Thursday, September 29, 2011


Zany. No other word for it. But it seemed like such a good idea at the time! The lure of sourdough loaves baking in my kitchen as we fall into autumn made me do it. You get the idea, gather supplies, mash something, stir in a few additional things, tweak it in between all the daily extras on Monday morning. After all, it was on the long list of one of the those things I wanted to do in my lifetime.

Alas, I did not think about this week's momentum and what it entailed to keep a sourdough starter alive and well. Did I truly realize what I was doing or where my week was taking me? Making the starter was a simple enough process, but the other requirement involves a special form of babying.

And did I mention we are leaving for the coast tomorrow morning?

 Reliable babysitter. Helpful if you live in a warm environment and enjoy stirring in warm water and flour.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

chocolatey chips muffins

 I have been experimenting in baking with whole wheat pastry flour...just because. The one thing that is obvious to me when I eat these baked goods is the crumbly texture of whatever I have baked.  But the taste is not altered in the least.

Chocolatey Chip Muffins

1 2/3 c flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 c buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 c sugar
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffing tins or line with papers. Melt butter and 6 ounces of chocolate chips in small saucepan. Let cool. In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add chocolate mixture with the buttermilk, egg, sugar and vanilla. Pour this mixture into a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Stir just until incorporated. Fold in 3 ounces of chocolate chips. Fill muffin two thirds full and place remaining 3 ounces of chips on top of each of the twelve muffins. Bake for 20-23 minutes.

 Extra Bonus:

Made with Charlotte this afternoon,
 stirred up in an antique bowl that once belonged to my mother.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011's elementary my dear

My brain strains to net aura moments. I am thinking I may be a tad bit more tired of late with the new schedules and all the extras that beckon me every day. Be informed, when I speak of such moments I am not talking rocket science. So it was today as I was preparing a lunch, requested by Charlotte, of boxed macaroni and cheese. I know this goes beyond simple, please know I give no endorsements here...just the fact of the matter works sometimes. Anyway, as the water in the pot began to boil I threw in a solitary noodle, it danced, then another noodle, a definite about the addition of a third noodle? I am now observing a grand dance right before my eyes!  Elementary, my dear. A fascinating lunch began with boiling water, single noodles...and a dance observed!

And there is the healthy blooming hibiscus that glows outside on the back patio with its display of multifarious blooms due to the cooler September evenings. It is the closest thing I might ever own to the resemblance of a lemon tree.

Latin declensions are kindling my mind lately. I was a student of Latin for three years, eighth, ninth and tenth grades. There is no reason to remind you this was a long time ago.  Since the study of Latin is one of Rose's school subjects this year, I am taking on the challenge of studying Latin along with her. These days I find myself grabbing Latin words and declining them while sitting at stop lights or waiting in grocery store lines. This site helps when online practice is needed.

The windows are opened wide letting in evening sounds that fascinate and aid in creating a wonderfully soothing sleeping environment. We dine outside every evening we can and with our new later schedule due to ballet lessons and and visits with Mother, we find ourselves dining by candlelight as darkness  tiptoes into our spaces. 

 It was a quick stop by the market to pick up some sushi for dinner, which we ate with the chopsticks given to us by some friends who were former missionaries to Taiwan. I have always loved how material items can bring special people to mind.

 A before bedtime game of Rummikub with Charlotte.  As we were finishing the last match even my husband had joined in to the game's fascinating pull.

Have you played this game yet?  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

incredible edible egg salad

I am resolved to admit that sandwiches are a part of my life, especially at lunchtime. Sometimes they are a means in themselves; let's just get something in our hungry bellies. Other times they can be as pleasant a treat as kites in a blue cloudless sky, wide open, soaring and carrying you as far as your imagination would like to venture out.

To make this incredibly finger-licking good egg salad,

Boil 4 large eggs, peel and coarsely chop.
 2 Tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
a small pinch of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

 Serve open faced, by lavishly spreading on Artisan bread slices or crackers rather than between two slices of bread, if that is your pleasure. Then sit back and dream. Picnics by the seaside, breezes blowing your hair in a hot air balloon, or reading a good book in a scented bath...

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, ...