Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Saving Marigold Seeds

2nd Generation Marigolds
(File Photo)
Oh yes!  It's that time of year!  Time to save the Marigold Seeds!

All summer we've enjoyed our vibrant yellow & orange colored Marigolds.  They add a beautiful touch of color to our yard.  The plants with the orange flowers are 3rd generation from a single plant that my wonderful cute grandsons gave me for Mother's Day 2 years ago.  I have every intention of keeping that original plant family going for more years.  It's becoming a FuN tradition!  Saving the seeds to plant again next spring is my plan!  It is easy & does not take much time.

Saving Marigold Seeds
  1. Look for the dried blossoms on the Marigold plants (in lower left photo above).
  2. Break off the dried pods.
  3. Place in an open envelope to continue drying.
  4. After a month or so- when completely dry, separate all of the seeds from the pods.
  5. Place seeds in another envelope.  Label/ date/ seal envelope.
  6. Store until next year!
Marigold Seeds

    This year I used a long planter on our deck for my "special crop"!  It's been a hot dry summer, but currently, these orange colorful flowers are overflowing the green planter.   

    3rd Generation Marigolds- 2016
    Looking forward to the 4th generation Marigolds!  I've started saving the seeds to Enjoy again!

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    ~Peach Freezer Jam~

    Peach Freezer Jam
    In the spring I'd read in our local newspaper that the MA Peach crop would not be good.  In fact, it would probably not exist this year!  What, no way!  That was an eye opener to me!  Our local peaches make the best Peach Freezer Jam.  O.K., decades ago I used nectarines rather than peaches, but Peach Freezer Jam is my hubby's fave jam.  Skip forward to last week.  I called the local orchard hopefully thinking that just maybe there were a few peaches this year.  No such luck for local peaches, but they were selling New Jersey peaches.  Yes, yes, yes!  The New Jersey peaches saved the day for me!

    After purchasing them, the next step was placing the peaches in brown paper lunch bags (closing the tops) to ripen on my kitchen counter- 3 per bag.  It took about 3- 4 days for my kitchen to have an aroma of peaches.  After opening the bags, they were stored in the fridge.  I could prep the jam!

    Yesterday, I was ready.  I read through my Helpful Hints for making Freezer Jam & found the needed supplies.  Click here for Helpful Hints.  The directions for preparing the Freezer Jam are located inside the box of Certo.  Follow the directions, exactly!

    The first step was preparing the Peaches. 

    To remove Peach skins:
    1. Bring a pot of cold water to Simmer on the stove.  
    2. Carefully, using a slotted spoon, place each peach in the pot for about 45 seconds. (1- 2 at a time.)
    3. Then with the slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel lined plate.  
    4. After the fruit cools, the skins are easy to remove.  
    ***A potato masher is a useful utensil when crushing the fruit.

    After filling the 1 Cup containers with the jam & snapping on the lid, each container was labeled/ dated.  They sat undisturbed on our Dining Room table for the required 24 hours.  This afternoon the containers found a home in our freezer.

    As you can see in the above photo, I've used these 1 Cup containers before for jams.  My favorite shape is a circular shape, but they are no longer produced by Ziploc.  This year my reused containers have a colorful blue label.

    Three Cheers for New Jersey Peaches!!!

    Do you prep & store Freezer Jams?  They are just the best!  So much better than the commercial jams, too!

    Enjoy!
    Yummy!
             

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Wondering


    Now that it's fully in bloom, just wondering who is enjoying the pink dinner portion sized Dahlia!  Is it me whenever I walk past it or look out our window??  Or is it the bee that would not fly away???

    Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 28, 2016

    Just Need to Wait

    A Dahlia is Blossoming!!!

    The Dahlia bulbs in our front garden were planted this spring.  We planted bulbs saved from last year & also bulbs purchased this spring.  The saved bulbs would have coral colored flowers & the newer bulbs- pink flowers.  The coral Dahlia have added color to our garden for the past month. 

    How exciting to see the green sprouts appear & leaves form from the pink Dahlia bulbs.  Then, there was the "watch the plants become taller" time period.  One day buds appeared on the tall stalks.  When would they blossom???  That was the question.

    Today, August 28th, a beautiful flower opened! The anticipation is over!  Yes!  There are more buds to follow.

    We will Enjoy!
         

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    Colors of August

    Our Colorful Greeting in Our Front Yard
    Those little Zinnia seeds that we planted from saved seeds this Spring have added brilliant colors to our yard this summer.  It's August & those colorful flowers along with the flowering Vinca keep blossoming!

    Marigolds, Zinnias & Grasses


    The bright Marigolds add a colorful border to the Zinnias in our side perennial garden.

    It's definitely August!

    Enjoy!

    Saturday, August 13, 2016

    Refreshing!


    Sometimes brewing the single serve of Solar Green Tea is easier!  Before I know it, it will be ready on this HHH day!

    I'll Enjoy!
    Yummy!

    Tuesday, August 2, 2016

    Blueberry Torte

    Blueberry Torte
    There was one container of local Blueberries sitting on the bottom shelf of our fridge.  There was one container until this past weekend!  It had been too hot to bake!  Now, it was cooler outside & the Blueberries were beckoning me.  Gone was the 8 day heat wave.  Thank goodness!  It's summer, but we do not live in a southern state.  Heat waves that are not as long as that one are much easier to take.

    A Blueberry Torte had been on my mind.  This is a great dessert to bake using Marian Burros' & Lois Levine's Plum Torte recipe.  Then, change it a bit.  We like the taste of Blueberries better than Plums, so I bake a Blueberry Torte.   

    More of my changes:
    • Use 2 Egg Whites + 1 Whole Egg instead of 2 Whole Eggs.
    • Add 1 teaspoon Cinnamon into batter.
    • Add 1/4 Cup Milk (I use Soy Milk) into batter.
    • Sprinkle less Cinnamon/ Sugar on top.  
    Ready to place in the oven!
    Rather than eat every last piece until the Torte is gone, I cut it into slices.  Who can resist this yummy dessert the day it is baked?  We sure cannot!  But, a little self control is good.  The extra individual slices are packaged in sandwich bags, then into Freezer Bags.  Into the freezer they go.  This Torte is delicious when defrosted, too!

    Click here for Blueberry Torte recipe.

    If you have 2 Cups of Blueberries, bake this Torte!  If you do not have Blueberries, put them on your grocery list!  It is so good!  Oh, don't forget to add a small scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top before serving a slice!

    Enjoy!
    Yummy!