Jars

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This is a picture that my grandmother took ages and ages ago of their canning closet. My Papa was an expert gardener and could grow anything. If he ever struggled, it was only because the deer and rabbits liked his garden as much as he did. I remember sitting in their gazebo, shucking corn, snapping green beans in half and shelling peas with my brother. Once the peas were shelled, we had to spread them out onto a dish towel and comb through them looking for bad ones. We’d rake our hands through them, letting them fall from our hands like tiny pebbles.

I never got to see the canning process, but this photo is a treasure.

Our garden is literally overflowing. We have watermelons, banana peppers, pepperoncini peppers, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, Serrano peppers, Roma tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, Black Krim tomatoes, okra, pickle cucumbers, regular cucumbers, broccoli, basil, sage, and rosemary. I hope to plant some pumpkins before it gets much later in the summer, but it may not happen and that’s okay. We spend every morning in our garden, crawling over watermelon vines and hunting for hidden goodies. We lost all but one of our cabbages to caterpillars, and we may lose our broccoli, too. But, gosh I love this garden. I love listening to it and learning from it, and I can’t wait to see how we do next year.

Show and Tell

  1. Yesterday, T and I celebrated the six year anniversary of us dating. We transplanted all of the seedlings that have been taking over our kitchen for the last couple of months and spent the whole day working in the yard. He is still fascinating to me and I think that he is the most fun.

  2. I’ve been researching recipes of all sorts because if all of the fruits and veggies that we’re planting actually take off…we’re going to be swimming in fresh produce. A few that I’m particularly excited for: this fig and prosciutto pizza (since we have a fig tree!), this Mediterranean recipe, and this recipe for chicken thighs in a creamy tomato sauce.

  3. I’m also reading a lot about canning and how to do it properly and safely. I’m excited to be able to give away tomato sauces, jams, pickles, beans, salsas, etc. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a closet in the garage where they stored all of their canned foods. Everything looked so pretty in the jars, it seemed like every shelf was always full of corn, okra, tomatoes, beans, peas, green beans, squash, and so much more. Because Martha Stewart is just…a dream, I’ll use this article as a guide when I start canning.

  4. Gardening dream purchases: this watering can, this hose, this iron sign, this mustard planter, and this wall planter.

  5. I’ve been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and it just solidifies my love for her. Click the photo at the very top or below for one of the many articles displaying photos that Julia’s husband took of her.

5 Things.

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1. Happy June 1st! June and July are both such happy months. They always make me think about forever ago, when our family moved into a new house, which happened right around the time that Florence got a Target. My mom stocked up on their summery dishes, tablecloths, cups, ice molds, skewers, picnic gear, and anything else that struck her fancy. She came home with bags of polkadot cups and plates and cups with fruit all over them, and it was so much fun to dig through them all. We had a big 4th of July party during those early years, and those summer memories at home with my mom just stamped these two months with a big stamp that says "FUN", and then a smaller stamp that's a picture of a watermelon. 

2. Today is my first "off day" at home in quite a while and I have big plans for it. I feel like a lot of things have been put on hold lately, and May was a very eventful month with a lot of traveling. June seems like it's going to move a lot slower, so I'm preparing for that today by knocking the biggest things off of my to-do list, gathering up the books that I've been wanting to read, and making lists of what I want to accomplish because it seems like that's the only way I can actually do it all. My method: write it down, make it feel tangible, and then tackle it. 

3. Our neighborhood has a community garden that I somehow had no idea about! My life has been changed by these heaving peach trees. I'm torn, because I want to take everyone to this precious garden, but I also want all the peaches for myself. What a pickle. No matter what, though, I'm going to harvest a bunch today for a pie.

4. We are having my younger brother stay with us for part of next week. This means that my home will smell like ketchup and sweaty men for a few days, there will be Mario figurines scattered around, and I need to start buying groceries NOW so that I'm prepared by the time he gets here. Despite the ketchup smell, I cannot wait. I miss him all of the time. Trey said the other day that I'm a very stable, sane person, but then if you remind me that I have a family that I don't get to see as often as I'd like, I go off my rails, down a gravel road, into a ditch and burst into tears. He's right. This happens. I'm a monster.

5. Confession: It's a struggle for me to be as open and honest on here since I announced this space publicly. It's so much easier for me to just make it about art and mood boards and to show you the latest Madewell pieces that I love. So, bear with me as I learn how to bare my soul to all of you.

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