March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fruit Leather

At risk of exposing myself to much ridicule from friends I am sharing this post with many who do not know about my secret bloggin' life.

When we were at the lake with our small group, I had a Tupperware filled with two batches of the fruit leather that the children and I prepared. One was mixed berries {strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry} left over from Mary Frances' baptism lunch. The other was blueberry/peach.

The other mother's were as intrigued as I was when I was first introduced to the concept of fruit leather about a year ago here.

I was intrigued because I have never been a fan of "fruit roll-ups". Even as a child it was not something I gravitated towards, but as a mother I knew that my children would love it ~ anything sweet, chewy, and different for them. I like the idea of knowing what they are eating and controlling the sugar content. Plus we are always up for a project in the kitchen.

Well, when I was searching online for a blueberry preserve recipe, I came across some additional directions for making fruit leather, and I knew I had to try it with some of those blueberries we picked.

I found the information here and here.

I've included some pictures of what we did in our kitchen:
Wash 2 cups of ripe or over-ripe fruit.

Put in the top of the double boiler. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir.

Place cooked fruit in the food processor* and puree. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Add sugar if necessary.

Line jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and spread pureed fruit evenly over the top.

Now for the not so exact part. The temperature on my oven settings doesn't go lower than warm so I placed the prepared trays into a warm oven for 4 to 6 hours and then turned the oven off, but I left the trays inside over night.

I think our leather could stand to be chewier, but it didn't keep my children from consuming mass quantities of fruit leather over the last month.

*I am a sucker for my food processor. I use it for a multitude of tasks throughout a typical week in our kitchen. Without double checking, I can almost assure you the directions recommend the blender, but I typically use a food processor for making puree instead of a blender. In my eyes, it just works better and faster, but you may have different luck with a blender.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


A month is too long to go without posting a blog update, and I apologize for my absence in the blogosphere ~not that our presence was really missed.
For all of you who were worried, rest assured that we are here and we are okay. Well I think we are okay... When I update you on our life, you might think I need to have my head examined. I've complained that I may never sit at my sewing machine again while I had a friend exclaim that I was never going to post on our blog again. In time and with patience both will happen again.

We are in full-time summer survival mode around our house. I feel like I have bounced from one trip/event with hardly a moment to come up for air in between. It has been an amazing yet extremely busy summer. We have certainly made lots of memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. It has been a good transition from preschool to real school for our family and I have few regrets.

There are a few memories that I won't cherish and those mainly involve the chaos in my house. At any given moment my house is a mess, my children are a mess, my car is a mess, even I am a mess, but we have had lots of together time. Together with our family of five. Together with extended family. Together with friends. Sadly, I have not taken enough pictures to capture these memories, but let me reiterate we have had a ball.
We've made some of those recipes I was dreaming of creating with the 5+ gallons of homegrown blueberries that I brought home in June. We made blueberry preserves! However, I added too much water so we have blueberry syrup instead of preserves for Christmas gifts. No worries, it has been tried and tested on pancakes by my children and their friends, and they tell me I can still give it as gifts. {Maybe I should not trust an almost five year old and her brothers in that department, but it feels good to think it is done.} My mother recalled a year she did that same thing, and she suggested serving it on ice cream.

We made a patriotic trifle for the 4th of July. It included angel food cake, vanilla pudding, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries, and some of that blueberry syrup I was telling you about. We've made blueberry cobbler and an even better blueberry pie, and my children feasted on fresh blueberries meal after meal for the better part of three weeks. We are still enjoying some blueberry/peach fruit leather.

Okay enough about what we did with the blueberries and on for the life update.

We've enjoyed lots of lake living ~

over the 4th of July ~
with old Mobile friends ~ see more details here with newer Birmingham friends ~with our small group ~

Mary Frances was baptized ~ I'll dedicate another post to that special event.
And there is more ~ The title implies but I have to tell you we are expecting our 4th baby. I keep getting questions such as, "are you excited?," "was it planned?" and comments such as, "Wow!," "Really, four?" The answer is yes, we are super excited and yes it was planned. Frank and I have both always wanted four children. We have even wanted four children in our less than 1700 square foot house with rotten windows and moisture damage.

Now for the house, that is the part of our craziness that was not part of the plan. As many of you know, our long term goal, hope, dream, and desire has always been to tear this house down and build on our lot. It was not our plan for this year, but we have had a few things happen this summer that we can ignore no longer. We sprung a leak and have a blue tarp on our roof and I'm afraid we have some significant mold issues in our bathroom. The problems with our house coupled with the extraordinarily low interest rates have made this the time.

We've engaged an architect and talked to builders. My head is spinning with dimensions of rooms, specifications of appliances, details of reclaimed brick and hardwood floors, the benefits of Pennsylvania vs. Tennessee blue stone, the color and shape distinctions between sandstone and moss rock as well as a myriad of other details.

I hope you feel caught up on the goings on of our life. I will leave you with these...