Mystery package no longer...It's mine from girlsingarden!

finallyAugust 1, 2006

To all of you who were hoping that mystery box was for you, you can uncross your came to me! It arrived sometime during the day, but I didn't get home until 9:45pm. As is often the case with these swap packages, they pick the best days to come! My company launched a new software product over the weekend, and we're in the mad scramble that occurs after: a tremendous upswing in support as well as the inevitable tweaking after the initail release. This will be a long week!

DH, DDs and DS (and DDoggy!) all gathered around for the grand opening. All we knew was that is was from Nebraska and that it weighed 20 lbs! Inside were three different boxes, but as you know, no note explaining it. That's okay! I love a mystery! As I was getting all my photos online for the swap, I discovered girlsingarden had emailed me last week with the note! I told her I was glad that I got it afterwards. To me anticipation is part of the fun!

So here's the bounty (and I'm using that word literally!) that was in the box:

The Canning Group:

girlsingarden read how I am trying to get back into canning. I have a couple of recent jelly attempts that were yummy but didn't end up being jelly, so I really needed this motivating gift. She sent beautiful special edition Ball Platinum jars, a package of Americana lids, Gingham lids, fun jar labels, an antique blue quart Ball jar, darling mason jar salt & pepper shakers with the holes on the top shaped in stars, some powder pectin and a canning funnel. I had used liquid Certo pectin for my jelly, and I remember long ago that I had success with either powder or liquid and not with the other, however I can't remember which was which! Now I can try a powder recipe and see it that is my magic potion!

The Kitchen Tools Group:

This group included three great High Carbon Steel knifes: a paring, a paring/peeling, and a tomato slicer. She must somehow know how pitifully dull my knives are and that we really needed a tomato knife! I can't wait to try these. Also included were a set of 3 wooden spoons (my larger ones had all been broken), a set of nesting measuring cups (mine always seem to have one go missing, so now I have a 1/3 cup again!), some very cute fruit and veggie magnetic note pads (I'm on the last page of my current list tablet!) and veggie towel, dish cloth and hot pad set. All great picks, and all things I really needed. I don't know how she knew this!

The Frilly Fashions Group:

Look at these three beautiful handmade gingham aprons, with beautiful hand stitching. I love them! (I do wear aprons sometimes) These seem like they are old--I would really love to hear their story swap-buddy! DDs were excited that there were three, so that we could all three wear them together. The red one matches the cute gingham lids too!. The green one has a poinsettia for Christmas, and the pink one has rick-rack and ribbons on the borders. I will treasure them!

Here's a close up of the stitching on the pink apron:

The Piece de Resistance!

Wow! I'm so lucky! I think that homemade goods are such a wonderful gift! We were all so excited to see these beautiful jars. Here are bottom to top, left to right: Pear Applesauce, Annie's Salsa (so excited about this--I've been wanting to try it!), Cherry Rhubarb, Bing Cherries,(top) Raspberry Jam, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and Marashino Cherries! I'm going to break out the bread machine for homemade bread with homemade jam. There's nothing finer!

Here is the entire package:

What a great treat from girlsingarden! I'm screwing up my courage and will make strawberry rhubarb jam. If anyone has a failsafe recipe, I'd love it! I take any and all canning tips too! Thanks girlsingarden, this package fit me to a "T", and I can't wait to try all of your lovely home canned goods!

Many thanks from a lucky and VERY appreciative swap buddy,


Here is a link that might be useful: Slideshow of Swap Pix! (Yes DDoggy is sideways)

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I love the blue jars with the glass handles - I don't think I've seen that before. What a great haul of homemade canned goods!!

Who did the hand stitching on the aprons? That's a lot of work - and THREE aprons!! I'm sure you will enjoy wearing those, but I would be afraid of getting them dirty.

This is a very beautifully coordinated package - great job!!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:00PM
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I think that is an absolutely wonderful package! What a haul you got! I really love to see all the home made goods people send. Maybe someday I will be talented enough to do that! Nice job girlsingarden, and very, very lucky you, finally!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:13PM
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girlsingarden, what a great package. Once again, the homemade stuff scores big - and how can it not with those things? When I finally do learn to can, the first thing I'm going to learn to make is Annie's salsa. I don't know why I haven't made it before now.

I'd love to hear the story on the aprons too. They're beautiful.

Enjoy your package, Finally. Girlsingarden, I'm impressed!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:37PM
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Finally, I can't seem to see all of your photos, but from the thumbnails and your description, I think you made quite a haul!
Girlsingarden, you really know how to sawp!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 3:43PM
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Oh my goodness! What a fabulous swap box! I am typing with my jaw on the floor! Wow! Great Job.

Is that smocking on that pink/red apron close-up? Beautiful! A whole lotta work went into those aprons!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 4:09PM
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Thanks for all the complements. I had a real fun time putting this together. I knew that Dolores wanted to get back into canning and thought that this was a perfect theme. I felt bad that I didn't have a TJ's near by to send goodies from so I sent some goodies that I had made, thought that would be nice.

As for the aprons, these are things that my MIL has given me. She collects them and has so many that I decided to share. I think that they are vintage ones that were my DH's grandma's. I know that she had aprons for every occasion and I hoped that my swap partner would enjoy them.

So glad that everything got there in good shape, I was worried about the canned goodies. The cherry rhubarb stuff is a sauce but with added cornstarch will be great pie filling, or can go over ice cream or what ever. I picked five 5 gallon buckets of cherries so had lots of ones to do something with:)

Again thanks for the positive feedback, I was nervous that my partner wouldn't like what I sent. But I am glad that everything came out in good shape.

who is waiting for the next swap

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 5:01PM
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Stacie, you did a top-notch job on this swap, what a great theme. The aprons are a nice personal touch, the canning supplies are wonderful and homemade goodie are always something that can't be duplicated.

Finally, enjoy your package!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 5:37PM
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What beautiful jams and preserves. Nice that it came during a week when you could use a little distraction. I've never seen or even heard of homemade maraschino cherries. How are they made? Even though I've never seen Finally, I keep having a vision of her in a gingham apron, stirring preserves with a wooden spoon!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 5:43PM
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Oh, what a great summer canning package. Love that blue canning jar and the aprons are beautiful. can't beat the wonderful bounty of home canned goodies, especially the raspberry jam, my all-time favorite. You did a terrific package Stacie and I am sure that Finally will really enjoy it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 5:59PM
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Oh Stacie you really put together the most wonderful swap box for Dolores. So many great things. From your homemade goodies to the three knives, and the beautiful aprons.

Dolores, I know that you are going to enjoy using everything that Stacie sent you.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Those that is one gift that really came from the heart! You are sharing your family's heritage with that one! Next swap, I'm sending some of about an 11 YO boy...and, I'm glad to hear, you are contributing to someone's canning delinquency! Three cheers for a great package!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 6:28PM
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finally, Get busy and start excuses not too with all the great canning stuff.
Stacie, Everything is great...good job!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 7:08PM
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That stack of FILLED canning jars is an absolute vision! Echos of summer's bounty to last all winter long. How special and wonderful. For the rest of us it's TJ's. Good stuff but not special.

And the aprons! My grandmother had a huge collection and my mother got rid of them! I have one hand smocked lavender gingham apron from my ex's grandmother. She made for my wedding. I love it and bring it out only for special occassions. (It's not Ironed! LOL)

Wow my old kitchen! So glad I don't have that anymore!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 7:11PM
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Heart filled gifts:) I too love wearing aprons when I take the time to put one on..I love wiping my wet hands.. flour dustings.. etc..It feels right:)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 7:13PM
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Cute, Cute, Cute package and so useful too. I collect old aprons, they're getting so hard to find now-a-days, and these are just too adorable!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:24PM
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What a special gift! How wonderful of you to share some "heirlooms" and lots of homemade goodies. I know Finally is going to can up a storm!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:30PM
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Wow you outdid yourself! I loved the aprons too!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:31PM
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Super duper swap box. Crammed full of happy items from the aprons to the useful tools and the aprons that made me say, "Aw!" I hope to see photos of DDs and you, Dolores.

Stacie, you certainly know how to "jam" pack a box.

I love homemade and here you have not only given your own, but have inspired a new canner.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:48PM
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What a thoughtful, delightful package you've got there Dolores-- so much to enjoy .

Stacie -- that all seems so perfect for Dolores--nothing nicer than handmade to send a little of yourself to someone -- she'll enjoy all that for years -- grat selection !

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Darn. I can't enlarge the thumbnails and when I go to the link I get redirected to yahoo....

But I do know that Stacie packs a great box since I was her swap mate last time!

Enjoy, Finally! I also received Annie's salsa from Stacie - awesome!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:30PM
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I'm sorry you couldn't see the photos! It seems like sometimes you can, and sometimes you can't--maybe it depends on traffic at the Webshots site.

Stacie--I can't believe you were sorry that you couldn't send me TJ's stuff! I have 4 TJ's that I could easily drive to. What I don't have are farms or home canned jewels like you sent me! Funny since where I live is Santa Clara Valley--now known as Silicon Valley. It was first known as the Valley of Heart's Delight because of the fertility of its soil and the abundance of orchards and crops grown here. Funny, but nowadays I sound like an old fogey... "I remember when there were orchards here, I remember when the grain towers were there...." Yikes! I'm really not that old!

Thanks, also, Stacie for sharing the story of the aprons. I didn't post on the thread on aprons a while back, but I do wear aprons from time to time. I also sew and quilt, so I do appreciate the history of them and the hard work of the wonderful women in those aprons' past. This was such a treat! Bubbe, we'll have to get all of us together (me and DDs) for a photo. DD#1 just bought her first car tonight and is off showing it to friends. Such an exciting time in one's life! I still remember buying my first car. DD#2 is equally excited, since she inherits first rights to the extra family car.

Thank you again Stacie!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:32AM
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Great package! Love the fact that the aprons come from the family. That personal touch makes a great gift!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 11:15AM
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That's a really fantastic package! Gifts you can eat, gifts you can wear, and gifts so you can make gifts for others; it's a gift that keeps on giving -- literally!

Beautiful aprons, and I love the antique canning jar. I've seen those blue-green jars before and didn't realize they were old.

Nice job!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:53PM
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Oh man! All of those homemade items are going to be soooo good! I'd say you are all set to start canning too. What's first on the list? Great selection Staci! I know finally will put it all to good use.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 5:24PM
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Now that's what I'm talking about... wonderful homemade, regional items! You truly scored, Finally. Stacie packed a nice box for you!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:37PM
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Bounty is right! I love the groups! Homemade items are very, very special. I hope you enjoy getting back into canning. You're ready to go now! Great package, Delores! Enjoy!

Stacie...outstanding job!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 9:58AM
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Just wondering if you got a chance to sample anything yet:) We entered 29 different canned goods that I have made into the County fair last Thursday and I got all first and a few second place ribbons. That was soooo cool and made it worth it, that and my girls wanting my homemade applesauce over the ones from the store.

who hopes that you like the goodies

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 6:06PM
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Stacie, Your package makes me really want to get back into canning. It really is a great package. Congratulations on your ribbons. You can't beat homemade stuff.

Dolores, Enjoy your goodies and let us know what you're canning.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 7:31AM
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oh I love the story of the aprons - such a thoughtful personal touch. Stacie, you put together a wonderful package for finally!

And you all know how I love all that homemade stuff...drooling.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:23AM
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Now that is one heck of a swap box! The aprons are so original - was a wonderful touch.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 5:34PM
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Stacie, what a nice package. I also like the aprons, but you know I never have enough canning labels. Most of the time I think I will always remember what is in that jar (well for a year) and then I am trying to figure out if it is cherry, wild plum or grape jelly.

How creative and thoughtful.

Dolores, enjoy your package.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 11:36PM
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Stacie that is amazing! Very personal and thoughtful. You are another lucky receiver, Delores!


    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 8:04PM
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