This past Saturday I took advantage of the three-day weekend to check one off the “Schoolyear-2013-2104-Bucketlist.” (Working title. It needs a new name.)

I have always wanted to learn how to preserve fruits into jam. No doubt Laura Ingalls Wilder did this to me when I was growing up. Raspberries are just about the only preservable fruit left in season around here, and the next few weekends are pretty packed so it was going to be Saturday or wait until next year.

After much online research as well as a peptalk and words of wisdom from an experienced friend earlier in the day I set off for the local orchard. Pics of the process are the process below.  I’m not going to list detailed instructions, because I am not going to claim to be any kind of expert, but I can point you to Martha Stewart and this helpful site as well as a merry British fellow on youtube that I can’t seem to find anymore to link. But find him; he’s lovely.



Stocked and ready to go!



Post-sterilization…probably the most difficult part of the whole process. Everything had to be boiled.


Some action shots…


For the last boil I had to make my own “canner” using yarn and a strainer. Classy.


Final product!


A Tuesday Night Jaunt to the Islands

Confession: my meal planning strategy can be summed up as follows: Harris Teeter Weekly Specials. One day I aspire to be one of those people that pours over cookbooks and then meanders through farmers markets for choice ingredients. But let’s be honest. I work full time. As a teacher. In the suburbs of DC. So no.

I have loved Harris Teeter, though, ever since I started couponing. I quickly discovered, though, that coupon or no, their weekly specials were a veritable treasure trove of quality and bargains. This week when I discovered that the cheapest fish of the week was Mahi Mahi, I added it to the meal plan and scooped up a small filet for a few bucks.  Looking for recipes, the first thing on google was Mahi Mahi lettuce wraps, which intrigued me, but not enough to actually look at the recipe. So I made up my own using mostly what I had around.

I first cut the Mahi Mahi into fishstick-sized strips and marinated it in a mix of lime, honey,  dried chili peppers, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Then I baked it for around 15 minutes with pineapple slices covering the fish and the pan covered in foil.

I had guacamole from a Labor Day picnic the day before, and I picked up a mango salsa at the store. The end result (plus corn on the cob):


A few things to note. First, the fish looks gross. Sorry. It actually is helpful if it’s shredded just a bit, but garnish with a parsley or something if you really can’t handle it. Also butter lettuce makes a fantastic wrapping lettuce, and is a bit more flavorful than iceberg or romaine. They are teeny tiny, but they make adorable little green tacos when assembled.


(Plus some light reading)

Since the weather was beautiful, I took the whole show on the road and camped out on the deck. With a view this leafy, it’s not hard to forget about the traffic and the task list.


Mr. Hughes

One of my favorite people I studied over the summer was Langston Hughes. The man was a wordsmith. 

Since I returned to my classroom, I have many poetic gems I wanted to share with my students. Hence a little DIY poster project. 



A little close up



The text of the poems is:

Bring me all your dreams

You Dreamers

Bring me all your 

Heart melodies

That I may wrap them 

In a blue cloth-cloud

Away from the too-rough fingers

Of the World