Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

In the absence of family scattered across the US, my husband, children and I celebrate the holidays with dear friends we met while our children, now in middle school, were in pre-school. It's so nice to have a family-away-from-family!

Every Thanksgiving, my clan converges on these dear friends for a gathering of good food and good company. And a viewing of Nacho Libre, which has become our Thanksgiving tradition.

In years past I've been responsible for the baked sweet ham. This year, I'm responsible for the dessert and a side dish. Cheese lover that I am, I've opted to bring a honey chevre cheesecake and cheddar/gouda mac and cheese with a panko crust. Both recipes were cobbled together from various other recipes. I should write down my modifications so I can reproduce these dishes!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy happy mail day

I've been collecting vintage kitchenware for years.  Pyrex, Fire King and Federal Glass are favorites, but I don't do vintage pieces at crazy expensive prices.  It has to be practically a steal so I can feel triumphant about how I got it for next to nothing.

Recently, my sisters and parents got in on the act.  Thank goodness we're in different parts of the country so we don't have to compete with each other for stock!  Here's what arrived from my lovely sister, Donna, to round out my Atomic Flower luncheonette collection:

After the postman dropped these pretties off this morning, I immediately dug out some prints that were stashed a while ago for Donna's quilt.  I promised last year to make one for her birthday (didn't specify which birthday though, hehe).  This package is surely quilt-worthy, so let the cutting commence!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Blog Revival

Goodness, it's been a while since I've posted here.  I got a little distracted (one might even call it obsessed) by other things.  That distraction can be found at my other blog.  But I'm back here, and changing things up a little.

It's June and it feels like summer, but summer won't officially begin until next Thursday.  Until then, we are sending the kids off to school where they do things like have reading day field day, and go on field trips.  Like summer camp, only not.

I certainly don't blame the teachers... I think everyone is antsy for the school year to be over.  I read a funny post here that pretty much sums it all up for me.  So glad to know I'm not the only one who "tapped out" a while ago!

We've been pretty busy trying to get an organic garden started.  Here are the fruits of our labor thus far:

We actually have had a few more berries, but a certain little strawberry-loving three-year old keeps picking them as they ripen.

The garden was started with both seeds (non-GMO) and organic starter plants.  We seem to be gardening by trial and error, and I wish I had taken the time to do a little research on how to grow the different types of vegetables and fruit we've selected.  We didn't analyze any further than "Does it need full sun" and "How deep do we need to dig." 

We did make one decision that affects the garden.  When we moved into this place in November, we realized we had company:

A colony of honeybees in the bottom half of an old utility pole.  At first we thought to give them to a beekeeping friend, but we will keep them where they are for now to help propagate the garden.

Now that I have taken the trouble to read up on gardening, I'm finding that the soil is poor- very  compacted with a clay-like texture and with bits of concrete mixed in (!).  Ken says the concrete was most probably thrown into the soil when the fences were put up.  After this growing season I'm going to try my hand at lasagna gardening to amend the soil for the next growing season. 

Anyone out there with organic gardening tips, please feel free to put in your two cents.  I'm a newbie at this, and any tips or info would be greatly appreciated!