Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Gleaning

 She said, "Pray, let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers." (Ruth 2, 7)
Ma and Laura picked the tomatoes...even the smallest green tomatoes.  There were enough ripe tomatoes to make almost a gallon of preserves...She sliced [the green tomatoes] and cooked them with salt, pepper, vinegar, and spices.  "That's almost two quarts of green tomato pickle.  Even if it's only our first garden on the sod and nothing could grow well, these pickles will be a treat with baked beans this winter," Ma gloated. (The Long Winter)
While at a pumpkin patch with my sons this weekend, I commented to the farm owner that fruit remained on the vine in the tomato patch.  She encouraged me to glean the vines, and I ended up with an unexpected bounty of cherry tomatoes, ripe tomatoes, and green tomatoes.  I slow roasted the grape tomatoes, made American Masala's "better than ketchup" tomato chutney from the ripe tomatoes, and salsa verde from the green tomatoes. 

Subbing green tomatoes for tomatillos has been a game changer for me, as my rural grocery store doesn't always have the latter and I am partial to green salsa.  Do you have a lot of green tomatoes left in your garden? Here are some recipe ideas so they don't go to waste.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

From Today's Gospel

The Divine Sower
The seed is the word of God.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hint of the day: double duty cookie press

Deviled eggs- an economical meatless Friday hors d'ouevres popular with many.  But I hate washing out decorating bags (especially for a Sriracha filling) and I've never had much luck with substituting parchment paper or baggies.  My aluminum cookie press came to the rescue!  Just a few quick turns, and my deviled egg tray was completed and cleanup made easy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hint of the day: lay flat to dry


As the days are getting warmer, I have been washing winter clothes and putting them away for next season.   But I ran out of space on my drying rack for garments that need to dry flat.  Fortunately,  my patio set came to the rescue! Children's garments would fit on the chair seats.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Verily Magazine

In case you haven't heard of it, Verily Magazine is an online publication focusing on style, relationships, culture and lifestyle, all aimed at young women and all pleasing to read from a Catholic point of view. The newest edition of Verily's online magazine was in my inbox this morning and I was able to paste it in below.  You'll want to subscribe for yourself and get your friends to do so as well.

The Church Ladies heartily approve!  (You can sign up to subscribe here.)

Weekly Dose of Verily 

Keep It Simple: Packing for a Weekend Getaway
Packing for a weekend trip can be tough. You just never know what you'll need! Kat of The Refined Woman is here to save the day with her easy packing tips.


What to Tell a Guy When You're Not Interested
Art by Nima Salimi
Is it ok to tell a guy you have a boyfriend when really you're just not interested? Author Elise Italiano answers this question, plus advice on how to let a man down respectfully.


Four Ways to Stay Sharp After Giving Birth
Art by Lucy O Photography
New moms have heard advice on how to get fit, eat healthy, and keep their marriages strong, but there's not a lot of advice out there on how to keep your brain sharp. Mom and blogger Nicole offers four ways to keep your mind afloat.


Style How to Wear Botanical Prints
Art by Aaron Lee Craig

Stylist and blogger Brynn of Being Elliott looks print perfect in botanicals. She's here to help us pull off the look ourselves this summer.


5 Things Every Daughter Should Be Taught
Art by Andrea Rose
In light of Father's Day, we're sharing the five things every daughter needs to hear. Rule number five: You can be delicate and strong all at once.


Monica Lewinsky and Our Culture of Humiliation
Art via The Incredible Tide
Can we change our culture if it punishes women more than men for the same crimes?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More Thrifty Gifts for Fathers' Day

I was a little more pressed for time this year than Therese, and opted for the store-bought route.  However, I was pretty impressed with what I managed to put together for less than $10, and it tiered together very nicely when wrapped.

1. 2 jars of Nutella (on sale for $2.68 each, and an additional $1 manufacturer's coupon)

2.  Vintage hardcover edition of Quo Vadis ($4 at local antique mall)
Our boys are quite young, so my husband has plenty of time to prep for father-son reading!  I tucked in a copy of Auntie Leila's reading guide as well.  This is a theme I plan to repeat in future years- my husband's family favored fantasy and mystery books so he never read many classic adventure novels like The Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, etc - a nice gift for Dad and the family library.

3. A cozy tartan robe ($2 at thrift store)
This is a perfect year round robe made of the softest cotton and was in like new condition.  Score!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wondering what to do with all that rhubarb?

This recipe got high marks from some Church Ladies recently:

3 pounds rhubarb, cut up

Mixed with
1 bottle vodka
1/4 cup grand marnier
Simple syrup (6 tablespoons sugar heated to boiling with 1/4 cup water)

Cool the syrup before mixing into the rest of the ingredients. 
Let stand 1-2 weeks in covered container.

Recipe is flexible - it originally called for 1/2 cup of the Grand Marnier, but my source preferred with less.

It's a lovely pink color and, according to reports, is dangerously good when mixed with 7-Up.

On a somewhat related note, I'm re-reading Anne of Green Gables now and this is just homey enough to make me think of Marilla's Raspberry Cordial.  (Medicinal purposes only, right?)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Thrifty Gifts: Father's Day

I don't know about you, but whenever I see Father's Day gift guides, they tend to bring on more eye rolls than lightbulbs. They seem to break down into the crazy expensive, one-use gadgets no one actually wants, the weirdly cutesy, and items that will be enjoyed way more by the giver than by any dad I know. So here, without further ado, are some homemade gifts that will actually see the light of day once in a while.

Monogrammed hankies
Fonts (L to R): Oil Can, Eccentric, Euphorigenic
We've blogged some details on this one over the years (here, here, and here). This one is a fantastic last-minute gift; I finished the three hankies above in an afternoon. Just find some fonts you like, print and trace (if you work carefully with a light hand, you can even do this with a regular pencil), and embroider. DMC cotton floss holds up well in the wash, and is usually 30-50 cents a skein. If you are new to embroidering, Needle'n'Thread has great tutorial videos. Backstitch and stem stitch are good for monograms, with satin stitch to fill in thicker areas (as on the hankie on the left).

Matching outfits

Okay, maybe not for everyone, but it can be fun, especially for a new dad. The picture above is Simplicity 3852, which conveniently contains outfits from a baby romper all the way up to adult size in one envelope. If the men and boys in your life would appreciate something a little more subtle, matching neckties (men's, boys', and little boys') would make a great riff on a Father's Day classic. Ties are cut on the bias, so keep that in mind when picking out a print. This also means you'll have extra fabric left over, so think about including a pocket square. If that's still too much, how about some pajamas?

Reuseable Brown Bag
Do you walk to work, or bring your lunch? (Sorry, but what's a post about dads without a Dad Joke?)There are a ton of tutorials for this easy sewing project online (Here's a big roundup.) Just pick a manly fabric and you're good to go. You could even use an old pair of chinos for the fabric, making this project essentially free.

A Manlier Diaper Bag
Vogue 8990
This will be the one I'm attempting this year. While I don't think he actually minds, every so often I get a comment about having to carry around the very girly bags our hospital gives out. I'm keeping the pockets versatile, so hopefully he'll have a use for it even when we don't have one in diapers. If putting together an entire bag isn't for you, an all-in-one changing kit that he can have on hand might be just the ticket.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baptism party help

I am in search of an idea for an economical entree to serve at a baptism party over Memorial Day weekend.  We had initially planned to grill out, but don't have a good source for hamburger patties (no Sam's Club or Costco nearby) and ground hamburger is expensive here. We expect 50-75 people, as we live in a Catholic college town with lots of large families.

-The baptism will follow a 10:30 Mass.  I need something that can be prepared ahead and kept warm in the oven or slow cooker while we are at church so it is ready to serve soon after we get home.

-People often serve pulled pork at these parties, but we are coming off a stretch of Confirmations, First Communions, and graduations, so I was looking for something different, although using pulled pork in a taco bar could be fun.

-Ditto for ham, following Easter.

I would love to hear your ideas!