Reassessing my goals…
Back in January, when motherhood was an abstract concept and I was dreaming of summertime, I wrote out my preservation goals for this season. Let’s review them, shall we? I’ll add in commentary in bold italics.
- 2 dozen half-pints strawberry jam –FAIL!
- 1 dozen half-pints peach jam –that would be nice
- 2 dozen pints canned peaches –maybe 1 dozen instead?
- freeze 10 lbs Maine blueberries –easy… should be able to accomplish this
- 3 dozen quarts canned tomatoes –not from my garden… but I still hope to get this done
- freeze 5 dozen ears of corn –maybe if I leave it on the cob
- freeze as many raspberries as possible –define “possible”
- 3 dozen pints applesauce –gotta do this!
- 6 quarts apple pie filling –I’m over it
- 6 pints cranberry-applesauce –maybe…
- 6 half-pints cider jelly –next year
I’m hoping next summer will be easier, when Josh is running around instead of being in my arms all day long. If it just gets more difficult, don’t tell me now, let me keep my delusions. Moms, how do you get this stuff done?
I’ve decided to join Jena’s Git ‘Er Done Challenge over at Married to the Farm. Ed and I have been building our house since 2006, and while we do live here, there’s still a lot to be done, mostly in terms of finishing rooms with a second coat of paint or painting the baseboard. Ed’s biggest priority is furniture, since he plans to build a dining room table, built-ins in the mudroom, end tables, a hutch, a corner cabinet… and the list goes on. For now, our house echoes since most of the rooms are empty, and the other rooms are sparse. I remember when our little apartment was like that, and how quickly it got crammed, so I’m in no rush to fill up our house. My focus has moved to the outdoors, where I’m planning on putting in a berry patch, some apple trees, a small chicken coop, and a bird/bee/butterfly garden, while tending to our existing flower gardens and veggie garden.
The latest project continues to be the pantry, but it should be done by next weekend. Ed has completed the upper shelving and will be adding the beadboard backsplash and some pegs on the wall in the next few days, and I’ll paint the walls next Saturday. Here are some photos of our progress.
I’ve had a lot of fun organizing my cookbooks, kitchen towels, bowls, jams, syrup and assorted farm animal figurines. This is funny because I’m not a particulary organized person, but the shelves are so pretty that I can’t resist.
The shelves are mostly empty for now, but that’s fine with me. I’ll be sure to post some pictures when we’re 100% done.
Ed got the countertop on our pantry cabinets. They’re black walnut with a clear finish. Now he’s working on designing the upper cabinets, which will have a beadboard back and open shelves. I’m happy to finally be able to start filling them up!
View from the mudroom.
Today, for Valentine’s Day, Ed installed the pantry cabinets. He was so sweet, he even cleaned up after himself!
Here’s a view of the cabinets from the mudroom. This is what people will see when they come into the mudroom through our breezeway door.
Here’s a view of all the cabinets. Because it’s a little room, I had a hard time getting pictures!
The next step will be to put in the black walnut countertop, which Ed will do tomorrow. After that, Ed’s going to build the upper cabinets.
What a sweet present!
We decided on “Cabinet Maker’s Blue” for the pantry cabinets, since we have a bookcase that color and really like it. It also closely matches the island in our kitchen. Ed spent the last week painting the cabinets and doors, and tonight he put on the hinges and knobs. We plan to install them in the pantry this weekend, and then add the countertops.
The blue Shaker-style cabinets.
Installing the hinges.
Installing the knobs.
View of the cabinets as they’ll be arranged in the pantry.
Ed’s been working on our pantry cabinets, and he spent last weekend working on the doors. We decided to make Shaker-style doors to match our kitchen cabinets, and we’re currently trying to decide what color to paint them. I’m leaning towards a blue-green paint with a black glaze to antique them, similar to our island cabinets. We really love the simplicity and functionality of Shaker furniture, and it fits so well in our home.
Ed glued the doors in the basement so they’ll dry where it’s nice and warm, instead of the chilly garage.
I’m already imagining filling the pantry cabinets with quarts of tomatoes and peaches, pints of strawberry jam, and stocking up on staples so I can cut my grocery trips in half. Hopefully, our pantry will have “a place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Ed’s a wonderful craftsman and I’m so happy I married him.
I used home-canned peaches for this recipe today, but by all means use fresh ripe peaches, sliced and sprinkled with a little bit of sugar if they’re in season. These biscuits have cornmeal in them, which I find to be very yummy when combined with peaches, as you can see from my recipe for Johnnycake Peach Cobbler.
Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 stick cold butter, diced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Use your fingers to blend in the butter. Combine the egg, buttermilk and honey, then add to the flour mixture. Form into 6-8 biscuits and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Make the whipped cream by beating the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until peaks form.
Split open the warm biscuits, top with peaches and sweetened whipped cream.