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Posts from ‘June, 2012’

A lovely weekend

Our neighbor, Mary's son, Garrison was married recently in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were able to attend the wedding and we were able to stay with our friends, Cathy and David, who live in the area.

Here are the bride and her father walking down the long staircase:

Here is Mary with her son, Garrison, and her new daughter-in-law, Lauren.

Garrison and Lauren both taught in China for a year and they chose to serve Chinese finger foods for the appetizers before the wedding dinner.

The dinner was delicious and the table settings and flowers were especially pretty.

The new couple will be residing in Florida where the groom will be completing another year of training.

We drove up to the Raleigh area on Friday and the wedding wasn't until Saturday evening. On Saturday morning Cathy took us to a wonderful farmer's market in Raleigh. She told us that NC has two state farmer's markets: one in Raleigh and one in Asheville. The market was huge and had aisle after aisle of fresh vegetables, fruits, plants, and flowers. I tried to restrain myself, but couldn't resist buying a box of tomatoes for canning. We ate a delicious breakfast at the restaurant at the market. People were lined up out the door waiting for tables and we could see why.

Cathy also took us on a tour of their printing business, Millenium Printing. The Lord has blessed their business and it was amazing to see some of the things that they have been able to produce.

On Sunday we went to church (I often listen to their pastor on BBN) and out to lunch and then back to Cathy and David's for a picture session before heading back home.

We had a very enjoyable visit and took the scenic way to Charlotte, driving on routes US 64 and NC 49 and then catching I-85 going right by IKEA to come back to Greenville. On NC 49 we stopped for a coffee/ice cream/bathroom break at Coffee Central in Richfield, North Carolina and enjoyed talking with the owner of the shop there.

I tried something new for canning some of the tomatoes. I had been reading about Tattler canning lids for a couple of years now and bought one box of them this spring at the Mast General Store. The lids have removable rubber rings and they are reusable. They are a bit pricey initially but they can be re-used several times. I thought they were easy to use and was pleased that all my jars sealed properly. Have any of you heard of or used Tattler lids?


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A busier week than usual

I knew this week was going to be busy, but several opportunities have come up which made it even busier than usual. I have several topics I want to write about but instead I'll show you a couple of things that have been keeping me busy.

First there was this:

I ended up with twenty-one pints of tomatoes. I want to write more about these in a future post.

Then a friend called and asked if we would like to come pick these:

We ended up with twelve and a half quarts of green beans for in the freezer.

I'll close with a quick recipe idea when you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes. I found this recipe on Elizabeth's blog. She has many recipes which look really tasty and she also has lovely photos. I adapted the recipe a bit by adding some onions along with the garlic and then adding some peas toward the end of the cooking time since I didn't have as many cherry tomatoes as the recipe called for. I also used turkey sausage instead of chicken sausage since that's what I had on hand. We did find the lasagna noodles were a bit difficult to eat, so the next time I make it I plan to use a different type of pasta. It was really tasty and I do plan to make it again soon since our cherry tomato crop is doing well this summer. If you need a quick, fresh supper idea, give this a try.


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One of my favorites

One of my favorite websites is Mennonite Girls Can Cook. A group of twelve Mennonite women take turns posting recipes on their website each day. On Sundays they post a devotional thought called Bread for the Journey. After the success of their website they have published a cookbook. The cover features some very attractive aprons flapping in the breeze on a clothesline. There is a link on the website explaining about the aprons and telling which pattern was used. A while back when Hobby Lobby had Simplicity patterns on sale I purchased the pattern. I have made quite a few aprons that are bound in narrow bias tape. Several years ago I ordered this "spool" of 100 yards of double fold bias tape from Home-Sew Inc. It's much more economical than buying the small packages. It's also nice to not have to piece the bias tape.

Recently one of my favorite aprons needed to be replaced so I was able to use my new pattern with some 1930's style fabric from my stash. Here's the finished product:

One of my favorite recipes from MGCC is this one for French Bread. I've been making a batch nearly every week. I ususally make two small loaves of the French Bread and then something else, such as pizza, stromboli, cheeseburger buns, etc. I usually give one of the loaves away and we eat the other one. One thing I like to make with the bread is these open-faced sandwiches. There isn't really a "recipe" for these, but I'll tell you how to make them.

Open-faced Toasted Ham Sandwiches

1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise. One half will serve 2-3
olive salad or Italian salad dressing
sliced ham lunch meat
sliced cheese
very thinly sliced tomatoes (Roma are best because they are drier)
Italian seasoning

Place bread on a baking sheet and spread with olive spread or drizzle with a little Italian dressing.
Layer on the ham.
Slice the cheese in half diagonally and arrange on top of the ham.
Top with tomato slices and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 mins. or until sandwich is heated through and cheese is melted. These sandwiches can be assembled ahead of time and then heated later. It makes a nice Sunday night supper after church.

Here are a few pictures showing the process:

The bread:

The Olive Salad:

The ham and cheese:

The finished sandwich, ready to eat:

So, if you need an easy meal idea here's one you can try.


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A berry good knock-off salad

Recently Wendy's Restaurants have been advertising a new salad that looks quite tasty. I looked it up on the internet and decided to try to make something similar at home using things I had on hand. We have several kinds of berries growing in our backyard. Right now the red raspberries have just about stopped bearing and the blueberries have started ripening in abundance. This year is the best year we have had for blueberries. I did have to purchase some strawberries but fortunately Aldi had them on sale this week for 99 cents.

I didn't really follow a recipe for the salad but just layered the ingredients in the bowls. Here is what I used:

Romaine lettuce
Red butter lettuce
Shredded cheese
Diced cooked turkey
Toasted sliced almonds
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

This is the recipe I used for the Raspberry Vinaigrette, but you could easily use purchased dressing. I think a Poppy Seed Dressing would also be good.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup raspberries (I used fresh but I think that frozen would work just as well)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsps. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. honey
dash salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and blend with a regular blender or an immersion blender. We only used about half of this for two salads.

DH Rob has replaced all of the bushes in our back yard with berry bushes. He does have to cover them as they ripen to keep the birds from eating them but other that that they have been pretty easy to care for. If you have room in your yard I would encourage you to consider planting berry bushes.

Have a blessed weekend.


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Something new in the backyard

If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember that we got a new kitchen sink two years ago. Shortly before that I read a post showing how someone had constructed an outdoor sink for in the yard. This was greatly appealing to me because we do not have a laundry sink and I thought it would be really nice to have a place to wash produce from the garden, rinse paint brushes, mix up garden chemicals, etc. So, after the old stainless steel sink was removed it was stored under the deck until just this week.

Rob researched quite a few options for constructing the sink and finally decided on this one:

Total cost: $17.50

Total benefit: One very happy spouse!

Any interesting projects going on around your house these days?


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