Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Time To Reap is Complete!

Goodness, this was a fun stitch!  I love how it finished up, too!  
I'll surely keep this one out through Thanksgiving!  My little cupboard top is getting a little crowded so I'll need to find it a new home.  Keeping it away from the cats and dogs is the problem.  What are you working on? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Piccalilli (Green Tomatoe Relish)

Oh, goodness, I took a picture last week of the pints of Piccalilli we made and it's nowhere to be found on the camera.  Well, nothing I can do about that. 
My neighbor told me to go pick all of her and her son's green tomatoes out of their gardens.  She was tired of canning and was done with the garden this year.  I happily spent an entire afternoon picking green tomatoes!  As the sun shone on my back I couldn't help but think how truly blessed I am to have such giving, friendly neighbors.  I savored my surroundings that day, as where I live is truly beautiful.  It's a humble, blue-collar, small town; quiet except for the birds chirping and an occasional car passing by in the distance.  It was a gift not only of tomatoes, but also of an enjoyable afternoon.
I had to leave the two laundry baskets of tomatoes right where I picked them as I couldn't pick them up.  Each weighed about 50 lbs, my husband told me.  I asked him to pick them up on the way home as he passed their garden.  He didn't realize how much there was!  Yes, he weighed them!
So what to do with all those green tomatoes.  Green tomatoe relish, of course!  We made 3 times the recipe and still had some tomatoes left over, but it made a dent just the same.  I got this recipe from another woman that lives in town; a farmer's wife.  She told me the recipe was delicious and she didn't let me down.  Here it is:

Green Tomatoe Relish
22 green tomatoes, quartered
2 small onions or 1 large, quartered
6 green peppers, quartered
6 sweet red peppers, quartered
1-1/2 qts vinegar
3-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup salt
1-1/2 tsp allspice
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp clery seeds
1/2 cup mustard seeds

Wash veggies put through food chopper, usng medium blade. Drain. Place veggies in pot, add 1 quart vinegar.  Boil 30 min, stirring now and then.  Drain and discard liquid. Return veggies to kettle and add remaining vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Simmer 3 minutes.  Keep mixture simmering while packing jars. 
Pack into one hot, sterilized jar at a time.  Fill to within 1/8" of jar top.  Seal each jar at once.  Process in boiling water bath (212) for 5 minutes. Makes 6-7 pints.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stitching and Knitting Plus a Baby Washcloth Pattern

My little Mixie-cat took a nap on my ironing board with her paw around one of the kids stuffed animals. That kitty will love anything!
The evenings are getting cooler and autumn is in the air here in the Berkshires. Although we haven't fired up the woodstoves yet, we've been enjoying some cozy family time watching movies and keeping our hands busy (the girls, that is). I've been stitching A Time To Reap by Plum Pudding Needleart. I love the way it's coming out and wait 'til you see how it finishes up! I'll post a pic once I'm done. I've had the pattern and materials in my stash for a couple years and since I've decided to use what I have first, I'm in love with all my previous purchases all over again!
I've also been busy knitting a Christmas stocking for my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas. This is the first one and I'll cast on the next as soon as this one is done. The pattern is called Jingle Bells by I Live On A Farm. I've knitted several of her patterns before and they are well-written and always come out beautifully. I'm knitting them both in Red Heart Aran and Claret Bordeaux. The colors together are very rich and deep and because the yarn is a synthetic I think it will hold up for many years.
While my children do their schoolwork, I either teach or as they continue on clean the kitchen and cook. Most of the time, though, after teaching the lesson, I sit beside them in case they have a question or need help. Many times I'm sitting doing nothing and have a hard time doing that. This week was a little different; I made baby washcloths for an upcoming shower gift! It is the same pattern as the dishcloths I've made previously , with only a couple differences. Here is the pattern: Cast on 28 stitches Knit first three rows Row 1 Knit 4, place marker, knit 20, place marker, knit 4 Row 2 Knit 4, slide marker, purl 20, slide marker, knit 4 Row 3 Knit 4, slide marker, knit 1, purl 1, slide marker, knit 4 Row 4 Knit 4, slide marker, purl, slide marker, knit 4 Repeat pattern rows a total of 8 times. Knit 4 rows and bind off. Weave in ends. I'll be back soon with a delicious green tomatoe relish recipe!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jane Austen on the Weather is Finished!

Oh, how I love this quote! My sister-in-law keeps a good sense of humor when talking about her hot flashes. She also has a lovely home at the beach in Rhode Island. I thought this piece to be very fitting for her and it makes me giggle every time I read it. She'll get it in her gift basket at Christmas! You can find the pattern for this piece by visiting The Sampler Girl!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Linda's Ort Bag is Done!

The Victoria Sampler Linda's Ort Bag is finally done! I had the stitching done last week but just couldn't quite get in the 15 minutes I needed to do the cording. I did get it done last night, though, and couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
It was a lot of work but it sits very prettily on my side cupboard in the living room. I'll take it down and use it when I stitch; otherwise it'll sit there.