"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blessed with zucchini?

Are you, like most people, overly blessed with zucchini at this time of the year?  We're blessed just right this year, so we've had enough to try this new recipe from my father-in-law.  Those of my children who do not care for dishes from the squash family even like this one.  And it's simple (my kind of cooking!).  I nicknamed it "Cheesycchini" or you could just call it Cheesy Zucchini Casserole.

In a large bowl, mix:  1 1/3 c. flour
                                2 tsp. baking powder
                                salt and pepper
                                1/4 of a green pepper (opt.)
                                2 beaten eggs
                                1/2 c. oil
                                1 c. grated cheese

Add:                        4 c. grated, or diced, zucchini
                               1/2 onion, grated or chopped small
Mix well.  Spread in 9x13 pan or large casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

We enjoyed this last evening with some venison steaks that friends had shared with us since ours ran out long ago.

Thankful for all our garden bounty, I

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blueberry Blessings + Recipe

As I mentioned before, we've been blessed with FREE blueberries from an unsprayed patch that's rather large.  My husband's coworker's grandfather used to raise blueberries as a hobby and after he passed on, the patch hasn't been used much.  So, we've been given the go-ahead to pick and to take church friends with us.  The only down side to it is that it is an hour's drive away.  So we make sure we stay several hours to make the gas money worth it.

Besides the blessing of free healthy food, we've also had the blessings of fellowship with friends and we've been able to make up Blueberry Spice Jam and sell it through friends at the area farm markets.  So Lilac Cottage Kitchen Creations is born.

Here's our recipe for Blueberry Spice Jam, taken from Stocking Up:
Bring to a boil:  8 cups of blenderized blueberries
                        3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
                        1 cup honey
After it's boiling add:  about 1 T. lemon juice
                                 1 t. cinnamon
                                 1/2 t. ground cloves
Cook till thick, remembering that it thickens up a little as it cools.  You have to stir often to keep it from burning on bottom.  I'm experimenting with using the crockpot for this step today.

We can this in jelly jars (hot water bath for 10 minutes) and add the label (with requirements from the Michigan Department of Agriculture since we're not a certified kitchen) and sell them for $4.00 a jar.

Enjoying the blessings, I

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

50 Days to Love Your Lover

This is going to just be a quick post to call for help and ideas because FREE blueberries are still calling, so I have to much time (more on that later). 

Here's why I need ideas:  Last Friday my darling husband turned 50 years old, and to celebrate I, somewhat belatedly, came up with the idea of doing a 50 Days to Love Your Lover.  The plan is to do something special for him for 50 days, having started on Friday with going out for dinner and a movie.  On Saturday, we had the cake and ice cream and gifts and then at Sunday breakfast I gave him a note that said I'd give him a backrub lasting at least 20 minutes.  On Monday, I slipped him a little dark chocolate candy; on Tuesday I gave him a little gift I'd found at a yard sale.  Tonight I plan to slip this silly moustache cup in at his place at the table.  It was a yard sale find, too, with nothing on it so I wrote his nickname on it.
The little sticker is just an address label I printed up that says "50 Days to Love Your Lover" which I've been putting on all the little gifts or notes.

Tomorrow's plan is to give him a game (also a yard sale find) and then Friday evening we've invited over a group of men and young men from church to have a men's game night with sloppy joes, but don't tell him because it's a surprise.  He doesn't usually read this, so I think I'm safe. :)  I also have plans like meeting in the back yard for some quiet time together, taking him out for a Coke by the river, "Something About You for Which I'm Thankful" notes in his lunch and more yard sale find gifts, I hope.  So, any ideas you can send my way would be wonderful!

Because I'm thankful to have a loving, faithful husband, I

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yard Sale Find!

I have got to show you my find!  It was at a yard sale that was less than pristine, but we scrounged through it anyhow, knowing that we had hand sanitizer in the car.  I saw a table topped, just a quilt top, not quilted and was admiring it, wondering if I wanted to remove all the knick-knacks that were covering it when the woman said she had another like it.  Folded on a chair was a whole quilt top that's about queen size.  And it's the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern, one of my favorites!  And it's hand-pieced!
She was asking $20.00 for it and I easily talked her down to $15.00!  I'm rather excited about that.  It smelled awfully of cigarette smoke and mustiness, so I washed it with Shaklee's Basic G and now it smells rather nice. 
It's rather interesting in that it looks like someone tried to finish it later with a sewing machine, adding some more to the side which doesn't follow the pattern exactly.  So, I may take that part out and just make it a little narrower, using those blocks for something else.

Now I have to decide what I'm going to do with it.  Should I keep it?  (Would love to, but sure could use any money earned from it.)  Should I hand quilt it and sell it in an still-to-be-set-up Etsy store?  Should I sell it as is on ebay or Etsy?  I hope to take it to quilt guild meeting since there's a lady there who is an expert on dating fabrics and she might be able to tell me it's age and value.
Right now, though, I have to get off to pick more FREE blueberries.
Because of His many blessings, I

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quilt project finished and revealed

I can finally post about a special project I've had over this summer since it has been gifted to my son who might have read about it on here.

We kind of have a tradition in our church of giving a signed quilt to people who are moving away so they can be reminded of our love for them even while they are away.  So, since our son The Guinea Pig is off to college tomorrow, I made sure that he got one also.  Since I'm the chief quiltmaker in church, I get to make sure that's done.  So, here it is.

We unveiled it at our church "send-off" Sunday evening and he was very thankful for it.  I was so blessed that he loved it and I was tickled that it got all done before he got home.  So it's been in hiding till Sunday.

My local quilter from Quilt Something quilted it up quickly for me in exchange for some hand-quilting that she needed done, so I was very thankful for that chance to barter.  (And I don't have to get my part done till October, which is nice because it's kinda hot for having a quilt across my lap for quilting.)

I'm also thankful because the green fabric came from the freebie table at our quilt guild meeting.  There was also some maroon fabric, but it turned out to not be enough, but was useful in getting my mind to thinking of those colors together.  So I went searching at another local quilt shop (we're much blessed around here) and found some Thimbleberries fabric on 50% sale!  I am thanking the Lord for the little, yet big ways in which He blesses us.

The send-off party was a nice time of fellowship, food, volleyball, tetherball, water fights and words of wisdom from the men and young men of the church. 

It's good to have a church like Christ the King Church of Ferry, Michigan, which supports and helps our efforts in raising our children for the Lord, rather than us having to "unteach" our children after church.  Because of our many blessings, I