I would love to have your support in the below initiative. Please read all carefully and let me know if you have any questions or you can contact Erika directly at her contact information below.
I’m working on a grassroots-type project about rural America with the NPR show State of the Re:Union (SOTRU). I would love for Iowa residents to participate, and I'm reaching out to organizations that might want to be involved.
More Americans are leaving rural areas for cities, but behind that movement, there’s a whole collection of individual experiences. We want to gather those stories: of people who left their hometowns, but also of people who have stayed or returned.
To do this, we’re inviting people across the country to share their stories through writing, images, or sound--or all three.
SOTRU is partnering with Cowbird and the interactive documentary
Hollow. We'll collect individual stories on Cowbird’s website. Cowbird is designed for anyone to join and participate: it’s easy to upload images, text, and sound. For those who don’t have access to online platforms, we have other options for submitting stories.
This isn't a big commitment. Written stories are just 50-250 words. Participants could find their town featured in SOTRU’s 2014 season. More info here: http://stateofthereunion.com/the-one-thing/
This project is officially launching in October. But before then, we’re reaching out to people in every state to have their stories at the opening. I wonder if you'd be willing to spread the word in your writing workshops or in a newsletter. Or perhaps you know of people or other organizations I should contact.
"The One Thing" is a unique way to join a conversation with rural communities across the country. We're looking to gather great stories in the next week or two to feature in the project's official launch. Unfortunately, we cannot pay participants. Participants must be at least 13 years old.
The prompt: What's THE ONE THING about your town... that made you stay? That made you leave? That made you... return? Through the diverse stories of people in America’s hollers, backwoods, and ranches, we hope to paint a larger picture.
To submit a story, people can either:
1) Join Cowbird (which is free) and upload text, sound, or photos. Detailed instructions are at http://stateofthereunion.com/the-one-thing/. or...
2) Instead of uploading, simply email me story submissions and a photo, and I'll upload to Cowbird (firstname.lastname@example.org). or...
3) Arrange to mail me a hard copy of the materials, which I'll scan and upload.
The idea is to get a range of people involved, including the elderly or
people who aren't tech-savvy. You can direct anyone interested my way-- I'm happy to talk people through the uploading process or to talk about the project in more depth. Please call or email me to discuss it more, too.
#stateofthereunion #theonething #NPR
When I went out to pick apples at the farm I found a new friend, my Thanksgiving Turkey:) His head came up to my waist and he was strutting around like he owned the place. He followed me around as I picked apples. However, when I tried to get a picture of him with my phone, he kept turning away. When I ignored him, he got under my feet.
What a beautiful bird! I resisted naming him...although I did pet him, once.
Canned acorn squash tonight. Had a lot of seeds that looked too good to just throw away. So I looked up a way to roast them.
This is the before picture:
Rinse them off
Put in a bowl and add 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp salt for every 1 cup of seeds.
Bake in 275 degree oven 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. If you dry them first then you can shorten the baking time to around 15 minutes. I just threw them in wet.
Or you can experiment with different spices to add a little pizzaz!
And this is the roasted after. Yummy and crunchy!
A very nutritious snack:)
#roastedwintersquashseeds #roastedseeds #healthysnacks
Opinions needed on promotional copy for Rescuing Love. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Let me know what you think of the following:
Carol Denekas has lived her life in the rural Midwest, one of 14 siblings. She finds her family and faith in gardening. Her love of gardening is a legacy from past generations which grounds her as she walks in her father’s and grandmother’s footsteps. Digging in the
dirt with the sun on her back and a light breeze stirring through the garden rows brings her peace. Carol started writing as a child, and penned her first novel at age 11. She co-founded a local writer’s club, the Red Barn Writers’ Guild, to connect with and encourage
writers of all ages. You can find her at her website, www.CarolDenekas.com, on facebook as Carol Denekas Author,
through Linkedin or follow her on twitter.
Back of the book:
Sitting in this place of peace with her, Daniel could almost
allow himself to believe in the miracle of second chances.
A college courtship ending with a dream husband. Emily McBride
has it all until three years later doubts are planted in her mind that Daniel is unfaithful to her and their unborn child. Tragedy strikes and their baby lost along with Emily’s memories of Daniel and their life together. Weighted down by his guilt and grief over losing a child, Daniel sends Emily home with her parents. A year passes, then through a series of “chance encounters” and “first dates” Daniel feels blessed when Emily falls in love with him, again. The relationship grows and the past creeps back as Emily’s memories resurface.
Rescuing Love will only be possible if they face their inner demons and learn to trust again.
All comments will be greatly appreciated. Or if you would like to contact me privately please email email@example.com.
Thanks to all:)
Tonight I canned vegetable soup. A neighbor told me how she has done hers for years (she's in her 70's) so I tried it last year and we loved it.
You can put whatever kind of veggies in the quantities you want. I used green beans, carrots, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, parsley.
I put everything in a pan and covered it with water and boiled it for about 5 minutes. Then sealed it in quart jars at 10 lbs pressure for 15 minutes.
Canning this soup is a real time saver. I just open it up pour it in a pan, add a jar of beef, add noodles, or barley or rice or whatever I want and it's done in a few minutes.
Not bad for a night's work! 21 quarts of soup and 10 pints of sweet pickles and 7 more quarts of green beans.
OK so I hate waste. I admit it:) Here's an experiment I thought I'd try. Dehydrating beet stems and leaves to use later as vitamin supplements in soups, stews, roasts, etc. Anyone else tried this? I'd love to hear how it turned out and how you used them in your cooking.
I just cut them off the beet, rinsed them and laid them in my dehydrator.
I'll keep posted.
My neighbor wasn't going to use his grapes so I picked them and made grape juice. This is an experiment for me so we'll see how it goes.
I usually get my grapes from a friend about the end of September so these early grapes were appreciated! They made really great juice.
Grapes boiling in the pan. Lots of juice!
After cooking them, I strain the grapes to get all the juice separated from the seeds and skins. Then I heat them up again adding any sugar if needed.
Two gallons of grape juice.
ReCAP Mason jar lids take the mess out of pouring syrup and juice from your jar. They come in regular and wide mouth sizes. I just ordered some and they came a couple of days ago and they work great!
You can find them on amazon or through the reCAP website.
My sister-in-law, Rose made this wonderful, yummy platter of caprese. Here's how she did it.
Firm garden tomatoes sliced
Farmers Cheese sliced
black pepper, white vinegar, fresh Basil, olive oil over the top.
What a great snack! Healthy! Vibrant, full taste when you use fresh from the garden tomatoes and fresh cut basil. I grow mine on the deck in a pot. Makes a huge difference.
#basil #gardentomatoes #caprese
Here is what I found under the weight I used to keep the cucumbers below the brine. I let these dill slices sit in brine on the kitchen counter for 3 weeks. They turned out pretty good...the better the further under the brine.
Yesterday and today I canned 28 quarts of spaghetti sauce. And I'll probably make another 28 quarts tomorrow. I spent the summer of 1997 discovering this recipe by trial and error. I have used it ever since. It seems like everyone has too many tomatoes this time of year. Recipes like this are a good way to reduce the waste. I hope you enjoy it!
I'll be making Salsa in the next day or so, so look for that recipe as well.
Canning Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
30 diced tomatoes, peeled
2 medium green peppers, diced
1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 TBSP salt
3 TBSP garlic powder (or substitute whole crushed garlic to taste)
2 TBSP parsley, chopped
2 TBSP Italian Seasoning OR
1/2 TBSP Basil and 1/2 TBSP Oregano, ground or chopped
1 tsp black pepper
Tomato paste to thicken or cook down slowly to thicken
* I have done the herbs both ways and both are good. The herbs are just to taste for your family so experiment with the amounts. Try growing the herbs you will use. It gives them a more vibrant smell and taste.
This is how I put this together. I de-stem and rinse the tomatoes and cut all the bad spots out. And then I freeze them whole. Sometimes I freeze them for a while as I'm waiting for enough tomatoes to be ready to make a first batch, and sometimes I just don't have time to make spaghetti sauce right away, but even if I'm making the batch the next day or even later that evening I still freeze the tomatoes because it makes getting the skin off super easy and doesn't burn your fingers like boiling water does.
Take frozen tomatoes and run tap water over them. the difference in temperature from the freezer and the tap water will loosen the skin and they should slip right off. I use luke warm to slightly hot tap water, but it should still be comfortable to your touch.
Quarter the tomatoes and dump all ingredients in a large cooking pot and cook. When tomatoes are soft and falling apart I put the mixture through the blender (because my family likes smooth sauce...teenagers!:) But I prefer it chunky, so this part is up to you. After blending, Return to cooking pot and bring to a boil. I used to cook it down to thicken but I get a lot more spaghetti sauce if I just use tomato paste to thicken it. Plus it takes hours to get it thick by simmering it down. Thicken to how your family likes it. Remember it will thicken more in the canning process as well.
While hot, put in jars (I use quarts) and seal using the hot water bath method. I boil for 45 minutes for my spaghetti sauce. This makes about 5 quarts of sauce per batch.
Let me know how you like it.
#canning #homemadespaghettisauce #tomatoes #canninghomemadespaghettisauce
I grew up and have lived in Iowa until recently when I moved to a small town in Illinois to begin a new chapter in my life which includes a loving supportive husband and numerous grandchildren to spoil. I have three beautiful daughters and a Miniature Schnauzer. I'm interested in anything that supports healthy families and healthy lifestyles.
Starting Plants Indoors