The Scene of the Crime

crime scene

Or, The Kitchen Sink Post. It might become a regular feature. I like sharing the eclectic anecdotes and random musings that begin in and around my kitchen sink.

~ There are 7 half pint jars of blackberry jelly cooling on my counter, and a basket of Gravenstein apples patiently waiting on my kitchen floor. As soon as I get the blackberry mess cleaned up, I'll chop, boil, juice, mash, and sweet talk some apples into jelly and butter.

~ There are 2 half gallon jars of farm fresh milk in my fridge, and I have a new found faith that sending messages to the universe via my blog is a very effective way to get what I want. I'm extremely grateful for my neighbor (hi Beth!) who read my post, called me up, and offered me a share in a local milk CSA - right here in my neighborhood! Seriously, I can ride my bike to the pick up point in less than five minutes. And the milk surpassed all my expectations. Miracles and blessings abound. I knew my grass was green, right here, right now.

~ The recipe for agua fresca over at Berlin's Whimsey made me run straight to my garden to pick some cucumbers. I made a batch last night using two lemon cucumbers - and I drank the whole pitcher full. It went down especially easy with a splash of limoncello.

~ Helen of Homeschool Style Bytes is back with homeschool inspiration, just in time to get us in the homeschool mood! After reading her recent post about grains, I jotted down a list of ideas for our upcoming school year. Can you believe it's only three weeks away?

~ My daughter got a haircut and feathers. She looks several years older (and I'm afraid I do too).

~ 50 pages into Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, I decided not to finish it. I rarely put books down, and though I'll probably always wonder what happens to the characters, the level of family dysfunction in the book made my stomach ache. I know there are children out there who hate their parents, and parents who could care less about their children, but it's not a topic I care to read about. The family relationships in Freedom are my worst nightmare come true. I'm going to start The Story of Edgar Sawtelle instead, just as soon as I clean up the blackberry mess and cram those apples into jars.

What's cluttering your kitchen sink these days? Have you canned any books or fruit recently?


  1. Raspberries here, cherries and blueberries. Oh, and peaches. Lots of jam coming out of the kitchen.

    I read Freedom and ended up loving it. A lot of people were upset/disappointed by the end but I thought it was heartening to see the characters evolve. I won't say anymore just in case you decide to pick it back up.

    6 weeks here before we start back up. I'm grateful for the time.

  2. I just finished "Cinderella ate my daughter" by Peggy Orenstein, about girlie-girl culture (disney princesses, pink as a marketing tool, etc...).
    Very interesting and disturbing book. I'm still a few weeks away from thinking about canning or homeschooling. :)

  3. lots of good links to click through today! thank you :)

    and blackberry jam...so worth the mess. we are able to *whisper* get some farm fresh raw milk (it's illegal here) but so very good. we enjoy every drop! enjoy your milk share.

  4. AnonymousJuly 27, 2011

    I just finished - Imperfect Birds. I didn't think I would like it at first but because I am so naive about some things - (I don't want to give it away) It was a good read for me. Especially with now two teenagers!!

    Everything here is late as far as berries are concerned. I don't even remember any local strawberries :( Hopefully blueberries in August.

  5. How I wish I had canned some fruit but I have never been bitten by the canning bug . . .yet. Haven't canned any books either. On the 4th book of The Outlander series and going strong.

  6. Hi Molly! Love this post, and especially the picture. I love some carnage in the sink. I ruined some strawberry jam last week, so have several jars of a syrupy mess in the pantry. Lesson: don't try to double it. Our raspberries are just ripening, so I'm hoping for moe success with them. Your milk news is wonderful! I just whizzed through Pioneer Woman's book, which was fun and not life-changing, but a good summer read. East of Eden does have some dysfunctional family stuff, but it's my favourite book of all time, and there are so many wonderful, redeeming things in it. It's magically written.

  7. Delurking to say: Canning pickled beets right now.

  8. AnonymousJuly 27, 2011

    Love your sink posts!! Like having coffee together. But not. So sorry you didn't like Freedom. I couldn't put it down once I started it. Sorta like this recipe you just linked - off on another adventure! Grazie! xoxo michele

  9. I wish I had put down Freedom. I suffered through it to the end. It was horrible, but just not good. I just made some plum jam, chutney and conserve. Each was delicious! Not much in the way of canning in Arizona, so I was pleased with my little bit.

  10. Feathers! I can't believe they're back! I so vividly remember being at soccer practice and hearing that some envied girl got the new haircut: "She got feathers! I recall that sentence and its intonations exactly, and that must have been 1977. I was probably just A's age! I'll bet she looks adorable.

    Me, canning? Nope. I practically let all my beloved Santa Rosa plums rot. They just came at a busy time, durn'it! But agua fresca with lemon cukes and limoncello? That I think I could pull off! Thanks for the notion!

  11. "Canned any books or fruit recently?" Just got that. You bust me up.

  12. My kitchen sink is crammed with the drip pans and burner rack-y things (they have a name that is escaping me at the moment) right now because my husband cooked dinner tonight and he always makes a mess of the stove! BUT earlier today I roasted tomatoes and then milled them into three glorious quarts of tomato puree. And then broke one quart in the water bath. Boo. Yesterday I did 6 quarts of refrigerator garlic dill cukes and also three large trays of peach/plum fruit leather (dried in the sun) -- the two largest trays are still drying and the first is GONE!

    I am reading The Wild Gourmets: Adventures in Food and Freedom, intermixed with a bunch of poetry and the faery tale book I'm reading to the girls. And I'm forever re-picking up Full Moon Harvest.

    Yeah on the milk! Color me jealous. I have been wanting to make ricotta to stuff in squash blossoms all week but have been too low on milk to commit!

  13. you and your clever self. ;)

    no canning here, but i did pick 10# of blueberries this evening.

  14. Not much going on in my kitchen sink today. An empty bowl of cereals and that's it. I ended up doing the dishes anyway yesterday night (see my last post).

    I only had one experience with raw milk, when we were on holiday in France and rented a little house next to a farm with the most adorable farmers I ever met. Fresh milk every morning, it was SO GOOD!!!

  15. The only thing in my kitchen sink is icky dishes.... sticky with cereal... I read through half of Freedom, skipped to the end to find some kind of redemption - otherwise why write this ridiculous story or selfishness (a comment on modern society, I guess) and greed.? I finally went to Amazon and read a one star review that resonated with me completely - so I felt justified in putting it down. (I still feel guilt when I put a book down without finishing it.)

    Loved reading the series by Nancy Turner starting with These Is My Words. A family starting life in the Arizona territories in the 1800's. Written in journal format. I was so completely captivated by the writer's life I went on to read the next two.

  16. Totally with you on the book abandonment issue. I'm a very picky fiction reader for just that reason. If I wanted to reflect on how messed up the world is, I would spend more time reading the news.

  17. ... a (farrah) feathered cut, or feather extensions?

    I felt the same response to franzen's _the corrections_. the family dynamic was so unpleasant I dropped it before any of the characters experienced their ... "corrections" (and I'm typically a fan of the effed-up-family-memoir genre). meanwhile, it's peach season here in texas.

  18. The sink IS where all the action is at, isn't it?! And this summer seemed like the quickest ever -- cannot believe it is almost over, but excited for a new surge of energy for the new school year. Thank you for the linky love Molly. Oh yeah, and the Klimt, it's a giant beautiful fabric wall hanging from IKEA, of all places..

  19. I was going to say that Franzen almost makes me want to "can" the idea of nesting but then again, his unmarried characters illustrate all kinds of disfunction. Lol.

  20. Good for you Molly, fresh milk, yum! Your pantry will be happy with the preserves. I wish my cucumbers were doing better (I'm not the only one here in Boulder with the same issue)because the aqua recipe looks great, especially with limoncello.

    My husband loved Edgar Sawtelle, and I read most of it. I put it down for some reason, but now I'm inspired to break it out again. I have to admit to reading children's books right now, Deathly Hallows (again) and 39 Clues. I did read The Paris Wife and Clara and Mr. Tiffany and enjoyed them both at the beginning of summer. BTW - where oh where did it go??

  21. I just finished reading "The Lonely Polygamist" by Brady Udall, a great read. The book is very funny without being shallow or crude. Very enjoyable. Last week, I made blueberry-mayer lemon marmalade, blueberry-apple jam, and nectarine jam. Currently I have 15 Ib of tomatoes sitting on the counter, waiting to be preserved.

  22. I love that you put it out there and got it. I'm slightly jealous you have a local milk CSA. Tell me now, where do you live again? I'm about to sell my house. ; )
    MAde my first jam the other day with a neighbors plums. Awesome. But I'd rather have the milk.


  23. another delicious post... i love the messy kitchen sink (which is a good thing as it seems ours is always in disarray as three little ones are enjoying creating new messes all the time... yet it's always so fun to have that kitchen inspired mess which leads to all sorts of delicious treats). Living in colombia, we are blessed with yummy fresh exotic fruit that we usually eat as it comes, or sometimes make into juices... but now i am inspired to try making a starfruit jam... hmmm...
    our kitchen sink is full of supplies used to bake vegan banana muffins (with pecans and cocoa flints). as for books, seems i don't get much reading done (other than the lovely blog posts i visit) these days... though thanks for the warning about the dysfunctional nature for freedom, i will know to stay far away. I am such a wimp when it comes to that kind of stuff... if i am to escape in a novel, i much rather enjoy rainbows and fairytales (though not the disney kind)!!!
    thanks also for the homeschooling like... i am so excited to try making the food pyramid with my daughters (might be lost on the younger one for now... but no doubt she will enjoy the mess).

  24. ps. you can tell i was excited about your post... i write too much!!!

  25. you are one industrial woman.
    yeah on the milk find. how great and wonderful is that?

    I just read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. It was very good. Reminded me a bit of B. Kingsolver's Poisenwood Bible.

    We bought a ginormous box of blueberries to freeze but we have been eating them out of the box by the cupful. We will have to go back.

  26. Edward Sawtelle is a lovely book... it has it's (very) sad times, but you don't feel hopeless about the world at the end. :) I am reading "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle"- a novel about an English family living in Trinidad. It sort of speaks to me as a person who has moved a lot-- the sometimes difficulty of fitting in in a new place and the way we connect (or not) with our home places.

  27. Keep the kitchen sink posts coming. You are on fire, in the preserving dept. We just left the house to peach pick at my neighbor's house, but it started pouring. Tomorrow. I made the cucumber ague fresca recipe too! oh. my.
    Hurrah! for your fresh milk.
    Boo. For only three weeks until school (because my girls leave home for school and I miss them so)


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