How to Make Buttermilk (sour milk)

Picture this… you find a recipe you want to make… something that requires buttermilk… for example:

And you happen to be fresh out of buttermilk… or better yet, you have never bought buttermilk in your life. It happens to the best of us! But… what you may not know is making buttermilk (aka sour milk) is super simple and you probably have the ingredients for that!

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream; (more…)

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…)

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…)

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?

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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…)

Planting Blackberry Bushes

This poor blackberry bush kind of became a laughing stock at my house. Why? Well… because, here we are in June and I bought it at the end of April. So what? Well… I just planted it yesterday.

I know, I know. It’s been living in the pot that I bought it in. That’s not a good thing really. The root system gets used to that size and then the plant could be stunted. But I wasn’t really sure where to plant it.

Jody came over yesterday and she and I went around planting stuff. We planted Marigolds in the garden as well as a couple of pumpkin plants. And… we planted the infamous Blackberry Bush. FINALLY. 

Some things to keep in mind when planting a Blackberry Bush: (more…)

Garden #2

Yes, you read that title correctly. I started my first garden in March. It sounded like a good thing… but garden number 2. Now I think I’ve seriously lost my mind. So here’s how we got to this point…

When I finally decided to start a garden, I had 2 places chosen. One was where the original garden went in and the second was this spot.

There were pros and cons to each spot that was chosen.

Original garden

  • Pros
    • Closer to the house
    • Closer to water
  • Cons
    • Less potential space
    • Trees in the yard to contend with

This garden area

  • Pros
    • Larger area
    • Very few items to compete with (i.e. trees)
    • Lots of sunlight
  • Cons
    • Harder to get water to 

Because of this… the other area was chosen. Then, I started to have “issues” getting my corn to grow (or so I thought at the time). So yesterday morning I decided I was going to start a garden in the second location

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I’ve Been Painting

I painted another purple cat again…

If you didn’t know this about me, I absolutely LOVE red trucks. Old red trucks, but I drove a new red truck (2014) for 2 years (hubby drove it for about 2 before that or so). I used to hate red vehicles, but gosh, not anymore. Especially after driving one. On that note, I still hate black vehicles and I’ve owned 2 of those (plus hubby’s 3 black trucks). Anyway… moving on.

A few years ago it seemed like we saw the old red truck with a Christmas tree in the bed everywhere. I wasn’t sure what the infatuation was, but then I figured it out. First off, it became a thing because it brings back that nostalgic Christmas. That Christmas everyone wants to have in a snowy cabin, hiking out to pick out the perfect tree.. yada yada yada. (more…)