Saturday, June 27, 2015

June cards

Cards from my June card making class.  Pretty cute!

Farm Produce

We bought a "share" in a local farm (it is my cousin's) and we got our first delivery this week.  Exciting! We got herbs, mustard greens and radishes (still early in the AK growing season and the farm is up by the Willow Sockeye Fire, so that was an issue too).  Radishes were yummy.  Now, mustard greens are bitter so I cooked them (not a fan of cooked greens, but I tried)...we all ate them and they tasted okay, but the Ray said, tasted like green slime. But I tried!  I did them with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Looking forward to more experiments, but I think I'll stay away from cooked I already thought....but I had to give it one shot...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Update

So what's up with us?  Well, Ray and the boys went to Michigan for two weeks, but I had to work so I stayed home and did massive spring cleaning.  Much easier to get rid of broken toys without much caterwauling when the boys aren't here. 

I am teaching 4 classes online and then one face to face.  It is still odd to be teaching in person.  Ray is teaching one course this summer, but it only starts this week.

Both boys are playing soccer right now.  We have Adam in an online summer reading program that I hope helps him for next fall.  He doesn't seem to mind it and reading is definitely what he needs to work on.  Our goal is three times a week and we are really just starting as we didn't want to start until he got back from Michigan. 

We are hoping for some good camping trips this summer as well as gaming on my and Ray's parts. 

Parmesan Chicken with Artichoke Hearts

So I was SUPER excited about this recipe tonight, but honestly it wasn't that good.  There wasn't enough flavor for me, even though I felt it used a LOT of rosemary (usually very  powerful).  Anyway, it was edible and all, but definitely disappointing. 

Gaming Fun

Remember you can check out our gaming posts if you want here.

Fire Update

If anyone was wondering, we aren't in any immediate danger of fires where we are, at this time.  You can check out Alaskan fires here.  The one in Willow has been the closest and that one is mostly contained now. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This is my other rhubarb jam recipe.  Also very good...I actually don't like strawberry jam and I think this is pretty good as the rhubarb cuts the sweetness.  My issue with this is that it doesn't use enough rhubarb, mostly strawberries.
Modified from Taste of Home
4 cups strawberries (chopped...they said crushed....I chopped then mashed for a bit with my potato masher) - this was about 2 (16 oz) containers from my local store
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pkg (1.75 oz) powdered fruit pectin - that's the small yellow box
5 1/2 cups sugar
Combine strawberries, rhubarb and lemon juice; stir in pectin.  Bring to a boil rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Stir in sugar, return to a full rolling boil.  Boil and stir 1 minute.
Remove from heat and skim off foam.  Ladle hot mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Clean top.  Put on lids and rims. 
Place into canner and process at a boil for 5 minutes. 
Makes about 6 pints (okay, so I did a double batch and I got 7 pints and 2 jelly jars so less than this). 

Orange Rhubarb Jam

So the previous owners obviously liked rhubarb. We have like 7 plants, three of which are huge.  Seriously huge.  So I have a surplus of rhubarb.  My solution is jam that I'll use as Christmas gifts. 
What I like about this one is that it uses a lot of rhubarb and only a little orange. It is actually surpassingly good, pretty much just tasting like orange marmalade.  
Modified from Mrs. Wages

6 cups chopped rhubarb
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 oranges, zested and juice
Have sterilized jars ready and waiting.

Combine rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and zest.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring regularly.  Once it is bubbling rapidly, reduce temperature to medium high and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture has thickened considerably. 

Pour jam into sterilized jars.  Leave 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe and place lids and rings and put into a canner for 10 minutes.

Makes 5-6 jelly jars worth (they said 2 pints....I did a double batch and got 11 jelly jars). 

Sunday, June 21, 2015


I have finally been doing a little scrapbooking....trying to feel like I am a little bit caught up to current times! You can check out some of my scrapbooks here.  Here are some of my favorite recent pages.

Wading Pool

We've had a hot last week (way too hot for Alaska!).  We bought a wading pool and the boys have been enjoying jumping in!

Hatcher Pass

We took the boys hiking up Hatcher Pass this weekend. Adam is quite the little mountain goat...he literally RAN up a mountain....

We found snow!

Adam was pretty much running....

Trying to drink from the mountain stream

Patio Lunch

Enjoying lunch on the back patio with the hubby!

Yard Work

Planting flowers on the back patio
The start of my greenhouse!

Planting trees along what will be the back edge of our lawn

Watering the trees (we bought these from the local soil conservation district)


And you might be wondering...what is Colony Days?  Well, in 1935, FDR sent a bunch of colonists from MN, MI and WI to Alaska (they were dirt poor farmers) to homestead there.  My great-grandparents were two of them.  This is the boys (it would be their great-great grandparents) next to the plaque with their name on it in Palmer. 

My grandmother (this was from this year's Colony Dinner, the 80th anniversary) was 6 months old when they arrived in 1935.

Colony Days Parade

Colony Days Parade in downtown Palmer.  Adam walked in it with his soccer team (Andrew could have, but we decided he didn't have the attention span to do it, so he watched with us).
Watching from the back of Great-Grandpa's pick up truck

Waiting for candy with Grandma

Adam and Ray in the parade

Rocking the sunglasses


The boys are both playing soccer right now.  So we started out in the freezing rain and then transitioned to like 90 degree heat.  I'd like some regular weather, please!

Some footage of Adam:
Game (yes, he's skipping...)

Lego Master

Adam is the Lego Master!  So this one took him like two days and was super hard...but he did 90% of it by himself!!  It is also cool that he did this in like two hour chunks because attention span is something he's been lacking...not here!

Andrew Cutness

Well, because the kid is cute...sometimes he needs to be....
"Camping" at Grandma's

Be afraid....Andrew has water guns (not loaded at that time)

Wearing his headphones...we bought these for the airplane but Andrew wears them all the time now.

Because laying in the sandbox AFTER being in the wading pool is just cool.....

Michigan Trip

Some pictures from the recent trip the boys and Ray took to Michigan.