Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A birthday, apples & a fair

What a week! Currently on break from simultaneously canning apples, cleaning the kitchen, cooking up two tiny roosters for chicken salad and searching the yard for a quail that shot out of the pen like a feathered rocket when I gathered eggs tonight.  Oh well.  At least both of the kids are clean, fed and asleep.  And the house smells wonderful.

My lovely husband had a birthday this weekend and we celebrated it with his family from both far and near.  It was such a fun time.  Everyone got to meet the new baby and the little man had an absolute blast playing with his cousins.  His legs are currently covered in bruises because his new hobby is.... wait for it... break dancing. Yep.  It's awesome.  Some of the flinging himself about is purely made up by him and some I recognized as yoga poses I've practiced in front of him.  He's really into it.  It's adorable.  Couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

But back to the birthday.  The following is going to sound arrogant but please bear with me: I made a Boston Creme Pie that was amazing. Everyone raved about it.  My husband called it the best cake I've ever made.  All of this seems like patting myself on the back but it's not... more like a confession... it was so embarrassing...  a hard lesson in what a  food snob I've become.  We do try to make healthy things from scratch when we can. The recipe is this one from the Kraft website.  When asked about the amazing pudding in that cake?  Had to admit it was made from Cool-whip.  Which is made of corn syrup.  From a plastic tub.  Mixed with a pudding box from Aldi's.  And a box mix cake.  The kind of ingredients that would normally make everyone in our house shudder.    

A delicious pile of artificial ingredients and preservatives.  Of course it tasted so good :(

The cake was a box mix but I used whole milk instead of water, butter instead of oil and added an extra egg.  Needed to double the frosting recipe.  It was wonderful but apparently I've become a total ass about food.  We'll call it a draw.

Brought half a peck of apples home from my parent's house this weekend.  Our trees aren't producing yet and these looked lovely.  I set aside some of the better ones to feed the little man's appetite (apples are his favorite food) and have peeled and sliced the rest to can. Just waiting for the dishwasher to finish the canning jars.  Maybe I'll make our favorite apple custard pie with these this winter.

* Update - just finished these and got 4 pint jars. Yay for free organic produce.

My dad's apiary.  It's amazing.  The solar fence is due to bears.

Today we entered the Jamestown Fair.  My father came along to help, god bless him.  I had the baby strapped to my chest in a carrier and a 3 year old running wild.  It did break my heart a little bit.  Here we are back in 2016 when the little man was the one strapped to my chest.  And here in 2017 he insisted on pulling the cart.  This year he was running about while I carried his little brother.  It's beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Here's what we entered this year.  Some canned goods, eggs, herbs... It didn't seem like much but ended up being 20 items.  That tall stuff is Thai lemongrass.

Our eggs.

I've always said that I enter the fair because it's important to me.  The idea of it; the celebration of agriculture and homemaking and small town life.  But it's funny because this year I had not one but two volunteers thank me for entering.  One lady thanked me for bringing my quail eggs to enter.  Another thanked me for "taking the time to bring everything here".  Maybe it was because there hadn't been many people show up yet - everything looked sparse - but I think most people come in to enter after they get off of work. Maybe it was because I had a 9 week old baby strapped to my chest, I don't know.  The point is, if no one enters the fair than there is no fair.  And the idea of that is just sad.  So we do it.  Every year.

It was about 90 degrees today.  Here's my dad giving the little man a ride back to the car.

We'll wait to see if we won any ribbons this year. 


  1. I would love our village to add a craft and produce exhibition, but our show has just started going again after many years absent. It's part of heritage as well, so I would love to see it revived. Lovely to read your milestones for t he show with your children, they do grow up so very quick. Fingers crossed you win a couple of ribbons.

  2. Love your dad's set up! If I liked honey I'd happily keep bees but I can't stand the stuff! The kids like it though. I've never entered a village show yet but will one day. My girls baked a cake for a ploughing match this weekend and came third so they're happy with that!

  3. Thanks Marlene!
    Kev - who doesn't like honey? That's crazy :) Good for your girls, how exciting!