Tuesday

Mill Hill Meadow Messenger {Edition 2}

By, Kerin
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger correspondent.
 
 It's no secret that everyone here at Mill Hill Meadow, is anxious for Fall.
Late last night, as the wind was howling, and the cloud
were gathering over the meadow, you could almost
smell Fall.
 
Attention all gardeners:
Keep dead-heading those flowers, encouraging new growth.
Now is the time to plant those last few perennials for the year.
It's also time to order those Spring blooming bulbs.
Also, check your local nurseries for Fall blooming plants like asters, and mums.
Fall is also Garlic planting time!!!
If you plant garlic now, you can be harvesting garlic next June, or July!
 
Weather Folklore of the day:
A fog in August indicates a severe winter and plenty of snow.
It's been foggy a few mornings here folks.
So, get ready for snow this winter!
Fog rolling across the meadow, earlier this month.
 
 
 
Tasty Tidbits:
It's that time of year again. Filling up the canning jars, and preserving the summers bounty.
It's just a teeny bit early for pears in our neck of the woods, but that isn't stopping this correspondent from drying pears, and canning pears. 
Here at Mill Hill Meadow, pears sit on the countertop to ripen.
Just a day more, or so, and these pears will be turned into pear butter!!
click here to find original source for recipe :http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2010/10/vanilla-spiced-pear-butter.html
 
Ingredients:
7 lbs. pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
juice of 1 orange

Directions:

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the pears, water, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, occasionally stirring, for 20 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 8 cups of pear puree (I used the excess as Pear sauce).
In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine pear puree, sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape to a spoon and liquid does not separate.
Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids: Wash and rinse the jars in hot soapy water. Drain the jars well of any excess water. Set the screw bands aside - they don't require sterilizing. Place the lids - the flat round portion of the two-piece closures - in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Don't boil. Keep lids hot until you're ready to use them.
Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space, if needed, but adding more butter. Wipe rim. Center the lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is med, then increase to fingertip tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
  
      I can hardly wait to make a batch, and fill up some jars.
 
ALL THE BUZZ:
 I'd like to add that there are
3 jars sitting on a shelf in my pantry
filled with this seasons fresh honey.
Courtesy of a friends hives.
It's harvest time; for honey too.

For all you adventurous folks:
Get out and enjoy these last few days of summer.
 
Just 34 days left until the official start of Fall!
 
From the front porch here at Mill Hill Meadow,
to your front porch....
just one last little thought for all the readers of this edition :
 
"The Harvest"
Golden sheaves stand ripening
in the setting sun,
Bounty of a fruitful harvest,
A year's labor well spent.

From tiniest seed to trees laden
with sweet promise
The earth gives forth her joy
in abundance.
Author: Franca de la Pena
 
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger Edition 2
 


Monday

Mill Hill Meadow Messenger

 
 
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger

by, Kerin
Mill Hill Meadow correspondent
 
~Saturday
Grabbed my water bottle and granola bar.
It was off to another fine day of yard sales, and garage sales.
Right off the bat, I found a great yard/garage sale close to home.
Lots of great items for sale, and all at thrifty prices.
Loot bought included : * candle sconces
 *white mini-lights
*Mr.. and Mrs. Pilgrim & *Mr.. and Mrs. Indian.... great addition to my Thanksgiving decoration.
*White glazed ceramic pumpkin with a curly-Q stem
*Wrought iron horizontal plant rack
*Two very large terra-cotta plant pots
*Two large bunches of pip berries
*Woodland Santa {about 14 inches tall}
*Various other home decorating item.
All, in all a very good haul!
 
Feeing Fall-ish?
Well, this gall was feeling quite Fall-ish, considering the low morning temperatures
we've been having lately.
Puts a girl in the mood to try out a new recipe or two.
This recipe is holiday recipe:
 
 Slow cooker candy.
1 package (16 ounce) dry roasted salted peanuts,
1 package (16 ounce) dry roasted unsalted peanuts,
1 package (12 ounce) semisweet chocolate morsels,
1 (4 ounce) German chocolate bars,
32 oz white almond bark,

Directions

  1. Put peanuts in bottom of crock pot; add other ingredients.
  2. Cook on low setting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Place rounded spoonful's onto wax paper and allow to cool.

 
Note to readers:
Double check the slow cooker, and make certain that it's set on the lowest temperature!
This correspondent had a brain burp, and set the cooker on 4 hours, instead of 10 hours cook time.
We saved the candy, but just!
 
In other news:
The Perseid Meteor Shower begins tonight and runs through August 13th!
One of the years most prominent meteor showers.
Expect to see up to 50 meteors an hour. Visit the Old Farmer's Almanac online to learn more.http://www.almanac.com/content/meteor-showers-guide
 
Mark your Calendars!
Fall Fanatics remember to watch and mark those calendars.
Today is the 223 day of 2014, and in just 42 days Autumn begins!
Hip-hip-hooray!
 
For you early birds and night owls :
Did you get out to see the super moon last night?
It was amazingly bright, and clear.
There is one more Super moon this year, it will happen on September 9th.
 
A final thought for this edition of the
 Mill Hill Meadow Messenger :
 
Mill Hill Meadow Messenger : Edition 1

Friday

Owl Face.

 
Hidden in the bark of an old tree, an owl face appears.
 

Watching with his wise old eyes.

I just had to take 'his' picture and share.


Attitude of gratitude:
~Woke up to temperatures in the low 50's the past few days.
I feel full of energy. Blessed.
~Found 2 great insulated cookie sheets, two new {with tags still on} evergreen wreaths for Christmas at a yard sale this morning.
Evidently, the good luck at yard sales continues.
~Bought a hydrangea... first one ever to plant. Hopes upon hopes that it thrives here and I have beautiful blossoms each summer for years and years. Also bought some coreopsis and black eyed susans

Tuesday

Blueberries, Muffins, Mysteries, and other thrifty finds.

 Have you read "Town in Blueberry Jam"?
It's just one book in a series of books from Berkley Prime Crime Mystery books.

I really enjoyed it!

Plus, I had blueberries on the mind.  We had just bought a huge container of blueberries at Costco.
Seemed like a fortuitous find; this book and the others in the series.
So, on Sunday, we mixed up a batch of delicious blueberry muffins {the best recipe I've ever tried... I might add.}

Noshing and reading ensued.


http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-of-the-best-blueberry-muffins/detail.aspx

                                 {picture is also click-able to view original recipe and source}

Ingredients:
Original recipe makes 12 muffins                    
Directions
  1. Position rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating, and line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix together 1 3/4 cup of the flour and baking powder. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Crush 1/4 of the blueberries, and stir into the batter. Mix the rest of the whole blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of the flour, and fold into the batter. Scoop into muffin cups.
  3.  Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar.
   I was lucky enough to buy all the books in this series at the same yard sale.
And the price.... just a mere 50 cents a piece.
{Also found the Scentsy warmer for just $1.00}

I've been reading and reading since Saturday.
I am now well into the second book : "Town In Lobster Stew"
The books are fun reads, and clean reads. 
Another thrifty find, is the shorter plant stand.
Actually the tall stand was a yard sale find as well, found last year.
Who knows, before the summer's out, I just might luck upon another one.
I'd like a few for the patio, as well.

And.. a wreath.
A Fall wreath, for a dollar.  Couldn't beat that.
I've found that if there is something that I cannot use here at
Mill Hill Meadow, then it is something that Spencer {our son} can use at Dunravin {his home's name}.
So, it all works out.

One more thrifty find that I scored this past weekend... a nice sized wall sign.
I quite like it, and have decided that it should hang in our entry.
It's a nice welcome to our home.
Sets a nice tone.

Sooner than later, the yard sales are going to end.
The summer is quickly drawing to an end, the kids are gearing up for school, and classes and football are about to start at the local college.
Still....... overall , it's been a good year for thrifty finds.  Can't complain.

In my research on the Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries I found another series that sounds intriguing and fun to read.
It is the "Farmers Market Mysteries", by Paige Shelton.
Have any of you read that series?? 
I think I shall order the first few books, so that they are on hand, once I finish this current series.
Also... the same author did a series called "Country Cooking School Mysteries". That also sounds like a good series to read.

Attitude of gratitude:
~I'm grateful for multi grain bread toast, and fresh apple cider from the Big Red Barn.
Perfectly wonderful breakfast on this fine August day.
~I'm grateful that I've made pretty good progress on my goal to clean out both freezers. The kitchen fridge freezer and the deep freeze.  And, bless my family..... for they've been such good sports about eating my 'Clean out the freezer menu'!  Yay!! looking forward to getting both freezers stocked again, and organized for the winter months.







Sunday

~~ MILL HILL MEADOW ~~

It's an important thing to me.
Having a home, means it has a name.
 Any old place can be a house, but a home has a name,
 a sense of belonging to the family that lives in it.

We name our children, our pets, we even name our vehicles.
It just seems right to name our homes.

We started this tradition many years ago.
Recalling memories in " DD Shanty", or "Promise House", or "Crabapple Cottage".

This house is not a homestead cottage, nor a Victorian home desperately in need of renovation.
Nor is it a city home, or a big old Farmhouse.

 This home is in the country.
 A smallish city of about 6000 folks.
It is a recently built home, in a newer neighborhood.  Just 9 houses on our street.
Our subdivision is named "Mill Hill", named because of the hills above our home, and an old mill that was built along the creek bank.

There were many names for this house that were considered: names having to do with cottages... a love of mine, names having to do with daisies, poppies, windy mornings, mountains views, elk views.... etc...

In the end, we all decided that Mill Hill Meadow, is the perfect name for our house.

Our home.

Paying tribute to the mill that once was at the bottom of the hill, also paying tribute to the beautiful meadows that are all around us. 

Our Mill Hill Meadow, will be our forever home.

We wish for laughter, bountiful gardens, lush borders, stories on the porch, Christmas' filled with magic, and the smells of gingerbread.
We wish for puzzles sitting on the old card table... added to piece by piece.
Yatzee, and Uno played on Sunday nights around the kitchen table.
Morning breezes blowing down off the mountains, and through the meadows.

Wishes for many, many years of blessed life... filled with happiness, health and warm memories.

We are home.


Thursday

~ Blessings~

 
 "The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings." Henry Ward Beecher
 Heavenly Blessing : Rain and more rain.




And more rain..


Heavenly Blessing : First tomato of summer.
 One that the deer didn't get.
 Hallelujah , the DIY deer deterrent spray is working.

Heavenly Blessing:  Pears in the dehydrator.
   We wait all year, to dry pears, which are a family favorite.
We will dry peaches, plums, pears, apricots, etc...
Once they are dry, I put them in the freezer.

This year, I also have started making fruit leather : I used puree of pears and black berries, and sweetened with all natural honey. I tried out three ways of drying the puree... one on silpat, one on parchment, and one on plastic wrap. All dried in the oven on the lowest setting.
My preference; the plastic wrap.  I think it worked the best out of all the methods I tried.


Attitude of gratitude:

~I am grateful that I have an appreciation for provident living. I want to be able to make the most of the summers' bounty.
I'm working on filling my deep freezer, filling my food storage shelves, and filling my pantry.
It's deeply satisfying to see those shelves filled with good food.
It also makes preparing a meal a cinch.




Wednesday

Scary... .Someone's under there....



Little Johnny was in his bedroom playing with his toy tractor when his mother walked in.
"Mom, doesn't it say in the Bible that man was made out of dust?" he asked
"Yes," replied his mom.
"Is it also true that when we die, we go back to dust?" he inquired.
"Yes, " said his mom again. "Why do you ask?"
Because I was looking under the bed, "Johnny answered, " and there's someone under there either coming or going."

Just a little humor to break up the week.
Also.... true confession........ there's either somebody coming or going under my bed, and couches.

To see this post in it's original form, click on the link below.  The link is to my other blog  ~
"Cottage On Main".

http://cottageonmain.blogspot.com/2011/06/someones-under-there-little-johnny-was.html