A few of my favorite things . . . .

I made a goal to post every day just recently, but I have tons of work today (my day job, gardening, canning and being a mom) and I can’t seem to focus enough to write anything coherent. So, I will just leave you with a photograph of my new favorite, best ever, wickedly delicious treat:

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Preserving the Harvest – Pickled Dilly Asparagus Spears

We’ve got a small asparagus patch at the Land of Fruits and Nuts. Not really enough of a harvest to have to can, but enough to whet my husband’s appetite. So, when it goes on sale during asparagus season, I buy a bunch and make pickled dilly asparagus spears. Now, for me, the cheapest I… [Continue Reading]

dill asparagus spears

Preserving the Harvest – Raspberry Chocolate Sundae Topper

It is harvest time at here at the farm. Or perhaps I should save summer harvest because it seems like I am harvesting year round. Right now, I’ve got buckets and buckets of blueberries and raspberries. Well, I have buckets as long as I beat out the peahens and the dogs. I didn’t even know… [Continue Reading]

raspberry chocolate

The Smart Mama: Preparations Matter in an Emergency ~ Communications Plan

News reports of shortages in supplies in advance of the ice storm now hitting the southeast underscore the need to prepare for emergencies in advance – and not 24 hours in advance. Yes, you can plan on being able to go buy food, toilet paper, dog food, formula, shovels, generators, whatever before a storm hits… [Continue Reading]

TheSmartMama’s Guide to Surviving an Emergency – Packing a Get Home Bag for Work

To adequately prepare for an emergency situation, you have to know for what sort of emergency you are preparing.  I live in Southern California, and work outside the home.  The most likely emergency situations I will face are earthquakes and wildfires.  And, it is quite possible that these situations could occur while I am at… [Continue Reading]

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Land of Fruits and Nuts – Day 8 – Sweet Marmalade

I’m still trying to use the oranges that are hanging on – the end of the season’s crop. I’ve got fresh blooms and new fruit starting, but we haven’t harvested all of this year’s crop. Mostly because it is all just a little too overwhelming here on our farm. I mean really, I’m a suburban [...]

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Land of Fruits & Nuts – Day 7 – Taking a Canning Class and More

Before I get too far along in my adventure here at the Land of Fruits and Nuts, I wanted to share information about a class I took at the Institute of Domestic Technology, rediscovering the future of home economics. I took Foodcrafting 101. We learned a Twenty-One Hour boule recipe (delicious), how to make fresh [...]

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Land of Fruits and Nuts – Day 6 – Loquat Jelly

As I explained in my prior post, I had tons of loquats and wanted to use them for something, anything really. I stumbled across a recipe for loquat jelly, and was determined to make it. The day before (Day 5 if you are keeping track), I made loquat juice by de-seeding the loquats, boiling them [...]

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Land of Fruits and Nuts – Preserving the Harvest – Day 5 – Loquats & Loquat Jelly

It is May 6, 2013, and loquat trees hang heavy with fruit in Southern California. Driving home from picking up my kids from after school care, we pass 6 or 7 trees in our relatively short drive just covered with fruit – trees that are in the area between a house and the sidewalk. It [...]

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Land of Fruits and Nuts – Preserving the Harvest – Day 3 – Elder

So, my third day of preserving the harvest at the Land of Fruits and Nuts found me too exhausted to think of canning. For the record, for the past two days, I’d been canning after the kiddos went to sleep, which meant that I was up pretty late.  Plus, I had to tend to the [...]

Land of Fruits and Nuts – Joining Team ENERGY STAR

So, in the Land of Fruits and Nuts, we have to remodel the home. “Have to” is an understatement – the home’s major systems are failing – we’ve had the sewer pipe burst underneath the house, the water pipes have failed in 2 separate locations, the furnace broke down completely, and electrical panel is shot. [...]

Calamondin Citrus Oranges

Land of Fruits and Nuts – Preserving the Harvest – Day 2 – Orange & Whiskey Marmalade

So, having successfully made and canned strawberry jam (see my blog post on Day 1), I was ready to move on and try something to preserve the actual harvest. And boy do we have oranges. There are many mature orange trees on the Land of Fruits and Nuts. I don’t know what kind of oranges, [...]