Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bright Colors!


It's a beautiful September evening!  Walking up our driveway a group of many brightly colored Zinnias greet us on the right hand side.  The reds, the yellows, the pinks and the oranges are just beautiful!

This is also a reminder to me to save the seeds from this year's crop.  These Zinnias were grown from saved seeds harvested from last year.

Soon, it will be time.  For now, we are enjoying the bright colored flowers!!

Enjoy!
    

Monday, September 2, 2019

Have a Safe Labor Day!!

"The Lineman"
by Norman Rockwell in 1948
courtesy of the Norman Rockwell Museum


The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA has been one of my fave places for a number of years!  Every visit brings me back to view paintings that I have enjoyed so many times before like "Home For Christmas"- 1967 (Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas).  Some works are on view on a rotation basis, so it is a welcome surprise to see them.

On this Labor Day when we honor and remember the American workers, how fitting it is to spotlight Norman Rockwell's "The Lineman"- 1948.  This was an advertisement for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.  With Hurricane Dorian on the east coast, there are many dedicated workers spending their time making preparations.  Currently, everyone is getting prepared.

Thank you to all of the workers who are coming to the aid of the people who will find the next few days very challenging!

To all in the path of Dorian, be safe! 

      

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Peach Freezer Jam



Suddenly, it was time to prep the Peach Freezer Jam!  This is the last variety that I make every summer.  Yes, it's been every summer for- well, years.

The easy to follow directions are located inside the box of 2 pouches of CERTO.  The local peaches were purchased.  The easy way to ripen them is to place 3 (stem side down) in a small paper lunch bag and fold the top of the bag down 2- 3 times.  In about 2- 3 days the peaches will ripen.  Depending on the size of the peaches.

Then the clean containers and all of the ingredients are located.  Follow the directions exactly when making Freezer Jams.

An easy method to remove the peel is to place 2 peaches carefully in a pot of simmering water.  Let sit for about 55- 60 seconds.  Then, remove carefully with a slotted spoon and place on a dish to cool, slightly.  The skin will peel off easily and then the delicious juicy peach can be removed from the pit.

Peach Freezer jam
(File Photo)
The directions were followed and the containers filled.  Lids were placed on top and snapped shut.  Then the Peach Freezer Jams sat on our dining room table undisturbed for 24 hours.  After the time period was up, the Freezer Jams were placed in our large freezer.  They will be enjoyed during the coming months. 

This is so yummy and it is easy to prepare!

Enjoy!
Yummy!

 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Summer Dinner Salad!

Summer Dinner Salad!
A colorful nutritious dinner in the summer does not get much easier to prepare- when you've enjoyed Grilled Chicken the day before!  The local fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are readily available to use.  Add them to a bed of greens of choice along with a few small chunks of cheese and craisins.  The salad dressing is your fave and dinner is oh, so good!

A slice of Basil Parmesan Toast is a great addition.  It is one of my fave ways to serve bread.

Summer is a great time to enjoy the seasonal views that come only once a year!  This past week a Monarch butterfly stopped in for a visit to our colorful Zinnias!  The plants we grew from saved seeds.  That was a great surprise!


Enjoy the Summer!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August Flowers

Salmon Daylily
Our gardens have been bursting with so many different colors this summer.  Different perennials blossom at different times.  That was the plan!  We wanted to have rotations of flowers and colors.  The annuals add in color where needed and the plan worked!

Our Salmon Daylilies blossomed for 1 month!  Each blossom lasted for 1 day.  There was always another to pop open on the long stem.  This past Saturday the last flower opened!  It's amazing to view and appreciate a close up of the blossom!

Zinnias planted from previously saved seeds!  
It has been a tradition with me from my childhood to save the Zinnia seeds from the current season's gorgeous flowers.  They are dried and then stored to plant the next spring!  Now, the flowers continue to surprise us each day with new buds opening.  There is a great sense of accomplishment when one views the colorful flowers that were grown from saved seeds!

Purple Phlox   
This is another beautiful view- out of our kitchen window.  The small purple flowers form pretty clusters of blossoms on the stems.  More of the Phlox is opening!  It's great to view this perennial every year!

So, while I am preparing Freezer Jams and freezing fresh summer fruit, our gardens are adding beautiful colors to our yard!  Summer in New England is beautiful. 

The 4 seasons we have each year bring different scenes of beauty.  They are all appreciated!

Enjoy!
  

Friday, August 2, 2019

Freezing Blueberries and Blueberry Freezer Jam

Suddenly, it was blueberry season!  Oh, you know what that means.  You know the ole' saying- when the fresh local juicy blueberries are ready, purchase a large quantity to freeze and also to prepare Blueberry Freezer Jam!  That was on my agenda the middle of last week.

On Blueberry Day 1- A large quantity were triple rinsed in cold water, drained in a colander and then packaged in freezer bags.

Packaged, labelled & ready
to be placed on our freezer!
 On Blueberry Day 2- That was Blueberry Freezer Jam Day!  This year I prepared 2 batches- each batch was prepared separately.  All of the clean utensils, freezer containers and ingredients were taken out and I started in.  CERTO is the pectin I use- it is a liquid pectin.  The directions are in the CERTO box.  Follow directions exactly!  No shortcuts here! 

After Freezer Jams are prepared and placed in the containers with the lids snapped on and labelled, the containers sit on a table undisturbed for 24 hours.  Then, they are placed in the freezer until needed.  Taking a container out and placing in the fridge is easy enough and it is ready to enjoy on toast, English Muffins or as an addition to plain Yummy Yogurt.

Blueberry Freezer Jam
sitting on the table undisturbed for 24 hours!
It's amazing how time just flies by!  I had intended to post this last week.  The week just went in a flash!  We have also been enjoying fresh local blueberries in cereal, in fruit salads and yes, there was baking going on, too.  That is for other posts.  :)

Enjoy the local fresh fruit!
Yummy!
    

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Yikes!!

2019

A big contrast from this winter!  It's a hot day today!  The New Guinea Impatiens are hinting and we did quench their thirst.  They are now in the shade and we are indoors!  Phew!! 

Stay cool my friends!!