The Farm

What a great time we had at the farm… the thing that I loved was watching my kids be the bigs. They were the helpers, the toddler carriers, the example-setters, the ring-leaders…

The Sibs

This is how I remember my time with my brother and sister…. laughing


Another Saturday storm is laying down a blanket of white. We took some pictures last week for our Christmas card…. Here’s one that didn’t make the cut.

We’ll be finally putting up the tree and decorating the house. I’d like to make a batch of caramels this weekend too, as we use those for gifts for the kids teachers and this coming week is the last week of school before break.

Hope everyone at your home is staying warm and cozy this weekend!


Such a nice gathering of friends and family this weekend.

Pie Day

Today was Pie Day at our house…

I made four batches of the Cook’s Illustrated Vodka Pie crust. It is my favorite crust to work with. I’ve made it enough I have it memorized.

Into the food processor: 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 T. sugar, 1 tsp salt — whiz it together. Add 12 T. butter and 1/2 cup of crisco. Must be VERY cold or almost frozen! Cut into cubes, whiz together with the flour until combined to a crumbly dough. Add the remaining cup of flour and one last whiz around the food processor. Dump all this into a bold. Add 1/4 cup straight out of the freezer vodka and 1/4 cup very cold water. Fold together with dough until it sticks together. Will still be a bit crumbly. Press together into a disk with the help of plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator one hour before using.

We (Miss C was my helper today) made a double crust cherry pie, two pumpkin pies, a Nantucket Cranberry pie, and in the oven right now is Bob Andy Pie.

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Cherry Pie

Apple Pie

The apple pie, and one of the pumpkins will stay at home, while the rest will travel with us to the Tigans.

Can’t wait until Thanksgiving to dig in! What pies are you making at your house this year?

Happy Birthday Claire

My sweet girl turned eleven while she was asleep last night.  I haven’t been awake at 12:31 very often in the past eleven years, to offer up birthday wishes at the time of her birth.  But tonight, Little T has been up with the stomach flu and the blessing is that I got to think about Claire at 12:31.

It doesn’t seem possible that it has been eleven years.  I still think of her like this–


The year she lost all top four teeth at once — I didn’t think those teeth would ever go in!

She’s the queen of self-portraits and I love it when I go to download pictures.


Your blue eyes make you special in our family… but even without the blue eyes you’d be super special.


Tonight we have a birthday dinner picked by you: Blueberry muffins, bacon, strawberries and raspberries.  For desert a Chocolate Mint pie.

Happy Birthday Sweet Claire!

The Best and Ugliest

Last year I canned some boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs. I followed all the directions found here. I used the pressure canner and it wasn’t scary – just a bit time consuming. When I took the chicken out and sat back to admire the jars — I couldn’t. They were ugly. It was canned chicken and it was kinda gross looking.

Into the cool dark pantry until I had recipe that called for cooked cubed chicken. I pulled out the jar and used it. It was the most delicious, tender chicken. I realized this ugly canned chicken meant I was minutes away from an easy casserole, pasta, bbq chicken sandwiches or soup. So good and easy and much cheaper than canned chicken from the store.

It is pressure canned, so I believe it to be completely safe, but I do always heat it up rather than eating it cold. I wouldn’t use this chicken for chicken salad — but only because I want to be extra safe.

I can’t post a picture — really — it is too ugly.

Over the weekend, we had Parmesan Garlic Wings and we didn’t eat them all. I add them into the pan last night, plus some wings I had from the freezer, added celery, carrots and onions, spices and black peppercorns and let it simmer overnight. Today I pressure canned 12 pints of homemade chicken broth. No MSG, no preservatives, just concentrated homemade goodness.

What are you canning for your winter pantry?


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