Friday, August 27, 2010

Wide-mouth Pint and a Half Jars for Canning

Last jar of Crunchy Dilly Beans
It is almost 7 inches tall and 3-1/4 inches in diameter
Jar on left is a Classico Mason Jar for comparison

The Ball wide-mouth pint and a half jars hold 24 oz. with about a 1/4-inch of headspace. The markings on the jars are not very distinct. It looks like it shows 2 c. and 500 ml markings and a fill-to line for freezing (just below where the band rests when it is screwed in).

Last summer I put up some green beans using a recipe from Sunset Magazine
and the result was crunchy, garlicky, dilly beans.

I used some lovely Ball jars from my jar stash that are 1-1/2 pint capacity. They were perfect for green beans and would have been great for asparagus. Of course, they made wonderful spontaneous hostess gifts. Soon I had only a couple of these jars left. I went to my local Ace Hardware stores (and my True Value, OSH, etc) searching for replacements. All winter long I kept checking at likely sources -- hoping to get a jump on the first jars to hit the shelves for canning season. Guess what? These jars are no longer being made. I think I learned this first from the Garden Web Harvest Forum, a great source of information about what to do with the bounty of your garden.

I wrote several letters to people at Ball Corp. and Jarden, the current manufacturer of Ball jars, telling them what a great size this is for beans, asparagus, etc., and what a great gift home preserved food is, especially in their lovely jars. I reminded them that home preserving is experiencing a surge of interest. I told them how much I loved the cute, squat jars in the Elite Collection.

I received this note:

"We appreciate your interest in Jarden Home Brands products. The 1-1/2 pint size jar was discontinued several years ago and our inventory has been depleted. We received several inquires from consumers regarding this size jar. If enough interest is generated, our marketing team would consider bringing this jar back.

Please send them an email at

It's too late for canning season in North America but who knows, maybe they will surprise us for next year?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

June 17

By now we've crossed and re-crossed many bridges, walked along La Seine, traipsed across Ile St. Louis for ice cream at Berthillon. Today the plan was to go by Le Metro to Montmarte. At Madeleine we managed to sortie when we were supposed to correspondance. But it was all good.

Sacre Coeur

We were mesmerized by this football guy doing his thing on a lamp post.

One of the remaining moulins.

Always a good idea to stop at a cafe.

Walking down from the heights along rue Lepic in search of Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent,

and Julia Child's Paris.

Friday, July 23, 2010

June 16

Pont Alexandre III (maybe?)

even the backs are beautiful

Cleopatra's Needle
Place de la Concorde
part of our Tour de France pilgrimage

Well, we had to visit La Joconde

one of many artists at work Musee du Louvre

Notre Dame de Paris


and lovely, peaceful behind the cathedral

Monday, July 19, 2010

June 15

la coupe du monde de foot

now doesn't this sound much nicer?

just another front door

perhaps my favorite of the whole trip

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Arriving in Paris

It all seems like a dream. We'd been planning our trip to France since the beginning of the year. Now that we are back home it's hard to believe that we were really there.

We left San Francisco early Monday afternoon and arrived in Paris on Tuesday. It was an 11 hour flight and 9 hours time difference.

We took the train into Paris and then got onto the Metro. There was a wonderful story on NPR last weekend about Le Metro.

Of course I'm besotted by all things French.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On the street where we live

Hotel de la Tour Eiffel, near the rue Cler, closer to rue Dominique and the Seine

We chose this Rick Steve's recommendation in the 7th because it is in the neighborhood where Alice stayed when she was last in Paris.

We couldn't believe that this is what we saw when we looked out the window.

A most charming member invited us into their space. The association has 15,000 members from across France. On the day we visited a small group was working on the Dear Jane blocks.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Linda, Alice and I flew from San Francisco to Paris on June 13.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

One more from the weekend

Silk habotai 10 mm: dyed, discharged with thiox, dye painted and screen printed.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Three Days in the Dye Pots

There aren't enough adjectives to exclaim about the amazing 3-day silk-dyeing workshop we had with Bonnie Wells at Walnut Creek Civic Arts. And now I need to get ready for my next adventure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What I've been up to

"First, you have to try to figure out which species of block is getting to you. As well as many subspecies, the main ones are fear of failure after previous success, fear of success due to a sense of unworthiness, lack of potential venue, jaded attitude, crisis of confidence, evidence of persistent poor quality, lackadaisical motivation and common everyday shortage of ideas." -- Robert Genn

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm in the garden

Love Apple Farm
Ben Lomond, California

Last weekend, Rick rode is his bike down to Santa Cruz and I was the designated picker-upper. Actually, we met at our favorite beach on the San Mateo coast. On my way down to Santa Cruz/the beach, I stopped in at Love Apple Farm to buy some tomato starts.

Usually I just bust open a couple of sacks of Bumper Crop and spread it around. I have some old but still-standing raised beds that we put in when we bought the house. Our native soil is heavy clay. I didn't know what I was doing then and I don't know much more now but hope springs eternal. The soil in the raised beds has a lovely texture but I suspect that it is quite infertile.

Linda told me about Cynthia Sandberg, an amazing grower in Ben Lomond, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Her Love Apple Farm is the kitchen garden for Manresa, the Michelin-starred creation of chef David Kinch. This year she grew over 150 varieties of tomatoes, mostly heirlooms. She offers them for sale through the end of the month.

After strolling around the farm, checking out her pig and her chickens, I made the pilgrimage to Mountain Feed and Farm in downtown Ben Lomond. I have been fascinated with Cynthia's ideas for bed preparation and tomato planting. Mountain Feed usually has most of the ingredients necessary for the Love Apple protocols. Alas, I was too late get everything I needed. Next time I will call before making the trek. I did get some of the things on my list and resolved to try to secure the most daunting item for the almighty tomato hole: fish heads.

My test run was yesterday. Cynthia's method requires a deep hole. This is not because of the size of the tomato start, but because of the fish head. I was able to find salmon heads. Four of those babies weighed 10 lbs. I dug an 18" hole and threw in 1/2 a fish head per hole. Don't ask. Actually, that was the worst part. Next, she recommends bone meal, two aspirins, 2-4 eggshells, humic acid, earthworm castings, and an organic fertilizer. Am I the last person on earth to know about earthworm castings? That was the best part. This morning I couldn't wait to get up to see if the two tomato plants had been ravaged by marauding raccoons. So far, they don't know about the fish heads. I planted 6 more tomatoes and now I will take a nap. Je suis fatigue...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Voices in Cloth: Final Day

This is the show floor as we walked in this afternoon. I was concerned that with the torrential rains we experienced while driving in to Oakland, that attendance would be down.

The vendors were along the perimeter and there were some exceptional offerings.

I took some pictures of the quilts of some of my friends.

This is Bev Glick's wonderful New York Beauty.

Chris Smith at Reap As You Sew showed two quilts. This is Bring on the Endorphins. She wrote about here it on her blog.

She also showed It's Easy Being Green. You can read that interesting story here.

I took another picture of my friend Candice Abraham's stunning quilt, Lotsa Squares but it turned out all wonky. Her quilt is anything but wonky. Here is someone else admiring her work.

Somehow I again forgot to take a picture of my quilt. I guess I was too excited. Terry Grant was right: people were interested in it. I received so much encouragement.

The last picture I will post is a picture of Linda Weinstein's powerful quilt.

The small town next to ours has a hillside full of crosses commemorating military losses from the war in Iraq. Read more about the Memorial here.

The show closed at 4 PM and by 5:30 nearly all of the vendors were packed up and the quilters were lining up to retrieve their work.