Category Archives: food

Reaping what we did not sow

Quoting grandpa, who was quoting Euell Gibbons, “reaping what you did now sow”.   This past weekend we took his example and went off into the woods to gather wild apples from the trees around the cabin.  It is clear that someone generations ago has a small orchard near the cabin.  Apple and pear trees abound, some you can even see are planted in what must have been clear rows.   These trees are as organic as it gets.  The apples they produce are amazing.  Well, some of them are.  Some, not so much.  That is the fun thing with apple trees.  You have to taste them to see what you are going to get.  In the wild, no two are the same.  Good applesauce, cider and really all things in life, are better with a nice variety.  Keeping that in mind, Otto, Grandpa and I climbed in the truck (boy did Otto love that!) and picked a TON of apples.  Otto, self named official taste tester had no less than four apples in his hands at all times.


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We brought the apples home with us on Sunday and proceded to make a very large batch of applesauce.  Otto has really been enjoying learning about cooking recently, a skill I obviously want to encourage!, so he was keen to help.  I cut the apples in half, and he quartered them.  He thinks using one of my big chef knives is the coolest thing ever.  He understands it is a dangerous tool and takes it very seriously.  Mette, shows great concern with this development, and I can’t say I totally blame her.  We made a big batch and allowed it to cool off during the evening.  Today Otto took a large container to school to share with his friends for snack time.  He thought that was really cool and hopefully the kids enjoyed the yummy snack.  This morning I put a sizable dent in the remaining apples and canned 4 quarts and 6 pints.  I would say I have about 6 quarts to go.  I may need to find some homes for some of this applesauce!  I think some applesauce muffins are in order.  And, ooohh do I love buckwheat pancakes with applesauce on top.  May have to make some of those tomorrow for brunch!




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Attitude is everything

Today Otto, Mette, Megan and her two boys, Rachel and her two little people and myself made sugar cookies at our house. It started off innocently enough. This morning while eating breakfast Otto asked if we could have a playdate with some friends and went on to list all of the above mentioned friends along with some other friends who are now in Australia for six months. (Sorry, Belinda I would have emailed you too but i didn’t think you would make it in time.) It seemed like a great idea so I sent out the invite email. Wednesday is usually playgroup but since our car is at the Harrisburg airport awaiting eric’s arrival tomorrow we were staying home today. In the email I mentioned that it would be fun to make cookies with the kids. Turns out when you offer to make cookies, kids are pretty excited to come. Funny, I know. In your head when you think about making cookies with kids it is all rosy and fun. And then you see 5 little facea around a table all eyeing the sprinkles and dough you start to think “was this the best idea I ever had?”. It was however a lot of fun. Even with one child falling down some stairs, another falling off a chair and Mette pretty much falling asleep at the table during lunch after yelling at everyone not to say her name, but to instead call her Tarzan, I would call it a success.

Before everyone arrived Mette, Otto and I made the dough so it could rest in the fridge. If you have ever wondered why so many of our pictures are taken in our kitchen, here is the reason why. Our kitchen gets the most beautiful southern exposure and the light is heavenly. Literally, if there is heaven, I am sure it is lit like this.

Before starting the whole cookie making process otto and I talked about how he couldn’t just eat all the sprinkles.

It really sunk in.

Keeping ten little fingers out of trouble is tough, even with three moms on the job. One look to see what otto was doing and Mette decorated her cookie by herself.


A masterpiece.

After everyone had left and while Mette was still sleeping Otto and I made the second ball of dough into cookies. He did an amazing job of not eating all of the sprinkles and cut out the shapes all by himself. My intention was to take some to his preschool tomorrow to share with the other kids since it is their last day before the holiday break, but Otto really wants to show them to eric and I think that is fair so we are keeping them all. Selfish in a season of giving I suppose but given how much Eric likes cookies, it makes perfect sense.

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Filed under christmas, food, handmade, otto and mette, preschool, projects

This is FUN!

On Sunday Eric only had to work a “little” (9:30-11) so after lunch we headed to Harrisburg to take the kids to the science museum. They have some fun exhibits the kids and enjoy plus the website showed they were hosting a holiday train and tree exhibit. It turned out to be a wonderful kid fun filled laid back day. I never thought i would use all those adjectives together like that, but I am, and I mean it. Both otto and mette had a wonderful time playing in the small kids section and the trains were a huge hit.
mette was having a lot of fun in the water table especially with the pink smok.

Next to the train exhibit was a small track with the kind of trains that the kids power by turning pedals with your hands. Mette was not big enough to do it herself, but since it wasn’t crowded they let Otto push her around the track. It was seriously hard to Otto to do but he muscled her around more than once. She thought it was the coolest thing ever.

We all enjoyed looking at the model trains. They had a nice display with lots of different trains styles and scenery.

The next Dr. Faden maybe be an M.D.. When one of the museum workers asked her to chech their heart she promptly put the stethoscope on the heart sticker where the ear piece meets the cord. I was pretty impressed that she figured that out.

She wanted me to take a lot of deep breathes. She was also asking where our doctor was. Considering the fact that we all got flu shots last week and mette still tells me “I was shot” I was just glad she didn’t seem traumatized. Though as usual, she didn’t shed a tear and was pretty much fine with the whole thing and it took a second nurse and me to hold down Otto while he screamed to hard he didn’t even notice the shot.

On the way home we stopped at Friendly’s for what was i am sure an all local, organic dinner. Sometimes you have to live it up! It was, not surprising, very popular. The kids were having a great time and being very good through dinner but the ice cream really made the day. The each had a scoop with sprinkles, M&Ms, whipped cream and a cherry. Let’s just say there wasn’t much taking going on and a whole lot of smiles. Mette stopped eating long enough to declare “this is FUN! Its a birthday party”. Seriously, if you can make someone that happy with some pink sprinkles and a little candy, it is hard not to do it all the time.

Another highlight to the day, despite not napping at all on schedule and having ice cream and candy after dinner, they were so whooped they were asleep before their normal bedtime.

Yeah, it was pretty much the best Sunday we have had in a long time.
how was your weekend?

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Filed under doctor appointment, food, mette, mette milestones, mette quotes, otto, otto and mette


Back again. Last week was a whirlwind of activity but we are starting to get back into normal life again. Thanksgiving at the cabin was fun and crazy all together. There are a lot of ways two small people can get into trouble there and the adults all seem to be busy with something else. That my friends makes for a deadly combo. Luckily nothing was broken and no permanent damage was done. Due to the craziness I managed to take almost no photos. The camera would have to have been strapped to me in order for me to have it when I needed it, and then it would have been in the way for all the baby slinging I was doing. I did manage to get a few shots of mette playing grandpa’s tuba. Both kids were able to make some amazing sounds with it. I think it must make you feel pretty powerful to make a big tuba sound when you are three feet tall!

The tuba sits on the floor in the living room and is at the perfect height to sneak a few notes in here and there.

This is sadly the only picture I got of any of the food, but fear not, the food was amazing and plentiful. This year we turned the living room of the old cabin into a dining room and ate under the watchful eye of the bears in the fireplace. It was quite lovely.

Feasting with us this year were long time friends of the family, Phil and Deb. Deb made a cranberry salad with whipped cream that made mette squeal with delight, each time she saw it. In her first sitting she had four bowls full. Rest assured I got that recipe. Deb gets a special prize for making someone as happy as mette was when she ate that salad.

In true cabin fashion we had a nice coating of snow on Thursday making it that much more festive. Otto, grandpa and I went out for a walk and all Otto wanted to do was eat the snow. We had some good discussions about not eating yellow snow or licking anything that is metal. Basic life skills.

I am working on some more photos to have up later this week so stayed tuned.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. While Otto had a good time, he is SUPER excited to go to school tomorrow.

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Add your own caption

All I am going to say is it is lunch and they are eating cereal. You fill in the rest.

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Filed under food, otto and mette

Lunch Special

If I was still running the Bleu Plate what we had for dinner tonight would definitely be our lunch special this week.

It was with special fanfare we celebrated the end of our tomato season. The two last large green tomatoes were carefully sliced, dipped in flour, then eggs and finally seasoned bread crumbs. From there they were carefully dipped in simmering bacon fat in my cast iron skillet. Once fried they were layered between fresh local lettuce and some of the bacon which gave us the delicious frying oil. Crusty french bread, spread with a layer of homemade pesto mayonnaise, worked well to hold it all together and keep your hands somewhat clean.
Despite talking about how decadent and yummy this was, we didn’t think to get any pictures until it was almost too late.

There were a few slices of fried green tomatoes that couldn’t fit into a sandwich and had to be enjoyed on their own.

It was a good tomato season, though next year I will get the seedlings started earlier. Now I just have to chop away (literally) at the GIANT bucket of green cherry tomatoes I have sitting on my porch. Green tomato relish, green tomato salsa, bread and butter cherry toms… anyone else have any ideas?

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Filed under food, garden, handmade


One of the reasons I have been a bit off with the posting is because I have been canning up a storm. On Saturday morning I picked up 4 cases of tomatoes. Each case is the roughly size of a box of copier paper. I spent all afternoon and a good part of Saturday evening working on the mound of tomatoes. I canned 8 quarts of whole peeled tomatoes and 8 pints of fresh tomato sauce on Saturday. I also froze 6 pints of roasted tomato puree and 6 quarts of crushed tomatoes. On Sunday I took a break from tomatoes and made 6 pints of bread and butter pickles. Then Monday determined to be done with the tomatoes I canned 6 quarts of roasted tomato sauce. I am hoping that holds us for the winter. It is going to be a little slice of heaven when we open those jars in December. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I still want to do some more peaches this week while they are still around, then it will be applesauce time. I will probably just freeze the applesauce. My grandmother always did that, and I did it last year and it worked out really well. Once all this canning is done I am going to deep clean my kitchen. It has been wiped down and mopped many, many times in the past few weeks, but somehow it just seems a little sticky no matter what I do. I will post pictures of our bounty soon, but I needed a little break from all things tomatoes.

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