Tag Archives: gardening

Leap Day 2016

Another weekend gone, another Leap Day in the books!  Here’s a recap of our weekend – it flew by!

Thursday (which I totally count as a weekend… it makes them feel longer! Wheat and I met my sister and niece for lunch at Crave Eatery.  Nat Nat and E had some play time in the sun on the back porch.  Don’t mind the awkward, sun-in-my-eyes look I’ve got going on.

Elah and Nat Nat at Crave Eatery | oysters and pearls

I did double-duty and worked at the shop on Friday.  My mom was keeping my niece and brought her up for round 2 in Bainbridge!  I don’t know that they make them any cuter, but I’m telling baby K to get with the program.

Elah at Maiden South | oysters and pearls

We got this awesome quilt in from Needle and Grain, and my mom took this awesome picture.  It would be perfect for a baby’s room… but I’m not allowing myself to take it home.  Somebody else do it before I do!

Needle and Grain Quilt at Maiden South | oysters and pearls

Saturday I washed windows and then cleaned them from the inside, too.  It was a lot, and my OCD sort of took over and I ended up scrubbing down doors and such.  Much needed spring cleaning!  Then Sunday we made a pit stop at Home Depot after church for some plants.  I did some potting and Wheat and I both put out tons of pine straw.  Our yard looks so much better now!  Don’t mind the dead grass, weeds, and wilted looking pansies.  Hopefully with daily watering they perk up!

We finally picked a couple of camellias to go in front of our shed – an area that has been an eye sore since we built the shed.  I love them!

Camellia Sasanqua | oysters and pearls

Camellias Planted in front of Shed | oysters and pearls

I spruced up all our pots on the patio, which was also desperately needed. Love these deep purple pansies, even if they look a little bedraggled here.

Potted Pansies and Chives | oysters and pearlsPotted Pansies | oysters and pearlsPotted Pansies and Agapanthus | oysters and pearls

I also got rid of our patio furniture.  It had cushions, which has meant that since we got Juin, it has become her outdoor bedding.  We couldn’t use it ourselves because it stayed dirty, and I was tired to cleaning it just for her to dirty it up again.  BE GONE!  So now I’ll be on the hunt for metal furniture with ZERO CUSHIONS.

Furniture Free Back Patio  | oysters and pearls

And then whilst watching the Oscars last night, I finished up this little pair of adorable tiny britches for baby K!  They still need washing and blocking – does anyone get weird gaps when knitting on double pointed needles?  I’m hoping those even out when I wash and block them.  Tips?

Tiny Britches for Baby Kirbo | oysters and pearls

I cannot believe in 2 short months, I will have a baby to wear them!  In the meantime, they’re such a quick knit and so darn cute, I’ll be knitting another pair of them. :)

I plan on sharing the baby’s nursery next week if I can finish up a couple of last minute projects… but until then, here’s my Sunday morning happy view.

Sneak Peek at Baby Kirbo's Navy Nursery | oysters and pearls

Details to come!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Weekend Update

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Mine was nice and quiet.  Friday night was Duck Season Eve, which is quite the holiday round these parts.  Wheat spent the night down at Lake Seminole with friends, which is an annual tradition.  I spent the night in making quesadillas, pinning, and drinking a margarita (my recreation of Taco Lu’s marg is coming soon!).  It was fab.

Saturday morning I went for a run, then went on a coffee run to The Bean, then made 4 pie crusts for Thanksgiving using this buttermilk & lard pie crust recipe and popped them in the freezer for later this week.  When Wheat got home, we ate Zaxby’s for lunch.  This food loving little family eats a lot of Zaxby’s.  No shame!

It was rainy and pretty gross here Saturday, so we just piddled all afternoon, then ate supper at Bonnie Blue’s and came home and built a fire.  Wheat’s parents and our friend Hehle came over to watch the Georgia game (I didn’t really watch – this Gator fan is over football for the year) and we enjoyed the cooler weather outside.  Sunday was gorgeous and sunny and cold!  And we skipped Church to have an epic day of yard work.  We raked the ENTIRE yard first, which was a full body workout.  I’m still a little sore!  We used the straw we raked up (along with 3 truckloads from a neighbor’s pile) to spruce up the flower beds.  We also planted some kale and pansies and generally just did everything we could physically get done out there before it was time to go to Wheat’s aunt and uncles’ house for the first of many family gatherings.

Our lettuce is either out of control or really sad.  Not sure which.  Some are starting to bolt (flower and go to seed).

Lettuce Raised Bed | Oysters & Pearls

Our collards are doing much better now that they are out from under the okra.Collards | Oysters & Pearls

We also planted two types of kale Sunday.

Kale | Oysters & Pearls Winter Kale in the Raised Beds | Oysters & Pearls Lacinato Kale | Oysters & Pearls

And also planted garlic!  I realize it’s not the ideal time to plant it, but we’ll see what happens.  We already planted some elsewhere in the yard and it’s growing well, so when this entire head of garlic started sprouting, we figured, “What the hay?”

Sprouting Garlic | Oysters & Pearls Planted Garlic Cloves | Oysters & Pearls

We raked and raked and raked,  and then “stole” some more straw, and spruced up all the flower beds all over the house, and cut back the lantana, mandevilla, turq’s cap hibiscus, cardinal guard, and coral bean and covered those with straw, too.Flower Bed Face Lift | Oysters & Pearls

We put straw around the oak leaf hydrangeas, too.  Their leaves are so pretty in the fall/winter.

Fall Foilage on Oak Leaf Hydrangea | Oysters & Pearls

I grabbed a 4-pack of pansies at Home Depot while we were there to purchase another rake, and filled in the pots where the basil lived all summer.

Winter Pots | Oysters & Pearls Pansies, Parsley, and Succulents in Pots | Oysters & Pearls

I also weeded the herb garden around the patio and put straw around the herbs that were in there.  I’m hoping to get it to where the herbs in the beds are there year-round (oregano, mint, rosemary) and the pots I’ll plant basil in the spring for the summer.  I also have a DIY project in mind for the shepherd’s hooks.  The tall one holds a hummingbird feeder during part of the year and the shorter ones hold citronella candles, but they are all currently empty.  I’ll report back when/if I cross that DIY off my list!

Winterized Herb Garden with Oregan, Mint, and Parsley | Oysters & Pearls Winterized Herb Garden Around the Patio | Oysters & Pearls Winterized Herb Garden | Oysters & Pearls

We put straw around the Whitman ferns that we planted in between the oak leaf hydrangeas, and then I dug up a few to plant in the beds in front of our shed.  The beds have been a problem spot for a while, and an eye sore for quite some time, too.  We tried rosemary there, but it doesn’t drain well and they both died.  I planted wildflowers in these beds in the spring, but they’ve been full of weeds for a while now.

Whitman Ferns | Oysters & Pearls

The Whitman ferns we have came from the ferns at my parents’ house, which way back when came from my dad’s family in Beaufort, South Carolina.  We also have some hanging from the front porch and by the front door, of course.  You can tell a Whitman fern by the way the leaves split off at the ends and get all lacy-like.  They’re really beautiful plants.Whitman Fern, Closeup of Frond | Oysters & Pearls

We planted a handful in each bed on either side of the shed door.  I’m hoping they will grow in really thick and the pine straw won’t be necessary down the road, but for now, it will hopefully keep the weeds at bay.Whitman Fern Peeking Out of Pine Straw | Oysters & Pearls

I also snuck in some project time… this is a sneak preview of some future DIY projects!  I have been gold leafing oyster shells that I collected last winter and cleaned, and then lacquering them.  They’re gorgeous, IMHO.Oyster Shell Project | Oysters & Pearls

Other than that, it was a full and busy but quiet weekend.  The first Thanksgiving family dinner was great, and I’m currently thankful for this short work week!

Stay warm out there, y’all!  Wallace stayed warm this weekend by laying in sunny spots.  :)

Wallace in a Sunny Spot | Oysters & Pearls Wallace in a Sun Spot | Oysters & Pearls

Until Next Time

Seminole Pumpkin Butter

AKA just pumpkin butter. You can even use canned pumpkin! Just be sure not to use the canned “pumpkin pie filling,” since it’s already spiced up. If you want to bake your own pie pumpkins (using seminole pumpkins, or sugar pumpkins), {click here}. No matter what pumpkin you use, this pumpkin butter turned out really well!

Homemade Pumpkin Butter Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

A lot of people ask me why I adapt so many recipes rather than just follow them. Most of the time, it’s because I adapt the recipe to what I have in my house. It’s much more economical that way. Also, I think the best home “chefs” can adapt any recipe not only to what they have in the house, but also to their tastes. Recipes aren’t set in stone! So feel free to try new things and change any of mine. But let me know how it goes when you do! :)

Anyway, all that to tell you that I adapted this recipe from the veryyyy many I found via Pinterest, again, mostly based on what I had in the pantry.

Baking Seminole Pumpkins | Oysters & Pearls

I told you yesterday that I baked and pureed 4 seminole pumpkins Sunday night! 8 cups went into my pumpkin butter, and the rest got frozen (flat, for better stacking in the freezer).

Baked Pumpkin | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Pumpkin Butter (yields approximately 5 jelly jars)

ingredients

– 4 cups pureed and cooked pumpkin (or two cans of pumpkin)
– juice of 1/2 a lemon (or approximately 2 tablespoons)
– 2.5 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
– 1 cup honey

instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well by hand. Then cook over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes until reduced to preferred thickness.

to can and freeze

Place in jars and loosely put on lid. Put in freezer and allow to freeze, then tighten lids down. You can also freeze pumpkin butter in ice cube trays, then pop out once frozen solid and put in plastic bags for smaller servings.

Pumpkin butter should keep for a month or two refrigerated.

Preparing Homemade Pumpkin Butter | Oysters & Pearls

It is always easiest for me to squeeze a lemon over a fine mesh strainer placed over my mixing bowl. You can also squeeze the lemon upside down to keep the seeds inside the lemon, but this never seems foolproof to me, and I abhor fishing lemon seeds out of stuff. It’s annoying as all get out.

Pumpkin Butter Before Cooking | Oysters & Pearls

This is a double batch (aka 8 cups of pumpkin, double the rest of the ingredients) before I cooked it down. The color darkens a good bit the longer you cook it. It wouldn’t be terrible if you didn’t cook it at all, the flavors just wouldn’t be as strong.

Homemade Seminole Pumpkin Butter | Oysters & Pearls

A VERY important note on pumpkin butter: as I researched the multitude of recipes on Pinterest and Google for pumpkin butter, I found a ton of them which included instructions for canning. After realizing my jalapeño hot sauce wasn’t shelf stable (hey, we all make mistakes!), I’ve been really careful about checking the UGA National Center for Home Food Preservation guidelines as to what is safe to can and what’s not. The verdict??

PUMPKIN BUTTER IS NOT SAFE TO CAN.

It’s totally cool to freeze it, and totally cool to freeze plain ole pumpkin puree. And you can can cubed uncooked pumpkin using a pressure canner, according to their guidelines, but that’s it. I’m sure that the generations that have gone before me have safely canned pumpkin butter without incident, but I decided I’m not taking any chances.

Okay, that’s your PSA for today. Just freeze yo buttah.

Homemade Seminole Pumpkin Butter Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

So that was the first recipe I created with my seminole pumpkins. I should be pretty well stocked with pumpkin butter for the fall. I’ll be back tomorrow with the last recipe I used these 4 pumpkins for… I roasted the seeds! Obvi.

And I’m still looking for new pumpkin recipes! I’ve got a freezer and pantry full of pumpkin. I may not be a lot of things, but I am nothing if not pumpkin RICH.

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