80 Main Street, Sutter Creek, California ~ ~ ~ Attempted Hours: Open 11am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summertime and Plum Jelly

After an extremely busy Spring at The Antique Gardener, Summer has arrived.  Our days are filled with working in the Big Garden at home, watering at the shop and hanging out with the kids.

Dusty, Jack and Emma picked a bunch of Santa Rosa plums for me the other day. 

Santa Rosa plums are delicious.  They have a sweet/tart flavor and when they are really ripe the juice just dribbles down your chin.  Usually the birds devour them before we can get any picked.  This year we had a big crop so I think there are enough for all of us!

I had a lot of fun taking pictures of plums in our new kitchen.  In the background is a galvanized water trough...in the house!  It's a great old tub and we put a couple of old boards on top to make a unique "behind the sofa table".  Before we put the wood top on it Emma thought we should raise baby chicks in the house!

The dusty silver film on plums is called 'bloom'.  It is actually a naturally occurring wax and is produced by the fruit itself.  You can wipe the bloom off resulting in a shiny plum or eat it with the 'bloom on'. Maybe you can see the birds got to one of these!

Emma and I decided to make plum jelly.  I wasn't sure if we had enough so we headed out to pick some more.  Emma thought we needed some leaves for the pictures.  I think she was totally right!

 Before you can make plum jelly you need to make plum juice.  Emma and I cut up the plums and added a cup and half of water then brought the entire thing to a boil.

 Once it came to a boil I turned down the heat and simmered the plums for 10-15 minutes.  After a while it begins to turn a little soupy but is a beautiful pink color.  It also smells amazing!

So, after straining the above through cheesecloth I was able to squeeze out almost five cups of plum juice.  I then followed the directions in the package of SureJell to make our jelly.  Basically you add water to your strained juice until you have five and a half cups.  Add the packet of SureJell and bring to a boil.  Quickly add seven cups of sugar - make sure you have it all measured out ahead of time.  Bring to a full rolling boil for one minute - make sure you stir constantly!

As you can see, Emma thinks the finished product is pretty yummy.  One word of caution...Emma helps me with the prep but I make her stay away while the jelly is boiling.  It is so hot and not safe for kids to be around.

Once the jelly has finished boiling you quickly pour it into your prepared jars.  I top my jelly with a layer of melted paraffin wax.  It quickly seals jelly or jam and allows you to use a variety of different jars.

Here is our finished product!  The extra went into a ramekin and we enjoyed for dinner on hot biscuits.  I have to say it does taste pretty good - sweet but a little tart too.  It definitely tastes like summer!!!

Our family has decided to sell our extra garden goods at the shop this year.  The kids will be selling fresh picked plums this week.  Check our Facebook page for our "Farm Stand" updates.

Happy Summer!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Change is Good....right?

There has been a lot going on in my life the last few months. This fall we were finally able to finish building our home (after five very long years!) and moved in a few days before Christmas.

 This picture was taken just a few days ago after a wonderful little snow storm.

The view off our porch.
We all love our new home...but more on it later!

There has been a lot of changes taking place at the shop as well!  We have been doing a little work to our garden area.  The bushes along the fence were getting pretty over grown....

So we pruned them!

This darling couple, Jillian and Matt, were actually married in the yard in 2010.  They used the old doors I had in the corner as a back drop for their wedding.

Well, I am very sad to say that the darling little corner is no longer there.
We are opening up our garden to welcome new neighbors. 

Greg and Sharon Baiocchi from Baiocchi Wines in Fairplay will be opening a tasting room in the little house next door.

So, to really make some changes, Dusty brought in the backhoe.  I never thought there would be a tractor in the yard at my shop!

But once he finished (and hauled off three dumptruck loads of dirt) we have a nice level area that will become a paver patio later this month.  Guests to the tasting room will actually enter through our front gate, travel up a walkway through beautiful flower beds and end here at the tasting room.  You will be able to taste wine while relaxing on a nice shady patio.  We will also be using the patio for special events and classes.

It may not look like much right now....but soon we will have the yard looking like this again...or maybe even a little bit better.  Change is good....right!?!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mes Amis Vintage Antiques Fall Show

Join me on Saturday, September 15th for the Mes Amis Vintage Antiques Show. Located on Oak Street in downtown Roseville, California this is one of the best antique fairs in the country!  It was actually recognized as such by Romantic Homes magazine and Flea Market Style magazine!!!

I am packing lots of galvanized.  My pile includes old sap buckets, trash cans, buckets and tubs. 
I'll be bringing a giant turkey feeder too!

Lots of beautiful plants including maidenhair ferns and selaginella moss (pictured above).  I will also be bringing fall favorites like fountain grass, different varieties of coleus and a huge assortment of beautfiul chrysanthamums.

I'm packing a few topiaries too!  Fall is a great time to buy a topiary - - the weather is cooling off and you can use it throughout the holiday season.  We will have ivy, angel vine and lemon cypress topiaries...I'm hoping to bring some little olive trees too!

In addition to the plants I have lots of great antiques including a department store shoe rack, vintage glider and chair, feed sack pillows and lots of garden tools, pots and so much more!

Here are a few pictures of my space at the Spring Mes Amis show.  It was the first antique show I had done in a long time...but we had a great time!

The other vendors at the show go all out!  Sandy from The Olive and Rose organizes Mes Amis and does an incredible job.  This is her darling trailer and amazing space.

The space next to me was shared by The Red Door Antiques and Trish Everett.  AMAZING!

This is truely one of the best antique fairs you can attend.  There is a great selection and good prices.  The best part is the wonderful group of vendors.  It is really a big group of good friends!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Now available online!

It has been an exciting week for us here at The Antique Gardener!  We were featured in the Spring issue of Souvenir Lifestyle Magazine
I am also happy to announce that I am now selling online! I recently started an online store on Etsy. I have purchased items on Etsy for a year or so and love the community feeling there.  After working out all the kinks I wanted to share our online store with you! 
You can visit our Etsy shop here.

Our online store will include items for your Vintage Home inlcuding these vintage french canning jars.

Vintage Garden items like old terra cotta pots, old tools and plant markers.

 And of course miniature garden supplies.  This is a cute little birdbath.
And this water trough garden shows how to add a birdbath to your miniature scene.  More on the trough garden later!

So, I hope you will take a minute and check out our online shop here.  If there is something you are looking for please let me know and I would be happy to add it to the shop! 
Have a happy Spring day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Have you heard the news??

Have you heard?  I am so proud and excited to share our news!!!!  The Antique Gardener was featured in the Spring issue of Souvenir Lifestyle Magazine!

This beautiful magazine was created by Heather Bullard and her amazing team of contributors.  Heather is very talented - - she photographed the cover pictured here - as well as several stories in the magazine. 
Souvenir is available here for purchase online or you can also order a print copy.  Souvenir is full of inspiring ideas and photographs for Spring and is completely ad free!

 I would also like to thank my friend Maria from Dreamy Whites for photographing my shop for Souvenir.  She did an amazing job!!!  Maria is very talented and was so easy to work with - and our kids had a great time helping out too!  To learn more about the Souvenir contributors visit Souvenirs Facebook page here

Thanks again to Heather and Maria!  This is truly a dream come true to have my shop featured in this beautiful magazine!