My Forward Focus Goals

One of the blogs I love to read when I get a notification in my inbox is “Break the Twitch”. Essentially Anthony Ongaro is trying to help us break the twitch from touching our cell phones every 5 seconds to see if we have notifications. Do you do that? It’s a nervous habit for me. A compulsion really.

I read his article Four Types of Personal Growth and decided I was in the forward focus stage. I typed up a whopping 19 point list I wanted to forward focus on. Yikes! My life must really need some better direction. Yes and no. If it was 10 years ago I would not have a stinking smart phone and I wouldn’t be on Facebook and Instagram or even WordPress for that matter. My mind then was directed exactly on what I wanted to focus on. Now? I twitch every 5 seconds looking at my freakin’ cell phone. Not terribly focused huh?

Here is my 19 point list of what I want to forward focus on. I think you will see it’s a lot but it really is what I should be doing anyway. Not checking my phone all the time.

What I Want to Forward Focus On

Being a Homemaker/Cleaning

A regular cleaning schedule

Finishing projects before starting another

Home Improvement

Decorating for seasons and holidays regularly

Decorating for the home in general

Spring/Fall Cleaning Work Days

Family Time/Corresponding

Regular outings and dates planned/Date Night with Doug

Keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries

Doing things at home with meaning (Movie nights, game night)

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Organizing/Purging

Keeping office desks organized

Getting the attic and basement organized and purged

Getting both bedrooms organized

Bathroom and kitchen organized

Garage organized and purged

Paperwork organized and purged

Blogging

Publishing an ebook about mixes

Publishing a book on personal family recipes

You-Tubing

Blogging consistently

Listing the blogging projects I want to do and moving steadily forward on them

Gardening

Fencing done

Fruit trees bought and or pruned and fertilized

Herb garden built

Raised beds cleaned and maintained

Flower beds cleaned and maintained

Compost maintained

Enjoying the dirt and the sounds and the smells and the beauty

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Food

Preserving

Cooking

Baking

Lunch and breakfast organized

Dinner prepped

Clean-up

Meal Planning

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Effective Errand Running

Weekly time for grocery shopping

One day a week with a list of errands

Cross-Stitching

One Project a year

Work a little bit on it every day

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Reading

Read a little bit a day

Visit Library once a week

Kindle

Books

Magazines monthly

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Rotary/Farmers Market/Church

Work on twice weekly

Schedule meetings

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Exercise

Walk

Cardio

Yoga

Personal Hygiene

Let’s just say I need to shave my legs more than once a month and leave it at that.

Being Efficient at Work

Keep a list for questions or things on my mind

Be more efficient with inventory and gross profit

No roaming

Stay on task

Have the next task in mind always

Stay within the time I schedule for myself

Bible Study

Daily devotions

Bible reading

Praying purposefully

Meditation

 

Personal Projects

Old photos of family and organizing current photos

Recipes organized from mine to the family’s

Headboard project

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Debt Management

Work on it every day

Think on big purchases 24 hours

No buying on credit card

Entertaining

Garden parties

Halloween party

Birthday parties

Euchre nights

Rotary Euchre night

Sunday night dinners

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Managing Schedules

Doug’s sports

MM’s meetings

Scott’s Meetings/little league commitments

Journaling

Everyday!

See these aren’t really unreasonable goals right? How many times have you plunked down in the recliner after a long day of work and heard that “ping” from Facebook saying you have a personal message and then you sit on your phone or computer for an hour scrolling through all of the quotes your friends put up on their newsfeeds and then after the fog lifts from your brain you realize you aren’t getting that hour back, EVER. I hate it. So now I look at this list when I catch myself scrolling mindlessly through Internetland. It give me a focus and reminds me what is most important to me. -MM

Week #9 Operation Pie – Swiss Chard and Cheddar Quiche

I had some swiss chard in the freezer from last year and decided it would be perfect in a quiche.

So far my favorite go-to quiche recipe is Paula Deen’s, Spinach and Bacon Quiche, I just change up the flavors in it as needed. Here is a link to the original recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/spinach-and-bacon-quiche-recipe.html

The recipe is as follows with my modifications:

6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups of half-and-half
2 cup of frozen chard or spinach
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Salt and pepper. I use about a tsp of salt and a 1/2 tsp black pepper but you might like more.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat eggs in a large bowl then add thawed cut up chard and all other ingredients.  Whisk together and pour mixture into a frozen unbaked prepared 9″ pie crust. I prefer the pre-made crust as opposed to the homemade because in my experience the homemade crust tends to get soggy. Oh, and it’s easy!

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Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the middle is set and not jiggly.

Remove from oven and let cool. Serve warm or chill and reheat the next day for an easy peasy meal.

I can’t wait to use this recipe for all of the fresh summer veggies we plan to grow this summer! -MM

Cranky Bakery Manager

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I am so looking forward to the next two days off. In the food service industry two days off feels like a vacation!

I love my job but there are days my body is screaming at me when I get home. I lost two bakers the week of Easter and it has been just me and another baker carrying the entire department until I get the new baker I hired properly trained.

I think at least once in their life, everyone should work in the food service/ grocery industry. Sometimes I get the impression that some customers think that the person behind the deli counter or the person stocking the shelves is uneducated.  Actually a lot of the people I have met in this industry are educated, and many have advanced degrees. My step-children both have degrees and both are working for Frito-Lay. Our Dairy/Frozen Manager has a degree in marketing. I myself have an Associates in Science.

Have any of you ever worked in the food service industry? Was it a part-time job when you were a teen or have you worked in it as an adult?

I would love to hear your stories! -MM

Selling at Farmers Markets as a Second Income

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My husband and I were farmers market vendors for 8 years. We owned a bakery for 2 years but the other 6 years we did it out of our home.

Whether you sell baked goods or jams and jellies, produce or eggs or honey, you too can work towards becoming a market vendor at your local market.

At one point we did 2 local markets. One on Saturday mornings in our home town and one on Thursday afternoons in a neighboring town about a 1/2 hour away.

Here are a few things to think about when you are considering becoming a vendor.

  1. Do I have a product that people will buy?
  2. Do I have the proper insurance?
  3. Do I have the proper licensing if need be?
  4. How will I display my wares?
  5. Do I have someone to work my booth and do they have that winning personality to sell my product?
  6. Do I have the time to commit to approximately 15 weeks of selling?
  7. Do I have the passion?

These are all questions that we had to answer before we could fill out that application to be a vendor.

Do I have a product that people will buy?

In the past, people went to farmers markets to find great deals on bulk produce and sometimes less than perfect fruits and veggies at a deep discount. I remember going with my mom to the market and getting a handle basket of peaches that were seconds for a 1/3 of the price of a perfect basket and we would make jam. You could also get large quantities, such as a whole bushel of pickling cucumbers at a rock bottom price.

Today the farmers markets are a spring board for many smaller farmers that want to get their product out on the market quickly and meet face to face with their consumers on a weekly basis.

We were one of those vendors that benefited from seeing our customers every week. We had a product that people came to the market every week to buy, some religiously. Our scones. Out of everything we sold, and we sold a wide variety of products, our scones were the best seller for us. We baked over 300 scones a week and sold them at the market and at our bakery store front. If you didn’t get to the market early enough we would be sold out within an hour and a half.

Do you have a product that people will buy? Here is a list of products that are selling at the markets right now:

Organic produce or anything organic for that matter, free range eggs, honey, jams and jellies, cheeses, soaps, baked goods, coffee and teas, wine and beer, any type of veggies, any type of fruits, cut flowers, maple syrup, nut butters and mustards, gluten free baked goods, food trucks, art, crafts, local pork, beef or chicken, herbs and spices, plants, textiles and yarns.

This list could go on but I think you get the idea. As long as you are making or producing these items yourself and locally within a 50 mile radius your local market would love to have you as a vendor.

Do I have the proper insurance and do I have the proper licensing if need be?

This is very important. We started off with getting our home processor’s permit to do our baking in our home through the NYS Ag and Markets office in Buffalo. It was easy to obtain but it did restrict us from selling out of our home and what types of items we could sell. But hey, it was a start and we were thrilled! As a few years passed we got our full licensing from the Genesee County Health Dept when we opened our bakery.

If you are contemplating becoming a food vendor you need to take it a step further and get your vending license also through your county’s health department.

There are of course fees involved in every step of this process so consider that when planning to become a vendor. Many counties ask that you become food safe certified as well but that varies by county.

Insurance is another biggie. You will need at least a $1,000,000 liability policy for just about any market nowadays. It sounds intimidating but it really isn’t that hard to get and the cost, at least in my experience was just about $30 a month.

Call the insurance company that insures your home and vehicles and see if their underwriter does insurance for markets. If they say yes but it will cost over $100 a month, check with another insurance company.

How will I display my wares?

Displaying your product is very important. It needs to be eye catching and organized. Here are a few examples of displays at our market.

Shelving, baskets, crates, and colors are what is eye catching in all of these displays.

Do I have someone to work my booth and do they have that winning personality to sell my product?

I had a dream team to sell my products. My husband can charm the pants off of even the toughest customer and his side kick who just happens to be our church’s pastor was his partner in crime. I left them to do the selling each week because I knew selling was not my strong suit. Over the years we have had tons of help in our market booth. My sister and her two girls, my mom and of course Doug, my step-children, my sister-in-law, and tons of friends have had a blast helping us out and selling for us. Make it a family affair. Your children will learn a ton about handling money and working with the public at a young age.

Do I have the time to commit to approximately 15 weeks of selling?

Some markets ask you to commit to the entire season and other markets will let you come just a few weeks at a time and let you pick the weeks you would like to attend. We committed fully to the market every year and paid up front for the application fee.

It is a commitment either way that you will have to look at ahead of time. Will you be able to be at a market every Saturday from 9 am to 12:30 pm from June until October? That’s a pretty big commitment so really consider whether you have enough product to sell and you are able to fulfill that weekly commitment.

Do I have the passion?

Farmers markets can be a wonderful experience but also exhausting. It can be a very tough lifestyle if this is your sole income.On the other hand if you have passion for your product and want to connect with the consumer on a face to face weekly basis this is your starting point. One of our vendors started off with their goat milk cheeses selling their products at multiple local markets and only a few years later their passion has brought their products into the mega giant grocery market of Wegmans. Pretty impressive huh?

I could add a lot more to this conversation but this is a good starting point for anyone considering becoming a vendor at a local farmers market.

If you would like to become a vendor at the LeRoy, NY farmers market you can contact me via email at marymargaretripley@yahoo.com for more information. -MM

Prepping Mixes-Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the food service industry, prepping is crucial. Preparing ahead of time cuts your time in half when it comes to cooking for a crowd or getting ready for a party.

I have created more than a dozen dry mixes that I use in the bakery every day. I am going to share these mixes and the recipes to bake the finished products through the next few weeks.

Cookie mixes are my favorite because all you have to do is grab a couple bags of the mix, add eggs, some kind of oil (butter, shortening or oil) a little water and some vanilla and voila! In less than 10 minutes you’re scooping dough onto a cookie sheet. Sounds easy doesn’t it? It is!

Essentially what you are doing with these mixes is preparing the dry ingredients to your recipes ahead of time which is a real time saver especially if you prep multiple batches.

For the chocolate chip cookie dry  mix you will need:

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

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1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

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The two sugars make up your first bag

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Twist tie the bag and set aside

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Next you will need 4-1/2 cups of all purpose flour

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2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of baking soda

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This makes up your second bag.

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That’s it! Easy right? The reason we keep the sugar separate from the flour is that in most recipes it calls for the sugars to be creamed with the shortening and egg. Then you add the other dry ingredients so it is easier to have to separate bags.

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At the bakery I build to 6 mixes per recipe. In other words for this chocolate chip recipe I would make enough dry mix for 6 batches of cookies. At home for the 3 of us I would probably make 3 batches to store away for later use.

Now when you want to make a batch of cookies here is the rest of the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dump the bag of brown and white sugars into a mixer bowl and add 2 cups of shortening, a 1/4 cup of water and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Cream these ingredients with a mixer or by hand with a sturdy spoon. Next add 4 large eggs and mix in until incorporated.

Next, dump the second bag with the flour, soda and salt into the bowl with the creamed ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Do Not Over Mix! Then by hand add 4 cups of chocolate chips and fold in until just incorporated.

Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. If you want more uniform cookies use a spring action ice cream scoop to form the dough and drop onto the parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until browned and not wet in the middle.

Here is the full recipe:

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups of shortening

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

4 large eggs

4-1/2 cups of all purpose flour

2 tsp of salt

2 tsp of baking soda

4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

This recipe makes 4 doz good sized cookies.

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Here is a pic of my shelves at the bakery.

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On these shelves I have mixes for chocolate crinkle cookies, snickerdoodle, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, ginger snap, cornbread, frosted sour cream cookies, oatmeal cookies, scones, chocolate chocolate chip cookies, jam thumbprints, and peanut butter cookies.

I will be sharing more mix recipes over the next few weeks so watch for more.

Also you can take your own recipes and make mixes out of them like I did. It makes life a whole lot easier when you have something already prepared in the pantry. -MM

 

Pie Challenge and the “Kids” are Up

I have really been slacking on my “Operation Pie Challenge” I left off at week #7 so this would be week #8. I am not going to do a recipe this week. Instead, I am going to show you a technique with pie crust that my Granny taught me years ago that I think you will find interesting.

This technique is best used on a berry pie with its dark purple or red color.

Start by having your bottom crust and filling ready. The filling pictured below was a mixed berry from our raspberries frozen from last season.

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Next, roll out the top crust and instead of slicing completely from one side to the other as in a traditional lattice, create a cross shape instead.

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As you can see next you cut each corner of the cross into an “L” shape.

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Carefully lift the cross shape (it can be a little tricky not to break it, so go slowly) and place in the center of the filling. Next lift and position the “L” shaped pieces of crust just like they were on your floured counter but leave a little space so the color of the filling peaks through. Now add the corner pieces and crimp the pieces into place.

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Bake as you would any pie and voila!

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Not only is it impressive to look at but it tastes darn good too!

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The Kids are Up!

Last week I showed you how I started my seedlings in pop bottles. My hubby and I always call them our “kids.”

The kids are up and out of the soil and stretching towards the sky. Here are a few pics!

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So far the plum tomatoes, regular tomatoes, basil, cilantro and dill are all up. The peppers and celery will hopefully be up some time next week.

Are you starting any plants indoors yet? If so, what are you growing?

Can’t wait to report back next week. Happy baking and gardening everyone! -MM

Birthday Wishes

Looking back on past birthdays and special days like Valentine’s and Mother’s Day I realize now what I really want for those days. Not what you might expect though. I am not a girl who needs a lot of material things. I don’t need jewelry or roses or even an expensive night out.

It means more to me when I receive a homemade card or flowers picked from the roadside. Don’t laugh but I would LOVE a load of compost for my birthday. I know, I am such a nerd, right?

Although receiving a present is wonderful on my God given day, I really just want one specific thing. What is that?

A day free of worry.

What does that mean? What it means is that I want a day free of worrying what I should make for dinner, how I will pay the bills, whether my son will hurt himself dunking his basketball while doing trick shots outside, how my sales will be for the week, how many people will show up for church, whether I covered the butter because the cat likes to lick it when we are not looking.

I want a birthday that I don’t have to worry about running out of gas because I am too busy to remember to fill the tank, or a day without worrying about the van breaking down because it needs it’s transmission repaired. A day without worrying about how to pay the taxes or simply not having to worry if I am being a good mother, wife, daughter or friend.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all worry and deep down what we really want is just one or two days a year when we don’t have to.

So guys it’s not the big, expensive, sparkly gifts we want, though they are nice and often we women dream of those things. No, it’s a day free of thoughts that if you worried about them for us for the day, it would be the best present ever. -MM

Baking for Lent

For me Lent is a journey every year. Easter is less commercial and I get to enjoy and reflect and think in silence without the glitz and mad shopping days of Christmas.

Lent and Easter traditions are handed down from generation to generation. A few years ago I researched recipes for Lent and Easter and found that almost every country has it’s own Easter bread. Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, America, England, Scotland and Belgium to name a few.

In our family we love our St. Joseph’s Day Bread and Hot Cross Buns. St. Joseph’s Day is March 19th and is a traditional Sicilian bread to honor St. Joseph, Sicily’s patron Saint.

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten in England on Good Friday. The cross atop the bun was said to symbolize the Crucifixion. Although there is no real confirmation on who actually created the Hot Cross Bun it is said they do have ancient origins dating back to the 12th century.

I have been baking St. Joseph’s bread since I was in my 20’s. It can be a difficult bread to master. Humidity, quality of yeast and enough proofing time are all factors in successfully making this bread.

If you have never tasted this bread you have missed out on its soft, anisey, rich flavor. Some have told me the smell of the bread has instantly brought them back in time. I have had people in their 90’s who haven’t had it in years eat it and feel instantly transported back to their grandmother’s table. It is a magical bread I say.

This recipe makes 9 or 10, 1-lb. round loaves (or you can braid them). You may also halve this recipe because not many people have the mixer capacity although this bread was mostly kneaded by hand.

St. Joseph’s Bread Recipe

5 cups warm water

3 Tbsp yeast

4 eggs

1-3/4 cup sugar

1-1/4 cup shortening

2 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp baking powder

2 Tbsp anise seeds

5 lbs. flour

Mix the water and yeast and let sit for a minute or two to dissolve the yeast. Don’t get that yucky yeast from the grocery store. I buy mine in bulk at Sam’s or BJ’s or Costco. I store the yeast in the fridge or you can freeze it.

Next add the eggs, sugar, shortening and salt. Then mix in half the flour. Then add the baking powder and the anise seeds. Mix until the flour in incorporated and then slowly add the rest of the flour. When you have a soft ball of dough and it clears the sides of the mixing bowl or your hands don’t get sticky if you are hand mixing, knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it gets sticky. Believe me if you hand mix this recipe you will get a full body workout. But it will be worth it!

Place the kneaded dough in a large greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Here is the crucial part. Let rise in a warm place for at LEAST 2 hours. This bread takes a LONG time to rise properly. Also the quality of the yeast makes a big difference too. I have thrown more batches of this bread out because the yeast from the grocery stores sucks. If you want to be a serious bread maker don’t waste your time with the store brand yeast.

After the dough has risen to double it’s original size roll it out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Punch it down and divide the dough into 10 pieces. If you have a scale, weigh each one to get even sizes.

Either braid or shape the dough into round loaves and place on parchment lines baking trays or in greased disposable pie pans.

Let double again in a warm spot, covered with a clean dish towel. (At least another hour or so.)

After the dough has proofed again brush the tops of them with an egg wash and sprinkle either sesame or poppy seeds on them.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. They will be a golden brown and smell Heavenly!

 

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Hot Cross Buns Recipe

In my opinion Hot Cross Buns should be made with either raisins or currants but many commercial recipes add candied fruit which is way too close to a fruit cake for me.

1-1/2 cups warm milk

1-Tbsp yeast

1/3 cup  sugar

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup melted butter

2 eggs

4 cups flour

3/4 cup of raisins or currants

1/2 tsp mace

The original recipe I tried had 5 cups of flour and it really dried the buns out. I prefer the 4 cups myself but you can always add more if the dough it too sticky for you. I prefer the soft sticky dough because it makes a softer, less dense bun.

Mix the yeast and the warm milk together. Add the melted butter, sugar. salt, eggs, currants or raisins and the mace in. Add the flour in a cup at a time until a soft ball forms. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes adding enough flour here and there to keep it from sticking too much. Dough will be soft and probably a little sticky. That is ok. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

When doubled in size turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch down. Divide the dough evenly depending on how big you want the buns to be. I made 12 out of this recipe but they were really big so I would make them smaller next time.
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Form each piece of dough into a ball and place in a greased 9 x 13 cake pan or a parchment lined cookie sheet. Make sure the buns slightly touch each other.

Let rise again in a warm place covered with a clean dish towel.image

After doubling in size again brush the tops with egg wash and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.Let cool.image

For the Cross: mix together a cup of confectioner’s sugar, 2 Tbsp milk and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Drizzle the frosting in a cross like pattern over each bun. Don’t worry if it is not perfect. Mine never are! Eat with butter and enjoy! (Sorry I forgot to take a pic of them with the cross on them).

 

Does your family have Easter baking traditions? I would love to hear from you! -MM

Seed Starting

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I worked on my gardening goals today and started some seeds indoors. Every year I do this and I thoroughly enjoy it. I take my phone down in the basement with me and prop it on the windowsill and watch Desperate Housewives with my Hulu phone app. Just me, and Susan, Bree, Lynette and Gabby gettin’ dirty with seed starter.

Here are a few pics of what I accomplished today.

Every Fall I dig up my geraniums and pot them and then overwinter them in our basement. Today I cleaned them all up, getting rid of any dead leaves and flowers. Now I will make sure they get plenty of sunshine and fertilizer to get them ready to go outside in a month or so. It is supposed to be mid sixties this week so I might put them outside just for the day to give them a boost.
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Believe it or not this plant is a tomato that I rescued last fall while bringing in the geraniums. It had just sprouted and only had 2 leaves. It has grown steadily and surely over the winter and I just re-potted it this afternoon in it’s new home.
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Last year I posted about starting my seeds in a pop bottle construction container. I liked it so much I decided to expand my pop bottle garden this year.

I started paste tomatoes, regular tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, basil, dill, cilantro and celery. I’ll start cabbages and some other plants in a couple of weeks

Thank you to my wonderful mom-in-law for providing me with the bottles!

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I can’t wait to update you on their progress. I am sure by next week they will have sprouted.

Unfortunately though by the end of the Desperate Housewives episode I was watching, Mike Delfino, Susan’s husband was shot. Damn, he was cute too. Oh well, keep calm and dig in the dirt I always say! -MM

 

My Gardening and Preserving Goals for 2016

In past years when it comes to my gardening and preserving goals I tend to just wing it. Whatever canning recipe sounds good I’ll try. Whatever new plant or seed looks colorful and fun I’ll grow it. Unfortunately this leaves me by the end of the growing season with canned goods I will never use and produce that’s not very practical for our needs.pretty cabbages

This year I want to have a plan in place to eliminate the guess work. In a journal I have written a carefully researched list of herbs that I want grow for their medicinal and culinary purposes. I have also thoughtfully picked out the veggies/fruits I will need for the preserving recipes I want to try and I have listed the goods I want to get preserved

This is a VERY high achieving list. I am realistic in saying I probably will not do all of this this year but it is a goal of mine and now I will have a place to look for inspiration when I need motivation.

Okey Doke! Here we go!

I spent a while researching these herbs, plants and flowers and what they are used for. Many make good companion plants to certain veggies in the garden so I will most likely add those plants to the garden beds to enrich the soil and to aid its companion buddy.

  1. Yarrow (can be invasive so it will have it’s own bed)
  2. Anise Hyssop
  3. Garlic
  4. Chives (Companion for Carrots) (I grow now)
  5. Aloe Vera
  6. Lemon Verbena
  7. Dill
  8. Chervil
  9. Horseradish Companion for Potatoes)
  10. Artemisia
  11. Tarragon (Companion for Eggplant and Peppers)
  12. Borage
  13. Calendula
  14. Caraway (Companion for Peas)
  15. Bachelor Button
  16. Chamomile  (Companion for Cabbages and Onions)
  17. Cilantro
  18. Lemongrass
  19. Dianthus Clove Pink
  20. Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)
  21. Fennel
  22. Sweet Woodruff
  23. Lavender (I grow now)
  24. Lemon Balm (I grow now)
  25. Mint (I grow now)
  26. Catnip (grows wild around here)
  27. Basil (annual that I start from seed)
  28. Oregano
  29. Parsley (I grow now)
  30. Anise
  31. Purslane (Grows wild here and considered a weed)
  32. Rosemary
  33. Sage (I grow now)
  34. Dandelion (Also a common weed)
  35. Thyme
  36. Nasturtium
  37. Valerian
  38. Violet (Grows wild here)
  39. Pansy
  40. Eucalyptus

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For our vegetable garden I selected plants  based on what I needed for my canning recipes and what I would use fresh.

  1. Asparagus (will not produce until year 3)
  2. Strawberries (will produce better the second year)
  3. Rhubarb (will plant this year and harvest will begin next year)
  4. Corn
  5. Popcorn
  6. Sweet Peppers
  7. Banana Peppers
  8. Eggplant
  9. Onions (My #1 priority every year for storage)
  10. Snap Bean Bush – Purple, yellow and green
  11. Snap Bean Pole
  12. Dry Beans
  13. Peas
  14. Spinach
  15. Lettuce
  16. Cabbage
  17. Swiss Chard
  18. Beets
  19. Radish
  20. Carrots
  21. Cucumbers
  22. Pumpkins
  23. Gourds
  24. Winter Squash
  25. Zucchini
  26. Yellow Squash
  27. Cantaloupes
  28. Water Melon
  29. Sunflowers
  30. Tomatoes
  31. Celery
  32. Broccoli
  33. Potatoes
  34. Jalapenos
  35. Yellow Tomatoes
  36. Paste Tomatoeswpid-20151014_132108.jpg

And finally the preserving list. It’s even longer than the other two. I know, I know. It’s a lofty goal but it’s something I will try my best at accomplishing. And if I get it all done we won’t have to go to the grocery store until Spring. (Just kidding).

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

wpid-20151014_080650.jpg

I will also be drying the herbs and many fruits and veggies in our 2 dehydrators.

What I haven’t mentioned is that we have 3 apple, 2 sweet cherry, 1 sour cherry, 2 pear, 2 peach and 1 apricot (1 died) and a hazelnut (1 of these died also). Plus blackberry, red raspberry, black raspberry, and blueberry bushes.

fruit1

So these are the goals. Am I missing anything? Am I nuts? We will find out! -MM

 

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I am your typical housewife living in high maintenance suburbia. I have a handsome husband, 2 kids and a flock of pet chickens. I try and feed my family with $100 a month. With the help of coupons, gardening and bartering I am able to squeeze the most out of our grocery budget and still manage to have a little fun along the way.

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