A VERY EXCITING SUMMER

Things have been extremely busy and exciting this summer.  My “regular” full-time university job continues to bring me great joy and satisfaction.  As I prepare for my 29th fall semester, I look forward to the returning students and faculty as much as I did many years ago!  And there have been some very exciting moments for me in my “other” jobs that I enjoy just as much.

The last blog gave an update on the entries at the Heart of Illinois Fair.  Allison and I also entered a number of cookies in the State Fair.  Although they did not place, it is always exciting to compete the in State Fair.

The good news is my blackberry jelly placed second!

bowl-of-berries

In early August I made a batch of blackberry jelly.  Unfortunately, the terribly harsh winter was very hard on my blackberries.  I am sure they will come back next year, so for this year I used frozen blackberries from last year.

vanning-tools

All the tools necessary for making jelly!  When I first started making jelly, it made me very nervous.  But now that I am an “old pro” (haha) I have found that the trick is to be prepared and have all necessary items ready and handy!

case-of-jars

And here is the winning entry on display!

My favorite cookies are sugar cookies.  The receipt I use is one that has been in our family for many years.  A favorite of my husband’s great-grandmother and his mother, I have tweaked the recipe a bit, and these cookies are absolutely mouth-watering.  I have featured the cookies and the recipe on this blog and they have also been featured on Andrea’s wonderful “Keeping It Cozy” blog.  This year, I entered “Grandma’s Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies” in the Gold Medal Flour Best Cookie Contest.  And guess what?  My cookies won the New Entrant Award!!  It was a live judging with the winners announced soon after the judging.  I was so sure that I would not win, that I did not even realize when my entrant number and name was called!  All winners were asked to put on the apron (which is one of the prizes!) and pictures were taken!  I was very excited and honored.

mom-in-apron

I still can’t believe it!

lots-of-corn

The sweet corn this year is fantastic!  We put almost 10 dozen ears in the freezer.  I blanch the corn for about 6 minutes, put it in ice water for 2 minutes, cut it off the cob, and freeze in quart freezer storage bags.  It will taste delicious this winter!!

Hope you all have had a wonderful summer filled with great family memories and good times.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,

Pat, Kathi, and Carla

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