About marymargaretripley

I am a professional Bakery Manager at a privately owned grocery store. I also owned my own bakery for over four years. I have been baking for 15+ years professionally. I also teach canning and preserving classes and have been gardening since I was 5 years old. I live in Western, NY with my husband, teenage son, Bernie the Cat and Muffins the Hamster.

SAL #1 Project Onions and Gourds

First off this update, I have to apologize that I missed the update 3 weeks ago. I was preparing for surgery that Tuesday and my mind just was not on stitching.

Everything turned out beautifully and I am feeling fine and almost completely healed and back to work. During my recovery I got some stitching and reading done which was relaxing and kept the pain at bay.

I did, however change my SAL project for this group. I just was not feeling my own charted project that I was working on so I have put that aside and have chosen to work on the gigantic Onions and Gourds Cross Stitch Project instead.

Here is a photo of what the project will look like when it is finished:

and here is my progress so far after three weeks:

Doesn’t look like much yet but maybe you will see it take shape in the next three weeks.

Please check out the other stitchers in the Stitch-a-Long and see what they are up to. There is some fantastic work going on with these folks that I am excited to catch up on.

Avis,ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKate,JessSueConstanzeDebbierose,ChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelen,StephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,TimothyHeidiConnie

See you in three weeks!

-MM

 

 

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Food Preservation Goals and Garden Update September 13, 2017

The summer has flown by and we are now in the middle of September already!

I never got a second crop of anything in because I have been so busy with work now that the college workers are back in school. It has been a fabulous growing season mostly for us. The wet Spring damaged a lot of our fruit trees but the garden itself produced its heart out for us.

I am having surgery next Tuesday and will have a 10 lb. weight limit put on me for six whole weeks which will drive me nuts at work but will unfortunately cut my gardening season short this year as well.

It’s ok though, like I said our little garden out-performed itself this year and I actually kept up on it for once.

As far as the preserving of all of this lovely produce, here’s where I have been super busy!

  • Strawberry Jam
  • Grape Jelly
  • Peach Jam
  • Blackberry Jelly
  • Dandelion Jelly
  • Honeyed Yellow Tomato Butter
  • Basil Banana Pepper Jelly
  • Apple Sauce
  • Grape Juice
  • Pickled Beets
  • Canned Beets
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Blackberry, Peach,  Cordials
  • Frozen Corn
  • Frozen Peppers
  • Frozen Beet Greens/Chard
  • Red Root Relish
  •  Crushed Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Frozen Winter Squash and some stored whole
  • Chili
  • Stuffed Sweet Peppers
  • Frozen summer/zucchini squash
  • Shredded zucchini
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Blackberry Syrup
  • Dill Pickle Relish
  • Sweet Pickle Relish

With my surgery cutting my growing season short, it also cuts my preserving goals a little short too. I still plan on getting the grapes and the apples done but the beets might have to wait until next year.

I made a gigantic pot of chili using my tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic and will get that in the freezer for easy meals today.

I have also been busy drying herbs. Basil and lemon balm so far. Chives will get frozen, parsley and sage will also get dried as well.

I’ll post one more update sometime in October to wrap up my season.

What have you been up to this summer with your garden and preserving? I would love to hear from you! -MM

 

SAL Autumn Tree Project

Well I thought I was doing pretty well with this project until I took a photo of it just now. This is my first time charting my own project and it just doesn’t photograph as well as I would like. 

Here is where I was 3 weeks ago:

And here is where I am now:

I still have all of the leaves to stitch and some sort of saying or verse at the top, plus a few other things.

Please have a look at what the other members of this fine Stitch-a-long are up to. We are all working on different projects and every three weeks we check in with our progress. See you in three weeks! -MM

Avis,ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKate,JessSueConstanzeDebbierose,ChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelen,StephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,TimothyHeidiConnie

Food Preservation Goals August 22, 2017

When I first drafted my 2017 Food Preservation Goals I wanted to try some new things. Now that I am in the middle of canning season…well let’s just say I have modified my goals a bit.

In italic print is what I have accomplished so far.

  • Strawberry Jam
  • Grape Jelly
  • Peach Jam
  • Blackberry Jelly
  • Dandelion Jelly
  • Honeyed Yellow Tomato Butter
  • Basil Banana Pepper Jelly
  • Apple Sauce
  • Grape Juice
  • Pickled Beets
  • Canned Beets
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Whole Tomatoes Packed in Water
  • Blackberry, Peach,  Cordials
  • Chili Sauce (Two different kinds)
  • Bread and Butter Pickles
  • Frozen Corn
  • Frozen Peppers
  • Frozen Beet Greens/Chard
  • Red Root Relish
  •  Crushed Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Frozen Winter Squash and some stored whole
  • Chili
  • Stuffed Sweet Peppers
  • Frozen summer/zucchini squash
  • Shredded zucchini
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Blackberry Syrup
  • Dill Pickle Relish
  • Sweet Pickle Relish


If you are wondering about recipes for any of these canning projects please click on Canning and Preserving.

Do you have food preservation goals? If so, what have you accomplished so far?

I would love to hear from you! Send me your canning stories and I will do a special fun post on people’s great successes or epic failures.

See you next update! -MM

SAL Project Peacock Done!

Woohoo!  I can do the happy dance because Mr. Salvador the peacock is complete. The only thing I would like to add to him is possibly some tiny beading to give him a little sparkle before I frame him.

I am still looking for the right frame for this project so I will post again when it is complete and I can give it to the intended recipient :).

Other than that, I consider this beautiful cross-stitch project done and I can’t wait to give it away!

Now I have to figure out what my next project will be. A gigantic new project or my own design project.

The above is a chart I had made of a photograph I took of my back shelf after I harvested these gourds and onions. I had the photo converted into a cross-stitch chart by an online company. It’s 10 pages long!  I think you all may get sick of looking at this if I choose it for the SAL though lol!

This other project is my own design. It looks simple right now but there is a lot I will be adding to it which will be fun to see.

What do you think?  Which project should I choose for the SAL?

If you are wondering what this SAL group thing is all about we are a group of stitchers that update each other every 3 weeks with an individual project we all pick for ourselves. I could not have finished Mr. Peacock as fast as I did without having that gentle push and reminder every three weeks from Avis and the rest of these lovely like minded stitchers.

This update we’ve added two new members too. Welcome Connie and Heidi!!

If you are a stitcher and would like to join the group please contact Avis via email which you will find when you click on her link below.  In fact I would encourage you to check out all of the wonderful stitchers in this group. Their blog links are highlighted with each of their names.

See you in three weeks! -MM

Avis,ClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKate,JessSueConstanzeDebbierose,ChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelen,StephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,TimothyHeidiConnie

Gardening and Preserving Goals July 25th Update

This summer is the complete opposite of last summer.  Last summer, barely any rain fell, this summer it hasn’t stopped raining for more than two days at a time.

We have lost some things like the cherries, however, most of my plantings have thrived in the rainy hot weather. 

The bold items in the lists below are what I have accomplished so far for my 2017 goals.

HERBS

  1. Garlic 
  2. Chives
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Dill
  5. Artemisia
  6. Calendula
  7. Chamomile
  8. Cilantro
  9. Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)
  10. Sweet Woodruff
  11. Lavender
  12. Lemon Balm
  13. Mint
  14. Catnip
  15. Basil
  16. Oregano
  17. Parsley
  18. Anise
  19. Rosemary
  20. Sage
  21. Dandelion
  22. Thyme
  23. Nasturtium
  24. Valerian

The lemon balm finally sprouted from the seed that I planted back in May. The lemon balm plants I purchased from a nursery however died within a week of planting them. Hey, at least I got something out of all of that, right?

    CROPS

      1. Asparagus
      2. Strawberries
      3. Raspberries
      4. Blackberries
      5. Cherries Sweet
      6. Cherries Sour
      7. Pears
      8. Peaches
      9. Grapes
      10. Rhubarb
      11. Sweet Peppers
      12. Banana Peppers
      13. Eggplant
      14. Onions
      15. Shallots
      16. Snap Bean Bush – Purple, yellow and green
      17. Snap Bean Pole
      18. Peas
      19. Spinach
      20. Lettuce
      21. Cabbage
      22. Swiss Chard
      23. Beets
      24. Radish
      25. Carrots
      26. Cucumbers
      27. Pumpkins
      28. Gourds
      29. Winter Squash
      30. Zucchini
      31. Yellow Squash
      32. Cantaloupes
      33. Water Melon
      34. Sunflowers
      35. Tomatoes
      36. Celery
      37. Broccoli
      38. Potatoes
      39. Yellow Tomatoes
      40. Paste Tomatoes

      PRESERVING

      1. Strawberry Jam
      2. Grape Jelly
      3. Black Raspberry Jam
      4. Red Raspberry Jam
      5. Peach Jam
      6. Pear Jelly
      7. Apple Jelly
      8. Honeyed Yellow Tomato Butter
      9. Canned Cherries in Syrup
      10. Canned Cherry Pie Filling Sweet
      11. Canned Cherry Pie Filling Sour
      12. Basil Banana Pepper Jelly
      13. Apple Sauce
      14. Grape Juice
      15. Pear Juice
      16. Tart Cherry Juice
      17. Pickled Beets
      18. Canned Beets
      19. Vegetable Stock
      20. Vegetable Soup
      21. Tomato Sauce
      22. Blackberry, Red Raspberry, Peach, Cherry Cordials
      23. Chili Sauce (Two different kinds)
      24. Bread and Butter Pickles
      25. Frozen Corn
      26. Frozen Peppers
      27. Frozen Beet Greens/Chard
      28. Red Root Relish
      29. Lemon Sage Wine Mustard
      30.  Dilly Deans
      31. Pickled Hot Peppers
      32. Sweet Crisp Pickles
      33.  Crushed Tomatoes
      34. Whole Tomatoes Packed in Water
      35.  Canned Green Beans
      36. Frozen Peas
      37. Frozen Winter Squash and some stored whole
      38. Chili
      39. Stuffed Hot Peppers
      40. Stuffed Sweet Peppers
      41. Frozen summer/zucchini squash
      42. Shredded zucchini 
      43. Strawberry Syrup

      I have tons to go in the preserving category but it is very early in the canning season. Typically, September and October are the busiest months for canning. 

      I added number 41 and 42 because I have been going nuts with so many squash. I put up 8 lbs of shredded zucchini and 9 quart bags of squash slices that can be used for anything from stir fries to ratatouille to soups in the winter. Yum!

      Number 43 I added because I got 16 quarts of strawberries to do something with and this syrup is wonderful on pancakes so I made a double batch!

      That’s it for now!

      What have you been up to in the planting and preserving dept? – MM

      SAL Project Peacock and New Project Update

      The last 3 weeks have gone by so fast and we have been so busy I only have worked on Salvador for a couple of hours. Sad I know but it is summer here in the US and busy is the name of the game for about another 2 months.  

      I am slow finishing this project because all of the fun colors are done and I am left with the super light browns and creams and whites which are very unexciting.

      I don’t know if you can see much of a difference but I did finish 3 more colors completely.  There is back stitching to do too.

      Here is where I stopped 3 weeks ago:

      And here is where I am today:

      I have to admit I did start a new project and that took some of my SAL time.

      I am learning to design my own cross-stitch designs and charts. For those of you that design your own I admire you greatly. It’s hard work and I have already modified and ripped a bunch of stitches out and restitched. It takes patience but I am loving it so far!

      Here is a glimpse of what I have started to design:

      It’s going to be an autumn tree with some sort of saying whether a Biblical quote or something else. Lots of red and orange and yellow leaves. I have already modified and ripped out the trunk once.

      I have got to get a better chart drawn. When I asked the woman at Joanne Fabrics if they had any graph paper she had no clue what I was talking about. Sigh…

      I can’t wait to keep going with both projects! Until next time… -MM

      The members of the wonderful SAL group I am part of are doing some pretty spectacular projects. Click on the links of names below to visit their blogs and see what they are working on! 

      AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine, Timothy