Friday, August 15, 2014

Yoo-Hooooo, Are You Still Out There?

A couple months ago, there was a fire across the street. We were all standing out on the sidewalk in horror watching it burn.  Greg ran back into the house to get my camera, and accidently dropped it on our brick floor.  Ouch.  She broke!  We only sent it back to Nikon last week for repair, and I received it back less than a week later.
I was SO excited to get it back!  I have been lost without my camera.  I feel like I have missed so many photo opportunities, and although I am using my iphone, it is not the same for me.
My post tonight is just a bit of random this and that. A whole lot of nothing really.  Starting with the garden.  Very much in the last days of production.  The heat has taken a toll.  I continue to harvest tomatoes and cucumbers, green onions, and peppers, along with lots of herbs.  But most has now been harvested.
I have been able to make up several batches of homemade sauce to store in the freezer for the winters use.
When I first starting making my own sauce, I was doing it on the stovetop.  But then I saw the way my friend
Priscilla made hers, by roasting it in the oven, and I have been making it this way ever since.  Thanks Priscilla!!!  I add lots of basil, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, a chopped jalapeno or two, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast in oven at 375 for about 45 minutes.  When cool, use slotted spoon to transfer to food processor and blend.  I either use it right away, or freeze it in gallon freezer bags.  I can usually make enough in the summer, to not have to buy any all year.  It is delicious!
Our grandkids have all gone back to school.  I am finding myself with a little time on my hands.  Yesterday I popped into one of my favorite haunts to do a little thrifting.   What a lucky find too, because I am planning to make freezer jam this weekend, and needed some small canning jars.
20 jars for 10.00.  This wicker basket caught my eye with the pretty fabric insert.  The fabric is also covered by a protective plastic.  The fabric is so pretty and looks like my nasturtiums in my own yard.

I also got these two rolls of shelf liner paper.  How perfect for me.  It is roosters, chickens and eggs, and sunflowers.  In red.
I couldn't pass up this little ceramic eye glass holder.
I had not been in so long, and it was fun to be on the hunt.
The other day a friend of mine dropped by with a big box of Zinfandel grapes for me, that were from her daughter's vineyards in Temecula.
Aren't they beautiful?  And oh so sweet too.
I put them in the fridge out in the garage, with the intention of making jam this weekend.  So the jars were a terrific find!
Today my girlfriend Jae and I went to lunch and had a great mushroom burger, and a caught up on what has been going on.  She watches her one year old grandson, and I watch Noah, so we don't get to "play" as much as we used to.  She had today off, and had heard of a new quilt shop in town for us to check out too.
Jae and her husband Tom, just returned from a month long trip across the States on their Harley.  They are so adventurous!!!  I could never do that!
After lunch, we went in search of the new quilt shop.  Turns out, they had only been open for a few weeks.
 If you are local to my area, they are in Norco, on Hamner, right next to the Western facade shopping center.  Just before In & Out. They are small, but have a good variety and lots of things to choose from.  They will be having classes too.  Go check them out.  While we were browsing the shop, I happened upon a Sampler quilt on display on the classroom wall that looked very familiar to me.  I was invited to participate in a friendship quilt block exchange several years ago, and each person was assigned a block to make, one for herself, and one for the rest of the group.  There were about 20 or so of us I think.  I made the pumpkins, which was of course one of the less difficult blocks to make.  But I so enjoyed doing this!  I never put the quilt together....shame on me.  I will now!!  At first, I thought the quilt was made by someone else and like the one we did.  But I turned the quilt over to the back, and there it was, the label that each one of us signed.  My name, next to Pumpkins....dated 2003.  I did not take a photo!  But I will go back and get one soon.
Last night we had all of our grandkiddos, as it was back to school night for the parents.  It was fun to hear
 of their experiences their first week back to school.  Hannah and Noah are in second grade, and little Clairey is in Kindergarten.  Here is Geeps with all of them.
And here they all are with Gramma.
Oh how we love these kiddos!!!
I know I said I would not do a food post for awhile, but I have to share this easy and delicious layered dish. My Mom told me about it, after I was telling her about making my sauerkraut.  She knew someone who made this, maybe my Aunt?  I can't remember.  But it was GOOD!!!
 I bought a small boneless sliced ham.  Layered the dish with ham, then kraut, then sliced apples, sliced into round, flat pieces, then I layered a couple slices of good Swiss Cheese, and repeated the layers two times.  Finishing with ham slices.
I baked it at 350 for about 45 minutes.  I covered the pan loosely with foil.  It isn't a pretty dish.  But oh my, it is good!  A salty bite of ham, with the subtle sweetness of the apples, and then that tart kraut...and a wee bit of a gooey melted cheese bite.  Oh wow!! isn't a pretty dish.  But one of those comfort foods that I think we will be craving again come Fall.  I hope you try it.  It is easy, and yummy!  Don't forget to cover the dish with foil or the ham will dry out.
I will end this today with some yarny stuff.  I have been trying to get my stock built up for the holiday orders. I love to give dishcloths as hostess gifts.  So I like to always have some on hand.  I usually knit them.  Like this one.  I made a dish scrubbie with tulle in a matching color.
The hand made dishcloths are all I use.  I must have 20 of them!
I wanted to learn how to do this textured basket stitch in crochet.  So I You tubed it, and watched a few videos.  All of which made NO sense to me.  So I just put the ipad down and started to do my own thing.
It could very well be quite incorrect.  But it is just a series of front post and back post stitches, to form this weaved look.  I love it.
I couldn't stop!  I used up all of my soft cotton/acrylic blend that I bought up in Big Bear at the yarn shop there.  It is so soft and it washes up great, holds it's shape, and dries fast when hanging over the sink to dry. I LOVE this yarn!

The stack keeps growing.  These are fun and quick to make, and make nice gifts.  I like to make face cloths for the shower in a natural cotton and give them with some nice bars of soap.  And the ones for the kitchen, I  like to give with some nice pump soap like a Meyer's Basil or some of the seasonal soaps from Bath & Body Works.
I told you it was going to be a whole lot of nothing randomness!!  I hope all of you are enjoying the waning summer.  We are still in for a good 8 weeks of hot, hot hot!  Lots of triple digits!
I will be back soon, now that I have my camera back!
Thanks for coming by.  I always love to hear what you have to say!  Some of my readers don't have blogs of their own, but I want you to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to comment too!!!
Have a great weekend.  Not sure if we will go the lake, Maybe even just Greg to fish for the day.  Lots to do for me.  Like jam making!
See you soon.
XO  Kris


Betsy said...

I've missed you Kris and so enjoyed your "random" post. Lots of good thrifty finds-I could sure use a couple of those glasses holders-and your recipes looks delicious. The kids look like they love their Gramma and Grampa lots too. I like those basket weave dishcloths. Lot's of texture for good scrubbing! Oh, it's good to hear from you again.

Holly said...

Love your randomness in this post. So many great things going on. Jae looks so happy in this pic. Glad you two were able to get together and get caught up. I am sooo ready for fall and for baking again. My house is still a mess from the reno but after the painter's come on Monday, we should be done for a while. I'm sure I will be dusting and mopping for weeks after that. Miss you!

From the Kitchen said...

Love your random post. Reminds me of how my best friends and I are when we get together--disjointed but understood and enjoyed.

Welcome back.


Agen Tattonox said...

Thank you so much for picking my card as one your winners from the teddies challenge, it is such an honour.
Thank you for all your hard work in making the challenge so successful, it's a shame that the challenge is ending but I can totally understand your reasons and wish you all the best.
Sue xx obat penghilang tato

Mereknits said...

Hooray you are back and now I feel all caught up. That is the exact camera I have and I swear I really don't know how to use it yet, I do use it but I really should learn more about it. I love the pictures of you and Geeps with the grandkids, they are all looking much older as this school year starts.
Hugs to you Kris,

Home Meadows said...

Hi Kris! I'm glad you got your camera back, it looks like it's in excellent working order. :-) I'm so looking forward to a garden. We've had all sorts of heavy equipment in our yard this year with grading and planting the grass. Now it looks like they may have to add some lines to our leach field which means more bulldozers and bob cats. My garden for this year is a distant memory; so I'm planning for next! Have a terrific weekend. Looking forward to hearing about your jam making session. Heather

Debbie said...

Hi! Where to start? First, I am glad your camera was able to be fixed and you got it back soo fast. Funny how dependent we are huh? And then ALL THOSE perfect to make jam with them. I get the house will smell wonderful. And the quilt shop is close enough I will have to check it out. Always looking for new ones, lol. How fun to have that quilt you contributed to in there. Yes, we have several more weeks of hot huh? Not really looking forward to that. Enjoy your day Kris! The kids are getting soo big...and soo cute!

Jeanna said...

Wow Kris...this post is choc full of goodness! I hardly know where to begin.

First, I always love seeing the family pics. We are a close family but there isn't that many of us and my kids are college / Navy age so aren't even married yet.

The sauce you make sounds delish. We have an abundance of basil this year but sadly no tomatoes. Still,they aren't that expensive to purchase so I may just try your recipe.

What a coincidence that you found one of your quilt blocks from years ago in the new shop...can't wait to see yours finished.

I love handmade dish cloths. I knit and crochet but have never made any. I've got some that have been gifted to me by two friends over the years but need more. What is your favorite kind of yarn for the kitchen ones?

Enjoy your weekend!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I never thought of making sauce like that, Kris...but I'm sure going to do it! Bet the roasting really adds flavor. And I have fresh basil this year, too! Thanks for sharing! Glad you got your camera back!

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Missed your posts and always check to see if something new. Glad your camera is back in action. Disjointed or not, great post with wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing your life with us ;-) Linda

Pammy Sue said...

So glad you got your camera fixed! Yay! I'm going to try that method for making spaghetti sauce. I'll have to buy my tomatoes and stuff though. Boooooo. I went thrifting yesterday too. I would have bought more stuff, but it was so hot in there I had to rush and leave. Ugh. Love the dishcloths!

Gloria Baker said...

yes Im always here. And Im happy when I see you in my sidebar lol!
Amazing pictures Chris!
I love the grapes, look delicious!!!

NanaNor's said...

Hi my friend, I so understand about how busy everyone is; it is very hard to get to all the blogs I follow. Love all that you have been doing. Last night we had two granddaughters for the last summer sleepover. We had a dinner of their choice and then watched half of Anne of Green Gables.
Love all your produce and your canning supplies. I thought I was going to a quilt show today, but I already have a quilt I'm hand quilting and have another quilt to start as soon as I finish with the current one.
Have a great weekend.

Elaine L. said...

Hi I am still here reading your posts. You are so busy and I love to see your garden and family. Hope you are having a great summer. Dean came down with the strangest thing in his knee. An infection. He has been in so much pain and not able to walk even except bathroom. Finally turning the corner today. We have no idea how it started either. Scary.

Nana Go-Go said...

I so love it when you include a couple of recipes in your posts! I'll be trying out that pasta sauce one for sure when the tomatoes here are ripe enough! I'm interested to know how you make grapes into jam - never tried that one. I have 4 Mason jars which were sent over from Chicago to my sister, filled with various pickled veg and which she gave to me when they were empty!A little bit of USA in my kitchen!I'm going to make strawberry jam tomorrow - they're very cheap to buy at the moment and I just love homemade jam! Lovely washcloths too - great idea for gift-giving. Hugs to you, Kris. xxx

Susanne Tyree said...

Glad you got your camera fixed. I always enjoy your pictures. it is hard to believe it is August already and half over. School is starting around here. And guess what, my tomatoes are turning pink and now red and getting ripe. I have a ton of green ones which is amazing since I only have 4 plants. One year I had some way into November and I managed to do that with picking all the green tomatoes before the frost and wrapping them individually in newspaper, putting in a box and storing in a cool dry place, the basement. Every couple of days I would check and sure enough some were turning. So much better than the hot house ones from the store. the grapes look good. I suspect we will be seeing some grape jelly soon. It is so good, but so messy and grapes will stain. I made some before. You got some neat stuff in your thrift shopping. I have done a bit of Christmas shopping, yep, you read that right, lol. Have a good weekend and great week.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Taciana Simmons said...

Hello my dear friend. I don't know why but I haven't been getting updates abou your posts... I just got to your hog through Betsy's blog and I noticed I'm be hang on a few of your posts... Going to try to catch up. I looooove your garden plenty bountifully, love the fixed camera ( I also have a Nikon and I love it) ... The grapes and the recipe...wonderful of you to share it. So happy that you've started your Christmas gifts ( and so did I also.have agood weekend my dear firnd and have fun making jam !

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Kris! No chicken pictures?!!! Just kidding even tho I would love to see them! You have a lot going on and glad you got your camera fixed. I love mushroom burgers so must know where you got them and I need to check out the fabric shop too!!!! Fun checking in with you because it is always so fun here! Thanks for your support during my chicken ordeal! Love ya, Maryjane

Karen L. Bates said...

So glad to get caught up on all that you have been doing. Great post and I love that new pattern you did for the washcloths. I just might try that one. I just picked up some more cotton this week and keep staring at it....I want to jump right in.

Your garden is doing so well. My tomatoes are just getting ripe and I even picked my first spaghetti squash! It has been in the triple digits here too...ugh!

Gracie Saylor said...

So glad you got your camera fixed fast, Kris! The shutter on mine is broken so I need to fix or replace the camera. Signs of seasonal change are around here, but I am still surprised to realize that school is starting for some already. Do your Grands have air-conditioning in their schools? I love to see them loved and happily growing :) Your thrifting finds are fun and practical...I will be interested to hear if you remember to put your glasses in their new dish. I never tire of seeing your cooking, and I love your basket weave dishcloth pattern. Wishing you continuing happy days! xx

Teresa Kasner said...

Hi Kris! Love your post - I always am inspired by you no matter what you blog about. I'm happy that your camera was repaired so fast.. maybe they even made it better? Your littlies always look so happy, they know they are treasured and loved. Our little guys were so happy to see us come home after 2 weeks being gone! None of our kids and grands got to come to the lake this year, hopefully next year. I hope you get your beloved cooler weather soon.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Jann Olson said...

Hi Kris,
happy to hear that your camera got repaired so quickly! I am sitting here drooling over your tomatoes. Ours have been pitiful this year. Had gobs last year. This year I have picked 6 and they were so small you had to get out a magnifying glass to see them. lol! The ham dish sounds yummy. I have ham slices in the freezer from a pork hubby got from a friend. I'll have to give it a try. Glad you got to go thrifting. Always lifts my spirit. Have fun what ever you do.

corners of my life said...

We made Reuben baked potatoes last night for dinner. Wish I would have had some of your homemade sauerkraut to use.

Pam said...

I need that glasses holder! So cute & handy.

Love the casserole - I don't care if it's pretty when it tastes that good. YUM!