THE U-Pick GARDEN IS CLOSED

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska
99835


Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is downtoearthupick@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sewing Circle

I grew up in the Mennonite Church, and one thing that the Mennonites are famous for is "Service".
Being the hand of God reaching out to those in need. The women in the church are very talented and crafty and they are always making things to give to missions. At my Mom and Dad's church these ladies gather together once a month for "Sewing Circle".

There's a business meeting....


And special projects....



Like boxes of treats for people that can't get out of the house during the holidays...


And the boxes are pretty too!


Beautiful quilts are displayed....




Hand made, of course.


My Aunt Erma is one of the expert quilters.


Here my Mother and some of my other Aunts are stuffing fabric pressure relieving pillows that are used by bed ridden patients in the hospital. (Where are you, Aunt Ardys? I know you were there somewhere!)



 I have many fond memories of running wild in the church sanctuary with the other kids while our Moms were busy working in the basement. It was fun exploring all of those scary forbidden rooms behind the pulpit.

Along the North wall of the basement there are a lot of built-in cabinets that house the electric sewing machines. They can be pulled out for sewing and then stored away for the rest of the month.


 There are a quite a few drawers for supplies and notions too.


And now, it's confession time.

When I was a very little girl I was exploring alone in the basement while my folks were busy upstairs doing church work. Out of boredom I started snooping through the sewing drawers.


 And I found a metal needle threader. One that looked sort of like this...
 
But the one I found was purple. A bright, shiny, glorious purple. A purple that couldn't be denied. I was so drawn to that beautiful needle threader.....like a raven is drawn to a bright shiny coin, and I just HAD to have it.....so I took it. I took it home and hid it in my room and I didn't tell anybody about it. I felt guilty of course, and eventually, by the time Christmas rolled around, I decided that I needed to get rid of it. So, of course I did the only logical thing a little girl does in a situation like that.....I put it in my Mom's Christmas stocking.

I remember when we opened our presents on Christmas Eve that my Mom found the needle threader in her stocking and was so confused. I averted eye contact and never said a word as Mom and Dad passing it back and forth trying to figure out where it came from. I can't remember if they asked me about it. If they did I'm sure I lied about having anything to do with it.

That needle threader sat right beside my Mom's sewing machine and haunted me for years. As I grew a little older I realized just how bad it had been for me to steal something, no matter how small or pretty it is, so one day I decided to fix the situation. My solution - I took it out of my Mom's sewing room and back to church. And when noone was looking, I put it in back in the drawer where it belonged. Problem solved.

So...now what do you think? Did 2 wrongs make a right?


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Friends, Family, Food and Fun

One of our favorite activities to do as a family is eat great food. Cooking it is fun too, but eating it is the best! Here is a compilation of just some of the great eating experiences we had in 2015 - the ones that were actually documented with photos that is!

1. Tayberry Pie

A Tayberry is a cross between a Blackberry and a Raspberry. It's pretty much the only bramble that will grow here in Sitka.


The white flowers and dark red berries are so beautiful.


Everybody that comes to the garden thinks they are raspberries and they can't resist snitching a few red ones before I can stop them...man they are sour!!!  Tayberries need to be almost black before they are ripe.


2. Candied Jalapenos

When Levi and I had a layover in Fort Lauderdale this fall we drove down to Miami to check out the "Latin House Grill" restaurant that we had read about online. The food was fantastic so it was definitely worth the drive! They serve a burger that is to die for, and the secret ingredient turns out to be candied Jalapenos. We looked the recipe up online when we got home, and it seemed pretty easy to make, so about a month ago we took all of the ingredients over to our good friend, Elaine Steinbach's house to give it a try.


Elaine, the "hostess with the mostess".



These Candied Jalapenos turned out amazing.They are so good on meat, and fish, and ....well, just about anything. Yum!!


 3. ANYTHING made by Graceful Pasteries.

Grace set up a bakery in the Ludvig's building this Fall while Ludvig's was closed for the season. Oh my.......are her pastries ever good!!

 bacon scone

 proscuitto and provolone croissant

 bacon and potato tart

 blueberry lemon scone

 pear galette


Everything is perfectly delicious! I can't wait until she opens next season again!

4. Orange cookie layer cake.


This cake is so easy to make, and it looks fantastic, and it tastes delicious. The crisp, orange wafer cookies are layered with a coolwhip/cream cheese/orange flavored frosting and let to set overnight.


 The next day the cookies are soft, so the cake can be easily be cut into wedges for serving. Once you cut the cake open it looks like you've layered impossibly thin layers of cake with frosting. We topped this one with chocolate ganache and plain Mandarin orange segments and orange segments that had been dipped in melted chocolate. Yum.

5. Personal sized apple pie in mason jars.

Made from the apple pie filling I canned in 2014 from the apples in our garden. Too good.


6. Santa Claus cookies at Aunt Ardys' house.

This Christmas we were lucky enough to wrangle an invite to decorate Santa Claus cookies with Aunt Ardys.


Another hostess with the mostess!


The cookies are supposed to look like this when they're done....


Some of ours looked like they should, and some of the them did not...


But fun was had by all....


And the cookies were as delicious as they were beautiful.


 7. 5 course meal at Dove Island Lodge.

I've been hearing that the food served out at the Dove Island Lodge here in Sitka is extraordinarily good. I've been curious about it- but you can only get there by boat, and it's quite expensive. This fall the Swim team had a fundraiser out there and were selling tickets for dinner, so I decided that it was time to check it out. This place is fancy.....but it's Sitka fancy, if you know what I mean.





The meal was fantastic! Each course was better than the last.


I only embarrassed myself once, by thinking the bone marrow was on a piece of toast. It wasn't....it was on the bone. It tried to take a bite...twice. Someone had to tell me it was bone, not bread.






 I want to eat like this every day.


 And maybe now, with the help of this new cookbook that Ben and Emily gave me for Christmas, I can!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Card 2015

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Just in case you were on my "naughty" list I'll show you how this year's card turned out. I decided to go with a "pop-up" theme. Who didn't love pop-up books when they were a kid?  I LOVED them! Here's how they came together.....

Step 1: Stamp one million letters on dictionary paper to spell the word, "believe".


Step 2: Apply ink to the sides of each letter. Doesn't that look better?


Step 3: Glue the letters to folded card stock

Step 4: Cut 5 little notches along the top edge of the card and fold the tabs to inside of card.


Step 5: Cut red paper into strips and run them through this "go-go gadget" to corrugate them.


Step 6: Glue the corrugated strips to the top of the card to hide the notches.


By now the scrapbooking table looks like this.....


Step 7: Cut out a million little trees and apply ink to the sides of each tree. Because by now we all know that they look better that way.


Step 8: Make a million little cards with John 3:16 printed on them and glue them to the inside of the cards. For some reason I did not ink the sides of all of these cards.....that got tedious. 


Step 9: Stamp white snowflakes inside the cards......agonizing over placement of course.

Step 10: Color the tabs brown and then glue on the little trees....agonizing over color combinations of course.

Step 11: Glue a star to the top of one of the trees.


See how they stand up when you open the card?


Step 12: Let the ink dry overnight before closing the cards to prevent smearing.


Step 13: Cut a million little jute strings.


Step 14: Wrap a string around the card and put a pretty sequin in the bow. Glue the string along the edges of the card to keep it in place....because it would be terrible if the strings sagged down and were not perfectly even!


Step 15: Make a million homemade envelopes out of magazine pages. And then, the BEST part, apply all the stickers!!! Every little girl likes stickers....and so do old ladies.


It was about this time in the project that I ran out of time and had to scrape it all into a bag and jump on a plane and finish it on the road.


Grand Canyon, Baby!!!



Step 16: Decide who's naughty and who's nice, address the envelopes....


 Step 17: Stop at random Post Offices we spotted along the way and mail finished cards.


Where did yours get mailed from?