Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kitchen Magic

Today was one of those glorious, creative days for the family. Hands were busy, and kids were happy despite the rain showers. Our kitchen adventures actually began yesterday when my sister called and told me all about her delicious soft pretzel recipe, from Mollie Katzen's Honest Pretzels. Amazingly, we had the necessary ingredients, even though I desperately needed to grocery shop. Vivienne decided that she wanted to make a pizza with some of the dough. Instead of tomato sauce(of which we lacked), she decided to top it with a dollop of salsa and shredded cheese. It was interesting, and the kids loved it. I preferred the warm pretzels fresh from the oven, dipped in honey-mustard.

Looking into our bare cupboards, I decided that instead of shopping, I would rely on the garden for lunch offerings. Vivienne and I made tomato and basil soup. It was delicious and simple. I sauteed carrot and onion, then added a bunch of chopped tomatoes ( I didn't bother to peel them), some freshly chopped basil and cooked until the tomatoes were soft and
then added some fresh chicken stock, seasoned and garnished with fresh parsley.

Today , Mia and her friend, Lainee, baked banana muffins together. Mia thought of adding chocolate chips, which of course, was delicious! We ate roasted beets with anise hyssop and parsley, fresh cucumber sandwiches, and brewed peppermint tea with lavender and honey. Mia picked some lovely rainbow Swiss Chard for dinner.

The girls also needle felted dolls, made friendship bracelets and attempted origami lanterns.

They gave up on the lanterns and I got hooked. Vivienne enjoyed playing with Ginger bunny, and learned to use a braid star while listening to fairy tales read over the phone by Grandma. Hearing stories by phone is a favorite way to stay connected to the Grandmothers. Jasper played "Go Fish" with Vivienne and then joined in the kitchen fun. They ran and danced around in the rain shower, full of merriment.

A day of happy hands and hearts, it is everything that I love about summer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Treasure hunting

Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about embarking on some sort of treasure hunt. Some days, it is finding new blossoms in the yard or tomatoes on the vine. Sometimes, it means stopping by the thrift store and scoping out books and linens. It could be a treasure hunt at the library for a really fine inspiration, or a new recipe. On occasion it is nothing more than trying to locate the other mate in the plethora of unmatched wonders ( also known as my kids' socks. I DO believe that we have a sock monster in our home.) I love the idea of finding something special, and it brings me great joy to include this sense of adventure into my every day.I thought it would be fun to share some of the latest treasure finds.

My special find today- a vintage Singer sewing machine table and stool, with the sewing machine too! I am still not sure if the machine works, haven't set it up yet.

This is from the preface of the Singer Handbook.

Mia found the last of the raspberries, hidden beneath the leaves.

Vivi's magic potion bottle, her must-have treasure from a neighborhood yard sale

This book is quickly becoming a bedtime favorite for Jasper. It is sweet, funny, and charming. Father Fox's Penny Rhymes by Clyde and Wendy Watson

The first cucumber in our garden

Vivienne's proud moment of harvesting red potatoes from her own garden patch. She dug twice as many, giving half to our neighbors.

A yard sale giveaway bonus

Another beautiful and special book, I had been looking for this in hard cover. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

A Cypress Knee for creative play, found at the thrift store.

A most delightful book, one that I'd never heard of but love it. The Adventures of Madalene and Louisa from the album of L and M. S. Pasley Victorian Entomologists

My garden treasure- heirloom green stripy tomatoes. YUM!

Here is my weekly find-the-missing-sock game. Do you see the match hidden in there?

What sort of treasures make you smile?

Friday, July 17, 2009

For My Love

sweet chocolate celebrations

Sweet togetherness

for love

so beautiful

sweet love like none other (and cheers to seventeen years, my true love)

my heart is yours for always

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Corner View Wednesday: "the unveiling"

Today the theme of "unveiling, showing your true self" is the subject. This is something difficult to capture for me, as I feel that I live a very inward life and as my Cancer sign conveys, I have a protective shell that I tend to hide beneath. But, today is my birthday! And my family has been so very sweet and considerate, making a fine breakfast of salmon with bagels and fruit salad, adorning me with gifts, and showering me with kisses! So my heart sings with gratitude and my dear Mia Belle took some fine photos. I do not like to smile for photos, can you tell? I much prefer to be on the other side of the lens. This was the photo that my girls chose to best represent me.

Check out more Corner View participants at Jane's Spain Daily.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Moments

Summer is here one minute, and then gone the next. Or so it seems to me. I can almost feel autumn waiting around the bend, and while I love the change of seasons (and have some weeks to go), this awareness reminds me to enjoy this moment!

Here are some things that I am appreciating about summer today.:

Fresh Produce - we picked our very first tomatoes of the season yesterday. The kids delight in discovering raspberries, wine berries and strawberries. The watermelon and cucumbers are growing bigger and we have more squash and swiss chard than we know what to do with. I love the fresh herbs and take strolls in the garden just to brush by them. Vivienne made fresh salsa for her favorite neighbor already (her own recipe with cucumber and garlic.) The bounty seems endless, even in a little garden such as ours.

Wild Garden/Wild Children - everything, (most especially, weeds!) looking full and lush, blooming, creeping, toppling and bursting with life! I love to see my kids delight and make discoveries alongside me. My children are covered in dirt and berry dripping most every day, which is a good thing in my book.

Icy Treats - it is the season for refreshing smoothies, homemade Popsicles, ice creams and frozen grapes (a favorite from when I was little). My favorite indulgence is Vosges Red Fire ice cream (made with hot ancho & chipotle chilies, cinnamon and dark chocolate - yum!)

Relics of Sand and Sea - a pocketful of sand tumbles out of my carry bag, shells are floating around the house, and my mind still wanders to the quiet oasis that the beach keeps for me.

What are your favorite moments of the season?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Corner View Wednesday: place of relection

A place that incorporates the element of moving water brings me the most inner peace. The coast would be my first choice, with the combination of the sound of crashing waves, the feel of sand between the toes, and the salty smell of seawater. But I can find renewal at a creek side, under the shelter of the porch in a downpour, or even immersed in the flowing faucet of a bathtub. Water soothes my soul, and brings balance to me. We just returned from a trip to the beach, and I plan to embrace the peacefulness of that experience in my thoughts for many days to come.

Check out other places of relection at more corner view blogs from around the globe here:
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