Anna’s Nest

Memorial Day

27 May 08

Yikes! I got into bed last night and realized that I hadn’t done a single blog post! And I was doing so well… For Memorial Day, we took the babe and went to a cookout some friends of ours were doing (they actually used to be our neighbors – hi, E & B!). It was kind of fun cruising around the old neighborhood. We made so many great memories there. It was an overcast, kind of chilly day, so we spent most of our time holed up inside while a select few braved the elements and brought back grilled goodies. I suppose it was not the typical Memorial Day weather, but the weather this spring hasn’t really been typical in general, so it fits. And the rain was so nice for my garden. Although not so nice for the diapers on my clothesline trying in vain to get dry. The weather is rainy again today. Rainy and chilly, giving me a great excuse to make myself a tasty Hot Chocolate drink. We’re almost out of mix (and I wanted to try something different anyhow), so I just followed (sort of) the directions on the side of the Hershey’s box and mixed sugar and chocolate powder in with milk, but I just did a search and turned up lots of other yummy-looking recipes for hot chocolate. Too bad I’m discovering these at the tail end of Hot Chocolate Season. This might mean I’ll have to make an exception…research, you know, is very important. What’s your favorite all-around beverage (not necessarily hot)? Do you mix it up yourself or is it nicely packaged up for you?

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22 May 08

Today’s been kind of a grey day. The sky has been mostly grey, and my activities this afternoon have had a kind of grey feeling to them. That’s not necessarily bad, it just makes my day boring to talk about. It’s a nice velvety color of grey, but it’s still grey. Bridget did take two glorious naps today, which means that the dishes are clean and the house is a little more tidy than it was before. Hooray! And I had one of my favorite lunches – Everything Wraps! Basically tortilla wraps with everything that looks good to me thrown inside – in this case lettuce, ham, Goddess Dressing (I love that stuff!), shredded pepper jack cheese, and thinly sliced apples. Sorry, no pictures – I was going to take a picture at lunch, it looked so pretty, but then I thought, “Anna, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. Then later I changed my mind and decided that if you didn’t, you should. Because it was TASTY. This afternoon Bridget and I just kind of hung out – she had a mini-nap in my arms while I bopped around the interweb, she had some poos (which I changed),I did a bit more tidying…so nothing terribly exciting, but all quite good. Sadly, I haven’t made any progress on the shirt project since I blogged about the material :u( Maybe tonight I’ll get to work on it a bit. It is fun, this making my own clothes, but an awfully slow process. Hopefully it will get faster as I get into the groove. I’ll be sure and keep you all updated on the process! In the meantime, I should go cook supper, which promises to be exciting – we’re having ribs! And maybe some broccoli or something on the side. Grey with a touch of Everything Wraps and ribs – I can handle that!

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Mead Making!

5 May 08

Mead is essentially wine made from honey – it is the oldest alcoholic beverage, and is very simple to make. (If you want to learn more about it do a google search – there are multiple very interesting websites dedicated to it). Last year about this time, Brian and I visited our local brewing store. The folks there very kindly set me up with all the equipment I would need to make mead, as well as a sheet with basic recipes. I made 2 batches, both fairly small, one in March and one in August. Since the mead I was making has to sit about a year before it’s really ready (there are faster recipes out there), I put them in a safe spot and kind of forgot about them. Until yesterday. Yesterday we got the tubs out and bottled the yummy stuff (we of course had a couple samples along the way). They both turned out pretty well. One is made with orange blossom honey, lavender tea (for the tannins and extra flavor), as well as some orange zest. The other we made using clover honey and some red plums from the tree in our front yard. What amazed me was how easy the whole process was. Just a little mixing, some boiling, and a lot of waiting, and we had a really yummy drink that we MADE OURSELVES! Quite a feeling of empowerment. Speaking of empowerment, did you know you can make your own ginger ale, or any carbonated beverage for that matter? It would be a great lesson in science, for those with school-age kiddos, or simply a lesson in deliciousness. Or both! :u)

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How to Make (and Can) Plum Jam

30 September 07

I had the hardest time finding a recipe for plum jam – nothing I found on the internet had anything concrete, and I didn’t have time to search through all my cookbooks or visit the library. So I kind of winged it. Not really – I did find some guidance on a few websites, but I added my own flair to that. Anyhow, seeing that there is apparently such a dearth of plum jam recipes out there, I thought I’d post here about the process.

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