Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Preserving Herbs

Now that our growing season is over, we'll not have garden-fresh herbs for a while. So I decided to dry some to keep over for the winter. I'm pleased with the results-they look so much greener than my store-bought dried herbs. They are larger pieces, which make the food prettier, and I know it's not ground up stem in there, but the actual leaves.

Here's what I did:

Hang the herbs in small bundles for a week or two so that they become dry and brittle. (Keep out of dust, 'cause yuck. If that may be a problem, put paper bags around the hanging herbs and tie those off too.)

Drying the herbs

Then remove the leaves from the stems, and gently shred or crush the leaves to your desired size. I liked them bigger.

Shred the leaves

Put your leaves into air tight containers. I used old herb jars, and a cone of wax paper to help fill the jars.

Store in a jar

Finally, label your jars. You can include the date as well if you don't intend to use them in 6-12 months. That's 6-12 months, folks. Not 3 years, not 5. Herbs lose their flavor, their potency, their...yumminess.

Fresh, dried herbs

It's been said that you can freeze some herbs as well, but I've also heard reports that doing this will make the herbs bitter. I've tried freezing sage in the past and wasn't happy with the results-bitter and yucky colored brownish sage. I like this method and I hope you try it. Flavoring your food makes a huge difference. You need very little if you use good quality. Keep in mind, too, that if you didn't grow herbs, but have some from the grocer, you can dry those too before they reach the slimy-green-sludgy stage in the crisper drawer ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Diap--er, Knitting Bag!

It's here! I love it too. It's a diaper bag that I'm converting to be used as a knitting bag. It's from Little Monster Designs and it's fantastic! Tons of pockets, tons of room, sturdy, comes with cool inside things, and Erika at Little Monster Designs embroidered my initials on the front! Check it out: (pic heavy)

Messenger style
Messenger style

Front pocket
Front, outside pocket

Zipper protects all the insides
Outside zipper

Interior-3 sections and zippered pocket

Close up of back pocket with 2 extra
inside, back pocket

Center section, unzipped
center section, unzipped

Needle case and roll (to be)
Needle cases!

2 side pockets
2 side pockets

Back outside pocket
back, outside pocket

Feet on the bottom!

Flap velcros down to keep it all tidy
front flap

Seriously, this bag rocks. I am so glad to have it! And another plus~Little Monster Designs is a Michigan-based business of a stay-at-home mom, taking care of her little one and working hard at this business so that she can continue to do so. I am not affiliated with her at all, I was just really impressed by her products. Please check out Little Monster Designs to see what she has to offer. There is lots more than diap-er, knitting bags. Bibs, mugs, onesies, t-shirts, Bible covers, lunch bags, blankets etc., all personalized.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Selfish handspun

Selfish handspun
Originally uploaded by bethanygknits
mmm! Fall-fibery goodness. Colorway is "Selfish" from Spunky Eclectic club. Amy works some magic with this one.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Today we did some painting projects. It was part of the weekly read-a-long projects with the Little House on the Prairie Group on Ravelry. I've mentioned it before, but each week we read a chapter and do some projects. This project was to reflect on the sky at sunset~those beautiful colors. We decided to throw in some fall items, since it's definitely upon us here in West Michigan. (I scraped my windows yesterday morning!)
Here are the girls in action:
Goosie's project
Peanut's project
And our finished projects, which we hung on the windows. They are like stained glass, and are beautiful.
Goosie's final project

Peanut's final project
Mom's project
Now, I'm off to see if Goosie has a fever. She doesn't look it in that action shot up there, but she complained of a sore throat, has sneezed a few times and felt hot to me. Right now she is like a limp noodle on the couch. Let's hope she's just tired.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Originally uploaded by bethanygknits
We ran to the newly re-opened Family Fare and saw this in the parking lot! I could barely contain myself. I never knew I would be so surprised about seeing something like this.

We got to see inside (mustard on the floor and a blue sky ceiling with white fluffy clouds) and the girls got whistles and stickers while I got coupons.

As an aside regarding Family Fare, Derek's grandmother was the one who named Family Fare grocery stores in 1957 when they were changing the name. Cool huh?