15 minutes mission – Keys

Inspired by Declutter 365 I decided to take on the “Create a Designated Spot for Keys” challenge.  We have a little trouble finding keys around here.  I can usually find mine unless someone else can’t find theirs and take my keys instead.  We’ve settled on hooks for the kids, hooks for the hubby, hooks for the rarely used and a bowl for mine.


Preserving the Late Summer Harvest

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Put cherry tomatoes into a clean jar.  Heat the other ingredients to boiling and pour over the tomatoes.  Wait a few days before eating

Oven Roast Tomato Sauce

Preheat the oven to 450º F.

Pour 1-2 T olive oil into a large bowl and add the 3 peeled cloves garlic, 1 t dried basil (I had some dried leaves in a bowl on the counter), and 1 t salt and 1/2 t ground pepper.

Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and remove the stems. Toss the tomatoes with the oil and seasonings, then lay them down cut side down on a parchment line baking sheet.

Roast in the oven until the skins wrinkle up – about 30-35 minutes, The skins will come off easily; remove them and dry the skins and herbs in a dehydrator for tomatoe powder.

Adjust salt as needed and place in a jar or use right away.

The 20/10 Challenge – drawers and cabinets

I’m trying to get everything back in order after a summer of fun. I found a site, UfYH, that suggested lots of ways to make this more palatable.  Last night I tried “Clearing a Surface”.  Today, I decided to set a timer and try “20/10” – – 20 minutes of work followed by a 10 minute break.  I was surprised to find how quickly I was able to get the chores done when I knew there was an end in sight.

Today’s 20/10 focused on kitchen drawers and cabinets……

Summer’s coming to an End…..Preserving the Harvest

Today was a “get stuff done day” run awry.  I was going to finish the blackberry jelly and the fig & ginger jam I started last night, make a batch of fig honey, brine the salmon fillets, clean up the living room, add cabbage to the sauerkraut jug, make another batch of zucchini bread and a couple of types of pickles.

It went off course when I discovered we had run out of honey – no honey, no jam. So I knew I needed to run to the market.  DH came with but he wanted to stop for bagels (coupon) and return some shoes to REI (I love them – so nice and helpful).  We went to four markets before we finally found some fresh dill for the pickles and finally got back home at about 2:00 – so much for cleaning the living room.

We had to stop back at the house to pick up DS18’s french horn for its annual chemical cleaning and I made the mistake of hopping on Craigslist to look for Weck Jars (my obsession).  I found a vintage Weck electric canning/sterilizing pot for only $70.00.  It was old, but had been a display in a shop years ago and then put into storage and never used.  We made the detour to pick up the canner – only problem, we had driven the Electric car thinking we were only running to drop off the horn.

Long story short (not really) we had to find a charging station to get home – the three we found were all broken, the Blink help line was not helpful, we finally found a station in the next town, had to goof around in the store for 30 minutes waiting to charge and finally arrive back home (still with the horn) at 5:00.  Aghhhhhhh.  I had wasted the entire day.

I did manage to clean out the refrigerator that DS23 had stuffed while we were on vacation and get a few things started:

  • the salmon is in the brine
    • 1 quart water
    • 1/3 cup kosher salt
    • 1 cup brown sugar





  • another cabbage has been added to the sauerkraut jug
  • the fig honey (actually a thick syrup) is cooked down and draining
    • 1 large pot of very ripe figs – cleaned and quartered
    • water to cover
      • cook for about 1.5 hours and drain
      • reduce the liquid to a syrup





  • two pork tenderlion and on pork loin are in the Canadian Bacon Brine
    • 1 quarts water
    • 2 cups Morton Tender Quick (cure)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 spring sage
    • 2 sprigs thyme
    • 5 smashed cloves of garlic

Road Trip Planning

We spent quite a long time planning the route for our Epic Summer 2017 Roadtrip. We looked at hours to drive in a day,  availability of accommodations, distance from the main travel route, and did it sound like an okay place to stay.  We ended up finding 13 great sounding properties – 12 from Airbnb and another from VRBO.

Our Route is Beavercreek > Twin Falls > Laramie > Des Moines > London > Montreal > Quebec City > Charlottetown > West Bath > Rochester > Fort Wayne > Eau Claire > Bismark > Missoula > Beavercreek.

Now we’re planning our route each day.  When should we leave? When will we arrive? Where should we eat? Should we take a picnic? Where should we stop for fun, shopping, site seeing?