Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Plumbline of Truth


I will be venturing further afield beginning tomorrow afternoon to attend training for Kay Arthur's Precept Bible Studies.

I will be staying in the home of my "cheesecake baking" friend for three days and three nights.

Rose hangs her head on my shoulder this morning and tells me she will miss me.

I love the study of God's Word, especially with an in- depth Bible Study.

Further up and higher still, my traveling clothes are ready.

Friday, July 23, 2010

enjoying summer

Back in the early days of June when summer seemed to stretch out before us to a horizon filled with promise, I gathered my little "chicks" on the back porch one morning and we made lists.

Things we hoped to accomplish this summer, whether it be to learn something new or maybe just complete unfinished projects. In my mind I was looking for something outside the bounds of random minutes that have a way of getting lost in the hours of my day.

The girls cooperated and I jotted down things that all three of us found desirable.

So it was this week the realization that I was fretting hit me. The things that looked and felt so good written on the page were not happening. In the process of summer living, fretting would soil the joy if I allowed it to. So a little randomness is okay. Schedules will start soon enough, but for now we will grow stout in the lavishness of the summer days and evenings of our world.

My days are beatific once again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tying in loose ends

I like to keep my hands busy so when sitting still for any length of time my hands are usually smocking, hemming, knitting, embroidering or crocheting something or other. My brain can not help but take hold of visually imagining the tying in of all the loose ends of threads, rather they be sewing, embroidering, knitting, or crocheting.

Today I tied in some of the loose ends of completely other things gathered around my house, mainly in the kitchen.

Apples, another dent made in the bag of abundant supply, this time with crockpot apple butter. We learned from making applesauce that we did not want to stand over a pot of simmering apples for too long so the crockpot was the appliance of choice. My kitchen is smelling spicy and appley right now.

Herb vinegars, drained through a sieve, siphoned into pretty bottles and simple tags strung to identify the herb ingredients.

Roasting peppers for making pepper pesto. You may want to try this recipe if the ingredients appeal to you. I thought it was throw your eyes back into your head delicious.

1 large red pepper roasted, find how to here
5 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil
5 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
You may just want to add the roasted pepper and vinegar to any prepared basil pesto and that would work just fine.

Since I happened to pick up my CSA produce and it contained several heirloom peppers, purple and light yellow, I decided to make a batch. I really prefer the muted red color of the red pepper pesto, but the green color is pleasing too and the taste is pretty much the same. I do believe green peppers would not be as good because of their strong taste.

This pesto makes any sandwich zing, or you may prefer it on a cracker.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

viewing full things

A sweltering time we had while picking apples from the trees where Witt and Claire live, but it was a fine and dandy time too.

Some might call it a glass half-full depending on how you look at it, but due to our assiduous labor our bags soon bulged full of homegrown apples. Then Claire served us full glasses of iced water to refresh us.

Consequently, my kitchen is full of bags and boxes lying around on the floor and counter waiting to be made into apple butter, applesauce, apple bread and apple cake.
My life is jam-packed full of apples at the present.

And speaking of full things, I love my new MacBook Pro laptop, yet like anything new some things must be relearned and plain figured out. Therefore, the look of the text on this post is not what I intended.

Take it half-full.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

blueberry yogurt and other good things

I know it has been mentioned before how much I adore my Cuisinart Ice Cream/Sorbet/Yogurt Maker. But just in case it was forgotten, here is another plug for a very put a smile on your face and satisfaction in your belly kitchen counter appliance.

Pounds of fresh blueberries in my refrigerator had me creating this treat.

Blueberry Yogurt

2 cups vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar(or less)
1 pint of blueberries
a dash of ground cinnamon(optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

Turn machine on and pour mixture as it is running. After it reaches the desired consistency, you may place it in a container to keep in the freezer.

A little hunk of a 15 month old visited today with his mother, a little upturned mouth to be continually filled with this cool treat would attest to it's goodness if you can not take my word for it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Very Special Nightwear

What a woman wears to bed is important. But then maybe it takes a certain age in a woman's life to understand how important, or maybe I am only generalizing considering others' points of view. Yet I can attest to those women friends who give testimony, husbands are pleased when a wife wears special things, and the femininity factor for the woman is priceless. You feel so lovely.

That is why you will find me at the Verena annual sale in July. I have reached the point in my life that these are the only nightgowns and robes I wear, and fortunately I have been able to accumulate quite a selection by going to these sales.

The laces are designed and made by the company. They are not scratchy, but so very soft next to your body.

And since a special friend, who holds lots of love in my heart, has a birthday this week, I chose one for her and wrapped it in tissue paper and tied it with lace. She can be even lovelier.

Just as a reference, the gowns, robes or pajamas are made in cotton, satin or chiffon, and range in different levels of oolala.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shelling Peas

We took a trip to the Farmers' Market this morning. The main aim was to buy a lemon verbena plant since my very old one had finally succumbed to nonexistence. I could not imagine a year without it's intoxicating fragrance in my herb garden. It was worth the visit to my garden just to brush against the lemon verbena. The word heady comes to mind, yes, it made me heady.

But while at the market the variety of the local farmers produce tempted us and gave us an idea for the evening's supper, corn, tomatoes, okra, field peas and cantaloupe. I filled my carry along basket and arms with all I could carry, then I filled my husband and Charlotte's arms. We left "rich" indeed.

We then came home and shelled purple-hulled peas on the back porch.

The tomatoes are roasting slowly in a 200 degree oven, the corn is shucked ready for boiling, the okra is washed and waiting for frying, the peas are stewing, and the focaccia bread is rising

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hurrah for the Red, White and Blue

Every July I reach under the eaves and pull out our 4th of July box.

The pinwheels are still some of our favorite decorations. Little breezes start the dancing and whirling, then every once in a while a big gust gets the party going strong.

Cookout tonight where Witt and Claire will be joining us for beef ribs, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, and green salad.

The finale part one:
freshly churned strawberry ice cream.

finale part two:

finale part three:
after all have departed to their respective places to sleep,
just my husband and I with a quiet fire and bubbly.

After all, it is a holiday.

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

dressing in and dressing up

Since my basil plants are thriving and allowing daily clippings, this salad dressing was whizzed up in the food processor this afternoon. An aluminum foil funnel was quickly improvised and proved sufficient in transferring the dressing into a recycled Tazo tea jar.

Cotton fabrics in shades of red, white, and blue set on wooden dowels are dressing up the backyard for approaching celebrations.

Of course we are enjoying blueberry cobbler too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blueberry July

Having a little muffin with my blueberries this morning.

The recipe called for 1 1/2 - 2 cups of fresh blueberries. Didn't have to think about that one, then I threw in a few extra for good measure.

at the shore cum amica mea

So it was that on Thursday afternoon we headed out to the beach, two young girls (Charlotte and her friend), me and my friend, and Rancher, ...