Making Strawberry Jam

It is a little early in the season for strawberries around here, but I did get a good price, and spring fever is upon me so I am making little jars of strawberry jam.

I cooked and mashed my berries with sugar and lemon juice, and ladled the syrupy goodness into my boiled jars.  The first batch is processing now in my stock pot with a towel folded on the bottom since I no longer have fancy canning gear (in my younger years I did!)

Blackbirds

I have several birds that are black in my garden, but saw my first red winged blackbird yesterday! I like red winged blackbirds and get unaccountably excited whenever I see one.   They have  a distinctive birdsong.

I pottered around in the garden a little this afternoon, and it appears that the hostas that I transplanted late last fall survived and will hopefully like their new shady home better.

Tomorrow I plan to visit the hardware store and purchase spring weed and feed, refill the bird feeders, put out a nesting box or two, and do a little weeding.

Crumpets With Breakfast

This Sunday’s cooked breakfast included eggs and bacon, coffee and tea, and crumpets with lemon curd.

Crumpets are similarly shaped as English muffins, and are eaten similarly for breakfast with toppings of butter, jams, etc but they are NOT the same.

One difference is that crumpets are cooked on one side, with bubbles and crannies appearing on the top side only.  They are not split in half as are English muffins, and they have a more tender texture.

I inserted them into the toaster unsplit, and afterwards spread lemon curd (a topping tasting and looking quite like lemon pie filling).  They were tender and tasty and definitely, in my opinion, better than English muffins and will be replacing them in my household from now on.

Spring Rains

Spring rains have arrived and I need some gutter and water damaged wood repaired at my house.

The rear garden is extremely muddy and requires rubber boots to get around in.  Yesterday I picked up sticks and stray rubbish, disconnected the bird bath water warmer, and took down some leftover Christmas decorations.  I also gave the compost a couple of tosses.

Now I need to put out the nesting boxes, refill my bird feeders, buy some spring bedding plants- I like to plant pansies.  The lawn needs fertilized, the lawn furniture put out, and the geraniums set in the sun (after being dormant in the garage all winter).

My Crocuses Are Up!

In the language of flowers, crocuses mean cheerfulness!  I was so happy to see mine bloom OVERNIGHT!

Now when I step outside my front door, I have the cheerful sight of these earliest of flowers announcing to the world that winter is over.

In the same bed, there are grape hyacinth, tulips, and daffodils- I’m worried about those daffodils that I planted in the fall- I may have to poke around to see if they are still there.

wallpapers: Purple Crocus Flowers Wallpapers

Save My Hat!

Today hubby and I took Miss Maddie for a springtime walk- we both were fooled by the partly sunny skies this morning.  We took about two steps outdoors, then turned around to get the winter coats out.  Poor Maddie was very confused.

We set out again, ensconced in winter togs and my felt hat.  The wind was windy and I had to adjust the hat band (thank goodness mine is adjustable) to have it sit lower on my brow.   In doing this, it made it possible for my coat collar to bump the hat brim.  Every step I took bumped the hat back and the collar bumped it forward the next step.

I was getting quite  annoyed, and thought that a hat pin might have been a good idea!

Lot of 5 Vintage Hat Pins Long Stick Pearls Pearl Ends Victorian Edwardian Gold

A Tickling of Spring

Today I helped clean out my father’s front flower patch.  Over the winter it had collected more than its fair share of his neighbors’ Sycamore leaves.  Dad was enjoying the mild weather from his porch swing while I industriously labored to find the actual flower bed.

Underneath the winter’s blanket, I pointed out to dad that soon he will be enjoying daffodils, tulips, and crocuses.

I think that Spring must be my favorite season purely for the Spring flowers and tree blossoms.  I love Magnolias and Cherry trees best of all, as well as Lilac, Forsythia, Pussy Willow, and Pear trees.

Don’t forget Apple trees have lovely blossoms, too.  I am reading a book by Jeff Wheeler called The Wretched of Muirwood, and it is making me want to look for apple blossoms.

 

The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood Book 1) by [Wheeler, Jeff]

Elderberry

Elderberry bushes and trees bloom in the spring with loads of white flowers and then loads of berries resembling small blueberries.   The flowers or berries are cooked and made into beverages, jams, pies, cordials, wine, and tonics.

The Elder tree has a history steeped in mysticism- sleeping under an elder tree will impart dreams of faerie, and an Elder tree is said to be inhabited by a dryad or wood spirit.  It is not a good idea to burn an Elder, or cut it without permission.  Apparently one is to circle the tree thrice and beg the tree- “Give me of thy wood and I will give thee of mine, when I become a tree.”

Today I tasted an elderberry flower lemonade.  If this taste of elderberry is as good as it gets, I think I’ll pass….it tasted like medicine.

 

Time For the Woolens To Be Packed Away

Is it time to pack away the winter clothes?  I’m speaking of the “deep winter” clothes- snow boots, puffy down coats, mittens and muffs (does anyone wear these anymore?).  According to my local weather forecasts, Spring, in all its watery goodness is here.

Now is the season for rain gear!  Rain slickers and wellies, umbrellas, and tornado drills- ours started last Wednesday.

If you put off Spring gardening tasks for a “perfect day,”  you are likely to be waiting til May.  Put on some waterproof shoes and a raincoat and tramp about your garden and see what can be done today-  I have lots of weeding and cleanup that I should be doing, as well as snooping around the ground looking for  spring bulbs that have sprouted and walking Miss Maddie (to spy on the Magnolia’s progress a few houses over).

 

Spring Fever

The last few days have been unseasonably warm and mild and I feel I may be coming down with spring fever.   Not the infectious type- the type that waits impatiently for the seed catalogs and pokes around in the garden looking for shoots and buds.

The lilac and forsythia next door have buds, as well as my father’s magnolia.  Daffodil shoots have been sighted reaching the heights of ONE INCH!!  My grape hyacinths are looking quite ready to fledge.

No signs of the new daffodils I planted in the fall, but I must be patient and take advantage of the warmer days to do weeding and cleanup in the flower beds.

Crocus

I am looking for the crocuses to be out any day now.