Friday, July 31, 2009

The Licorice Ladies

Recently, an internet friend, brought my attention to a new and very interesting breed of chickens. Once I heard of them, I knew immediately that they belonged in my little Warm and Sunny hen house. The hens have a certain elegance about them, yet they are extremely friendly with the other more basic hens and chicks that I have. I contribute their friendliness to the fact that they actually like to nibble on bits of black licorice throughout the day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Raspberry Jam

One of my greatest pleasures of summer is having the opportunity to make jam from raspberries that I need only to walk across the yard to obtain. I actually have two sources of these delightful berries. One source is my own, which I grow at the back of my garden; and the other is a neighbor that has been most generous over the years to let me pick their raspberries that grow right along our adjoining property lines. This year has been a good year for raspberries despite our harsh winter that I actually lost quite a few bushes to. We eat a lot of the berries just for fun, but with the bulk of them I make raspberry jam. My brother, Pat, loves raspberry jam -- so Pat, this jar is for you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Campfire Bundles

When the weather gets hot, I try and cook outside on the barbecue as often as I can. This is one of my favorite summertime recipes. It is easy to prepare, plus the clean-up is a snap. You can substitute any of your favorite vegetables -- including your ever growing supply of zucchini.

Campfire Bundles

1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 each large green, sweet red, and yellow peppers, sliced
4 medium potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
6 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 small cabbage, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
(any other of your favorite vegetables)
1 to 2 pounds fully cooked Polish sausage, smoked sausage, or any sausage of your choice
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Place vegetables in order listed on four pieces of double-layered aluminum foil (about 18 in. x 18 in.). Add sausage; and dot with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil around the mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium coals for 30 minutes. Turn and grill 30 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Farm Chicks Giveaway

I just saw on the Farm Chicks' blog, that they are having a giveaway of lots of fun items they collected on their recent trip to New York City. They picked up some great treasures to share; and I thought I should pass the fun on to any of you that don't normally frequent their blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Another one of my favorite garden flowers is my clematis. Several years ago, I decided I wanted to grow one near a chain link fence so that it could some day nearly cover it in blossoms. I think that dream is quite a few more years down the road; but in the meantime, it is growing a little larger each year. After my first plant was established, I thought it might be nice to plant another one beside the first, and train it to go down the fence in the opposite direction. My second poor little clematis has had a rough go of it though. It has been dug up several times by mistake, which actually resulted in buying a replacement. And it has also suffered from being partially sprayed with weed killer; however, despite all of the harsh treatment, it is doing its best to survive.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Zucchini Anyone?

It is that time of year once again. You know, when the zucchini plants begin to produce, and it brings such great excitement. They are so delicious, and you just can't get enough of them. Two weeks go by, and you begin to wonder just how many different ways there are to use up all 12 of the zucchinis sitting on your cupboard just waiting for some attention. Perhaps I can help. I had an idea that I would dedicate a little sidebar on my blog for links to some of your favorite zucchini recipes. If you would like your recipe included, just leave the link in your comment, or you can also e-mail me if you don't feel like making any comments.

To start it all off, I will post one of my favorite zucchini recipes. We are still in the excitement phase, and actually I never tire of this recipe all summer long. Now, just exactly what shall I entitle this no-name recipe ........ I guess I will go with something very uncreative:

Stir-Fried Zucchini

In a saucepan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. While that is heating, chop up one sweet onion, and then add to the pan. Slice or chop up however many zucchinis you would like to have for dinner, and add to the onions once the onions are somewhat translucent. Once the zucchini is almost tender, add garlic. Now I like to add a lot of garlic, but you could choose to add any amount you would like, or none at all. At this point I also sprinkle with pepper. Your favorite seasoning of choice would also be just perfect. Cook until the zucchini is tender, and enjoy.

Later on in the summer I also add yellow squash to this recipe, and I have been known to add pea pods as well. It is so easy, yet so delicious. And as I write this, it is truly dinnertime, and I do in fact have several zucchinis just sitting on the cupboard waiting for some attention.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Watering Can Bouquet

We have a Mary Janes Farm store in town; and on a recent visit there, my daughters saw this cute watering can, and knew it was the perfect gift for me. I just love it; and also loved my daughters' idea of filling a large canning jar with water and flowers and slipping it inside the watering can to use as a vase. Perfect.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pincushion Flower

Last week I shared my poppies with you. This week I want to share my pincushion flower. It is a perennial, and I only have one plant, but it is a very fascinating flower. If you look at it very closely, it really does look as if it was made up of pins nestled in a pincushion. Simply amazing!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Ideal Kitchen

I have an old book entitled, "What Can a Woman Do?" by Mrs. M. L. Rayne. It was published in 1884, and I believe it belonged to my great grandmother. Written inside the front cover, in pencil, is the date Aug. 1884, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

It is a fun little book. Well, not really little, it is 496 pages long; but it is filled with all sorts of suggestions for women as to how they can utilize their time. Tonight I was reading the chapter entitled, "The Science of Cookery". I thought I would share with you what was considered the ideal kitchen in 1884.

There are kitchens which resemble the ideal picture which is presented to us in the novel or on the stage, in real homes, and they are happy, comfortable places, where a neat, white-handed woman, in picturesque costume, moves with gracious ease among the pots and pans; where a white loaf is cut on a white table, such a place as we might imagine as that in which Werther's Charlotte 'went on cutting bread and butter;' where golden pots of preserves are opened and inspected, and moulds of jelly turned out into crystal dishes; the presiding genius of such a place can not be otherwise than neat and daintly habited, for she understands the science of cooking, and invokes to her aid the principles of chemistry, and reduces all the forces of grease and dirt by a superior process of active absorption. Every pan has its place; each utensil its nail or closet; the holder is omnipresent; clean towels abound; neat mats are spread on the floor; there is a mirror on the wall; there are comfortable chairs to sit on; the kitchen is the heart of the house, and if there is disorder there it is felt through the entire system."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


In the summer, I like to keep a cute tablecloth on my outside table. It just seems to make the deck appear more inviting, and a fun place to spend some time. In years past I have always kept a cloth tablecloth on it; but this year I decided to go with oilcloth. And when I found that oilcloth comes with polka dots, red in particular, that was hands down my first choice. In fact I like it so much, I have decided to carry oilcloth in my Etsy shop. The listings are for one yard cuts, but I will cut a piece to any size.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

California Poppies

I love flowers; and because of this, I have quite a few flower beds around my house. As each type of flower blooms, I never fail to enjoy its beauty. My flowers never get tiresome to me, and even though it takes so much work to keep them beautiful, it is entirely worth it. When God created flowers in so many different varieties, He obviously knew what a delight they would be to me.

This week I thought I would share my California Poppies with you. They are so delicate, and never last if I pick them for a bouquet to bring inside the house. Thus I enjoy them outside. And they are wonderful because they simply reseed themselves year after year. This means they come up in a new spot each year; but to me that is just part of the fun of gardening.