Sunday, August 31, 2014

Catching Up - Strawberry Jam

Waaay back in June, Kim and I made strawberry jam.  Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Kim made jam and I photographed (because that's exactly what happened).  Here are some photos from that night.

First, we picked fresh strawberries from Kim's strawberry/turtle patch.  Aren't the beautiful?

While we cut the tops off of them (this was one of the things with which I actually did help), Kim boiled the jars and lids to make sure they were extra super clean.

When the strawberries were cleaned and de-topped, we tossed them in the blender and blended them up.

The newly pureed strawberries were then dumped in a pot with a whole ton of sugar and some butter, which was supposed to cut down on the foam (and it did).

We waited for it to hit some temperature, but I can't remember what it was.  Hey, I never claimed this was a tutorial - it's just the record of a fun night I had.

While we waited, Kim whipped up some lemonade in the pitcher that had held the strawberry puree.  Ta da - strawberry lemonade!

When the mystery temperature was reached, Kim carefully poured the jam into the super clean mason jars.  My job was wiping the rims and applying the lids.  I think we both did a spectacular job.

Then the jars went back into the boiling water so that they could seal properly.  We finished out lemonade while we waited.

The finished product is super quaint and super delicious.  I am saving the jar I brought home to eat over the winter so that I can remember how delicious summer tastes!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Catching Up - Garden

M garden this year has exceeded expectations in a major way.  I think a lot of this was due to all the rain we got - Mother Nature took care of watering everything so I didn't have to!  I harvested so many green beans and sugar peas - literally pounds of them. 

I froze a whole bunch so that I can enjoy them during the terrible winter months that are nearly upon us.  Maybe some of them will become a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving?

I also grew herbs and lettuces, but those are somehow less exciting.  I think next year I'll plant them in the ground instead of in pots.  You can have some photos anyway.

In the back garden, I planted a pumpkin, butternut squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.  Most of these failed to thrive, and I think I know why...

That giant pumpkin plant took over everything!  But it was worth it - look at the amazing pumpkin we grew!

I'm just hoping it lasts until October.  There's another one that is still green and growing - I think it might end up being even bigger than the first one.

We also have a bunch of peppers, but those are Chris's project.  I might do a separate post on those at a later date, when and if he makes some salsa or hot sauce out of them.  He planted a total of nine pepper plants - I don't know what he was thinking!

All in all, it's been a pretty great garden year - and summer in general, really.  I saw this quote in a scrapbooking pack that my mum bought, and it really just sums up everything I'm feeling.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Catching Up - Delaware

Another thing that happened in July is that I went to Delaware with a large majority of my extended family.  I was nervous about the idea of so many of us staying in the same house at the same time, but all of my worrying was for nothing (as is often the case) - we had a blast!  Watch out - there are a LOT of photos ahead.

Aunt Pam and Uncle Woody were gracious enough to host all nine of us in their beautiful home.  Their yard, especially, is the most amazing place.

We spent most of the weekend just hanging out, eating, and drinking. To say that our vacation was sponsored by Mike's Hard Lemonade and Seagram's would not be far off...

Of course, we had to spend at least one day at the beach.  We soaked in the sun, collected shells, and took a lot of photos.

I did say a LOT of pictures...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Catching Up - Cats

I bet you've just been dying to know what my cats have been up to in the last few months, haven't you?  Well wonder no more!

Mako has been expanding his sleep positions.

The girls have been staying as high off of the floor as possible.

Heresy has remained super adorable.

Furniture has been destroyed, but no-one is owning up to it.

Mako and Ash have become best friends.

And I've taken a lot cat selfies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Catching Up - Baltimore

Back in July we made our yearly pilgrimage to Baltimore.  We stayed at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, which we'd been dying to go back to since 2010.  Here are some photos from our weekend, which we spent mostly lounging about.  It was amazing!

First, and most importantly, here's the view from our hotel room.  I love cityscapes so much, it was super awesome to open the curtains and look out at this.

 We spent Friday night eating and then wandering around the harbor.  Meghan was brave and put dipped her feet in the water.  I kept waiting for something to drag her off into the depths, but that luckily did not happen.  Perhaps I've been watching too much Supernatural...

We intended to go out for breakfast on Saturday morning, but we all slept too late and took too long getting ready.  So instead we ate at my favorite Asian restaurant in Baltimore - Blu Bambu.  Their crunchy honey chicken is the best!

We had dinner reservations at Fogo De Chão, and it was just as amazing as I remembered.  So amazing, in fact, that I completely forgot to take any more photos after we ate.  But I did manage to make it all the way to and from dinner in heels, so I count the night a success.