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Archive for July, 2013

I have vivid memories of the different sets of salt and pepper shakers that our family used when I was growing up. I have a few of them at our home and it is fun to use them, but there are a few that go unused because I haven’t been able to find a cork or rubber stopper the right size to fit the opening at the bottom.

The Danish salt shaker I used growing up

The Danish salt shaker I used growing up

Pepper shaker - cork won't fitA few months ago, I had another one of those “ah-ha” moments.

I went into my dresser drawer and pulled out a fresh set of expandable foam earplugs. It was the perfect solution!!!

I didn’t use the whole foam earplug. I cut it in half, lengthwise and was able to make two stoppers out of it and use half in another shaker. Use a clean ear plugWhat a deal!

One of the great things about using the expandable foam is that it will fit any size opening, unless you have an opening that is rather large.

If you head over to Sincerely, Emily you can see another cute salt and pepper shaker set that I used as a child.

Have you found a source for the plastic stoppers or perfect size cork to replace the ones that break on your salt and pepper shakers?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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In recognition of our independence, we are enjoying a little red, white and blue on many levels.

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I knew I (Sincerely, Emily) had a red photo to share. Nothing like a bowl of cherry tomatoes!

Ok, so it's red with a little yellow too!

Ok, so it’s red with a little yellow too!

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Did you celebrate with Red, white and blue?

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The celery leaf plant that I grew in the winter of 2011/12 did so well that this past winter I planted four of them. 4 nice celery leaf plants in the garden.

Celery Leaf Feb 2013

Celery Leaf Feb 2013

It was very easy to grow and I used it a lot in our green salads. stir fry and egg salad.

When the weather starts to warm up  I usually let several plants go to seed so I can collect the seeds to use the next year. The celery leaf was no exception. In fact, it is still sending up flower heads even though I haven’t been watering it. The bees and the butterflies continue to appreciate it.

Some of the seed heads have dried up and a few weeks ago I went out and clipped a few to collect the seeds for planting again this fall. The others, I just left out there. I had plans to get it pulled up and in the compost tumbler, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I am glad.

The one thing I didn’t connect the dots on was celery seed is celery seed! Not sure how I missed that…. but luckily some of my brain waves were firing last week when I was making up the dilled green cherry tomatoes . Celery seed was the one thing I added to Nancy’s recipe… so I guess it was in the front of my mind. Celery seed is celery seed.

Celery seed

Celery seed

I dusted off one of the screens for the drying rack and I marched back out to the garden with the clippers. I clipped several stalks of celery leaf with lovely mature seed heads. We had a sprinkling of rain that morning so those seed heads are quite wet. They are now resting on the drying rack, drying out a bit. I left several mature stalks out in the garden and will let them dry naturally before I cut and bring them in to dry out a bit more.

I have been watching the celery leaf go to seed for a few months. Somehow I never connected “celery seeds” to “celery seeds”

Am I making any sense?

Has something every stared you in the face for a while before you had the “ah ha” moment?

Sincerely, Emily

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Summer has just been teasing us this year. A couple of flirty days up near 90, a mild stretch in the 80s, and then back to cool, cool and raining, or cool and overcast.

Today is a cool and overcast day, with a threat of rain.

You can’t really rely on the weather reports anymore. Not because they’re inaccurate, but because local stations now have such powerful signals that they’re reaching from southern Wisconsin to central Indiana to Chicago’s far collar counties to the south. So they’ll report severe weather that might be happening 100 miles away on “my” weather report, or announce a high temperature of 90 (halfway to Iowa), when it never got over 72 here by Lake Michigan.

I can’t even remember winter, now. Was it wintry or warm or frigid? I think a “normal” winter is a little bit of snow in the Thanksgiving to Christmas stretch, and then murderous cold in January giving way to a snowy February and March. Rainy spring with fluctuating temps, mild rainy May, gradual warming in June.

“But here a small boy says, it snowed last year!…and I reply that was not the same snow.

Like Dylan Thomas, I don’t know if my memory of the weather is true or idealized.

The plants are confused. I think they remember ideal weather too– where the sun gradually warms them in May and by June they’re partying in the park. They’re loving the rain and the thunderstorms— for the most part the foliage is a lush, deep green. But the lack of sun is making for huge leaves as they try to soak up every elusive ray, and the peppers and eggplants are just sitting there going nuhUH ain gonna grow in this cold. (I feel their pain.)

Last year we were enjoying, if that’s the word, the hottest summer on record, and it had barely begun. We’d already had nearly twenty days over 90, and it was early enough in the drought that people (well, the non-gardeners/farmers anyway) were still happy with the lack of rain.

So, weathermen, I think it’s awesome that your ad revenues went up because the market is so much bigger due to your powerful transmitters. And Kankakee is a great town, and so is Sheboygan, and so is Joliet, and so is Lockport.

But their weather doesn’t have all that much to do with me— can you tell me what’s happening in Chicago?

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