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Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  ~Charles Dickens~

 Hurray!  March is here!  The snow is starting to recede  and today I found tiny buds beginning to form on the miniature lilacs on the south side of the house.  Time to put  the pussy willow wreath on the door as a nice welcome to spring.

Yesterday I canned.  This old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard and found that it was bare of kidney beans.  Had to buy some at 75 cents a can and that was the cheap store brand.  So I canned up two pounds that were purchased from local growers at $2.29.  It ended up costing a little over 33 cents a jar.  I also canned up four and a half pound of ham  from the deli end pieces that we can buy at the little grocery store down the street.  At $2.29 for one and a half pounds it came to $1.53 a pound.  And it was all meat, no bones!  I just cubed it up, saving some for Jamie's sandwiches, boiled it 10 minutes, then packed it and processed it for 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.  Now I'll be able to make up a quick soup for friends and neighbors.

Remember when I mentioned that I bought a 100% linen blouse at the thrift store to make a pillow?  Decided to make this cute tea cozy instead.  I've been carrying around the picture from the old McCall's Needlework  magazine for decades.  Finally got around to it.  All the crewel  yarn came from crewel kits that I picked up at garage sales through the years.  I've come to the realization that I will probably never complete them, but I can never resist those pretty Jacobean designs. By the way, I tried that blouse on and all I can say is that  while Mandarin collars look chic on Katherine Hepburn, on me they look like I'm a member of Mao's army!

Lastly, here's what I did with some of the sprouts.  I made chop suey.  Just sauteed up onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  Added that to some brown rice. Added some carrots (mine were canned, but if you use fresh, you might want to parboil them a bit) and a can of drained water chestnuts.  Stirred in about  a cup of bottled teryiaki  sauce and a dash of soy sauce and topped them with some chow mein noodles. Oh!  And stirred in the sprouts!


  1. Your tea cozy is beautiful Jane! Wow, what nice detail, I love the little blue flowers around the door, it looks like a real English cottage. I also love your yellow chinz patterned tea set. They are very hard to find these days. I hope you have a lovely afternoon ahead. I wish I was there and we could have a tea party! I would bring the cookies. :) Delisa

  2. Love the pussy willow wreath! Great minds must think alike, lol, we are both welcoming spring! Cute tea cozy--smart idea for repurposing. I used to do needlwork, but years of using office machines in the work place has left me with symptoms of carpal tunnel, so I can't do most handwork these days. Yours is lovely.

  3. Delisa, I wish we could have a tea party. It would be great fun and you could tell me some more of your wonderful stories. Used to be able to find chintz pieces at garage sales and auctions but then it became popular and got too pricey. Sigh! That's what always happens isn't it?

    Charlene, great minds do indeed think alike! Thank you for the encouraging e-mail yesterday!

  4. I'm so envious, Jane, that you are seeing buds! Not sure when we will here in Minnesota. We have another storm brewing for next week to add to all the snow we already have. But I'll enjoy the fact that you are seeing signs of spring!!

    Cute tea cozy!!! I always think tea things - pots & cozies etc - are so cute - I wish I liked tea. (-:

  5. These bushes are next to the foundation on the south facing wall Sandy. There about a month and a half ahead of the other plants. I have to keep reminding myself that it just turned March and March is a winter month here. As is April and part of May. I think reading all the blogs from our southern friends, makes me forget sometimes that this is normal for up here.

  6. I love your tea cozy. We're tea drinkers and I've never made a cozy, but I think I may have to give it a try.

    I love canned beans, but I've never canned ham. I definitely need to try that.

  7. Canning ham is easy Shara, and pretty soon ham will be the lost leader in the grocery store for Easter. I just copied the design free-hand for the cozy. Easy-peasy!

  8. Such a cute tea cosy! I love it! And the beans are fabulous. My mother thought I was crazy for canning 'em until she tried it... :O

  9. Matty, there's a new method of canning them where you put the dry beans in the jar and pour boiling water over them. I'm not sure how it works though. If you get too many beans in, they might expand too much and the jars won't seal. So I'll just use the usual method.

  10. Dear Jane,

    I love visiting your place! I always come away hungry. :)

    You did such a wonderful job on the tea cozy; it looks very professional, and thrifty, too!



  11. I've never canned dried beans before Jane! Yep we just always slow cook them in the crockpot. It would be nice to have some available for fast snacks. Ham never canned that also. You are a worker! Have a great Sunday. Not sure how I missed all these posts but I've been catching up!

  12. Hi Vickie! The instructions for canning beans are on my beans post. They're really easy to do. I never put my canning equipment away. There's always a bargain to take advantage of!

  13. Lovely tea cozy! I have the pattern for years and now that I saw yours maybe I will start mine :)
    And I love the china too.
    Ana Paula

  14. Sooo beautiful...who knew they had so many personalities? I love that idea from Anytime flowers but they are all gorgeous...thanks for the inspiration.