Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday snippets aka catching up...

in which our plucky heroine attempts to write down some of what has been up...
part of this years fig harvest... there were a total of fifteen ripe figs this year, and after sharing them with various friends, I have a little less than 3/4 pound... my intention is to make them into a fig and lemon marmalade, flavored with port and rosemary...

Well that was interesting! the figs/lemon/port/rosemary/sugar that I put in the crock pot to cook down overnight turned into an unexpectedly deep brown sauce (which I cooled and put in the fridge, while I tried to figure out what to do next). I suspect that the sugar carmelised without burning due to the abundance of fluid from the fruit and alcohol.

Not going to try and cook it down further into jam, which might push it over the edge into too bitter. I intend to simply can it as sauce, which could be used as a sweet or savory food topping (would be good over ice cream or yoghurt, or on roasted meats; it tastes amazing, I tried some over Greek yoghurt as a snack)

I am 3/4 of the way completed hand-stitching down the long trim bands on Thora's wool overdress, and thought to share how the effect of combining embroidered and block printed trim looks... Adding the long trim bands really changes the look of the gown, in a way that both Thora and I find really appealing. I am inspired to possibly add a similar detail to some of my own SCA gowns.

Earlier this year I finished the central embroidered panel decorated with the badge of Blue Cedar House, and now have finished adding the block printed trim bands to Thora's burgundy wool overdress. The design of the block printed trim bands and cuff trimmings matches the patterning on their wedding bands, and is a period Norse motif.

Have been making some progress on decluttering, my intention is to actually make at least 12 bags gone, which will get me "up to goal" for the year. I just finished reading "Organize Tomorrow Today..." on the recommendation of my declutter coach; while all the sportsball metaphors went right over my head, there did seem to be good solid information in the book. Have therefore been beginning to experiment with the choose only three things that are the most important for the next day, and the one of the three that is MOST important and do that one as top priority. As most of these things are the very same things I tend to procrastinate on doing, I suspect that over time my own state of mind will become more relaxed as there will be less to worry about. Most of the procrastination is just internal foolishness, as I have much more competence than I allow myself to believe.

My young European Black Elder Sambucus nigra showing new growth (brighter green leaves) on the various ends of branches. This makes me happy, the plant has obviously set new rootlets which are taking up nutrients and water and beginning to grow. Hopefully in a few years there will be a large enough elderberry bush to start producing fruit, which will allow me to make my own partially homegrown immune support tonic

In additional homestead news, I have been summer pruning the backyard apple tree. This is my second year of pruning on my own, and I am sloooowly getting a bit more confident and getting a better sense of what I am trying to do. Reading about pruning is not the same as actual pruning, but this seems to have been successful at keeping the tree from heading for the sky. My efforts at thinning the fruit earlier this year have yielded significantly fewer but noticeably larger apples. I didn't manage to put the nylon footies and kaolin on the apples this year, since I didn't order them until it was past the time, so there will still be some wormy apples, but next year it should be even better!

Now that it is full summer, I intend to also start on pruning the feral plum trees for short reachable confirmation; since we took the shed out I can actually get to the trees to prune, and to pick the fruit. Plums ought only be pruned when it is dry summertime, since they can apparently get horrible fungal disease if pruned in the wet season.

July SMART goals
1 pewter casting Thora cuff trim bag of hangers
2 charter #12 Thora trim bands yard waste bin
3 charter #13 prune apple tree bag to Goodwill
4 - - bag to Goodwill
5 - - bag to Goodwill
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1 comment:

  1. The image of the figs is just gorgeous! It makes me want a piece of clothing with all kinds of gorgeous figs all over it! (Just as I want a piece of clothing w/feathers all over it! Hopeless). And that dress is a treasure! I bet it gets handed on for at least a century!