Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Past...

A few years ago, when Cole looked like this...
he said something that we cannot get out of our minds...
"Happy Hell-No-Ween"
over and over and over.

playing in the leaves...

a couple of cute witches...

Scooby Doo

Dad and Scooby...


Have a Happy

Friday, October 26, 2012

Canning Season Wrap Up

Canning Season began this year with grapes from my yard.
And before they were in my yard, they were in Amara's yard.
thanks for the grapevine start.
I had no idea that I had this many grapes.  They filled up my small sink two times.

I read up on juicing grapes and found that you end up with a much sweeter grape juice if you take off the stems, although you can just throw them into the juicer with stems and all.

I had no idea what was going to come out of the juicer.  But, I love the color of this grape juice...

It looks so pretty sitting on the counter and now down on the shelf in the storage room.

Next up was the purple grapes.  The kids are thrilled to have some of this grape juice.
These were from Orem.  Thanks for picking the grapes for me.
Needless to say, I am running low on quart jars.
If anyone has extras, I'd be glad to take them off your hands...

Then, this guy became a regular on feature in the kitchen.
Along with a bunch of canning books.

This is a sample of the pizza sauce and Southwest Tomato soup.

Another shot of the Southwest Tomato Soup.  I hope it's good.
The tomatoes and peppers were from my yard.
You can also see the new lids that I am trying out.
They are called Tattler lids and they are reusable.

Then Rick helped me can 80 pounds of chicken.
Bean soup.  The little green beens are from Amara, if you can see any of them!
The kids didn't really like the beans.  
That's OK.  I'm not a big bean fan.  But, Summer said she would eat the beans if the Zombies ever come.

The list of canned items also includes raspberry jalapeno jelly that I made from my jalapenos and raspberries from my neighbor Laura.  
I managed to make some salsa this year that the family approves of.  
I made tomato vegetable soup that I thought was fantastic because I love tomatoes.
Cole just ate the potatoes and left the rest.  
I had tons of tomatoes this year, so I did a double batch of the vegetable tomato soup.  I hope someone helps me eat it.
And then I canned a bunch of tomatoes by themselves.
I roasted a lot of peppers that Phyllis brought me.  
I am her VT.  She grows a fantastic garden every year.
I also froze a bunch of peaches.  They were from the tree that hangs over my fence from my neighbors back yard.  I figure that when the neighbors just let the fruit fall on the ground and rot, then the fruit that is on my side of the fence is fair game.  But, I didn't have time to bottle it, so it went into the freezer.
And I managed to grow lots and lots of peans, radishes, turnips, one cabbage, and 2 pumpkins.

And one last trick I learned this year:  We have really hard water here.  So, if you add 1/2 c. vinegar to the water bath or pressure canner, it will help the jars to not get the white film on the outside when they come out of the canner and dry.  I tried it with the last batch in the pressure canner and it worker great.  Although the kids thought the house smelled horrible for a couple of days.  too bad.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blackett Reunion. kind of.

I learned a lesson a few months ago...
Never attend a family gathering without bringing a camera.

Because once you start bringing a camera, everyone will always expect you to bring a camera.
plus, it's a good idea...
You will always be the one with the photos--you won't have to try to track down photos from other people, because that is hard.
AND, you can always use the photos for blackmail.  and good laughs.

So, here is the story...
there was supposed to be a wedding this summer.  
and people bought plane tickets.  and traveled from distant lands.
and then the groom wanted to spend lots of money.
and not grow up.
so there wasn't a wedding.
but people were still gathered.
so instead of a wedding,
there was a party!!

with lots of food.

and Cleda (who traveled from Tennessee and recently had double knee replacement surgery)
wanted us to see her scars and her new knees.

but, then Bette didn't want to be outdone by her younger sister, 
so she showed us her knees.

and since 3 sisters were already on the couch,
Bev decided that she wanted to be part of the fun...

and show off her arthritic feet.

and since they were already for a picture, 
Bev taught them how to pose...

but, that wasn't enough
so she had them put their arms in the air 
and their hands behind their ears
and their glasses in their mouth

and that was so much fun that SIL Donna and Cousin Brenda had to join the fun
by pointing their fingers and resting their chins in their hands.

then things really got crazy...

because there was an audience.

so the next generation decided to go outside and snap some shots.
and since it was all girls and Rick wasn't there
they let me join in on the fun

but we didn't have the talent to get ourselves into
a reasonable pose...

so Bev helped us do this...

and this.
(awkward family pictures??)

the menfolk just sat back and watched.
of course.

and they would not move,
so we gathered the young-ins
and took one big group photo of
all of the generations of men boys.

and the granddaughters,
or the great-granddaughters, I guess you would say...
they couldn't pose either.

Bev to the rescue...


and the great grandsons.
they played and played and wore themselves out.

Cole just loves Bev.

and it looks like Bev loves Cole.

Bev still wanted in on the action of displaying odd body parts
so she insisted that they put their feet up on the couch.

and rest their elbows on their knees.

Cole says, "I love you"

*all photos taken by Summer.  with an iPad.
not the best quality.
and their may still be some video that didn't make the blog.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Black Sheep Cafe

We don't get out much.
So we are never "those people" who can rattle off the names of all of the restaurants they have eaten at in the last month, what the daily specials are, and which restaurant has the best dessert menu.

But, we have found a great little place in Provo.
It's called the Black Sheep Cafe.
It's on University Ave. at about 50 North.
We took the kids once during the summer and when it was time for Sierra to pick a place to eat for her birthday a few weeks ago, she chose Black Sheep Cafe.

The girls got a Navajo taco sampler to share (good choice).

Cole got these blue corn taquitos.

 Rick and I shared a Black Sheep Salad (It comes with a prickly pear vinaigrette--I may have licked the plate)  Our main course was a Black Sheep Burger with homemade sweet potato fries.  I ate the fries and took the burger home for lunch the following day.  That little pointy thing hanging off the bottom of the burger (which was served on a nanniskadii bread, not a bun) was a roasted pasilla pepper.  So tasty.

Front Entrance to Black Sheep Cafe.
We highly recommend.

One more picture of the birthday girl.
Happy 12 Sierra.