How to Make Simple Syrup

What is Simple Syrup? Easy answer… it is a sweetener.

Easier answer: how to make it…

How to Make Simple Syrup

Use equal parts granulated sugar to water. It is a 1:1 ratio.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1 cup sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow the sugar to dissolve in the water. Place in a storage container in your refrigerator for up to 1 month, or use right away. (more…)

Pumpkin Purée

Let’s make Pumpkin Purée from the fantastic pumpkins you grew in your garden! You didn’t spend all summer growing pumpkins for nothing, after all. Oh, I guess… you can use them for Fall/Halloween decorations… but you should probably put up a few just because, right? Well today, I’m going to show you how!

Pumpkin Purée

1.Start with the pumpkins. Now, my pumpkins here are a little smaller than they should be, but sometimes you have to harvest pumpkins early. That was the case here. These pumpkins weighed in between 4 and 6 pounds. Wash them off. While you will remove the outer shells, it is best to clean off the excess soil. Preheat oven to 375˚F.

2. Make sure you have a sharp knife to be able to slice the pumpkins in half. You’ll also want a spoon, olive oil, and salt. Plus, go ahead and prepare your pans. Get a large jelly roll pan (half sheet) and line with parchment paper. The parchment paper helps with cleanup later. (more…)

Pumpkins

As the summer draws to a close and fall takes over, it’s finally time to harvest your summer’s hard work in the shape of a pumpkin. I have spent a lot of time this summer researching pumpkins. This is the first year I’ve tried to grow pumpkins. In the past, I’ve dumped pumpkin seeds in a fence row and had voluntary pumpkins grow, but now is time to learn about pumpkins.

I planted 2 types of pumpkins this summer. 

The first was from seed.

When Jody was here helping plant marigolds and my Blackberry Bush, we also planted pumpkin seeds. In the past, I’ve had good luck just throwing pumpkin guts away in the fall after carving jack-o-lanterns. They wind up in a fence row. Come next spring/summer plants start growing. But a pumpkin is 90% water and if you don’t water them in a dry summer, they won’t survive.

The second type of pumpkin was a store-bought plant. I bought it at the local farm store. It was a Bonnie Plant – Pumpkin Heirloom Jack-O-Lantern. (more…)

1 Sugar Cookies

The third set of sugar cookies I’ve made this year. They were so easy and so much fun. 

I love the bright colors. They initially wanted a llama, but I didn’t have a llama cookie cutter and I didn’t have time to figure out how to do a llama. So since it was a first birthday, we went with the colors of the party and a 1 as well as MJ is one. 

These colors were soooo pretty in my opinion. So happy I got to do them. (more…)

How to Get Rid of Squash Bugs

Squash bugs are enough to drive you crazy. You walk out and your garden is growing just fine one minute, and the next there is a crapton of some weird bugs that will drive you mad. Squash bugs seem to appear out of nowhere. One minute nothing and the next BAM! I have no clue where they came from or how they found me, but they did. Stupid bugs.

What are Squash Bugs?

(more…)

How to Freeze Okra

When I decided to start and plant my garden this spring, I asked my family what they would like to see planted. I mean, after all, they were going to be reaping the rewards too. At that point in the day, I think that we were eating lunch (or dinner… but we were definitely eating) and the oldest and my husband had fried okra. They both immediately chimed in and said, Okra.

Okra… um… okay. I know nothing about making fried okra, but okay, I’ll figure it out. Oh wait, you mean you can eat okra that isn’t fried. Okay, I’ll learn about that too while I’m at it. Because, why not. (more…)

“Fifty” Cookies

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve made sugar cookies. But… it’s kind of like riding a bike, right? haha.

Okay, the back story of the Fifty Cookies… So a gal who has ordered cookies from me every year hit me up to see if I still did cookies. Yes. Would I do Fiftieth Wedding anniversary cookies? Yes. Then I got the story behind these cookies. It’s a good one!!

She works in healthcare. Dialysis to be exact. One of her patients has been fighting cancer for a few years. He decided that he wanted to fight until at least his 50th wedding anniversary. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 10th. How sweet is that?!?! (more…)

How to Can Peaches

It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.

I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.

A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.

Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Peaches

Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.

Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go. (more…)

Anchorage, Alaska Restaurants

Being “anchored” in Anchorage (see what I did there), we ate at a lot of restaurants in Anchorage. So, I think the best thing to do is just put them all together and let’s get started. It might take a while. 

Spenard Roadhouse

1049 W Northern Lights Blvd
Anchorage, AK 99503

We got into Alaska “late.” Late is relative because Anchorage is 5 hours behind Missouri. But being late on a Saturday night, a lot of places were closed. That was quite odd, but it has to be because of coronavirus. That’s the best reason I could come up with. We were staying in Midtown Anchorage. I wouldn’t recommend that. Another story for another day. (more…)

Whittier, Alaska

Thursday was my birthday. I kind of got to pick some of the day because of that. After we went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, we decided to go to Whittier. Mom suggested that one. I was game. Anything fun and heck, we were in Alaska on my birthday so everything was fun, am I right!?!? We were only about 12 miles from Whittier so it was perfect. The day was a little wet and rainy which made it a little cool. But no complaints here because at home it was close to 100˚F. We’d take the upper 60’s for sure.

Mom and dad had been to Alaska before. They said that we had to go through a tunnel to get to Whittier. This tunnel was NOT the tunnel… this was a mini tunnel. (more…)