Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Threads

Happy Halloween!

Been very busy this week and am looking forward to a quiet Friday. Most gals who sew end up with a stash of bits and pieces of left over fabric. I have made up my mind to try and use as much as possible. I enjoy sewing and after a long day it's always a treat to have an hour or so to sew.

This is a set of mug rugs that I practiced with some new stitches on. Need to practice a little more. I'll put these to use here in the townhouse. 

This is the next set still in progress, but the stitching is better. This does not even represent 10% of the Halloween scraps I have to use up but even the batting is left over pieces. I am actually looking forward to cooler weather moving in so I can do more of the indoor things. It's become a challenge to myself to use as much as possible. 
Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Today is going to be in the mid 70's but we're expecting snow on Halloween. It's been cool, no cold off and on so far this fall so this is a welcome day. With the change in the season comes changes in what we eat and the blessings of winter vegetables. I don't grow my own, but the farm stands and super markets are loaded with deals.

I have a hanging basket of spearmint by the front door of the townhouse that just doesn't want to quit. I harvested it and set it back outside to do it's thing. I yielded two more cups of dry leaves for winter tea. I may get one more harvest before it goes dormant for winter.

At the market I got a four pound four ounce head of cabbage for 99 cents and I was curious about what I could do for meals from one head and a few vegetables and a little meat. I got ten servings of stuffed cabbage using ten leaves, 3/4 pound ground beef, 1 cup of leftover rice, an egg, a little onion and some home made bread crumbs. Then on to cabbage soup. I got four servings of soup and used one can of stewed tomatoes and 4 ounces of polish sausage.

I made a pot of boiled potatoes and cabbage that I'll reheat with some butter and pepper and there are about six servings there. Last but not least is fried cabbage in olive oil a small amount of butter, salt and pepper. About three servings there. So all in all I yielded about 23 servings from my four plus pound 99 cent cabbage.

Butternut squash was 99 cents each this week and I got two more to try some soup. I just made up my own recipe because all those I found added more than I was willing to use. I used two cups of cooked squash, not pureed, two cups of home made chicken broth, two tablespoons of my sage/pepper butter made earlier this summer and salt to taste. Served with a biscuit and it was gone in no time. I was getting tired of pumpkin everything so I made gingerbread biscotti. We like it more than pumpkin. I needed bread so I baked up a couple loaves of sandwich bread. It went well with all the soups. I was able to harvest a few more sprigs of fresh rosemary and I think I will get some more sage before I let them rest for the winter.

Finally I made some three cheese tortellini soup. I used 8 ounces of tortellini two cans of Italian style stewed tomatoes and 4 ounces of sausage. Served this up with fresh from the oven garlic bread made with home made french bread and it was a delightful meal on a cold evening.

This weeks freebies included a Biscoff cookie coupon, a cat food coupon, samples of Scotch brand products and taco seasoning. I spent last evening with my younger daughter just running errands and she brought me onions because there were to many for her and she paid for four pounds of carrots for me. I am so grateful and can see the veggies in my stir fry, stews and carrot cake. It's going to be a wonderful winter. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Thursday Threads

Every good Witch needs to brighten her kitchen and what would life be without some home made Halloween sewing projects.

First she starts with an apron. This may have been some tablecloth fabric, but it made better decorations.

Enough left to make a simple table cover. She also needs to protect her candle with a cozy and while she's at it why not a jar of fun cookie cutters to lift here "spirits".

She added a few decorations to the bland townhouse cupboard doors and what Witch's kitchen would be complete without enough pot holders (large enough to be hot pads for those cauldrons) and an oven mitt. 
Yes, this kitchen is getting it's Halloween on.

Happy pumpkin season everyone.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Signs of colder weather moving in. Putting the garden to bed.

Empty containers that are in need of preparation for winter storage. I will miss you until next Spring.

Down to the wire harvest of peppermint and rosemary. Some day we will have a place to grow herbs inside over the winter.
It has been the most wonderful summer adventure here at the townhouse. Hopefully I can still keep clipping the rosemary and I know I still have peppermint and spearmint growing. I will dry leaves for winter tea until it's time to put the plants to bed.
Whatever comes my way at this point in the season will be a welcome blessing.

I can't forget the freebies for this week. Nesquick samples and a great coupon, Hunts tomato sauce for that home made pizza, Dove body wash for the travel bag and another coupon for a free can of tuna fish from Tops Market. When the tuna is $2.19 for a 5 oz. can we won't do much complaining. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Autumn has officially arrived!
The days of soup with garlic bread and warm oatmeal apple crisp.

The days when trips to the farms brighten the days of we city dwellers who dream of the farm.

On a breathtaking day when you can pick your own raspberries and pumpkins and watch the silly goats walk the planks above the barn.

When you can see the most majestic blue sky behind a windmill, walk the corn maze, see the leaves turning and enjoy the bright colors of nature.

But best of all getting to try and purchase new kinds of apples (sweetangos) and produce which is the reason we visit the farms and support local farmers. 

I love the squash this time of year. I start thinking of all the things I can make. I purchased two butternut squash at the farm. It's still early here so I know there will be plenty more. From these two I got seven servings. As you can see I prepared some for oven baked squash fries and some for future cooking and baking. I see a squash pie coming.

Harvesting at the townhouse itself this week included the sweet potatoes. I was hoping for better, but I tried and there's the results. Once they've cured a while longer I'll peel them up and enjoy the fruit of my labor. There's a good amount for a side dish of mashed with the sage butter I froze earlier this season.

I was gifted a bag of green tomatoes this week. I am blessed  to have had two ripen to red, one going on the top of a white garlic pizza and the other still waiting for me. We enjoyed for the first time ever fried green tomatoes and I managed to put the remaining tomatoes up. I have four pints of garlic dill pickled green tomatoes, two pints of sliced tomatoes for future frying and three pints of pickled green tomatoes with jalapeno peppers and onions. Thank you Nannette for your gift.

To add to my freebies this week, although not as exciting as the tomatoes, I got a corn bread mix, Milano raspberry chocolate cookies, and coupons for free organic mac and cheese, yoplait yogurt with Hershey's toppings and from my super market a free can of tuna.

I have to admit that I don't have gardening fever any more. I have barnheart which is just the desire to have a barn. I would settle for a large garage that looks like a barn right now. This has been a wonderful learning and doing summer for this townhouse farm girl. I still have peppermint to harvest along with rosemary and sage so that I am sure that I have plenty for winter. From here on it will be what I can get from the farmers markets, but I have gained so much respect for where my food comes from. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week everyone. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Tuesday seems to roll around quickly lately. I seem to find a lot to do in a weeks time. The universe has been quite generous lately and the weather can't decide weather to finish summer or start fall. 
I managed to transplant my rosemary and sage into the ground. They grew to be very healthy in the hanging baskets. They look like foliage plants in the garden so I don't think that management will take them out. I harvested plenty for the winter months and made all kinds of goodies so I'm happy with my yield. Who knows at the rate they are still growing I may get some more from the plants before winter sets in. I did propagate the rosemary and have a beginner plant that has survived to grow inside. Fingers crossed. 

This was my first attempt at making my own rose water. The apartment I am in came with a rose bush. Not the healthiest when we moved in, but with a little bit of TLC and some green thumb it yielded some nice flowers. I harvested the flowers to make rose water. It was an easy project, but took a couple of hours and a gallon size bag of ice cubes. I got a little over one cup of rose water for my efforts.

The test of how good it came out will be when I make icing through the holidays. I'll let you know.

Like I said the universe has been more than generous this year. One of my daughters former co-workers asked if we would like some grapes. Of course we said yes. In the past I've received enough to make a grape crisp or a small pie. Well surprise, surprise. I received about a peck maybe more of concord grapes. I couldn't have been more excited (stressed) about what to do with so many. It all began early one morning and three hours later I had 14 cups of grape juice. I couldn't stand much longer so I put it in the refrigerator for the following day when I could organize the process. 

The final results of this wonderful gift was 19 cups of grape jelly, plus a little in a dish for my sandwiches/English muffins this week, and 4 cups of pie filling to use for pie or grape crisp. Thank goodness I have teenage grandsons that have healthy appetites and of course it's wonderful for gift giving. 

Oranges were on this week and it is the time of year that I like to pick up Cara Cara oranges. They are pink inside and so wonderful. I got enough to make some beautiful orange marmalade. I saved a small sample to tase and wow was it awesome. I now have eight cups of devine marmalade. Needless to say it's been a busy week, but the aroma's in my little townhouse have been outstanding. I have a wonderful variety of jellies and jams to go with my peanut butter and I couldn't be happier. So grateful for mother earths bounty. 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Thrift finds.

It's been a while since I've posted any of our thrift finds. So much fun doing other things and just plain doing less thrift picking.

Lately we have been getting a few items that we find for ourselves. Here are two Kokeshi dolls my daughter will add to her collection, a yellow bath towel, Tupperware Popsicle molds along with a vintage sheet and some tart pans. 

We're finding fewer and fewer pieces of good Pyrex, but this one came home with us along with a miniature Tupperware juicer, egg separator and grater. This is a stacking set that has a small cup and cover. Still more Tupperware measuring cups, a hand held grater along with a flower shaped cookie cutter for those lovely lemon lavender short bread cookies.

Here's a collection of some of the Vera scarfs we've found on recent adventures. It's a nice variety of colors and shapes.

The vintage ice cube trays are wonderful. They don't make them like they used too. The muffin tin will be added to my collection of mini tins, the hooks are to improve storage in a closet and the wonderful vintage plastic letter/mail organizer has found a place on the wall near the door to take care of business. I just love vintage organizers.

Last but not least are some fun Christmas napkins and fabric, yes that is a suction cup handle for the shower. As I'm maturing these little safety items are helping. We found some quilting magazines that we enjoy looking at, story books and greeting cards. There's so much stuff out there to rummage through and we do have a great time doing it. We usually find something, but it's not until I take the pictures and post to my blog that I realize the wonderful finds we acquire. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend. I'm off to check out my bread that is rising and maybe do a little weekend house work.