Welcome to my
Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Words of Wisdom

 

 
 






 







Sunday, July 27, 2014

Getting Down to the Wire ~ Hurry!


My Christmas in July Sale at my Etsy Shop will be ending soon. Be sure to take a gander over while it lasts!
There's still time to enter my giveaways. But they will be ending shortly also. Don't miss out!







Friday, July 25, 2014

Bells


Fred was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young 'pullets,' and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.
He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.
This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached
them to his roosters.
Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance,
which rooster was performing.
Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by
just listening to the bells.
Fred's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but
this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!
When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy
chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the
roosters coming, would run for cover.
To Fred's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring.
He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.
Fred was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Brisbane City Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.
The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the "No Bell
Piece Prize," but they also awarded him the "Pulletsurprise" as well.
Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a
politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.
 



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Canning Time


Yes, it's that time again.
Everything is ripening - more than you can eat so let's get picking and canning!
A few small Zucchini, Cucumber and Spring Onions

Grapes, Grapes and more Grapes
This is just the beginning.
My Thompson Seedless is an excellent producer
and there is more left to pick!

Yes, I share with the Mocking Birds,
as you can see the picked clean stem on the table ♥
Washed and ready to eat!

B works with a lady that has a great Veggie garden and she has been sharing with him and he has been sharing with us. Each time I see him we receive a big box of Squash

Time to can!

This year I've decided to try Zickles (Zucchini Pickles)

and Zapplesauce (Zucchini Applesauce).
After all if I can make a Zapple Pie why can't you make Zapplesauce right?

Zickles first.

Zickles

Ingredients:

2 pounds Zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Salt 
1 1/2 cup White Vinegar
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Dill Seed
3/4 teaspoon Mustard Seed
3/4 teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Fresh Dill Sprigs

Directions:

(the scraps in the white bowl are for Tilly,
she loves eating fresh veggies)

Thinly slice Zucchini


 1.Add Salt to sliced Zucchini and mix thoroughly.
Let stand for 1 hour and then drain
 
 2. Mix remaining ingredients and boil for 3 minutes.
(Yes, I was multi-tasking by cooking a huge package
of hamburger at the same time so I could
freeze it into 1 pound bags)
 
3. Pour hot mixture over Zucchini slices
and let stand for at least 1 hour.

 During that hour I sliced the Zucchini for the Zapplesauce.
 I also shredded Zucchini, Patty Pan
and Crook Neck Squash.
I placed 2 cups of shredded Squash
into bags for the freezer.
I use shredded Zucchini for my Pina Colada Jam, 
Zucchini Nut Bread, and what ever else
I decide to throw it into like Spaghetti Sauce. 
 
4. Place Zucchini and liquid to a large pot and boil for 3 minutes.
5. Pack Zucchini tightly in hot sterilized jars. Add Dill Sprigs.
6. Pour in the hot liquid, wipe jar rims and threads clean and seal.
7. Label and store in a cool place.
8. Place jars upside down for 15 mins. then turn right side up.
The lids will plink when sealed.

You can also do:

Water Bath Canning
Process in water bath for 20 minutes for pints or quarts.
Start timing when water boils
I have to say they taste really good!
They are like Bread and Butter Pickles. YUM!
*******************
Zapplesauce
Ingredients:
12 cups Zucchini, peeled, seeded and cut into slices
1/2 cup water
1 - 2 cups Sugar, to your liking
1 - 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon, to your liking
Directions:
1. In a large pot combine Zucchini and water.
2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until Zucchini is soft.
3. Drain all but a little liquid
4. Use a potato masher to mash Zucchini. If there seems to be a lot of liquid, you can drain some more.



5. Stir in Sugar and Cinnamon. Spoon a bit out, let cool and taste. Adjust Sugar and Cinnamon to taste.
6. Add to hot sterilized jars. Wipe jar rims and threads clean and seal.
7. Label and store in a cool place.
8. Place jars upside down for 15 mins. then turn right side up. The lids will plink when sealed.
You can also:
Water Bath Canning
Process in water bath for 20 minutes for pints or quarts.
Start timing when water boils.


 The Zapplesauce turned out amazing.
Hoping T leaves it alone so I have some for Easter Dinner!
More Canning and creative ways to use
ALL that Zucchini to come.
  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beach Mementos

Bringing the Beach Vacation Home
Just because your beach holiday is now only a happy memory doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to the pretty things that made those relaxed mornings so delightful. Give your
home a summery lift with these easy decorating projects using found objects and holiday mementos:

For an effortless seaside-inspired accent, fill a tall vase or hurricane-style vessel with a loose jumble of beachcombing bounty. Tip: Be sure to clean seaside treasures first with soap and water. 

  
A perfect seashell, sculptural piece of driftwood or bit of pale-hued sea glass can become a personal and evocative still life when beautifully framed. A memory box (widely available at framing and crafts stores) is a hinged picture frame deep enough to display three-dimensional mementos. Arrange a few objects in an artful way-it's easy to go overboard, but simple compositions are traditionally more pleasing. Think a single starfish mounted against a natural linen background. Or a vignette featuring a special postcard, plume of sea grass (dried and pressed first) and a handful of interesting shells. 

  
A cluster of seashell candles on a silver or bamboo tray makes a memorable centerpiece. To make, remove a tealight from its metal holder, melt the wax in a double boiler and carefully pour the liquid wax into cleaned shells. Position the wick in the center and let cool for several hours. Be sure to choose stable shells that won't tip over.   

Embellish a photo frame with starfish and sand dollars. Simply hot-glue them along the frame's edge to accent a treasured vacation photograph. 

  
Make a set of summery napkin rings in minutes: thread a five-inch length of ribbon through the top openings of a sand dollar, use a dab of glue to further secure it to the ribbon. Once dry, tie around a rolled napkin.   
A Mason or decorative jam jar filled with layers of colored sand is an easy and fun project for kids: to dye the sand, put it in a glass or metal bowl and add enough water to cover. Mix in food coloring-you will need a lot-and let it stand until the sand turns the desired color. Drain off the excess water and allow sand to dry on a thick layer of paper towel before layering in the jar.
Children will love making-and wearing-seashell jewelry. Using a power drill with a very small bit or a Dremel tool, carefully make a hole in the shell. Use the lowest speed possible to avoid cracking the shell. Children can then thread the seashells.

Have fun!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Infused Spa Waters

With the temps we've been having - in the 100's - seems we are always thirsty. We drink a lot of water but sometimes you just want something a little more quenching that has some flavor.
 Introducing Infused Waters.
Benefits:
 hydrating, refreshing, detoxifying
Here's the easy recipe I use on a regular basis. 
Ingredients:
Fruit - 2 cups berries, citrus, melons, pineapple...most fruits will work
Herbs -a sprig of mint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, basil or sage
Water
Ice
2 quart pitcher or jar with lid
Wooden Spoon
Directions:
1. If using herbs, add a sprig of fresh herbs to jar. Press and twist with wooden spoon to bruise leaves enough to release flavor. Do not smash the herbs into bits.
2. Add approx. 2 cups of fruit to jar. Press and twist with wooden spoon just enough for the fruit to start to release some of the juices.

Strawberry Kiwi shown

3. Fill jar with ice cubes


4. Add water to top of jar.
5. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
6. Let water sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking.


Poured into pitcher and

Strawberry and Blueberry shown

ready to drink! Yum!


There are many different flavor combinations you can make,
here are a few:

All Citrus: Slice 1 each; orange, lime, lemon into rounds. Cut rounds in half. Add to jar and muddle. Aids in digestion, immune defense, and vitamin C.
Raspberry Lime: Quarter 2 limes. Hand squeeze juice into jar. Add squeezed lime quarters. Add 2 cups raspberries. Muddle. Continue with steps 3 - 6.
Pineapple Mint: Add sprig of mint to jar. smash lightly. Add 2 cups pineapple pieces. Muddle, continue with steps 3 - 6.
Blackberry Sage: Add sage sprig to jar. Smash lightly. Add 2 cups blackberries. Muddle, continue with steps 3 - 6.
Watermelon Rosemary: Add rosemary sprig to jar and smash. Add 2 cups watermelon cubes. Muddle, continue with steps 3 - 6.
Strawberry Kiwi: Add 1 cup each: strawberries, cut in half, blueberries. Muddle, continue with steps 3 - 6. Aids in cardiovascular health, immune system protection, blood sugar regulation and digestion.
Cucumber, Lime, Lemon: Add 1 sliced cucumber, muddle. Cut 1 each lemon and lime into quarters. Hand squeeze juice into jar. Add lemon and lime squeezed lemon and lime quarters. Continue with steps 3 - 6. Aids in water weight management, bloating, appetite control, hydration and digestion.

Our favorites are any kind of berries and watermelon! Yum!
Enjoy!

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