Sunday, July 16, 2017
My favorite recipe for ice-cream requires six egg yolks, and my housekeeper's sense of thriftiness requires that I save the whites. Fortunately, egg whites freeze well. I took advantage of a cool morning today to use up a dozen egg whites by making 12 little white cakes and one larger cake called a Princess Cake, which is essentially a white pound cake.
All tidily packed away in the deep freeze.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
When I was very young, lace was that decorative stuff one had on one's party clothes and sometimes on petticoats. It was awfully pretty, even if it could be a little scratchy.
When I was very young, one of the very first flowers I was taught to name was Queen Anne's Lace. Queen Anne was nobody I knew, so that part didn't matter, but I was enchanted that lace could be both a dress trimming and a flower.
I still am. Opinions and enthusiasms formed early in life can be remarkably durable. Which Queen Anne has the honor of the flower named after her is apparently open to debate. It still doesn't matter to me.
Although considered a weed, I always allow a few plants of Queen Anne's Lace into my flower beds. In this area we have a local mutation that has a distinct pink cast to the umbels, as the little "flowers" are more properly known. Once fully open, the pink umbels fade to near white, but are still a slightly different white than the non-pink variety.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
I'm not sure when pickled eggs became a summertime treat for me. I grew up in a household where red beet eggs were the norm. At some point in my housekeeping career, though, I strayed off into the wild territory of your basic barroom pickled eggs. I make them right around the summer solstice so that they're ready for July 4th and picnics.
You can eat them straight up, or you can make them into the best egg salad you'll ever have. Extra points for making your egg salad sandwiches with homemade bread.
For the brine
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pickling spice
1 dozen hard cooked eggs, peeled (I like to use medium eggs, which you may have to hunt for - the big grocery stores rarely carry them.)
Bring the vinegar and water to boil, then add the sugar and salt. Simmer until the sugar dissolves, then add the pickling spice and simmer for a few minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Drop the eggs into a quart canning jar and pour the brine over. Make sure the topmost layer of eggs is covered with the brine. Put the lid on and tuck into a corner of the fridge for about a week.
Plan to eat them in a week or two - much longer than that and they get rather tough.
Monday, May 22, 2017
It continues to be a mystery to me how the irises manage to fold all those petals up into such small buds. I have a couple of ill-informed theories on how they do it, but I prefer the mystery, I think.
And then they open and have their own faux fuzzy caterpillars to keep them company.
Friday, April 21, 2017
A couple of years ago I decided it might be nice to have geraniums growing on a window sill during the winter. Simply buying a couple of potted geraniums was entirely too easy, so I bought some seed. And then I got distracted by other things.
Early this spring, when I was desperately looking for reasons to get out of the house and spend a little time in the potting shed, I came across the seed packet. Two year old seed? What the heck - why not give it a go!
After several month of careful tending, I've ended up with eight plants in four, four inch pots. I was intrigued to see how early the leaf markings developed. And they already have that geranium smell, the cunnin' little things.
I notice now that one of my chickadee neighbors has thoughtfully planted a sunflower seed in one of the pots.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Sometimes my iPad finds its own subjects. I like this one of the cheerful orange against the calm wave-like grain of the wood bowl. The bowl was made from a tree on my parents' property.