Monday, September 29, 2008

Applesauce Tutorial

I have to record this so I will remember how I made it next year.

I started with good sweet and tart apples.
Apple Harvest
Jonathans and Jonagolds

Then I cut and cored them up. I did up enough to almost fill my 12 quart stew pot.
Then I added enough water to fill the pot at least half full. I basically poured water in there till I could see it coming up the side of the pot.

Next I put the pot on the stove and cooked them till they were soft.
Cooked apples
It only took about 30-40 minutes. I took if off the heat and let it cool from a little bit while I got the grinder ready.

I happen to have a Victorio strainer. I love it and recommend it to anyone that wants to put up applesauce, tomatoes, berry and grape juice.
Grinding apples

Milling Apples

Then I take all that sauce and put it into another large stock pot. I add sugar to taste. With these apples I added about 1 cup of sugar. It can be brown or white. When I used the apples from my dad's trees I had to use about 3 cups because the little apples were so sour.

I also added about 3-4 Tbsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of salt.

I wondered about the addition of the salt and gave it a try and love it! It makes the apple sauce taste more mellow like apple pie. The kids are just loving it.


Oops! I almost forgot the canning part. I put all the applesauce stuff in that big stock pot and bring it back up to heat. I try to keep the stuff pretty hot. Don't boil it though, you will burn it and that is nasty.
I then pour it into quart jars that I have washed in very hot water in the dish washer on sanitize cycle. You can do this in the sink too. You can sanitize them in your canner.

I pour the applesauce in to the jars and then I put canning lids on them (follow the directions on the box). I processed them in my steam canner and in a water bath canner (so I could do two batches at the same time). I processed them fro about 40 minutes. (go check a canning website or book to make sure).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cowboy Sweetheart

I loved this song when I was a little girl. I used to watch old westerns with my dad at the theater with my little brother Jon. I don't what Jon was watching them for, but I was always in love with the hero. I wanted to grow up and find me a cowboy. I didn't quite get that but he is a good man and is sure trying to be a farm boy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apples - Gathered In

Last week Vea and I ran over to Springfield for a quilt show. On the way back home, we stopped at the Murphy Apple orchard in Marrionville MO. We both picked up some of their cull apples. These are their seconds but are still lovely apples and and about half the price.

Apple Harvest
I picked up Jonagolds and Jonathans. They are both great for sauce and pie.

I made apple sauce and pie filling.
Apple storage

I also made a small batch of mock mincemeat.
Canned Mincemeat

I might just have to post the recipes later. I don't want to forget how I made the applesauce. It tastes fantastic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Sentsy Dealer

Sentsy Icon
My sister Lil has talked me into selling Sentsy, scented wax burners.

They are so fabulous. The scent your rooms like a highly scented candles without the bother of smoking wicks. Because they don't use a wick they can pack each Scentsy Bar with more fragrance oil than most 12 oz. jarred candles. They have more than 80 fragrances to choose from. I can't wait to get my starter packet and play with the wonderful products.

They sell burners that run on light bulbs.
Sentsy Burners
They are very easy to care for. When you are done with a scent you can pour it back into it's container, wipe out the burner and put a different wax in. You can control how much scent you use too. The Sentsy Bars have score marks on them so you can melt just one cube or the whole bar if you want. I like that option. I love candles but hate that I can't control the scent amount.
Sentsy Product
They offer Room sprays, Car candles, Sentsy Warmers, Plug-in Warmers, Sentsy bars, and Sentsy Bricks.
Ok now that I feel like I just shamelessly sold myself, you can check out my new Sentsy Website. You can order directly from that site or you can contact me and do an on-line party.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hot Drinks for Hot Mama's Swap

Val's Swap
My dear friend Val is hostessing her first swap right now. She is trying her hand at apron swaps to see if it is something she likes to do.
She is doing a themed swap. The theme is Hot drinks. It looks like so much fun. If you are interested go give her some swapping love and sign up at her blog. You only have until Sept 25 to get in on this fun.

I already picked out my fabric to use somehow.
Hoodie Collection Fabric
I got this fabulous piece of fabric from the quilt show I went to in Springfield MO. The fabric is from "Hoodie's Collection" called "Morning Call". There are so many great cooking and chicken related pieces.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scrappy Hot Pad Tutorial

This is the start of a group of tutorials I want to post this fall that are all easy gift ideas. I like to give homemade whenever possible and thought I would share some of my ideas with you.

I went into my sewing room yesterday to clean up after the Fall Festival madness and got very sidetracked. I grabbed a pile of hand dyed fabric scraps left over from wrapping my soaps and had the pile over the trash when I realized they could still be used. I dyed up this bunch of fabric using some hunter orange fabric I got from one of my friends. I had almost 70 yards of the stuff and only needed to make one hunter jacket. So I dyed it. I have been finding uses for it for years. Now what is left of it is used to wrap my handmade soaps.
Hot Pad Tutorial 1
Fabric strips 1" to 2" wide - just whatever you have
2 pieces of cotton batting or tight poly batting slightly larger than the finished hot pad you want to make
Backing fabric
Binding fabric

To start with I just randomly sewed together the strips I had. They were about 9 inches long.

Hot Pad Tutorial 5

Then I used my rotary cutter and squared it up.
Hot Pad Tutorial 4

I cut it to be 8 1/2" by 9 1/2". The size doesn't matter. That is just how big it could be to get it all square. I have large hands and like a large hot pad when cooking so I don't get burned. I also like larger hot pad for putting a hot pan on the table.

Next I layered my top, batting, and backing. I cut the backing last to make sure it was wider than the other two layers. I do this so that if the thing shifts while quilting it, I won't find that the back is now smaller than the front or off center by a fraction.
Then I pin the layers together
Hot Pad Tutorial 3
Next you bring it back to your sewing machine and quit it. YES YOU CAN QUILT IT TOO. I just did stitching back and forth. Since I am no good and a straight line, I did wavy. You can do all kinds of fancy things but this is the easiest.
Hot Pad Tutorial 9
When I have enough quilting in it for me, I stitch all around the edge to make sure it is secure.
Hot Pad Tutorial 8
Then I square it back up again.
Hot Pad Tutorial 7
This is what the back looks like.
Hot Pad Tutorial 6
Then I bind it.
Hot Pad Tutorial 2
Sorry I won't show you how I bound it because I am a binding spaz but I will direct you to some great binding tutorials I used.
Sandi Henderson's Bias Tutorial
Angry Chicken's Bias Tape tutorial (all on the machine)
Heather Bailey's How to Bind a Quilt Tutorial

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Newtonia Fall Festival

Yesterday was my communities Fall Festival. And.... of course.... I was involved in it up to my eyeballs. When will I ever learn! It is so easy to sign up to do stuff and so much harder to come through with it all. I am in the quilt guild so that means helping with the quilt show. I have to admit that my roll in that wasn't so big this year. Paula did the lion's share of that project and deserves all credit for how fabulous it turned out. I am also on the board of the Newtonia Betterment Association, so I was in charge of getting food volunteers and general helping.
Luckily we are a small community so it wasn't so big but it was enough. Newtonia was hit very hard by the Tornadoes that came through this year. The Fall Festival was in question and we decided that the festival was just what we needed to show we were still here and that not even a tornado could stop us.
The community of Newtonia has been here since the early 1800's and was actually very important in the Civil War campaigns for both sides of the war in this area.
The festival involves and ham and bean feed (for which I cooked beans all night). The desert is getting to be quite famous for it's hand made pies. (Yes I baked two pies for that too.) (recipe to come shortly)
At the end of the festival, I finally got a chance to sneak inside and get a bite to eat. I checked out the pie table in hopes that something lovely was left. Oh My!
I found this bit of loveliness.
Fall festival 08 022
It did everything you need a piece of pie to do down to the toes curling. I did the happy dance right there and then went and bought the rest of the pie. It was fabulous.

The Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association has a tour of the Ritchey Mansion house and a show put on by local Civil War Reenactors. It is always fabulous. My kids love to go through the camp and see what they do.
Our quilt guild always has a display of what we have done all year and they have their raffle quilt there. They money they raise goes to fund guild projects which include quilts for project Linus and local community charity quilts. We have several way this year in Newtonia to the Tornado Survivors.
This is the quilt we raffled off this year. I was not the lucky winner. :o(
The guild hand quilted the quilt this year. The back of the quilt shows the detail work.
Then there are crafters that sell their wares all day. Thanks to Hurricane Ike, it rained most of the morning and we were really worried that we wouldn't have a festival. However by noon it had cleared off and was very nice.
Of course I had a booth there with my aprons, patterns, soaps, and my little girl's cookies. They have sold their cookies there for several years now and always do very well.
Fall festival 08 009
Miss Caroline is selling some of her famous cookies here. She and Sarah and Grandma's Snicker doodles, Crosby Cookies, and Aunt Jeanne's Oatmeal Raisin cookies. They were all very tasty!
The Ricochet Riders also come every year and put on a show for us and provide us with games. The have brought a little train every year. Jeddie got to the festival just in time to get in on the last ride.
Fall festival 08 003
Jeddie was very scared once he got in the train. I was worried that I might have to go pull him out but it would seem he got over his initial shyness.
Fall festival 08 004
This was his face at the end of the ride. (Caroline seemed to have to help him wave.)
Because he got in at at the end, the train just happened to be changing it's rout to go through the parade.
Fall festival 08 008
It is a very short parade but fun! He got to watch the big farm tractors go by. Little Boy Heaven!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Little Women's Club

Activity day 1

Doesn't that look inviting???
I am a new Primary President in my ward (church unit) here in SW Missouri. One of my bestest friends in the whole world has been called to be our Girl's Activity Day leader. Miss Jill has so many fabulous plans for these girls. I have to admit that I have a vested interest in her plans as two of my own daughters are in this fabulous group of girls age 8 to 11.

Twice a month these little girls meet with Miss Jill and as many helpers and she can pull in, to learn about Jesus Christ and how to be the wonderful women we know they will become.
The other half of our program is the cub scouts. Those little boys get to meet every week with their lovely blue uniforms, they get to have pack meeting once a month that is just about them, and they get to go to scout camp every summer. As the mother of two boys I think this program is fantastic, however, the little girls tend to get lost in the shuffle and wonder about their value.

Our last leader did a fantastic job with these girls. Now miss Jill is on board and we are so excited about her plan. She wants to instill in these little ones their value in the grand plan we have here on Earth. So we decided to give these little girls a uniform. We (Jill and I and several ladies in the Relief Society group and church) made up some of my double sided, Sassy Little Aprons for them. The are simply darling!

Why aprons? Well because the girls love them, aprons are the coolest things ever, and because of what aprons represent. Aprons are the uniforms that we as women choose to put on as we pledge to serve and protect our families. Most of these girls are going to grow up to be moms. That is a noble thing. Good mothers is something we need to be creating more of in this world of ours; Women of faith, intelligence, and purpose. I hope these girls grow up to be many wonderful things someday and expect my own three girls to get good educations. I also hope that they are good homemakers to boot.

So this year Miss Jill is planning all kinds of wonderful activities that will help teach these girls so many things about themselves and life.
The aprons are just one fun things that we have planned. As more of these activities happen, I will post some of her great ideas.
The aprons came with this lovely invitation.

Activity day 2

At the meeting Jill introduced herself to the girls. They learned to make Pizza from scratch and a treat (rice crispies). She said that she wants them to learn how to make several dishes that they can fix all my themselves at home. They get to copy these lovelies down in their own little cookbooks. I am so excited for my Little Women, I can hardly stand it. :o) They are also so excited and have talked about nothing else all week.

Oh, I almost forgot, Jill told me yesterday and she is going to call the girls her "Little Women" after the book and they will call themselves "The Little Women's Club."
Coming up later this month is a trip to the apple orchard, apple dumplings, sewing drawstring bags and more fun! I can't wait.
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