Pear Sauce

I have been on a serious canning kick lately. It all started with my finding an amazing deal on organic pears and then buying 15lbs of them (lesson learned!).

I am thrilled with how it turned out, it is so tasty! Here is my recipe (and I use the term recipe loosely):

Ripe pears (I used about 12)
Brown Sugar to taste (remember, pears are sweet!)
Cinnamon & Nutmeg to taste
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Peel pears and mash ripe pears, put them in slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until desired consistency is reached (mine cooked for about 7 hours on low and then an hour on high with the lid off to get some of the water.

So that’s it. I used some tonight in my baked oatmeal and it smells divine!

Small Successes: November 19th 2009

This week has felt so busy and yet it seems like I have gotten nothing done! There must be some things…

Mary is 90% potty trained! I took her out on a play date today with no diaper and we were accident free! I know there will still be accidents but leaving the house with no diaper is a huge step! She has also been staying dry during naps, we are so close! The only thing holding us back now is her insisting on pooping in her diaper. It will come soon I’m sure.

I have finished my Jesse tree and most of the decorations, compiled an Advent reading basket (I even remembered to request some books from the library!) for Mary and have the materials for my Advent wreath ready for this weekend. I feel so prepared this year it’s wonderful!

Remember the futon I mentioned a few posts ago? I’m *so* glad it’s gone! Inspired by the all the space it created I took just about everything off our two book shelves and I’m starting from scratch. It was painful packing away so many books (they used to be full) but we just don’t have room right now. I also got rid of most of the toys from the living room. We will keep a few out here but not many. I plan on using one empty shelf for a nature/seasonal shelf and one for my reading basket for Mary. Purging makes me happy. 🙂

For more Small Successes visit Faith & Family Live!

Going on a picnic!

My husband took these pictures while I was out a few days ago.

Mary got a blanket and food and set up a picnic for her brother! I love it when they play together nicely. Those times are getting fewer now that Luke is crawling and always wants to do whatever Mary does.

Other Exciting Thrift Store Finds

Exciting stuff!!! These are too old for Mary this year but I was thrilled to find them for so cheap! The Christmas books especially, they are beautiful stories with beautiful illustrations. Max Lucado is a very gifted writer, these really strike me as perfect examples of what Elizabeth Foss calls ‘living books.’

And of course I always snatch up any Usborne books that I find. I love the books but can’t afford to get many at full price. Finding them at thrift stores or garage sales is a welcome alternative!!

You know whats awesome?

When someone comes to your house, takes a large futon that you have been wanting to get rid f forever… and gives you money to do it!!

My living room now feels and looks way bigger. I love it!

We will now have room to set up our nativity scene and tree… this is wonderful!

Simple Woman’s Daybook: November 16th

Outside my window… snow and lots of it. *sigh* I knew this weather was way too good to last but oh man was I enjoying it!

I am thinking… how much I’m going to miss having Nathaniel home when he goes back to work!

I am thankful for… a little girl who made potty training way easier than I thought it was going to be.

I am wearing… long brown cord skirt and a purple t-shirt.

I am remembering… (or at least trying to remember) all the projects I have on the go and need to finish before Christmas.

I am going… to do some serious sewing this week when the kids are in bed. Time to get caught up!

I am reading… Discipline to Last a Lifetime by Dr. Ray. I’ve read it before but I’m finding some good stuff to help me with Mary this time.

I am hoping… that Mary’s present will get here before St. Nicholas day. This is what I get for leaving ordering it to the last minute!

On my mind… still not quite ready to talk about that one yet. If you have any prayers to send our way they will be much appreciated though, let me tell you!

From the learning rooms… lots of pretend play. Lots of gnomes, animals, and fairies. Fun stuff and Mary is loving it!

Noticing that… I need to swap out a few of Mary’s toys for new ones, time for something new and exciting.

From the kitchen… pear butter again this week, I finally used up all those pears!!

Around the house… our futon is leaving us today! I finally decided that since no one sits on it and all it is doing is taking up a bunch of room we might as well get rid of it. I’m so excited! I have plans fot a nature table and a better home altar for when it’s gone.

One of my favorite things… watching Mary make Luke happy when he is crying. She runs and grabs a toy for him and does whatever she can to make him happy. So sweet.

From my picture journal…

Exciting thrift store finds!

I love thrift stores almost as much as I love garage saleing. I went to a couple thrift stores today hoping to find some Christmasy books for our Advent basket. I was quite thrilled with the books I found but that is another post for another time. One of my favourite finds was this little delightful little book:

It was published in England in 1971 and it reminds me so much of the Enid Blyton books I used to read as a child. My mom had some Enid Blyton books from when she was a girl, they were old and falling apart and I felt so special when she let me read them. She always stressed how important it was to treat them gently and with respect.

I was thrilled to find that books like The Magic Far Away Tree and The Wishing Chair had been re-released. I am eagerly awaiting the day Mary is old enough for me to introduce her to them.

Back to Tiny Tales. It reminds me so much of her books, it is full of beautiful illustrations and fairies and goblins and talking animals. The stuff real fairy tales are made of!

The stories are only a few pages long, Mary can easily sit through them even though there are no pictures. I think it is so important to read kids fairy tales and I love how old stories like this have such clear morals at the end. The character always learns a lesson and bad behaviour is never rewarded.

I always keep my eye out for old books whenever I’m at a book store or garage sale. I don’t think people value books enough, I often find old books like this for .50 or 1.00 and in my opinion they are worth so much more!

Book Review: The Big Cook

It’s no secret I love freezer cooking. I don’t remember who first recommended this book but I absolutely love it! It is a book that I would actually buy and with the plethora of recipes on the internet I never buy cookbooks!

I find that most days by the time it’s time to start supper I’m tired and the last thing I feel like doing is making a big mess and pile of dishes in my kitchen. This is one of the reasons my slow cooker gets so much use, I can throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and then just forget about it. When dinner time comes around the kitchen is clean and all we have to do is serve ourselves.

When Luke was born I had three months worth of meals in the freezer and it was wonderful! I loved just pulling out something for dinner and not having to worry.

Now onto the book.. This book is by far the best freezer cookbook I have read so far. The recipes are divided into three categories: Beef, Chicken, and Pork. My favourite feature is that each recipe has ingredients for 1, 4, 6, or 8 meals. That is fantastic because that way you can try the meal and make sure your family likes it before you make a bunch for your freezer.

There is a great variety of recipes that I really think would appeal to almost anyone. I was pleasantly surprised at how many recipes appealed to me when I was first looking through it.

Each recipe is assembled and then cooked the day you want to eat it. Most of the recipes give cooking instructions for the oven and the slow cooker… how cool is that!? I think that is what sold me… take it out of the freezer and put it in the slow cooker? I’m sold! Some also have BBQ instructions which would be great in the summer!

This is an awesome freezer cooking book, if you are in the market I highly recommend it!!