was amazing how insignificant the leaves seemed in comparison to the stems and buds. I debated saving all the litter for soup stock but that tjought got swallowed up by tomato canning. I really am BACK on the canning front! The second photo reminds me of the ones I see all over town these days for pot growers. The herbs featured here are not pot.

Ticking off the list!

I've been yearning to do this bag for a while. Butterfly lining + old woven skirt.

Auto-harp is tuned and awesome!

Tyler's band mate, Jaime (a guy who can play every instrument!) tuned my grandpa's old Autoharp. It sounds so cool. Can't wait to learn some more songs!


Drying herbs

I read that sun-drying herbs us the best way to go but the 5 hours of sun, perhaps the last of the year, weren't quite enough. My herbs are drying indoors now. I was pretty excited to use up all those twisty ties I get with my produce, they've been clogging our drawers for months!

The model!


New homemade tee for Finn

As Tyler said, "Hannah Anderson, eat you heart out!"



Where did this come from? It was sitting on a rock in our yard. Anybody recognize him?



When the pressure camber started rumbling along and I heard three pops, I was picturing fresh delicious Yakima corn floating in the aluminum tinged water at the bottom of the pressure canner. Admittedly, I got desperate for a few mire jars and used 3 jars that a friend gave me ( thanks j!) that looked like they had probably been around since the depression. When i hward the rattling and then the pops I immediately thought--I've learned this old jar lesson before! But, after the pressure canner cooled and the dial read zero, the smell of corn was so strong I was sure my pot was full if shards. But no, all jars intact, looking good. I guess the smell is just corn juice siphoning off...phew! I've got 10 pints of delicious sweet corn.

Thrift jars + ?

I got a crate of jars at Mercer Island Thrift Store today and it came with a mystery canned good!! What is it? Smells like it might be peaches....oooooh. Who wants 'em?


Playing chicken

We're about 1 hour if staple gunning and a little more carpentry away from completion. I better start looking for birds and feed! Can't wait for a bright orange omelet!


Downward doggie

I'm gonna yoga, mom.

Cranberry beans

No exclamation point. These are truly gods gift to beans if you're into barbie doll food. I thought they might have some exotic taste that equalled their exterior but no, they will require working up just like every other shell bean. They did maintain some of their beauty after cooking but I'll just have to gaze at this photo if I want that old feeling--i liken it to a summer love that fizzled and died.

Figs + plums

Loving the Joy of Cooking (circa 1960's) jam recipes. This is a hodgepodge of plum and figs. And I didn't can it. Just straigt into this beautiful new jar and into the fridge. Plums from Aly and Kadota(?) figs from CSA.

Come in chickie!

We're getting close to coop completion. My Momhelped me put the roof timbers on and she's coming back tomorrow for the finishing touches!

Hello old friend + welcome new one!

I'm back to canning. I guess I was full of hot air (or water) when I said I was done a few weeks ago. It's just a bummer when something doesn't turn out as expected and I got discouraged. But I didn't stay away too long. When Sarah let me pick plums and pears from her mom's tree, I knew I couldn't eat them before they'd spoil and I never have room in the freezer. So, alley-oop -- out came my trusty canning pot! And, well, my pears are floating and I tries canning Italian plums just to find out how they taste so they're no master works but I had a good manic time peeling and poaching and beating the clock.
In other news, a new shiny beautiful 22 qt. Pressure canner is now in my battery of tools thanks to my mom!! She even let me have it a week early (my birthday is tomorrow.) Today I made golden vegetable stock in it, then Pressure canned 5 quarts to put away and save. I am so thrilled to be able to can stock now. Hot diggity!


End of summer countdown

I am so glad the days are still warm. I feel falls breath every night, earlier and earlier.


The beginning and the end of the night

Here's one last taste of this weekends wedding. Tyler played DJ so we stayed till the last shuttle took the loudest and drunkest home. It was a beautiful evening full of delicious local fare and a great dance party!

Tie meets dress!

Ginger juice is hot!

Today's little conquest came on the heals of customizing my CSA box after a night of drinking at the rehearsal dinner. I wound up with three boxes of fresh fruits and veggies including a full pound of ginger. Say wha? Thanks to J and Ryan for lending me this darling book: Jam it, pickle it, cure it. Ummm, sounds like my summer. For this recipe, I didn't add the lime they call for because I may use the ginger for other things than Jamaican ginger beer. That juice is spicy like wasabi, though, and I am eager awaiting some soda water to mix up a refresco! I wonder what else I'll use it for-- in a marinade, a cake, any ideas?


Rehearsal in the distance

Black butte ranch is gorgeous!

This place had all the web-reputation of a cheesy gold resort, but turned out to be totally wonderful. Great food, lots do do including miles and miles of walking/biking paths, real cows, a few nice pools, fly-fishing lessons and even a tie-dye class! Oh dang!!. Check it out.