If We Were Having Coffee in the Garden …

If we were having coffee …

Let’s have coffee in the garden today. In reality, it’s supposed to rain today and my garden isn’t really big enough to “have coffee” in. But let’s pretend we’re having the gorgeous weather we had earlier in the week, so beautiful you want to sit outside, even if just on concrete steps, and drink in the sun. And we can pretend we’re in a big backyard garden with flowers and vegetables growing all around.

I’ve been very excited about my garden this week and what I’ve been able to accomplish in it. Last weekend we rebuilt the retaining wall so it could be a little bit higher, added garden soil, planted some perennials and annuals, fertilized and mulched them. And most of them haven’t died yet. It’s a small garden patch–only about 7 square feet, right in front of the house, but I’m excited to have it done. Picasso and Cassatt are not as excited to lose their digging space though!

Yesterday my moms group talked about container gardening and Julie talked about how much she is able to plant on her postage stamp lawn. I am impressed! Now I am inspired to plant more around the house.

If we were having coffee …

I would tell you my other excitement this week has been canning. My dad is taking his breadmaking habit seriously and got a grain mill this past week. This inspired him to order me a canner for my birthday. It took several days to ship, so I got books about canning from the library and have been reading them and studying the recipes. Hubby’s first impression was that you can brew a whole lot of beer using that. I’m glad he’ll be able to get some use out of it too, since we don’t really need a pot that big. I hope to loan it to some friends this summer and keep it in good rotation so it doesn’t sit too much in storage.

I am going to an autism resource fair to volunteer for MPACT this morning. They provide advocacy resources for parents trying to get help for their kids in school. I’m really looking forward to it. Part of me thinks I should do some of this for CHADD, but without having more volunteers, it’s hard to do much publicity.


How I Freeze Strawberries (so they don’t clump)

In the spring and summer, when fruit is at its peak, I love to freeze some to have throughout the year.  Strawberries, blueberries, and peaches are my favorites.  And now that I have a new freezer, I can freeze even more.

People sometimes tell me that their berries always clump and are hard to use.  Keeping them from clumping takes an extra step, but it’s really easy.

I start with a carton of strawberries.

Carton of StrawberriesIf you notice (I did not at the store, of course), one of them has a big brown spot.  Since I didn’t intend for these to be “pretty” strawberries anyway (I’ll probably use them in pancakes or smoothies), I cut it out when slicing the strawberries.

I wash the strawberries,

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then I cut them.

I lay them out before I freeze them.  I put a sheet of waxed paper onto a baking sheet, and spread the cut strawberries on the sheet.

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I freeze them on the baking sheets for several hours

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And I have a bag of berries ready to use this winter!

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New Freezer!

For Mother’s Day / my Birthday (/ anniversary) this year, my husband got me a chest freezer.

Romantic, right?

Even so, I am soo excited to have it.  My freezer currently holds a lot, but it is packed to the brim and we are getting into summer, when I like to freeze fruit to use throughout the year.  Maybe I’ll even have room to freeze vegetables from my garden!  (If we have that much.)

They delivered it yesterday.  Of course, hubby realized after they called to say delivery was in 30 minutes that we can’t plug it in to the same outlet as the washing machine.  He solved the problem with an extension cord.

Here is the new freezer:

Freezer Image

New Freezer!

There is not much in it yet.  I got a few things on my trip to Aldi today to put in there. I also put tonight’s dinner leftovers in there, to take to church for shut-in’s.


I am glad to have more room now!  The freezer in the kitchen is completely full.


I’m going to have fun organizing!

What’s on my menu?

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