A Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking Giveaway

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Tea Party

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, #10, Wendy Copley of the wonderful Wendolonia!

Last Sunday, I caught up with Kate Payne as she came west to promote her brand spankin’ new and beautiful book, The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency — On a Budget! I first met Kate a year ago, when a group of us — jam-making bloggers all — gathered in New York’s Hudson Valley for a day of strawberry picking and a summer feast. On that day, when I tasted Kate’s home-baked bread, I knew the girl had skills to share. Now you can learn what she knows about bread baking and other homey delights — from cooking to decorating, from entertaining to getting organized — by putting your hands on this very pretty and totally satisfying guide. It will help you make yourself at home wherever you live, without going broke in the process.

Here in the Bay Area, Kate teamed up with the fabulous girls at Blue Chair Fruit, plus special guest Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics, to host a summer-fresh tea party in celebration of the book.

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Tea Party

We sipped blackberry-mint spritzers and snacked on marmalade scones. Kate browsed us through her book (something you can do, too, by following this link) and an equally charming second Kate — Kate S. from Blue Chair — demonstrated a hip girl’s trick, showing us how to personalize tea towels (many of them thrift store finds) with embroidered touches. We all got to play with fabric and thread.  (I loved this part so much that I stopped on my way home and bought a set of four inexpensive flour sack towels. Tucked away in a cabinet, I have a big collection of embroidery floss, needles, and a hoop, and I’d totally forgotten how relaxing it is to embroider stuff. I was the last guest to leave the tea party, because I was so content sitting in Blue Chair Fruit’s beautiful space, practicing my split stitch.)

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Tea Party

In another impressive act of domesticity, Sean showed us how to add a little pop to our party by making tea liqueur. You might be surprised by how easy it is to do such a thing: Add 6 teaspoons of quality tea to 3 cups of vodka, let it steep for about 10 hours and then strain it with a coffee filter. Add 1 cup simple syrup — that’s one part sugar and one part water — mix well and let rest in a cool, dark place for at least a week. Then, drink up. We tasted three tea-vodka blends: genmai cha, jasmine, and Masala chai. There was a lot of ooohing and aaahing over the spicy chai, but I favored the jasmine. So good.

Tea-Infused Vodka

Now, back to Kate’s book. Cover to cover, it’s a great read — Kate’s voice is smart and engaging all the way through. That said, one of the things I love best is that you can let the book fall open to any page and learn something cool. Organizing a spice rack? Got it. Stop killing your houseplants? Check. Foods you shouldn’t try to freeze? Kate’s got your back. The book even helped me save one of my favorite shirts from something that has ruined far too many of them in the past — the dreaded oily (usually olive-oily) stain. I dampened the spot with cool water, rubbed in a bit of glycerin-based hand soap mixed with baking soda, let it sit a while and — poof! — oily no more. The only thing missing from The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, in my view, is an index. The book contains as much information as a good encyclopedia, and I wish it were easier to put your finger on exactly what you need to know. Maybe in the next edition?

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Tea PartyReady, Set, Win!

Harper Collins kindly sent me a copy of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and they’d like to do the same for one of you.  (This is the full disclosure part: I didn’t buy my copy, but everything I’ve said here is my real and true opinion of the book.) To take your chance at winning, leave a comment right here by Sunday, June 26th at midnight PST. When you enter, simply tell me one thing you’ve recently done at home  –  including the garden, of course — that you’re proud of. On Monday morning, I will select a winner at random. (Sorry, only U.S. residents this time.)

If you feel like a little more browsing, make yourself a cup of tea and check out The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking blog and Facebook page. Both are great ways to get updates from Kate. While you’re at it, swing by Hitchhiking to Heaven’s Facebook page, too!

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Tea Party

Good luck and see you soon.

June 27, 2011: And the winner is . . .

Congratulations, Wendy!

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156 comments to A Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking Giveaway

  • I’ve been planting a herb garden in wine barrels over the past two summers. I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try to grow herbs.

  • I made Strawberry Jam on Saturday with strawberries from my CSA :)

  • Bellamotives

    Oooh! I’d love a copy! We’ve been weeding the garden & watching the blueberries come SO close to being ripe that it makes our mouths water ;) We’ve been playing with the baby goats, who refuse to believe that jumping should be a crime, even if it’s on our backs & shoulders, lol! Oh, and yesterday I tried a recipe from an old church lady cookbook for broccoli casserole- turned out very well!

  • Meg

    I put in 3 new raised beds this summer. More room for more veggies… now if it would just warm up :)

  • I’m quite proud to be buying a whole new home :)

  • Laura

    I’m raising chickens! Still waiting for that first egg, soon, tho!

  • meg

    I don’t need to enter (because I know how great the book is!) but just wanted to say I love the pictures!

  • Oooh, I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book! Last weekend, I took all the farm box produce that’s been building up and made my first batch of non-cucumber pickles! We had a few bunches of carrots plus a whole crapload of turnips built up because now that the weather’s warm, we’re not in the mood for “winter” food anymore. But they sure did make delicious pickles! And because the carrots were the maroon kind and the turnips were scarlet queens, the brine in both batches is a lovely pink. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Rowena

    I finally made Royal Blenheim apricot jam! Loved the outcome so much that I’m going back to the farm to pick up 50 more pounds of the fruit.

  • I successfully nurtured my strawberry plants through their first year, so this summer they are giving us berries that rival those from the farm stands!

  • I picked a whole heckuva lot of cherries at a U-pick farm and then put the up for later in the year. Yum!

  • I just finished putting cardboard down and mulching between my raised beds, http://www.greenbeanchronicles.com/2011/06/pathways.html, as well as moving the tool shed to a more inconspicuous spot. Next project: planting something to shade the chicken coop!

  • I’ve been putting up as much as I can this year, and exploring new foraged ingredients. I’m really digging the spruce tips that I’ve collected! :)

  • Thanks so much for the chance to win! I’m proud that I recently learned how to make freezer jam!

  • Yasmin

    I’ve been making ginger beer and have been on a pickle-making frenzy. I think I keep coming up with projects that include mason jars. Who doesn’t love a mason jar??

  • Candy

    picking razzberries off my own organic bushes & making Razzberry Jam , also had a few Razzberry Margheritas too, ♥ Yummie !

  • Cassey

    This may seem small to other people, but I used to eat out at least 5 times a week! In the last 2 months I’ve cut out the dining out by 100%. . . VERY happy about it! So is my bank account =)

  • Heather

    I recently started my own herb garden . . .
    I wish I had known earier how easy it is!

  • Suzy

    I pitted over a 1 lb of cherries with just a paper clip, and then made an awesome pie.

  • I think I made some mighty fine pickles this year!

  • michele malone

    I would LOVE to have this book. We’re definitely going to try the tea liquor. things I’ve done recently that I’m proud of: just tried a new bread recipe & planted a garden.

  • Racy

    I made pickled rhubarb a couple of nights ago, can’t wait to actually try it once it’s had time to sit a bit. Next project, book self out of a pallet that I’ve seen a few times while roaming the web.

  • Last weekend I pickled red onions, they were delish! I’ve been LOVING learning to can! Its all I can think about sometimes! :-)

  • Jenn

    Well a few silly things Ive done recently I am proud VERY proud. Firstly organzing my junk drawer. It was a HUGE MESS and it had been years since I had cleaned it out much less organize it! Secondly I have decided to try at least 2 new recipes a week, so weve had spicy beef empanadas and panko cristed pork chops so far this week :) Biggest thing I am proud of, but have not completed yet, is busting out some concrete in my backyard to make way for a BIGGER veggie garden.

  • Toni Camphouse

    Living in Chicago and not in house means that I have a half ton garden on our third floor deck. My husband and I love opening our back door and stepping out to pick fresh herbs and greens. We’ve got tomatoes coming up, as well as some corn. We also have some annuals and perennials blooming–petunias, tickseed, fuschia and my wonderful hibiscus.

  • Diane Var

    This sounds like a book for me! I have it on my wish list and would love to have a copy. Thanks!

  • Kacy

    I planted arugula and radicchio in my garden for the first time. oh, and Lemon Verbena too.

  • jonquil

    i’ve finally figured out the proper way to space tomatoes in the garden!

  • JJ

    I made my first batch of jam last week :-) Strawberry-vanilla (a wonderfully easy recipe posted over at foodinjars.com). Looking forward to finding recipes for blackberries and peaches from our CSA later this season.

  • Jennifer Dages

    I recently bought a lovely leather couch but it has a residual cigarette smell in it. I have sprinkled baking soda and lemon essential oil all over the inside of the cushions and the pull out mattress and washed the rest down with vinegar and water. I am hoping that does the trick. The lemon sure smells good.

  • Cody

    one thing I do on a regular basis is buy things from garage sales, yard sales and auctions that are good deals and then go home and fix them. for example, I recently bought a sleeping bag for $3. The seller paid close to $100 for it new and only used it twice. The top material was torn. I sewed some heavy duty canvas over the top, washed it and now I have a brand spanking new thermal sleeping bag that only cost me $3.

    I also love picking up canning jars from sales as well. A lot cheaper and you can find some decorative ones as well. Just be sure to check the lip of the jar. My canning season has begun.

  • Christie D

    I’m growing a bunch of new varieties of tried and true plants this year with great success: pole beans instead of bush beans, roma tomatoes to make it easier for canning my own sauce (I used regular tomatoes, but it needed paste added to it, which defeated making it from scratch last year), pickling cucumbers to further my pickle making successes, and yellow bell peppers upon the encouragement of my kiddo. We are also trying three new things this year: blue hubbard squash, russet potatoes, and corn. So far, so good. I’m also pretty proud of the red onion pickles I made today; they already have that pink look of deliciousness from the photos. I’ve been following Kate’s page on facebook for a while and she’s introduced me to so many other sites, including Food in Jars.

  • cherokee

    I made pickled radishes and traded for some wool!

  • Jen Zordan

    I have my garden started, I have read the book “The Untold Story of Milk” and have discovered the joys of raw milk. I am in the process of getting all of the store bought dairy out of our house, and am working my first batch of yogurt now.

  • I went to the farmers market. Bought a flat of strawberries.. Made 6 pints of Strawberry Banana Jam and 6 pints of Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade.
    They look so pretty :)

  • Jen Zordan

    Oh – and I just put up two gallons of both chicken and beef broth over the last couple of weeks.

  • It’s a rainy day here on the East Coast. Just enjoyed a little splurge of an entire bowl of English peas to myself…going to make Jam this evening.

  • Meagan Darrow

    I would love this book. I just recently became a stay at home mom, by choice and I am loving homemaking!! I just pickled some beets last week and today we went strawberry picking and I will be making jam tonight! :)

  • gypsy willow

    I have a bunch of fig seed set to sprout, lemon grass in water to root and eggplant blooming. I am building raised beds for my fall garden (late start so only cool weather plants this years,except the eggplant). I am using the frame from my old water bed for the garden beds. Making radish pickles, and soup from the neighbors garden. Homemade laundry soap on the week end.

  • I got all crazy ambitious for my boyfriends birthday recently. After years of depending on mixes for the basic cakes (yellow, chocolate, etc.) I decided NO MORE! I looked up some recipes and made em myself. Then I thought, “I might as well keep going” and made my own buttercream frosting from scratch for the first time. (While it was delicious, MAN! I wish I didn’t knwo what went into that stuff.) Then I modified the cupcakes in pairs of two, baking the BF’s favorite candies into some, filling others with his favorite pudding, making cupcake homages to his daily lunch (PB&J), and even baking broken-up PopTarts and Fudge Stripes cookies into others. It was kinda epic…

  • Kathy

    I made peach mango jam and have spent some time going through my great recipe books to plan some amazing summer cooking! I’d love to add your book to my pile!

  • Wynne

    I got some free stones from freecycling, and I’m building an herb wall. My eventual goal is to replace the entire lawn with useful plants. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of lacto-fermentation. I love having jars of all sorts of yummy fermented vegetables always available for lunches and snacks.

  • Just last night I hosted a party to celebrate the solstice, to decorate I picked up some old vintage floral fabric at the thrift store and cut out little bunting flags to hang from my back patio. I used garden twine to string them along. I love it. Every time I look out my kitchen windows I smile.

  • Susan

    I’ve been dehydrating zuchinni and bell peppers, canned 20 pts. of red plum jam and and canned 15 pts. of vegetable beef soup so far. I’m planning on trying cantaloupe jam since melons are $.99 this week…wish me luck!

  • Jennifer

    We just made raised beds and planted a fantastic vegetable and herb garden.So far we are loving it!

  • Lisa

    I’ve been making the most delicious mango salsa to have with dinners!

  • I actually made strawberry jam this week, for the first time! I felt so accomplished when I was done!

  • Madeline

    Flower and small veggie garden! Broccoli, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, sunflowers, beans, and tons of colorful, beautiful flowers.

  • Stephanie

    I have been playing out in the dirt this week. Yesterday I made catmint tea syrup! Oh, wow, is it good!!!

  • Holly

    I’ve had a huge learning curve this year in putting my daughter on a gluten-free diet. Baking for her has been a challenge, to say the least. But I’m getting on top of it.

    And I THINK I’m all set up to do sufficient berry-picking this year to fill the freezer for the winter. With any luck, that is.

  • Saille

    I’m building a basement pantry for dried goods to match my preserved goods. Never has gallon glass jars made one so happy.

  • thrillkisser

    I’ve been making jelly! So, far, dandelion and jalapeno.
    Next up: blackberry wine jelly!

  • I recently canned mulberry syrup for the very first time.

  • Maggie

    I started my own seed for my vegetable garden this year. Now the plants are in and look wonderful. It feels good.

  • Deirdre

    Growing lots of plants at home including lovely tomatoes, peppers, and basil.
    Also made pickles for the first time the other night!

  • Emily

    Just discovered you and this book also looks fabulous! I just finished staking up my 3 varieties of raspberries that survived the 1st winter – Yay! I’m excited to see how the goldens do this summer! The chicks have been moved to the coop which is built from lumber reclaimed from a remodel, no eggs till Fall though.

  • Cindy

    I have heard so many good things about this book! I gotta have it!
    I’m proud to say after many years I am giving up the corporate world & getting back to my farmer roots. :)

  • Donna Naney

    I just purchased a bunch of summer clothes from a thrift store for my two-and-a-half-year-old grandson. Washed everything, carefully folded and placed like things together in a box and mailed to my son, a single parent.

  • Karen

    I made marmalade for the first time ever! I have been enjoying it every morning for breakfast.

  • Jan

    Got a great deal on red bell peppers (.45 each) and bought a case of them. Dehydrated some yesterday; roasted some and froze them; cutting some up tomorrow and freeze…I love red bells.

  • Amy

    I am really proud of my 2 Tomatillo plants that are doing really well, I am proud because I have never grown them before.

  • Melissa C.

    Oh I’ve done TWO things I’m proud of lately! Growing a lovely garden in the backyard of our new house AND preserved strawberry jam from self-picked strawberries for the very first time. It didn’t set but that’s ok, we’ve just got a lot of strawberry ice cream topping instead! ;)

  • Great share….I missed you all by one week I will be in Oakland next week…but I took my old worn out windshield suncover and cut up the silver material took some clothes pins and put it in my trees to scare the ravens away ….. then stripped the neighbors plum tree and got to canning…xoxo

  • Andrea Ginsberg

    I made a yummy blueberry cornmeal tart with my son.

  • Brenda

    I went to a berry farm to pick blueberries and brought them home and made blueberry preserves, blueberry sangria, blueberry sorbet, and blueberry galette. There are still enough left over to make blueberry-balsamic chicken with rosemary. Hooray for summer berries!

  • I made salted caramel sauce (without a candy thermometer) and my transplanted raspberry bush bore fruit – I was so excited & proud.

  • Carol

    I have been growing veggies in my garden. I just canned my first jars of pickled beets. We have grown lots of strawberries this year. I am always changing up things in my home; but my new project is to start on some floral arrangements.

  • We finally built a raised bed garden and planted it this year. previously we had a small plt in the corner and let the kids each pick a few things to plant. This year it is all about me…..well, a little for the kids, too, so they will be interested.

  • Liza Brost

    I made a set of re-usable vegetable and fruit bags to take to the grocery store and the farmers market !

  • Jan Wolf

    I’ve been a canning demon in the last 2 months! Sauces, jams,marmalades and candied peels. I also have a bit of pesto in the freezer. I’m proud to have pressure canned a few quarts of Bolognaise for the 1st time.

  • Cheryl

    I finally got off my fanny and put together the “wall of pictures” that has been in the works for way too long. We’ve been living with color copies of appropriate sizes taped to the wall as a map of my plan for 2 years. Now everything is in the frames leaning against the wall and hopefully this weekend I can get my sweetheart of a husband to put appropriate holes in the wall for me.

  • Debbie

    I’ve made a couple of really good batches of rhubarb jam from my back yard rhubarb plants.

    I’ve read The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking from the library and thought it was great–would really like to have a copy of my own. If I remember correctly, it had a rhubarb jam recipe in it!

  • I won’t lie, I want another copy! I just made a bunch of tomato cages and that made me full of swagger!

  • Lisa

    I’ve been on a jammin’ binge, with 8 recipes completed so far.
    freshly mint’d blueberry jam? Check
    citrus blossum strawberry jam? check
    and the list goes on.

  • Morgan

    My basil and other herbs are growing very well. I’ve started taking notes so I am not doomed to repeat the same mistakes next year. Also am planning an awesome canning party this week that I am pretty excited about. Been trying to cook more at home and stop mindlessly consuming things I don’t need.

  • Andie C

    I have just recently done a whole lot around the house! I am a doer, and a bargain hunter, and take great pleasure in accomplishing large tasks on super small budgets! Especially given the fact that I had a baby 5 months ago. My son, for his 8th birthday (in April), really wanted a new room. So we went to IKEA and got all plain wood furniture, which I painted sky blue like he wanted. Then I got online and learned how to do lazuring, a really cool, whimsical painting technique, and did that over the course of a weekend, while my husband tended to the baby. So now my son’s room looks like you’re floating in the clouds, and it is amazing. All for under $500, including bedding, draperies, carpet, accessories, etc. At the same time, I planned an entire backyard makeover (when we moved into this house 1 year ago, we inherited a 1/3 acre “empty lot” with a weed jungle). I managed to acquire numerous trees, shrubs, vines, drought-tolerant/grass alternative ground covers, a trellis, a shed, and veggies/herbs…all acquired for less than $300! I live for the kind of tips offered in this book, and would love to get my hands on it – because I will use her ideas FOR SURE! Thanks so much for this opportunity! :)

  • Nell

    I would love to read this book and have it in my library! Four new beds for veggies are planted, now we just need some warm weather in the Pacific NW!

  • I planted no less than 24 tomato plants this year. A far cry from the 6 that I had last year. I’m looking forward to making tomato jam, salsa, salsa verdi and whatever else I can this summer!

  • Jane

    I’m into making wine right….the sad part I can’t even try it for months and months. Working on the 2nd batch right now. The garden is going the bugs have been VERY BAD this year! I dislike sprays alot. So right now it’s a fight with the bugs and they have eaten several plants down to nothing. I’m just one mad person right now!

  • Karla B.

    So far this year, I am doing most of my gardening on our decks (we have deer and grasshopper issues). My husband made me a 7×10 ft gutter garden for everbearing strawberries and they are starting to ripen…one at a time. And he also made me a 4×3 ft salad box on wheels for Mothers Day. The salad box has taught me an important lesson: It doesn’t matter how enthused you are to grow things when Spring comes…Don’t plant everything at once!!! My gosh…It is ALL ripening at the same time. So, for the past week, I have been harvesting salad fixins out the wazoo. I am having salad for breakfast, salad for lunch, salad for dinner….and then, one strawberry for dessert (ha ha…I did say they were ripening one at a time.)

  • Rozenjoze

    I just made my first batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam & although it didn’t set up quite thick as I’d like it, I’m pretty proud of it! I’d love this book as all the reviews have been no less than stellar!

  • mdvlist

    I made French dressing for the first time with herbs from my garden, and ate it on greens from my garden, of which I had three helpings. I am perhaps proudest of having eaten so many fresh greens at one sitting.

  • I work at home, so you name it. But as far as domesticity goes, I’ve been putting up marmalade & am about to go make peach jam.

  • Amanda KP

    I canned a batch of pickled japanese turnips after I learned about these little guys from a demo at a local farmers market. So fun! Would love to win!

  • Denise

    Made rhubarb blueberry jam last week.

  • Oooh I would love to curl up with this book. Lets see… I just got a my first milk cow and made butter and farmers cheese and as far as feathering my nest, i made silhouettes of all my kids and framed them in our living room.

  • Pam K

    Just recently made my first batch of lemon curd. And today made shortcake to go with some fresh strawberries and whipped cream…yum. Other than that, I have been working with our chickens, we’ve got one hen on the nest and are hoping to add a couple new chicks to the flock. Love those fresh eggs. :)

  • I had my slave labor children, pick 25 lbs of strawberries at a local farm. We used them to make jam, syrup, ice cream, strawberry tres leche, and dehydrated a few for good measure.

  • Andrea

    Well, the gardens are planted and we moved the blueberries…now I need to figure out a low-cost way to build an arbor for the grapes…they are going places I never dreamed….any ideas in this book??? Thanks!

  • I’m very proud of my willingness to branch out into new jam flavors this year. Usually I stick with my old standbys (plain), but this year I’m getting all chef-y on myself. Yesterday I picked 21 pounds of cherries and am making cherry and lisbon lemon jam, cherry and kirsch jam, cherry pickles, and cherry olives. Hope they turn out good :)

  • Hi, I have 2 baby watermelons growing in my new vegetable garden. I love them to a ridiculous degree. I’d love to enter the drawing for the book.

    PS…my sister Val at the Good Earth introduced me to your blog…great website. Love your photos.

  • lo

    Doing more canning & freezing here than ever before. Last year gave us a good gauge for how much we use in a year, so now we’re even more prepared to get our local eating stores filled this year!

  • Kalyn

    My husband built a chicken coop and now we have a backyard flock of five beautiful girls! They are delightful and their eggs are amazing!

  • I’m getting certified in urban farming! So this summer one of my new endeavors was to turn a huge chunk of my front yard into a new urban farm plot! Growing some of everything in there so far! :-)

  • Lately, I’ve been playing around in my organic garden trying to tempt slugs away from my eggplant leaves. I’ve also been trying out new ways to use my my strawberry and rhubarb crops. So far I’ve made a strawberry-rhubarb crumble and canned rhubarb ginger jam. My garden is delicious already!

  • Letty

    I made 53 jars of jam this past weekend with fruit picked from our plum and apricot tree. Apricot pie jam, brandied apricot jam, plum jam with cinnamon, brandied plum jam, and yummy plum rummy jam! MMMMMMMMMMMM!

  • Krista

    I made Pomegranate syrup (grenadine, really) for a friend’s 40th birthday. We took it with us to dinner and the ladies invented signature cocktails named in her honor which included the syrup! I also included a jar of preserved lemons an a promise to make her dinner with them…

  • bobbie-sue

    Those embroidery samples look fantastic! Maybe that’ll be my next obsession…

  • Christina

    I just tried canning for the first time ever. I made watermelon rind pickles, probably wasn’t the easiest thing for a newbie canner! But they taste pretty good (a bit too much sugar), nothing was broken or burnt in the process, and the lids sealed, so I consider it a success. Next up is a rhubarb ginger jam!

  • Kris

    My garden hasn’t produced any veggies yet (I’m in northern N.Y.), but the plants are growing tall with lots of flowers. Oooo … and there are green tomatoes. This is my third attempt at a garden and first in this location. I’m pretty sure this is going to be my best attempt yet. Crossing my fingers. I really would LOVE to win this book. Thanks for the chance!

  • Jeanne in Toledo

    I made cupcakes, lemon and ginger cookies and brownies and gave them to my family, people at work, my doctor, the waitresses at my favorite diner – and I still have a few for ME!! (oh, and fudge too…)
    (I shouldn’t be THAT proud – I do it once or twice a month)

  • Terresa Dipuma

    I would love a copy! This summer has busy for me: canning everything from our garden. Tomatoes, ketchup, Creole sauce, bread and butter squash, bread and butter pickles, sour pickles, dill pickles and many more things to come…

  • Allison Daun

    I made my first batch of strawberry vanilla jam and canned it. I’m completely new to canning and loving it! The best part is that my husband helps and loves it too! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  • Amanda

    Totally psyched on my garden this year. 30+ containers planted in my tiny city “yard”! Tonight, a friend was serving fresh berries, so I thought I’d whip up some vanilla cream for dipping. Stuck it in a jam jar and tied a piece of garden twine around it for decoration. It was a hit!

  • skwurlgurl

    I just made a batch of laundry detergent and then started making some all natural deodorant!

  • Lizz

    After moving recently into a new house, I was bummed that it is a little late and very hot to start a garden this year.(Plus the yard needs a ton of work!) But I had been noticing how much the birds just love our back yard! So I have been focusing on making our yard bird friendly. We started some mammoth sunflowers for color and food. Put out feeders and water for baths. It has been such a joy to sit in the morning with my coffee and watch them dance around in the water and sing their beautiful songs!

  • Julie

    I am trying to get my daughter & I into canning and home sustaining. I am excited about this book coming out!

  • Meg H.

    I made two different kinds of bread and butter pickles – out of 12 lbs of cucumbers. My daughters love their pickles!

  • Leslie

    I finally got my garden planted and everything is coming up beautifully. We also planted blueberry, blackberry, and rasberry bushes and grape. Hopefully we will be having our own fruit soon!!

  • Deborah Rosen

    I’ve learned composting, preserving, canning and cheesemaking. This is just the beginning but I’m proud of my efforts so far.

  • Bridget

    I am so proud of the job I just did of installing a work light over my sewing cutting table. No more cutting in dim light!

  • Amy

    Got new curtains for the house to update the look. Can’t wait to get them installed!

  • KarenV

    Yesterday I pickled some cherries. We have been making sauerkraut and dill pickles in crocks on our kitchen counter. We are now trying to grow enough pickling cucumbers to fill the 6 gallon crock that we recently found.

  • Beka

    My husband and I took our two year old daughter out to the strawberry fields near our home and came back with 18lbs of berries yesterday!! I’m planning on canning some jam and compote and then freezing the rest.

  • Meg Y

    This year we’re totally switching it up in our large garden and our raised beds!!
    Last year, we did beans, beans, beans…and ended up canning over 250 quarts:D
    This year we are starting aspapgus! We also planted eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, peas, carrots, and still beans! So excited….but what will we do with it all!?!

  • I taught my kids how to make (strawberry)jam. They are 8 and 10 and this is their second time making it. We made it two years ago so tehy basically forgot everything! ;-)

    I did two batches. One-on-one with each child so they had their hands in the pot stiring and mixing and ther was no fighting.

    I hoping to make peach jam with them when our tree is ripe!
    :-)

  • Brooke - in Oregon

    Sounds like your ‘Tea’ is amazing and I have to try to make some now :) I bet it would be good added to ice tea too!

    I made some strawberry lavender jam this year that turned out so yummy! My garden is yet to be planted but the plants are all happily growing in the greenhouse. I have 38 tomato plants in #05 gallon containers and 20 Pepper plants along with the squash & cukes. We have already eaten a few sun gold cherry tomatoes : But what I am most pleased with is the Bhut Jolokia peppers I grew, the plants are quite beautiful, large and full. Not sure what I will be doing with them (maybe making bug spray!! lol)

    I would LOVE to get my hands on this book

  • I sold my handmade granola at the two most recent farmer’s markets in my city! It was a big undertaking but everything turned out beautifully.

  • Andi

    So far this summer have made lavender syrup and vanilla syrup. Making pickles, peach jam, blueberry lavender jam, and saurkraut – THIS WEEKEND! :)
    Obviously this book would help me find more to do and make!
    thank you!

  • I’m proud of the canning I’ve done so far this year, but I’m really proud of the insane gardening. I’ve worked my tuchas off to grow a goodly portion of our food and it just feels so good when I harvest enough of something to freeze or can good, wholesome food for us.

  • I’m good at getting the big stuff done (making jam, dehydrating the bounty)but I have made a commitment to be better at the little things-my husband brought home a handful apricots-I made sure to save the inner seed and freeze them until I have enough to drop one in the bottom of the jars for a full batch of preserves.(bitter almond)

  • Deb L

    Made a big batch of Spicy Zucchini Relish to eat on brats from the grill!

  • Jo

    I have really been wanting to get into gardening this would be great!

    itsonlyjc AT hotmail DOT com

  • MsMarz

    making my own bread always makes me feel proud and accomplished. it costs nearly nothing to make once you’ve stocked your pantry and getting your hands dirty always cures what ails ‘ya!

  • I made feta cheese (granted, it was started in my cheese class, but I finished it off!)

  • Heather

    One of the things that I made a while ago but have gotten to use lately is my homemade vanilla extract. Couldn’t have been simpler (vanilla beans + vodka)… or more delicious!

    Thanks for running the giveaway.

  • Tammy B.

    I’ve been making LOTS of pesto. I planted sooo much basil and it is doing great despite not very much rain–I’ve been using the water that drains from our air conditioner to keep everything going. Then, it *finally* rained some this week. I’d just love to win the book!

  • Julia

    Not the most exciting – but I just cleaned out my fridge and now it’s so shiny and clean that I don’t want to put anything in it for fear of getting it dirty again!

  • Jesse Miles

    I have been reusing jars for everything at home lately – storage, canning, buying in bulk, etc!!

  • Sandi

    Last week I canned some blueberry lime mint jam. It didn’t set as well as I would like, but I am calling it a sauce for pancakes or waffles! :)

  • Gayle J

    I just got done making 2 batches of freezer strawberry jam. My 22 yr old daughter who lives and works 4 hrs. south of us says I spoiled her because she cannot find a store bought jam that she likes as well as my homemade. So I will have to take some to her. She found this book in the library and said it was great, so if I dont win it I will buy it and take it to her also.

  • Lindsey N

    I’m proud of my recent 1/2 bathroom DYI rennovation. New flooring, paint curtains, artwork and hardware – the room looks completely different. (And better I might add!)

  • Michelle Stahnke

    Even though I recently had surgery and am still recovering, I couldn’t stand to miss canning strawberries. So I spent all day yesterday canning Strawberry Orange Compote, Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, and Strawberry Lemon Marmalade. Exhausting, but wonderfully worth it!

  • I made spruce tip sorbet and hemlock tip infused vodka (which mixes VERY well with lemonade!). I also canned a quart of spruce tip simple syrup which I’m now thinking about combining with blueberries for jam. Sassafras leaves and day lily petals are in the dehydrator and I pickled two pints of day lily buds.

  • Carolyn

    I am proud of the amount of canning I am able to get done in a year. Thanks to the canning blogs I have a satck of new recipes to try this summer. Tonight I made salted butterscotch peach jam. Tomorrow peach bellini jam and vanilla bean necterine jam. Followed by roasted tomato sauce.
    Happy canning and homemaking!

  • Sarah K

    All of the canning talk makes me excited to get moved and start our garden! I cant wait for my kids and I to learn gardening and canning together!

  • Jay

    I purchased two pretty beaten up, but so pretty, lamp bases from Amvets for $5.98 and spruced them up with a sand job and a new coat of shiny paint! :-)

  • Michelle D

    I made my first ever fresh sausage in casings and bacon! If I had known it was this easy, I would have done this years ago!!

  • Gayle J

    Can I enter twice? If so, Im doing it now. Im proud that I finally got a house so I can plant a garden. Now with time and a little patience, I will soon be canning and freezing lots of stuff.

  • Amy L

    Picked blueberries from the blueberry farm and made blueberry-rhubarb jam. And my husbands face; blueberry-zucchini
    muffins.

  • Mary

    I made the Hipgirl refrigerator pickle recipe that PD posted a few weeks ago. I used yellow squash from my CSA. They turned out delicious!

  • Taryn

    This year I’m proud that my boyfriend & I made 7 different batches of strawberry jam and managed to avoid stressing out during the process! I intern at an organic farm and we’ve had quite the strawberry harvest this year, and I feel like we did a pretty good job managing the glut of ‘seconds’ I’d bring home twice a week.

  • Eileen Warr-Marti

    I am bottling beer today and Mead bottling next week. I plant most of my herbs in pots. I loved reading about the Tea/Vodka liqueur, I’ll have to try that.

  • Tiffany

    I just put up 6 quarts of homemade chicken stock, dug up our container planted potatoes, and am petitioning the military installation we live on to allow backyard chickens. I want this book SO bad.

  • jackie

    Just this year started a garden. Hoping it does pretty well. Lately I have also been getting back into hand sewing with my oldest daughter. She is really enjoying it and I am loving doing it with her.

  • Laura S

    I now make my own household cleaners out of combinations of vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and peroxide. I also had a baby in November and stuck to my plans to have an unmedicated labor, breastfeed, use cloth diapers, and make my own organic babyfood, despite the fact that EVERYONE told me I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it because it would be too hard and I’m lazy :)

  • Emily

    I learned the name of a bird that visits me every day! (Thanks, Shae! Is that cheating?) Also, my girlfriend built a safety net for the blueberries. And I was a very busy composter.

  • We made some awesomely good raspberry pepper jelly. We’re growing some hot little peppers right now and plan to make pineapple pepper jelly with them!

  • Right now I’m visiting family (who’s taking care of me after an operation)… I was recently operated on, so the thing I’m most proud of is being able to go to the bathroom by myself! I’m usually very active in my house though :)

  • Rebecca

    I am most proud of the vegetable garden we put in this year. All organic, and beautiful

  • Cecilia Gutierrez

    I just found you and added you to my fb pages. I love your blog’s content and design and look forward to receiving more. Please add me to your mailing list and feel free to write me. I would also like to know what software/service you use for your blog. In the past I used blogger.com but yours looks much better. Just Curious.

    Thank you and congratulations on doing what you love. If you think of anything I might be able to contribute. Just give me a subject – and I’ll do the work/writing/research. I love food, and other such decadent things.

  • Kellie B

    I have been eating fresh veggies from my first ever CSA!!

  • i’m dying for a copy of this book! recently, i added a container frog pond to my garden. now i’m just waiting for all the frogs and toads to notice it and come feast on our bad bugs.

  • I just planted lamb’s ear w my 3 year old daughter. Now she can pet ours, rather than the neighbor’s! And I just redecorated my deck and made a new al fresco dining zone :-).

  • Marlene Mills

    I made a beautiful houseplant by rooting an armload of ivy cuttings I liberated from an overgrown bus stop.

  • [...] remember our buddy Sean from Punk Domestics mentioning infusing booze with tea.  He pointed me to an article on tea infusions written by Shae of Hitchhiking to Heaven and we were set!  We really need to do some more infusion, [...]

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