Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Harvest

HERBS ≈ Basil, Chives, Horseradish, Lemon Verbena, Mint, Nasturtium, Parsley, Sage, Sorrell, Thyme
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VEGETABLES
Asparagus - 5 lb. 5 oz
Beans - 7 lbs
Beets 4lbs 11 oz
Black Berries 40 lbs
Broccoli 5.2 lbs
Carrots 10 lb 4 oz
Chard 3 lbs
Corn - 2lbs
Collards 5.5 lbs
Cucumbers 1 lb
Garlic 10 lbs
Garlic scapes 1 lb. 12 oz
Green Beans 10 lbs 11 oz
Kale - 2lbs
Lettuce/Spinach-4lb 8 oz
Onions 1 llb 4oz
Parsnips .5 lb
Peas - 2.5 lbs
Pole beans - 5 lbs
Potatoes 8 lbs 4 oz
Pumpkins 12.7 lbs
Raspberries 2lb 2.5 oz
Scallions 4 lb 6oz
Strawberry - 8 lb. 4 oz
Tomatoes 45 lbs 2oz
Zucchini - 7 lbs 9 oz
Wild elderberry 40 lbs 11oz
Winter squash - 3 lbs
TOTAL 258pounds 1 oz

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas traditions

Christmas is a very special time for the Morrissey's st the Little Homestead in the Village. Here, Christmas does not begin until after Thanksgiving. That means no early Christmas shopping with a rare exception of a something special found while vacation or on a road trip. We like to enjoy each holiday to it's fullest so we don't even think about Christmas until we put away all the Autumn decorations.

The Christmas season starts for us on Dec. 1st. I take out the "Days Till Christmas Slate" and hang that in the dining room. I also buy Advent Calendars. There are 25 numbered little windows with a little chocolate treat inside. Each child gets a treat for 25 days. This year I bought 7, not on ly for my own but for the girlfriends. And so the count down begins. A little time after that Katie and I make a wreath out of greens clipped from the yard. We wrap them in a wreath frame that has 4 candle holders. We place in 4 new candles and our Advent Wreath is done. On the 4 Sundays before dinner, We start our meal with the lighting of the wreath. Walt reads a scripture he selected. then we have a bit of discussion and then the blessing.

Soon boxes of garland and floral picks are retrieved from the basement and the house is decorated. We don't put out many outdoor lights, only a strand above the front porch and a couple strands on the old small maple tree near the garage.

The next tradition is to cut a tree. We dress up warm, drive a tree farm. We try a different place each year. This year David (17 yrs) was entrusted with the chainsaw. Walt and Katie carried the tree to the van. We move the small piano to the foyer and the tree gets placed in the corner. We usually decorate it the same day. Walt leaves the tree lights the first night. What a joy to wake up when its dark and quiet and come down to a beautiful tree.

I bake as many christmas cookies as I can. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg cloves, icing and colored sanding sugars are liberally used. Plates of cookies are given to neighbors and clients.

On christmas eve stockings are placed on the book shelf .

One of out best traditions is one that of kids did themselves. Each of the children had (have) their own bedroom. Years ago when they were little, Brian our oldest invited the others to sleep with him on Christmas eve. Sleeping bags were dragged on the floor and sleets were slung thought the whole large room making a big "tent". On Christmas morning, I wake up early and make coffee. Soon the kids wake up and whisper to each other while I give Walt a cup of coffee. As soon as he's dressed and gets the camera ready they are summoned. They assemble on the top of the staircase youngest to oldest and walt down to the tree. Then they sit on the couch while I dispense a gift at a time. We all share the happiness and joy when someone opens a special gift. Soon all of the gifts are open. We pick up the carnage (wrapping paper, etc) and I go fix a special breakfast.
FOR TODAY, December 13, 2010

Outside my window
...the snow has melted. This bout 34 degrees but expected to get colder. It's quite grey.

I am thinking...about my christmas list. We don.t really begin Christmas shopping until December. So there is so many things I have to buy.

I am thankful for...Danny's new job. he's been working 40 hr a week at Walmart - as a cart wrangler. It's been hard on him but he's managing.

From the kitchen...so many wonderful things. Left overs from Sunday dinner. Roast Herb Chicken, mashed potato and gravy, meatballs and gravy, candied garden carrots, mixed (frozen) veggies and there is still a piece of apple pie. The apple pie was made with my own canned apples. There are also batches of christmas cookies.

I am wearing...a pale yellow cotton nighty and my cozy slippers.

I am creating... back to the scrappy quilt. It's now partly completed... large enough to be a lap quilt. It's heavy and warm.

I am going... Christmas shopping. I haven't started yet.

I am reading..."Broke" by Glenn Beck

I am hoping...

I am hearing...not much, I like early morning when it's fairy quiet. i hear an occasional car drive by and the hum of the computer.

Around the house...It's looking like Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. A strand of lights are on the small maple tree at the end of the driveway.

One of my favorite things... The "smells" of the Christmas seaon. Ginger and Cinnamon, Orange peel,cookies baking in the oven. Balsam from the fresh cut tree.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Canning Chicken breast, driving to the potato farmer to buy a 50 pound bag or two of local potatoes.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

ou can read about the lives of other wonderful woman at
http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 3, 2010

A new store room

We have a basement room that is not in use. About 10 years ago my son Brian turned it into his music room .We called it "the drum room" . It's damp in the summer and cold in the winter, but my father had built in some wonderful shelves years ago. So I'm turning it into my root/fruit cellar. I moved all my beautiful jars of preserved food. The lower shelves I filled with baskets holding apples, onions, garlic. sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Other shelves are filled with nuts, grains, dried beans, dehydrated apples, berries , onions, herbs and spices. I also moved the 50 pound bags of potatoes I got from the farm there . Hopefully they'll last longer down there that is , not sprout so fast. I still need to block out the light coming in from the small windows. Light might discolor some of the food in jars and also encourage potatoes to sprout.

I love looking at full shelves of food that I have "put up". I love the juxtaposition of colors and shapes in the jars. Ground beef next to white potato, next to tomatoes, next to pickles, next to sweet potato, next to pineapple. Beautiful. I am so thankful that I can "can" and that we ha place to store it. How wonderful it is when I want to prepare a meal, to go there with a shopping and fill it with what ever I need. But the idea that we have a food storage to use is hard times is even better.

The Blessings of Work

Being self employed, specifically owning a video production company in a small economically challanged market during these times isn't easy. We never know where our next dollar is coming in and where our next job will come from. Sometimes it rains but we also have periods of drought. This fall has been pretty lean and the next few mounth seemed to be heading the same way. We talked about living off our food storage and wondered how we would pay our bills. But we know that we serve a mighty God who is GOOD. In our over 20 years of living soly off MPG (our company) rain (as my husband has always come but often only at the last minute but always "just in time".