About The River

Friday, July 21, 2017

Garlic and Garlic Pesto

 Way back in October of 2016 I planted garlic.
Breaking off cloves you plant each clove.

 My garden of garlic.

 You will see the garlic growing in the spring. A fun sight in the garden, green in early spring!

 As the garlic continues to grow. It will form a scape.
The scape is the flower that emerges from the middle of the garlic stalk. The theory behind harvesting them is that it forces the garlic to put its energy towards making a bigger bulb instead of making a flower. I harvest mine when they just start to curl themselves into a circle. The longer you wait the spicier and tougher the scapes become.
With my garlic scapes, I make garlic pesto.

 Garlic Pesto

2 cups garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of olive oil or sunflower oil

*note: feel free to mix in other herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, parsley or even kale to make the pesto more mild. We love garlic, so we do not mind!!

1. Add garlic scapes, Parmesan, walnuts, salt, and black pepper to food processor and scrape sides to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

2. Turn on processor slowly add 1/2 cup oil. Once added, stop the processor and scrape sides to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. If pesto is thick,  add more oil while the processor is running.

5. Process pesto once more until it is creamy, about 1 minute.

6. Load the pesto into your preferred containers and store in your chest freezer for up to a year.

We enjoy using our pest for a dip with pretzels or chips.
We also use on homemade pizza.

The link below is where I found helpful tips on growing garlic and the pesto recipe.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you and then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time and we'd both be happy? On the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows. 

You've Got Mail

There is a person who helps at our community garden who seems to feel it necessary to make comments to me or give his opinion of me and my work. Or just has to say stuff. 
The problem is it is childish stuff. I am in my 40's. Why? Why say stuff like...  And is coming from a man well in his 60's.

Regarding my hair ~ "Why does Jeremy let you play with the electric outlet?" 
Regarding my boys ~ "Why are they not doing this activity or helping with this?"
Regarding my garden ~ "Growing your share of weeds."

I do not say anything back. 
I never do. I never have. 

It is making this summers time at the garden, not as fun as years past. I am one  to mind my own business. When I do visit or say something to someone, I like to try to have it be positive, even if I am trying to correct something.

I would love to say something.

Just like Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Coffee Ice Cream

Coffee Ice Cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup whole coffee beans
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the egg yolks, until they are thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the four and salt. Set aside:
Combine the milk and coffee beans in a heavy medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, cover and keep warm for 20 minutes.
Remove the coffee beans with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Slowly beat the warm milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot coffee custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Continue to make your custard in your ice cream machine.
Slowly cooking the coffee beans, to make the flavoring.
Finished product! Yummy!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sound Off

Sound Off
Sound Off

Our little village is taking on our village board.
Our village was hit with soft ball sized hail from the F3 tornado that hit about two miles from our home. Most village residents have hail damage. Siding, windows, screens and roofs are some of the building type damage that most of our neighbors have.
Sadly, all of the Village of Cameron residents received in the mail a letter sharing that we needed a STORM DAMAGE REPAIR PERMIT, and yes, it was in all capital letters.

With the expense of repairs, insurance deductibles and the fact that we did not plan the storm to hit our homes. Many people got upset and protested at the Village Hall.
The above article explains what the residents of Cameron are protesting.

Have you ever had to protest something in your hometown?
I did not attend the protest. 
I do agree with the protest.
Our roof work is scheduled for the end of July or the first of August.
And at the time of this post, we have not gotten a building permit. We are going to wait and see what happens with the inquiry.

I will be away from my desk for a few days.
Wishing you all a great week!
And ponder what we should do regarding the permit.
I do not want to be writing from jail. Ha!
Going on a Road Trip!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hey! It is the Hodgepodge!!

Glacier National Park
 making memories

 It is Wednesday! And that means it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

Monday, we stopped over to visit our neighbors who are heading out for a camp trip. We will be taking care of the home, pets, mail and any packages that are delivered. 
We visited about our To Do List for while they are away, about what they plan to do and storm damage, yep, we are still talking about the tornado that went thru our area May, 16th.

 2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

I am like a river, ever changing...yet the same. 

My boys are growing up so fast, I hardly feel I can keep up. Our oldest is a senior in High School this year.  Working, saving for a Jeep, college applications and taking on more responsibility.
When I look at photos like the one above, I am in shock at how fast and yet wonderful it all has been.
I have been blessed to be a mom to my boys.
As my life is changing, my nest is starting to see one fly, I will always be MOM! 
I am so blessed for that!!

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

No, I have not been to Delaware.

As far as Wisconsin goes, well we like nicknames in this state.

Whereas there is only one Wisconsin motto, there exist a number of state nicknames for Wisconsin:

"The Badger State"
Back in the 1830s the Wisconsin lead miners who worked in mines in Illinois were called badgers.
These miners lived in temporary caves cut into the mountain and these housings were called badger dens.
The Wisconsin miners eventually brought this nickname back with them.

"The Copper State"
This Wisconsin state nickname is a reference to the northern copper mines of the state.

"The Dairy State", "Americas Dairyland", and "The Cheese State" Wisconsin is a great producer of cheese and butter, hence all these Wisconsin state nicknames.

I will pick the ... 
"The Dairy State"
My parents are proud Wisconsin Dairy Farmers.
I say "YES, Wisconsin cheese makers make the best cheese in the U.S.of A."

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers? 

We attended a 4th of July party. 
I brought appetizers for the party.
I dipped pretzel rods in white chocolate and sprinkled them with Red and Blue Jimmies.

I like to bring my Homesteader Bean Dish, it is easy to transport and well liked by all who have tasted it.

 5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

Life is fast enough with all our social media, fast food, hurry to do this or that.
Just enjoy. 

My number one tip. Limit how many activities your kids are in. 

My heart hurts when I see these frazzled mom's running to this and that. Hockey, Soccer, Volleyball, Football.
 Good Grief, I ask them how and when do you do family time.

"We do not, there is not time"
One mom even shared with me that they have not gone on a family vacation in years because of sports practice that starts in the summer. If your child misses more than two practices, they can not start on the team.

So we took a different path. We set a limit on how many sports and extras would be added to our family life and our own life.  

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

 My Li'l Toot
look at those shoes

Friday, July 7, 2017


Be You

Have you ever struggled with needing to fit in? 
Trying to be someone else to fit into what others want you to be?

I recently had this discussion with my boys.
It was a good reminder for me as well.

You have been made to be YOU.
You do not need to be anyone but you.
Know yourself, be yourself, like yourself.

There is nobody just like you. Never has been, never will be. Only you can be you.

Be You

The poet e. e. cummings wrote:

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing 
its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human 
being can fight; and never stop fighting.


Friday, June 30, 2017

The Little Garden That Could

 Within a tiny acorn, a mighty oak is waiting!
Great things always start small, so embrace beginnings and take joy in the journey.
~ Pearl Sanborn

The Little Garden That Could
It all started three years ago. I decided to sell my fresh cut flower arrangements in front of our house. A self serve flower stand May ~ September. 
I love growing, designing with and sharing flowers.  
Last summer I decided to take The Little Garden That Could on the road. I set up each and every Friday at the Bruce Farmer's Market. I enjoyed my days at the market. I also learned a few lessons. Starting with lesson number one, the weather has a mind of its own. The second market  day of the year we had set up for about an hour and the sheriff's deputy came to tell us to start taking down our stands and quick, a tornado warning was issued for the county. 
Lesson number two, you never know how many bouquets to bring with you on a Friday. I would sell out or have too many and flowers would go to waste.

As the winter months came, I started to look into other ways to share my love of flowers with people. I learned about Slow Flowers, I shared about Slow Flowers  here. 

As I read about other Flower Farmer / Florist, I also learned about the idea of a flower subscription. With that The Little Garden That Could Flower Subscription business was born.
This gives me more control of my flowers and most important, I can get to know my customers.

 Click on the above link and check out my website.
Please share your thoughts with me.
My youngest son did the art for my business card.
 I am excited to spread some flowers and smiles.

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.
~ Max Muller  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

American Flowers Week

American Flowers Week
June 28 - July 4, 2017


Happy American Flowers Week
a project of  Slow Flowers

 This site is the creation of Debra Prinzing, a writer, speaker, outdoor living expert and advocate for American flower farming.

Debra explains her motivation for starting the SLOW FLOWERS directory:

Over the past several years, while doing media interviews and speaking to audiences about American-grown flowers, I continually heard the questions: 'Where can I find American flowers?" and "How can I find a florist who I trust will sell me locally-grown flowers?"
It became apparent to me that people want locally-grown, domestic flowers. But it isn't easy to find American-grown flowers in the sea of unlabeled imported ones. It's also hard to discover those very special, dedicated designers committed to using flowers from their local farmers or event flowers grown in nearby states, such as during the off season.
I was inspired to launch the SLOW FLOWERS online directory as a one-stop resource for consumers in search of florists who guarantee the origin of the flowers they use.
It's simple. When you contact a florist, flower shop or designer on SLOW FLOWERS, they commit to you, the consumer, that their flowers are truly homegrown.
You should be able to know the origins of the flowers you order to send to a loved one. You should be assured that the bouquet you carry down the aisle was grown by an American flower farmer. You should know that jobs are being created and nurtured in your community.
It's all about making a conscious choice.

I will be sharing some exciting news regarding slow flowers on Friday, June 30th.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Joy List Monday

Joy List Monday
a weekly ritual

a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces
 that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day
♥ my life as a mom to boys
mischief that teen boys like to do to their mom ... any guesses from the photo above

♥ fresh fruit

 ♥ summer

♥ birds taking a bath in the bird bath

♥ summer bon fires

 ♥ hanging out laundry

 ♥ kind strangers


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Time to Hit the Beach Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday and it is time for the Hodgepodge.
Join in on the fun! Joyce asks the questions, we answer the questions.

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?

1. Time at the beach!  
Yep, we have a camp trip planned on the Southern Shores of Lake Superior in July.
2. Enjoying a bon fire.
Have done that and will have a few more.
3. Eating S'Mores while enjoying the bon fire.
Yep, did and will do again. 
4. Canoeing!
We have plans to enjoy a day paddling a new lake.
5. Catching Fireflies!
I use to do this every summer with my sister and cousin. I ask the boys to help me catch them now. It always ends in laughter and mosquito bites. The fireflies are out at the same time the mosquito are out.
6. Picnics
We already had a few of these and have some more on the calendar.
7. BLT's
This will happen in August for me, a fresh BLT with lettuce and tomato from our garden.
8. Berry picking.
Each summer I take the boys strawberry picking. That time is coming up.
9. Moon Walks.
Our family was treated to a special night with Judy and Mr. C of  Cranberry Morning.
We played croquet, enjoyed a lovely meal sitting on the porch and ended the evening taking a moon walk during the full Strawberry Moon.
10. Family Time!!
YES, I will be sure to get some of that in too!

  2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas

I do collect sea shells. I put my small shells in a jar. I have a few large shells that I have with my summer decor. When we enjoy the beaches of Lake Superior, we usually look for agates, sea glass and unique drift wood.
I have not visited any of the beaches on the list. 
My friend Marv loves the beaches of Texas. I have family that live in Texas. I will pick Galveston Island as the first to visit.

 3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

Happy as a Clam
School is out! 
Our claim for the damage done to our home during the May 16th storm is all settled. 
My boys are enjoying the days of summer and working part time.
My dad continues to heal after his April 11th heart attack.

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?

  I can not think of an activity. Instead, STORMS continue to pop into my mind. Summer brings heat and humidity to Wisconsin. We can have awful storms. 
I dislike when the storm siren is blaring and the sky is angry.

 5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?

It means “to distinguish, to separate out by diligent search, to examine."
Yes, it bothers me.  

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Pacific Ocean
Torrey Pines State Park

I vote for this to be a must see!
Our family loved Torrey Pines.
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