Thursday, August 25, 2011

the fact of the matter is

Man does not live by bread alone...some of us also need sewing projects in our lives to survive.

This time it is embroidery stitches on neutral cover a journal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

O, for the love of basil

Some of you already know how much I love basil, considering it the gem of any summer garden. This year my basil has done exceptionally well, some of the leaves have been truly as gigantic as a tomato.

I have been seeing the words basil syrup in recipes scattered from here and there. And since herb syrups of any sort are right up my alley, I wasted little time in making one with basil this week.

I have been a fan of Susan Branch and her cookbooks for years. Her quotes and original drawings dispersed throughout her cookbooks are fun.  This recipe was recently given on her fairly new blog. It has a unique taste, not at all like basil though. Maybe it is the lime juice and condensed milk that makes it interesting. However, I do like it especially when poured over crushed ice. It will cool you down quickly... but one may need to watch out for what my children call "brain freeze" with those first few swallows.

(The fish straw has no extra significance whatsoever)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

make pesto while the sun shines...

Ah, summer. Flourishing herb gardens and basil abundant, the trophies of summer's heat. I whizzed up a batch of pesto this morning in the food processor. But for the very first time ever I did something to the basil that I have never tried before in all my years of making pesto. I blanched the basil for 30 seconds in boiling water. This will make the color of the pesto stay the most lovely shade of green I am told.

Immediately after blanching run cold water over the basil leaves, and with gentle handling press out the excess water before putting the leaves into the processor.

Friday, August 19, 2011

the sound of watermelon

"I hear watermelon".

These were the words out of Rose's mouth as she walked into the kitchen just as I was sliding a knife through the green rind of a watermelon. Funny, when I perceive watermelon it is the sweetness of its taste, the appealing shade of red and the feel of its juice running down my bare arm.  But all senses do escape in that pop!

There is something I need to add here, no two things. Charlotte meticulously checks out every slice of watermelon for seeds before she eats it. Her opinion is that watermelons are not to have seeds, any seeds whatsoever. Sad, I know. She will never know the fun of spitting watermelon seeds from here to yonder.

And as for the blue rubber hair band in her hair....I was straightening the kitchen counters and to get it out of the way, I slipped it onto a bit of her hair. Better hers than mine. But it is perched in a comical way I think as I watch her eat her "seedless" watermelon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peach Lemonade

Quenching your thirst basically takes water, of which I drink plenty, but when you want something  delicious and refreshing that will zing your taste buds, peach lemonade does seem to be rather divine.

Peach Lemonade
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup water
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
 Heat until sugar dissolves, steep for 10 minutes.

Add 2 cups of peach nectar or peach juice. I have used both, the nectar has a stronger peach taste, but the juice works just fine.
Stir in1 cup lemon juice. I personally use this brand of 100%  pure bottled lemon.


To this add 2 cups of water. I  enjoy the tartness, but you can add more sugar if preferred. Serve over a glass of ice and add a garnish of fresh rosemary. 

Then sit back and taste summer while it still can be found. Mine is packing and planning to leave very soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

love stitches

 I stitched by candlelight at the dining room table tonight following a dinner of prime rib and yorkshire pudding. It added a calm to my after dinner mood and reminded me of olden times when stitching by candlelight was an only possible choice. Kiri Te Kanawa was singing in the background adding her own style of harmonious heights, it was beauty moving.

The particular piece I was working on has been taking its time in coming. But I love what it stands for...  heritage, meals shared around a table with family and friends, fine things, some of which can never be purchased. White flouche on white linen, one single initial embroidered in the corner, awaiting its place at a table. Things that possess lasting value that will stretch over years and years.

My stitches are not professional or even that beautiful or clean cut. The true beauty must be seen with the heart, each thread stitched in love.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kit in the herb garden

Several pairs of flannel pajamas, neatly folded and set aside, were brought to my attention this past weekend. The time had come to get started on something that had nestled back in my brain a couple of months ago awaiting the proper time of delivery. An outfit for Charlotte's American Girl dolls constructed from the plaid flannel of Daddy's pjs was the result. Quilt squares cut from the flannel fabric have also begun with hopes of a completed lap quilt in the future.

The photography shoot took place in the herb garden with Kit standing in my newest woven basket.

The green and blue color scheme was quite successful.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

fruity summer sipping

I am one of those types who enjoys reading magazines. I subscribe to several: food, sewing or knitting; and from time to time I will even purchase one from a store that captures my eye and tickles my fancy.

Sangria was boosted to places of prominence in some of the food magazines I have been reading this year, causing me to want to make some for myself. I can not imagine why I had never desired to try this beverage before since it is so easy to mix together and very good and refreshing to sip on during summer evenings.

I had quite a huge amount of fun concocting several recipes this summer. My husband prefers the citrus recipe of  oranges, lemons and limes. For me  though nothing was as delicious and tempting as watermelon, strawberries, lemons and mint. Oh my goodness!  Ambrosia in a glass.

There are many recipes to try and you can even buy the sangria mix if that is your preference. Since I anticipate the fruit's sweetness to do the trick, I add no extra sugar or soda.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

another one to grieve

While we were staying in an out of state hotel vacationing,  my husband received a call on his cell phone. His father had passed away. 

We buried my father-in-law two days later, a day that the thermometer registered at 103 degrees. As we drove up to the cemetery for the graveside service we observed the waiting relatives and friends huddled under the few shade trees in the cemetery. I found an essential tinge of comfort in that scene.

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, ...