Last night was Toby Keith & Eric Church. Seriously AWESOME!!!!!! Eric Church was PHENOM and TK was just as amazing. We spent the night being COLD and cuddling on the lawn and listening to great music. We are on a strict budget but we got Groupons for $20 for $40 of tickets! How great is that?!
I've done some fun canning lately, I can't remember what I told you guys I did last, so here's a run down.
- Peach Pie Filling (Ball Complete pg: 175- My changes: used cider vinegar, no apples, vanilla bean paste, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and fresh ginger)
- Spiked Cherries (Ball Complete pg: 155- My changes: soaked the cherries in vanilla bean paste and coconut emulsion, used Captain Morgan's Rum)
- Zesty Peach BBQ sauce (Ball Complete pg:263- My changes: used Sand Dune honey which is really neat, extra garlic and a big dash of cinnamon. I grew the onion and for some reason every few onions I pick are CRAZY spicy but it's GOOD. The sweetness is followed by a dash of heat and then the taste of garlic. VERY good!)
- Strawberry Lemon Marmalade (Better Homes & Gardens Canning Magazine, pg: 19. This one didn't set up well so it's more like thick liquid strawberry sauce. I put it on some chicken breasts, grilled them, sliced them & added them to a salad and they were GREAT!)
We've had a weird summer weather wise here. Normally from July until late August we have a LOT of days of 95-115 degrees. We've had like, 4? It's been REALLY mild. My amish paste tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. I put all my tomatoes in the soil too early and they got early blight. But I kept pruning them and feeding them so they are ok and GIANT. Fact: If you use a nitrogen based fertilizer, they will grow lots and lots of foliage but few fruits. SO! Once I cut back on feeding them, they now have TONS of tomatoes on the vine. I think right now I have about 15-25 lbs of tomatoes. I'm hoping they all ripen at once because my mom gave me the Kitchen Aid food mill attachment for my birthday! (and sausage and pasta maker!) I'm going to can tomato sauces. We have 7 plants so I think it'll be PERFECT for canning.
It was also a bad idea to put corn next to them, my corn now has crazy purple streaks running through it because of a lack of phosphate! Our squash is doing great, our pumpkin has BIG blossoms on it, we have a tiny little sugar baby watermelon on the plant, three artichokes, four bell peppers and no matter what I do, our kale just keeps going and going and going!
Now that I'm feeling pretty good about my gardening skills, Chop & I spent a Saturday morning at Ace Hardware planning, they had the entire store 25% off so I got a few cases of canning jars and we got some seeds and this little seedling home! It's essentially a plastic planter with a lid to sprout seeds, it was like $6 before the discount and we have a TON of stuff in there...imagine my surprise when I SAW WE HAVE SEEDLINGS! These are winter squash and ice burg lettuce! Western Gardening Guide says we are in Zone 8, which means we can basically have food gardens year round! I'm hoping I can grow greens because that's the majority of our grocery bill. We spend a LOT on lettuce, spinach and broccoli.
So you know I co-own The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery so I'm REALLY into cross stitch but I rarely get to sit and stitch. One of my autumn craft goals was to learn to stitch on linen. I learned to cross stitch on aida and I know how to use waste canvas, but linen seemed impossibly hard. I struggle with counting on aida. Kristi & Pam have been AMAZING and just told me to BUCK UP and try it. And guess what?
I FREAKING LOVE IT!!!! Linen is WAY easier than aida! It's like you naturally know where to stitch next. I love it so much that, no joke, I had to lock my hoop & supplies in the car because all I wanted to do was stitch and I had work I had to do.
I treated myself to an early birthday gift of new floss! Now that theworkroom has an online shop, I can just buy x amount of each color of cosmo floss and it comes cutely wrapped. Not too expensive presents that are an instant cheer up! I got a color card and I keep a mark on it of each color I have, I almost bought a palette from the shop but realized I already owned 75% of the colors. Ha! Then! Chop laminated my current project's chart! So I can write on it with a dry erase marker! I love it! I'm currently stitching this one! I want to stitch EVERYTHING Barbara Ana designs! Kristi & Pam also got me interested in Weeks Dye Works floss, oh boy. What a dangerous rabbit hole that is. But Pam sent me some and I heard a rumor I have a package from Kristi on the way ;)
This past week I went to Tracey's house and sewed for a bit. She made me lunch and I chatted with her adorable son. We live close to each other as far as the crow flies but road wise it's about 30 minutes. I love the drive to her house, rice and ag fields nonstop! I rummaged through her E P I C stash and convinced her to cut me some bits and pieces for Farmer's Wife Blocks! She's the BEST! I'm going to have to return the favor. This totally shows how amazing she is. I've been giving her jams and stuff I've canned and a few weeks ago I was complaining on facebook how people never give the jars back (I have someone who seriously has 12 jars!) and it was partly joking because obviously I don't mind a jar or two. Well, she bought a case of jars and gave me some! How great is that?!
That's a LOT in one post! But that's whats going on! It's my birthday on Monday so I'm leaving! I'll be back on Tuesday with my Farmer's Wife Blocks!