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Friday, July 11, 2014

This week's edibles and other goodies

Midsummer, and it's time to create some goodies.

This week, I made 5 half-pints of sweet cherry preserves and 1 half-pint of sweet cherry syrup. I used the directions in Joy of Cooking for the preserves. The cherry syrup is simply the leftover syrup juice from the preserve.

I made 1  1/2 pints of watermelon rind pickles, again using Joy of Cooking's directions. I used whole cloves and cinnamon sticks in place of the spice oils called for.

I almost forgot, I also made a batch of laundry soap and liquid hand soap. I simply melted down 1 bar of allergen-free bar soap in a large amount of water. I don't add anything else to this, for laundry, due to allergies. We have soft water here. This likely wouldn't rinse out as well in hard water. But it is working well-enough for us. And the big bonus for me, my skin can tolerate it very well. For the liquid hand soap, I poured some of this melted soap into the empty soap bottles, and added some green liquid food coloring that I had mixed for another project. Lovely, sea green hand soap, for pennies a bottle.
That's all for this week's creative goodies.

Did you create anything this week? Share, please!


  1. Mmm...the sweet cherry preserves sound delicious!

    Zucchini seems to be the most abundant thing in my garden this week. I made zucchini bread, tried a new recipe for a zucchini casserole and shredded 20 cups of zucchini and froze in 2 cup portions for future loaves of zucchini bread.

    I also made laundry and hand soap this week!

    I use a powder form of laundry soap...a shredded bar of soap, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and Borax. I have heard of some having trouble getting the powder to dissolve in cold water loads. I haven't had this trouble though and I think it's because we have a water softener.

    The hand soap I make is so easy that I don't think it actually counts as making something. Lol. I have three plastic Dial foaming soap pump/dispensers that I fill 3/4 full with water, add 2 Tbsp of liquid castile soap and shake. I keep one in each of our bathrooms and one at the kitchen sink.


    1. Hi Angie,
      Oh that most definitely counts! Anytime you can find a simple and quick solution like how you make your hand soap -- that's a win! We all need a few simple DIYs.

      Your garden is about a full month ahead of mine. My zucchini is still in the small plant stage. I'll just have to be patient. Can you share where you got the zucchini casserole recipe, or a quick version of the recipe?

    2. Hi Lili.

      I wish I could share some of my zucchini with you until your harvest. We've been eating a lot, I've frozen a lot and now I'm sharing with family. It never ceases to amaze me how much zucchini can be harvested from 4 plants. Wow!

      I found this recipe on

      Cheesy Zucchini Casserole 1
      - 4 slices bread, cubed
      - 1/4 cup melted butter
      - 2 cups cubed zucchini
      - 1 large onion, chopped
      - 1 tsp garlic salt
      - 1 egg, beaten
      - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

      Place bread cubes in a medium bowl and pour melted butter over the bread. Add the zucchini, onion, garlic salt and egg; mix well. Transfer the mixture into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish and top with cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 30 minutes.

      When I made this, I used some garlic powder instead of the garlic salt. I used salted butter, so I thought it would be salty enough, and it turned out to our liking. I used some Italian bread and I lightly toasted it. I also used a little less cheese...1 1/4 cup, I think. We thought it was really good. It's listed as a side dish on AllRecipes but I used it as a meatless meal, served with a salad. It's going to be in our rotation for the Summer.


    3. Oh, for the zucchini casserole, I used diced green onions from my garden and it turned out really good. Next time, I'll probably try it with regular chopped onion.


    4. Thank you, Angie! I'll be trying this recipe in a few weeks.

  2. hi lili,
    your sweet cherry preserves and juice sounds good. The watermelon rind pickles sounds interesting, How do you make this? and how use it?
    I have 6 kohlrabi from my garden harvested.With 3 kohlrabi I have made a cream soup.The other three kohlrabi I've frozen. I made sage syrup for the's good for colds.Have dried thyme.I have chives and parsley frozen.
    Wish you a wonderful weekend,

    1. Hi Regina,
      Sage syrup for colds -- I've never heard of that. But now I am very interested. I do have a lot of sage here. Is it a simple syrup infused with sage?
      For watermelon pickles, you use only the white portion. I save the white pieces until I have enough for a small batch of pickles. Basically, it's a syrup of vinegar, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick over blanched watermelon rind. It's a sweet and sour pickle, to serve alongside meat, or sliced thin on sandwiches, or rinsed and used in place of candied fruit in fruitcake at the holidays. I'll email you the recipe, if you want. It takes 3 days to make, but not much work on each of the days.
      It sounds like you're getting your freezer and pantry filled for winter!

  3. I didn't create anything special in the food line, but I did create several personalized word searches and quizzes for fun for my mother. She lives too far away to visit often and isn't well enough to get out much so I was hoping for something a little different for her to enjoy. They were a big hit.

    1. HI live and learn,
      That sounds really, really nice. And very thoughtful! I bet you mother really appreciated the time you put into making those for her. Such a great idea!

    2. Live and learn,

      The personalized word searches are such a neat idea!

      My grandmother is 95 years old and can't get around on her own anymore. She loves word searches and I usually give her the jumbo books from the Dollar Store as gifts. After reading your comment, I think I'll create a few personalized word searches to include next time. She will love it! Thanks for the idea!


  4. I had a big cooking day on Sunday. I made chicken soup, chicken broth, beef cheeks in the slow cooker, chicken liver pate and lemon and coconut bliss balls. My freezer is now very full!

    I love the idea of making your own hand soap. We're nearly out, so I should give it a go.

    1. Hi Liz,
      You were very productive in the kitchen yesterday! What are lemon and coconut bliss balls? They sound like they could be very yummy!

      There are a lot of liquid soap recipes out there. I find just melting a bar of soap in water to be the simplest. Sometimes I add coloring and essential oil. Other times I just leave it unscented. Give it a try!


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