Hello dear friends! Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful day. It is one of those perfect days today, the sort that you wish would last forever. The kind that makes you feel good just to be alive. What a blessing after so many days this summer that I wished away. Nothing much is happening here, but we sure are busy!
It seems that one thing leads to another, we never have time to be bored. This week there was a sale on beef roast for less than $3 a pound so be bought ten or so pounds and I canned it up. The trimmings of the fat and gristle were put into a big pot and boiled, cooled, defatted and made into a broth that was also canned. The fat was rendered and saved for soap making and all the gristle was fed to the strays. One of the jars didn't seal so I made a potpie with the meat. While I was making up piecrust for the pie, I went ahead and made a large batch of dough (enough for five pies) and froze it for future pie baking sessions.
We also foraged for crabapples. Boy! Did the smell heavenly whilst they were awaiting to be made into jelly. Half a bushel rendered enough juice to make two batches of jelly.
We also picked and gave away pounds and pounds of blackberries. Sure has been a good year for them. But after canning one batch, we have enough. Blackberries are not my most favorite fruit. Well, at least the birds can enjoy them!
It was also a good year for peppers and in addition to drying a bushel of them, I made two batches of pepper jelly. We love it as a spread in lieu of butter or mayo on sandwiches and it's a nice snack spread on crackers with cream cheese. One of our favorite ways to dress a salad is to melt a tablespoon or so of jelly with a splash of cider vinegar and toss into a plain salad with either feta or blue cheese.
In between canning sessions I worked on and finished this Outlander shawl using tweeds from my yarn stash.
Even with many starts and spurts, it was a quick knit, taking only a few days from start to finish. The pattern can be found here for free on Ravelry. The two stripes were just scrap yarn but the main part of the body was knitted in Lion Brand's Heartland in the Smoky Mountains colourway. This is an easy pattern, even for beginners. Perfect for mindless knitting.
Another creative endeavor, although small, was to change the flowers in the basket on the front door. I was bored with the summery geraniums but even I think it's a tad too early for the russets and golds of Autumn. Fortunately I found these crimson floral picks at the dollar store. For a few dollars I created a pretty early Fall look, that I think looks a far cry prettier than the rather garish Autumn wreaths I saw in the stores.
So there you have it, another week here at Sweet Briar Cottage. Not the most fascinating week on record, but that is what August is like. Next week should be a lot more exciting around here. Ran is building a new kitchen countertop and will be installing it. Of course that will lead to more work as the old backsplash will have to go, which means so will the wallpaper. As I said, one thing leads to another! Well, I hope that you will have a nice restful week, at least!