Wednesday, June 28, 2006

knitting games

For those who have too much time on their hands even with a full knitting schedule (note: this would not be me) there are games you can play around the theme of knitting to keep yourselves amused.

One is sudoku. Not your ordinary sudoku by any means. Check it out.

Then there are word scrambles, word searches, crossword puzzles and more. It boggles the mind.

works for me wednesday



WFMW is the brainchild of Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer. Every Wednesday you post something that works for you. I was too tired to post last night so my contribution is a day late.

We try to re-use the plastic bags that come from the grocer store. But where to store them. Three ideas that work well.

1. Stuff about 8-9 of them into an empty paper towel roll and leave that in your car. Then when you need a bag you have one.
2. Stuff about 30 of them into an empty large tissue box and put it in a closet (such as in the bathroom). Then when you need one there they are.
3. Stuff about 60 of them into an empty, clean milk carton with a hand hole cut near the top. It has a handle and is very compact. I keep mine under the sink in my kitchen.

It all works for me.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

the war of the weeds has been lost

Nothing else needs to be said on that topic.

It was raining again today. Like most days so far this summer. Either that or blisteringly hot. Courageously I waded out into the thicket that used to be my garden to start harvesting currants and rhubarb.

The currants are just starting and I'll be picking as they ripen in order to beat the birdies. The rhubarb is probably done for the year. About half of what I tried to harvest was either woody or dry. I have enough for one more batch of something so I think I'm going to make Blackberry Rhubarb Jam. I'll use the frozen blackberries that I have from last summer. I had gotten some thornless blackberries from a neighbor of my Mom's a few years ago; last year was the first year that they really produced for me. The berries are as big as the first joint on my thumb and very delicious.

Here's the recipe:

4 C finely chopped rhubarb
1 C. blackberries
4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Cover the rhubarb and blackberries with the sugar and lemon juice and let sit at least 3 hours
Put in pot, bring to a boil
Cook 20 minutes or until jelly point has been reached
Ladle into sterile jars, seal and process 10 minutes in hot water bath

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Friday, June 23, 2006

beach fun

It was our first day at the town beach. D and her friend A had so much fun diving and splashing as they tried to catch minnows. We saw a beautiful blue heron land across the lake from us and perch on a boat. A really wonderful sight.

It was a quiet time of day and before the crowds at the beach have really started...my favorite time really.

farm day

Today was farm day again. D took her friend A to the farm with us. It was pick your own strawberries, two quarts of the most luscious, fragrant strawberries ever. Plus salad mix, arugula, broccoli, napa cabbage, lettuces, radishes, and scallions. Yum!

It was really wonderful to spend the time wandering the fields to the strawberry patch and seeing all the growing things and watching the girls enjoying running around outdoors.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

what kind of flower are you?

Thanks to my Mom for sending me this one.

I am a
Snapdragon

What Flower
Are You?

suburban war stories

I've come to realize that living in suburbia, or rural-urbia if there is such a thing, there are certain things that come to be part of the collective experience. Putting in a dog fence is one of those things. Several of our neighbors have dogs. They all have invisible fences. They have all gone through the same experience...you'd think we would have learned by now.

First you call the fence company. They come out and give you a totally unrealistic quote to fence in part of your property. For 20% of the price you can buy the fence and do it yourself. You check by calling a neighbor who tells you they got the same awful quote and did the work themselves and by the way another neighbor happens to own a trencher. Call that neighbor. Oh yes, they got the same awful quote and did it themselves. Sure you can pick up the trencher.

Then comes laying out enough wire to fence in 1.5 acres. Tromping through woods, over rocks, through garden beds ?!?!?. Then comes the trenching part. Two people not required but it goes faster that way. One to trench one to bury. Hot, sweaty, mosquito-y. Then putting out all the flags. And we haven't even gotten to the training part, that takes 10-12 days. But I hear that it's a huge success. And of course once you're done with putting in the fence you're done.

We can now sit by the neighborhood fireside and share our own war story of climbing up a 30 degree grade of rock to lay invisible fencing (wondering why the dog would be that far but not wanting to wade into the thicket of wild raspberries and multiflora rose to avoid it) among other adventures of life in this small town.

tags: , http://technorati.com/tag/dog rel="tag">dog,

part what?

Tobi, our dog, is part Boxer. We're not sure what the other parts are but lots of people offer opinions, Ridgeback, Weimaraner, Labrador.

What we are sure of is that he is part pig and part termite. His favorite thing to do when going for a walk in the woods is to chew wood; maybe that should be part beaver but he hasn't started taking down any trees yet, just chewing on the ones that are already down. He also LOVES to eat the compost from the compost pile {urgh}. Doesn't make one too happy to recieve puppy kisses now does it?

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works for me wednesday



Works for Me Wednesday is the brainchild of Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer. Every Wednesday you post something that works for you. Not rocket science but fun.

When I go to visit people if I have things to bring I try to bring it in a laundry basket. This way I have a place to keep my purse, my return dishes, the kids stuff. It definitely works for me.


tag:

Friday, June 16, 2006

rhubarb rhapsodies

Having lots of rhubarb in the garden I decided that it was time to use more of it. I made two rhubarb recipes today. The first is a cake courtesy of Nina and she was very kind and converted the recipe from metric for me. The conversion is:

2 cups finly chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup of hazelnuts (or almonds), ground roughly
1/2 cup brown suger
7 T. melted margarine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups plain flour
2 ts cinnamon
1 ts vanilla sugar
2 ts baking soda

I used ground almonds, forgot the cinnamon and doubled the recipe so I could have one for now and one for later. I must have done something right because mine came out looking just like the picture she posted. We'll be eating it tomorrow, hopefully it will taste as good as it looks.

The second rhubarb goodness was rhubarb strawberry preserves since I had all those strawberries from the farm:

2 1/2 pounds rhubarb, de-stringed and diced
2 1/2 pounds sugar
1 1/3 pounds strawberries, de-hulled and halved

Let soak 3 hours

add juice of one lemon

bring to a boil, boil 20 minutes or until jelly point is reached. Jar and process 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Makes 8 8-ounce jars.

It looks so red and juicy and smelled fabulous when I was making it. The tastings off the ladle while I was ahem cleaning it were delicious. I love having this stuff in the house, it tastes so much better than what you buy in the store.

I love the fact that the rhubarb is from my own garden and the strawberries were fresh picked today from the local organic farm. It really doesn't get any better than that, unless you happen to have a lemon tree in the back yard.

farm adventures

Today was farm pickup day. Wow! Two quarts of the most fragrant, juicy, delicious strawberries. Mmmmmmmmm.

Plus bok choy, scallions, huge globe radishes, arugula, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce and one small head of broccoli. I'm so happy to have this. Stir fry for dinner probably on Monday and salads for lunches all week!

adventures in bread

Today we needed bread, so I baked. I ground a flour of 1 C. hard white wheat, 1 C. hard red wheat, 1 C. spelt, 1/2 C. lentils and 1/2 C. pinto beans. Instead of making two 1 pound loaves I decided to make one 1 pound loaf and two half-pound loaves. I cut a half pound loaf for lunch and it was delicious, a really nice combination of grains.

One of my children didn't see the cut small loaf put back in the bread basket and cut the large loaf. Not a problem as bread always seems to get eaten in this family. The problem was that the loaf in question was left on the butcher block...within sniffer range of a certain dog...who discovered for the very first time that has was tall enough to stand on his hind feet and reach the top of the butcher block. The loaf was in the process of being devoured when he was spotted enjoying his mid-day snack. Rats. I guess this means I'll be baking again fairly soon. Hopefully this will be an additional lesson to certain members of the household that nothing is safe if it is within puppy range.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

frisbee fun

Today there was an assembly at the local school followed by an evening event. It was the Spinning Bees who came to show the kids how much fun frisbee can be. The evening event was lots of fun and Gary got the parents involved too. Fun to watch, entertaining to listen to, everyone had a great time. We came home with a spinning trainer and a regular frisbee (autographed!). Hopefully we'll be able to keep them away from Tobi. I'm sure he'd love to learn to be a frisbee dog but I'm not sure the frisbee could stand up to his puppy-jaws-of-death.

tag: rel="tag">frisbee

fun on the farm

Today I picked up D from school and we drove to my friend's house. She in turn took us to her friend's house where there is a mini-farm. We got to hug, hold and admire baby pigs (very sweet but noisy squeekers), baby bunnies, baby goats, a baby miniature donkey named Priscilla, plus see angora rabbits, turkey poults, geese, chickens, cats, dogs, ponies. It was a fun afternoon.

One funny event that happened while we were there, we noticed that there were two chicken eggs in with the Vietnamese Potbellied Pig (who is rather large). I guess the chickens like her pen for their nesting box. The eggs had to be retrieved very carefully but retrieved they were. Pretty speckled things, still warm.

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works for me wednesday



WFMW is the brainchild of Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer. Every Wednesday you post something that works for you. I was too tired to post last night so my contribution is a day late.

I bought a drawer organizer for my socks. It may seem silly but now I can easily grab a pair of socks in the morning. And because the drawer is a little wider than the organizer boxes of knee-highs and mis-mated socks fit perfectly. It definitely works for me!

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running away

Listening to my last audioblog I realize how very tired I sounded.

We went back to my Aunt's apartment for a little rest before going out to dinner. The little rest turned into a 12 hour nap! But that's a really good thing...something I can't do at home with kids.

The next morning we were going to head over to The Frick Museum but I was still tired and so we lounged all morning. This means we also did not get to go to Gourmet Garage - with a name like that it's a place you just have to visit! Oh well, next time.

Packed up, bought real New York Bagels from the shop around the corner, ate a quick bagel sandwich in the park down the street, and headed off for Grand Central. I did manage to stop at Zaro's to pick up some Black and Whites for my kids. [my Aunt claims the bagel place around the corner is better than Zaro's -- I have to admit they were very tasty]

It was a great get-away and nice to be able to take some time to myself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

running away

day two

this is an audio post - click to play


links:

United Nations
All Roads Film Project
Tasty Falafel
Strand Books
The Museum at FIT

running away

matzoh brei

This morning we had matzoh brei (a.k.a. Jewish omlette) for breakfast with maple syrup and blueberries. So delicious, so yummy. I love it a lot, rarely eat it and wonder why I have never made it for my children. I'm going to have to change that.

Here's my Aunt's recipe:

1 matzoh per person
wet the matzoh slightly then pat dry
beat one egg per matzoh with a little milk
break up the matzoh
put into egg
let sit a few minutes
fry in a pan
serve and enjoy

So easy!

running away

at the ballet

For some reason the cell network is refusing to connect me to my audioblog settings so this post is courtesy of my Aunt's computer.

Last night we went to the ballet at the Met and saw Giselle. It was an amazingly wonderful, beautiful performance. I was swept away watching it and words cannot describe how very much I enjoyed it. Giselle was played by Xiomara Reyes, Albrecht was played by Julio Bocca with an amazing pas de deux performance by Erica Cornejo and Herman Cornejo.

After the ballet we went to the all night Star Light diner for dinner. I had a bison burger. I had never eaten bison before and found it to be very tasty. Very lean and in some funny way beefier tasting than beef (if that makes any sense). This was served with an absolutely yummy New York half sour pickle and a great cole slaw. Followed by an all-chocolate cake which had chocolate mousse and kirsch filling. Wow! Yum.

Then back to the apartment to collapse for the night. A very fun day, can't wait for tomorrow.

Links:

The Metropolitan Opera
Xiomara Reyes
Julio Bocca
Erica Cornejo
Herman Cornejo
Giselle

Sunday, June 11, 2006

birdies

Two birding events today:

I was in the treehouse today and checking out my little feathered friends in their nest. I had to stand on tip-toe to see them and I overbalanced, falling toward the nest. Suddenly three birdies flew out and perched in the tree near the tree house. I guess this means they are fledged! I didn't think they were. I'm so glad that they have survived to this stage.

While driving home this evening we were priviledged to see a male peacock walking by the side of the road! It was certainly a surprise. I'm sure that he must live somewhere in the neighborhood what a lovely treat it was to see him though.

baby blessings

We spent the afternoon with family celebrating the arrival of our new niece. My sister-in-law looked wonderful, all of the family and friends looked great, it was a very fun afternoon. It turned out to be a "Jack and Jill" shower with men invited. They seemed a little puzzled and almost hesitant about the games...the women, being more practiced, dove right in and had a great time. I won two of the games, the "how many things in the baby bottle" and the nursery rhyme game.

The men barbequed, there was tons of food. I brought my favorite carrot salad:

14 carrots, peeled and grated
1 C. raisins
1 C. walnut pieces
2 T. lemon juice
1 C. mayonnaise

Mix all together, chill then serve. It's really yummy.

There was an embarassing display of desserts and I'm afraid to confess, but I ate one of everything (and it was good too!).

Then came the opening of the gifts. The men sort of shuffled around while the women oohed and aahed. I was in charge of the "shower hat" which came out quite cute if I do say so myself.

The father-to-be asked me what the significance of the hat was. I replied, "ritual humiliation?" I don't really know why we do this for bridal and baby showers but it's FUN! That's why. The women all thought it was great, especially the mom-to-be, that's what matters.

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sunday blessings

Church today was very special. It was an intergenerational Flower Communion which is a service that I really enjoy. And the intergenerational services are always wonderful.

The congregation has hired a new pianist and he played a lot of different music, tango, swing, classical, it was a fun service.

I feel so fortunate to be able to participate in such a diverse community of spiritual support.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

puppy playdates

While walking Tobi today we went past a dog in our neighborhood who is also part boxer. His electric fence was apparently not working as he came right out to greet Tobi. They hit it off and when Colby ran back to his yard Tobi practically dislocated my shoulder trying to follow. When he reached the end of his lead he started struggling out of his collar.

Before I got hurt I decided to let him off the lead. They had so much fun!!! They chased each other back and forth and forth and back and all around. Jumping, running, they exhausted each other. I'm going to have to call Colby's parents to see if we can schedule another playdate for them as I think it was good for both dogs.

Tobi came home and took a nice nap. I needed that.

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and the crowd goes wild

D had her softball tournament today. A triple header! Her team won all three games to walk away with the league championship! They were so excited to come home with their trophies. What a fun season for them.

She actually wishes that softball would continue through the summer. I guess this means she's playing again next year.

Friday, June 09, 2006

dinner yummy

We had stir fry for dinner last night with veg from the farm. I love when this season comes and we can start using fresh, local, organic ingredients in our meals. The bok choy and the scallions were from the farm. I added peppers, carrots, celery, garlic and water chestnuts. Served over basmati rice (2/3 white 1/3 brown) it was delicious. No leftovers.

tree house update

I went out to my tree house yesterday to enjoy the peace and quiet. A peek into the nest reveals the babies are getting bigger. I can see them without standing on the chair now. They were, I think, surprised to see me but sat there without a peep. Still very downy and soft looking, I'm not sure what they are but I'm happy that they are growing well.

floppy bread

Having a new puppy in the house is just like having a baby around. He needs LOTS of attention, he's very distracting, and routines need to be adjusted.

Yesterday was bread baking day. I did alright until the point where I set it for the second rise. Since it's been a bit cold I was doing the rise in the oven. After walking Tobi and starting on the after-school routine with the kids I completely forgot the bread. It overrose and started to deflate! Aaaaauuuugh. I baked it anyway. It's okay. Not great. The top is very flat and wrinkly looking and the crumb is nowhere near as nice as it normally is. A lesson to go back to using my timer for now.

yog aahh

(Blogger was down yesterday so I'm catching up on posts)

Went to my yoga class yesterday. The instructor has moved to a new studio space and it was nice. Looking out the windows you can see trees and green instead of the parking lot in front of the strip mall.

It was a great class, lots of stretching and core work. I find my class to be so beneficial on so many levels and am happy to have such a great teacher. This week she lent me a video to work with at home so that I can regain some of the ground I lost when I wasn't able to go for a while. Should be interesting to see how it is doing yoga to a DVD instead of her gentle voice.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

works for me wednesday



Works for me Wednesday is the brainchild of Shannon.

My contribution this week comes from years of having moved all over the country. I invest in a box of "calling cards." They are personal cards with my name, address, phone and email. I always carry a few in my purse. That way when I meet someone and they need my information I can give them my card. If I drop something off somewhere I can write a quick note on the back. It definitely works for me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

stitchin' the night away

It's Tuesday and so that means Stitch Sisters. It was fun. Today was Sweden National Day so one of our sisters made a Swedish cake to celebrate, it was yummy.

We also shared prom pictures from our youngest sister, she looked beautiful. It was fun to see the final result after we all helped her pick her dress.

One sister is going on a cruise next month and we had an in-depth and serious discussion about cruise projects. The final result was: sock (small and portable), cotton (not wool, too hot), green (very festive, it will remind her of the cruise everytime she wears them) (she had brought four different sock yarns to pick from). We told her that we expect to see pictures of the sock enjoying it's vacation.

I finished another square -- yippee!! It only took me three Tuesdays to do that. hrrmph. At this rate I don't even want to think about when that first blanket will be done. But I shall forge ahead. I cast on the fifth square. After that is done I will make a hat to mix it up a little and because I am behind on my hat allotment for our charity project.

A great evening. So great we stood around in the parking lot getting eaten alive by mosquitoes as we finished our conversations. Finally one of the ladies remarked, "Let's go home before we're all down a quart of blood!"

what's for dinner?

One of my blogfeeds is to a cartoon that I find hilarious Sherman's Lagoon.

I've been following the last few comics on podcasts, today's is especially funny, check it out.

first farm day

Today was the day!!! It was so nice to go to the farm, see a few returning apprentices and meet one of the new ones. Today's pickup was great, a half-pint of early glow strawberries, radishes, scallions, arugula, bok choy, butterhead and red leaf lettuce. The first few weeks are usually a little slow. but this is a delicious start and we know the bounty that will be forthcoming.

I think it's BLT's for dinner tonight and stir-fry on Thursday.

tobi

I was wrong, his name isn't Toby, it's Tobi. Miss D chose the spelling. We're not sure if he's staying because he and Chloe are not attacking each other but don't seem to be working it out. Hopefully that will change as we cannot live with the cat hovering behind the toilet in our bathroom caterwauling everytime she wants food or water.

He's very good with her, lies down, wags his tail and only whines a little, no barking. But she's not having any of it. We've told the kids to stay out of their way and to let them work it out. We've also decided to keep Chloe inside for the duration until they come to an agreement as we don't want her to disappear.

Tobi has lots of toys at this point which is a good thing because he's chewing on them like crazy. He's manage to destroy one "tough chew" already which obviously did not have the right caliber rope for his extra-strong-puppy-jaws-of-death TM. He's in love with rawhide and catfood and it's difficult to convince him to eat his dogfood. I think we may have to get a different brand. He also likes MY chair, hmmmmmm.

hey batta batta batta

D had a softball game last night. The girls have improved a lot since the beginning of the season. They really worked well together as a team and there were some great hits. They won 10-5. One more game, I think -- not sure with all the storms we have had where the schedule is at this point, and then comes the playoffs. Exciting stuff.

It was interesting watching the game with cottonwood fluffs floating gently over the field in the dusky light. It really looked like a surreal version of a light snow.

gardene meme

My Mom is at it again. Here's another meme this one related to gardening. If you garden, or even if you don't, and want to play consider yourself tagged.

Down In The Dirt


1) Ignoring that mythical holy grail of a soil high in organic, moist yet well-drained - would you choose clay or sand? sand
2) What's worse - too much rain or a drought? drough
3) Do you garden bare handed or do you wear garden gloves? gloves - I kept getting nail infections and finally gave in to gloves
4) Are your garden beds foursquare and formal or casually informal? strongly informal (and heavily weedy but don't look too close)
5) Their edges, do these beds have a spaded edge or do you use some form of edging? spaded edges or rocks depends on the bed
6) And the plants in those garden beds, are they informally mingled and weaving together or carefully arranged in a formal, thought-out design? see number 4 above

Coping with Pests (Know Your Enemies!)


(and understanding that there will be differences of opinion in town or out in the country:)
7) What's worse - deer, woodchucks, rabbits, or squirrels? deer
8) Do you drown Japanese beetle with kerosene / gasoline or dish detergent? dish detergent and hot water


Plants, the Heart of the Garden


Bulbs
9) Do you prefer the early blooming species tulips or extravagant opera diva parrot tulips? Don't have any, see number 7 above
10) What's your preference - Oriental or Asiatic lilies? don't kow the difference

Perennials

11) Daylilies - Do you prefer the true species and older cultivars or contemporary spider, double, highly developed varieties? I like them all but don't get to see many, see number 7 above
12) Yes or no - Is it possible to have too many hosta? no -- if the deer don't eat them all
13) What's more attractive - cool silver foliage or subtle glaucous blue leaves? any foliage is good foliage in my book

Annuals

14) Yes or no - are all those temperennials - bananas, cannas, and such - worth the yearly merry-go-round of dig in fall, store in winter, cosset in spring, and enjoy in summer? No
15) For yellow and orange daisies (not that there isn't a huge assortment from which to choose) - do you prefer pot marigolds, Calendula or French and African marigolds, Tagetes? I like them all
16) Hollyhocks: single or powderpuff double? single
17) For autumn interest - asters or chrysanthemums? asters

Shrubs
18) Shrub roses or hybrid teas? shrubs
19) Hydrangeas: lace-cap or mophead? mophead

And now a truly zen, yin / yang kind of question -

20) Do you prefer a slow stroll around the garden at dusk or do you saunter at dawn with the rising sun? dusk, definitely

Sunday, June 04, 2006

to be or not to be

On our way to D's piano recital we saw a wet shivery dog who looked like he was lost and hungry. Heaven only knows what possessed us but we brought him into the garage, fed him cat food and locked him in until we could get home and find his owner.

When we returned a couple of hours later he was waiting for us by the door and was happy to see us. Ran straight into the house and started sniffing around. We called the neighbors. He was wet because he fell into one neighbors pool. Two other neighbors had seen him around several times. One knew which house he lived in on another street.

We drove him to his house and the owner said the dog had run away that morning, they were going to take him to the pound on Tuesday and did we want him. We weren't prepared to have a dog but somehow he's sleeping downstairs and his name is Toby (it was Chester but we didn't think that suited him). We'll see how it goes but at least he's not going to the pound. We think he's part Rhodesian Ridgeback and part Boxer. He's a mutt whatever he is but a cute one. He's 8 months old and will need obedience training, a crate and a few good toys...

Funny how these things happen.

marvelous melody

Today was D's piano recital. As always it was fun to get together with all of the other families and listen to the kids play, their faces all scrubbed, dressed in their nice clothes. D did a really beautiful job, she has so much feeling for music and puts a lot of emotional shading in her playing.

Afterwards there is always a dessert buffet where each family brings something. In this case it was brownies. Out of 20 families there were 6 plates of brownies. And they were all delicious!

garden update

It looks like it's going to rain again later today so I made sure to get out into the garden to finally plant a few things.

The caraway, Korean sesame, and tomatoes are now nicely settled in their new bed. I did get some weeding done while I was out there but it didn't make as much of a dent as I thought it would.

Steve helped me pound some posts into the ground so that we could tie up the currant bushes. They are so full and heavy with fruit that they were falling over.

We also discovered that the bunny-pest that has been chewing holes in our fence is making more holes and helping himself to more and more plants. Obviously the fence we have is not strong enough to withstand his onslaught. Steve went to the hardware store to buy metal fencing and we'll start installing that tomorrow. My blueberries have been savaged of all of their new growth, I have approximately 1/3 of the sunflowers that I planted and somehow all of the weeds remain untouched (imagine that).

Hopefully the new fencing will do the trick, otherwise I may have to resort to this.

breakfast

Thanks to Kim over at Large Family Logistics I garnered this recipe for a Dutch Puff. I made it for breakfast and it was really delicious. It does puff a LOT so you really do need a 9 x 13 pan. We served it with two choices of toppings: Maine blueberries/maple syrup and a peach compote. Served with crusty bread, fresh juice and some soy sausages it was a really nice breakfast.

Next time I think I'll try her suggestion for halving the recipe as it is a lot and very filling.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

oh help

It has been raining for almost a week. I'm not complaining mind you because we need the rain and I'm sure at some point in the summer we're going to have no rain and that's going to be a bad thing.

But as some of you may recall I really don't like to garden in the rain. Between the rain, the extreme heat, and other factors I have not been in the garden for over a week and it really shows. As soon as the weather is decent I'm probably going to have to spend a good 6-8 hours cleaning up the fruit bed *sigh*. Who knows how long the rest of it will take.

The back garden? Don't even ask. The weeds have definitely won there. I'd like to win the lottery so I could pay someone to help me weed that sucker and redo the hardscaping there to make it more manageable (of course if I played that might help *grin*). I've tried the neighborhood kids. I'm offering $10 per hour and they still don't want to weed! What the heck is wrong with them?? Mine don't want to do it but that's because I'm their mother...I can understand that. Apparently the teens in my neighborhood aren't in need of cash, pity.

baking day

It's baking day because we are running low on bread and the temperatures have finally dipped to something reasonable enough to bake. Unfortunately it's still raining. When you bake bread and it is moist out, the properties of the dough change and it requires more flour. I was literally scraping the side of my flour mill bin to get more flour before I realized I just had to grind more for today's bread.

Next on the list was desserts. I made a double batch of brownies (gotta scroll down the recipe is at the bottom of that post); one for us and one for D's piano recital tomorrow. Unfortunately one batch did not come out of the pan cleanly. I guess that one is ours. That's okay, they may not look pretty but they are still tasty.

It was also a jamming day as I really need to start working on the rhubarb harvest. I made a batch of rhubarb apricot jam. Easy easy recipe.

2 pounds of rhubarb, de-stringed and diced
2 pounds of sugar. Let this sit overnight in a non-reactive pot
Next morning dice up 8 ounces of dried apricots and cover with a little water for 10-15 minutes
Add apricots to rhubarb and sugar
Bring to a boil and boil 20 minutes or till jelly-stage is reached
Jar, seal, process 10 minutes
Yummmmmmm

Friday, June 02, 2006

what time is it

With thanks to Melissa for this interesting link.

It's call the Human Clock. Check it out!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

outing

Lots of errands to run today. While I was out I had to drive past the ball fields which were full of Canada Geese all busy munching away on the grass. There were enormous numbers of cute little goslings there too. Several different sizes all waddling past their parents.

A quick stop at Agway to pick up some marigolds for the garden turned into more herbs and some potting soil for the catnip. Among other things I decided to try some caraway. If it works well I'll have some to use in baking rye bread this fall. Hopefully it will work out. I got another catnip, after Chloe destroyed the first one, and am planning to pot it up on the upper deck where she doesn't go. Hopefully it will survive and then we can keep her well supplied with catnip.

I was going to plant the stuff when I got home but it was too hot, over 80 degrees F. I decided to wait until later. Now it is storming like mad, huge booms of thunder, flashes of lightning and furious downpour. I guess I won't be planting today.