Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sunflower Houses

A recent trip to the library scored the little find of this book by Sharon Lovejoy: "Sunflower Houses, A Book for Children and their Grown-Ups". It's stuffed full of neat gardening projects and designs to do with your children ranging from the very simple: planting sunflowers and morning glories to eventually form a sunflower house..to the more complex: a floral clock garden (this one made me want to simply pass out..we're attempting the sunflower playhouse this year), which is a huge assortment of flowers that bloom at specific times of the day; therefore, theoretically, allowing one to estimate the time by paying a little visit the clock garden.

The book has little chapters entitled: "How to Make a Whistle", "Hollyhock Dolls", "The Consideration of Faeries", "Mini Trough Garden" and so on. The subject matter of which I'm sure previous generations thought up in their sleep, but is a bit of a lost fancy now...

Charming. So charming, in fact, that I ended up shopping at amazon.com in order to purchase the book for two of my friends with small children. ( I have yet to endow...)

Meanwhile, here's a few shots of our Sunflower House's humble beginning.

And our son, by the way, is "all about" this project. I am pleasantly surprised by the ongoing daily enthusiasm involved with tending to it. (Have we planted straight lines? Certainly not, but that's beside the point...)

Hubby has generously contributed the fence to keep the rabbits at bay until the sunflowers are large enough to fend for themselves. As the plants grow, we'll weave the morning glories with twine to form the roof. Expect more pictures. :)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Jam


I have early memories of eating the best strawberry jam (ever) at the cabin, that my grandma had made..and then later on, that my aunt made. A few years ago, I finally asked my aunt what her recipe is. And to my great surprise, what I thought would be a time-tested family heirloom recipe turns out to be merely the standard "freezer jam" recipe on the Sure-Jell box. How 'bout that.

At any rate, after a trip to the strawberry fields with a pair of chubby, stalwart "paddies" (ie. hands) assisting me, we have 2 batches of freezer jam gracing our freezer with their presence (one batch "set", the other did not. A little word to the wise..never try to improvise when using pectin. Follow the directions exactly. lol! I like to learn the hard way, apparently. If a batch turns out runny though, it does make great icecream or waffles/pancakes topping, so no cause for despair)