Saturday, August 30, 2014

Art in it's many forms

I began running my day through my head as I sat down to write this blog today.  I was trying to come up with a title.  You would think that the writing would be what is difficult but I find that very easy. It is coming up with titles that I find hard.  First, I have to check back over the past year and see if I have used that title before.  Tomorrow is my one year blogging anniversary and there are 750 posts, 751 with this.  That is 751 different titles!!

I I thought about all the things going on today and the common thread was Art.

First, let's talk about the Art of Exercise:  I got up early, picked up Kim and headed over to the gym for a boot camp class only to find, when we arrived, that there are no classes today due to the holiday weekend.  We didn't let this deter us and I got an hour on the treadmill. You can follow my Quest for Fitness here.

The Art of Caregiving:  After our workout we stopped and visited with Mom and her gang.  Anyone who does not believe care giving is an art has never been a care giver.

The Art of Cooking:  When I got home I pickled some of the tons of beans that are filling up my fridge.

You can use 3 lbs of whatever beans you want.
I only had wax beans and purple beans (which turn green when cooked)
If you have other beans to add the procedure is the same.

You need 1 large onion, sliced
1 sweet pepper, I used purple
You can add a few stalks of celery, sliced, too but I was out.
Throw all the veggies into a pot of boiling water and let cook for 10 minutes.
Keep warm until ready to place in jars.

Combine sugar, pickling spices, vinegar and water in a large pan.
Bring to a boil,
Stir to dissolve sugar and simmer for 15 minutes.
Try to time this so it is ready the same time as the veggies.

Place veggies into sterilized jars.
Make sure the jars are not cold or they may crack when adding the hot liquid.
Ladle the hot pickling mixture over the vegetables, leaving 1/4" head space.
Place lids on jars.
Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes regardless of size of jar.

Remove from hot water bath and cool on counter lined with a towel.

Pickled Beans

3 lbs. asst. beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion, sliced
1 or 2 bell peppers, cut in chunks
2 or 3 stalks of celery, sliced (if desired)
2 1/2 c. sugar
5 t. pickling spice
4 t. pickling salt
3 c. white vinegar
1 1/4 c. hot water

Place sugar, spices, salt, vinegar and water into a large pan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes or until ready to use.

Place prepared vegetables into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and immediately put into sterilized canning jars.

Ladle pickling liquid over the vegetables, covering completely and leaving 1/4" head space.

Place lids onto jars and process using the hot bath method for 15 minutes.

Remove from water bath and set on a towel lined counter to cool.  Print Recipe

The Art of Local Artists: This afternoon we went to the art fair in our little town of Algonac.  I was pleased to see so many local artisans having booths.  I found a perfect Christmas gift for Frank's sister.

The Art of Music:  We had a special memorial Mass today for Sarah Catherine, granddaughter of our dear friends, Kirsten and John, who was born still.  Kirsten sang a beautiful tribute to Sarah.."Child of My Heart".  It was lovely and haunting.

And finally, the Art of Writing: I finished reading The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, last night. I loved this book.  It is historical fiction set in England during the war.  It is the story of a young girl who  is working as a house servant to a prosperous family being told by her as she is aged and approaching death.  It is a love story, a historical novel and a mystery.  I am anxious to read the sequel, The Forgotten Garden.

Stop by Book Club Friday and see what others read this week.

That was my Saturday.  See you all tomorrow.  Enjoy your holiday weekend.


  1. A very 'artful' Saturday. Those pickled beans look wonderful

  2. Very artsy today, Wendy. I think there is a lesson learned....look for the "art" in all we do. Liked the art of canning here, too.

    1. I think you are right Debra, we don't always recognize the value of every day life.

  3. Sounds like a great day - I do so love a local art fair!

    1. Me too and I got to go on Saturday and to a different one on Sunday. It was a great weekend.

  4. Pickled beans sound delicious to me.

    1. They are good and they make a nice addition to side dishes when you are setting up a buffet.


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