Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catching up

Sigh. Its not even the end of October and already I am missing the sights of summer.

And the treasures that you dig up when its at the peak of the gardening season.

Sadly, the cooler weather is upon us. But, I am happy to report that in the firewood arena, we are WAY better off then we were last season.

The dumb, stinky ol Asian beetles are back with a vengeance.

Vacuuming them off the ceiling is just another Fall tradition around here.

And something else? Grammy and G have been having discussions on how to stay warm and cozy in your bed when its so cold outside.

G was very intrigued by the idea of having hot water AND a bottle in his bed.

So, Grammy(being the wonderful sharer that she is) said that he could borrow it and see how he liked it. Because, you know, water in your bed is a great idea to begin with, but when you add a 3 year old to the mix...well, heck, its a party waiting to happen!

And Oh Boy! Did he ever like it.

There is clearly a technique to this.

And now we bring the feet together, just so. But still in a fully upright position.

And then back. To a full on recline.

Thankfully, the water stayed in the bottle.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Red and green

Around here Fall brings much colder temps. I dont like it. I have been doing garden clean up for a couple weeks now and in amidst this came the last batch of vine ripened tomatoes.

My friend, gnightgirl, has been raving about her slow roasted tomatoes. How they are so fantastic and that she uses them all winter long in chili, pasta sauce, and pizzas(just to name a few).

Okay. Well I need to try that, too. So, along with my last harvest of san marzano tomatoes, I get out all that I will need.

Once you have washed your tomatoes, you slice them in half. Straight down thru the stem.

Then, you coat them in olive oil and whatever herbs you desire. I used basil and oregano.

After that, find a baking sheet and place them cut side down. I actually sprayed mine first with some cooking spray.

Place in a 250 degree oven for 6-8 hours.

This would mean that mine would be done at:

In the meantime, my basil that I have been drying is all set to be stored. See how it looks kinda brown and crispy....thats good.

My trusty kitchen helper has offered to help. But first, he had to get his stool.

And drag it into the kitchen.

We put the dried basil into the food processor.

And grind it up. You can grind it as coarse or as fine as you prefer. G? He would have preferred very fine, I think...for as much as he liked to push the button on the processor.

Then, after you have it all ground up, you transfer it to an airtight container.


Between this small tray and what I had drying downstairs we ended up with about 6 cups to use over the winter.

Back to the tomatoes, tho. When they are all done they will look like this. (At the end of the cooking time you can remove the tomato skins if you want to. I found that to be a bit time consuming, so I just left mine on.)

Now, you can pull them out of the oven whenever you prefer really. You dont have to let them roast the whole time. It really just depends on how you like them. I didnt want mine super dry and leathery, so I took mine out early. In fact, my tomatoes were pretty small since it was the end of the season and from start to finish I think it only took them about 5 hours to get to where I wanted them to be.

He likes them, too!

As far as storage....well, this was my first time making these. I was worried that since my tomatoes were still a bit moist that when I went to freeze them that they would all stick together in a big clump. S suggested I flash freeze them. I had already been allowing them to cool on sheets of wax paper. So, I simply put my tray of tomatoes in the freezer for a few hours. At that point they were fully frozen and I took them off the wax paper and put them into a freezer bag.

Now, just like gnightgirl, I can have yummy, roasted tomatoes all winter long. And this will make her happy cuz then I wont have to ask her to share.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Multi Purpose

As you know, around here, we love things that are multipurpose. Just take the lovely doorknob warmers, for example.

So today, I present you with another wonderful, multipurpose item.
Your basic, everyday, fitted sheet.

Otherwise known as, "the bubble game."

Take one fitted sheet and shake it out.

You will see it float to the floor and land as one perfectly shaped "bubble".

That is, if it has time before Darby tries to play, too.

Then...wait for it....

You jump on it.

I know. You can thank me later.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Over the weekend

After 3 solid days of rain, the gray skies finally moved out and made room for some pretty blue ones.

That said, we decided to load up and do some fun stuff.

We saw chickens.

And goats.

And pigs.

And sheep.

J was determined that if he sat there long enough with some food in his hands that they would come to him. Sadly, that didnt happen.

G on a mission with the farmer. They had things to do.

Top secret things.

G did some serious jumping.

And some serious falling, too.

I went to my beautiful cousins house. Shes having a baby!

And she was having cake, too.

AND she was texting, too. But not to me right in the other room, I promise. I mean, who does that?

And this guy?

He lost 2 teeth in the past 2 days. See?

And this girl?

After much thinking, she decided it was time for a change....almost 5 inches of change to be exact.

And I really think she has grown that many inches, too.

We had a busy weekend. Im pretty sure I need a nap just thinking about it all.