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In the Garden, In the Kitchen

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In the garden, the morning glories are delighting me daily.  I really must remember that they are a fall blooming plant.  I’ve always been committed to the Heavenly Blue variety, but this year I am really digging the deep purple and pale pink ones we have. And how charming is this?–they have grown into a bird feeder!

You may recall I spent something like $14 on a mailbox garden back in the spring (a collection of seeds for putting around your mailbox to cover it in beautiful flowers all summer long.) Well nothing seemed to grow and I felt it was a big waste of money, and then yesterday I saw two flowers blooming there! Still a total waste of money (by my calculations each of these blossoms cost $7). I’m going to have Paul build me a little raised bed box around the mailbox post next year.

In the kitchen, it’s fall! That means soup weather! and apple things! Granted, we had some ridiculously hot days this past week, but I still put my old fave Sweet Potato Corn Chowder and Carrot Leek Soup on the menu.  I love butternut squash (the Queen of the Squashes!) and I love it in soup.  Everyday Food had a recipe this month that I had to try.  Super simple (so simple you might think this soup would be boring) and crazy delicious.  You just roast chicken thighs (bone in, skin on) with chopped up squash and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper. Then you put the vegetables in chicken broth with 1/4 tsp each of ground coriander and cumin, simmer, and mash with a potato masher.  While that simmers take the skin of the chicken and cut it into nice pieces. Add it back into the pot, stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice, and voila!  I made muffins to go with this that had ham, cheddar, green onions, and mustard in them.

I also did a fun Halloween decoration craft with the kids. Basically Mod Podge tissue paper to a glass jar and make it a groovy votive.  I can remember doing this in school in 3rd grade and outlining the tissue paper squares so that it looked like stained glass. We then lit candles in them and sang “Silent Night.”  I’m guessing there is no way that would ever happen in school nowadays.

Below you can see the “haunted house” Clark cut out all by himself.

These still need a little finishing off so they don’t go up in flames, and I’ll also put some ribbon around the neck of the jar.  A fun activity that differently aged children can each do in their own way.

Update: Here they are, finished and lit up.

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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