It’s sat unobtrusively on my kitchen counter since August of this year. It's a very plain looking old crock, definitely not a decorator item, but I love it just for its usefulness among all the other nifty kitchen things.
Today is the acid test for what’s inside that humble crock - a whole lot of green beans harvested from my incredibly bountiful beans all year until the end of October this year. They are the the French filet type, very tender and elegant, long and thin. They're. the only kind I really love.
The crock has been obediently standing in wait ever since then. No refrigeration, no freezing, no blanching. Just salt. This is what we did when I grew up with very limited facilities for food preservation. You can continue on with the salt/beans layers until the crock is full.
The beans will keep for months, as you see. The texture and taste are just like fresh beans from the garden, once you've soaked them to get rid of the salt. It totally beats frozen!
My $10 Christmas Gifts
This year our family has decided to give gifts with a maximum of $10 to just our nearest and dearest.. Exceptions are home made, which have such huge value!
I had a large jar of Adams peanut butter sitting in the pantry. This is a curse, because this type of peanut butter has no additives and so it separates. All the oil comes to the top! Well, I could hardly believe my good fortune! There is a peanut butter stirrer on the market, and it's lovely.
The stirrers are made by the Witmer family in Ohio. I contacted them, and was told the correct one to buy for the peanut butter size our family uses. I'm so thrilled, can't wait to give two away this Christmas, and have one available for the next peanut butter jar!
Sharing something beautiful!
I received a gorgeous Christmas card the other day, from my dear 90-year-old pointillism artist, J. Walter Smith. Talk about homemade being precious - Wally spends months each year working patiently at a beautiful card, given to special friends. Each one has one element of Christmas, and this year it's the Christmas tree decorations.
Look closely, and you'll see this entire picture is composed of the finest, tiniest dots - even the background. Then inside he offered an interesting an explanation of his choice this year.
Decorating The Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree first appeared during the Roman and early Christian cultures.
These Christians believed that flowers of certain trees bloomed irrationally on Christmas Eve as homage to Jesus’ birth.
In Germany Christians ornamented their trees with paper rosea and offerings of red apples, wafers and sweets, which were offered during the Christmas season.
In the 1700’s an enterprising French glass blower invented colorful glass balls, which eventually replaced most of the traditional offerings.
German and Eastern European craftsmen soon became proficient specialists of blown and molded glass ornaments which are used so predominately today.
Many if the ornaments currently used still have religious significance, such as the star topper representing the Star of Bethlehem...the bell heralds the return of the lost sheep to the fold...the candle (and present day tree lights) represents Jesus as the Divine Light.
The gift bow symbolizes Christian commitment...the candy cane represents the good shepherd, and the wreath is the symbol of God's eternal love.