Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tea at Macha

Tea at Macha on Wednesdays has become something of a ritual for me. I come here to decompress, study and soak up some vitamin D in front of one the many windows. I love the formality yet informality of it all. I spent a semester studying tea and the Japanese tea ceremony last year and the ritual that is intertwined with the practice of tea can be caught in glimpses here. Sometimes the little formalities are nice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hurrah!

My camera is back! But I have no pictures to show you, as they called me only moments ago.
In other news, we'll be moving at the end of our lease in February. Goodbye lovely house.
pretty old house, if I could move you to Madison, I would
I shall miss you. But I will not miss the extremely odorous drive into town everyday. (Yes, odorous. We pass many farms with many cows.)

After an incident with Evelyn this week where she painted my bedspread with red nail polish (when she was supposed to be in bed, NAUGHTY!), I've been thinking about starting a project over winter break to make a quilt instead of purchasing another one. I found a pattern that I like. It's a simple wheel pattern in color on a white background.
picture and pattern here
 What do you think?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Random

So, I finally borrowed a camera from the shop until mine is fixed. 5 months and counting, I'm not holding my breath.
But I had completely forgotten that I have numerous cards with pictures from last spring and early summer on them. So without further ado, here are some random snippets.
3 little jams, all in a row
broccoli cheddar soup with mustard croutons

Alex being Alex and hiding Evelyn's toys in my food



yummy rye flour! the start of 298349923 rye bread experiments

rye starter- meet neil
Evelyn on a sugar high at Concerts on the Square, Summer '10

wine smuggled back from Tuscany
The last nice day of October, lonely tracks

kimono and obi for Halloween

pretty embroidery!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

PiePiePie


I am really bad at taking pictures of my food before I dig into it, so please excuse the cut marks. But still, pretty pretty! Caramel, almond and cranberry tart to your left, and a buttermilk, butternut squash pie to your right. Delicious and cozy for the fall season! I've been in such a baking mood lately, maybe it has something to do with my day job. ;)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Onions

 
How easily happiness begins by   
dicing onions. A lump of sweet butter   
slithers and swirls across the floor   
of the sauté pan, especially if its   
errant path crosses a tiny slick
of olive oil. Then a tumble of onions.

This could mean soup or risotto   
or chutney (from the Sanskrit
chatni, to lick). Slowly the onions   
go limp and then nacreous
and then what cookbooks call clear,   
though if they were eyes you could see

clearly the cataracts in them.
It’s true it can make you weep
to peel them, to unfurl and to tease   
from the taut ball first the brittle,   
caramel-colored and decrepit
papery outside layer, the least

recent the reticent onion
wrapped around its growing body,   
for there’s nothing to an onion
but skin, and it’s true you can go on   
weeping as you go on in, through   
the moist middle skins, the sweetest

and thickest, and you can go on   
in to the core, to the bud-like,   
acrid, fibrous skins densely   
clustered there, stalky and in-
complete, and these are the most   
pungent, like the nuggets of nightmare

and rage and murmury animal   
comfort that infant humans secrete.   
This is the best domestic perfume.   
You sit down to eat with a rumor
of onions still on your twice-washed   
hands and lift to your mouth a hint

of a story about loam and usual   
endurance. It’s there when you clean up   
and rinse the wine glasses and make   
a joke, and you leave the minutest   
whiff of it on the light switch,
later, when you climb the stairs. 
 
-William Matthews

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thinking wistfully of these...
 Ahh, Fraumunster.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Delicious Autumn


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. - George Eliot

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hiatus

I'm (sort of) back from my summer long blogging break (which just happened to coincide with the demise of my camera). Evelyn just had her 3rd birthday, completely undocumented. :( But I take heart that I didn't document all of those childhood Christmases, and I still remember them. She'll just have to trust us that we're telling her the truth when we tell her how old she is. Right??? ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot

Yesterday the temps here soared close to 90 with a heat index of 100 (or so Alex says) either way, it was hot. I hooked up the sprinkler for the first time, and besides the small flood in the garage, it was a nice splashy way to enjoy the afternoon.





Friday, May 21, 2010

Tiny Bubbles


I've started my summer "vacation". My husband asked me if I was enjoying myself, what with all the baking and cooking and child watching that's been going on. Yes. Yes I have. I enjoy spending time with my daughter, even though she can't be trusted while I take a shower.
Thank God that wasn't permanent marker, and just eyeliner.

We've been going to the "libary" and "fall down outside libary" and we've been "swimming" (swinging) at the park. Yesterday we played with her bubbles in the backyard.





It's been a good start to summer.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Afternoon Tea and Cookies


Homemade strawberry jam thumbprint cookies and a cheeseball little girl.

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Stitches


I bought a sewing machine today. It's from 1961, looks like a rocket ship and is called a Slant-o-Matic Rocketeer. It is touted by Singer as the best machine ever made. We'll see if it lives up to it's name.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Indecent Exposure

I still can't figure out how to work my camera.
I came home from the store all slap happy from my new purchase and promptly went online to find an appropriate tutorial.
Said tutorial does not explain why I keep getting error messages, and my lack of a firewire connection on my computer is temporarily preventing me from uploading photos.
I'll figure it out, but it's been a larger learning curve than I was hoping for.

In other news, Alex and I finally had a date night. Yay! It's been too long. We may have been a bit of a cliche, going out on Valentines, but it was nice to have a dinner with wine and no whining from the peanut gallery.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Granola Love

Granola has always failed me in the kitchen. The first time I made it, I used a recipe from an 80's Betty Crocker cookbook and put the dried fruit in the oven with the granola. It was not appetizing. The fruit got all burnt and slightly crispy. 


Today I tried my hand at granola for a second time (12 years later), and I made the same mistake with the toasted coconut. I guess granola and I were only meant to be together via a store-bought plastic package.


Other than that, it smells pretty fabulous. I found the recipe via Michelle and tweaked it slightly. 


I nixed the sesame seeds and added pumpkin seeds, vanilla extract. Feel free to substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup. I was all out of maple. 


Anyway, here's the recipe with alterations, feel free to try the original out and let me know how it goes. 

 
Cashew and Orange Granola
adapted from Le Potage, who adapted it from elsewhere 



1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract
Grated zest of 2 large oranges
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups salted cashews
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions: Position racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
I like to toast my coconut in a dry pan over medium high heat. Feel free to use the oven method, but I get better control on the stovetop. Transfer to a large bowl.
Bring the oil, corn syrup and orange zest to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Place the oats, almonds, cashews, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin seeds in bowl.
Add the syrup mixture and mix until well coated.
Spread in a thin layer on 2 large baking sheets.
Bake, stirring often, switching the positions of the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the granola is golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with coarse sea salt then cool. Pour into bowl with coconut and dried fruit and mix together. (The granola can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers for up to 1 month.)


Update: Make sure you hit it with salt as soon as it comes out. I didn't and it all sunk to the bottom of the pan. 
Also, the toasted coconut going into the mix and into the oven was not the disaster I feared. Mix it in with the rest of the ingredients, if you wish. It will clump better.