Thursday, May 25, 2017

Windows, Finally Done for This Lifetime

Positively the Last Big Thing I'm doing for this house.  Windows are now done, curtains reorganized and working nicely.  Contractor neighbor who installed the rods for me now decided to get a new patio door at his own house across the street, very impressed with mine.





Footnote to this bedroom pic: the two plants you see on stools I started from scratch. One from a single leaf from a bigger begonia, took ages to start, and is now pretty impressive.  The one on the right I started from a single leaf of snake plant, one of the many sansevierias, which I cut up and rooted in sections.  

Did you know the sections of this plant know their north-south orientation?  unless you plant the sections of the leaf in the same direction of their original growth, they will not root.  So I had to be careful to keep them organized when I cut up the leaf.  And all of the parts rooted. Several years' growth there, very slow plant.  I never bother with rooting hormone, just shove them into potting soil and leave them alone.  That usually works fine.

So all is done and I can just stop thinking about the fabric of the house and get on to more interesting stuff. In fact I do love my surroundings, and would far rather be there than anywhere, drag myself out when I need to be with friends, enjoy their company a lot, glad to get home again!

The only little drawback to the new windows is that the glass is so clean that I've had a few bird collisions with it, against the patio door. It's huge, and they see the plants inside, including the ficus tree, and I guess plan on flying into it to perch, then discover the glass.  Up to now no fatalities, just annoyed birds.  

Once in a while I get a redtail hawk colliding, thinking she can fly right through, if the front door is open.  Looks to a bird like a passage between trees.  Redtails are so powerful that when that happens it's like a minor explosion, bird unharmed, flies away pretending it never happened.


So you will be pleased to know that the Saga of the Windows is now complete.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Suddenly, roses

Suddenly I noticed that the climbing roses are out.  And what's left of the iris on the patio after the renovation. 





 
Foreground is the wildflower, not yet out, sansevieria virginiana, little three-petalled purple flower.  Planted herself last year, and recovered after the winter. I expect she has a common name, but I don't know it.  Hence the fancy Latin!

In front of the house needs some work.  Neighbor promised to help yank out the dead pachysandra, paths worn by contractors, and heavy stuff being left on it.  But on the good side, I can plant something else there instead.  Thinking about a couple of decorative grasses, maybe.  Maybe finally a peony, but I think that's for Fall planting and I'm impatient to put something in.  Trip to the nursery has to happen.  Once my energy finally returns, that is.  Still getting there.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Windows Upload, no, the real kind. And Strawberries Are In!

This week, what with recovering from the flu, took ages longer than it spozed to, and the endless drama out of Washington, stress nobody needs, suddenly the window installers showed up at the door on Monday.  Could I get my installation done next day?

After having to bring endless pressure just to get them to respond for the last three months, I was not about to send them away.  And I'd cancelled my housecleaners anyway for next day, not up to going out for a couple of hours. Urgent text to son to come over and help move stuff away from windows in every room, take down curtains, and various things I didn't have the strength to do.  Which he did, cheerfully, good guy.

So after a couple of days of intense noise, stress, much shouting in Russian, good thing I don't speak Russian, at least any of the terms the crew was using, all the windows are now replaced. Beautiful new ones,  many times better than their predecessors, great insulation value, both weather and sound.  Now paid for.  Done. All worked lovely.  Bp now reducing nicely.

 Old windows waiting to leave

 Spencer prepping the empty space while I keep an eye on cats


 Upstairs, new window in place

 And here the big one, the eight foot, 600 lb patio door replacement, in progress, no sound effects added here

 Bedroom window, same width as patio door, lovely framing of tree





Here, Marigold feigns total oblivion.  We Burmese are Royal, We Do Not Fuss When Our House Is Under Siege.  We took a brief trip out of doors, but it was too noisy and hot and We came back in. 
Duncan not so lucky, ran to hide under my bedclothes when the crew came up to the bedroom window, got trapped there, daren't come out and exit.
 
Excellent crew, total focus on work, really good craftsmanship.  Expensive but worth it. The value of my house now considerably better than three days ago.  And the neighbors, having hung back until I got through it, so brave, are interested in maybe doing likewise while the contractors are around working on the renovations.   Especially when they saw the pristine state of affairs with the installation complete.

Then today, caught up on vital errands, stamps, lantana for hummingbirds, wine, I saw the sign up at the farm: Strawberries!


 Scoop of yogurt. Perfect.  Happy camper here now.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Return to Life, with apologies to Ch. Dickens

Long hiatus here recently, owing to having been totally out of action for over a week with the neighborhood flu, just now getting back to sort of better.  

The indictments coming down today in DC, together with FBI search warrants being executed on the GOP fund raising group also raised my spirits, in the hope that this is the start of the end of the current regime.  Watergate is still a bitter memory, and then we wondered why small potatoes went first, before it became a landslide ending with the regime change. So I am hopeful.

Anyway, my new supply of watercolor pencils arrived while I was out of it, and today I finally felt up to trying them out. I managed to do a couple of little tries before my strength was all used up.



They're Caran dAche, the cadillac of pencils, soft watercolor pencils, thinking about using them for plein air work this year. You can move the color about with a wet brush, etc., so you have a range of choices.



And I may even get back into a spot of knitting, that lovely hand dyed yarn from Shepherd Susie. Haven't even been able to hold up needles lately.

Good thing Handsome Son did some urgent errands for me, such as delivering promised artworks to a benefit Popup Gallery, for Homefront, very good cause. Luckily the artworks were already completed, framed, labeled and priced and all the preliminary paperwork done before I got sick.

The opening, at 19 Hulfish Street in Princeton, is Friday evening, May 19th, so locals are encouraged to come, enjoy, buy original art from established artists, and support Homefront at the same time.

HS also did some grocery shopping, in case I ever felt like eating again.  Still no word on installing windows, probably a good thing for the moment since I doubt I could have got things ready for them anyway.  It involves moving stuff and rehoming plants etc. 

So that's where we are, hopeful once again that we will live to fight another day!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Journal and barley biscuits

So today, I was looking at a twitter feed which had a pic of the writer's current day, in her planner, complete with drawings, plans, thoughts, rather typically wordy as in writer.  And I thought, self, you haven't done an illustrated journal in yay these many months, why not give yourself one of the books you made, just a little one will do, and make an entry?



No sooner said than done.  And I have little fear that anyone can actually read this, my writing having once been described by my boss, an Egyptologist, as reminding him of Minoan Linear B.  That's one of the writings that has still not been deciphered.

 I should interrupt myself here to say that a neighbor moving out left one of those plastic three drawer storage things at the dumpster. Perfect timing, just as I was unloading the crates from my recent workshops and general bookmaking materials.  All stuffed in any old way, not good.  

So the storage unit is now cleaned up, and filled with my raw materials, organized for the first time.  In the course of doing which I found more finished books I'd forgotten about making, as well as the makings for some others, which may become this summer's plein air paper carrying things. And I have a large empty crate which may go out.  Before it gets all filled up again.

Here's one of the small books I forgot. 





Very simple, just a greeting card filled with good paper, pamphlet stitched, edges rounded, small for putting in purse.  And the small page is about as far as I felt like going. 

Not a journal keeper usually, I sometimes do a few days or more in a journal with drawings and ideas, then I lie down and the mood passes.  But it's an occasional fun thing to do.

As is baking the last of my barley flour (on the subject of crazes, readers might remember the frenzy of flour-making using my coffee grinder?  I do grind spices etc in it, but made flour from walnuts, almonds, chickpeas, lentils, barley, oatmeal and probably other things I've forgotten.)  Anyway, I had this barley flour left over, just pearl barley ground up, and finally put it to use making a batch of hot biscuits; the flour was half and half barley and unbleached ap.



Barley flour doesn't take up the liquid like other flours, so you have quite a wet dough, best baked as one big biscuit then cut with a pizza cutter once finished.  It's a nice flavored, sort of grainy textured flour, browns nicely. Also needs 12 minutes rather than 10 because of the relative wetness of the dough.  But it does come out light.   And it works with jam or with your breakfast egg, or with practically anything that requires a bready accompaniment.  Which for me is practically anything.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mayday, Mayday!

Today, I put my vague plan about painting the tiny downstairs bathroom into action, which first entailed removing a ton of small art from the parts I needed to paint.  Then remembering what tools I needed. A roller is too awkward for this small space, so I use those big square pads you sort of brush down the wall, and can cut in pretty well.  Touch up with a sponge brush, done. And finally I was wondering where my painting clothes are.

So I did get this show going, and painted the lower half of the wall in the same color as the staircase. It looks almost white in the can, but lovely caramel on the wall.  And finally the place where the grab bar was installed just looks like part of the wall instead of a replacement.  Note the towels on the grab bar.





The paint job spiffs up the room quite a bit, since it's always the lower half that gets the traffic and thumps.  The contrast with the pink is very happy, a bit like a strawberry/ French vanilla icecream.

And the white rabbit for May 1 had to wait to make his entrance until Kate H reminded me it was indeed May 1 and not April 31, as I had sort of been thinking.  So here he is, midst greenery, wishing you a good May Day.



But I celebrated the Workers' Day by working, so that was okay.  And mayday mayday did come to mind a time or two in the painting process.

Next the loose moraine of artworks on the dining table need to make their way back to the walls of the bathroom, those that are going back, that is.  



I may change my mind about some of them, always a possibility.

I will recoup my failing energy with a couple of paleo cookies, recipe suggested by Carol H and tried out yesterday, and a pot of tea.  They're Elizabeth Barbone's paleo cookies. 



 I guess paleo doesn't actually mean cavemen ate them, though they were missing a good thing, but the ingredients have no gluten, maybe that's it.

Four ingredients: almond flour, a no brainer around here, vanilla essence, baking powder, dark maple syrup.  I had no maple syrup so I subbed jaggery.  In fact I subbed half and half honey and molasses which itself is a sub for jaggery.  

Anyway, it made fewer cookies than the recipe said, probably because of this change, but they went down dramatically well with Handsome Son who stopped over to do a thing or two for me yesterday and get a cup of tea while he was here.  Hot biscuits with either mango or blueberry jam, plate of paleo cookies.  Not bad.  He wants me to make them again.  So this is good. 

And my house wall painting is under way for another season.  In fact this is thrilling, that I can do it with no ill effects other than feeling a bit tired.  Shoulder totally well now, yay.  So other walls now call.

I have enough of the staircase color to paint the inner wall of the stairwell, the one you don't see unless you live here, so maybe that will be next.  It always looks better when the stair tread sides, there's a name for them which escapes me, please supply if you know it, are newly painted. Not treads, not risers, the zigzag bit that goes up the side and is the devil to paint without getting the rug involved. Stringer?  when I built miniatures I used to know all these technical terms, muntins, fascia boards, soffits, all that, but this one has left me. 

So that's where May Day finds us!  St Joseph the Worker, whose feast we celebrated it as kids, would be proud.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

What's for tea? Bread and jam! 6WS

Astute readers over the years will have noticed that when I get onto an idea, I tend to go a little overboard.  You remember when I got the cordless drill?  the corner punch?  the wall painting gear? Not to mention learning various art techniques..

Same with food. I do love to make things like jam, preserves, pickles.  Something about stirring and saving and spreading on other food is Just Good.  People also like to be given this sort of thing as a little present.

So once again, it's jam, and no fruit is safe in this house.  Recently given three unripe mangoes, I waited a few days for them to ripen then today translated them into mango preserves with crushed walnuts.  Mangoes have plenty of pectin in them, very little sugar, no added pectin, splash of lemon juice, cooked down in a few minutes. Very Ritz.  And I used up the rest of the blueberries the other day making a very nice blueberry jam.  Small quantities, like all the best jam.

I gave half of the blueberry jam to the friend who gave me the mangoes, who after protesting, no, this is too much, conceded that she could easily manage to sample it, preferably before her husband sees it, so she won't have to share..



So afternoon tea is a little baked something, with a little homemade something on it.  Today just hot biscuits with the mango walnut preserve. The pic shows you both steaming hot. Preserve sounds posh, but it only means there's chunks of fruit in it, not a sort of roiling mass of fruitesque material.  You don't have to add the nuts, but I like inclusions in food as in art.

I add just a bit of extra liquid to the hot biscuits, so that the texture is good for splitting and jamming.  Technical point there. 

I like fruit just as fruit, wouldn't waste good strawberries on jam, for instance, but other fruit is good for a trial run.  To date recently I've made jam with figs, dates, apples, apricots, cherries, blueberries and now mangoes. And chutney with bananas and various other items. It's all in moderation, though.

And when you make a small quantity, you can have it practically ready by the time the hot biscuits are baked.  About fifteen minutes start to finish, biscuits now cooling and ready for action. It's not one of those old fashioned harvest home all hands to the kettle type of operation.

Nice afternoon tea, with a pot of English Breakfast, a split and spread hot biscuit, and an audio of a radio play by Ngaio Marsh, on the patio, under the feeder, with birds shouting from behind the fence because they don't like to feed while I'm there.  Some of them don't care, but the woodpeckers are very particular who shares their dining area.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Summerizing!

Today, after I finished the series of artist books workshops, I paid some attention to the home front.  Since the temps suddenly went up to the 80s, it clearly was time for summerizing.

The attic fan kicked in several days ago, so I had to climb up and remove the solid panel I put in the opening over the winter, and replace it with the screening one I created to fit.  




And while I was climbing anyway, put back the sail in the window, now that the window has been safely replaced.  Just two tension rods, piece of striped fabric slotted through, sways in the breeze, nice.

Down two flights, I decided to get my cabana on, and a neighbor kindly noticed my getting out the stepladder and nipped up and installed the two hooks for me, and hung the newly threaded canvas up there.  I stapled it down the sides against the wind, and it was done.  



And I had to search to find my lovely blue solar light, which has been safely indoors away from renovations and snow, and neighbors borrowing ladders and tools and chucking them back into the storage area with energy, and is now re installed out there.



Least scenic, but most vital, on the patio, I dug down, removed leaves and debris and riddled out the condensation pipe for the air conditioning.



For reasons known only to them, the builders made this pvc pipe (not the metal one you see sticking up, that's different) emerge from the house wall several inches below grade, thereby assuring that it would rapidly fill with debris, back up, and cause flooding indoors...maybe they had an arrangement with plumbers, come to think of it.

As you see, I made a sort of French drain with screening to protect the opening, and rocks to mark where it is and keep the screening in place. Every year I dig it out and re do it, after a winter of earth and leaves drifting into the pipe.  

Like many of my inventions, there's a definite Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson (hands across the ocean) touch. But they do work.

We are now Officially Summerized around here. And now I'm thinking about a bit of house painting.  

I like the half and half wall effect I did on the stairs, since the main needy area was the bottom half of the wall, and the contrast looks pretty good. 

I may do a similar thing with the downstairs bathroom.  Paint from the middle, more or less, downward to floor.  This will cover a lot of areas that could use it, while sparing me the task of emptying out all the art from that miniature gallery.  It's at least eight years since I got all the towel rails in the house replaced with ADA-compliant grab bars, and I still have not painted the resulting patches on the wall. 

You do know this is a good idea? not to fail to paint, I mean to replace towel rails with grab bars? installed by a real contractor who knows what they're doing. Since people if they fall in the bathroom instinctively reach for the towel bar to break their fall, it's good if it doesn't tear out of the wall on their way down.  You don't have to be old and decrepit to consider doing this. Also grab bars inside showers and on stairs here and there in addition to banisters.

I can do this bathroom painting with a minimum of prep, always a big feature of my home decor plans.  And it won't involve climbing.   I took a look through my paint supplies, and I must say, I had a great idea when I last used them, although I say it myself.

I marked them with the name of the area where I'd used them. This is much better than a color name.  No need to remember what color it looks like on the wall.  So I think my Staircase color will do nicely for the bathroom, give a continuity to the downstairs.  It's very similar to my Laundry Area color, so that saves squinting to see what color is which.  And I don't want my brilliant Kitchen and Spare Room Front Wall bright green in yet a third place.

So that's us.  As usual, after hours of climbing and running up and down many flights of stairs carrying fairly heavy stuff, I am ready to Just Sit.  Until I get another great idea.

 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring has Sprung on the Patio

A couple of cool wet days, and all the plants take on a surge.  Suddenly the patio looks like spring.


Japanese maple leafing out, oregano started, lambs' ears, iris suddenly putting on a show

 Potato in the foreground,  chives in the background


Pansies persisting despite frost and rain, young native cherry looking good, sage flourishing, yellow iris coming up, cherry bushes leafing out

 Trees ready to leaf out, changes the whole view suddenly


 Here after being trodden on repeatedly, buried in roofing debris, having 50 lb bag of potting soil deposited on it by builders, and being set upright several times, is my blue Rose of Sharon.  She's a surviiiiiiiiivor, to quote the divine Reba.

Later I went to the Preserve, without a camera, just to enjoy the sights and sounds, and any people I might meet.  And saw the first swallows of the season, swooping and diving over the lake.  And a tiny blue skipper butterfly on the ground. Goldfinches calling back and forward.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Asparagus is in! must be Spring 6WS

The joyful sign went up yesterday, and this morning I was over at the farm, to collect the first asparagus of the season. 

 
 Too early in the year for them to staff the table




 so they use the honesty system. 




As far as I know, it works fine, too, been doing this for years.  Quite a few small farm stands around here leave a box for payment rather than have a person there all the time. This is the only place that has a box to make change though!





And the buyer, and cook, gets the privilege of the First Bite. If you ever pick asparagus right from the ground, and bite off a top, it will, for a few minutes taste like fresh green peas. This had been picked for a few hours, so the taste was more like asparagus. 

Despite the cool damp weather, this is good.  I rationalize that the weather is good for the plants.  My potatoes are coming along nicely in their container, despite the attacks of the squirrels.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Homespun slippers, simple supper

Easter not having been celebrated yet, no, not a religious alternative, just fitting in with Handsome Son's work schedule, yesterday was a very quiet sort of day, hot but windy and cloudy, weird stuff.

Anyway, I made a simple supper, and there's more soup in the freezer now.  Just boiled orzo, my favorite pasta life form, in chicken broth.  Then strained the orzo into a bowl, dressed the pasta in that carrot pesto I'm still using up, and had a cup of broth to go with.  The rest of the orzo went into the leftover broth, and is now freezing for future soup needs.  This was the sort of cooking you can do when you totally don't feel like cooking anything.


Then a salad of a gala apple and a banana, sliced, plain yogurt, almond slivers.  Done.  Small glass of red wine.

And I finished up a pair of slippers for myself, from my homespun and hand dyed yarn. They are incredibly cosy, merino and coopworth. 


And they look like ancient artifacts!  not surprising considering they were made using ancient methods.  But it cracks me up to see them. I can visualize a neatly printed museum card next to them in the glass case.  Early footwear from northern European tribe, primitive spun and dyed from native plants, intriguing use of color variation.

And now, enough of this fiddling about in blogland, have to cook Easter dinner soon.  Cornish game hen, with Thai basil and garlic, mixed veggies, baked potato. Handsome Son bringing cheese and crackers to start, Easter goodies to finish.  Pot of English tea, possible video, since it's raining, so planned walk not on.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter from the Dollivers

Complete with jeweled hats, dresses and showing the current egg collection, complete with this year's additions



The Easter Bunny is in there, too and the Easter Kitten for some reason.  Happy Weekend everyone, whether or not this is your celebration, and specially Brits who have a Bank Holiday in honor of the season.

Monday, April 3, 2017

March April mailbag on its way, about time, too.

I made a mailbag selection today, and they will be on their way as soon as I walk out to the mailbox. Different group of people each month, and I meanly hid the people's names so as to gin up the overwhelming excitement of the event, till your personal Reveal!



A couple are nice artish cards, and the recipients might like to convert them into notebooks. My mind's on books at the moment. You just cut paper, any old paper will do if it's for writing on, the size of the opened card, trim to match, then stitch it with the pamphlet stitch, and you have a nice little book with a very appealing cover.  The video is useful starting at the end of the first minute.

You don't have to use all the tools this person does, and you can just eye up the places to put the needle through. But this is basically the stitch you need.  Sorry about the background music, I really think a lot of craft videos are tone deaf on the question of music, but anyway..start about one minute in and see how it goes.

You can use crochet cotton or any sturdy thread, doesn't have to be waxed linen unless you have some lying around. 

And you can also take a readymade card and convert it into a postcard, as I did with one of these, because I had a perfect recipient in mind for it. I wanted her to see it right away, not after opening an envelope. So there's that possibility, too.

I do spend time with my collection of cards and original art, to make a selection I think the person will like and go for. The cats play an active role in this, too.  I think it's such a change to get something in the mail that is mail.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bags and books and featherweight things

I had to deliver two lots of artworks to two different places today, one early morning, one mid day, so this entailed getting out both artbags, one the ancient gray canvas one of student days, the other a more interesting one.

And it occurred to me that they were great canvases for painting on, as are my totebags for grocery shopping.  And that they might be candidates for transparencies.. so I took a pic or two, and here they 
are.  


Two sides of same bag, two moods!



Front and back of giant art bag.  The second one is a pocket, but it could be a bag in itself.  The only drawback to giant bags is that if you take advantage of the size, you can't lift them...

You know how easy this is, yes?  you take any old canvas totebag, tape it with masking tape to give yourself boundaries, then using liquid acrylics and a one inch cheapo sponge brush, you paint.  Then you peel off the tape. And you have a much more interesting bag than you had before.  You might also have something you could frame.

This could go in the art blog, but that's going to be a bit heavy with the shows and with the artist book capers, so I'm putting it in here.  And there's an invitation to create and teach a workshop, which I'm thinking about, and will get into over there, when I get there..

And I have two books to recommend, A Bird in the Hand, by Diana Henry, which doesn't sound very new and different, but it's great. She uses all the spices I learned to use from Ottolenghi in the service of chicken.  Really interesting stuff here. Worth a try.  

But, smugly, she doesn't have the one I invented I think, last Friday, chicken thighs, pounded thin, rolled up with sharp cheese and baby bellas sauteed with all kinds of interesting spices, spritzed with olive oil, showered with panko, and roasted at 400F.   Does this have a name? I probably only dimly remembered it from somewhere and thought I'd invented it, as you do.

On the food front, a neighbor stopped by to return a container, in which he had put two slices of banana bread, different recipes. Both wonderful, they became my afternoon tea. Nice chat on ingredients.

The goose feather resting on the chicken book is a find from today's marsh walk, probably a Canada goose. They're in nesting mode right now, so I was careful not to blunder through them.  They can get a bit short tempered if they think you're on their patch.



And the other book is one I really recommend, How to Read Water, by Tristan Gooley. This man is a wonderful teacher, brilliant and knowledgeable and capable of talking about his subject clearly and without reaching down. He has a great reading voice, too.  I heard his audio of The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs, and was very impressed.  He was on radio recently, and I got so engrossed in his anecdotes about water and how to study it that I'm now reading his book on it.  

So after doing the art deliveries and other errands, I took a walk along a nearby marshland, where there's plenty to see, and studied water patterns and little wavelets and how the shape of the banks and the breeze changed them, putting my newfound knowledge to work.  Anyway, do look at any of his writing, it's great.  

Today the birds were out in force, sunny, building time, and my favorite song of all, I heard the shout of the redwing blackbird.  It's not melodious, not a patch on some musical birds, but for me it's so redolent of Spring, and Shakespeare, and the smell of boxwood, and well, it's the real sign of spring here.  Other birds wander in early, but once the sound of the blackbird is heard, you know it's official.  Here it is, complete with rather fuzzy pic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA0FwcSb8ng

And that's a few of the things happening today around here.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fast breaking news everywhere, including upcoming events for me, but meanwhile..

There's always cake.  To be exact, Blueberry Snacking Cake, a variation on Melissa Clark's recipe.  You can find this online.


Always turns out well, and today's blueberries burst in the cake very pleasingly, and now it looks like a constellation cake!  The gap you see on one corner is the cook's privilege. Two privileges, but who's counting.



She uses brandy, I used red wine, not having any spirits available, ever, really, and she uses Demerara sugar, and again, not having it, I used regular white granulated. She uses figs, and I didn't.  It still comes out well.  And when you see two whole sticks of butter, whoa, a lot, but this 18 x 12 cake makes about 30 slices, more if you're stingy.  So the butter divided across that many isn't a lot after all.  And it uses whole wheat flour. One instruction I particularly like is where she says to "nestle" the fruit on top of the batter.  The nestling part is good.

I separated out a little group to freeze for some future teaparty. I finally realized that I can do this, then not have all the work to do right before the little event. And it is little. One guest!  I like to chat and listen at whatever length the guest likes, and I think it's a sort of interval in busy lives for the people who've accepted. And they get to wander about looking at what's on the walls, no need to be polite.

This one was baked in an interval of great art related busyness, everything happening at once,  more about that later, when things have fewer moving parts.  I swear one day I will retire, but then I wonder what I'd do if I didn't have unnerving things coming at me all the time...I may never know.  This is not in the nature of a complaint, more like humble bragging, really!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday in the kitchen with Boud

Simple food for one today.

Breakfast, pancakes (with a drop of almond essence in the batter, very nice the second day), wildflower honey,  with farm-raised fried egg. Pot of English Breakfast tea. 


Pancake batter mixed previous evening because I had an urge to eat a pancake.  The teapot is one I bought myself to help get through the election season, and it worked pretty well.



Lunch, my favorite of all pastas, orzo, boiled with turmeric in the salted water, tossed with a carrot pesto (just a regular pesto except carrots blended in instead of green herbs) and mixed with baby bellas sauteed in butter and olive oil with a pinch of cloves.  Pesto supply from freezer, mushrooms prepped and in freezer.

Afternoon snack toasted banana bread, golden raisins and walnuts,  with small pot of Vietnamese coffee.  



Bread from freezer, of course. The pot is new, same design as the little teapot, with strainer basket dropped in, and I decided that the ugly little plastic pot I'd been using had run its course and I was worth a nice new pot dedicated to coffee. I drink it very strong, but not very much. This is its maiden voyage, and God bless all who drink from her.  

Note the different milkjugs from breakfast to afternoon!  this is a four star townhouse, this is.  The afternoon one's a Wedgwood Queensware, considerably upscale from the pressed glass one on the breakfast tray, but I like all my pitchers.

All this prepping meant that it took only a couple of minutes to assemble some great food. Suits me on the many days I don't feel like fooling with cooking but still need, oddly enough, to eat.

There's still supper to think about later, but that might be mango yogurt with sliced almonds and blueberries from the freezer.

I have to get around to baking some bread, but some days I don't feel like doing it. Pancakes are the current bready item. Some days it's hot biscuits.  And I think I'll make soup tomorrow.  There's still plenty of soup season left even though it's officially Spring.