Thursday, July 12, 2007

Canning Time


Canning Time

There's a wondrous smell of spices
in the kitchen,
Most bewitchin';
There are fruits cut into slices
that just set the palate itchin';
And the rattle and the clatter;
And a bunch of kids are hastin'
To the splendid joy of tastin';
it's the fragrant time of year
When fruit-cannin' days are here.

There's a good wife gayly smilin'
And perspirin'
Some, and tirin';
And while jar on jar she's pilin'
I'm a-sittin' here and dreamin'
Of the kettles that are steamin';
And the cares that have been troublin'
All have vanished in the bubblin'.
I am happy that I'm here
At the cannin' time of year.

Lord, I'm sorry for the feller
That is missin'
All the hissin'
Of the juices, red and yeller,
And can never sit and listen
To the rattle and the clatter
Of the sound of spoon on platter.
I am sorry for the single,
For they miss the thrill and tingle
Of the spendid time of year
When the cannin' days are here.

--Edgar Guest

Well this little poem certainly sums it all up. I have been busy making strawberry jam out of our garden berries. To think that I was going to pull up the plants and start over. I guess that the gardening advice you read about isn't always correct. We've had these strawberry plants in place for at least five years and they are still going strong. We've been enjoying them in jam, on ice cream, cereal, and fresh out of the garden.

I also bought raspberries from our local fruit stand to make some jam and to freeze. We've frozen lots of sweet cherries as well. Next are the blueberries. We will have quite a few this year, but I'll most likely need to buy some to freeze. There just aren't enough to freeze and enjoy fresh.

We are trying to "eat local" as much as possible. That means eating fruit and veggies in season. If we want to enjoy berries on our yogurt or ice cream later in the year, we'll need to pack the freezer!

If you want to learn more about this, check out New American Dream's C3 site. These folks have all sorts of great ideas on how to pare down and

Friday, July 06, 2007

Seven Random Things About Me Meme

I have been tagged by Ellen at Garden-Addiction to participate in this meme, so I will do my best.

1. I am afraid of the water. Don't like to be in it, don't like to be on it, don't like it in my eyes, ears, or nose. (I still shower though!)

2. I collect old books. Particulary those published before 1970. Love the vintage novels! Hence, the need to clear out my rooms and add more bookshelves...

3. I don't like lots of frosting on cookies and cakes. I always scrape it off and leave it on the plate. This is a big advantage for my husband, who helps himself to my leftovers. He's a frosting parasite!

4. I love to start projects but have been known to get bored with them in the middle of the process.

5. I'm a magnet for stray animals. Don't know why, but I seem to have a sign over my head that is only visible to wandering dogs and cats who show up at inconvenient times for indefinate periods. (See Maggie the dog who was one that ended up staying.)

6. Early morning is my favorite time of day. I love being out in the garden, or the city, when no one else is up and around. We often start out really early on our driving vacations to take advantage of this feeling. It's lovely.

7. I'm a homebody. I'd rather stay home and watch an old movie with popcorn and a soda on the couch with my hubby than go out to a movie or a happening club.

I won't tag anyone in particular, but if you read this, consider yourself tagged!

The Rules:
Each blogger starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 random facts as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 others and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.


Sometimes you need to make some changes in life--prune out the old stuff that isnt' working anymore so that you have room for new things to grow. That's what we've been doing in the garden.

The sad site of our noble red maple after our arborist and his crew cut it down.
This tree was approx. 16 years old and provided shade for our back patio and garden. It had been failing for a number of years with the leaves wilting and falling early. After a lot of research I decided it was likely Verticillium Wilt--a nasty soil-borne disease that kills a whole host of plants and can live in the soil for many, many years. Sigh. My diagnosis was confirmed by the arborist when he looked at the stump. So we are researching a replacement tree for this site. It will likely be a lovely Katsura, which is resistant to the wilt and provides lovely fall color. We'll plant it this autumn, after the hot weather is over. That's the good and bad of a garden, it's always changing!

While the work crew was there we had them remove two Mugo Pines that were "miniature" varieties, but over the years must have forgotten, because they grew into huge, ugly plants. (This is a bad photo, but they are the roundish shrubs at the base of the tall Arborvitaes.) It's so nice to have them gone. We will replace them with two pots containing something pretty, perhaps little red, laceleaf maples.

Now, if I could only muster the courage to do some pruning in other areas! I am still working on reducing my stuff and clearing out clutter. (Working slowly, mind you, but working none-the-less.) I have taken a few boxes of things to the thrift shop, and that always feels good. But there is a long way to go!