Fruit Leather and Pineapples

I’ve been contemplating food storage lately; canning and freezing are great ways to preserve produce from summertime for winter, but they aren’t very easy to store. I garden quite a bit in the summer, and then store up garden food for the rest of the year. Last year I filled a few shelves with canned jars (glass isn’t the most convenient to store or move), and completely packed my freezer.

Last year I canned: Chili, Green Beans, Applesauce, Raspberry Jam, Blueberry Jam, Blackberry Jam, Strawberry Jam, and Pasta Sauce. In addition, I froze: Sweet Corn, meats, breads, and some Green Peppers.

We went through the Corn, Green Beans and Pasta Sauce lightening fast (note to self: prep double the amounts for next year!) and I still have plenty of Jams and Chili left over. That tells me about what I will need to do differently this summer in preparation for next year. The Jams made great Christmas gifts last year, especially as a “hostess” gift for the places we went.

But this year I’m adding a new dimention: Dehydration.

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Little Whiskers

My cousins kittens are now about 3 weeks old.

I stopped by to pick the girls up the same day the cat was giving birth. These were the first kittens I’ve seen born. They just opened their eyes this week and can’t stand at much more than a wobbley crawl.

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Coffee Grounds and Sharpened Pencils …IF only.

So, I’m working on an exciting new illustration project.

The only hint I can give you is “farm.”
And that I’m going through coffee at a frighteningly fast rate…
…Oh, and I can show you this fun little collection I put together for a creative boost:

Barn Crates and Sunbeams
I found the “Garden Dirt Fragrance Oil” by AdamsboroSundries particularly inspiring:
Garden Dirt Fragrance Oil Low Shipping

But, I have been drawing up a storm…
Okay. So I guess I will also give you this sneak peak:

But that’s all you get.
For now.
(and I hope you feel “suspended” :)

Strawberries, Sunshine and Pink Lemonade

My brain has been on strawberries today.
First when I made my chocolate-dipped strawberries for my grandmother’s birthday:

Melted milk chocolate, and then dipped the tips into the glittery, pink, sugar sprinkles I had. Amazingly good. The crunchy sugar added a third texture to the berry/chocolate combo and a tiny extra bit of sweetness. Yum. Also discovered white chocolate (at least most of them) will NOT melt correctly unless it has cocoa butter in the ingredients. I tried melting some before I knew this, and it came out the consistency of frosting – undippable.

Then for lunch today, when I couldn’t think of anything good for lunch. I finally decided to use my left over strawberries, strawberry yogurt and a few other things to make a smoothie:

Strawberry Smoothie
4 Strawberries
1 Banana
1 Cup Strawberry (or vanilla) Yogurt
3-4 Ice cubes
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 egg (optional)
Blend all ingredients in blender until completely smooth. Makes 2 glass-fulls (about 32 oz).

I thought the raw egg seemed really gross, but my husband insisted it was a great source of protein and I wouldn’t taste it. I’m okay with eating raw eggs in cookie dough or un-cooked brownie mixes, so I guess it won’t kill me. I know weight lifters and sports people eat raw egg diets all the time to get the protein and save time. Plus, he was right – I couldn’t taste it. Came out pretty good. I’m not that big of a banana eater, so I think it would taste better without that – but it does add potassium.

And finally when I put together this Etsy Treasury:

Strawberries, Sunshine, and Pink Lemonade.

“The time has come, my little friends, to talk of other things / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings / And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wigs / Calloo, Callay, come run away / With the cabbages and kings.”

FLASH SALE!

So I had a fun idea the other day – why not offer random FLASH SALES on eBay? I already list prints and other things, but I decided to start offering promotional sales. Auctions start at $.01 and only last 24 hours!

If you win the flash sale item, you can add any other item from me for a discount of your total purchase (must be paid for at the same time). Search for “ALMI ART” or click on the pictures below to check it out! (If there are no FLASH SALE auctions running, be sure to check back for the next one!)

 

All On a Summer’s Day

The weather couldn’t be better this past week. Normally my Daffodils aren’t out this early, but the warm weather has tempted them. Daffodils might be the best part of spring!


Can’t wait to get into the garden, we have a lot of work to do on our yard. But I’m loving the flowers:

And a new illustration :)