12 Day of Crafting, Canning, Food, Uncategorized

When Life Gives You Oranges

FullSizeRenderWhen I first started experimenting with canning I asked everyone what there favorite jam or jelly was.  The people pleaser inside of me was eager to make an impression.  Naturally, I asked my mother. She was quick to let me know that her favorite flavor out of a jar was lemon curd.  I was quick to learn that it is one of mine too.

Being in Texas we have the luxury of having some really great organic citrus grown in our backyard in McAllen, TX.  G&S Grove, check them out. (Seriously, the best grapefruit I’ve ever had.) So why does delicious curd have to stop with lemons?

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I heard through the grapefruit vine that a friend liked grapefruit curd, viola, it appeared!  I had done a blend of grapefruit and orange, which was delightful! This holiday season, I will be introducing straight up orange curd! Yes, I certainly tried my darn-dest not to eat it all before canning it up!

I will have these little babies available at the Holiday Handmade Show at OPA! this Saturday!  See you there!

12 Day of Crafting, Canning, Uncategorized

12 Days of Crafting: Day 3

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Day 3: Drop a Beet, Yo

It is no secret that I love beets.  I love them pickled, roasted, fried, and tattooed on my leg, boiled, you name it. Beyond the delightful taste, the brilliant colors have always been something that has gotten me too.  I don’t even mind my hands being pink for days.  So now that beets are in season, it should be no surprise that I am picking them up at the farmers market like they are going out of style. This past Sunday, I stopped by the Johnson’s Backyard Garden booth and loaded up on about 5 pounds of beets in order to whip up a batch of my Lemon and Clove Pickled Beets!

I find that beets are always on the sweeter side when they are pickled, because of the amount of sugar that is in them naturally.  I like to play off of the sweetness with a little bit of tartness from the lemon and the slightest spice from cloves.  Cloves and lemon can both be tricky because a little bit can go a long way, not to mention, paired with the wrong beet, it can turn into a bitter situation.  I find that this early in the winter season, the beets are perfect: small and sweet.

These pints will be available at the Bluebonnet Bazaar on December 13th!  They are great in salads and sandwiches (think peppery arugula and goat cheese) or just right out of the jar!

For more information on the Bluebonnet Bazaar: Click here!

12 Day of Crafting, Before & After

12 Days of Crafting: Day 2

IMG_0010Day 2: Lost & Found

I have a vivid memory from my childhood of cobalt blue glass bottles lined up on the sill of my mothers office window at the house I grew up in. I remember how the light looked shining through during every part of the day.  I asked my mother why she had all these bottles with nothing in them.  Her response was simple.  “I love them. I just do.  Look at how blue they are.” I never felt that it ever needed any other explaining.  Twenty plus years later, I am just like my mother, collecting bottles just to see the light twinkle through the blues, greens, and aged clears.

A while back a friend had stumbled across a collection of old, dusty medicine bottles that were stacked along an old mans barn.  I think he got 3 or 4 cases of these bottles. Well, being my mothers daughter I jumped on the chance to get my hands on a few of these these.

These lost bottles have now been found and given a home. I have a few scattered around my living room and bedroom, but admittedly there were a few, particularly the darker brown bottles, that I wanted to give some character and color to, since they didn’t go with anything in my apartment.  I decided like any crafty girl to add some ribbon, I held back on the glitter, and to stick with the old theme, I added some dried babies breath and miniature roses. On the brown bottles, instead of adding ribbon, I tied antique lace that I had acquired from an estate sale. Simple but definitely brightens up these little bottles and adds a feminine touch.  IMG_0016

Uncategorized

Baby Steps with Baby’s Breath

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I have said it before and I will say it many more times… I want to have a farm when I grow up, but for now I am limited to the confines of apartment living. I grew up on a small homestead where my father bred day lilies.  In my teens, he introduced me to the exquisiteness of Georgia O’keefe’s work, ever since I’ve been intrigued and captivated by the beauty of flowers.

I have always operated under the philosophy when living in an apartment: if a plant can live here,  I can live here. In my apartment now, I struggle to keep plants alive.  My living room has a large sliding glass door to lets some light in but my bedroom only has one window.  The window faces the parking lot, so as you can imagine to avoid giving neighbors a show, the curtain is always drawn. I realize this begins to raise questions, should I even be living here? (Probably not. I fully intend to bust out like its Folsom Prison once my lease is up.) But until then, what can I do about my cave of a bedroom?!

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My solution: dried flowers. Maybe it was an impulse buy at my local grocery store, reaching for babies breadth like I knew what to do with it. When I went home and tied the bouquet up with twine and hung it on a nail in my outdoor storage closet.  I kept my fingers crossed for two weeks and… Viola! Dried flowers!  I slid the baby’s breath in a tall decanter with a display of old jars,bottles, and tins and problem solved: Flowers in my bedroom!