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last day of summer


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Is anyone else standing around incredulous that we are a day away from fall?   This is truly a happy thing but lately it seems life is flying past me.  Truth be told, since living here I crave fall.  Last week, though it was quite warm out, every time the wind went rushing past me and brushing against my skirt, I could feel it coming.  Here and there a leaf would say that something special was about to start.

For the past few days our nights have been cool and mornings a little chilly as we hurry about getting animals fed and chores done before we sit down to lessons.  Oh did I tell you that we started our new school year?  More on that later, I’m sure.  The tea pot has been getting a bit of action and I really can’t wait until I can keep my tea pot in service above our woodstove.    This also reminds me that we need to get on finishing with chopping our wood.  Poppa bought his first chainsaw and I can’t tell you the mixed emotions I have on that subject.  We have a dear friend coming to give him chainsaw lessons and then I suppose someone will have to chop firewood and a chainsaw will be used to turn our downed trees into smaller more manageable pieces first.

The girls have been inspired in more artistic ways with their acrylics and paint brushes and Livie is just happy to find a few last renegade black eyed susans where ever she can.

This last day of summer we remember all the time outside where we watched the baby birds in June and now have only this empty nest left to remember.  Today I make yet another batch of pickles to have lots of them ready for a snack or cheese burger casserole.  I dislike sweet pickles as do all of my children.  This summer I was gifted a recipe which with a few minor changes has become our pickle recipe, thank you Jenny.  I plan to pickle some radishes in the coming days.  Sounds really good doesn’t it?

In case you want the pickle recipe, here it is:

Salt and Vinegar Pickles

5 medium cucmbers (sliced or cut into spears)

2 tbsp sea salt

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 head dill

3 cloves garlic sliced thin

small onion sliced thin

2 tbsp black peppercorns

A pinch of turmeric depending on how much you like.

Pack the cukes, onions, dill, garlic and peppercorns into your sterilized jars.  I put the onions in last after the jar was full of cucumber slices to keep the cucumbers submerged.

Heat up the vinegar, water, turmeric and salt until just boiling.  Pour the hot vinegar solution over each jar leaving an inch at the top.  Process in a water bath for 10 min.  Take out the jars and set on a towel to cool.  Listen for each jar to seal by making that lovely plinking sound.  Easy peasy.


I am feeling a canning marathon coming on.   We are so low on preserves and spreads and soon the fruits will be going away for a while.  We need more apple butter and jelly, I still have about 30 pounds of blueberries in my freezer from our picking trip this summer and oh will those be good on bread, pancakes and to top yogurt this winter for soon we will be spending a lot more time inside than out and when we are inside, this group loves food 🙂

The garlic in the garden still shows no signs of  finishing or turning brown and I can’t wait to pull it up!  I just ordered garlic to get in the ground in a few weeks and this time I am determined to get it planted when we are supposed to.  Our garlic was grown so late this year, I wonder what if any we will get.  Either way, its still fun to try, am I right?

I need to plan something fun for the first day of fall tomorrow.  Have you planned anything?  Perhaps a day at a pumpkin patch or a some beeswax dipped leaves.  I wonder if there are any leaves that have changed colors out in our woods.  I have not noticed any near the house.  Oh well, whatever the case may be, I wish you a very happy last day of summer and a warm, inspiring first day of fall.

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basil, pesto and our favorite summer sandwich

IMG_9572 IMG_9578IMG_9568 IMG_9570 IMG_9584 IMG_9587The first of the basil is ready in the garden.  I do so love basil, I believe it is one of my favorite herbs after tarragon.  During our winter visit home to Florida, I dug up some of my perrenial basils thinking that I would have basil forever here like in Florida.  Unfortunately, they did not fare well during the winter, even in the kitchen.  The African blue basil is teetering on the edge of death and the columnar basil did not survive at all.  Luckily, I had so much basil seed that I started a couple of  plants thinking they might be fun to share with friends.  While working in the garden last week, I spotted enough basil to make this seasons first pesto.  Joy!!

I made enough pesto to put a little away and the rest we spread on bread to make our favorite summer sandwich.  This is not really a recipe but more like sandwich building instructions.  Make your favorite pesto recipe.  Here is mine.

To make Our Favorite Summer Sandwich:

Spread pesto on the bread (be genrous, trust me), slice tomatoes thin and fresh mozzarella into round of the same thickness. Layer the mozzarella and tomato slices on the bread and put another slice on top.  Still with me?

We then put it on the griddle and place our bacon press on top, flip once and dinner or lunch is done.  These are so simple but so delicious.  If you don’t have a griddle, use a frying pan and if you don’t have a bacon press, just put another frying pan on top to weight down the sandwiches (that is unless you have one of those lovely panini presses and then maybe you should consider making me a sandwich 🙂







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