Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giving me the raspberries

With two lengthy rows of raspberry plants on a year where they really produce, I'm kept quite busy keeping up with the fruits of my labor. Honestly I only want to freeze so many; I'd rather enjoy them now. (To freeze mine, I lay them on baking sheets in the freezer and once they are frozen individually, then I bag them.)

And when I had nothing in my cupboards and fridge but wanted breakfast I miraculously had all the ingredients to make the oatmeal muffins out of my great aunt's 1974 Betty Crocker's Cook Book (page 48 at the top) 

I half filled the cups, poked some raspberries in and then finished filling in with batter. Delish.

That used up...a handful of berries. I still have a lot of berries left. Then I found this flavored water recipe - yum! So I made a pitcher of lemon raspberry water. Also delicious. And refreshing! (and blogging has now murdered my proper sentence structure.)

That used up another small handful. Thankfully my mom knows me and my fruit snacks and bought me a food dehydrator earlier in the year. I dug it out and washed it and it had this great tray that meant I got to try fruit leather - one of my very favorite things.

I followed these instructions and it required almost no sugar at all. I added a small amount because my berries - at that point - had been a bit sun deprived and needed a flavor boost.

Also I learned to spread what I think is a fairly thick puree and just let it dry for a looooong time. This works much better than a thin layer which wants to flake. I also think if you used oven safe plastic wrap this would be even easier. I kept a small bowl of puree in my fridge for three days and made fresh fruit leather each day.

The rest? Raspberry jelly. (I used a mesh strainer and some seeds still made it through! Ah well.) I used the instructions found in the pectin box.

I have a glass topped stove and if I remembered correctly you can't use a canner on them because of weight and heat issues so I turned my jars upside down after I'd filled and put on my canning lids. The heat from the jelly is supposed to seal the lids for you. It worked, by the way, but I didn't get my jars as full as I'd thought (tie hair back next time) and my brother was looking at the jars and asked,
"Why is your jelly.......................levitating?"

I told him, "Because I made it like this."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mosaic Monday - Bauman's Farm & Garden

I briefly mentioned Bauman's another time in this post but this time I was with a friend and her extended family and a small herd of little ones so I got to see more while I spent more time there.

It was a gorgeous day and a tad warm so...

My friend and I got iced coffee drinks from inside their store (where you can buy an assortment of delectable baked goods that I try not to buy ALL of every time I go) and sat in this little, out of the way, gazebo next to a water feature.

This entranced me and I kept taking photos of it. (Is it larkspur?)

 It was deliciously cool in there and the air smelled like the blossoms we were surrounded by.

They also have a lovely lawn with pathways if you're interested in a stroll.

Hydrangea bliss.

At the end of one of these pathways I found some picnic benches near several raised beds of herbs. Lavender always catches my eye.

These gorgeous lilies were taller than me. But as my friend sarcastically put it, "that doesn't take much."
Tis true.

 And they have a spectacular collection of roses.

You can buy plants of all kinds, yard decor, baked goods, seasonal produce, assorted packaged local foods like sauces and canned goods. If that doesn't tempt you they have play structures and a petting zoo for the kiddos. They also host seasonal events like a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay fort, etc. And during the summer they have classes that include canning and preserving.

You can visit their website here.

If you're in this part of Oregon I highly recommend stopping by.

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the beautiful mosaics!

Also check out Centsational Girl's garden link up.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My prize swag from J.R. Watkins

Remember when I wrote about winning a photo contest on Twitter for the J.R. Watkins folks? Well now that I have a computer again I can show you the super generous box of goodies they sent me!

I was overwhelmed at the size of the box even before I opened it.


 Because of the comments on this post I dug out the lemon cuticle cream and hand cream and have been using it every day. It smells amazing and does wonderful things for my gardener's hands.
The all-purpose spray I used to clean my bathroom after I got home from house-sitting. The room really needed it and this smelled great (light and non-lingering) and worked really well.

The tote bag has already come in super handy for shopping as it is a nice, thick and quality bag.
They even sent me coupons because obviously after I've been hooked this way I will want more.

The rest I'm rationing but don't think I haven't opened and sniffed them all a time or two.

I know there's a "Watkins man" in my little town because I bought stuff from him at the last holiday bazaar I worked; I like supporting my fellow small townians that way. Watkins also has a website and can be found in stores like Target as well.

Watkins also has a twitter account and they post tips for using their extracts. I've gotten some great ideas for foods that way!

They are not paying me to say this, but they are totally welcome to. ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

My monitor died

I apologize if I'm difficult to get ahold of for a little while. I think my computer eats monitors - this is the second one!

This is my super awesome drawing done with MS Paint. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mosaic Monday - poppies

I love how large poppies have such crepe paper petals and hairy stems. :)

My "here and there" volunteer poppies I've moved, cultivated and saved and dried seeds for the past several years to create my raised bed poppy garden. Such a gorgeous splash of color from summer until autumn.

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the beautiful mosaics!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Real life spaces - the home library

I've mentioned a few times that I've been house-sitting. Lucky for me the couple are both big readers. So big in fact that they converted a spare bedroom into a library.

This room is all about reading, tea, grandbaby and kitties - what else in the world do you need?

 At the bottom of this photo ^^ see that basket? Books for granddaughter. A-dorable.

.I love this little nook here with the seat (which can unfold into an impromptu guest bed)

Every which way you turn is wall to wall books. It's an impressive collection!

Aw! I made her this sign for her birthday a couple of years ago.

I've read 6 of their books while I was here. I have to admit it was tough choosing which ones since I had such a selection.

I need a library. I also need it hidden by a secret bookcase door. I'd better get to work on that. ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Get your goodies here!

That may have been a tad misleading because you can't get your goodies here so much as there and there and that other place.

Just Add Glitter and Stir is giving away an Emma Wallace CD - love her music.

Hooks and Whiskers is now open for business! Crocheted cuteness, felt foods and wearables - even a flower brooch made from crocheted cassette tape ribbon -what? 

Seriously, how cute is this?

Also there's a beauty blog sale going on at Ki and Makeup - Etsy goodies from Shiro Cosmetics, Latherati, Haus of Gloi, The Morbid the Merrier. Eyeshadows by Persephone Minerals, a Mac eyeshadow and an Inglot shadow palette.

Whet your appetite for Emma Wallace music with this adorable fan video using footage from one of my favorite movie series - The Thin Man.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mosaic Monday - roses

How many poems or lines can you immediately think of that deal with the subject of roses? With all of mine blooming I can understand why it's a favorite subject for writers.

       ^ This rose has the most amazing scent. Wish I had a whole garden full of them.

Fair is the rose, indeed.

Be sure to visit Little Red House to see all the beautiful mosaics!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night

All About Eve is one of those movies you always see the cover art for, or know who acted in it, or maybe even know a few lines but have no familiarity with the actual movie. Is that just me? Seems like a lot of classics are that way. To remedy that, I scroll through my TV schedule on the channels that air classic movies and copiously click my "record" button.

Because of past "assignments" for Classic Movie Monday I've taken to keeping a sheet of paper next to me when I watch them so I can write down the lines that amuse me most. This wasn't one of those assignments but it never hurts to be prepared. ;)

I don't know what I expected this movie to be about but it wasn't this.

I seem to say that a lot about the classics.

The movie actually starts at the end, narrated by "Addison DeWitt" (played by George Sanders. Or if you're a perpetual child like myself, the guy who did the voice of Shere Khan in The Jungle Book).

 Meet Addison DeWitt. Snark and creep extraordinaire.

 We're in the middle of an awards show and he tells us "Minor awards are for such as writer and director since their function is merely to construct a tower so that the world can applaud a light which flashes from the top."


We see this woman receiving an award while several audience members look...uncomfortable or smug depending on who they were.

Don't I look so benevolent?

That would be Eve. Then we have to backtrack to how we got here in the first place.

Eve, a rabid fan of Margo (Bette Davis) goes to every showing of her play and finally plots a way to meet her. She's so sweet and tells such a sad tale Margo and entourage are quite taken in and they wrangle her a job with Margo. It isn't long before her obsequious ways get on Margo's nerves and she lashes out, not wanting her around. Of course everything thinks Margo is being a horrible person, but it turns out....


Eve has been scheming the entire time to become Margo - replace her and become famous herself. Her sob story? Lies. But by this time there's little for Margo to do - she's an aging actress and here's the new version taking over her life. Creeptastic. Also Addison DeWitt has a schemey sort of hand in this and you really hate him. However, the end - oh ho ho. Loved.

End spoilers.

There are a lot of great lines in this movie. Or maybe new movies are just such tripe that everything from a classic sounds amazing. Either way...
"I'll admit I may have seen better days but I'm still not to be had for the price of a a salted peanut."

Marilyn Monroe has a bit part in this movie and she plays a (surprise!) vapid glamor hound.

She did have one of my favorite lines though. A woman walks by this stairway group with a sable wrap. Marilyn's character says, "Now there's something a girl could make sacrifices for...sable."
Deaf man with cigarette says, "Sable? Did she say sable or Gable?"
Marilyn (I should learn her character's name) retorts, "Either one."

Even Marilyn loves me.

Despite the witty snark and glamorous actress lifestyle I found this movie to be a little depressing. I'm also wondering why - what seems somewhat early to me in the history of film - so many actresses were deemed "old" and  phased out (see also my post on Sunset Blvd.).

I doubt I'll be watching it again, but it was absolutely worth watching once.