Monday, September 29, 2014

Beckwith Apple Orchard

When the days are bright with sunshine, the air is crisp and the leaves begin to turn, we take a trip to the the apple farm. Beckwith Apple Orchard is only a couple of miles away and so much fun to visit.  Check out how much Zoe has grown since 2013.  It looks to be about three or four inches!

The dahlias at the apple farm are all planted by an 80-year-old gentleman, Hal Hall.  Keep in mind that dahlia bulbs have to be dug up in the late fall, stored all winter and re-planted in the spring.  I think this is a labor of love and I thank him and his family for providing all this beauty for us to enjoy.

Fashionable Scarecrow!

We bought our apples, cider, and of course a piece of homemade apple pie.   So happy for our fall season in Kent and blessed to have this wonderful apple farm in our city!
Zoe made a new friend!  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quilt News - Upcoming Streetsboro Quilt Show 2014

What do you think about most when fall arrives?  Cool weather, mums, planting bulbs, hearty soup, hot cider?  Well, yes, but as quilters, our thoughts mostly turn to upcoming fall quilt shows.  Yea!

About a year ago, to celebrate retirement, I joined the Streetsboro Quilt Guild.  They are sponsoring their yearly quilt show the first weekend in October.  Everyone looks forward to this show with all the fabulous quilts on display and of course the vendors.  Time to get new ideas and shop!

As a newer member of the guild, I volunteered to help with our raffle quilt this year . . . as a result, all the volunteers were featured in the paper along with the Civil War Baskets of Plenty Quilt.
Record Courier Article:  Sept. 11, 2014

Here is information about the show:
32nd Annual Judged Quilt Show
Friday, October 3rd - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday, October 4th - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
First Baptist Church in Streetsboro
Frost Road and St Rt 43

Anyone can enter a quilt or quilted item; the entry fee is $3.00 before Sept. 17 and $6.00 for late entrees.  You have the option to have your quilt judged or not judged. Click on the link below for further information.

Entry Forms are available online:  CLICK HERE FOR THE DIRECT LINK!

Mums on the porch
Autumn in the air

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Corny Day

Thursday morning my son Earl brought over a big bag of sweet corn from Wind Swept Farm in Hiram. What a perfect day for freezing corn; a cool northern breeze and no need to run the air conditioner, just open the windows.

I was thinking about what my younger son Adam suggested; that I should jazz up my blog and write about something more exciting.  In our family corn has always played a central role in our lives.  We used to live on a small farm where we grew corn, froze corn, sold corn, and mostly ate corn.   Hmmm . . . well, I was excited to get a big bag of corn, so, this is as exciting as it gets for me. 

At our dinners, we were connoisseurs of all the different tastes and textures of sweet corn.  We had a running conversations on whether the corn was too young, too old, crunchy, chewy, starchy or just right.  I can still picture my kids' faces with a cob of yellow corn as their smiles and butter dripping down to their elbows.  It's safe to say that we were and still are a "corn oriented" family.

Today, during the process of peeling, cutting, cooking and freezing corn; I am reminiscing and remembering my family and all the times we spent together gathered around a big plate of steaming sweet corn.  It is exciting!     
Husking the corn on the porch is the best idea!
Yellow Gold!

A tall enamel pot is perfect to blanch the corn for 6 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the cob - according to the Ball Canning Book.

The hard part is cutting the corn off the cob. 

The satisfying part is seeing the final result!  
12 pints, three quarts and one sticky kitchen.  It was a lovely day.
I wanted to add a picture taken on the Freedom Trail in Kent this week.  My neighbor and I took a walk and discovered lots of wild flowers blooming along the Cuyahoga River.  We also saw a big buck run across the path and jump a fence.  That was exciting!  How fortunate we are to have these hiking trails in our city.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Salsa Time Again!

Today, a good part of my day was spent in the kitchen making salsa.  It's a perfect 82 degrees outside and I could have been sitting on the front porch sewing the binding on my Scrappy Enders and Leaders quilt.  However, when the vegetables are ripe, you have to make the salsa.

Keeping it simple, I quilted this scrappy 4-patch by sewing diagonally across the blocks and am pleased with the results.  Just have to finish the binding!  This will be used for a future little girl baby quilt:

I now have "three" quilts that need binding.  I had a dream the other night that I gave a quilt as a gift and at the last minute noticed that the binding was NOT sewn on.  It was terrible and seemed very real!!  I guess that means I am feeling guilty about my UFOs and need to get busy turning binding.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen.  Last night I canned nine quarts of refrigerator dill pickles and today eight pints of salsa.  It's fun to see the jars lined up and hear the ping of the lids as they seal.  The recipes for the dill pickles and salsa are on my blog.  Click on the links directly below "Featured Posts," especially if you are over-run with cucumbers and tomatoes.

Tomorrow, I plan to spend some time on the porch sewing binding unless my son happens to bring over sweet corn, in which case, I'd be back in the kitchen.  

As everyone is fond of saying:  "Keep calm and quilt or can on!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Confession Musical - Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek

Looking for quality entertainment in Ohio Amish country?  I highly recommend the musical, The Confession now playing at the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek.  The show lasts through August 16.  After that show ends, Half Stitched, the Musical starts on August 22nd through December 20th.  These are high quality, professional performances and so up-lifting to your spirit.  Click Here for further information!

The theater is in the round, so you can't get a bad seat, plus the prices are reasonable.  Right next door you will find The Dutch Valley Restaurant and little shops.  You can make a day of it!

This is how the Qbee's roll!  
Qbee's Carol, Barb and Mama Barb
First things first - Lunch at Dutch Valley Restaurant!  Yummy!

Next Shopping!
 Last but not least, we enjoyed the marvelous acting and singing in The Confession.

What a blessing to have quality entertainment just a short drive away.  This post should help others plan a fun day in Amish Country.

POSTSCRIPT:  It's that time of year again.  I have posted the link for "Refrigerator Dill Pickles" in the sidebar under "Featured  Posts."  This recipe has become a family favorite in the summer.  It's a quick and easy way to use your garden cucumbers that are now coming into gardens in abundance.  Here is the link just in case you want to try your hand at making pickles.  It's really not difficult using this recipe.

Extra Hint:  I noticed that I didn't talk about washing the cucumbers in the original recipe.  I place the cucs in deep water and actually use a clean dish cloth to wipe them squeeky clean.  Pay special attention the ends of the cucumbers.  Hope this helps.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Market Knitting and Zoe's New Idea

Haymaker Farmers Market - Kent

How fortunate we are in Kent to have such a diverse little outdoor market to visit every Saturday morning.  It is like a neighborhood block party since you get to know all the vendors and are always running into someone you know.  It's one of the highlights of my week.

In case anyone is wondering, I am still attempting to knit a sock; I have not given up.  However, my sock has not grown much because every couple of rounds I run into a snag or a dropped stitch, or I'm going the wrong direction (4 needles) etc.  Thank goodness for the help, kindness and encouragement from my knitting mentor, Carol.  It amazes me how she can fix anything that I have messed up - at least in the knitting department.  Yesterday, Saturday, it was a lovely day to sit and knit and listen to the band, Rio Neon.  They were awesome!  Click Here to learn more about them!

Carol & Francis - Come to the market and they will help you learn to knit - Free!
Rio Neon

Flowers were everywhere at the market this week. 

Zoe's New Idea:

My granddaughter Zoe came up with some "nature" based activities this weekend.  One of her ideas was to make Potpourri from flowers and herbs that we have in our yards.  She picked a lot of different plants and we hung them up on the porch to dry.  Now we wait and see what happens!  

Next week is Zoe's birthday and she will be 10 - double digit!  What fun to have such a creative granddaughter.  

"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."  ~ A. A. Milne

Friday, July 18, 2014

Barn Quilts and July QBee Day

We mostly think of barn quilts as large, painted quilt squares on the sides of real barns.  After a little research, I was surprised and pleased to learn that this idea originally started in Ohio.  Click Here for more information about barn quilts.

On our QBee day, Miss Carol showed us another type of barn quilt; a real quilt that she just finished up with a cross-hatch stitch for her client, Nancy.  Nancy did all the  embroidery on this quilt by hand and it is extraordinary!  Look at the borders how nicely they line up.  We all admired this quilt!  I don't know where she got the pattern, but if anyone is interested, I will ask.

We also had projects of our own to complete:
Miss Carol did a Christmas in July quilt.  

Barbie took a table runner class and made this sweet pansy design.  I love it!

Mary made a happy little octopus for her lucky granddaughter.  The legs are ribbons.

Miss Carol finished these blocks in one day.  She is a zippy sewer.  

Leftover triangles will be perfect for another Bonnie Hunter Maverick Stars Quilt.  It never ends.  
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and having fun in the sun.