sew grateful, update

Two grands came to visit and brought their parents along for the trip.  We had a marvelous time.  Hiking, laughing, Legos, soccer, bike riding, Ladder Ball, BBQ, reading books, collecting bugs, meeting the chickens and collecting eggs, rocking babies on the porch.

I sincerely hope you have grands to rock and ride bikes with.  How lucky are we??

I did not stitch a lick while they were visiting and the week after they went home, I moped.  Prior to them arriving, I spent time stitching and have 3 finished items to share

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Teresa from kitten stitcher/Shakespeare Peddler gently encouraged us to take our pictures with some of our finished samplers or pieces.  Maybe add the pictures to the back for future generations.  It doesn’t have to be formal, or fancy.  Add a swipe of lipstick if that makes you smile brighter.  Apron on or off, just take the picture!   https://www.kittenstitcher.com/

This piece is the Jane Pattison sampler by Kitten Stitcher.  I changed it into the Georgina Thomson family sampler.  It turned out lovely.  I am very pleased.

20190608_140748This is the “Coffee Saves Lives” sampler by Heartstring Samplery.  28 count linen and it hangs in between my kitchen and dining room.  Makes me happy to have her fully finished.

20190606_210115This next one is by Heart in Hand Design.  Tall Tree Sampler.  I finished it into a hanging piece.  I backed it with tie fabric from a no-longer-needed tie of Mr. Right.  I love how it turned out and the added tie fabric is a very nice way to use old tie fabric.

Today is a very warm day here in Washington state.  An ice cream kind of day.  Homemade, creamy, dreamy, vegan Chocolate ice cream kind of day!  That’s right.  No dairy, no eggs, no gluten…would you like to know the secret ingredient?  A baked Sweet Potato!

The recipe is from Brandi at The Vegan 8.  https://thevegan8.com/4-ingredient-vegan-chocolate-ice-cream/

I am not a fan of sweet potatoes.  Honestly, in this recipe, I will volunteer to be a banner waving fool to support the local sweet potato farmers!  This is AMAZING!

Here’s to a lovely beginning of a healthy summer!

Sitting on the front porch, licking ice cream off my fingers……

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

good food = happy

20170725_165021-1_resizedLast year I thought we had way too many green beans.  I got the giggles 20180620_084922_resizedeverytime I ventured into the garden.  Our supply seemed never-ending.  We ate baskets and baskets of green beans.  We gave away bags full.  I cooked every recipe I could think of.  I froze some.

This Spring, I had learned my lesson and only planted four bean plants.  One didn’t make it.   Actually, three might be just enough.

It started out pretty easy.   I picked a 20180815_095417-1basket full and we had an amazing Sunday dinner.  Then a few days later I made Greek Green beans.  Oh, yes, Fried Rice with our green beans.

September has dawned and yes, I am still discussing and picking green beans.

I have given away a bag or two.  I tucked some in the bag with eggs I gave away.

I have a  friend who has the most incredible mind.  I want to call her a Renaissance woman. Self-sufficient and brilliant when it comes to making things.   She has this amazing ability to create so many different things. She is an expert knitter. Her quilting skills are admired by anyone privileged to see her work.  She designs things with beads that are so unique, they grab your attention right from the start.  However, it’s her cooking, baking, gardening skills that will make you lean in and listen.  She has much to offer to those of us willing to be still and watch/listen/learn.

“I like good food & food waste drives me nuts.  Fresh produce is a gift never to be squandered.”  FL

 

Notice every time I gathered goodness from the garden, yes, yes, indeed, more beans.  With the abundance of beans in my life, I got a bit whiney.

My renaissance friend encouraged me to dry some as snacks.   BRILLIANT!

 

Oops, I may have forgotten to take an after picture.  Suffice it to say, the bowl was empty but for a flake of nutritional yeast here or there.

“I like good food, I want those around me to eat good food.  Good Food makes everyone happy.”  FL

Last evening, I filled a pretty bowl.

Yes, you guessed it.

Green Beans.

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In this together, friends.

May you all be lucky enough to have a friend to learn from.  She makes life better.

Chat soon.

 

 

tomato round up, yeehaw

20170913_132317-1_resizedThis year, the first weekend in May,  we planted 2 tomato plants.  The varieties were Early Girl and Big Boy.  One we purchased and the other was a free start!

Boy Howdy did we have a good year!  Gorgeous color, amazingly rich, bold flavor.  These beauties made some of the best sauce to come down the pike.

Sad side note:  Because of the wildfires in Canada and Eastern Washington and wind,  our tomatoes had a light covering of ash.  While good for the soil, we did rinse them off before bringing them inside.

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Once ripe, we ate fresh tomatoes almost daily.

20170907_180035_resizedOne older neighbor wanted one, plump, beautiful tomato to enjoy.

We gave away 3 bags full along with fresh picked Basil.  (I save those small gift bags through the year, then use them to nestle fresh picked produce in to share with the neighbors. So much cuter than filling a used grocery bag.)20170919_172531-1_resized

Then I kept track of how many pounds we picked & brought inside for us to process and use.  Are you ready?  Hold onto your cowgirl hats!

We had a grand total of 27.4 pounds!  That was from just 2 plants!!!!!

After I make yard sauce, which I use as a base for other sauces (rough chop a pan full of tomatoes, onion, and basil, sometimes Rosemary… olive oil, S & P, roast for 50 minutes on 425*, plop in Blend-Tec and push the button)

 

or spaghetti sauce, I freeze the bags flat.  I can stack the frozen packages book style, save oodles of space in the freezer and can easily see what each package contains.

 

 

Our evening temperatures are dipping into and below the 50* mark.  That means our on the vine tomatoes will not ripen any longer.

We do have a couple left ……………

I spy with my little eye………………something green.   I have a wonderful feeling that Fried Green Tomatoes will be making a debut on our plates in the very near future! 20170921_112458-1_resized

We are so grateful to have grown such a beautiful, lush, prolific garden with enough bounty to eat, share, process and freeze for later.

Already planning on what to plant next year and where.  Yes indeed, we will be rotating where we plant things.  We will nourish and feed our soil this winter.

How did you do?  Did you have extraordinary success this year?  I would love to hear how your harvest turned out this year and share any tips/tricks or common sense ideas you figured out from this season.

In this together, friends. Happy Harvest.

Chat soon.

summer reads

20170713_085830-1_resizedI am on my third check out of Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison.  No, not renewal, actual go to the library and check out the book again.

Do you do the same?  Do you review, thumb through, try a 20170713_091025-1_resizedrecipe or two and start to decide on how many stars you will be giving a book?

I happen to have a tendency to collect, buy, wish for, way, way too many cookbooks. Getting in the habit of checking them out first, before I buy has been a delightful option. So, last night, I dashed to the library and checked this beauty out once again.  Third time’s a charm.  I am buying this book of hers for my own.  Side note, I love it when I see that box from Amazon on my doorstep.  A little shiver goes up my spine.

Deborah Madison is a tremendous author and founding chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.  We had the insight and good fortune of planning for and indulging in one of the most memorable meals of our lives at that glorious restaurant.    May I gently suggest you jot it down on your bucket list?  That meal, that view, that moment in time was honestly, one of the best of our lives.  

So today, I have some raspberries calling my name.  My crystal balls tells me there is a tart in the dreaming stage.  By tonight it will grace our table.

In the summer months, most days, I forgo the hour study on health and wellness in the morning and spend my morning, afternoon sitting in the sunshine and evening reading times with glorious summer reads.  Steamy, action packed, romance, mystery,  cookbooks, travel, adventure, can’t put down kind of books.

20170712_205630_resizedAs I have previously written about, I have only (so far) lost one book in the bubbling, swirling, frothy bath.  (yes, you can laugh).  I try to be much more careful.  Somehow magically, time flies and my cares & worries take a back seat, while I indulge in an excellent summer read. Before the water turned cold for the third time, I managed to zip through 145 pages of the latest Stuart Woods book,  Indecent Exposure.20170712_210015-1_resized

Summer time reading is where I get to indulge like a school girl free to read what she stumbles upon.  Pure entertainment to allow my mind skip and tumble and dance for fun.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is a 466-page turner that you will finish on a long20170712_081059_resized weekend.  Horses, high-end resort, intrigue, mystery,, sadness and romance……all rolled together easily transport you to a family in Montana and that beautiful big sky country.

Bread baking has tickled my fancy yet again.  I love to bake bread.  I go through phases where it is not on my “to-do” list all the time.  That yeasty smell has drawn me in again and I have purchased a few new books.

20170711_070636-1_resized_1We had the insight and good fortune to visit Ken Forkish’s bakery while visiting Portland, Oregon.  I have had his books on my wish list since the very moment I bit into the most heavenly piece of bread I have tasted in ages.  Before I even swallowed that first bite, I knew in my heart, I had to learn everything I could from this genius baker.  He has some quick videos on YouTube to help with the techniques which has made the baking so smooth.  Money well spent on these two beauties.

Not a book, however, one of the best documentaries we have watched in a long time was “What the Health” free on Netflix.  I would love, love, love to discuss this with anyone.  However, I am fully aware that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I just needed to share it, in case you were looking to improve your or your loved one’s health.  There.  Now, I shared, so I don’t have to worry and fret that I forgot to tell you.  Well worth your time to watch.

As the middle of July is knocking on the door, there is still plenty time to indulge in summer reads.

I know it is not a passion of some folks.  Just thought I would share some suggestions in the hopes that you will share what you are reading.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

reading

 

summer pie

Saturday was the day.  We have been waiting for it since , well, since last year.  It’s been on the calendar in ink!

Heck, Mr. Right bought this print for me a couple of months back to remind us.

Sumner Rhubarb Pie Festival. fruit-crate-labels-rhubarb-packed-and-shipped-by-washington-berry-growers-association

Small town, close main street, meander through booths and shops, wear sun glasses and eat pie.

yep, that’s it.

Smack dab in the middle of Summer.

Goof off and eat pie.

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so good.

the end.

going back next year.

shred, baby, shred

The hotter the temperature outside, the lower my motivation for cooking becomes.

However, if you have a few things prepped and ready to go, once dinner time rolls around you can toss together an amazing meal.

Tonight on our outdoor table will be served some amazing sweet potato, caramelized onion, black bean tacos.  Sounds too dull or bland?  Wait until you taste the Vinegar Cole slaw that tops them off.  Great flavor, tang that dances across your tongue and your mouth will water for more.  Did I mention easy and 7 minutes top to prepare?

20150625_095749Please do me one favor.  buy the cabbage.  Yeah, I said it.  Skip the bagged cole slaw already cut up and somehow doesn’t go bad?  Too weird and tastes funny to me.  Make the effort.  Really?  Is it that hard to take a knife and shred some cabbage?  Go ahead, might make you feel good.  Get some of that frustration out.  Think of the driver that cut you off or a co-worker that rubbed you just the wrong way today.  You will have your cabbage shredded in no time.

Buckle up, this will be quick, choppy and easy peasy.

Vinegar Cole Slaw 

1/2 head of thinly sliced green cabbage, 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage, 2 whole carrots shredded and 3 thinly sliced green onions.

Mix together 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon great mustard, 1 Tablespoon raw honey, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds (don’t skip, really makes it delish), real salt and ground pepper.

Mix together, chill to marry those flavors, let them get to know each other.   Then, top your tacos.  Top your fish tacos. Top your black bean burger.  Top 20150625_101631your falafel.  Pile on a big mountain of the stuff right on your salmon burger with a slice of grilled pineapple.

Say Grace, Say hello to Summer cooking and enjoy every single tangy bite.

um, I think you spilled a little on your shirt.  yeah, right there.