My coworker and her husband who have a farm and a beautiful farmhouse kitchen hosted a group of us for a canning day. We bought all of the vegetables fresh off the farm, got our arms elbow deep in tomatoes, and didn’t sit down for eight hours.
Andria and Corinne at the start of the tomato processing assembly line. Scoring, boiling, peeling.
Tara squeezing out the seeds.
Our farmer host, Amber, dicing away. We used 90 pounds of tomatoes!
So. much. salsa.
We also made pickles. Here they are before we poured the hot brine in. Aren’t they pretty?
The bounty: 52 jars of salsa and 20 jars of pickles!
6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (or not seeded if you like hot salsa!)
4 cloves diced garlic
2 six-ounce cans tomato paste
1 Tbsp salt (optional)
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp cumin (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Peel, seed, and dice tomatoes. Place in a large stock pot.
Add all other ingredients in and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, sterilize jars and lids and heat up hot water bath.
Fill the jars to within 1/4″, wipe off rim, and put lids and rings on. Hand tighten.
Put the jars in the hot water bath with at least 1″ water over the top. Boil for 15 minutes.
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool in a draft-free place overnight. Listen for the wonderful popping noise.
Tomatoes are difficult to can because they are not very acidic, which is why you have to add lemon juice. Do not alter the proportions of the recipe. Check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for canning information.
We loaded up our freezer with meals in anticipation of Dave’s last few weeks of architecture school. We always have a few meals in there, but this is about as full as it gets at any one time. I thought I would share some of my favorite freezable recipes with you.
What meals do you freeze? I’m always looking for new ideas!
Baby food (carrots, carrots/broccoli, peaches, apples, butternut squash, yams, beets, green beans, pears) Cowboy Cookies (I freeze the dough in balls so that I can pop a few in the oven anytime we want fresh cookies) Chicken Flautas
Alice doesn’t pull herself up in her crib yet, but I wanted to be prepared because she certainly likes to chew on everything. So I sewed up these cute little crib rail teething guards.
I used this tutorial from Baby Rabies. Instead of folding over the main fabric, though, I just used store-bought bias tape to finish the edges. I cut my fabric and quilted backing to size, sewed strips of bias tape closed for the ties, and basted around the edges.
Then I just finished the edge with bias tape. It was super easy and I love the contrasting color edge.
Doesn’t her crib look cozy? I wish I could snuggle up with her in there to read her a bedtime story. Her grandma made the super cute blanket and pillows to match her mobile.
This is another little hat that I made for Alice when I was past due and dreaming of her. Amazingly, it fits her just right now that the sun is starting to shine in Oregon. It sews up so fast with fabric scraps and bias tape, that I think I need to make a few more for this summer!
I used this pattern from The Purl Bee. It says it fits newborn – 4 months, but Alice is almost 9 months and it fits her now (maybe she has a small head?)!
She wore it to our community garden plot last weekend.
Alice is growing like a weed and desperately needed some new diaper covers. We use Mother-Ease cloth diapers (and LOVE them), but the covers they offer aren’t very cute. Thirsties covers are cute, but they don’t fit right over the diapers. So I was pretty excited when I discovered Babyville Boutique. They have super cute PUL fabric, buttons, and elastic. Plus patterns and instructions that take a lot of the scariness out of sewing your own diapers.
Plus I was so happy to see that the basic pattern they provide fit perfectly over the Mother-Ease diapers. Hooray! Here’s my little girl in a dinosaur cover. She’s working on learning how to crawl.
Here are the other covers I’ve made so far. I made the red one with the 4th of July in mind. But now I just think of Wonder Woman when I see it!
They are so simple to make – just cut out the shape, add the snaps, and sew the elastic around the outside. They sell everything at Joann Fabrics, so it’s not too expensive if you use those handy 40% off coupons.
Yay! I love cloth diapering, and am so happy that I can now add some cuteness into the system!
I made this adorable bonnet for Alice in my last days of pregnancy. I was past my due date and needed something to do to pass the time. It was August, and every little baby I saw around town had on a cute summer hat. So I pulled out some fabric scraps and whipped up a few hats. I used this pattern from Prudent Baby, but made the straps longer so that I could tie them into a bow.
Alice is at the perfect age right now: six months. She can sit up and play by herself, can’t move from where I set her, and delights in absolutely everything. I stuck my hand above her face this afternoon, and she laughed for 5 minutes. It’s been relatively easy to stick to my “one craft a week” goal when my cutie just plays on the floor next to me. (Check out those awesome blocks she’s playing with; her grandpa made those for her for Christmas.)
I’m pretty proud of myself for making a craft well in advance of the holiday it’s meant for. I made this Easter bunny basket for her using this tutorial and this pattern for ears and a face. I obviously need to work on my hand embroidery skills a bit, but I don’t think my baby girl will mind! She’s too little for sweets still, so she’ll get a basket full of books this year. Hmm, maybe that should be an every year tradition.
We have spent the weekend recovering from various sicknesses, so I didn’t get much crafting done. But I was able to take a few minutes to finish up this yo-yo robot that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. I made a few yo-yos a night using the Clover large yo-yo maker and used this tutorial for the robot. I love how colorful it is!
I made extra yo-yos to make some barrettes for when Alice’s hair grows longer. What are some other things that you’ve used yo-yos for?
Alice and I went on an adventure last weekend. My sister-in-law (who is blogging now – check her blog out!) flew us home to surprise the rest of my family for a visit. Alice and I left Dave behind (boo grad school) and set off on the flights alone. We had a great time! I especially loved seeing all of Alice’s cousins together. Sometimes it’s nice to go home when there is no holiday stress and you can relax and just be.
Now that our travels are over, though, it was back to crafting! I took full advantage of my three day weekend and baked bread, cooked some great homemade meals, and made a dress for Alice.
This was the first dress I’ve made for her, and I love it! I used this pattern, which is super simple and easy to follow. I plan on making the diaper cover out of the orange lining fabric eventually. But since it’s February now, she needs to wear leggings to keep those chubby legs warm.
My name is Annie, I’m married to a wonderful boy named Dave, and we have the cutest kitty cat in the world named Cricket. We are new transplants to Oregon, and by day I am an environmental educator. In my free time I like to sew, bake, cook, letterpress, and do any crafty thing that I can get my hands on. I hope I can inspire others with my projects! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.