Saturday, February 16, 2013

It Smells Like Spring

One of the challenges I've noticed about living this far from the big town is how difficult it is to get and keep fresh produce in the fridge.  We try to feed the rugrats a fruit or veggie at every meal. Three growing boys can empty a fruit drawer in a hurry.  I try to only make a trip to town no more than once a week and even stretch it to two weeks whenever I can.  I buy 90% of my groceries at Sam's Club.  The cases of everything and giant carts really suit our lifestyle. But the produce that's available there doesn't always fit the bill and of course these months of winter we are without any of our home grown garden treats.
Some of last summer's home grown veggies.

Thankfully, a friend told me about Bountiful Baskets a while back.  It's a produce buying co-operative that is run by volunteers.  You make a contribution and they put it into a pool and buy as much yummy produce as the money allows.  The effort is made for freshness, in season and for a fun variety. The coolest part for me is that we never know what we're gonna get! It's like veggie Christmas!  I can say the $15.00 for the box is an amazing value. This time we got potatoes, cherry tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, pineapple, green bell peppers, leeks, mushrooms, apples, oranges, bananas, broccoli and probably something I'm forgetting.

Every other Saturday morning our group of farmer's wives, school teachers, cowboys and kids all gather at the Geraldine Fire Hall to organize, disperse and pick up our bountiful baskets.  Today when I arrived, not many folks had beat the truck driver.  So my big boy and I pitched in to unload the semi and organize the baskets. He and the other kids were a great help and had fun too.  I think we will now make it a regular thing to have him go with me to volunteer.

Some of today's Bountiful Basket.
When we got home my mom was ready to help sort, wash and put up our loot.  The kitchen was suddenly bursting with fresh, green things.  Mom said it smelled like Spring.

The website for Bountiful Baskets is .  Maybe they have a site in your town!

'Til Next Time,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snowy Sunday

What does a Prairie Momma do on a day that's cold, windy and snowy enough that one doesn't want to play outside? She makes jam!  What does she do if she doesn't have any brand new jar lids in the house and the store is 30 miles away?  She makes freezer jam!

This morning I noticed that there are only two more jars of my home made Flathead Cherry Jelly in the pantry.  Now that I have learned to make jelly I am a jelly snob.  I occasionally think about buying some at the store.  I pick up the jar, read the ingredients and shake my head when I get to the  "high fructose corn syrup" part. Back on the shelf it goes. 

My big boy took this photo for his Momma.

I plan on becoming the Jelly Queen.  It's actually pretty easy once you get over the whole, huge boiling kettle, steaming hot jars and lids, big ol' fruit mess thing. So even though I am still far from being a domestic goddess, I'm now one step closer! The best part is I can spend cold, snowy days doing something productive and dare I say, fun.  A little side bonus is the cost, or lack of.  Each jar of today's jam cost about $1.37 to make.  The jam in the store is what I consider outrageously expensive.  So if you want to save money and doing something interesting, give it a try! Of course I know some of you are old hands at jelly making and might be having a giggle at my expense. That's ok!  If it weren't for other momma's knowing these things, us younger gals wouldn't have anyone to learn from.

So there it is.... my exciting Sunday afternoon in Geraldine. 

'Til next time,


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Uncle George & AM Radio

A view from my past....
Today I drove the old blue van to Fort Benton.  I was in need of some things from the hardware store.  Mainly one of those chain, security locks for my door.  Not because we have any sort of crime here in Geraldine, because we don't.  But because my rugrats have become very adept at getting all the doors open and escaping outside. They wanna go "ooouuut!"  Sometimes I actually can't keep my eye on both of them at the same time, so I needed a lock! 

When I drive one of our older vehicles that doesn't have XM Radio, I always have it tuned to KMON AM 560 radio.  It's a country station that has been on the air in Great Falls for at least 40 years, maybe longer. They still play all the really good music from the 70's and 80's plus the current stuff. You can count on the weather twice an hour and the Ag Report at Noon.
I remember hearing  "On the Road Again" and "The Gambler" all the time, back when I was a little red headed, pig tailed little girl riding in my mom's old, olive green Ford car.  Some years later, KMON AM 560 was playing on the radio of my '78 Ford truck every time I drove to town from my Uncle George's ranch at Dupuyer, Montana.  By then I was a crazy teenage girl with hair down to my waist, wearing boots and Wranglers as though my life depended on it.  I was my great uncle's "hired man" and KMON was faithfully tuned in just before noon dinner each day.  We'd be heading back to the house from feeding the cows and he'd tune in to hear Paul Harvey's "Rest of the Story" as we bounced along in those old farm trucks.  Uncle George is with Jesus now.  But I will never forget his wisdom or his sermons for me as I worked along side him, listening to the radio....

Dupuyer, MT