Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FROG Jam and cats on the freezer

You know, I could start every post with the question, where do the days go? 

Shelby and Jimmy at the market in 2015

Shelby is sharing her recipe for "F.R.O.G. Jam"...

6 cups peeled, crushed figs
3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
5 cups sugar
2 tbsp finely grated gingeroot
1 cup orange juice (1 lg. orange)
1/2 tsp butter (I don't use)

Mix figs, raspberries, sugar, gingeroot, and peel together in large pot
Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 30-45 min.
Ladle into sterilized jars and cover with sterilized lids
Process in boiling water bath for 10 min.
Cool and store in cool, dark place for up to 6 months

Note: To test for doneness of jam, place a small plate in the freezer as you prepare the ingredients. When ready to test, remove dish and pour  a tablespoon of jam onto it. Return to freezer for 1 minute. Then draw your finger through the middle of the jam. If it separates, it's done. Will thicken as it cools.

At that last craft show Shelby and I did, the one at the church; the preacher pulled up a chair and sat down in front of Shelby's display of jams and jellies. Shelby puts out a small opened jar of each flavor, along with a pretty little dish of cream cheese, and a dish of wheat thins, for sampling the jellies, kind of like here at the market...

Anyhow, the preacher, a very tall, big, friendly, down to earth type man, proceeded to sample each of the jellies. After sampling the Frog jam, he stood up and said, "rriiivvit, rriiivvit", what's in the frog jam?" It was funny. We really liked both the preacher and his wife. Very nice friendly folks.

To Diane in Wisconsin; you asked if Shelby ever ships her jams and jellies. She does occasionally, but the cost of shipping is high. She shipped a few jars to a lady in New York, and the shipping cost was as much as what she paid for the jelly. The lady wanted them anyway, and paid the shipping cost. All I can say is, that must be some delicious jelly! :) and it really is.

As far as the baking, Shelby mostly sells cakes, but she does make banana nut bread and pumpkin bread, and in the summer time, strawberry bread.

Listen to this! Here's what Shelby had baking this morning when I called her...eight cakes, (the last of an order for twenty). Chocolate pound cake, coconut pound cake, fresh apple cake, carrot cake, and million dollar pound cake, there were eight different ones and I've already forgotten the other two. Plus, six loaves of banana nut bread. No way could I do all that. As mama used to say, "I'd rather dig stumps".

Better get busy, but first a few kitty cat pictures. We may have to invest in a bigger freezer...

and here! See why it's hard to get any sewing done at night...

Thank you for visiting


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Christmas Jam and Shelby

Sorry about the Christmas Jam recipe that was supposed to be posted here yesterday...Hopefully, today is not too late...

Shelby in her warm, inviting, and always busy kitchen, and below is the recipe.

Christmas Jam

1 (12-ounce) pkg. fresh Cranberries
2 (10-ounce) pkg. frozen Strawberries, thawed
4 cups sugar
1 (3-ounce) pkg. liquid pectin

Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add cranberries. Cover; process until cranberries are coarsely chopped. 
Combine cranberries, strawberries, and sugar in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; add pectin. Return to a full rolling boil; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and skim off foam with metal spoon.
Quickly pour jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" head space; wipe jar rims, cover at once with metal lids and screw-on bands, process in boiling water bath 5 minutes.
Yield; 7 half pints

Now why didn't I take pictures of her jams and jellies?? 

These are the jams she makes...
Apricot, Blackberry, Blueberry, Blueberry peach, Christmas, Frog, Peach, Ginger peach, Jalapeno peach, Hot jalapeno peach, Plum, Raspberry, Strawberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Tripleberry, and Spiced tomato.

and the jellies...
Cherry, Ghost pepper, and Grape. 

and the butters...
Apple, Honey apple, Honey blackberry, Honey blueberry peach, Honey strawberry, Honey blueberry.

and these...
Fig preserves, Orange marmalade, Mango relish, Tomato relish, and Chow-chow.

Good gosh! I had no idea! No wonder she never has any free time.

Looking out the back door of Shelby's and Jimmy's house, I love the old barn and out buildings.

on craigslist today for $150.00

Wonder if there could be an old rusted cast iron pot-bellied stove tucked away in their barn somewhere? I really need one for the playhouse...

with a bit of rearranging, the little stove could go inside the fence panels...

Recently, Poppy said to me,"Henny, you can't  put a cast iron stove in the playhouse. The rain and damp weather will make it rust". So, I had about given up on the idea until this thought hit me, "there are covers for everything else, why not make a cover from an old brown tarp". It's not like the stove will be used every day. 

So, once again I am in the market for a pot-bellied stove, a small table with two chairs (Bistro set would be perfect), and a tea kettle.  Oh, then we will need a small shelf and a few thrift store teacups and saucers. :)

Guess I had better get busy. It's time for Poppy to get home. I've had a little vacation, even though it was Poppy doing the traveling. He has been gone since Friday morning early, and I've been home alone! He went down home (Moore County) to deer hunt with his nephew. As of last night, they had not even seen a deer.  Yay!!  I pull for the deer.

Sorry for such a long post. Thank you for visiting.


Friday, November 10, 2017

freeze tonight and animal pairs

Oh my gosh, were we ever glad to see the sun come up this morning. The weather lately has been dark and dreary. Out with Eli and Weetie at 4:30 this morning...I looked up and there were stars, and the moon! The clouds were gone!

Tonight we are supposed to have our first freeze. I've been up to the garden and picked
the last of the pretty zinnias...and now feel bad for the ones that didn't get picked, the faded ones. 

I've plugged in the little milk house heater to keep the teeny tiny greenhouse warm...for a night or two anyway...

there were many buds and new growth on the potted rose bushes. I hated to see them freeze. Two nights of freezing cold and then we should warm up a bit.

and finally, after a week of rain, we have a little fall color...and some roses.

I've been out picking up pretty leaves, and taking pictures, moving more pots into the little greenhouse, and looking at all the leaves waiting to be raked...

...why, I hardly knew what to post!

The camellia has been simply covered in blooms.

These two were guarding the door. With cold weather coming, the gas company had their big red trucks out filling gas tanks today... 

The truck driver keeps an eye on Weetie as she runs out barking with her bristles up. Eli, on the other hand, tucks his tail under and comes inside where it's safe. I had to pick up Weetie and bring her inside.

and here's another pair...

this was at 4:30 this morning! Never a dull moment!

Okay, I am off to sew a bit. I've started on three more of those silly dolls. There is another craft bazaar Nov. 17th. Neighbor Ann has asked me to go and share a table with her. I've bought myself a new hand saw and pack of sandpaper...just need to chop down another maple sapling! :)


Oh! for those of you interested in Shelby's jams and jellies...she gave me her recipe for Christmas jam, and a list of all the jams and jellies. I will post that tomorrow. Thank you!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Craft Bazaar

Well, I'm back, and behind, as usual. Throw a little something like a craft bazaar into the works and it totally wipes me out. I never could concentrate on but one thing at a time.

Folding and packing the night before...

A few days before the sale I decided to make dolls. There were already maple sticks in my work basket...

I got three of the larger dolls and two small clothespin dolls made.

It was a fun two days. Shelby was there on Friday with her jams and jellies, and then on Saturday, my neighbor Ann was there with her jewelry. It was a small space, not a lot of room to spread out.

So, that's me in the center, the one with the silly grin. Don't know where Ann had disappeared to.  Shelby's little staircase of jams and jellies are to my right, on the red cloth. Cases of each flavor were stored under the table. The "Christmas Jam" was everyone's favorite, and it sold out on Friday.

the center table with the red cloth belongs to Lee Ann, "The Bag Lady". She makes beautiful bags, pillows, and aprons, and was kind enough to take a few pictures for me. 

You know Henny Penny! Not enough courage to get up in a crowd and take pictures. Reminds me of the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz!

I love the cute little clothespin bags and bought the one in front, trimmed in red for me.

Some of the ladies who sold baked goods.

Now I need to get back in the sewing room and finish putting things away. I've simply got to make more dolls this week.

I sure appreciate you all. Thank you!!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween on Henny Penny Lane

Strange, very strange...

Why did those white lines show up, that were not there when the picture was taken? Scary stuff!

and why did their faces change???

The old cupboard on the front porch is perfect for holding a few scary items on Halloween. But seriously, I don't know what caused those white lines.

My grandma's old home place has nothing to do with Halloween, but I was going through some pictures, saw it and thought, this would now be a scary place to be on Halloween night, and what a shame. Why, mama was born and raised here...

This home was once warm and cozy, and lived in. We visited here when I was a child and I remember mama and daddy leaving me with grandma for a few hours late one evening. I was surely very young. The living room was lit with an oil lamp and grandma spread a quilt out on the floor for me to play on. 

One of my all time favorite Halloween nights, well, in my adult life anyway, was back when Poppy and I were dating...and I've posted this before...

we went to a Halloween party at the Holiday Inn, in Southern Pines. We were not aware that a fifty dollar prize would be given for best costume. We were simply in love...and on the dance floor most of the night. At closing time, the announcer asked, will the cowboy and his Indian maiden come up front. We won the prize, without even trying.

When the party ended and we got to the car, we realized that we had locked the keys inside the car. Count Dracula and his wife gave us a ride home. My apartment was only three miles from the hotel. 

I gave up on trying to decorate this table, but the crow on the witch's hat  lets out a series of caws when we walk out the front door. 

Wish we could look forward to crowds of children knocking on the door for treats, but we live too far back in the woods for that. Why, it would scare me to death if a ghost or goblin came rapping at the door, way out here.

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "Tis some visitor", I muttered... The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe  I like this poem! 

Mama simply hated Halloween night and was scared to death of folks dressed up. I think she may have enjoyed the children on Halloween after she moved in with Shelby and Jimmy...and felt safe.

Have a scary one!!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Washing jars

At last! Clean, dust free jars!

Did you ever wonder what thirty years of dust looks like?

Well, maybe it hasn't been quite thirty years, but I can't remember the last time these jar (in the back) were washed. I should be ashamed of myself for showing you this. 

Poppy says the dust and cob webs make the place look older. It looks older the owners have died and gone on!

This collection of canning jars and old milk bottles sits way up high on a shelf in the kitchen. It's a job, bringing in the tall ladder and climbing up and down, over and over...

but I did, and got it done, bringing down four at a time and washing them in hot soapy water.

Sparkling clean! What a good feeling it was when that last jar was dried and put back on that shelf.

One old milk bottle still had the cardboard cap. "Tuberculin Tested". Maybe I should be tested, after breathing in all that dust!

I'm a counter you know, and there were 63 bottles and jars, that row is four deep! 

I was going to show you my scary Halloween decorations...such as it is, but no, I'll wait until Tuesday!

Thank you, if you're still here. Who wants to look at dust and dirt. :)


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Guinea sweetness

Dear friends,

Oh, I really did want to reply to each one of your comments on my last post...and here I've been away from home all day again. Replies  now might be too late...but I sure enjoyed each one. Thank you! 

You know, there is a heat lamp in the baby guinea's pen to keep them warm. So, just before dark, when I close the chicken house door, I look in on the babies too. What a surprise I got last night...

They were not snuggled in the hay under the lamp, but had climbed the ladder up to the roost.

had to go to the other side of the pen to get the two babies facing this way.

Not much of a post, and the shortest one ever. Mostly wanted to say how much I enjoyed your comments.


Monday, October 23, 2017

We have babies!

All of a sudden, Penny's teeny tiny baby bun bun has become a regular little bunny rabbit...

finding it's way out of the nest to nibble on kale...

and wash it's tiny face, and hop down those steep cinder block steps to play on the ground. 

When did all this happen? I had no idea just how fast baby bunnies grow.

this is an awful picture, but I wanted you to see this sweet little mouth and nose. She (or he) has long flat nose. Poppy says she favors a mouse. What in the world can we name her? 

Heaven knows I do not need four bunnies, but how can I part with this one? Penny's first. She has lost two. 

Here we've been all summer with no babies to raise. Now, going into winter, we have babies...
a gift from our nice neighbors Robert and Kristine. They had thirty three baby guineas hatch recently. Thirty three!! Now eight of them are ours. Aren't they cute?

I found an old piece of tin to add to the small lot behind the chicken house. This will be a windbreak and give the babies a warm corner to huddle in, under the heat lamp.

Oh my, I had rather be outside building cozy little homes for animals, and playhouses, than eat when I am hungry. Poppy says, "do you think that you will ever grow up"? Well no! Why should I?

Happened to look out the kitchen window and thought...

what is that on top of the goat barn? Well, it was Smokey, sound asleep.

I told him to come on inside, the bed is much softer.

Just wanted to mention this same old heavy comforter you see in all the pictures. No matter how pretty the bed is made, I keep this comforter spread out for the animals. Three cats and two dogs leave a lot of hair. :) But, I do get tired of the look.

Hope to be back soon.