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Archive for July, 2011

Watermelon

We were very pleased to get a watermelon in one of our local boxes.  We sliced into the watermelon right away.  It was very refreshing and juicy.

 

 

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We recently had friends over for dinner.  It was really fun to be able to cook with produce from our local box and from our family farm.  The foil is covering chicken cooked with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning (sprinkle chicken with Mrs. Dash and throw in the oven until 160˚).  We also served (meatless) taco soup (recipe from Owl Haven’s Family Feasts) and corn from our family’s farm.

I especially loved putting a platter of raw veggies in the middle of the table (a la Food Nanny style).  The carrots and tomatoes are from the local box and the bell peppers are from our family’s farm.

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Our family was kind enough to send us home from the family farm with lots of fresh corn that we helped pick.  When we got home, it needed to be preserved.  A friend of mine was over for dinner and she was kind enough to help out.

 

First, you get the silk off the corn.  It helps to have a bowl of water.

 

Next, you cut the kernels off the cobs.  You could just blanch the corn cobs and freeze them, but I like them off the cobs.

 

 

Put in a pan, add butter, salt, pepper, and water, and bring to a boil until cooked.

 

When cool, you can store it in portions in the freezer.

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My Sewing Area

I’m definitely loving my sewing area right now.  I’ve got tons of projects going on.  In the picture, I have fabric for bibs (orange/yellow/red) and fabric for a diaper bag (brown and blue).  The upper right of the couch has some decorative burp cloths.  The pink baby quilt top (in progress) is on the upper left of the couch.

Why am I doing all of this sewing?  Well, I just finished grad school and I’m off work for the summer (I’m a teacher), so I have tons and tons of time on my hands.  Therefore, I’m sewing up a storm and storing baby items in a box (for the future).  Once I go back to work in August, I won’t have much time to sew.

The box.

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I’m making good use of my magnetic dry-erase menu.  I make changes quite often, but at least I’m trying to do a menu.  I’ve gone ahead and shopped for any additional ingredients that I needed, so we have supplies for two weeks of planned dinners.  Things could change with the contents of a local box, but at least we have a start.

The menu items that say “Jaime” are from Jaimie’s Food Revolution cookbook.  For Friday’s pizza, we’ll make the pizza dough recipe from The Food Nanny cookbook.

The chicken fajitas are already cooked, sliced, and frozen, as we often buy the marinated meat in a large package, prepare it, and freeze it.

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Sorry, this was last week’s local box:

  • onions
  • potatoes
  • cucumbers
  • squash
  • basil
  • eggplant
  • fresh pinto beans
  • green bell peppers
  • caramel corn (free sample from the grocery service)

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I made baked pancakes with blackberries (2 cups complete pancake mix, 1-1/2 cups water, fruit).  The blackberries settled into the middle of the pancake, whereas strawberries float to the top.

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I purchased fabric to make 2 flannel and 2 cotton receiving/swaddling blankets.  I wanted them to be large, so I purchased 1-1/3 yards per blanket.

 

I purchased double yardage of each fabric, to make two identical blankets from each material.  Therefore, I had to cut each length of fabric in half (lengthwise).

 

I also cut off the printed selvages.

For each blanket, press the hems under twice.  You can press 1 inch or 1/2 inch, whichever works for you.

 

 

When at corners, I find it easiest to have the right side on top of the bottom side of the fabric.  That way, you can sew all the way to the bottom edge and then back stitch and turn to follow the bottom edge.  It also helps to pin the corner in place.

 

Sew along the edge, as close to the edge as possible.

 

Completed flannel blanket.

 

Completed cotton blanket.

 

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Would you believe that I didn’t know how to slice a peach?  I had to watch some videos on Youtube.

Anyways, these are peaches from our local box.  They were quite tasty.

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When we went to visit family recently, I knew I would have a lot of crafting time.  I planned to sew and knit, so I wanted to pack all of the notions I would need for each project.  That included thread, extra sewing machine needles, fabric, scissors, a rotary cutter, pins, etc.

This was a great box that I received from the “Easter Bunny” this year.  It was perfect for holding all of my sewing notions.

Here’s the box in use while sewing during our trip.  Our family was kind enough to let me set up a large table for my sewing machines and cutting mat.

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Firstly, here’s the organic bacon I ordered along with our first local box of produce.  I cut the bacon in half, and separated it, putting some in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.  Now, I can pull it out of the freezer a little at a time.

Okay, I used the fresh black-eyed peas from my local box in a delicious recipe I found here.

 

After cooking a few strips of bacon and removing them from the pot, I cooked celery, garlic (local box), and onion (local box).

 

Here are the fresh black-eyed peas (local box), cooked bacon, and chicken bouillon granules.

 

I added the black-eyed peas, water, crumbled bacon, and chicken bouillon granules to the veggies in the pot, letting it cook for an hour.

 

Yum!

 

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Here is more about how to make decorative burp cloths from pre-folds.

Last time, we layered 2 pieces of print fabric (right sides together) with a pre-fold, sewed around the edges (leaving an opening), turned everything right side out, and pressed it all flat.

Remember that these burp cloths can also be used for diaper changing pads, place mats, bibs, as well as cloth diapers.


Here’s a picture of several burp cloths before they’ve been turned right side out.

Once they’re right side out and pressed flat, put like colors together and match your thread.

Sew around the edge of each burp cloth, getting as close to the edge as you possibly can.  The closer, the better.  At the corners, you may have to lightly lift the presser foot and pull the fabric along, as it can be a bit thicker in the corners.

Lastly, you want to sew along the pre-fold lines.  You can usually feel them through the layers.  Mark them by scratching along with your nails or a point turner.  Then, sew along the lines.

When you’re done, you’ll have a stack of useful, absorbent burp cloths/diaper changing pads.

And if you’re in a bind, they make very fashionable cloth diapers!  A great addition to any diaper bag!  They definitely look better than pre-folds by themselves!

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