Rejuvenating a Thirsty Landscape

It's been hot and smoky here the past couple of weeks. Checking our weather apps, we were promised a reprieve from the smoke on a daily basis. Yet, each morning we'd awaken to the same murky skies. Finally, some rain over night. It's the Oregon we're accustomed to, with moisture dripping from every leaf, flower, and pine needle.

This Japanese maple must be soaking it in.

It's leaves facing west have actually been burned by the sun. One of the rhododendrons is positively blackened from exposure to the hot afternoon rays.

This is our crazy star magnolia. Ordinarily it is one of the first things to bloom in spring. And yet...it is producing one lonely flower.

It's good to see some rain. This seems like a good opportunity to mention that we'll be taking off later in the week to make a trip to eastern Oregon. With the eclipse just a week and a day away, we are traveling to the east side of the Cascade range. Here on the west side, we can never be assured of clear skies, even in August. Since we are determined not to miss the eclipse this time around, we are heading to some place yet to be determined...but east, for sure. Since every hotel, motel and campground is booked, we'll be boondocking (meaning, we won't be camped in a designated campground). Camping is always free in national forests, and so we'll find a logging road or trailhead where we'll be able to set up and wait. I'll say more about our trip in a later post.

As for yesterday's activities, the new washer and dryer performed admirably...that is to say, they performed their basic functions with nary a glitch. Actually, there was one glitch when the laundress forgot to push in the tray that holds detergent and fabric softener. I was busy in the kitchen when Mike came in from outdoors and said, "uh-oh," and then said no more.

"What?" I asked. No answer. "WHAT?!?" Geez. "Uh-oh" is a phrase one never wants to hear when it is followed by silence. So...anyway...no biggy. I just stopped the washer, pushed in the drawer, and then started it again. I nearly did the same thing in the very next load, but caught myself before the "uh-oh" moment.

What can I say? I was distracted with jam. This is my Carrot Cake Jam. My yield was 9 half-pints. And let me just say, this stuff is delicious!

As I mentioned to someone this morning, I'm not sure I'd recognize it as "carrot cake" jam if I didn't know that was its intended flavor. But take a little spoonful, and you know...it kind of does taste like carrot cake, minus the cake. Really very tasty, and pretty darned easy too. The only downside is that it only used four of the approximately 400 carrots inhabiting my vegetable crisper. Clearly, more carrot culling will be required. The recipe I used came from this book:

There are several editions, and mine is the edition copyrighted in 2006. It called for 1 3/4 cups of "canned pineapple, including juice." When I measured out 1 3/4 cups, there was just a little bit left in the can, and so I just dumped that into the mix too. Also, I added 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice for a total of 1/4 cup. This is my adaptation of the original recipe.

Now I can't wait for breakfast this morning, so I can spread some on my toasted English muffin.

Since I always lose track of how much canning I've done each year, I've been keeping a list on my phone in 2017. Here's my tally so far.

A pretty good showing so far...and I haven't even started on the tomatoes. Come on, Tomatoes!

With laundry and canning done, I had just a little time left in the day to do some quilting. Four more blocks are finished now, with six left to do before moving on to the sashings. This one is Bee Productive:

This one is Bee Humble. It's the first block where I've quilted in any details. For this one, I added a little bit of wood grain in the tree.

This next one is Bee Lovely.

And, finally, Bee Curious.

Today I need to catch up on some housework, but there will be plenty of time to quilt the remaining blocks. Hopefully, I'll have enough energy to get well along on the sashings. It's nice to see the rain again, and it'll be nice to have the house cooled off some.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

A new washer does take a bit of attention, but it's not long before it becomes second nature to get it all set. The carrot cake jam sounds yummy, I do love carrot cake. But like you, cake isn't on the normal menu these days. Looking forward to seeing the final stitching on your Bee quilt. You've done so well with all the blocks. It's a fun motif.

Julierose said...

Your Bee blocks are so adorable--really nice work hugs, Julierose

quiltzyx said...

I'm glad that the 'uh-oh' had no dire consequences following along!

Great to see the dripping leaves & flowers and glad to hear it's cooling off for you. When I got to work this afternoon it was only 87 according to my car - about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday.

If my math is correct, looks like you've canned 49.5 pints of goodies so far this year! Nice job!

QuiltE said...

Bee-autiful would be your quilt! Great quilting design, incorporating the bee and heart along with the loopy-loops. Great personal touches too, like the bark for on the tree!

I bet your carrot cake jam will be a hit with many, so you might as well make another batch with a few more of those 400 remaining carrots. Another suggestion might be Dilled Carrots. I'm not a dill pickle lover in even the remotest way, but I do like some Dilled Carrots. Must be the carrots1 :)

Brown Family said...

Your Bee blocks are beautiful! THe jelly looks pretty and delicious!

Stitches said...

Your Bee blocks are delightful and will be a fun quilt to have in your home..Canning??? I really admire you for doing all of the canning, I have given it up (mostly)..I'm a one person household so I don't need that much and I think it is so much work!! But I am tempted to make something like your Peach BBQ sauce, would make a wonderful gift to special people!!

piecefulwendy said...

Mike was being a bit of a rascal, I think. Not nice to cause you that kind of stress :) All those photos with the water drops are lovely; so glad you finally got some moisture! Carrol Cake Jam -- who knew? Yumm. Where the ice cream? I'll want some of that jam on it!