November 7, 2011

Seven Things: I can because I can

I started canning things a couple years ago.  Our neighbor house had a couple pear trees, and was sitting vacant, so one afternoon at the height of pear season my brothers and I took the ladder and pillaged the trees.  We brought home a couple grocery bags full of pears, and one of the things I did with them was make pear sauce.  I dug out the old canner and put up a couple jars of it.  I made a couple jars of marinara sauce using tomatoes from the garden that year as well.

Last year I tackled two types of marinara sauce, one with a mirepoix and the other with roasted tomatoes and onions.

This year was all about the pickles.

So here it is, seven things I canned this year:

1. Pickled mushrooms – when this recipe came across my blog reader I knew I had to try it.  In fact I think I bought the mushrooms later that day.

2. Pickles (cucumber) – I made at least three different types. bread and butter. refrigerator dill.  canned dill.  We brought them to a couple picnics and they were all a hit.

3. Apple sauce – back when husby was still Fiance, we went apple picking with a group from school.  We brought home a bushel of apples, half golden delicious and half jonathan.  The wonderful thing about apples is they keep, so they got tucked to the side in all that business about the wedding, and then when things settled down a bit I turned them into beautiful apple sauce.  I like my sauce chunky, with cinnamon and no sugar added.

4. Dilly beans – my grandmother used to make these and we would gobble them up so quickly.  You just use a traditional garlic dill pickle recipe and use green beans instead of cucumbers.

5. Pickled banana peppers – I bought the banana peppers to spice up my cucumbers and dilly beans, and then had so many left over I decided to just pickle them as well.  We’ll use them on homemade pizza.

6. Crushed tomatoes – in the past I’ve done marinara sauces and then realized I just don’t eat that much pasta, especially not with marinara sauce.  But I do love to make pizza.  I like to keep my pizza’s on the simple side, so instead of making a sauce I decided to just make crushed tomatoes.  When I make pizza I just spread the crushed tomatoes like sauce, and add some spices on top.  The full flavor of the tomatoes is divine, they don’t need anything else. This year I made 10 pints, and they are already nearly half gone, so we’ll have to at least double that for next year.  Also excellent in another of my cold weather favorites, chili.

7. Pickled beats – from Alton.  I like beets.  I especially like pickled beets.  Husby doesn’t like them at all so they are all mine.  And I’m pretty ok with that.

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October 25, 2011

SE Michigan loves to honk

The wedding was perfect.  There’s so much more to say, but that’s all I got right now.

And we left the reception (or party#2 of 3) to find that my brothers (and possibly others? not really sure who all is responsible for this) had done their duties to decorate our getaway car.

We left town on Monday afternoon and headed for Wisconsin and then into the Upper Penninsula where we spent our “Minnie-moon” in a bed and breakfast on the shores of lake Michigan.

We were a little disappointed to only hear a handful of honks on our 7 hour drive through Minnesota and Wisconsin.  In fact they came so infrequently that half the time we thought people were just honking at us because of our driving.

Wednesday we headed back to the real world, enjoying the beautiful drive through the UP and northern Michigan, and as we got closer to home the honks came much more frequently. Turns out South East Michiganders love to honk 4 happiness. I don’t know if it’s because folks around Detroit are just looking for a good cause, or just like to honk, but every trip in Mama Rhoda is accompanied by a soundtrack of honks and waves.

And apparently we’ll be enjoying it for a while longer.  While the window art on the windshield and front windows came off easily on Monday before we left town (we washed it off for visibility/safety’s sake) when I filled up at the gas station yesterday, the rest of it decided it had no intention of washing away without a fight.

I guess in the battle of which state is the coolest, if one of the criteria is “likes to honk 4 happiness”  Michigan gets the point for that one.

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October 10, 2011

Seven Things: Excuses

7. I’m getting married in a week (when it completely slipped your mind that you were supposed to write a seven things blog on the seventh of the month)

6. I’m getting married in a week (when putting off doing the dishes for yet another day)

5. I’m getting married in a week (when you need to buy a new pair of leggings to go under your super short rehearsal dinner dress)

4. I’m getting married in a week (when you need to turn in a homework set on a different day than it is due)

3. I’m getting married in a week (when you need a bit of a break from your research schedule in order to get everything else done)

2. I’m getting married in a week (when you decide to buy a tv as a pre-wedding present to yourselves)

1. We’re getting married in a week (when you just want a couple more kisses before heading out the door for the day)

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October 6, 2011

This is what happens when you’re two weeks away from wedding day

You start having wedding related dreams.

To be fair, I had my first wedding related dream the night after we actually started planning the wedding.  I don’t remember what it was about.  The first of the “wedding-mares” came back in August, when I dreamt that all the trees had already changed color and were dropping their leaves.  So much for beautiful leaves for my October wedding.  I have to say though, if the worst thing I could come up with to worry about for the wedding was whether or not the leaves were still on the trees, I figured I was doing pretty well.

But two days ago they started.

On Tuesday night I dreamt that everyone in the wedding party except for me had changed into work clothes as soon as the wedding had finished.  I spent the dream running around tracking people down and telling them they needed to change back into their wedding clothes so we could take pictures.  Finally after telling my brother that he had three minutes to put back on his dress clothes I ran away in the limo.

On Wednesday night I dreamt that we were making the trip from Michigan to Minnesota for the wedding, and about half way we realized that we had forgotten all sorts of important things.  So we turned around to return to the giant dream house, where it was the middle of the night and everyone was asleep, so we had to sneak around to find all the things that we had left behind without waking anyone.

We’ll see what the rest of the week brings.

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September 30, 2011

Snapshot: Spirit of Detroit

The Spirit of Detroit is a statue that is near the riverfront in downtown Detroit, just a couple miles down the road from where we live in midtown.

In his left hand he holds a sun, representing God, and in his right hand he holds a family, a representation of human relationships.  He’s been a part of Detroit since the 1950, and is frequently dressed in different festive shirts – sports jerseys , a tuxedo once when the 3 Tenors were in town.  A few weeks ago we saw him wearing a t-shirt for the Detroit Jazz Festival which takes place during labor day weekend.

I took this photo this past fourth of July, when fiance and I went downtown to hit the riverwalk.  The city was pretty vacant, something that still continues to surprise me even though I’ve heard a million times how everybody has left Detroit.

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