Washing Quilts and Greenhouse Repairs
Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2
Week 10: March 12, 2022
Mild weather is perfect for washing quilts. Gentle detergent, gentle cycle, dry partially in the dryer to remove water weight, then finish hang drying. I remember sitting in the garden of our previous Central Point home hand stitching the binding on this quilt on a sultry 4th of July evening in 2010.
I made 2 of these quilts, one for Quilt A Smile and one for me. But Miriam fell in love with mine, so I still need to make one for myself.
In case you are interested, the pattern is called French Roses by Heather French and it’s a fun one for scraps or hand-picked fabrics.
New facia and trim boards to exclude mice. I hope! 🐭🐭🐭
“Great Stuff” appears to be nothing more than silly string for guys, as evidence above indicates.
Sam is making steady progress on repairs to our vintage A-frame greenhouse and the new herb garden space. He works hard and sacrifices unflinchingly for me, because he loves me. There is no doubt I am exceedingly blessed among women! Thank you, God.
In the Kitchen
Grandma’s recipe…Baked Rice (custard). My very favorite indulgent comfort food.
Waterglassed (or limed) eggs for egg salad sandwiches. As you can see from the date on the gallon jar, these were stored since October. We are using up our last jar of waterglassed eggs in March and the chickens are laying well again. We only had to buy 2 dozen eggs this winter.
Wild Tabouli Salad is a forager’s take on traditional Lebanese or Syrian Tabouli (or Tabbouleh). Soft wheat berries were soaked overnight and then cooked. Instead of parsley and mint, I used wild herbs: shepherd’s purse, purple dead nettle, self-heal, and dandelion greens – with just a little parsley and mint that survived our recent 13-17F (-11- -8c). You might have all of these green goodies growing naturally in your backyard.
Note: Correct identification of any plants used as food is critical.
Blood oranges. Eat the marvelous, citrus-berry-flavored fruit, dry the peels for tea, and plant the seeds.
In the Garden
Planting seeds saved from blood oranges.
Work on the new Herb Garden continues, a piece at a time.
Rooted Pussywillow Cuttings from Meadowwoods Farm have been planted around the outside perimeter of the Herb Garden.
Moringa is a tree from India that produces edible, protein-rich leaves. The seeds require a 2-3 day soak in warm water, changed frequently, before planting. I am starting these Moringa seeds in extra large (5 gallon) pots with good organic potting soil and plenty of bunny berries so that they won’t need to be transplanted.
Planting time in the greenhouse: tomatoes, peppers (including seeds saved from these gorgeous flame-colored Aloha bells purchased at Fred Meyer), tomatillos, and herbs.
A happy little Meyer lemon seedling basks in the warm greenhouse on a March afternoon.
Mayo Bule gourds are an heirloom treasure. The vines are rampant climbers to 10-12 feet (3-4 meters) or even more, bearing big heart-shaped leaves and night-blooming flowers, which attract hummingbird hawk moths at dusk. In time the vines bear beautiful light green gourds 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) tall, shaped like Bartlett pears, covered in peanutty warts. Most unusual! The gourds eventually cure to tan or gold and make wonderful birdhouses. (Entrance holes should be drilled lower; these are used as decor)
Mayo Bule gourd seeds are unfortunately not available commercially. I have been growing them and saving seeds from about 2003. If I am able to multiply them to sufficient quantity, I may offer them for sale.
The plant in the Victorian shoe planter is a variegated Swedish ivy, Plectranthus variegata.
Speaking of women, we attended the memorial service of a dear friend, Terri Murray, on Saturday. Terri not only lived well, she set an example of how to die well. Not something we talk about – even in church. Thank you, Terri.
I crossed paths with my high school Spanish teacher, Carmen Tillery Adams. She was a very young teacher! She and I have both since married and raised families. We also saw Sue and Harold Steward. Sue is one of my quilt mentors at Quilt-a-Smile at New Life Church. 🧵 🪡
Don’t forget Dessert!
Someone mentioned cake, so I went to the greenhouse and picked a lemon for a cake.
Made-from-scratch Lemon Buttermilk Cake is quick to pull together from pantry ingredients + 1 lemon. 🍋 🍰
We are planting several interesting new or heirloom varieties this year in the ongoing quest to refine our home food system while keeping it lighthearted and fun.
How about you, are you planting anything different or unusual this year? Have you increased the size of your garden or are you planning to preserve some of the bounty?
Blessings to you this week – and thanks for visiting! If you have a few minutes, to spare, feel free to enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and another Cottage Diary entry.