Coffee, Chaos and Christ

The misadventures of a Mother and business owner.


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My renewed obsession..

I learned to crochet a long time ago. My grandmother used to crochet a lot and she taught me the basics. She was an amazing woman who I looked up to her a great deal and miss her everyday. I find that crocheting is a lot like meditating. For me it is a mind dump. I can stitch out all my feelings and thoughts and come out fresher on the other side. Much cheaper the therapy to.

I have been making blankets for the whole family. Hats, scarfs and even wash cloths. Lots and lots of wash cloths, lol. The are quick and easy to carry with you to pull out and work on when you have time. I have been loving working with the 100% cotton yarn. There are so many great colors and combinations to choose from. The wash cloths I have been making are very simple. Here is what I have been doing.

Sugar’n Cream 100% cotton yarn. Size H (5mm) hook. Gage not necessary. 

Row 1: Chain 31, single crochet into the second stitch from the hook and in each chain across. You should have 29 stitches. Row 2: Chain two, turn and single crochet into each stitch (29). Repeat                                      until you have 21 rows. Finishing: Weave in your end and you are done.                                 Simple but pretty and functional. 

I like the single crochet because it gives you fewer holes and a really nice look. It still works up quickly. They just have a nice feel. Hope you enjoy my short and sweet free pattern. I think you will enjoy making them as much as I do.

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So much going on, so very little time.

I am sure that many of us experience this. We as a society have become busier and busier. Always rushing from one place to another. We try our best to slow down and enjoy life more but it just doesn’t seem possible.

Kids have school, and sports, and friends….That list can go on and on. I have one graduating this year, so that means graduation and college prep. That in itself is never ending. You have work and home. Yard work and pets. Etc, etc.

I know I am preaching to the choir. Everyone I know goes through the same thing. Rush, rush, rush. I have been working on trying to slow things down some. As most of you know we have chickens, about 50 of them at the moment. We have rabbits and dogs and a cat. We even have a parrot. You have to make yourself slow down so you can care for them the way they need to be cared for. Go back to the earth a little bit. I do a lot of gardening and canning and I love every sweaty back breaking moment of it. It is the best kind of therapy for me. I am sure most of you think I am nuts, but it’s true. You should try it.

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We are busy prepping for getting the garden out as soon as weather permits. We are also working on the fence and getting ready to build a new rabbit hutch. We have been breeding our rabbits a little bit. They are just so very cute. You just can’t get over how cute they really are. So magical watching them grow. And of course the kids just love every minute of it.

More soon, there is a lot going on around the “farm” and the family.


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My adventures in honeysuckle jelly

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Who knew you could take ordinary honeysuckle flowers and make such an amazing jelly? Over the weekend I did just that. I found an amazing recipe online at Lehman’s Country Life, http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2011/06/14/honeysuckle-jelly/. The most time consuming part is picking all the flowers we needed. After you get them all picked and all the green tips removed it moves along fairly quick.

Honeysuckle Flowers

Honeysuckle flowers before the green tips were removed.

 

It smells heavenly when you are steeping the flowers. I must say that it did do a number on our allergies, the flowers were covered with pollen. But it was well worth it, the jelly turned out amazing. It brings back so many wonderful memories of childhood. Picking the flowers and sucking the “honey” out of the flowers. We always looked forward to them blooming every year.

Honeysuckle Infused Water

Honeysuckle Infused Water

 

Honeysuckle Jelly
Yields 7 half-pints
4 cups honeysuckle flowers
4 cups boiling water
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin

First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. It’s very simple. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.

Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.

Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe.

In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. Allow to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.

I ended up adding mint leaf’s to one batch that I made and it was a nice variation. You may want to try it if you like mint. I will note that the recipe says you will yield 7 half pints but in all my batches I only yielded 4. I will be making more of this for sure, it is a new family favorite!

Honeysuckle jars