hump day nuggets: what fall looks like

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and (few) words about the last week

Behind my midwife’s office are four trees dripping with fruit. Unsprayed and beautiful. And when I inquired about the plight of the fruit she said, have at it. Oh sweet music to my ears.

A friend and I picked and picked and picked and you couldn’t even tell we had been there. I got 20 pounds of plums, 35 pounds of pears and another 10 pounds of apples.

I made plum butter and it was smelling and looking so lovely and then in an instant I burned it again. I don’t know what my problem is with plums but oh how dreadfully painful to throw away eight pounds of fruit and all that time I spent stirring and stirring with all that stirring. The thing with plums is that, in my experience, they tend to be quite delicate and when they feel neglected, they just give me the middle finger and go and burn. In a nice, thick crust on the bottom of my favorite pot. I don’t know if my mom can get this one out….I was so mad at the plums I tossed them down the drain and then so mad at the pot that it is in time-out in our garage. And it got down to 22 degrees out there. Let it learn a lesson. hmpf.

This color combination makes me dizzy. It always sways me into thinking I like purple but then I go and paint a wall or try on an article and realize it is only split plums in a bowl in October.

But then I made more and I made jam with pectin added and the stirring only had to last about 45 minutes and while the jam is a scosh runny, it is beautiful and delish. I can split and pit a plum in four seconds y’all. And a good thing I made a boat load more jam because a certain six foot one inch man in my house has eaten eight jars of peach butter since I made it.

Also, I made these jar labels and they were super easy. Got a package of these labels and it was a snap. They’re charming, no?

I plan to make pear apple sauce because my household agrees we could eat it all winter and never get tired of it. And that is the point of all of this preserving: to supply our family with local produce through these cold months. We will not get scurvy. I am sure we will buy a few bananas because bug and Andy love their bananas even though the long, mushy, pasty fruit sends me straight to the er. Yes, I am allergic to bananas. An allergy that emerged when I was in high school when they didn’t make me feel good so I stopped eating them. And then my dad, who thinks bananas are nature’s super food, kept trying to make me eat them before my cross country races because I wouldn’t eat and he was convinced a banana would shave minutes off my time. I told him I thought I was allergic to which he said, eh (he totally denies this). So, out of sixteen-year-old spunk, I ate a banana and then ran a terrible race and went straight to the doc while vomiting all the way. Turns out I am allergic to bananas. By the way, my dad is a super nice man and this was the only time he made me eat a banana. And he felt real bad.

And new exhibits up at the museum. Margot loves it when we install new shows and I love that my girl is as comfortable surrounded my contemporary art as she is in her bed with elmo and me.

She is really freaked out/enchanted with the new Scott Fife exhibit. Big heads? she asks and then No big heads mama.

I have been making a selling shirts like crazy (Thank you!). I am slowing production a bit until I am no longer in my current full time job and instead with two children because then I will have loads of time! snicker. Right now I have stuff available locally at Blackbird Kid Shop and in my etsy shop. Soon these skull and crossbone tees will be available up to size 6T. Soonish.

And my sewing tags are cute.

Perhaps the last walk of the year in flip flops.


Because it was this cold last Sunday morning.

Lots of cookie-making around our home lately. I was just craving cookies one night at like 9pm and Andy was seriously considering going to get butter (we were out of butter) to make them for me. Very sweet but also I think he was tired of hearing me moan about it. And then, the very next day, right when he got home from his 10-hour work day, he set straight to the kitchen. Without saying a word about what he was doing. When I asked he said I’m making you cookies, babe. The Best Peanut Butter Cookies In The Galaxy. What a guy.

Downtown Missoula. Love it here.

33 Responses to hump day nuggets: what fall looks like

  1. Kelle says:

    got my coffee and my hump-days, baby. and what the hell are you doing up this early? creative energy? :o) oh, your town and your girl get me every time. xoxo love the skull tees, but then again…margot rocks anything out.
    yay on your tags too.

  2. Beegirl says:

    Serious score on the fruit. I’ve been eyeing up neglected trees as I drive, trying to summon up the courage to ask if I can pick. So sorry to hear about the plums.. they looked beautiful. Take that – jam pot.

    Love your labels: Jam and clothes..

  3. Beautiful photos of your beautiful life! My first visit to your blog and I’ll be back!

  4. Ici says:

    I love that you just happen to run in to Lavender Lori on your downtown jaunt. So Missoula.

  5. Leslie says:

    Love your post!
    1. I’ll never understand people with fruit trees that don’t harvest them. There is a pear tree like that on my way home from work. It’s overloaded every year and it looks like they don’t pick a one. Criminal.

    2. I feel your plum pain. But at least there are always LOTS of plums to work with!

    3. Love your t-shirts!

  6. TRB Holt says:

    Don’t toss that pot….SUPER Gram is on the way….Now it’s personal!

    LOVE the tags and labels, I need a lesson on how you made the tags…ribbit! You are sooo clever Burb!

    Bug, Not only are you a connoisseur of art but….ARGH! matey Margot a sweet little pirate you are!

    Love the photos of my Missoula, what a great place to grow up. If I have my way, a great place to end up!

    AND what can we say about homemade cookies…what a guy you are Andy….I printed off the recipe.

    I love Wednesdays and you two!

    xoxo, Mom/Gram

    ps…great new header too!

  7. Jean says:

    Well, the photo of Margo in the hat there and the rest of the garb stopped me dead in my tracks. That one will go down in some kind of history. hahaha!

    God, with all that jam and butter and cookie wealth around the house I would balloon up. Because don’t you put it on toast? Toast made with the breadmaker? Lord.

    Let’s see, it’s blizzarding. Think I’ll go to Oregon today.

    Thanks for the nuggets.

  8. April says:

    You’re right, the colors of those split plums are gorgeous together. Nature knows what she’s doing.
    I’m glad you mentioned the new exhibit at the MAM. We’re coming over this weekend to see the Pulitzer exhibit, so if we have time we’ll check out the MAM, too.
    I miss Missoula. :(

  9. molly says:

    plums and pears! i love it. we have trees of both in our back yard. i never thought i’d try canning, until living here. my plum butter worked, but i didn’t use pectin, is that bad??

    if you want a pear butter recipe, jason’s mom made this when he was growing up, he called it a “prigge family recipe”. he was really protective of it (no idea why, thought it was some big family secret), until i found it all over the internet. its so yummy (i think its the carmalized sugar) and worth a try if you need a pear recipe. he rations them throughout the year…
    http://www.amnorthwest.tv/display.cfm?CID=629

  10. Abasnail says:

    Ahhh Fall! And Nici does it best! Thanks for the inspiration, words and love for your surroundings, Nici! You make Missoula more beutiful! And ohhh, I keep knocking on Blackbirds door for t’s in 6! Patience grasshopper!!

  11. joan says:

    I love the pic of andy and Margot Bea cooking for mama. I know this is probably a silly question RE the pot but is it heavy bottomed. If not it has no place in my family. Speaking entirly of myself mind you.

    Margot looks so grown up in the skull shirt pics. Tell her gramma orders her to stop growing so fast.

    I hope to have one of those cookies at the end of this weekend or Monday as we breeze home. I have a feeling there are dozen or so hidden in the house.

    Thanks tons for the post I was afraid I would miss this weeks. Love you, J

  12. paige says:

    You are amazing. And I am so happy you are my friend. And even more happy that I get to come and bask in your amazingness soon.

  13. Staci says:

    I found your blog recently and am loving taking a peek into someone else’s beautiful world! Thank you for sharing such precious personal and family moments with everyone. They are inspiring rays of sunshine:)

  14. sarah says:

    nics, love the first picture of margot in the skull/bones shirt. she looks like a snowboarder or a mini andy. let’s plan our visits! i want to see you!

  15. Lois Lane says:

    Got to have the skull and cross bones shirt for my nieces. whenever you have a chance, i’ll take two. one for a 1 year old and one for a three year old (see, i’m giving you like 3 months) .. and i’d like a newborn baby onesie with skull and cross bones do you make that? love those to death. love your adorable little girl.
    xoxoxoxoxoxo

  16. Ellie says:

    I burned about 20 qts of salsa last year…and I had already jarred and processed it before I realized. It was tragic taking each jar out to the compost bin, breaking the perfectly sealed lid, and pouring the salsa onto grass clippings – boo hoo! Also, loved the beet soup from the other post, but recommend drinking it instead of eating with a spoon, especially if you’re trying to nurse your baby while you eat, because beet soup is very apparent on your shirt, and your child’s head! Look forward to Wednesdays! Thanks for letting us into your world!

  17. Janna says:

    I think I am going to throw up with jealous-ness over that free fruit. Love reading your blog!

  18. Marty says:

    Love your pic of downtown Missoula. I think I could live there quite happily. Bozeman area is fine, even fun, but very expensive and I think I could feel more comfortable politically in Missoula. Wish your selling luck would rub off on me.

  19. Malissa says:

    Will you be offering the skull tee in sizes to fit a nine year old? I will be watching for their availability as I have a rash of baby gifts to get done as well! :) Is it just me or did Bug have a major growth spurt? She looks so tall in some of those pictures.

  20. Leslie: stop and ask for that fruit. I’ll bet they’d be happy to give it to you!

    Molly: Wow, thanks for giving up that family secret! funny. Looks great and I’ll give it a go. I think I was a bit overzealous with my pear harvest.Oh, and no you don’t need pectin. Without pectin you have to cook longer to get it to thicken which I clearly am incapable of so I added it this time.

    Lois: Not a problem with the skull tees for you! I can even get it done sooner than three months.

    Malissa: As of right now, I only have up to 6T but maybe in the future!

    Mom: the pot awaits your arrival with baking soda and patience and yes, Joan, it is heavy bottomed.

  21. Moniak says:

    What a wonderful blog! I’m really impressed. I adore your photos, colours on them. You have really adorable child. I’ll be coming here to see more.
    I come from Poland, and in case of that I’m just 18 I cook sometimes too, I make jams on my own so I like your garden and recipes.
    Best wishes!

  22. FinnyKnits says:

    I love how fall looks in Missoula!

    It’s just starting to cool down here in NorCal and I’m looking forward to the citrus picking. The oranges, lemons, kumquats and limes are ripening up on all the trees around the neighborhood (and in my yard).

    Tell me, where’d you get your tags made? I keep striking out with mine. I order them and they’re either to huge or not orange and you know how I feel about orange.

    Anyway – love the nuggets as always and Your Andy is a sweet cookie maker – Love that!

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  25. hiSunglasses says:

    I love plums and pears, how I wish I have a backyard with trees like that. The skull and bones tee is really cute, would love to buy one for my daughter.

  26. hiSun: I just posted a few skull and crossbones tees in my shop:

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/digthischick

    Thanks for your comment!