09 September 2012

Ladies, Start Your Vanilla!


I've really been enjoying baking with my
"Home-Made Vanilla"
so I think I'll be gifting a lot of it this Christmas.
(that's right--I've started!)
I hope everyone likes it! 


If you'd like to do the same, here's a heads-up:
Start your vanilla now!
Or at least within the next month or so.
Btw, if you click on the above link, make sure to note the 
comments under the post--good info there from some readers.
Thank you for those tips!


Here's another tip:
Use recycled jars.  They're free.
It'll keep less from going to the landfills.
I'm an every-little-bit-matters kind of person.


This bottle used to have olive oil in it.
Instead of tossing it, I saw it's long, thin shape 
and thought it'd be perfect for a vanilla bean.
To clean old labels off, slowly bring bottle to a boil in a covered
pan; shut off heat and allow to sit for a while.
(Yes, there is a chance it may break so do not boil hard!)
Scrape off with a knife or other straight edge.  
Any remaining can be removed with a metal dish scratcher 
while it's still hot.  Top off with a visit to
the dishwasher for a complete cleaning. 


I'm envisioning a printed label, 
and twine tied around it's neck.



These used to be olive jars.
Also thinking about ways to dress these up, 
add labels to the lids, etc.


Another thrifty method would be to use
mason/canning jars like I've done for my own
personal-use batch--in retrospect, I think a pint
would've been plenty for me.  I constantly top it 
 off with vodka so a quart wasn't really necessary.

Look around in your pantry 
and be creative!


Be sure to include an expiration date or log for 
the vanilla bean so that the recipient knows
exactly how long they can continue to replenish
their vanilla with vodka.

Linked to:
My 1929 Charmer

07 September 2012

What Better Way to Kick Off Autumn?



Here's a great way to kick off 
the autumn season:



Apple picking!



Our orchard lost its apple trees years ago
and our new ones have some growing to do
but my brother has more than enough to share.



We picked a bushel or two for my mom and sister
and I have about 3 bushels for me.


I guess the sewing will wait a few more days!


I think I have some baking to do!



06 September 2012

Good-bye, Summer

Summer is officially over for us,
regardless of what the calendar says.  


We've just come back from a wonderful
mini-vacation to Breckenridge, Colorado.



We enjoyed a few light rains but also some
sun--high temps in the 60's.



Perfect for putting you into a fall mood.
(Very hard to come home to hot temps--yuck!  Cooling off after today tho.)





The aspens--always my favorite tree. 



It was a little early for them to be golden
but I got to see a few here and there.


Every year or so, we need to get our
Mountain-Fix, as I like to call it.

We took one 6+ mi rigorous hike...



...enjoying so much of nature. 



On the second day, we took in
a much simpler one (3 mi) but absolutely
the prettiest one we've been on yet.



Not sure if you can see the huge waterfall 
in the center there, but at this distance 
we could already hear its roar.



The trees blocked the view when we got closer.


Here is the bottom pouring out....






...into this lake.



I'm making a note to hit this hike again but
in the late spring when the water will be at
it's max. 


And now it's time to switch gears.


There is autumn to celebrate.


Harvest to reap.


Holidays for which to prepare.


See you in the sewing room!



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