Happy 4th of July!

I‘m finally getting a few minutes to catch up on our websites.

The last week has been very full….holidays always bring excitement, fun and lots of added things to be done.

We had a delightful 4th of July holiday. My husband’s Dad and Aunt came for a visit, as well as my Mom (she spent the night before at my home).

I love for our family to come and visit. These people are each so special to us, we are so glad when they come and can spend some time visiting.

We tried some new recipes this year…the picture is of one of the apple pies that Jess and I made together. She did such a good job cutting out leaves and arranging them just right on our pie crust.

We also tried a new rib recipe. I’m posting both recipes below. The apple pie was very easy and tasted great (I have decreased the sugar called for in the original recipe). The ribs were a bit more time consuming, but were awesome! This is a recipe that I adapted for the grill (we like to grill our ribs in the last few minutes but have never managed to grill from start to finish without them coming out really tough!).

Today, we’re expecting more rain. It has rained quite a bit over the last few days. We are so thankful for this extra water…we just finished the last of the summer planting in our square foot gardens.

Since posting last time, Paul built me two additional 2’x4’ boxes to house my pumpkin plants (Connecticut Field and Big Max pumpkins!).

He also added a trellis system for the climbing plants.

We have lost a couple of plants due to water restrictions and a little incident I had with a bottle of weed killer :0 !

All in all, it’s going well and we all seem to be enjoying our new plants. Currently, we are growing plums, blackberries, two types of pumpkins, green onions, carrots, morning glories, bush beans, pole beans, two types of tomatoes, cucumbers, oregano, banana peppers, green peppers, marigolds, thyme, rosemary, lemon thyme, lavender, sunflowers, 2 types of eggplant, lettuce and watermelon.

Our 4th of July Recipes:

Apple Pie

6c thinly sliced apples (we like Fuji but you could also try Granny Smith)
1/2 c white sugar
3T butter
1t ground cinnamon
1 recipe for flaky piecrust (see below)
3T flour mixed with 1t allspice

Prepare your pastry for piecrust. Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, allspice and flour.

Arrange apples in layers in pastry lined pie plate. Sprinkle layers with spice mixture. Dot top layer with small slices of butter. Cover with top crust.

Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Serve warm or cold. (Ours was REALLY delicious warm with vanilla ice cream!!)

Flaky Piecrust

2 2/3c sifted regular flour
1t salt
1c shortening
6T ice-cold water

Combine first 3 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Cut well with pastry cutter. Add ice-cold water. Cut with pastry cutter, thoroughly. Always cut never stir. Lay down aluminum foil on counter, lightly flour. Divide in 1/2. Shape into balls. Roll out on floured foil. Invert pie plate over top of piecrust, center it and flip, position it. Peel foil from back. Trim edges and shape as desired.

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs

2c sliced onions
2c ketchup
2c water
4t salt
1/4c Worcestershire Sauce
1/2c white vinegar
1/2c dark brown sugar
4t dry mustard
4lbs pork spareribs
BBQ Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine onions, ketchup, water, salt, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and mustard. Split ribs down the center between the bones.

Heat a large lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear until browned. This may have to be done in several batches.

Place ribs in single layer in two baking pans. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, reserve remainder.

Bake ribs in preheated oven for 2 hours. Turn and baste meat every twenty minutes with remaining sauce, using all sauce by two hours. Remove from oven, brush with BBQ sauce and place on a preheated grill, cook for 10 minutes, flip and cook and additional 10 minutes.

It’s a lot of work but they were AWESOME!!!!

Prayer Requests

My hubby’s Aunt Linda who is continuing to recover from eye surgery.

Our piano teacher and her upcoming new family addition!

Kim Greenlaw has had some issues with migraines this week.

Today I’m Thankful For

Rain!! Rain!! Rain!!

A pleasant holiday with my family.

Some sewing time last night.

My husband calling this morning just to say hello! : )

I won the monthly drawing from Baby Naturale for June! That means that I have a $20.00 gift certificate to add to my cloth diapering supplies!! Woohoo!!

Tracy’s Tasks

Today I have planted additional plants in my garden. I’m going to start journaling in a notebook when and where I plant my new little seedlings.

If you have a gardening project started, it always helps to keep some type of record in case you need a reminder of a particular variety or planting information for your plants! This can be as simple as a notebook for jotting down quick information.

Scripture Meditation

Rom 4:24-25
“but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness– for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

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