Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bill Weeks' Grape Jam

This is a great recipe!  You don't need added pectin.  Boil exactly 18 minutes from the time it comes to a full, rolling boil.

Grape Jam  (Bill Weeks)
4 cups mashed grapes-including seeds and skins  (use Concord grapes)
4 cups sugar
4 tbsps. water
Stir all ingredients together, bring to a boil and cook 18 minutes. put mixture through strainer, discarding seeds and skins. Pour into hot jars and seal.
For current processing times refer to a canning guide such as The Ball Blue Book.
This recipe was sent to me by my cousin Jenny but I have made it many times and I remember my dad, Bill, making it.  The strainer he used was a Foley mill.  It works great to remove seeds and skins.

Grandma Bird's Sugar Cookies

My cousin Jenny sent me this recipe.  I will post it also on the recipe page under Sugar Cookies.

Sugar Cookies

4 eggs
1 lb.oleo
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
7 to 8 cups flour
cream sugar and eggs and oleo.
add vanilla and milk-stir
separately-sift flour and salt and baking powder
add together and mix
chill dough overnight
roll out 1/4 inch thick-cut shapes
bake 400  8 to 10 minutes
Note*  This one says 'my mom's sugar cookies' and it was my mom's. so this must be grandma birds sugar cookies - Jenny Janiskee

Jenny's mom was Bonnie Selley, daughter of John E. and Thelma Weeks (Grandma Bird)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beefed Up Noodle Dish

 This is a wonderful recipe that my whole family loves, right down to the spinach!  I serve it with home canned peaches.  Please feel free to suggest a new name for this dish as I have been unable to come up with a new one and I have tried for years.  Thank you Evelyn!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chive Vinegar in bottles

I used Apple Cider Vinegar in bottles 1 and 2 - I put bottle one in a dark cupboard for two weeks and bottle two outside in the sunshine.  Bottle one has more color and has taken on more of the onion flavor.
I used plain white vinegar for bottle 3.  I left this one outside for two weeks.  The color is rosy and the smell is definitely onion.
I used white wine vinegar in the last two bottles and left them outside for two weeks.  I thought this one would be the best but it has the least flavor and didn't change color.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Making Chive Vinegar

   Chive vinegar experiment. I will post pictures every few days so you can see the progress. It is supposed to turn a rose color and be good in potato salad and other salad dressings. There are several recipes online using widely varying instructions using many different vinegars. So I guess 'it just doesn't matter'. Virtually all of them were satisfied with the resulting rose colored and oniony flavored vinegar.   

  This one is 2 cups white vinegar, heated to boiling added to 30 chive flowers. This one is going outside to a sunny location for 1-2 weeks, after which I will strain into a bottle. I also added about 1/3 cup snipped chives to the vinegar while heating and let it steep for a few minutes before straining and adding to the chive flowers.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Apple Mint

Strawberries and Raspberries

Heritage raspberries along my back fence.

A view of the park over more raspberries.  I planted the raspberries last summer. 
I planted these everbearing strawberries in 2009.  They produced a few berries last year but this year it looks like a bumper crop!
This strawberry plant is growing in a crack in my patio!

Pretty Poppy!

My Perennial Herbs

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bluebird - designed, carved and painted by W.F. Weeks

I found a piece of my family puzzle yesterday!

Susana Wilfong was my gg grandfather's sister. Sometime ago I found this 1860 Canadian census page that shows my ggg grandfather, George Wildfong, his wife Margaret and children :  Susana, Simon, Thomas,
Thomas is my gg grandfather. 

Finding what happened to the sisters is somewhat more difficult unless I can locate marriage records so I didn't spend a lot of time looking for Susana.  I just filed it in my 'to do later' file.  While I was researching Thomas I found a census that showed Thomas and his family and noticed that there was a William and Susana Horn that lived very near them.  I know that for family to live near is quite common so I started thinking that maybe this Susana Horn was Susana Wilfong.  They were born approximately the same time.  I couldn't find anything on so I checked on  Their search engine lets you put filters on that are easier for me to navigate.  I entered a search for anyone with the last name Horn with parents William Horn and Susan (unknown maiden name) with the year range that I thought probable.  Up popped several children's birth and marriage records with parents and William Horn and Susan Wilfong!  Yes, there was the proof I needed.  Marriage and Birth records often provide the mothers maiden name and that was all I was looking for, proof that Susana was a Wilfong before she was a Horn.
  Here's the census image referred to above:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Best Friend 16" Quilt Block

Best Friend
16" finished Friend Instructions.pdf

Sunflower Block 15"

finished size 15"

I liked designing this one and was very happy with the way it made up.  It doesn't take too many blocks to make a quilt when they are 15"!  Also, there is room to add some smaller details, like the 1" squares that form the checkerboard center.

Scanning Photos and Documents

Click here or the tab above for tips on how I scan photos and documents.  Tip-You should really store important scans on something other than your hard drive.  Its easier to put it on a cd, dvd, sd card, external hard drive, etc. right away rather than putting it off. Somehow it never gets done and if you ever have a computer problem that causes you to lose your data, you'll be crying in your soup!  I lost two computers last year.  On one I was able to have the data retrieved but it cost more than an external drive.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Who is Mary Charlotte Quick Avery?

  Mary Charlotte (Quick) Avery, sister to Elizabeth Wollacott (Quick) Helyer and aunt to our Ida Elizabeth (Helyer) Weeks.  I know she married Charles Avery in England and that they were separated at some point with him in America and her in an English workhouse with four children, the youngest one two years old.

Mary Charlotte (Quick) Avery in an English workhouse in 1871

These images are from showing Mary Avery with four of her young children in an English workhouse.  Ten years earlier she and her husband Charles were together.  Now she is in a workhouse and Charles is in Saginaw, Michigan, USA (1850 U.S. Census).  Ten years later they are reunited and living in Huron County, Michigan, USA very near several of her siblings.  All of the children listed in the 1871 census with her in the workhouse were listed in the 1880 U.S. census.
I've posted a tract written by Charles Dickens that describes an 1850 English workhouse that may give a glimpse into the living conditions for Mary and her children during this desperate time.