Sunday, September 16, 2018

Here at Home Getting Ready for Winter..

Good Evening my dears.. 

Here I am here at home... 
Ready to post.. smile.. 

Before I forget.. the pic above is what I see out my kitchen window most  early mornings.. 
A mama and her two babes... 

I am so sorry to be so slow getting up a blog post...  
Sometimes I don't have much to share and I am scared of boring you all to bits so I wait and hope I come up with something.. 

Today is just a short one... 
I just seem to be doing the same thing everyday!  

Pickles... pickles and more pickles... grin.. 
These ones above are the Hot Mixed Veggies that you see me make every year.. 
I do so love these.. 
Almost as much as dill... 

So glad that I had gathered my basil for pesto.. 

We had a really early frost and it killed what was left.. 
Oh well.. I have enough.. 

Then every year I make Terry's mother's Mustard Pickles.. 
They are the family favourite mustard.. 
It is funny how one only likes the kind they grew up with, eh? 

I did lots of others but will not make you suffer hearing about them all.. 
Our cold room is getting filled, though..  
What a lovely feeling.. 

I do love preserving for the Winter season.. 

I know that really we could buy a cucumber and red onion from the supermarket and just make a brine and have pickles for supper and look in the cosmetics aisle for face cream or buy a bottle of dried oregano for pizza or a jar of pesto for pasta sauce or a bottle of dills from Costco...  
We could do that.. 
 But for me it just is not the same..

Preserving is not just frugal but rewarding..  
I enjoy all things that are connected to the harvest season.. 

Gathering herbs and flowers.. 
Picking veggies from the gardens..
Peeling our own grown garlic just smells so heavenly.. 
And it was not grown in China but in our own garden.. 
Gathering wild rose petals for soaps and lotions, Tansy for my arthritis,  making vinegars with herbs, garlic and peppercorns, collecting rose hips to make a moisturising oil for my face, combining herbs from the garden with oils to make salves for dry skin, itching, sores and bruises, and of course pesto from basil, garlic and cheese, making pickles, jams, jellies, canning green beans, zucchini and tomatoes, freezing bags and bags of spaghetti sauce, making potpourris for gifts and to scent our rooms, dehydrating veggies for soups and stews, hanging herbs everywhere to dry for just so many things... 
I guess you see what I mean... smile.. 

It is work for sure but also just so interesting and that makes it all so satisfying..

Terry grows the garden and I like to do my part by not wasting it.. 

I did these on Friday...  

Big Batch Zucchini Breads to freeze..  

Or so I thought... 
Someone really enjoys fresh breads but I rescued them before they were all devoured.. 
Hope to do another batch this week... 
Here is the recipe as it is a really good one.. 

Bulk Batch Zucchini Bread

3 cups oil
9 eggs, beaten
5 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla
9 cups unbleached flour (can include some whole wheat pastry flour)
6 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp. baking soda
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or a combination
Preheat oven to 325°. Spray four bread loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour, zucchini, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nuts and chocolate chips. Stir until just mixed. Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To freeze: Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a large freezer bag. Remove excess air and freeze. Can also be sliced before freezing.
This recipe is from Good Cheap Eats..  I changed the amounts of baking powder and soda from their original. 

I also made a tray of these granola bars for our grandsons... 

Cut them and then wrapped in parchment paper twists.. 

Delivered them this morning at church.. 

So as you can see it has been pretty typical around here for the time of year.. 
So many homes are the same.. 
So lovely to see on Instagram that there are so many younger ones following the old ways.. 
They say they don't mind sticky floors and cluttered counters so long as they get the stuff put away before it spoils.. 
I do understand.. 

This week I hope to be finished with the veggie end of things and move on to some Fall decor and concentrating on the cosmetic stuff like lotions, salves and oils.. 
I have made up my mind to make a different type of soap.. 
Hope it turns out but that probably won't happen till next week if the Lord wills... 
Then there is the house cleaning and a bit of painting to do.. 
My hydrangea are ready for picking.. 
I just gather big bunches of it and stick it in any large jug, vase or basket that I can find and just let them dry ... 
Then hopefully I will get a few wreaths made.. 
and so on.. smile.. 

Dear old Charlie is pretty good company these days.. 

He is just such a good dog.. 

This afternoon after church we drove up to the farm to get a few cabbages, turnips and more herbs... 
I looked in the house for this old recipe book and found it.. 

from 1953... 
It has some excellent preserving recipes .. 
I love to try something new each year and as I grew celery I want to try the celery pickle recipe.. 
My friend from Romania is on vacation in her homeland .. 
As soon as she returns we want to get together to make a few Romanian recipes... 
Love getting together with her and learning... 
She is just so smart... 

Here is a purchase I made for Fall decorating.. 

They are at the Great Canadian Dollar store for only twenty dollars.. 
It is metal and glass and even comes with the batteries for the candles.. 
I want to fill the bottom with some wee pumpkins.. 
Will share it all with you girls as soon as it gets done.. 
Next week... smile.. 

Today is this dear man's birthday!  

I so appreciate him and am so thankful for the life we have built! 
He is a great husband, dad and gramps... 
We all sure do love him... 
Happy birthday, dear..

Thank you so much for visiting and your lovely notes.. 
I try to answer the ones on Facebook.. 
I find when I answer them here on the blog itself that not many come back to get the answer..

I did want to answer any questions you asked but when I went back to your comments I could not find the questions.. 
If you have any questions please leave them here or on FB and I promise to answer them here or there.. 

God bless you all and have a great week... 

The Lord commands his mercy during the day, 
And at night his song is with me--
a prayer to the God of my life... 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Rambling into September..

Hello my lovely friends... 
So happy to have you visit the Blessed Hearth today.. 
The past weekend has been a long one here in New Brunswick as it is Labour Day today.. 
Time has passed and here we are once again on the brink of another school year.. 
Most everything will return to normal shall we say.. 
For us it is really not very different!  smile.. 
A bit though as the rest of the world gets back to normal then we find ourselves trying to get a schedule going and looking towards getting chores and projects back on the burner that were shoved to the back for the summer.. 
Terry will concentrate on making sure we have enough wood in the basement and getting our gardens tidied up ... 
I also have several other projects for him that he needs to put on the front of the stove once again!  grin... 
I am wanting to get my pickling and canning finished and start some old fashioned house cleaning... 
And of course there are lots of other ways to keep myself busy.. 
We retire from our jobs but not our lives and we can work until the Lord calls us home and not be caught up.. 
When we were younger I imagined that retiring would be a rocking chair for me and a lazy boy for him but of course that is not the way of it.. 
We certainly don't do as much perse but we are always busy.. 
It just takes us longer... much longer to accomplish half what we used to... 
Oh well.. 
Life is what you make it! 
You girls who read the blog often are probably rolling your eyes as this is my new motto since I heard it.. smile.. 
On with the show.. 
Spent some time at the farm of course.. 

The Scarlet Runner Beans have lots of blossoms and are just so pretty and there are lots of beans there now... 
I am a bit slow in getting them picked and done as Terry has a wonderful row that has produced so many... 

Lots and lots of parsley and I have used a lot of it.;..

My Basil has done well but not as good as last year as we were not there to water it a lot.. 
Enough for several batches of pesto though and that is what counts... 
Love pesto..
 Do you?  

 Lemon Verbena and it has done well too.. 

As you can see the Oregano got away on me but still lovely for hanging and potpourris.. 

I believe I will try making an Herbal Potpourri.. 
Sounds kind of nice, eh? 

Love Sunflowers.. 
Thanks to Bob and Carol who gave us seeds.. 
Terry has them planted here and there throughout the garden, too.. 

Cucumbers and Squash... 

And a little story to tell here.. 
Some of my friends heard me tell this one so just walk on by girls!  lol.. 
We bought this old farm from my sweet Aunt Eva and Uncle many years ago.. 
They went into a home and the place went up for sale.. 
We have always loved it up there and was so happy to be able to buy it.. 
We would just go up there for the day and have dinners as you long time readers recall... 
Well.. the first Spring after we bought it we drove into the back of the house and behold the garden plot was filled with poppies.. 
Gorgeous old fashioned poppies.  
You know me and flowers... 
I was ecstatic!
I couldn't wait to go visit Aunt Eva and Uncle Arnold at the Jordan and tell them about it.. 
When I told them about the poppies, Uncle Arnold said, "Yes, Papa planted them there in 1902."  
Well... That is what I did! 
Imagined his old parents (who I remember well as a child) planting those precious poppies out there way back when they only has a horse and carriage and lamps in the old original house. 
Can't you imagine that? 
So dear!  
Back to the story.. 
Terry ended up putting in a garden there the next year or so.. 
The poppies disappeared!  
They just vanished and I was heart broken.. 
Every Spring I would look in vain but they did not show themselves.. 
I was so mad at Terry... 
What had he done to them? 
Uncle Arnold had them and he had a garden every summer in the exact same place...
Funny, eh!  Not really! 
As you know this is our third summer for the farm with gardens and such.. 
We were there the first summer and the very next Spring lo and behold there were poppies back in the garden.. 
Poor Terry... 
He thought they were weeds until one managed to bloom and then he asked me what it was!  
Oh.. I was so excited!  
And to think he was pulling them out!.. 
Let's say that didn't happen again.. grin.. 
But there were several.. 

And again this Summer.. 
They just pop up here and there  
Isn't that just the sweetest thing? 
They are glad we are back doing the gardens and such.. grin.. 
Well .. 
That is my story and I am sticking to it.. 
God knows my love for those poppies and I count them as blessing.. 
I think I may have wrote about this before so please just humour me.. grin.. 

Are you poor things bored yet? 
You will be as this is a long post... 

Did a bit of preserving up there last week.. 

My friend Carman's Romanian Soup Base.. 
Several of us girls from the Keepers meeting where she taught this to us would not do without it.. 
It is just tomatoes, peppers and parsley.. 
Lots of parsley as you can see.. 
Chop it all up and put in rock salt.. 
About 8 tomatoes, half of a sweet pepper, lots of chopped parsley and 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of rock salt to this recipe.. 
I just keep doing this batch by batch into a large bowl.. 
Let it sit for awhile then push into sterilized jars and cover with the juice that has collected in the bottom of the bowl.. 

Can them for 35 minutes.. 
I use it in so many of my soups which I am starting to make again already.. 
Then we had a few fried zuke slices and green tomatoes for lunch.. 
They were ok.. 
I even added hot pepper flakes and basil but not to our taste.. 

It was a lovely day though but it was nice to come home to sleep.. 
Charlie is wondering what is taking that man so long.. grin... 

Canned lots and lots of green beans here at home.. 

They are just so delicous in a Winter's night supper... 
And more dill... 
And more dill... 

I posted a pic of the tomatoes that I was drying on Instagram and someone wanted me to post the recipe on my blog.. 

It is a very easy recipe.. 
Slice preferably plum tomatoes in half.. 
Take out the seeds and the stem.  
Lay them on a parchment sheet or good cookie tray.. 
Sprinkle sliced fresh garlic, sliced fresh basil and a bit of pickling salt over top.. 
Put your finger over the end of your oil jar and sprinkle a bit over top.. 
Place them in an oven at 175 to 200 degrees F. oven for at least 12 hours or overnight.. 
You can turn them if you like and take out the smaller ones as they dry.. 
Put into a jar and cover with oil... 
You can use olive oil or canola.. 
Store in the fridge.. 
They are lovely in soups, stews and any tomato base dish.. 
Also good in baked bean soups and such.. 
Try not to eat them all when you take them out as they are so good.. 
Martha Steward has lots of ideas about how to use dried tomatoes on her site... 

This weekend Terry and Trevor and grandson went to the races.. 
I should have wrote this blog post but was a bit lazy.. 

So I made this little herb lamp... 
It is an idea from Country Living UK.. 
Their's was prettier with wild flowers in it but I love growing peppermint from slips..
I just broke off a few slips of peppermint and pineapple sage and put them in the water.. 
Soon they will root and I will be able to repot and have peppermint plants all over the house for winter.. 
Good for breathing or some such thing.. 

You just hot glue a candle to the bottom of an old jar.. 
Let it sit till it is firm then fill three quarters up with water and add either blossoms or herbs.. 
I expect the candle will burn down so I probably won't use it too often.. 
I love it as part of my kitchen table centrepiece.. 
Skittles is gone.. sigh.. 
Hope to make a few more and add a wire to hang them with.. 

Today my hubby treated me to a nice long drive with a picnic lunch as summer is winding down.. 
I packed some homemade bread, ham, crab salad, pickles and chips.. 
Oh and some health cookies ... smile.. 
Bottled water and we bought coffees... 

Charlie was excited and wondered where we were going.. 
So did I but Terry wasn't sure.. grin.. 

We just started out and of course ended up in Albert County.. 
(is there any other?  grin)

It was one of our favourite drives that we take so often.. 

Went past the cemetery where my dear father lies.. 
Grandparents and so on... 

The dear little Baptist church that my grandma attended is being torn down.. 

So heart breaking.. 
But it happens... 
Just sad! 

Passed by my rose hip patch and they will soon be ready!


See that old black and white photo.. 
That is my dear dad and I when I was about three years old.. 
Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of my Dad's passing.. 
I still miss him.. 
Would love to have a wee chat and catch him up on all that has been going on since he left.. 
I was thinking today that as he was only 58 when he died that he would think I was an old lady now.. smile..

But... he is with the One he wanted to see .. 
The One he put first in his life and taught us girls that when we stand at the gate of eternity that there will only be one thing that matters.. 
Our walk with God.. 

And he taught us that Jesus is the answer..
To all of our needs and all of our problems..  
Now and always... 

Still holding onto His hand, Dad... 

Our sweet girl had a birthday this past week, too..
Just the picture of her Daddy.. 

Well sweet friends this is all for tonight.. 

I posted this pic on Instagram and mentioned that I am still loving the summer sun shining through the windows.. 

It's not over till it's over so please don't offer me any pumpkin lateas or any other pumpkin whatever for another few days.. 
I am squeezing every bit of summer I can in the next bit.. 

I do like the cooler weather though.. 
Just sayin'   .. lol... 

Thanks so much for stopping by and putting up with all these words.. 
I won't be offended if you just look at the pics.. grin.. 

Love hearing from you all.. 
May God bless and keep you and your families.. 

My Instagram link.. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Such lovely days...

Well hello there everyone.. 
It has been awhile.. 
Sorry about that.. 

We have been busy and the last couple of weeks have been lovely.. 

Our dear boy came home from out west and we are so happy to be to reach out and actually touch him.. 
We have been so looking forward to seeing Dustin after ten months.. 
I think the dear thing got taller... 
Meeting him at the air port was a bit emotional as you can imagine.. 
Such a lovely feeling to wrap our arms around this kid that we have missed so... 

I am such an emotional person.. 
But they were tears of joy.. 
Terry is as bad as me.. smile.. 
Guess who else was happy...
So exciting!
Dear old Charlie did not forget this lad.... 

Dustin's first visit was to see his Gram... 

It was such a wonderful day!! 

 We have been celebrating here and there all week..   

Meanwhile at the farm... 
Everything is growing as it should.. 

Scarlet Runner Beans.. 



Harvested our first crop of over the winter garlic... 
Love love them.. 

Decorated this sunflower,herb and veggie raised bed  with a few old saucers... 

On Sunday we all went to church together at our little church in Salisbury... 
Two grandsons were missed as one was working and one is away.. 
It was lovely! 

I think if my kids were to ask me if there was something that we could all do that I would love the most it would be to go to church together... 
It just makes my heart so glad!  
My Mom and Gerald came too... 
And Jada...
Thanking God for my precious family... 

We all drove together in a convoy to Fundy National Park.. grin.. 

We ate at Harbour View... 
Dustin finally got to have some Fish from the East Coast.. 
Real fish as he calls it.. grin.. 
It was a lovely meal.. 

Then we visited the local bakery once again for the sticky buns and coffee.. 
Found a couple of picnic tables and just relaxed in the sun.. 
Some went for a walk to the beach and gathered shells and we just enjoyed ourselves.. 
The Bay of Fundy was very welcoming... 

The week has continued... 
I am enjoying making breakfast ... 

And a couple of his faves ... 
Meat Balls.. 
He is visiting his friends though so as it is harvest season the work still goes on.. smile.. 

Terry has picked 8 grocery bags of beans off of one row.. 
I did 20 pints of French beans.. 
It took me several hours to cut them in the French style but hoping it will be worth the labour as I love canned French beans.. 
We shall see.. 

Then there were dill pickles to do... 

Fermented a few jars also.. 

Here is the little way I found on Instagram to decorate the jars of jam and such.. 

Bought some oilcloth from the Hardware and cut it our in circles.. 
Put on elastics to hold and tied them up with twine.. 
You can reuse these.. 

We had a lovely breakfast last week, too with our grandson... 
He is in the Honduras this week... 
We just wanted to see him before he left..
He is working hard down there..  
He will be home this weekend, also.. 
Thank the Lord... 

Every morning Charlie gets to see his master again.. 

Such a sweet photo of his devotion to Dustin... 

The sad thing though is that the week is almost over and he will be gone again for too long.. 
Talking on the phone and all the stuff the web offers is wonderful.. 
But it is not the same... 

He is happy though and doing well so this mama is satisfied and I just put his care in the hands of the Lord each and every day...
That is what we mothers and fathers do, eh? 

Lots of kids working out west these days.. 
The world changes but that doesn't mean I have to like it.. smile.. 

Summer is closing down and I need to buy a new steno tablet for lists of all the wonderful things I want to accomplish this Fall.. 

We have a few more days with Dustin and then next week I will try to be busy and not miss him so much... 

God is faithful and I am thankful... 

Thanks so much for stopping by this day.. 
Love having you visit and as always I so look forward to your dear notes.. 
You all rock... 

Take care of your sweet selves and your dear families... 


Psalms 103 : 17
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—