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Friday Favorite: Filling the Larder

September 8th, 2017

One of my favorite things time of of year is filling the freezer and the pantry with homegrown goodness. I’ve been making small batches of interesting things: pickled beans with garlic and basil, pickled garlic, pickled nasturtium pods, figs in brandy, minted onions, spiced peaches, and many more. The freezer is pretty much chocked full and the pantry shelves are starting to look lovely.


I have a few favorite canning books, most that provide small batch recipes, which are perfect for small amount of produce and small families. These books are constantly on my table, I leaf through them and read through recipes trying to decide what to make. A few recipes have become favorites and are used yearly, some are made every so often.

A few of my go-to books this time of year:
The River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin
Preserving the Taste by Edon Waycott
Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone

I don’t can much, but the things that I do are throughly enjoyed in the middle of our long winters here in Maine. Every time we crack open a jar of pickles or preserves we are reminded of the delicious bounty from the garden.

What are you preserving from the garden this year?

Friday Favorite: Found Flowers

July 7th, 2017

I spotted this little columbine blooming in the back border, behind a few other things. It’s quite a looker, with it’s double flowers. It may be Aquilegia ‘Barlow Bordeaux’, I’m not positive since I didn’t plant it.


My other columbines are all singles. There’s a a deep purple one blooming by the back door that I brought from Ohio and a very light pink that I found growing under the porch. I’ll be saving seeds from all three varieties to see what I get.

Do you grow any columbine?

So Close…

May 25th, 2017

I’m so close to getting all the seedlings planted. This past week I managed to get all the peppers and tomatoes in. They are filling out the side of the garden that was a cutting garden last summer. The soil hasn’t been improved as much as it has in the other half of the garden since this side has been left mostly fallow for the past few years.

I still have 5-6 flats of onions, leeks, and various flowers to get planted. Hopefully those will be planted today before a few days of rain. I always like to plant when we’re forecasted to have rain and a few cloudy days, I find it helps the plants deal with the shock of transplant better.

How’s your garden shaping up?

Learning New Skills

March 22nd, 2017

In the winter I spend a lot of time sewing. Last year, Mr Chiots got me this serger for Christmas. It’s a nice machine, I read through the manual and have used it a few times. Since the manual isn’t the greatest, I finally decided to purchase the Beginner Serging class from Craftsy.com.

I’m on lesson three at the moment and thoroughly enjoying the class and I’m learning a lot. The techniques I’m learning will definitely come in handy on some sewing projects I have planned in the coming weeks.

One of the things I really appreciated about this class was figuring out how easy it is to thread my serger. I’ve heard horror stories about how difficult sergers are to thread. In fact, I was at my local fabric store once and a lady was dropping off her serger to be threaded by the sewing machine repair guy.

Now that I’m mastering what I can do with my serger, I’m certainly looking forward to all the projects I have in the works.

What new skills are you learning this year?

A Winter Favorite

March 13th, 2017

In the winter we eat vegetable from the freezer, but I still crave lettuce and greens. My favorite winter salad combines stored root vegetables, nuts, and greens. Some of the lettuce I grow under lights, the rest I get at the store.

This is my all-time favorite winter salad consists of greens topped with radicchio, celery, dulse, beets, toasted walnuts, Bulgarian sheep milk feta, and dried cranberries topped with a mustard maple vinaigrette. I can eat this salad every day and I have to admit that sometimes I do and never tire of it. It’s even better when accompanied by a new book on my Kindle.

What’s your favorite salad combination at the moment?

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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