Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tea In Progress...

All summer long I have had a steady garden companion. However she likes to find the most shady spot and watch me work. And she never gets the weeding done like I ask her to either. :)

At any rate, I have been very pleased with the chamomile I started from seed this spring! And even though the bees have been feasting on its fragrant flowers, it was time for me to start the harvest. Harvesting is very simple. I pinched off each bud swatting away a bee from time to time and collected them in one of my favorite pottery bowls.
It just so happens that the color of this bowl really pops with the chamomile flowers and made a good photo. A happy accident or was someone planning ahead?

I left a few flowers in the plant. I felt a little greedy taking everything. To dry these I placed all the buds on cheese cloth, single layer and let them air dry for about 10 days. Just to keep things in perspective all those flowers only equals about 2 cups of tea. But the good news is that the plants haven't stopped blossoming! Chamomile is suppose to be a perennial, so hopefully more mature plants will produce more flowers for me next year. Or I can always plant a bigger patch next year. Which will probably be the case. Right next to the lavender.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Millions of blueberries

I really don't think you can get enough blueberries. Over 4th of July break we went blueberry picking. Of course the berries weren't ready during the 75 degree days but were prime picking when it was over 95.

We ate our fill fresh. Just popping them in whenever we passed by a pint and in our yogurt in the morning. The rest we froze. Now, some people freeze them as is on a baking sheet before pouring them in a freezer bag. I actually wash mine before hand. I like to eat the little frozen blueberry pops right out of the freezer so I don't want to have to worry about pre-washing them. And if I make my breakfast in the morning and take it along to work I like to just throw a few frozen berries in my yogurt before heading out the door. So we rinse and sort and lay the berries on hand towel in front of a box fan to get them dry before we freeze in a single layer. Then I measure 4 cups to each quart bag. This way when I am planning for recipes I know how much to get out.

We went to a farm stand this afternoon and they still had a few quarts of blueberries for sale. I only had $6 cash on me and it was a real struggle not to grab a couple more boxes to put in the freezer but the sweet, fragrant smell of peaches seduced me instead.

Ah. Peach season is upon us. Now I need to go find my Presidents of the United States CD.

Friday, July 9, 2010

10 min AM makeover

What happens when you forgot to wrap a gift and it is 10 minutes before you have to leave for work? Let me tell you...

The perfect sized box but it's damaged!

I needed something to disguise the damage on the card board box so I grabbed a piece of scrap fabric and some trusty double stick fusible webbing. I cut the strip about 2 inches wide and long enough to wrap back on the inside of the lid.

Fused one side to the fabric and peeled away the wax paper.

Used the iron to glue it to all side of the lid.

I fused the fabric on the top and bottom. Isn't this pacifier clip the cutest?

Close up on the button. I did not make this. I found it at a local fabric store.

Finished it with some ricrac and it's done! And I even had time to take the photos! Skillz.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fruits, er, I mean vegetables of my labor

July 3rd I tore out all my lettuce. Most had already sent forth a tower of seeds but the red lettuce stayed full and beautiful. Too bad she's as bitter as a jilted bride.

My golden beets are young and tender! I have discovered that this variety doesn't hold up well to refrigeration. I shook off the dirt, left the tops on them and put them in our mini 'root cellar' til tomorrow when these will be roasted up with some balsamic vinegar. Can't wait!

And our first red tomatoes. These are a roma variety. Part of our great tomato experiment this year. Over 11 varieties to see what we like best. These little buggers are like grape tomatoes on steroids. I hope the rest get a bit bigger. To celebrate the first red tomatoes of the season, and because they were so small, I made some garlic bread out of a french baguette and smeared the tomato into the bread. It was delicious.

The snow peas and sugar snap peas are also finished and I added those plants to the compost as well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Making my house a home one used piece of furniture at a time....

Picked this lovely end table up during a First Saturday event in downtown Frederick, MD this weekend.

Solid wood with a midcentury modern feel. Dove tail inlays. Perfect condition.

Not a bad replacement to the old kitchen table chair we were using. Twenty three dollars and eighty five cents well invested I'd say!