In My Kitchen-July 2013


In my kitchen are lavender wands!  I’ve been weaving them over the weekend-


after picking them from the bed by the fence( the little guy is my grandson, Kieran!).

Lavender wands and …

In my kitchen


rosemary brushes.  I picked a bunch for baking some chicken and decided to use

some for decoration.


because I picked a lot from the bush!

In my kitchen…


a new tea pot.  Not that I NEEDED a new pot- but it was only $3 at a sidewalk sale.


And the little bird on top rather spoke to my sense of whimsy.

In my kitchen…


are black radishes.  They were supposed to taste a bit like horse radish- but no.  In fact

they were rather mild.

In my kitchen…I


cukes and squash and peas- alas not from my garden, yet!

In my kitchen…


leek and cardamom fritters.  Recipe coming up soon!

If you’d like to see other kitchen posts look here- at Celia’s blog- Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Lemon Meringue Pie, sourdough bread and arugula-my tipsy turvy life of baking


I made a lemon meringue pie this week.  I got the recipe from Brydie of cityhippyfarmgirl.  It is

different and delicious and I don’t think I cooked the filling quite long enough.  If you make it- make

sure it comes to a definite slow boil.

Frank’s mother made lemon meringue pie with bananas on the bottom.  He wants me to do that for

him but I can’t.  Really- I just cannot do that.  For one thing- that would NOT be an lemon meringue pie

and secondly- I hate bananas.   Don’t ask me why she did it- she was a Hungarian woman trying out 

Canadian desserts and I think she got the pies mixed up. 

I also made a Rhubarb custard pie-


which turned out rather well!

003I wish I could grow rhubarb.  My soil is mostly a heavy clay

and it doesn’t do well in my garden.  But for $3 a bunch, I will keep on buying it – that’s not a bad price

for this tart and tangy treat!


009                                                          005

And there has been bread.  Baked and fried-  I love the fried sourdough- it puffed up into crunchy

cracker like bread pockets- with kosher salt and sesame seeds- such a treat.


There will always be bread.

And arugula!



My friend,Jane, grew a bumper crop and invited me to come and pick. 

What a delight.  I made wilted arugula salad.  I used it on a sandwich and it was perfect.

And I made a pasta salad with arugula mixed with other green leaf lettuces-

I feasted on arugula last week.

Notice how I said “I”- Frank said, “ Are you kidding me?  Where is the iceberg lettuce?”

No arugula for Frank.

(And no bananas in the lemon meringue pie, either!!!)

A love story


Growing up in a large family gives one perspective.  I am number 6 of seven children.

I saw relationships at work all around me- sibling, parental, partner, gender- there was

always something going on.  And because I was so much younger than my older sibs- I often

had the opportunity to watch them go through many of the trials and changes in life and learn

from their mistakes and wise choices.  I saw rivalries and teamwork, watched them work out

strategies and winced at some of the colossal fails.    But I also watched my parents and took careful

note of their relationship.  

My father loved my mother absolutely.  Even when she was at her most contrary- he adored her.

He would not always understand her- but he was in her corner as her greatest advocate.  His instruction

to me was invariably “ Mind your mother” .

  My parents owned a greenhouse, but my father also worked a full time job, so a lot of the work and

responsibility of running the greenhouse fell to my mother and my older brothers.  My mom was a florist

and made bouquets and corsages, funeral baskets and grave blankets- and she would transplant all the

seedlings in the winter and spring.  My father had a transplanting area set up for her in the back of the

commercial greenhouse- in an alcove between the little greenhouse where he kept his special plants and

the service room that housed the pots and flats and heaters and other paraphernalia that kept the business

running efficiently.

It was very much her area- the bench at the right height for her to plant without too much bending- a chair to

ease her back- foam mats (always encrusted with soil) and lighting right above her station for the times when

she had to plant into the night to keep up with the season.  The greenhouse was where their partnership showed

the most to me- they worked together to make it a success.

So- when my husband called me into the front yard the other day and showed me this-


a planting station that he set up for me- it spoke to me of his love for me.

He didn’t really understand why I broke into tears- or why I kissed him so ferociously- but he was pleased that I was happy!


My love language from my childhood  eye-  he provided a safe and comfortable space to plant the containers for our yard.


I planted up 14 different containers, my hands busy, my heart full, humming a happy little tune. 

Because I felt so loved.

In My Kitchen- June 2013

I don’t really have much to share.

I have made bread and cookies, cakes and casseroles,

sauces and many happy meals – but I didn’t take pictures.

Mainly because everything was eaten rather quickly- but also

because I am engulfed in a wave of depression that insists that

it isn’t that interesting and I don’t have the energy to fight it

right now.  Depression comes in so many guises that it seems

I am always fighting on a different front. 

But I am functional- can keep up with necessary activities- and

I want to honor the friendship that has been granted me by some

extraordinary people.  So, Celia, my dear, this is for you!

In my kitchen…


is this lovely cookbook- a Mother’s Day gift from my son, Luke!

I have been devouring the pictures and recipes, dreaming about

making the recipes, and  trying to get some of the necessary ingredients

stocked up so that I can make what I want when I have someone who

will help me eat it.  My husband will not happily eat any of the meals

that I am thinking about!

In my kitchen…


is this bowl, depicting the wind blowing into the sails of a ship.



This bowl (or one like it) – has been in my family since my earliest memory.

The truth – this bowl has only been in my possession for the last 20 years, because I found it

in an antique shop after I had broken the original.   I was so devastated when it broke that I

broke into tears and then hid it.  I didn’t tell anyone until I found this one and then I confessed

to my mother and sisters of my clumsiness and shame.  They were so wonderful and forgiving-

the bowl hadn’t meant nearly as much to them as it had to me- but everytime I look at this bowl

I not only remember the history of the original bowl- of family times cooking together- of it filled

with chicken soup with small dumplings (zsomervenka, in Slovak) of the wonder it inspired in a

little girl reading the story of a journey on its surface- BUT I also feel the love of my mother and sisters

and am reminded of the heritage of compassion and love that we share.

So that is what is in my kitchen this month- Love and hopefulness, and history and compassion.

Take a look at Celia’s blog for a list of other In My Kitchen posts- it is great fun to look into kitchens

across the world!

Tim Tam Slam

I am just between here and there-

getting ready to leave,

hoping to get lots done when I arrive-

going back to the east coast to get the house

ready for the season.

So I don’t have a lot of time to write-


I found this series of pictures that my son

took on my camera over the holidays

and thought I would share my own

version of this Australian method of eating

Tim Tams.


First you bite off the corners on two sides.


Get your coffee ready and hold the Tim Tam carefully so you don’t drop it into the cup!


Warn your son that he should not take any more pictures because this could get messy!


Apparently they missed the whole suck the liquid gently up into the biscuit –

and jumped to the have your mouth wide open so you can stick it into your

mouth without delay!


I’m not quite sure what this one is supposed to show- except that I took

two bites to eat it and didn’t end up with a dripping chocolate mess!

She’s still my little girl…

I have two sons.

My sisters each had a daughter and a son-

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my boys- but I needed a

little girl in my life- so I became Super Aunt and

took some of that little girl love from my nieces.

I played with my sister Robin’s daughter, Allyson,

babysat with much joy and just had an all around great time.

One of the games we played had music to go with it.

“Go in and out the window, go in and out the window,

Go in and out the window- as we have done before.”

Simple tune, sweet little game- almost a dance step and

easy to get tangled up and generate a lot of giggles.

So, when Aiden and Allyson came over on May day to

deliver a bouquet of flowers, Frank was changing the window

in the front door to a more seasonable screen. 

And I had grabbed my camera to get a picture of Aiden carrying

the flowers, so I still had it in my hand when she started playing

“In and Out the window”.





Or maybe just- “I’m going out your window- or should I say

your door!”

Love this girl/woman!

In My Kitchen- May 2013


Happy May day!

In my family, flowers play a large part of

every season and holiday.

I grew up in the greenhouse business-

and my mother was a florist ( a floral arranger)

so most of my memories are interlaced with


My sister Robin and I added to the tradition

by including may baskets or bouquets- and

Allyson and her son Aiden carry on the tradition for me

every May 1st.

So… In my kitchen…


are flowers!  Bleeding heart, epimidium , flowering quince, tulips, daffodils,

mint, brunera and grape hyacinth.



violets that Jordan picked for me!

In my kitchen…


are kid sized snacks.

In my kitchen…


are cow embroidered hot pads-  I love cows.

In my kitchen…


is a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and pecans.

In my kitchen…


is a fig and almond loaf.


and more bread.


In my kitchen…


is this homemade Dilly Ranch Dressing – a gift from a blog

friend for Christmas.  I made a dip for the vegetable plate at

the top of this post with this mixture and it is so yummy!

One of the secret ingredients- or should I say, unexpected ingredients,

in the mix is saltine crackers!  They add thickening to the dip or dressing

and an extra base flavor.  I will find out the proportions and share the

recipe if you are interested.

That is my kitchen this month- join the other IMK posters at Celia’s blog ,

Fig Jam and Lime Cordial!

Baking Day

Every once in a while I start baking

and don’t know when to


Today was one of those days.

Started out with a buttermilk toasting bread-


and then on to pumpkin pies-


And then Cookies!!!!


Peanut butter and oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.

And then, finally-


Devil’s Food cake with Frangipane filling and Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt

glaze and almonds.


Really really good stuff.


Really really good.

Capturing Spring…

It has become such a short season here.

A short blip between winter cold and summer heat.

And it is invaded on both ends by unseasonable frosts and

heat waves – I find I must seek it out whilst it is

here to be found.



Hydrangea Blossoms- (I cheated and bought these at a greenhouse!)


007Lovely pale pink hyacinth…


Cowslips ( primrose) growing at the side of my front walk.


Dandelions littering the yard with bright yellow.


A very healthy clump of chives in my vegetable bed.


Coral bells lifting her stalk- promising a future silent chorus.


Daffodils still in nightdresses – getting ready for their unveiling, soon!


Virginia bluebells…

021 in a woodsy location-always one of the opening acts!


Flowering Quince- not much good for fruit- but lovely early flowers.


And of course the lovely violet, humble and sweet, growing amongst the grasses.


Lamb’s ears- so soft and fuzzy… Smile


And a Japanese plum- the leaves are a soft red- the flowers will be almost white.

Spring in NE Ohio- Here for only a short time- so I’m trying not to miss the show!