Just finished binding a gift for one of my aunts. She really loves bright colors and has been after me to make a quilt for their shore house, so I made her a quilt named Sunny Days. It is made of simple log cabin blocks, but the layout of the unit, and the lovely longarm quilting done by my friend Joanne at Splitting Stitches remind me of a bright sunny day.
Lovely song about love between a parent and child.
The first of 22 trees of life completed. The quilt will be lovely but the piecing will be very tedious. Besides having many small pieces, the old technique of setting blocks on point will be used for the top. After creating the first block I can see why I had this pattern for 15 years before starting the project.
This summer I moved my craft space from the family to one of the small rooms in the basement. I the process of unpacking my fabric in the new space I ran across a tea pot print fabric that i bought about 10 years ago, placed in the fabric bin and completely forgot about. Before it was forgotten again it was moved to my cutting table for my summer rainy day project.
The rains yesterday and today allowed me to finish the top that I have named tea time, since I love a good cup of tea on a overcast rainy days.
Teatime top 64 x 72 I inichs in size
Closeup of Teatime
Dinner tonight is fresh from the garden. Tomato herb tart topped with fresh goat cheese, and a bowl of mixed greens.
The tart is made with a herb crust that was blind baked for 20 minutes so it stayed crispy. After letting the crust rest for 10 minutes I topped it with chopped mixed herbs, sliced tomatoes, fresh goat milk feta, basil salt, pepper, and finished the layers with a drizzle of olive oil. Then baked the tart at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. The resulting tart had a flaky crisp crust and juicy topping.
With the very warm wet summer this year we have a bumper crop of green beans, tomatoes and eggplant. This morning I used 12 pounds of our tomatoes and 4 pounds of eggplant to make some lovely jars of aubergine pasta sauce.
The recipe I use is as follows. Please keep in mind that the canning method is the one that I use in my house. Please follow the canning method and times that are appropriate for your household.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 6 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 large bell pepper , chopped
- 2 lbs eggplants, cubed
- 8 cups tomatoes , peeled & cubed
- 1/4 cup tomato powder or 1-6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 1/3 cup date sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
- Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
- Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Blend mixture with an emersion blender.
- Put into hot jars and add prepared lids and rings. Screw rings on until finger tight.
- Process in hot water bath for 40 minutes.
No matter how much canning I do, the reduction in volume when fresh produce is processed always amazes me.
It is time to start vegetable fermentation today. Each year a portion of our veritable are set aside to be fermented. This process provides very healthy products that require little or not refrigeration.
I wanted to try a different flavor profile for sauerkraut so a small batch taster was started. If we like the flavor I will start a large stone crock of the flavored sauerkraut, if not we will make a large batch of a more traditional flavor. A jar of spicy green beans was also started. It is to bad that we have to wait three months to dig into those lovely green gems.
Tomorrow I will start carrots and korhabi fermenting. What type of vegetables do you ferment?
This time of year our chickens start producing a lot of eggs and there is a lot of milk avalable, so I make a lot of old fashioned recipes for family and friends. One recipe that I make often is egg custard. It only takes about five minutes to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and if made in single serving container can be pulled out and dressed up for guests.
My family likes the custard plain with a healthy sprinkle of nutmeg on top. For guests it can be pulled out of the refrigator, topped with fresh seasonal fruit and some fresh whipped cream. Some of my favorite fruit toppings are blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in simple syrup.
The custard recipe that I use is:
- 4 cups milk (room tempature)
- 6 large eggs (room tempature)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- fresh ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place all of the ingridents in a blinder and mix until will incorporated.
- Pour mixture into 8-one cup baking dishes or a 9×13 inch pan. Place in a large pan with enough water to reach about 1 inch from the top of the custard dish(s).
- Sprinkle a bit more nutmeg on the top of each dish.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the custard has just set. Be careful not to over cook.
- Cool custard then cover and refrigerate. Will keep for 5-7 days in refrigerator.
Living this far north I get a little inpatient waiting for the vegetable gardens to start producing. Regardless of how I feel the gardens have a mind of their own and provide eatables when they are good and ready.
- the radishes have matured and been harvested
- Snow peas have basically played out for the season, but will leave the plants in to see if any more develop as the weather cools
- spinach has been planted in the radish bed
- asparagus is just about done for the season, time to do a bit of cleaning of the bed and laying new straw
- tart cherries have matured but the small critters and birds have eaten almost all of them
- The deer have been keeping the strawberries and ground artichokes well trimmed
- pears, peaches, and on a limited basis apples and plums are maturing nicely
- Have been able to pick some Swiss chard and kale to go with meals
- tomato plants are loaded with fruit just waiting for them to ripen
- have even able to harvest small amounts of broccoli and cabbage so far, but there is a promise of much, much more in a few weeks
- will be able to pick the first offerings of bush and pole beans in about a week for canning
- Eggplant, peppers, summer squash, onions, carrots (had to plant these twice since an unseasonable heat wave fried the first batch), and various hers are coming along nicely
- Ground finally got warm enough for the cucumbers and witnter squash varieties to start growing well and producing flowers of promise
Now that the days are longer our birds have been providing us with a large quantity of eggs. Some have been sold, dozens are frozen for the fall when the birds molt, and a number have been used in various baked goods. Today I used a dozen of the duck eggs to make a batch of lemon curd for cakes and toast in the winter months. We will really enjoy this liquid sunshine during the cold months…