Friday, August 31, 2012

salvia officinalis

"Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?
(English proverb)

I have yet to find a good spot for my sage to flourish in my herb garden. Every year I patiently try new places to set a sage plant. It lives but it remains good only where the new growth comes in, then it becomes rather pitiful in state. 

But Claire's plant is lush, healthy and beautiful to behold. She gifted me with a bunch a few week's ago which is seen drying here to be used in my chicken dishes cooked and simmered during the garden's winter sleep.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

foods to talk about

There was a time that preserving food was a common, ordinary part of my summer. I would go to the garden every morning to gather its munificence. Then I would can, pickle, jelly or dry the produce from our vegetable garden or fruit trees on an ongoing basis. The hot water bath and pressure canner stayed busy on those days.

 I am revisiting these arts in a more purposeful way this summer of 2012. I must say I do love it. The process of preparing the fruits and the storage that follows makes me so satisfied. My eyes gravitate toward the "put up" jars stocking a section of my pantry.

I have Claire to thank for her suggestion for us to can tomatoes one afternoon last week. In a few of my quart jars I added onion, thyme and bay leaf for the distinct purpose and the comforting thought that is merely created with the opening up of a mason jar, its contents poured into a pan and after it is heated to almost hot, a dash of cream and a dollop of pesto is added and a delicious winter's lunch is ready to be served.
 I call this summer in a jar.

 Witt and Claire's apple trees have provided us all with plenty of apples to eat raw, to bake into heavenly desserts, or to dry in a dehydrator.  The sharing of cherry tomatoes from a friend enabled me to roast them until they are now "candy" worthy. My absolute favorite thing to do with them is to top them onto a little corn cake, that has been smeared with mayo, a piece of bacon, and the leaf of fresh basil. These little appetizers where initially made for Witt and Claire's rehearsal dinner  held on the edge of a rose garden.  The recipe for this appetizer can be found here, one of my favorite cookbooks by far. I especially like how the corn cakes can be made ahead of time and I have discovered they freeze super well too.

When I was pregnant with Charlotte, I craved tabbouleh. I would stop by the whole food stores in my area and would come home and think nothing of eating an entire bowlful with crackers and calling it lunch. This summer's growth of mint and parsley allowed me to make some of my own tabbouleh. It feels so healthy and right eating this food, and while I might not crave it anymore, eating it still brings back some lovely feelings and my taste buds are so pleased.

A batch of cream fraiche was made this week to be served in this dish, a Laura Caulder chicken recipe she calls Coq Au Reisling. The sauce is amazing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

a.m. solitude glow

It was Saturday morning and I was home alone. The children were still out of town visiting with their Grandmother while my husband was attending a mens' breakfast at the church. I have enjoyed three straight days of Home Solitude, during the day hours anyway. Of course, my husband returned home to me in the evening ...thankfully he returned home to me.

* purplish- hued liriope blooms aside a amethyst-colored candle left from the night's before gathering with Witt and Claire
           *a basketful full of apples, I love the residue leaves
                          *whimsical shadow of me, in the morning... I was still lingering in my pink nightgown.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday's Rest

This past week as I was listening to an interview Marvin Olasky did with Ann VosKamp at Patrick Henry College I jotted down a few of the things that she said. One was (this is fairly close to her exact words),

"Creativity is not mined from within; Creativity is bestowed from on High by God."

The embroidering of a silk table runner in progress.

You can watch the interview here.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

dipping into summer

I just scurried in from outside where I was battening down the hatches in light of the approaching storm. A summer afternoon t-storm; we have  been having one almost every day. The daisies dip and bow, the terrace umbrella shuffles, the trees swing right and left, the wind whips and leaves nothing untouched as the thunder rumbles finally advancing and bringing in the welcomed rain. I think of t-storms as the houseguest that breezes in leaving good things behind without overstaying their visit.


 Rasberry- leaf tea infusions sweetened with a teaspoon of honey and heightened with a mint leaf.

Blueberries on pancakes, with the discovering of a little stem attached.

(This post was written sometime a while back, but not posted for some reason...perhaps I was called away...imagine that! I am not sure of the date, but we were experiencing wonderful t-storms almost daily)

Friday, August 3, 2012

look what I found while browsing...

Summer time attire
Loose fitting shifts in colors sewn on cotton fabrics imitating the colors of melons and tomatoes.
        Scooped back
                   Bare feet
Though I would not fancy the hat.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the majesty of August

au-gust :
         inspiring admiration or reverence, majestic

I am beginning to love the month of August. It is creating a novel attraction in me, the kind of attraction that is friendly and satisfying.

August in the past was regarded as a jump start sort of month, a bridge leading from one spot to another. I have always felt as if I had to hurry up or I would find myself somehow left behind. It reminds me of the gymnasts that jump from one pad space to another... July*bing* August *bing* and if you blink summer is over with the enfolding of a new school year and the scurry of new activity launching you into September.

But with the arrival of these August days my eyes are focusing on the beauty of the simplicity in my backyard as I observe the predictable activity of the birds that regularly visit at my feeders, the pleasing colors of the flourishing herbs, the bright zinnias, the hardy vincas, and pretty nasturtiums that bloom in the heat of the summer days.

I would agree it inspires huge emotions of admiration.

The brilliant poppy flaunts her head
Amidst the ripening grain,
And adds her voice to sell the song
That August's here again.
                                                   -Helen Winslow

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, ...