What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, August 17, 2012


I sent the children out to harvest veggies from the garden yesterday, knowing it had been a couple days (no more than three) since checking it myself.  But 2-3 days in the land of zucchini is a lifetime, and all of the ones lurking under leaves were huge.  One weighed five pounds!  (they weighed each one!)  So yeah- no worries about running out of zucchini any time soon.

While they were at it, they discovered monster BEETS which lead to picking monster beets which then lead to picking 40 beets (they counted!)....and beets were NOT on the agenda for yesterday.  (Well, not SUPPOSED to be anyway.)

So instead of just canning some pickles, I canned a batch of bread and butter pickles, a batch of spicy pickled beets, boiled beets (to do more today) and sorted, washed, blanched and froze the beet greens.  Needless to say, yet again I did not get my school plans in order.  This weekend?  

I just remembered too---I really wanted to paint the school room before school started!  YIKES!

Speaking of canning~ I took a picture of my canning cupboard yesterday.  It is downright worrisome to me. See that teensy little space left?  I haven't finished canning beets yet.  I haven't even STARTED canning tomatoes.  I have no idea where I will put everything.  NO IDEA.

As I canned, I was listening to George Grant (ever hear of him?  He founded the Franklin Classical School and has written many good books) and his lectures on Modernity.  Which are brilliant, by the way.  I listened to three lectures- all on World War I.  Whenever I listen to him I feel like I am learning things for the first time.  Pretty great.

At one point in the morning, Judah got super crabby.  Inconsolable, really.   I tried to make him happy with books, distractions.  I offered him food and drink.  I tried to ignore him.  But nothing was working.  So I found a spot I could stop at in the canning process and I sat down with him and rocked.   Wouldn't you know it, he fell right asleep.  With him being almost two now, his falling asleep in my arms is a very rare occasion.  Him sitting in my lap for any length of time at all is rare, in fact.  It was so sweet feeling his heaviness against me and looking at those poofy lips that have enamored me since Day 1.  These moments are rare and fleeting.  And very, very precious.

The zucchini recipes for the day were thus:

Flourless Zucchini Brownies.  (I modified the recipe here by substituting peanut butter for almond.)  We aren't gluten free but we have loads of friends who are, so I am always on the lookout for gluten free recipes to entertain them with.  So the "flourless" part had me alter my course slightly.  They were delicious in their own right, but what I was looking for (craving) was a dense, fudgy chocolate brownie and these were more of a breakfast bar with a muffin texture.  Bake them for that reason and you will be pleased.  I'll try again with a different zucchini brownie recipe this weekend to get my fudge brownie fix.

The other was a zucchini casserole topped with stuffing.  I haven't bought a box of stuffing in years but I did for this.  I ate a very large lunch that day.

The recipe turns out a bit runny as I made it, so next time I will add something like rice or potato to hopefully solve that dilemma.

Now, completely unrelated to canning or zucchini~ I have a girl who will be turning 9 in exactly 16 days (so she tells me a million times a day) and I asked her to write me a list of ideas I might be able to look through for her birthday. Not because I would get her any of them (necessarily) and CERTAINLY not all of them but more because I knew she would have fun doing it and I would have fun reading it.

The list read like this:

1) A camera that you don't take to CVS and they break (you know what I mean) (she means disposable.)
2) Any art supplies like paint or a SHARP!! paintbrush 
3) a horse stuffed animal 
4) a very good, very interesting, very LOOOoooooooong good book
5) a purse 
6) surprises (the ones you make, Mama, are superb!)

P.S. (If this list is too long, you may erase some of them...)

So there you have it.  I *do* happen to have a surprise up my sleeve but I would love to get her a very good, very interesting, very LOOOOOooooooong (DOUBLE GOOD) book and would love to know, especially of you twaddle-free junkies out there,if anyone has any suggestions.  

Now today, I fully intend to light an apple pie scented candle and do something decidedly UNRELATED to food.  (AFTER I finish canning the rest of the beets, that is.)


stephaniegiese said...

That list is adorable. I believe I was around that age when my Grandma took a trip to Prince Edward Island and brought me back a boxed set of Anne of Green Gables, which I loved.

Bonnie said...

Little Women?
The Five Little Peppers?
Cheaper By The Dozen?
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm?
You're making me hungry again, good thing I've got sloppy joes started.

Terri said...

Love your pantry!

Ann of Green Gables?
Little House Series?
Sarah, Plain and Tall
The Borrowers
The Trumpet of the Swan
Old Yeller
Caddie Woodlawn
The Moffats
Where the Red Fern Grows
Bantry Bay Series
Treasure Island
Black Beauty
King of the Wind
The Silver Skates (Hans Brinker)
Five Little Peppers Series

Bonnie said...

Oh the Borrowers, loved those growing up!
Misty of Chincoteague
Brighty of the Grand Canyon

Might be hard to find, but Lois Lenski was one of our favorites when we were young. Titles I remember:
Strawberry Girl
Corn farm Boy
Bayou Suzette
Berries in the Scoop

Terri said...

Definitely Misty, Misty of Chincoteauge & Brighty of the Grand Canyon. Forgot about those Bonnie!

Bonnie said...

The Princess and the Goblin by George McDonald???

Bonnie said...

Me. Again. More books to suggest:

Five Children and It
The Railway Children
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years

I'll probably be back with more. Unless this isn't indigestion I'm having.

Terri said...

Any book by Beatrix Potter
Keep the Lights Burning, Abby
Alice in Wonderland

Rebecca said...

She has read SO MANY of these already! I don't know if this should make me more happy or more frustrated.


Thanks for all the suggestions!!! I am learning of quite a few new ones!

Mari said...

If she read and like Anne of Green Gables, there are 7 (I think) more books in the series, two of which do not have Anne's name in the title (Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside; Rilla is the youngest of Anne's children).

If you are not religiously opposed to it, I think Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone would be great for such an avid reader. Yes, there is magic in it, but there is so much, much more - good versus evil, sacrificial love, lasting friendships, etc. The vocabulary will enhance her learning and the writing, whether in action sequences or in describing settings and characters, is very good.

I know that many may be opposed to this series due to the witches and wizards. We discussed it and how it's imagination, not something that will ever happen in real life (although it would be nice to have dinner cooked and the kitchen cleaned that fast!).

Finally, try doing a search online for classic childrens' books for girls ages 9-12 and you might find a few new ones. This is a good age for her to start reading about people in other countries or in different settings/situations than she currently experiences on her own.

Mari said...

One more - I second the suggestion from Bonnie on Cheaper By the Dozen and the follow-up book (don't remember the name of it). Totally different from the Steve Martin name and the two books are funny while also showing that a woman can also achieve in the workplace, if that's what she wants to do. Any woman who can obtain a doctorate in the 19teens (1915, I think) while already a mother to 5 children is someone worth knowing, at least on paper. Besides, she can try out some of the efficiency techniques the Gilbreths created in your house and on her siblings! I remembered attempting to do so!

Anna said...

Hi Rebecca! I was just telling Bonnie (my sister) about the mock apple butter I am making, and she told me I should share it with you since you are on a zucchini kick! Go here for the mock apple butter: http://layinguptreasure.blogspot.com/2012/08/mock-apple-butter-aka-what-to-do-with.html

I've also made zucchini salsa which is really good! I will try and post that over at my blog soon. Enjoy!

Lana Hobbs said...

I know the PERFECT book -
Girl of the Limberlost.

beautiful, delightful, with an interesting, brave, graceful heroine and a deep appreciation of nature. I bet your (soon to be) nine year old would LOVE it :D

i haven't read the prequel Freckles, but i really want to get ahold of it because i'm sure it's lovely.

Shanzanne said...

I second Girl of the Limberlost!

Anonymous said...

Has she read Understood Betsy? It's delightful and long enough to meet her requirement.

I've never commented on your blog before, but just want to say that I really enjoy it and am inspired over and over by all that you get done and by your enthusiasm and determination to be the best wife and mother and woman that you can be!

Tracy said...

Girl of the Limberlost
Understood Betsy
The Elsie Dinsmore series
A Little Princess
The Milly Molly Mandy series
Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

Louise said...

So many of the books mentioned I have read and heartily recommend. I also recommend "Little Britches" by Ralph Moody, "Caddie Woodlawn", "Wind in the Willows", "The Bronze Bow", and "The Railway Children".

Leah T. said...

Treasure Seekers
The Wouldbegoods
My Side of the Mountain
Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
At the Back of North Wind
The Wind in the Willows
Swiss Family Robinson
The Call of the Wild
A Christmas Carol
Blue Willow
Miracles on Maple Hill
The Cricket on the Hearth
Calico Captive
Gone Away Lake
Thimble Summer
Return to Gone Away
Justin Morgan Had a Horse
Rifles for Watie
Across Five Aprils

I haven't read all of these books.... yet. ;) They (and many others) can be found here, http://amblesideonline.org/curriculum.shtml . If you click on the Year (to the left) and then scroll down toward the bottom of the page you can see lists of great books.

...they call me mommy... said...

The Melendy Series - about 4 sweet children and all their sweet adventures! We LOVE them! :)

...they call me mommy... said...

Your canning shelf always delights me and I love the photo of you in your apron and your precious lovey all cuddle up! I love when babies/kiddos sleep on me! :)

Wendy said...

I only have a short minute to comment...so I will have to think on some book suggestions-- I made a recipe with zucchini---it was called apple crisp, and it tasted better than apple pie...in fact Esther was dumbfounded when I told her it was zucchini-HA It is very rich and has a good deal of butter in it, and is definitely not gluten free--but it would be perfect for company and served warm with vanilla ice cream! I will get the recipe to you if you are interested. Also--I want to get together with you and Elizabeth...if you can find time in between canning..I miss you both :-) You can come here if you would like, or I am up for anything.

Bonnie said...

I second Wendy's zucchini crisp idea! You would have NO idea you *weren't* eating apples. My mom used to mix up the filling and freeze it, then when she needed to make one, all she had to do was put it in a pan and add the topping.
Thanks, now I want some.

Mary Anne said...

Not sure if they were listed~~just took a quick glance through the comments~~but The Boxcar Children books are great!

Anonymous said...

The Betsy/Tacy/Tib series by Maude Hart Lovelace
My ten year old loved the entire series!!
Chronicle of Narnia C.S.Lewis

Terri said...

Heidi, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Five Little Peppers, The Secret Garden, An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.

Oh,I so remember being 9 and the longing for a really long really good book!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for all of the book suggestions! So many good ones~ I have a list to (hopefully) keep me going for a while!

Wendy~ yes. We MUST get together. (I've been thinking it all summer.)

and yes! I want that recipe! :-)

Thanks for the quick note!