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Mulberry Jam

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Because I am a lovely human being, I decided to spend my evening making mulberry jam for my boyfriend, who is obsessed with mulberries.


Look! Mulberry jam!
Yes, those are old spice jars. And an old mayo jar. Sue me, I like reusing stuff.
Some background information: Boyfriend is obsessed with mulberries. And I mean OBSESSED. We can't walk by a mulberry tree without him wanting to stop and eat as many as possible, or least as many as he can before I pull him away. Although I enjoy mulberries, I like other summer berries - like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries - much better, so I don't usually eat a lot of them.
But Boyfriend loves mulberries. And I love boyfriend. So I decided to go ahead and make him some mulberry preserves for him to have on his pancakes in the winter, during not-mulberry season.
What I Did: 1) Gather mulberries. This was the fun part. I picked about 2 cups of berries - I didn't want to make a lot of jam because we have 9 pints of strawberry jam …

Embracing the Rain

Today, I embraced the rain.
Literally.
Let me back up.
Today, Boyfriend and I decided that we were going to go blueberry picking. It was an overcast day with scattered showers, making it a poor day to go hiking, swimming, fishing, or any of our other usual summer weekend activities. We didn’t think we were going to get a chance to pick blueberries this year, and figured that since our hiking plans were a wash (pun intended), we would try to fit in a visit to a blueberry farm and a to see my parents, who live out in the country where all the good things in the world, like blueberry farms, reside.
We looked at weather and it seemed like although it was supposed to rain fairly steadily in the morning, it should just be cloudy in the afternoon, so we planned to get to the farm around 2:30, picking until it was time to head to my parents for dinner. We spent a leisurely morning eating delicious cornmeal pancakes and taking Boyfriend's dad to the farmers market and watching him get excited …

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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When I was planting my herb garden a couple of weeks ago, there happened to be big rhubarb plant for a good price that I just had to get. After all, I have fond childhood memories of eating my grandma's strawberry rhubarb cobbler and had visions of making the same cobbler with strawberries and rhubarb fresh from my garden....so I got the rhubarb

But alas, you can't harvest rhubarb until it's 2nd year, so it's sitting in my garden sucking up tons of water and tempting me with it's red stalks that I know I'm not supposed to pick until next summer.

Thankfully, the local farm market was selling big bundles of rhubarb this past Saturday.

Not so thankfully, when I called my mom for the rhubarb cobbler recipe, she informed me that my Grandma hadn't written it down and so - since my Grandma is long passed away - it was lost in family history...which explained why I didn't remember having it since I was a child.

Well, crud.

I set to comparing a whole bunch of r…

Seasons

As a kid, I loved summer and fall, but as far as I was concerned, winter stopped being fun after about a month and spring was an evil that was unfortunately necessary to get summer back. This opinion didn’t really change when I grew up - summer had sunshine and swimming and fishing, fall had cider mills and my birthday, and December had Christmas and playing in the new snow, but the rest of the year? Blegh.
But now that I have begun to embrace a more natural, seasonal way of life...I love all four of the seasons, even rainy, inconsistent spring.
Summer is still full of sunshine and outdoor hobbies, of course. Now as an adult, I have the added bonus of being a schoolteacher, with two months of the summer off to focus on my garden and improving my house.
Autumn still has cider mills and my birthday, but now it’s also a time of harvest and preservation, and preparing for the winter. Although a lot of work (and the time that school starts again…), it is exciting and as beautiful as ever, w…

Planting My Herb Garden - First Time!

Where I live, you’re not really supposed to plant your garden until Memorial Day weekend. Buuuuttt….I had planting part one on Mother’s Day!
The extent of my gardening experience is a couple of cacti indoors and a pot of jalapeno plants last summer, so I was super excited to start! My main focus is going to be herbs, since I love to cook...and spices are freaking expensive.
I mean, seriously. Why are spices so expensive?
In my region, I can grow thyme, oregano, chives, and sage as perennials, so those were a must-plant. I also use tons of fresh basil in the summer, so that was a must as well. I also had (well, still have) a list of about 25 different weird herbs that I want because herbs are cool. I may have googled “unusual herbs” and written down everything. Y’know, just maybe.
Anyway, for Mother’s Day I took my mom out to a fancy nursery near where she lives, and ended up buying $90 worth of plants. 
Don’t worry, those weren’t all culinary herbs. I spent just about $40 on culinary…

Dandelion Cookies & Scones

Hello!

May has been incredibly busy, as I am trying to put in my first vegetable garden, work on my kitchen remodel, go to work (SIX WEEKS UNTIL SUMMER BREAK!), and worry about my new kitty who gets into everything, including cupboards and drawers.

One thing that has gotten neglected is the whole cutting-the-grass things...which gave the gobs of dandelions plenty of time to flower!

I was picking dandelion leaves to go in my salads all spring, and one warm day when I got home to work, I saw a sea of yellow flowers. My yard backs up to an empty field, so most of my neighbors have sort of given up the weed battle - although a few spend hours working on their carpet-like manicured lawns.

Personally, I think manicured lawns are boring. They’re pretty enough, I guess, with the lush green grass...but do you know what I think is prettier? A field full of wildflowers. EDIBLE wildflowers, like dandelion, clover, and violets.

I probably don’t belong in the suburbs.

But for now I’ll just sort of …

New Direction - with More Posts!

Hello Internet!
If anybody was reading this before, I doubt they are now since I haven’t posted anything in months. But here is why:
Changed jobs. No wait, changed career fields. Now, instead of sitting in a boring medical office all day, I’m chasing middle school kids around. Suddenly, there is less time to sit on Pub Med looking up random stuff. Lack of research motivation. I feel quite comfortable with the science that I’m already familiar with, and there haven’t been any new studies that have really grabbed my attention. I follow several longitudinal studies, but nothing has come up that has made me embark on a quest for answers. Trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Do I want kids? When? What are my priorities? How do those differ from my boyfriend’s priorities, and how do I get him to agree with me? Y’know, the usual stuff.
Anyway, I have reached a conclusion that is a direct result of some of the less-scientific websites I enjoyed frequenting during my team in the med…