Monday, October 28, 2019


I don't care for perfectly matching fabrics, nor do I like totally random; I like to see the fabric all speaking the same language, I'm looking for the theme.  Look at my patchwork here:  to me, all these fabrics have something to say in dark, bold colors.
Utensil/straw rolls made for J

 I literally lay fabrics next to each other to see if they speak the same language.  Their message surprises me constantly!  Like a chorus, maybe, where the different parts create harmony as well as dissonance in service of the whole song.
Hotpads made for my friends R & P

 I know some patchworkers use viewing tools and computer programs to match the fabric to their liking:  good for them, not for me.  I prefer fast and loose with a whiff of mystery:  how will it turn out?  Not always to my liking, but always interesting.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

What I Did Yesterday

Friends! I was swept under the tide of big kids' activities this fall, and I dropped everything I could to keep my nose above the water.  For me, that meant keeping up with the laundry, good food, and bills/paperwork, and everything else had to wait. I'm eager to get back to you!  

Last week, Phoebe and I picked out a custom blend of apples to make applesauce: Fuji, Grimes Golden, Gold Rush, and Smokehouse. Twenty bucks for two bushels of apples, a good price.  I really should have read my canning notebook more closely, though, because I would have met my applesauce goal with 1 1/2 bushels.  In the spring sometime, I take inventory of the preserved food in freezer and cupboard, and then I set some targets for the year's preserving.  

So I stashed the apples in the basement until I could clear a day to make applesauce.  Phoebe was keen to help, hooray, so I planned for a day when she did not have preschool, but her help couldn't extend much beyond washing jars.  Hot apples in a food mill are too much for a four-year-old.  

I made a grand total of 33 quarts of applesauce yesterday.  Oh, I was tired! I did not do laundry, go food shopping, or editing.  I stood in the kitchen and canned.  But the resulting applesauce, from those four kinds of apples, is so delicious: deeply rich apple flavor with no sugar needed, thanks to the sweet Fujis.  And now my canning goals for the year are all crossed off.  

Putting some tomato-canning photos in here as well!

Here's my list from this year, basically in chronological order: 
7 half-pints strawberry freezer jam
18 pints frozen blueberries
13 pints frozen sour cherries
25 pints frozen corn
17 pints dilly beans
3 quarts frozen green beans
8 pints pickled red beets
9 pints bread & butter pickles
3 half-pints blueberry syrup
5 half-pints pickle relish
10 pints 7-day sweet pickles
5 half-pints duck sauce
2 quarts frozen grape pie filling
3 quarts grape juice
4 half-pints spiced grape butter
21 pints pizza sauce
14 quarts tomato soup
28 quarts whole tomatoes
7 half-pints pimentos
3 half-pints peach jam
33 quarts applesauce

And I'm back on the laundry today, with a grocery shop planned as well.