Today was a busy, busy day!!! William had Mother's Day Out and we usually walk to that, but it raining when we got up. By the time we had to leave it was a down pour, so we had to drive. Bleck!
It's only a block away, really, across the park, but too far to walk in the rain. AND right now they're re-landscaping the park so we have to walk ALL the way around it.
After dropping off William, Aldous and I went grocery shopping. We returned home to this, on the kitchen floor. A SNAKE!!!
Very sad. This is only about 5 inches long. I picked it up and put it in a container, but I did notice it was a bit mangled and had a cat-tooth shaped puncture wound on it's side. I had hoped it would live long enough for William to see it, but alas it was not long for this world and died about an hour later. RIP, Mr. Snake.
At the grocery story we bought a lot of blueberries. I bought 6 of those 11oz containers, however many that is. I cleaned them all and rinsed them in this colander. This is the colander that William calls the "hat". In fact, when it's missing from it's place in the pantry, I ask him what he's done with the big hat, and he will fetch it from where ever he's hidden it.
This is a lot of blueberries.
I'm trying a new recipe so I only make as much as it says, in case they don't turn out that great I won't have wasted my 25 bushels of blueberries, or 6 pints, whatever. Also, the recipe didn't mention the yield so I was cautious, as I only had a few jars available, and nine lids. ACK!!
Here's the recipe for Blueberry Preserves
*Read thru the whole narrative for changes to recipe method*
5 c fresh blueberries, stemmed and washed *duh..
2 t cider vinegar
2 1/4c sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice (I didn't have any allspice, so I used nutmeg)
1/4 t ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a large stainless pot. Cook to the jell point, or until desired thickness. Stir frequently. Ladle into hot clean jars leaving 1/4" head space. Process 14 in hot water bath.
combine all in the stainless pot.
Grind your spices!!! I got a new "spice" grinder the other day, thankfully!! WOOT!!
Ok, I stirred this a bit and it seemed too dry or something.
so, I used the potato masher to mash a few of the berries to release the juices.
It still seemed dry, so I added 1/4c water.
After they had cooked a bit and were beginning to break down, I added 1/4 w to a half package of sure-jell and then poured that in. I was hoping to have some intact berries in these preserves so I didn't want to cook it until they all disintegrated. The sure-jell helped, and it thickened up a bit.
While the berries simmered a bit, I sorted my rings and lids....my lame NINE lids...where do you buy these things, here in the city? Anyone know??
Putting the rings and lids on to boil. The jars are all in the dishwasher, getting clean and hot!!
While I'm waiting for the lids to boil, I read this on the Sure-jell instructions. It gives instructions for the Inversion Method, which eliminates the need for the hot water bath. ROCK ON!! Sounds great!!!
Still waiting for lids and rings to boil, and jars to finish their cycle in the dishwasher. On hold.
Finally! I fill the jars: This makes ALMOST four half-pints!! wow, that's a lot of rigamarole for four jars!!
And upside down they go!!! Sadly, this did not make them seal and I had to do a hot water bath anyway. what a pain!!
These are all the berries I DIDN'T use today!! WOW!!! I think I have enough for a double batch of those preserves, but I'll have to buy more lids!!
Terah is learning to sew!!!
This is her first project: a halter top for Audrey!!! Here she is modeling it for us!
Notice the button, hand sewn, the top-stitching, and that great casing for the elastic!!!
A closer view of the elastic casing and top-stitching.
The front has two darts, and top-stitching!
Recycled Maternity Tops
I had so many maternity tops with horizontal stripes, it was unreal...I mean, who wants to wear horizontal stripes when they're pregnant? how hideous!! And rather than donate these to someone, I decide it was better to remove them from circulation. It's really the only humane thing to do.
I made a diaper for William, with a star wars applique. It will have hook and loop tab closures, but I didn't get to add the tabs before bedtime, and I didn't want to disturb anyone with my sewing.
And, because I hope he won't be wearing diapers too much longer, I made a pair of underpants. These have ONE layer of Zorb in them in the codpiece. I used the same Jalie pattern I use for Doug's underpants. In fact, I cut out one pair of underpants exactly like these (sans the zorb), but I've not sewn them up. tee hee.....I can't wait to see Doug and William in their matching underpants!!
Here's an action shot!!! This is the only "non-cheeseface" pic....*sigh*
The backside. He's standing like this because, although his back is to me, he's doing the "cheeseface".
So, our busy day ended with a dinner of soft tacos, rice pilaf (Near East brand mix) and chili beans, with yummy warm-this-morning-when-I-bought-them-fresh tortillas from Wal-mart.
1lb ground beef
1 small can diced green chilies
American chili powder
Add all spices to taste, and brown meat in a large skillet. When halfway done, add the can of green chillies, then brown until all liquid disappears from the pan. Add 1/4 c water, turn heat on low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Yummy! You can also add very finely diced potatoes in when you add the green chilies.
After dinner, we headed to the YMCA to swim and exhaust the boys. It worked.