Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Salad Days, Strawberry Jam, and Farmhouse Garden for Betsey Johnson

My sweet little baby was sick for about a week and a half, and I have been far too tired a caregiver to post anything here. There is nothing worse than a sick bunny- here she is, sweet as can be, hugging her sick bunny at the dr.'s office.
Thankfully, the bunnies are feeling much better!
Looks like it's good I wasn't paying attention, as a lot of Blogger users had frustration with Blogger being down, and losing and getting back posts and such. I hope any of you who had trouble have gotten this all straightened out.

Around here, we have been enjoying what is starting to feel like summer- the garden is beginning to produce, and we have had amazing fresh salads several nights this past week.
There is nothing better than going outside to pick your fresh food,
and then eating it a few minutes later!
Our favorite farm stand, Osage Farms, has opened for the season, and we bought a gallon of strawberries last weekend for jam.

Prepping strawberries for jam

I love kitchen gadgets! This "Tomato Shark" made hulling the strawberries easy!

Canning helpers

More canning helpers... ;) 
Boiling strawberries and sugar

Exciting canning action shots taken by my husband

Found a great recipe in this book- strawberries and sugar :)

The jam came out really loose, as there was no added pectin. I like it this way; it is more like strawberry topping. I often use jam to flavor my yogurt, so this worked out perfectly for me.
In other farm news, the lightening bugs are back. I can't really begin to describe to you what that looks like here- I know most people have seen lightening bugs before, but I have never, ever seen them like this before. The low lying fields and trees are positively full of them, millions of them, and they sparkle and sparkle and sparkle. It is a sight to behold; the first time my husband and I saw them here, we were in the car and we stopped and just looked out the windows for a long time. Just the other day, Brian caught one in the house and took a photo before setting it free.
The chickens are really laying now that the days are longer...anyone need any eggs?
And finally, I had to get new storage for my fabric and pattern stash, because the old cabinet caved under pressure :) This was my Mother's Day gift, and I am very pleased with it. However, moving the stash made me realize that I have far too much stuff, and I think I am to the point where it is stifling my creativity because I don't know where to begin. So what did I do when my friend offered me some nice fabric on Wednesday? I took it home and crammed it in with the rest, of course. Some habits die hard. I did immediately put some of that fabric to use though, and yesterday I made myself a new sun hat for the summer using Butterick 3850 - a vintage Betsey Johnson accessories pattern circa early 1970s.
I have listed it for sale on eBay as part of my clean out. This is a neat pattern, and I have never seen it anywhere else. I need to get a good photo of the front for the Vintage Pattern Wiki. And here are a few too many pics of my finished hat!

My fabric was a little floppy, but I kinda like it that way, and I plan on starching the hell out of the brim to make it just a little less so. It is called a "fireman style" and is perfect for really keeping the sun off. And I love this fabric with the bees, citrus, and checks- it is all summer!

Well , now that I am back in the swing, I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on too! I hope the weekend is treating you well!


  1. Love the jam you are making. I do freezer jam, love the stuff. Maybe i'll try some you cook too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh man, I haven't made jam or pickles since my kids came along. I used to be famous for my sweet beet pickles and crabapple jelly, but I'm afraid to boil litres of scalding sugar on the stove with two monkeys banging around my kitchen!
    Things are just starting to peek out of the ground here: cilantro, rhubarb, oregano, chives and the strawberry plants don't even have blossoms yet. Soon though, soon.
    I need to make a good big floppy hat too that I can pack for traveling.

  3. I so want to try my hand at jam this year. Need to get me a big preserving pan though as I burnt the hell out of a couple of our saucepans last year making tomato chutney! Your jam looks totally drool worthy and I love your jars too!
    I've started off our tomatoes and courgettes, repotted some strawberry "babies" and sown some peas. My herb garden has gone crazy this year and I really need to start using them in more ways before they go to waste! Am waiting to seeif our raspberry canes and appletrees start fruiting this year. It's such an exciting time of year isn't it.
    Elderflower champagne is very high on my to do list this year again. Yummy!
    Great top stitching BTW!

  4. Strawberry jam making is on the list for me next week. Love the hat!

  5. I love making jam too. It would be fun to get a bunch of friends over to have a jam-o _thon. Glad to hear you bunny is feeeling better. So cute!

  6. @Cassandra {Sleeping or Sewing}
    Thanks Cassandra!
    @Vintage Girl
    Thank you! I haven't tried the freezer jam, but the stuff you cook is pretty easy. I'd love to hear about whatever you make! I love to hear about food in general... :)
    @Another Sewing Scientist
    Those sound wonderful! I usually have to can after the baby goes to bed, but hubby has set me up to can outside now, too, which will be good as it heats up. I love beets and made beet relish last year.
    @Miss P Gosh that all sounds so lovely! You'll make great jams, because you are good at everything :) I love to use our fresh herbs for pasta salad! TONS of oregano- Brian says I overdo it. Thanks on the top stitching too, it was the first time I haven't totally flubbed it. :)
    @SuzanneThanks Suzanne! Hope your jam comes out great! @Justine/Sewcountrychick Justine, that does sound really fun! Thank you- I am glad she is feeling better too. Now if only she would sleep through the night again- you know how hard it can be to get them back to their little routines...


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