Thursday, June 23, 2016

June update

So so much has happened since I last posted so I'd better get right to it.

1) My mother in law: Better. She's home now after 3 weeks in the hospital and 2 weeks in a rehabilitation center/nursing home. Yesterday they gave her permission to walk without a walker or a cane, so progress continues!

2) Strawberry season: Underway! I have purchased 2 flats, then we went and picked yesterday and I picked 6 pounds--and I was trying to go light. Here is what I have made so far from all this strawberry goodness:
Jam of course. So far I have made 4 batches. I might be done. Last year I made 6 (plus 1 each of cherry, peach and peach vanilla) and I ended up with extras. I may make one more to be safe. Hey future me--5 might be the sweet spot!

Strawberry lemonade concentrate. I've made this the last few years. Ball's recipe. I find the squeezing of lemons to be the biggest pain in the butt, but worth it. I never get 7 pints out of it though. 5 full canned pints and about 3/4 of a pint that you need to use immediately. This year was no exception.

Strawberry Marshmallows! This was my first year making these and here's the verdict. They were delicious the first day. Then not so much. They got soggy REALLY fast. I can't decide if it was the advice to grease the pan with cooking spray (IF I make this again, I'll use butter) or the humidity. I still am toying with freezing the puree and making this in the winter.

Strawberry marshmallows #yum

A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

A fresh Strawberry pie! No verdict on this yet as I JUST finished it. This is my mother in law's recipe, as she is the one who usually makes it. She's better, but not THAt much better and I would have hated to say--ok, now that you are up and about could you make me a pie? Instead I said--I'll make the pie, where's your recipe. Since her eyes lit up at the mention of pie and she smiled big when she realized I'd make the pie I knew I'd made the right call. Then when I told her on the phone that it was dinner dessert she told me she couldn't wait--this from someone building their appetite back so good news all around.

3) Sweater knitting!

I've been plugging away (in 90 degree heat at a baseball game even) on the Central Park hoodie for my daughter. I am ready to pick up the ribbing stitches (minimum 300) and because that sounded so exciting, I decided to sew in the sleeves first. Picture? yep:


A photo posted by Jodie (@ja_gardner) on

Yes, it looks like it has 3 arms, because the sides aren't sewn in and so the sides look like arms. MUST MAKE MYSELF PICK UP STITCHES. The pattern claims 300 will do it for this size, but I made it a little long so the plan is to Pick up as many stitches as it takes to get through one side, try for the same number on the other and be sure it is divisible by 4--easy peasy! (eyeroll) Ask me in a week how that went.

4) Landscaping. We had this hairbrained idea to replace the backyard pond we ripped out a few years ago--ok a dozen years ago. I'm attempting to spend at least 30 minutes on pulling up rocks, and weed barrier fabric every day. Failed yesterday. Trying to get the kids to help is hard because they are more scattered than I am. Stay tuned though as I have been taking progress pictures.