Purple, Packing, Patching, and Picking

Lilacs in

Still working on moving.

Spackling choices at the store

Packing and patching and painting.

Cherries that are growing and still green
These cherries aren’t quite ready yet

But trying also to enjoy things and not get too bogged down.

Asparagus

We have picked asparagus and strawberries so far this season.

5 lbs box of picked strawberries

I tried to make strawberry jam without added pectin, but due to a number of errors ended up with 4 pints of strawberry sauce. Tastes great, but a little too runny for sandwiches. So far I have added it to yogurt. Maybe pancake topping will be the next experiment.

Hope everything is going well for you.

Thank you!

Japanese cherry blossom pinkI got a note from WordPress today that says it’s my two-year blogging anniversary today. I want to say THANK YOU to all who read and follow this blog! I love hearing from you, and I think it’s cool when I’ve posted something that you think is interesting enough to discuss 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and making my day more fun!

two pints of strawberries

I love reading your blogs as well, learning something about your part of the world, seeing the photographs, reading the recipes–and learning more about you! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being fun and interesting friends!
kite shaped like a bee

A Walk Around the Neighborhood

pink bleeding hearts flowers
Bleeding hearts

I saw some bleeding hearts. It’s a strange phrase, bleeding heart. And an odd name to apply to this flower. I see the heart shape of course, but bleeding heart? What would I have named it? I don’t know, maybe fancy hearts over bleeding hearts. They also look like little hats too. Maybe I’d have named them something to do with hats.

white apple blossom
White apple blossoms

Here are some apple blossoms. No opinion or controversy with their name 😛

strawberry flowers and asparagus stalks in garden
Too late to pick this asparagus, too early for strawberries.

I like the way the strawberries are growing next to the asparagus. I wouldn’t want to eat them together in the same dish, but it’s nice to think of them as neighbors. That reminds me, I went asparagus picking recently and saw lots of beautiful apple trees in bloom. I should work on posting that soon.

Strawberry Graham Cracker Sandwiches

strawberries, whipped cream, Graham crackers, sprinkles
Sweet snack time

Here’s something fun to do with the kids if you need an idea for a Valentine’s Day snack. Whip up some heavy cream, slice some strawberries, get the Graham crackers and sprinkles ready, and let the kids assemble their treats.

whipped cream, strawberries, Graham crackers, sprinkles
Ingredients for snack time fun

To make whipped cream, I add about 1 TB real maple syrup to a cup of heavy cream and then beat with a hand mixer. You could also use powdered or granulated sugar to sweeten the cream.

strawberries, whipped cream, Graham crackers
I prefer mine open faced, sans sprinkles

I got the idea for this snack from my daughter’s school, where they recently gave the kids Graham crackers and frosting so they could make a house at snack time. I usually prefer to make whipped cream to use in place of store-bought frosting. However, I quickly discovered that the frosting would have made a better mortar. The whipped cream wasn’t strong enough to hold any sort of structure together.

So, we settled on making sandwiches instead of houses. Worked out better anyway. How do you eat a house?

Strawberry Picking at the Farm

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to go strawberry picking at a nearby farm. The weather was beautiful, the kids were in a good mood (for the most part), and things were just about perfect.

two pints of strawberries
Picked our own strawberries

My dad always loved strawberry picking, and my siblings and I spent many our Saturday mornings in June wandering through the strawberry patch of a local farm. If we were grumpy about having to leave our precious Saturday morning cartoons behind, we would forget it by the time we rode back home, returning with stained clothes, hands, and faces.

red and green strawberries growing
Some for today, some for tomorrow

My kids seemed to have fun. I hope they grow up to enjoy stuff like this and to appreciate what it means to get such fresh food. I suppose I took it for granted at the time but now can see how special it was to do that as a kid. It’s still special to do now.

a pint of strawberries in the sunshine
They were small but sweet

In the background are some apple trees. Picking apples was another tradition in our household growing up, and I still love to do that, too.

strawberry plants and apple trees
Strawberries in front, apples in the back

In just a few months, we’ll be eating fresh apples. I’ll come back for these guys when the time is right.

tiny apples growing
See you in September, baby apples!

Here are some of the farm’s peony bushes. I am still enjoying my bouquet that I brought home.

peony bushes
Peonies line the fences at the entrance to the farm.

I love the light pink and the white flowers. The dark pink is beautiful also, but I think the white is my current favorite. Probably because we didn’t have white ones at my parents’ house. They had several bushes of dark pink, with maybe one or two light pink plants.

white peonies
The mysterious white peony

So, I guess the white seems the most rare to me, followed by the light and dark pink. But no need to split hairs, I love them all!