Canned Tomato Sauce

Tom’s tomato sauce is awesome.

It is so good, you could drink it from a glass and want more.

He made an enormous batch upon the promise I would can it today.

I did.

It was easy.

If I could do it, anyone can.

(“Can.” Get it?) ;)

For the Love of Honey

Recently, we bought some Dutch Gold Orange Blossom Honey because it was on sale.

The subtle orange flavor and the sweetness of honey was enough to turn me into a bit of a honey snob.

During the kids’ chess club meeting at the library, I was perusing the food section and came across the book Honey: From Flower to Table by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

Beginning with famous instances of honey use and ending with a helpful list of resources, this well-written book was a delightful, easy read. Its pages are filled with everything from the history of honey to beekeeping to flavor-crafting your hive’s honey with different flowers to recipes (both edible and inedible!) using honey.

The photographs are beautiful. (It was a library book, otherwise I may have tried to lick the pages.) They inspired me to want to find vintage honey jars with impressions of bees and honeycombs just so that honey will hold a more prominent place in my kitchen.

Below is one of the recipes from the book I’d like to try.

Doesn’t it sounds perfectly soothing on a sore-throat day?

Hot Honey Lemonade

2 lemons
3-4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1 cup boiling water
1 cinnamon stick

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a large mug. Slice the second lemon very thin. Poke cloves into a lemon slice and drop slices into the mug. Add the honey. Fill cup with hot water and stir with cinnamon stick until the honey has dissolved. Taste for sweetness and add more honey as necessary.

Baklava, an Ottomon Turkish puffed-pastry filled with nuts and honey, has always been a favorite dessert of mine. The last time I ate it, savoring each bite, was at a progressive Christmas dinner in 2005. Thankfully, the dinner came with a recipe list from everyone’s offerings and I was excited to discover today that I still have the binder! All this thinking about honey has made me want to make my own. Stay tuned.

Will you share your favorite honey recipe with me?

PS: You may have noticed that the disappearance of honeybees has been in the news, with things like cell phone usage and climate change cited as the culprits.

According to it was discovered that the EPA knowingly allowed approval of a pesticide toxic to the natural plant pollinator, honeybees.
In other words, the bees have been unwittingly dying from just doing their thing — pollinating crops. As this pollination process is important to farmers, it would seem that such a thing would be counter-productive at the very least.

Nephew Update : Levi’s Awake!

Levi, my newest nephew, has finally come out of sedation — watch out, world! ;)

Born with spina bifida on Nov. 30th 2010, my sister’s baby has gone through two big surgeries: one to repair his spine and one to put in a shunt to drain fluid from his brain.

Since his first surgery occurred when he was just hours old, he’s been under sedation pretty much since birth and it’s so very cool to see pictures of him alert.

While there are still some concerns, he’s healing remarkably really well.

Bethany has even been able to nurse him!

She writes,

He is no longer on any air, he has no bandages at all on back or head! He got a bath, we can put clothes on him…he gained a pound….shunt looks like it is placed perfectly, his head went down 1 cm over night….and the big one is that I got to nurse him 3 times today and he did perfectly! i couldn’t believe how well he knew what to do! It was very special for me. I can pick him up whenever I want to now so I spent most of the day holding him, and he looked into my eyes allll day! It was great!

My sister and her husband Mike are doing an awesome job taking care of Levi. I’m so very proud of them!

You can just tell Levi’s a little fighter with a big personality, eh?

Please stop by Bethany and Mike’s Caring Bridge site and let them know they’re in your thoughts and prayers!

Sage Harvest

She ain’t got no money
Her clothes are kinda funny
Her hair is kinda wild and free
Oh, but Love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows her like me. – Edison Lighthouse

Tonight, I harvested the sage remaining in the garden.

My kitchen smells so earthy-sweet!

Tabitha helped me to wash the leaves, puree them, and freeze them in little spoonfuls for future use. Dried, bottled, store-bought herbs simply don’t compare!

I still remember when I planted my herb garden in 2006, the summer just before my Leah was born in September. I was so big and pregnant, I could hardly bend down to plant.

Below is picture of Micah, a little over a year old, “helping”.

The perennial sage and mint we planted are still grow strong, even after being unattended while we were in Japan :)

And… yes, of course, I believe that children should know where their food comes from and participate in each step of the process — from planting to the table.

Shunt Surgery Update

My sister Grace, who is at the hospital, said,

“Levi is doing pretty well. He just had his shunt surgery and the doc said it was good. Still be praying for this boy, we want things to stay good! Thanks for all the support :) ”

I love this photo because Levi’s eyes are open.