Thursday, April 7, 2016

Red, White, and Blue!

I just finished crocheting another afghan!  The colors are bright and uplifting, as well as patriotic!

To get the pattern, go to www.redheart.com, and the pattern name is Twilight Shells Throw.  I obviously did not use their color selection, but instead designed my own.  I used 2 shades of red, an off-white, and 3 shades of blue.  Their suggested yarn was "Super Saver."  Instead I used Red Heart, "with Love."  It is softer and more cuddly than the "Super Saver."

Exact colors are Holly Berry, Berry Red, Eggshell, Bluebell, Peacock, and Navy.  My afghan measures 48" X 63".  I started and ended with the red combination of rows, so I have five red combinations and 4 blue combinations of rows.

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Spring Planting

The weather is warming and spring planting has begun!  We have some seeds in the ground:  peas, beets, radishes, turnips, etc.  And, we've planted cabbage and broccoli plants.

The big push has been potatoes.  The ground has been worked and shaped and we've had several sessions of seed potato cutting.


Now, all the potatoes are cut and we have just 50 pounds left to plant.  Almost finished!

Tomorrow we pick up our onion plants, strawberry plants, and asparagus plants.  We'll get them all in the ground a.s.a.p.  The onions, of course, will be sold this year.  The strawberries and asparagus are for years to come.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Enjoying Frozen Fruit from Summer

As well as blanching and freezing vegetables from our garden last summer, we also froze a good amount of fruit; raspberries, peaches, blueberries, cherries, and rhubarb.  The peaches and blueberries both came from U-Pick-It orchards.

We've been using the peaches and blueberries to make fruit smoothies and they are delicious!


To make the smoothies I use 1 cup of cranberry juice, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, approximately 1 cup frozen peaches and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries.  Combine all this in a blender and blend until smooth.  It makes 2 servings and needs to be served at once.  This recipe is versatile in that you may use any combination of juice and frozen fruit that you have available.  If it is too thin, add some more frozen fruit or an ice cube or two.  If it is too thick, add a little more juice.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Newest Afghan - Finished!

     My daughter asked me to crochet an afghan for her.  She chose the colors and the yarn.  The yarn is Lion Brand, "Hometown USA," which is a super bulky yarn.  It is very soft and it has a bit of a shine to it; quite lovely.  She chose the colors Dallas Grey and Washington Denim.  I used a size N crochet hook.  She wanted the chevron pattern of crochet.  I just followed a pattern I had used before, substituting the larger hook and bulkier yarn, and made it the width she wanted.  I crocheted three rows of each color before changing to the next color.  It's all done in the double-crochet stitch.  As I progressed, she decided I needed to keep going until it was long enough for her bed so she could use it as a blanket or bedspread.  It's very heavy!  I'm sure it weighs at least 10 pounds.  I don't know exactly how much yarn I used.  The yarn came in 5 oz. skeins and it took almost 1 1/2 skeins per 3-row color stripe.  Ridiculous.  I'm thinking I would not do this again!




Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I Wish You the "Best of Everything."

I call these muffins the "Best of Everything Muffins," because they are tasty and they are good for a quick breakfast on your way out the door.  Or, they make healthy snacks that are easy to make ahead and store in the freezer.  They have whole wheat flour and oatmeal in them.  They have no oil or shortening, but use applesauce instead.  This version also has raisins and walnuts, but you could substitute craisins and pecans or any other dried fruit and nut combination that you like.

BEST OF EVERYTHING MUFFINS

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup quick-cooking oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup applesauce
1 ½ cups raisins
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 12-cup muffin tin.

Combine flour & next 6 ingredients.  Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add milk mixture to flour mixture & stir well.

Stir in raisins & walnuts.  Fill muffin cups about two-thirds full.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cool slightly & remove from muffin tin.  Makes 1 dozen.

Harvest Hill Farm

Mound City, MO

Friday, October 30, 2015

When Life Gives You . . .

green tomatoes, make green tomato relish!  That's what I've been doing today.  It is the end of the gardening season here, so we have a few red tomatoes to process as well as plenty of green ones.  I've been making tomato juice out of the ripest red tomatoes and I have made one batch (7 pint jars) of green tomato relish today.  I plan to make another batch tomorrow.  The other tomatoes that I'm waiting on to finish ripening, we'll eat fresh.  And, I'll also chop some fresh ones and freeze them to use in vegetable soup this winter.  The chickens will get the remainder.  They love tomatoes!

Some people really like fried green tomatoes, but I've never cultivated a taste for them.  They're okay, but I don't like them well enough to take the time to fry them myself.
There are lots of recipes for green tomato relish.  I have included the one that my family likes the best.


GREEN TOMATO RELISH

 8 cups chopped green tomatoes
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped cabbage
2 cups chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped red pepper
½ cup salt

¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water

Grind vegetables coarsely.  Sprinkle with the ½ cup salt.  Let stand overnight in refrigerator.  (Or let stand 3 to 4 hours).

Rinse and drain thoroughly.  Combine sugar, spices, horseradish, vinegar and water; simmer 15 minutes.  Add vegetables and bring to a boil.  Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.  Yield:  7 pints.

Harvest Hill Farm

Mound City, MO

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Market Square Day - Labor Day

Tomorrow is Market Square Day in Mound City, MO.  Our small town has this street fair every Labor Day.  It is a combination flea market, farmers' market, craft sale and book sale.  Plus, there are all sorts of booths selling foods ready-to-eat from breakfast to barbecue to burgers.  Several of the local organizations and churches use proceeds from their booths to benefit community projects and scholarships for students.  It is an enjoyable way to spend a holiday shopping, visiting and eating, especially if the weather is nice.  We're not sure about tomorrow; there is a chance of rain.  The market opens at 8 a.m. and runs through early afternoon.

Harvest Hill Farm's booth will include vegetables, eggs, baked goods, homemade jam and a few crafts.  So, we're all pretty busy today getting everything harvested, bagged, baked, labeled and organized for tomorrow.