Sunday, July 31, 2011

~Good Things for July~

Ideas that restore beauty, simplicity and order to our everyday living!

I enjoy the Good Things section in MSL and I hope that you get inspired to try a few of these life simplifying and beautifying ideas.  Month after month I know that this section of Living contains easy and simple ideas that will enhance our everyday living.  What I love most about this section is how easy and fast a project can be completed. When time is being budgeted for, these mini-projects are fun to try.

Blue Notes July 2011
Blueberry-infused Gin

Combine 1 cup gin with 1/2 cup blueberries in an airtight container and let stand at room temperature for 3 days.  Strain, and refrigerate (up to three weeks).  Top a jigger with tonic or sparkling lemonade and garnish with frozen berries.

Fruit Butters July /August 1996

Blackberries are emerging everywhere with their droopy black orbs shining in the sun.  When I see them suspended by their stems looking perfect and juicy I can't help but get excited.  Around Paradise Basin we have many blackberry vines that are ripe with fruit for our taking.  This recipe is a perfect way to make a simple and fast fruit butter for the kids.  We go through a lot of jelly/fruit butter for PB&J sandwiches so this is going to become a new favorite recipe!

3 1/2 pounds of fruit (peaches, pears, plums,etc)
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups of sugar (adjust to your preference)

Mix together and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, until the fruit is very thick and spreadable about 2 1/2 hours.  Cover tightly , these will keep for a month if refrigerated or for a few months if frozen. 

Freshly picked blackberries

Next, I put the berries into these recycled berry containers.  Wow, I was surprised at how much I had!

I went to the pear orchard and gathered a few pears too.
Here is the fruit butter after it simmered.
The Blackberry-Pear Butter...just that easy!


Okay, this idea is really cool!  Most of us are trying to reduce our carbon footprints while saving money, right?  Well, check this out.  You can light a garden pathway with seashells, for free.  Unfortunately, the moon is in the early stages of the waxing crescent phase and so it's not very bright.  However, you can still get the general idea (I used a head lamp light to give me a little extra help). The seashells really do provide a well-lit and attractive pathway.  

~Good Things for July~

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