Sunday, July 31, 2011


 My friend Hannah had 4 friends that had babies very close together. She wanted to give them a personalized gift and request onsies.

She wanted the babies name and birthday (and the weight, too of the ones she knew). She bought newborn size, and said once they outgrew them it would be a keepsake.

What a cute idea!

I took the onsies and my patterns down to my mothers where she offered her services (and machine).

We had a wonderful visit as we worked on these.  The girls onsies turned out fine.  The embroidery on the boys messed up royally!  After she worked and worked trying to get it out, we decided to redo them with applique.  You cannot tell that there is an embroidery disaster under each of those seals!  I am so blessed to have a wonderful mom with her patience! I would have thrown them away and given my friend burp rags for the gifts! hehe

I've made these before (when my great nephew was born), but never had this much trouble.

Oh well. They turned out great!  I hope her friends like them.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I started making the fish for this last year when my niece, Heather, got married in Florida.  Took me a while, but finally finished them up and put this together in time for an anniversary gift!  It really turned out to be a house warming gift as she had her hubby Kevin just moved to Jacksonville. She was married on the beach and now lives in Florida, so I thought the fish were appropriate!

Friday, July 29, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

This is the first of Orson Scott Card's science fiction books that I have read. I did read his "Women in Genesis" series of novels and LOVED them!

This book takes place on a planet called 'Garden' which is inhabited by descendents of humans from earth.  The main character, Rigg, lives on the planet in a wallfold (an  area of the planet sectioned off by an invisible wall).  He has a special ability to see 'paths' of where people have been -- where ALL people through time have been.  He has a friend, Umbo, who can slow down time (or speed you up in time, depending on how you look at it). Umbo can use his ability along with Rigg's ability to see paths that people have taken, and push people back in time.

Their adventures (losing a father and a brother, finding a sister, getting caught up in political turmoil, and finding a way across 'the wall') made this a fun book to read.  Among all the happenings of Rigg and Umbo, the tale of how the planet became inhabited by humans and how it ended up divided into 'wall folds' is also told.

There is no racy scenes, no cursing, and no immoral behavior (other than steeling a knife from a person in the past who has been dead for hundreds of years, so not sure if that counts!). 

Orson Scott Card actually has a trailer for this book on his official website. Go there to see -- it makes the book sound exciting (and it IS).  It is supposed to be the first of a new series, but it stands alone quite well! I do hope for more, and am anxiously awaiting the next book, but it is not necessary to finish the story. I do recommend this book.

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Home Canned Tomatoes

First of all, I want you to notice my new canning pot!  I was at a kitchen outlet store in Branson, and bought this 30qt Hamilton Beach stainless steel pot.  It holds 11 quart jars!!  I only have ten here, because that's all the tomatoes I had. How wonderful to get my ten jars done at once instead of in two batches!!  I used to have 2 old porcelain water bath canners, but I wore both of them out -- they sprung leaks in them.
Anyway, this should last quite a while!  It is nice and thick.  For the inside, I put one of my cookie cooling racks. It works fine, although now I will have to buy a new one for my cookies!  I always pour a bit of vinegar in my canner so that the lime doesn't build up on my jars (we have very hard water here, and if you don't do that, the jars come out WHITE because of the lime -- whoever said it takes millions of years for those limestone formations to form in caves has never been to Missouri!!). Anyway, the vinegar was hard on my cooling rack, and rusted it out.  Wonder if I could find some stainless cooling racks??

One gal at the shop where I bought my new pot said that she just puts a towel in the bottom of the pan! I may have to try this. It is just boiling the towel, which won't hurt a thing. And the towel will keep the jars off the bottom of the pan. I should have done that rather than ruin my cooling rack!

Also notice that I DID can on my electric glass stove. It did work. It just seems to take a while to get the water boiling. I know they say not to use pots that much bigger than the burner, but what's a gal supposed to do when there's tomatoes to be put up??!!

I was short on time, so I did not cook my tomatoes down like I normally do.  I blanched them in order to slip the skins off, then put them in my electric dutch oven to heat up.  I washed up my jars and filled them with the hot tomatoes and added 1/2 tsp canning salt to each quart jar. I then put in my new canner and boiled for 35 minutes.  That's all there was to canning tomatoes.  They are prettier if you cook them down first. If I have enough tomatoes to do another batch, I'll make a post on that method.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Strawberry Jam

I tell you, it is amazing that strawberries are so affordable when everything else is almost not!
Aldi's has been fluctuating between .89 - .99 /box (quart) of strawberries, depending on the week.

I bought a flat and made jam. YUMMY.  It is almost gone already.. but I have another flat of berries waiting for me to put up into more jam.

The recipe I used is simple:
1. Mash strawberries with a 'tater smasher' until you have 5 cups mashed berries.
2. Put in cooking pot and add a box of pectin.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Let it boil steadily for a minute then pour in 7 cups sugar.
5. Bring back to a boil and skim the foam off the top. (I put this in a bowl for those who want to sample it).
6. Jar it up and process for 5 minutes in Boiling Water Bath.

I have no idea when or why I started doing this, as I used to never BWB my jellies (or pickles for that matter).  But I did sterilize my jars by boiling them before using them for canning. Now I just make sure they are clean by rinsing in hot water (cold jars break if you pour hot jelly into them), then put my hot lids on and drop in the boiling water bath.  I figure it doesn't matter if I boil my jars before or after I put the jam in them -- and it doesn't seem to hurt the quality of the jam by putting in the BWB.  *A bonus is that it is a bit easier on the fingers to fill a jar that has just been rinsed off rather than get the jar out of the boiling water to use.

FRUGAL GRANNY: Today's Coupon Savings

I had 8 coupons about to expire so I decided to run to the store for 8 items only.  I cannot believe I managed to get out of there with only my 8 items!!

I purchased 2 2-litre Cokes, 2 jars peanut butter, and 4 bags of Louisiana fish fry ..............................
for the whopping total of $4.86. 

I've never used Always Save peanut butter, but for the price (with my coupon), I only paid  75 cents per jar. I thought we could try it out at that price!!  And if we don't like it on bread, it will be yummy in cookies.