Posted: June 17th, 2013 | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blog readers, bloglovin' | 2 Comments »
I won’t get into the outrage and disgust I feel that Google Reader is being terminated, but when I heard the announcement, I started test driving a couple of alternatives.
First I tried Feedly for a month or two, which I liked OK, then I tried Bloglovin’.
Can I just say that I really wanted to hate Bloglovin’ simply because the name makes me want to do unspeakable things. The word ‘blog’ is bad enough, combined with a cutesy ‘lovin’”…..I was determined that this would NOT work out. I was feeling very judgmental and superficial about it. HOWEVER, I have to give them props that the interface is nice, you can comment directly from the reader, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I kind of dig Bloglovin’ …there. I said it.
Despite the wave of nausea that briefly passes if I must say the name (which I mostly, never do) it’s a good little program.
There are several other alternatives, but I found what I liked, and hope you can too.
To follow me there, go to Modfrugal on Bloglovin’
Posted: June 7th, 2013 | Filed under: Building Materials, DIY, Love & Haterades | Tags: modern mailbox, reader submission | 4 Comments »
Guys, I got the BEST thing in my inbox the other day, and I am so excited to show you! Adam Crockett was looking for some DIY modern mailboxes and happened upon the very first post ever here at Modfrugal. Guess what he did? He rocked his own modern mailbox! Check it out!
What a great job he did..right?!
Thank you SO much for sharing Adam!! We LOVE hearing from readers like you and feel honored to have provided even a glimmer of an idea.
UPDATE: Reader Wendall Krahn just sent in his mailbox as well…with scrap lumber on hand, his mailbox clocked in at only $60! Excellent job Wendall!!
Posted: June 6th, 2013 | Filed under: Food | Tags: Garlic Rosemary Jelly recipe, savory sweet herbed jelly | 1 Comment »
My research, and ultimate findings after 2 batches have yielded the recipe below. I am not 100% satisfied from an aesthetic perspective, but I am razzle dazzled *insert jazz hands* from a taste perspective. This stuff has wooed and wowed 2 parties now, and I am learning that a jar of this gold is quite a well received hostess gift.
It all started with some innocent reading of one of my fave e-zines Sweet Paul, when I came across their recipe for a garlic rosemary jelly. I have always loved savory/sweet jellies and jams, so this was right up my alley. Their recipe called for Pomona pectin, but I had plenty of Certo left over from last season I wanted/needed to use, so I adapted the recipe to work with my pectin on hand.
The first batch I made in Weck jars, the 7.4 oz Deco and the 7.4 oz. Tulip jelly jars. The deco jars worked better since they are short and squat. The jelly jars seem designed for a clear jelly and not one with bits, since they float. With my second batch I used Ball wide mouth 8 oz jars because they were the squattiest ones I know of. More on that later.
This recipe is from my second batch, which is a double batch yielding about 8 cups of jelly.
Prepare your jars by putting them in the canner in simmering water. (I actually don’t have a canning pot but simply use a stock pot with a round cookie cooling rack set in the bottom to keep the jars elevated…might be time for an upgrade?)
3 1/2 cups white wine
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 heaping cup slivered garlic
10 thick branches of rosemary, plus 10 small sprigs, rinsed and blotted dry
7 cups of sugar
pat of butter
2 pouches Certo pectin
Simmer the wine, vinegar, garlic and 7 branches of the rosemary for about 15 minutes on medium high to infuse the liquid with flavor.
This where things might get a little controversial. Every other recipe I’ve seen puts the rosemary in a sachet, or some other way to keep it out of the liquid, but I am shamelessly greedy when it comes to rosemary, and I wanted to infuse as much flavor as possible despite the extra work naked branches brings to the equation. If you want this to go faster, chop the rosemary leaves and put into cheesecloth with the garlic/wine/vinegar. Otherwise, follow my completely unprofessional method.
Because I didn’t want the sugar to dilute the rosemary flavor too much, I have done the unthinkable and added the sugar BEFORE fishing out the rosemary. I also add a pat of butter at the same time to prevent foaming on top, stirring constantly. After the first few minutes, when the mixture is starting to bubble, I fish out the 7 rosemary branches and replace them with the remaining 3 fresh branches.
Then comes the tedious part. After a few more minutes of bubbling, simmering and constant stirring, I fish out the remaining branches and start to strain the stray rosemary bits from the mixture. If I had used the cheesecloth, this would not be necessary, but I was working on instinct not expediency here.
I use a bamboo skewer to pick out the rosemary from the garlic and return the garlic to the pot. Once the mixture is syrupy, a skewer is the best tool for picking out stray leaves.
Then add the 2 pouches of pectin… and even though the packet directions say to boil for only a minute, I found that instead of a rolling boil, a low boil for 3-5 minutes works better here. Less foam.
Ladle into your jars, then add a fresh sprig of rosemary, and process as usual. (Put on lids/rings and put into boiling water, 1-2 inches above the jar tops and simmer for 10 minutes).
I reserved some jelly to put into a jar as refrigerator jelly because of my frustrations with presentation. When the jelly is processed, the rosemary sprig loses its green fresh look, as you can see….
…but the jar that was not processed in the canner didn’t recook the jelly, so the rosemary sprig stays fresh looking.
You can also see above the difference in color between the processed jelly (left) and refrigerator jelly (right). The processed jelly turns a more golden color, where the fridge jelly stays a clear, pale gold with a hint of green. The other situation is the garlic slivers. They will float to the top of the jar, so after all the lids have “popped” and are adequately sealed and the rings tightened, I started to rotate them every 15 minutes to distribute the garlic and rosemary throughout the jar. Doing this while the jelly is still warm and liquid allows the bits to move throughout the jar.
To can the jelly without the rosemary seems like a huge loss, since it will then appear as only a garlic jelly, but the fridge jelly, while not shelf stable for months, is, in my opinion, prettier. For the fridge jelly, instead of rotating the jars, I simply used a skewer (again) to push down the garlic and rosemary every 15-20 minutes while it cooled. The fridge jelly sets just fine without the reprocessing for those who might wonder.
While both taste really wonderful, I think that from a presentation viewpoint, and for an immediate gift, don’t reprocess the jars. To save some of this deliciousness for the winter months, can away, but it is unlikely to last that long in my brief experience!
My favorite way to eat it is over goat cheese, spread on a rosemary cracker, or other thin crispbread. It’s also wonderful with pork or chicken. Play with it, and tell me how you end up using it!
Posted: May 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Art, Travel | Tags: LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood | 1 Comment »
Last week we went to the preview of the new outdoor exhibit at Cheekwood, LIGHT, by Bruce Munro. It was fantastic, and we look forward to going back many times over the summer. More information about the installation can be found HERE.
Pack a picnic at sunset and enjoy the gardens and light show….a perfect summer evening. Next time I’m bringing the tripod and I’ll update the photos here..which really don’t do the the exhibit justice.
Posted: May 26th, 2013 | Filed under: Shoppin' and Junkin' | Tags: nashville flea market | 1 Comment »
I had to do a speed flea this month since the kids were out half day for the end of the school year. I finally got together with the talented Ben Corda, who moved up this way last year, and showed him my favorite vendors at the Nashville Flea Market. Next time we hope he has room in his car!
This lady was hanging out with her live rooster, you know, as you do….
I did get one thing….
The orange pleather is torn in the back, but will be a great project since the chrome was in such nice shape. It’s an All-Steel chair that has a Hannah/Morrison for Knoll vibe I like.
Happy holiday weekend everyone!!
Posted: May 21st, 2013 | Filed under: Just for fun, Travel | Tags: percy and edwin warner parks app, warner parks app | Comments Off
Have you have found yourself biking along the paths in the Warner Parks, paper map in hand, thinking you are all prepared and stuff, only to come to an unmarked fork in the road, and you can’t tell where on the map you actually are? And taking the wrong turn, thus leading you to the opposite end of the park from your car…me neither. Did you happen to have your children along to curse your very existence as they huff and puff up the hills…on Mother’s Day? Yeah, I don’t know ANYTHING about that. If such a calamity were to befall some chump like that, there is hope.
This may be old news to everyone but me – I don’t know how I missed the release of this app a few months ago, but I have it now and used it today…so far so good!
It’s interactive, so when you get to that fork in the road, you can see where in the park you are and save yourself the humiliation and tortuous work of having to re-climb Luke Lea Heights….or the shame in allowing your gracious husband to bike all the way back up Page Road and Chickering to get the car so your children don’t file legal separation papers…not that I know anything about that either.
There’s also Flora, Fauna, Geology and Ecology as well as a photo gallery posted by Facebook followers, events, you name it. The only weird thing is that the name of the app is Natural Areas, which is a little misleading, but if you search for Warner Parks in the App store, it will still come up.
Happy Trails Nashvillians!