Hello dear friends! Hope you all are enjoy your evening. The weather is slowly inching its way to spring. On Wednesday we had snow but at least we knew it wouldn't stay and took comfort in that.
In spite of the cold, our rhubarb is thriving.
here. It will be so nice the winter to open a jar and taste Spring.
I often hear people remark that they don't use jam, but I think a piece of toast with jam is a wonderful snack. Another thing I use jam for, is to make Jam Squares, a simple from-the-pantry treat.
3/4 C. butter or margarine
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1 pint of your favorite jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine the first three ingredients. Press dough into a greased 9"X13" pan. Spread the jam over the top. Bake 20 minutes. Cool in refrigerator before cutting. You can also add nuts or coconut to the topping.
Having the ingredients to make little things like these simple jam squares are very comforting when times are difficult. We may not always have the funds for fancy and expensive ingredients, but our pantry always has jam! My husband and I have a little ritual of sitting down together on cold evenings and have a cookie or sometimes cheese and a cup of tea and just talk. I think it might be one of our secrets to a successful marriage. (We will be married 37 years this summer.)
Another tradition of ours is to clean the flowerbeds together on the first warm day of spring. As a gaze over at Ran and Jamie working diligently in the garden, knowing that they are working so hard to please me, I always think of this Bible verse:
God is love, and who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
~ 1 John 4:16~
While we are doing yard work, we gather all the sticks and tie them in bundles.
They make wonderful fire starters, and because so many are branches from the pruning the apple trees, they smell wonderful, too! The bundles are also great for campfire cooking. If we ever get warm enough weather for that!
This week I finally got enough ambition to sew up the little ballerina slippers that I knitted for our new granddaughter-to-be. I don't know why but I always dislike finishing projects. It only took me two evenings to knit them, but it took me two weeks to sew them. A few months ago I got lucky at the thrift store and found a bunch of 1940s era knitting pamphlets. This pattern was one of them. And they use up some of the yarn stash. Here's the pattern:
Size 2 knitting needles.
1 oz. baby yarn
Starting at sole, cast on 20 stitches, working in garter stitch, increase 1 stitch at the beginning of each row, 8 times. (28 stitches)
Knit 4 rows even, then decrease by knitting the 2nd and 3rd stitches together at the beginning of each row 8 times (20 stitches)
Now cast on 8 stitches at the end of the next row (back of shoe)
Increase 1 stitch every other row at the toe until there are 34 stitches on the needle.
Bind off 20 stitches at the back of shoe.
Increase 1 stitch at toe every other row 3 times (17 stitches)
Knit 4 rows even.
Decrease 1 stitch at toe 3 times.
Cast on 20 stitches for back of shoe and decrease at toe every other row until 28 stitches remain.
You'll have this odd looking shape:
Pick up 48 stitches around top of shoe and work in stockinette stitch for 7 rows. Bind off. Sew shoe top to sole. Sew back seam.
Cast on 36 stitches. Knit 2 rows.
On the 3rd row, knit 2, then work buttonhole by yarn over, knit 2 stitches together. Knit to end of row.
Knit 2 rows. Bind off.
Sew strap to back of shoe. Sew on button. Trim with a small pompom.
On Wednesday, we left the confines of our tiny village and traveled to the big city. While there, we stopped at the Polish butcher's for some kielbasa. He also had some pork/veal mixture for only $2.99 a pound. So I made up some meatloaf. I always use this recipe, more or less. I use less meat and add oatmeal to stretch it. It's cheaper than lunchmeat and makes the nicest sandwiches. Even people that say they hate meatloaf, love this recipe. And the smell of the bacon sure is wonderful when you come in from the cold!
We also stopped at the thrift store and I bought a brand- new- with -tags -on skirt form the Acacia catalog for $5. I checked out their site and the cheapest item of clothing they have is around $80, so I was pretty pleased with that! I need some new summer clothes, I'm so hard on them. (If we have a summer this year.) I also bought some curtain valances with a cute retro pattern, that I plan to make into some totes.
Here's some thrifty things we did this week:
Harvest rhubarb from or garden.
Made 7 jars of strawberry-rhubarb jam.
Trimmed my own hair.
Made a large meatloaf for sandwiches.
Gathered twigs and branches for firestarters.
Sewed a headband/headcovering from scrap fabric.
Heated our house with wood (or heating bill was only $30 this month! Not bad considering the temperatures are still only in the 40s).
Ran made some wooden spoons free wood.
Made homemade bread.
Except for lettuce, kielbasa, strawberries and the meatloaf mix, ate entirely out of the pantry.
I'm sure there are many other things, but it's late as I write this, and my thinking cap isn't working very well! So until next time, see you later, aligator!