Friday, September 29, 2006

30 days of peace - day four

With thanks to Chaotic Home for the graphic.

Today I feel so very grateful. Funny enough I do feel calmer too. Not sure if that's just because there wasn't a lot to get upset about or because by focusing on calm and peace it is wending it's way into our home. Of course with adolescents under roof I'm sure it will only last so long but I'll take every moment I can get.

Today's list of gratitudes:

  • My friend's Rita and Anil who are so generous of spirit and always feed me wonderful meals
  • Another beautiful sunny day
  • Tea with my friend Helene
  • The public library - a wonderful institution

As my Aunt taught me to say, Chalamot Paz (sparkly dreams) and may you have a peaceful tomorrow.

stuff learned

I believe that learning is a lifetime endeavor. We should remember that learning does not just take place inside the four walls that represent school. There are opportunities to learn all the time and I try to set that example for my kids by sharing what I learn.

So today I thought I would share with anyone who reads my blog.

A good organic spray for your plants? Crush 375 mg aspirin into 1 T. cider vinegar and dilute into 1 gallon of water. Apparently the salicylates in the aspirin help act as a bug deterrent. Sounds worth a shot to me.

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent as well as being quite tasty. My friend Rita shared that her mother used to mix turmeric with warm olive oil to make a paste to treat bumps and such with. Internet research shows that there are lots of studies done to investigate the effects of curcurmin (the active ingredient in turmeric) onpancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, Alzheimer's, and colorectal cancer. Time to eat more curry.

book review

As promised here is a book review from my Fall Into Reading challenge list (challenge posted by Katrina).

I read this book and loved every minute of it. The descriptions of the characters, the dialog, the shift in perspectives was very well done. The story really draws you in. As the author is careful to note, the events portrayed in the story did not happen, the U.S. Government did not trade 1,000 white women as Cheyenne brides for 1,000 horses. But it's based on the fact that the Cheyenne did propose such a thing. Apparently their belief was that this would help their culture to successfully merge with the white man's culture. A fascinating and different type of story, I highly recommend it and kudos to my sister-in-law for recommending it to me.

Book review number two really isn't much of one.

Savannah Breeze was supposed to be on my summer reading list and I somehow never got to it. Although the story line seems cute, light and easy to read (Socialite gets rooked by con-man of everything she owns except a ramshackle hotel. Sets out to rebuild hotel, find con-man and take back her life) I couldn't really get into it. This is definitely one of those, take to the lake and read while the kids splash kind of books. I guess I'll put it back on my list to try again next summer when I am in search of more fluffy fare.

chilly friday

It's definitely fall. The air is so cool and crisp, even during the day, that I have been forced to close the windows. I love the cool air coming in, especially in the evenings, but now it is too cold. We're starting to haul out the heavier shirts and thin sweaters. Soon it will be bulky sweaters and multiple layers.

I am not complaining though, I look out my window and am surrounded by the beauty of the fall colors creeping their way across the landscape. This year appears to be a particularly vivid year. We're so fortunate to live in an area of such natural beauty.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

30 days of peace - day two

Here we are at day two and I've realized that nothing says there can only be one peaceful event/thing to be grateful for on each day. So here are today's gratitudes in no particular order:

  • a beautiful, balmy, sunny day
  • hugs from my family
  • a beautiful new sink faucet installed by my wonderful husband
  • farm fresh eggs from my friend Martha's chickens for our dinner

So I'm ending the day on a peaceful note, feels good.

bananas are herbs

Wow, you learn something new every day.

Steve just told me about the fact that banana trees are actually NOT trees but herbs (meaning their fruit is technically berries). I went and looked it up and I'll be hornswaggled but it's true.

wfmw redux - gamma seals

WFMW is the brainchild of Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer. Every Wednesday you post something that works for you.

The memo said we're doing a greatest hits of wfmw. So here's my favorite one.

A friend of mine introduced me to Gamma Seals. They;rere great! I buy bulk products (such as dog food, wheat, sucanat) and instead of breaking my nails trying to pry open the containers I can attach a gamma seal.

Easy to open and air tight. Works for me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

30 days of peace - day 1

I hope this is okay. I just found Chaotic Home and was reading her blog. I liked the idea of finding something in each day to be peaceful about/grateful for. I know sometimes I feel so overwhelmed (doesn't everyone) that by the time I collapse into bed I've not spent enough time being grateful for all I have. Believe me I know I have a lot, it's just that sometimes you tend to lose sight of that.

While I don't promise to post every day I am going to spend part of my day for the next 30 days focusing on being grateful and positive about something in my life.

Tonight it's Stitch Sisters. We had our usual meeting tonight. As always it was wonderful although a bit sad with the loss of one of our sisters last week. I'm continually amazed by how we all manage to support each other and how well we all get along. It's truly a gift to have found myself surrounded by these amazing women.

picture puss

D took this sweet picture of our little Chloe.


This, once again, took two weeks. But it's done!!!!

This is our guest room. Formerly the room of our oldest. It also functioned as the overflow room during our/my big "let's rearrange all of the rooms in the house" project. Finally it's become a more peaceful place.



Don't forget that you can visit 5 Minutes for Mom and play too.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Truth time...I have had a migraine that has not fully gone away for two days now. Functioning has not been easy.

A few days ago I had a big pot of tomatoes cooked down and ready to can for sauce but I put the pot in the fridge to do it later because I was so tired and not feeling well. Tonight Steve asked if he could can it. I showed him where everything was, explained how to do it (put it in the sterilized jar, wipe the jar, lid, ring, boil) and came upstairs to go back to bed.

Now I'm sitting here feeling a little sad, perplexed, and confused. Canning is something that I really enjoy. I mean it makes me feel really good to produce those jars for my family. But I'm not feeling well so he's doing it for me. Somehow I feel like I am failing/slipping/incapable because of this. It sort of ties in to my "not perfect" type post earlier today. I'm grateful that he wants to do this, can do it, and did it cheerfully. I just can't shake the fact that somehow, on some level, it is bothering me. Don't know why, just trying to deal with it so that I can let it go.

dinner tonight

Was so delicious that it got rave reviews from my pickiest child. I was so surprised by her approval of the meal that I decided to post it along with the recipes. Please let me know if you try it and what your crew thinks.

Crockpot chicken something

Unfortunately the credit for this recipe belongs to someone out in blogland (if you read this and it looks like you please let me know so I can give you credit). I wrote the recipe down, converted it for the crockpot and the results were delicious.

One whole chicken (although you could use parts)
1 heaping T. ranch dressing powder
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/4 C. cider vinegar

place chicken breast side up in crockpot
sprinkle with dressing powder
mix together liquids and pour over chicken
cook on low 10 hours

Black Bean Salad

1 15 oz can black beans drained
corn kernels cut off one ear of cooked corn
1 large tomato diced
2 T. recaito (I get mine in the Hispanic grocery)

mix together and serve

This was served with a cooked sweet potato. It was a colorful and tasty meal.

any passing gypsies?

Hmmmmm. In the way of the blog-o-sphere I read this post which I got from somewhere else. Don't really remember how I got there but it's not important.

It reminded me of this post which I had gotten from this post which inspired me to write this post.

I know that sometimes people think I do so much when somehow I feel I don't do enough. Yes I can jams and pickles, yes I bake bread. But that's just one aspect of my life and one that is important to me. Yes I have three children and people who have 1 or 2 frequently tell me that they can't comprehend the chaos that three bring. Well, truthfully it's what I've got so it's what I deal with. I often wonder how people who have more deal with theirs.

Today it it all hitting home again. As we go through the doldrums of daily life. Wondering why the kids seem to be unable to complete chores that have been assigned since they were 8 (the two still at home are 12 and 17) or pick up after themselves. Why I am feeling unable to stay on top of everything in my life at the moment (especially the look-at-her-she-balances-so-much-what's-wrong-with-me scenario).

I'm realizing that this is all cyclical. There are times when I feel like I have it all under control, although that is not often. It also highlights that the public reality is so very different from the private reality. But since all we see is the public view we take that at face value.

As I was talking to a friend today I was telling her how I was willing to sell my kids for 50 cents...for the pair. Her response was that the gypsies could have hers for free. We both laughed and through the conversation came to the realization that while things may not be perfect it is what it is. I'm trying hard to remember that.

fall into reading

Katrina over at Callapidder Days has thrown out a Fall Into Reading challenge.

Since I already have a list of books that I hope to read this is an easy one for me to join. The problem is knowing where I will be by the end of fall. So I'll list what I think I can read before Winter Solstice which is the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter.

I'm actually reading this right now. It was recommended by my sister-in-law. The story itself is not true but it is based on a historical happening. It's interesting reading, I'll be giving my usual book review when I am done.

I really like reading Perri Klass' columns in knitting magazines. This book sounds very interesting to me plus it's got recipes and knitting patterns, what's not to like.

This was supposed to be a summer read, several people told me that it was very funny. I never got to read it so perhaps I'll get to it in the fall.

Another book recommended to me by my sister-in-law (who is a good book reference person). She claims it's a great fall/winter read because it's a long book.

My aunt recommended this book and it sounds sad but interesting so I hope to get to it.

That's five which should be more than I can reasonably accomplish. All fiction. I do plan to read cookbooks, knitting books, etc. but since I have nothing on my list for those at the moment I'll stick with these.

Of course I'm sure that once I browse through everybody else's list I'm going to *sigh* have more on mine. Too many good books, too little time.

Whoo boy! I just went through the current list of challenge readers. Seriously outclassed here. First, some of these people must be really fast readers because their lists are huge! They are claiming they read between 4-6 books a month; I wish I had the time to do the same. I'm so happy for them, but confess to a twinge of jealousy since I love curling up with a book. Second...some of these people are very serious readers. While I confess to having read many of the classics (and truthfully a lot of what is on the lists) I haven't read many in the last year (I re-read Pride and Prejudice and bought War and Peace). I'm tending toward practical non-fiction or fiction these days. It's amazing how differently we read at certain times in our lives. I think I'm inclined to consider adding a personal requirement to add classics back into my reading list. Perhaps 2-3 new ones per year and 1-2 re-reads. But first I'll get through the list above, I hope.

edit #2:
rrrrrh! Blogger STILL won't let me upload the graphic so I give up. And on an editorial note one of the books above "Every Mother Is A Daughter" is NOT fiction. It's a book/dialogue about being a daughter, mother, wife, person from different but related perspectives. I'll let you know how I like it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

wfmw - recyclables

In order to try to simplify my life, and especially the amount of garbage we generate we have come up with a system for recyclables that works for us. We collected a bunch of large boxes from Costco and labelled them newspaper, magazines, cardboard. Then we asked for and received a second recycle bin. Those are for plastic, metal and glass. We also have a couple of boxes for redeemables.

All of these boxes are lined up on the back wall of our garage on a shelf. When the cotd (child of the day) takes out the recyclables they know exactly where they go. When we need to take the containers in it's much easier to load everything into the car.

Simple and sensible, wonder why I didn't think of this sooner.

Check out Shannon's website for other Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

tuesday update

It's Tuesday, a typically busy day for me. I did go to the farm today, Steve went with me. In addition to our usual haul of yummy veg we were told that we could pick all the gleanings of plum tomatoes that we wanted. Whooie! Steve and I picked four bags (no idea how much that came to maybe 20 pounds?) and we have two huge pots cooking down for sauce. Yummm. Tomorrow will be a busy day too.

Tonight was also Stitch Sisters. A sad meeting tonight as one of our members passed away. She was 18 and had been ill for a while. We all got together tonight and shared memories, tears, laughter, tea and chocolate. We also made plans to get through the next few days of the wake and funeral. We're all in shock, it's so difficult, but we're grateful for our sisterhood of each other.

Another loss that cuts so close to my heart is that of my sister-in-law's mother, Joyce. She was an amazing woman of strength, dignity and true southern charm. When we lived in Texas she made sure to include us in all of the family holidays, we had several wonderful Easter egg hunts at her house. She was an amazing woman with so many interests and a true passion for life. I felt even more fortunate to be able to continue our relationship when we moved back East as we would get to see her when she and her husband came to visit her daughter and family. She leaves a large gap in a lot of hearts and will be greatly missed.

It seems so hard to end this post on a sad note. I usually try to make my blog entries hold only the happy things so that I have a record of the joys in life to counteract those moments that get you down. But these passages are part of life and such a part of where I am right at this particular moment; so here it stands.

leaf dancing

It's amazing to me how quickly autumn arrives. Just yesterday the trees were green and the weather was balmy (okay rainy but not chilly).

Today I notice the first brushes of color spreading their way through the landscape. While driving along the gently curving back roads of our small town I notice the colorful leaves dancing in the wake of the car in front of me.

The seasons change.

talk like a pirate day

h/t to Peg-Leg Meg for sending this:

Arrrr maties, the day is finally here.

...Ahoy, thar be 10.100,000 entries on Google for Talk Like a Pirate Day Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

book review - Dragon's Fire

As promised, as I read the books that are on my list I will give a short review. The latest read was Dragon's Fire, another collabortion between Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd. Todd obviously has lots of ideas for where he wants the series to go and we are being introduced to different elements of Pern.

In their previous book, Dragon's Kin, it was the watch whers. In this one it's a discourse on stone with some delving into murder, thievery, and other unsavory aspects of human character.

I also wonder if there are any other handicaps coming up but won't say more because I don't want to give anything away. I will say that the first time was okay, the second time was trite and if there is a third time where someone with a particular handicap overcomes that handicap to become something that would otherwise be impossible (due to their handicap) I will be disappointed. Anne herself wrote about it in her short story "The Girl Who Heard Dragons" but it got carried a bit further in these last two books.

I confess that overall I liked the story but mostly I think it was because I like the whole world of Pern. I was disappointed that some of the events in the book seemed contrived and, as with the last one, the ending winds up feeling very rushed. One thing I did like a lot about the book was how parts of it parrallelled the previous book. Unfortunately I found lots of odd shifts in the story line and suspect that they are there simply to provide openings into future books rather than because they really add to the story line.

One more in the "new" series to go.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

blog overhaul

Bluebird Blogs is having a fall contest. She's offering two (2) lucky winners a free blog design.

I've been thinking I would like to freshen things up but am not sure where to go. And, let's be honest, it's not too high on my priority list.

But hopefully I'll win .

You can enter too, just visit her blog.

pizza pizza

Today I had some running around chores to do, I won't bore you with the list or the details but I did stop at Costco to pick up a few things and bought a cheese pizza while I was there. We love the veggie but they don't always have it.

I was so exhausted by the time I got home (cumulative effects of yesterday and today) that I lay down for a short nap at 4 pm. Woke up at 8 pm (because the cat was yowling at the door wanting out of my room) to delicious smells. While I was sleeping my wonderful husband sauteed peppers and onions, cut up artichokes and mushrooms, assembled and cooked the pizza for dinner. It was delicious (the nap and the pizza).

book meme

This was an open tag from Owlhaven. Looked interesting so I decided to play.

Here are the instructions:
-Grab the book closest to you
-Open to page 123
-Scroll down to the 5th sentence
-Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
-Name of the book and the author
-Tag 3 people

The book right in front of me is English Words from Latin and Greek Elements by Donald M. Ayers.

Sentances 5-7:

9. Syracuse...had not only become inexpugnable but had assumed the aggressive. - Grote

10. The 1-9 season was powerful: it dispirited the team as well as the entire school, provoked twenty-eight fights, initiated nine lawsuits, and cost the coach his job. - William Mark

11. ...doors which were intended for (a) ingress and (b) egress, windows which were meant to give light. - John Addington Symonds

Three people I am tagging:

K - whatcha readin'?
Shannon because I'm curious about what she's reading too
Nina same reason and I wonder what language she's reading in

If you want to play you can pretend I tagged you, just say it's 3a.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

pickle party

Whew! As if the baking wasn't enough I found myself innundated with produce from the farm just begging to be pickled. It's actually not hard to do but a lot of standing on your feet, washing, sterilizing, boiling, etc. The results in the middle of winter make it all worthwhile.

I made several things out of my Oded Schwartz book Preserving. I really like this book, of course I like all of my books, but so far his recipes have never disappointed me.

I made eggplant garlic chutney. Something I've never made before. It's supposed to be good on sandwiches, with cheese, or meats. I had eggplant and garlic from the farm so I decided to go ahead and give it a try. It needs to mellow for a couple of weeks before we can try it.

Also on the list were pickled green tomatoes. I gleaned as many green cherry tomatoes as I could to make this. Some years, believe it or not, I don't have enough green tomatoes. This was never a problem when we lived in VT but here it is, especially since I now only plant 1 or 2 tomato plants.

In addition to picking the green ones I gleaned as many sungolds and grape cherry tomatoes as I could for sweet cherry tomato pickles. Mmmmmm. Sounds really good. I've never made it before. They need to sit for a couple of months but hopefully they will be worth the wait.

Tomato sauce, that's a given every year. We love using thing throughout the year, so much tastier than what you can buy in the grocery store.

Dilly beans. I think I'm the only one who really likes green beans but I make them anyway.

Luckily it was all small batch stuff 3-4 jars per batch. Otherwise I'd probably still be canning right now.

thursday thirteen

Ooh, a new meme, lessee I've got Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and now Thursday. Kind of fun really.

Here's mine for this week. 13 things I have preserved/canned/pickled so far this year (in no particular order):

1. pickled green tomatoes
2. tomato sauce
3. red currant jelly
4. zucchini bread and butter pickles
5. eggplant garlic chutney
6. sour cherry walnut conserve
7. rhubarb lemon jam
8. rhubarb blackberry jam
9. rhubarb strawberry jam (can you tell I had a lot of rhubarb?)
10. rhubarb apricot jam
11. peach liqueur (in process but it's a canned item)
12. cherry tomato pickles
13. dilly beans

You too can play along at Thursday 13

baking bonanza

What a day...

Half asleep the night before (that would be last night) and wanting to make a sponge I go to grind my flour and accidentally grind hard red and soft white. What did I want? Hard red and hard white. Did I realize this? Not until my loaf was proofing. At which point I said some rather unladylike things, grabbed some lecithin and vital wheat gluten and worked it into the dough. It took longer than it should have for the first rise but rise it did. And the second rise, and the third rise. The loaves baked up light and fluffy, just the way my family likes it.* Wowie! This is bread baking with a sponge is kinda fun. The only bummer is that I only made two loaves. Next time I'll have to see if I can successfully double the recipe.

Having some bananas that were getting rather soft (and a freezer full of bananas for smoothies) I decided to make banana almond raisin bread. Having lots of plums that no one was eating and a half a jar of jam that was starting to crystalize I decided to make plum tarte. I ground up soft white flour, invented two recipes that used similar flour + other ingredient proportions and set them to bake. Note to self: it is NOT a good idea to try to invent two recipes at the same time -- especially when the temperatures for the different recipes may be different.

The banana bread came out fabulous! A little darker and heavier than I would have liked but smelling wonderful and tasting great. The plum tarte got too dark around the edges, bubbled over and spilled all over the tiles on the bottom of my oven. The look too rich and crumbly (yes there is such a thing) but I hope they taste good. I'm thinking of pairing it with ice cream for dessert tonight, that way if it's not great (and I suspect it's not -- although it is edible) at least the ice cream will mask some of the defaults.

An interesting baking day to say the least. I did learn stuff and nothing was suitable only for wildlife fodder or doorstops, so I consider it all a success.

* When I baked with store bought flour it was easy to get fluffy bread. Working with fresh ground it has been much more difficult. They haven't complained much but prefer a lighter bread. I think I'm on my way to figuring it out.

wfmw - shower caps

h/t to my mother-in-law for this one.

I hate using lots of saran wrap to cover bowls and such in the fridge. Instead I use shower caps. They're elasticized, re-usable, and inexpensive.

If you want to see other WFMW tips, head on over to visit Shannon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

knit time

Tuesday, my Stitch Sister night. It was a small meeting tonight, just four of us.

I collected another hat for the homeless. I think we're all getting a bit burned out by hats. I have two in process, everyone else seems to have one on the needles and I think this is going to be the last hats before we decide to drop them off. I'll count once we are done collecting.

It's really been an amazing effort. Even though we didn't reach our goal of 100 we still made a significant contribution to making hats that will help keep others warm during the cold winters we have here.

We all admire and enjoy each other's hats, sharing tips for creating and color matching and stash-using-up. Some of the hats are not so pretty, some are incredible creations, some are just, well, hats. But each of them is a investment of time and thought. It's hard when you are making a hat for someone you don't know not to think about who might be wearing that hat. To hope that it will keep them warm and possibly to give them hope that someone cares even if it is someone that they will never meet. I find myself wondering about all the sizes and colors that we have and the reactions of people when they have the opportunity to choose a hat for themselves from this collection we've made. Once they find a size that fits well will they like the colors? Will the ability to choose help make them feel warmer inside? Perhaps I'm overly optimistic about how much these hats will be appreciated, but I know that as a community of women this project has really helped us bond even more and given us a good outlet for our talents in a way that allows us to give back for all we have.

It's a good feeling.

farm bounty

Oh my goodness, what a bounty at the farm today. This is the time of year when I really begin to feel that I am getting far more than my $23.80 per week.

In addition to the goodies that I came home with I also came home with a sense of peace. I haven't been able to do the pyo (pick your own) for several weeks due to the weather and/or not feeling well. Today was a gorgeous, sunny day, perfect for hanging out on the farm. I really enjoyed my time spent in the rows. I even had a lovely conversation with someone I had never met before, Martha, over the plum tomatoes. It was just great.

What did I come home with?

Gleanings on cherry tomatoes, yellows, reds, and a full bag of greens to make pickled green tomatoes.
2 quarts of green beans - dill bean pickles coming up
a LOT of plum tomatoes - sauce making starts tomorrow
8 sunflowers - so pretty and a perfect reminder of a wonderful afternoon
herbs - basil, parsley and thyme. The basil is to cook with now, the parsley and thyme are being
dried for use throughout the year. I'll continue to collect them over the next few weeks

And then the pickup stuff: tomatoes, cucumbers, swiss chard, scallions, broccoli, spaghetti squash, eggplant, garlic, onions. There was more stuff, beets, turnips, peppers (hot and sweet) but I couldn't fit anymore in my share bag.

I really am so fortunate to have access to delicious, healthy food like this. I am grateful that my family can participate in something like this and keep a farmer gainfully employed as well. It is a circle of benefit. I think it means a lot in these days of overstimulated, overspent, mechanized society to be able to have this.


Finally, my Tackle-It-Tuesday contribution. . .
tah dah!

This was a project that was more than one day and I didn't do it by myself, but I'm still thrilled that it's done. [Blogger's not cooperating so you get the before and after together instead of distanced from each other]

It's our pantry! It's just great to have decent shelves instead of warped pine boards. My amazing hubby even trimmed them to match the kitchen counters (is he wonderful or what?). The entire pantry is painted, the shelves neatly painted and covered with clear contact paper. The contents organized and contained neatly. notice the word neatly in the last two sentances?.

It's so fabulous that I sometimes open the door as I walk by just to look at it (isn't that silly?).

If you want to play along you too can tackle-it

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Robert William McPadden

On September 11, 2001 over 343 firefighters gave their lives in service to this country. One of them was Robert William McPadden; he was 30 years old.

I don't know him, I never did. But I am touched and saddened by his loss and the violence that it represented. His courage and willingness to enter the World Trade Center is something that many of us will never have to face. But because he did I am sure that others survived.

I wanted to put a tribute up so that he could be remembered. Since the day I volunteered (through the 2,996 project) to post his remembrance I've been thinking a lot about him. And I've been trying to learn a little bit about him so that his life can be remembered and celebrated.

I know so little about him but here's what I learned:

His father, Michael McPadden was a firefighter for almost 40 years. Robert wanted to do the same. He went to college, earning a degree in history and then a graduate degree in criminal justice. Then he waited for an opening to become a firefighter, passing up the opportunity to become a police officer. He became a firefighter and was assigned to Engine Company 23.

He played drums with Pearl River's Ancient Order of Hibernians bagpipe band. Through the Hibernians he met Kate, fell in love and married her.

He was good at Jeopardy!.

He wasn't supposed to be at The Towers that day, but he was called to service and he went.

He is loved by many,

He is deeply missed,

He is one of the heros of this generation.

--Bill Kaufman (Newsday)
—-Tom Coombe (The Morning Call)

Friday, September 08, 2006

five ingredient friday - kale and potatoes

I believe this is a Portugese dish. I made it because everything came fresh from the farm on Tuesday. It was delicious.

1 bunch Kale chopped small (not fine)
10 new red potatoes, cooked and cut in half
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 C. broth (I used veggie)

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil (okay that six but really do we have to count that?
When onions and garlic are softened add potatoes and sautee until slightly browned
Add broth and bring to a boil
Add kale and bring to a low boil until kale is cooked (about 10 minutes)

Serve and enjoy.

This made a great side dish with sausage, tomato salad and fresh corn on the cob.

You to can play along with Overwhelmed With Joy

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

deer poop!

What is it with dogs and deer poop? Tobi just rolled in it. Again!

Steve and I went for a walk on Monday evening. Tobi managed to find and roll in a particularly noxious pile. The car ride home in our little Scion was, needless to say, rather fragrant.

Steve helped me hoist Tobi into the girls shower (Tobi has definitely put on weight and length in the last three months, I can't pick him up anymore). He's a chicken and hates to be bathed. But he suffered through it.

Today while I was taking trash to the dump and my Flylady fling boogies to Goodwill I left Tobi outside. When I came home he came running over to greet me. A rather distinct aroma rose up. Bleah! Urgh! Yuck!!! Luckily D came home just as I was contemplating wrestling the dog into the tub. I paid her $5 bucks and she washed him.

Sam used to do the same thing. I don't understand what is so attracting about smearing the stuff all over you. They always seem to come home with this goofy grin. And here I thought having a dog would help keep the deer away. Not if he smells like one.

wfmw - celery

When I buy celery I always buy two stalks. One for the ribs for peanut butter and celery or celery gratin or any number of other dishes involving a whole rib. The other is for dicing. I cut off the top and then just dice what I need, putting the rest of the rib away until the next time I need more chopped celery.

Check out Shannon's website for other Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


That's the sound of the last few days going by. Honestly it feels like a hurricane around here right now. Not the calm back-to-school, back-to-routine that I was expecting.

Highlights for me? The kids are back in school and happy with their schedules. A big plus in my book. How long it will last? Who knows, but we're off to a good start.

Yesterday I picked a bunch of peaches from our tree. They're very delicious. The first processing batch got set aside for liqueur and two bags in the freezer for peach pie. The second batch is ripening just a bit more. I'm thinking maybe peach butter, we'll see.

Yesterday I also managed to get into the garden for a while (between vacation and rain that's been a rare occurance). Got a bit done, need to do more...that's a neverending task. I was thrilled to see that the deer did not manage to get the sunflowers this year. Last year I had lots of tall lovely stalks. This year there are actually blooms on top. Tomatoes are ripening, herbs are coming along, berry bushes are growning nicely. I'm also stunned to discover about 10 or so baby asparagus plants in a completely different bed than the one I planted them in! I really don't know how that happened but I think I shouldn't move them as I've heard that asparagus is very tender and does not take well to being moved. Now what?

My tackle-it-tuesday didn't get done so I won't talk about it here, but wait for next week (it's a big suprise, I promise). It's going to wind up being a multi-week project I guess.

Today was a zoo of a day. Running running running all day. Lots of chores got done but some fun stuff too. I went to the farm and as always loaded up on great produce. Small red potatoes are in. Along with kale, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, onions, corn, watermelon (the yummy yellow kind), tomatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, and peppers. It was raining (it seems to always be raining on Tuesdays lately) so I skipped the pyo which was mostly gleanings anyway. I'm thinking there may be some ratatouille in our future.

After that I went to my friend Christina's house to make eggplant rolatini (sp?). On my way to the farm I had dropped off an eggplant, sauce and cheese. She went ahead and made it without me! What a wonderful surprise. We were supposed to cook together which would have been fun but this was a most welcome gift after such a busy day. We had it for dinner and even V, my meatatarian loved it. We ate in the dining room (mostly because the kitchen was full due to the tackle-it-tuesday project. Quite a nice change, I think we should eat in there more often. Of course I often wonder WHY I have a dining room as I only seem to use it a handful of times each year. It just doesn't seem to be part of our family culture to eat in this formal-ish, fancy room. We gather in the kitchen, all cozy and domestic.

This evening was Stitch Sisters. I hadn't been in three weeks so it was nice to catch up with everyone. Turns out that our group did very well at the local county fair, bringing home several ribbons all for knit or crochet items. Very fun. I also collected a few more hats. We're beginning to think that 50 hats is a more reasonable number. After all it's September and we are planning on delivering in November. We currently have 32. I have one on the needles and one more planned. I know at least three other hats are in process. Plus we're getting into holiday crunch time. However 50 hats is 50 more than the shelter had before so it's a good number. A great effort by all.

Now off to bed to collapse before tomorrow begins.