Basil Jelly

20171029_070431When was the last time you saw something like basil jelly in the grocery store?  I never have, but I know it exists because my mom would make it from scratch.  That’s the wonderful thing about making your own goodies is that you get to have so many options available to you.

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Apple Pectin Jams & Jellies

Really, sometimes there’s no school like old school.  I’m pretty darned sure the settlers didn’t have a box of pectin in the back of the wagon.  They just used fruit, water, and sugar.  That’s it.  They relied on natural sources of pectin and just a slight bit of patience.  No food colors, no gelling enhancers.

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Food Canning 101

20171028_144427Ever since people thought it would be a great idea to move to areas with harsh winters and low food supply, humans have needed to have a way to store their harvest for later use.  Preferably unspoiled.

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Fire Starter “Bombs”

18320441_10212687574287211_1463363137956079849_oWinter is on it’s way, for some of you sooner than others.  We are in the “others” category.  It’s almost Halloween and it was in the mid 80s today.  None-the-less, the night time temperatures are dropping, and the forecast shows that the inevitable is on it’s way…cold days.  I’m not complaining.

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Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta (Garides Saganaki)

20171025_201709erdfWherever you are in Greece, some sort of body of water is likely to be near.  Unsurprisingly, seafood is a common ingredient in many dishes.  This particular one marries a few traditional Greek flavors into one hearty, tasty, lick-the-bowl-clean meal.

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Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)

20181126_195709Salvias (sages) are a wide-ranging group of plants native to a variety of habitats around the world.  What they seem to have in common are brightly colored, tubular shaped flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies just love.  This particular Sage is no exception, and has the added bonus of sweet smelling leaves that give off a pineapple scent (hence the name).  The leaves and flowers are both edible, and are usually used fresh.

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Feta & Dried Tomato Frittata

20171021_125218[1]Frittatas are a wonderfully easy way to whip up an any-time-of-the-day meal.  They can be very nutritiously balanced, all in one pan, and are one of those meals that can help you clean up leftovers in the refrigerator.  Technically this is an Italian dish, but I use feta cheese in mine, and I was taught how to make them by a Greek woman, so it’s close enough! Continue reading Feta & Dried Tomato Frittata

Home-Made Soil Acidifier

20171019_172357[1]The majority of plants can handle soil that is near a neutral pH, but some are really picky and they will let you know before long if you don’t give them the soil environment that they need.  Stunted growth and yellowing leaves are some of the more common signs that your soil pH is not where it should be.

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Baked Pears

20181020_164329Pears are fussy things.  Every fall you wait for them to get past the hard and tasteless stage and to move on to juicy tenderness, and just when you think you nailed that perfect moment, it turns out you completely missed it and you wind up with mushy or mealy blobs.  Ugh. Continue reading Baked Pears

Liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua)

20151121_154124We inherited these trees when we moved into this house roughly a decade ago.  We actually had nine, but a desire to completely change the landscaping on the entire property has whittled that number down to two.  No regrets.

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