Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For the Bounty of the Earth

We live in such a beautiful world! Last Thursday, I picked up two bundles of basil from the farmers' market (Oh, how long I have waited for this day!) and picked at least a bundle's worth from a pot in our garden. That night, we had pesto for dinner, and even better than that, made seven more batches of pesto to put into our freezer for the winter.

While Hubby worked on the pesto, I took a large bowl out behind our building with a stepstool and got to work picking blackberries. Since they hadn't been picked since before I left on our vacation, there were tons of super ripe berries just falling off into my hands. I ended up with twelve cups of blackberries and about half that much in juice and puree after I had seeded them, just enough for two batches of freezer jam.

The whole time that we were working on making pesto and picking blackberries, I couldn't help but be grateful for the bounty that the Lord puts on this earth and for the desire that I had to take advantage of it. Once again, we won't have to buy jam for another year (especially since I've made another batch since and have enough juice for one more) and I certainly won't be tempted to buy pesto, or even basil, from the grocery store. We'll certainly be making more pesto while the market still has basil and with the jam and pesto, we'll be eating summer all year long.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Week to remember

For the past week, Anna and I have been off galavanting in Oregon while Hubby stayed at home to keep down the fort. And quite the week we had!

First, Anna's favorite single aunt wanted to take her to the beach. There we enjoyed lots of wet sand, cold water and good company.

Anna "helped" her aunt by demolishing all the sand towers she could possibly make. If you listen hard to the video, you might just hear Anna say "Helping!" while scurrying from tower to tower.

Anna got some sand on her leg. While that might be normal for the beach, Anna did not think so and held her leg up hoping that we would clean it off for her.

After the beach became too cold to handle, we went back to Grandma's house, with a short stop at a farm stand that had a few goats, bunnies, and chickens. Anna had a lot of fun feeding the goat.

Here's our little sunflower!

After the weekend, Aunt, Anna and I went to the Portland Children's Museum, which is next to the Zoo (Can I just say I love Cultural Passes?!). There, Anna got to color, play with clay, trains and balls, "drive" an ambulance, and dig. All the while, her aunt and I were running trying to keep up with her. Well, her aunt was running; I was trying to sit down as much as possible. What a great time she had.


Our last day there was the opening day of the County Fair and we just had to go. We had a busy day looking at all the cows, goats, sheep, poultry, llamas, and rabbits. And that was after getting cheesecakes ready to enter into the daily contest (we didn't win, but we did get in for free!). While the highlight for Anna was probably all the animals, or the ice cream, my highlight was seeing this:

This was the very first year I have ever entered anything in the fair, and I won! I entered a sourdough loaf (Thank you to the Bogardus family for the recipe and the sourdough start!) that I didn't think turned out that well, but it won. Of course, I had entered it into the sourdough section and there were only two other entries. I got to taste the other two, and mine certainly was the most sour of the group and my mother-in-law just raved about the texture (I thought it was a little lacking). To say the least, I was very proud of my accomplishment and maybe I'll be able to enter more in the future. I am getting better at making 100% whole wheat hearth bread...
So, now we are home and glad to be there. But it was a wonderful vacation!
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