Monday, November 21, 2011

Sewing again!

I finally got to spend some time in my sewing room.  I made this valance for the dining room window. I am making another to match in the kitchen window hopefully before Thanksgiving.  Thanks for the idea from my friend Lisa who showed me a photo of one in a different color that she likes.  I got the idea from it.  Thanks again Lisa for the green check fabric, it worked so well with my green toile print.  : )

Close up

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cranberry Season

It is cranberry season again on the Southern Oregon coast.  So we went to visit our friends Marci and Dave down near Bandon.  Remember last years post about the cranberry bog?  We love visiting with Marci and Dave.  We took some of our garden produce and apples and traded for buckets of cranberries.  This is such a blessing to us to have fresh cranberries!  We feel so spoiled.  : )

The girls each got to dip cranberries out of the bog into a bucket with a rake.  They thought that was pretty cool.

We also learned something new about cranberries.  Last year we got to pick some cranberries from Marci and Dave's baby bog.  That is where they grow the plants for making a new bog.  This year they planted a new bog.  I had envisioned them hand planting every little vine.  Well Marci told me that Dave mows the dry baby bog.  Then they take the clippings and scatter them on the prepared bog area and then they get tilled in.  The amazing thing is those clippings take root and start new plants.  How cool is that? 

So we came home with three buckets of cranberries.  They need to be cleaned because they have cranberry leaves and other little twigs and grass and such in them.  Anyone ever picked wild huckleberries?  Then you will have an idea of what I am talking about cleaning the berries.

Ed, on the way home comes up with an ingenious plan of how to clean them fast.  I am so blessed to have a husband that God has gifted in figuring out ways to do things easier!  Take a look at the process in the photos below.

Bucket of uncleaned cranberries. See all the leaves and grass?

Ed took half inch square wire and made a ramp.

Then we used the hose to wash the leaves and other debris off the berries.

We slowly let them roll down the wire ramp and picked out any big stuff.

Then they went into a clean tote!
  We only lost about a quart of small berries that fell through the holes.  They didn't go to waste as the chickens loved them!

Here are some of the cleaned berries in the jelly kettle.

Here they have been made into whole cranberry sauce.  Ready for any meal.
 I will post another time about making juice and fruit leather from some of the other berries.