getting ready for winter

Russell and I have started getting ready for the winter gardening season.  I know it is August and the heat index is above 100 but if we do not get started now the plants will not have a chance.

We have started digging and cleaning out beds.  I have seeds ordered for the winter vegetables we eat:  broccoli, kale, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce.  And we have a few things that made it through the summer heat.

Our eggplants are blooming.  I have to admit that I would grow eggplant just for the flowers.  But the eggplant from our garden has never been bitter.  They are so lovely.


We have four different types of peppers growing.  They all have flowers and peppers.  I have been receiving peppers from a friend at work whose garden is ahead of mine.  I may have to return the favor soon!  We only have six plants!

I planted winter squashes last spring and they fruited then.  Some of the plants made it through the summer and we have more fruit developing.  

I believe the fruit we have currently is pumpkins but I cannot be sure until they look like those in the picture.  These are part of what the vines produced this spring.


ginger (syrup) soda

We do not drink commercial soda.  We do not drink bubbly drinks.  But when I may ginger syrup and add soda water, we drink ginger soda.  Makes me smile, settles tummies, and takes inflammation down.  We also do other fruit syrups the same way but ginger is our favorite.

Ginger Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

a piece of ginger the size of your fist, peeled and sliced.

(yes, there is more ginger here then called for in the recipe but I was tripling it)  In a pot, the sugar, water, and ginger go.


Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn the heat off and let sit at least a half an hour.  I sometimes let this sit for a very long time.  Even overnight.  It can get very spice but we like it.  Spicy and sweet at the same time.

Then I strain it into a jar.  

In a glass, I put ice and about a inch of syrup and then fill the rest with soda water.  It is lovely.  If you want it stronger or weaker it is all up to you.



We like having sweets after dinner.  I actually really like ice cream but my tummy does not agree with my taste buds all the time.  It gets back to that egg thing and maybe even a little bit of lactose sensitivity.  I have ended up making sorbets.

Why do I make sorbets?  Because I make better then you can by and they are cheaper for the organic bit.  Just ask Russell about the flavor!

Fruit Sorbet

1 10 ounce frozen berries, any kind

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Put the sugar and the water in a pan.  Bring to a boil and let boil one minute.

Put the fruit and syrup in a blender.  And blend for a couple of minutes.  I really mean a couple of minutes.  It will help.  I then pour the berry syrup mixture into a large pyrex and put it in the freezer.  

Two or three hours later, I pull it out and stir it.  I break up all the frozen bit and make it smooth.  I then put it in the freezer again.

Two to three hours after that, I pull out the sorbet and mix it up again.  I break it all up.  It then goes into the freezer until it is solid and we eat it.  

I did not get a picture of that.  We ate this pyrex in three sittings, twice without bowls.  This is better then ANYTHING you can buy out.  Russell said, "Oh, yeah!"

Now I think I am going to try some of the New York Times recipes.  They ran ice cream recipes without egg but a tablespoon or two of alcohol to keep it soft.  Do not be surprised if those with my alterations come this way.  Yummy in the tummy!


everyone liked it

I have been working on a dress for a couple of weeks.  I really liked the fabric but it is very busy.  I was also planning on a wrap bodice for it.

I added the skirt to it and tried it on.  The bodice was not quite right and the fabric as a dress was just TOO much.


I refashioned even before the it was finished.  I cut the bodice off and finished the waist band.  Added buttons and wore it to work on Monday.  I got so many compliments.  I think part of it was that this is not the normal style of print I wear.  But I like it.

The bodice is going to become quilt pieces.  I have been making at least one nine square a day.  I will have a new quilt within the year.


"new" sewing  machine

When we go traveling, I always end up wanting to sew.  But my machine is a piece of furniture and weighs as much as I do.

However, I found a portable sewing machine.


It is a 1900 Singer made in England.  Which means it is two years older then my treadle sewing machine I use everyday.  The cool thing is that it uses the same bobbin, shuttle, and bobbin winder for both.  It weighs a ton but it means it can go with us when we travel.  It does not take any electricity.

It is a hand crank!  Which means I can take it anywhere with us and have a sewing machine.  Even Douglas Fir National Campground or Elwha River National Campground.  Elwha is actually less primitive then Douglas Fir, it has running water for part of the year.

I can just envision myself at our picnic table sewing under the evergreens at both!  Yes, I know, be aware of bears! (Yes, there are bears in the vicinity of both)