Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Agrarian Beginnings

It starts here...

...and here. It may not look like it, but our growing season begins now.

The rhubarb...

...and the daffodils know -it is the beginning of a new growing season. Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow & Quilt Repeat

And more snow. I love it, but only because we do not have to go anywhere. Actually, I don't think we could go anywhere, even if we wanted to. So, we stayed home again today -and I quilted.

I finished the body of my quilt yesterday, and now I only have the border left to finish. I am doing a lot of thinking while I quilt. Some of my thinking is remembering when I first started making this -my youngest was a toddler and now she's eighteen! Granted, it was put away in a box for several years, but I spent over a year piecing it and now it's going to have been over a year quilting it. It is a bit like my children -lots of hard work from beginning to end. At times, both raising children and making this quilt seemed incredibly overwhelming and impossible to do. But quilting is done one stitch at a time, and parenting is accomplished one day at a time. You focus on those individual stitches and days and do the best you can until one day you're finished. There is no more left for you to do, and you step back and see that the result is so incredibly awesome you can hardly believe you've had a part in it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Days

Snow days -and we are all safe at home. The snow is so beautiful...

...but instead of going out to play in the snow, I'm staying inside...

...and working on finishing this quilt.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Eggnog Muffins

Eggnog Muffins

Melt in Pyrex cup: 1/4 c. butter
1 c. eggnog -good old-fashioned full-fat eggnog
1/4 c. rum
1 egg

Mix separately:
2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
Mix eggnog and flour mixes together. Scoop into 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tests done. Cool on wire rack. Eat several muffins with a large cup of eggnog for breakfast or snacking during the holidays. Read the following 'holiday eating tips' that was a forwarded e-mail sent to me by a dear friend if you need convincing. Happy Holiday!

Holiday Eating Tips:

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple , Pumpkin , Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day ?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand and wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a Week!

Last Saturday, I celebrated my birthday with my husband, son, and youngest daughter by making Ciopinno and Coconut Cake (click here), after my husband flew back Friday from visiting our oldest daughter in Austin, Texas; Sunday, my husband and I went to Teatro Zinzani (click here) in Seattle for his company's holiday party -despite the fact that he was pulled from the audience to participate which is exactly what he did NOT want to happen we had a good time; Monday, was my birthday and we went out to dinner at The Prohibition Grille in Everett; Tuesday, my husband's work site was closed and he was laid off -we have been expecting this to happen for quite awhile so it wasn't too much of a surprise; Wednesday, we talked and assessed our situation -we have been preparing for this so for now we are fine, both financially and emotionally; Thursday, the twin lambs were born in the pasture; Friday, we all went to dinner at (click here) Perche No (absolutely FABULOUS Italian food) and then to the Seattle Symphony Handel's Messiah (click here) which was lovely; Saturday, was the beginning of our annual HOLIDAY COOKIE BAKING - we will put them in tins and mail them to our family members living in cities near (Seattle) and far (Austin and San Diego) and my husband put up the tree and decorations; And today, I'm finishing the cookie baking and frosting, last minute shopping and going to see the Nutcracker (click here) tonight with my youngest daughter. What a week!