Baking Spree!

I’m going to Long Island tomorrow for a week of little boys and

much fun with my daughter in law, Willow.  Luke is off visiting churches

and going on youth trips- so I get to spend time with his family while

he is gone.

I’ve been getting ready to go – laundering clothes, picking up small items

to take for the boys and making sure I have luggage that hasn’t bad zippers

or sprung wheels and intractable handles-  and by baking up a storm so that

Frank has plenty to eat while I’m gone!


Cardamom/cinnamon buns- these are the best I’ve made in a long time!

I let the dough raise in the cold garage overnight- so the flavor is not just in the spices.

I’d like to give you an exact recipe but I just used the dump and hand measures.

It goes like this:

Pour a largish amount of AP flour in a large bowl- about 4 1/2 cups.

Add about 1 1/2 tsp of sea salt ( Pour into your cupped palm and fill the space that is

deepest- twice). Sprinkle the top with about two tsp cardamom.

Add a goodly cover of dried quick rise yeast on top – about 2 !/2 tsp.

Add about 1 cup dried milk- two  cupped handfulls and stir – making a well in the

center of your bowl.  Beat up an egg with 3 tablespoons of melted butter, and pour into the well,

mixi069ng just a little with the flour .  Then add about 1 1/2 cups of very hot water and stir the

entire mixture up into a moistish dough- if it is too dry add more water- if it is wet add some more

flour and then knead about 5 minutes until it is smooth and pliant.  Butter bowl,  shape dough into a ball

and place in bowl, cover and leave in cool temperature- (45 degrees F or less) overnight.

In the morning, bring in and let warm up to room temp, then roll out dough into a largish rectangle, spread warmish butter

over the top and sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar  mixture and fold dough over from the long sides and cut into

bars  about1 1/2 inches wide.  Twist the bars then wrap around your fingers and tuck the ends through the  hole that

results from wrapping them around your fingers.  Place on parchment papered baking sheet and bake for

about 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

While still warm spoon a sugar glaze on top.

This makes about 2 dozen buns.


And I made some bread for him to use as toast.  He doesn’t like fresh bread for his sandwiches but for toast- his favorite!


I also made some poppyseed rolls and twists.



So he has lots of sweets and a couple of pizzas that I made last night for supper and then froze the left over

pieces for him to take for lunch.

We had snowfall last night so the view out my windows went from this-


to this-


and this-013

I probably won’t be posting for the next week or so- but rest assured- I’m taking pictures and having a marvelous

time with 2 little boys!

May your next week be one of great joy as well!

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!

Growing and eating Brussels sprouts…

Growing them is considerably harder than eating them.

I planted Brussels sprouts in mid Spring.  It is now late

Autumn and they were still very tiny- my sprouts.


But my husband was done with gardening and just wanted to clean

out the area.  So I had to harvest what was there.

And this…


is what was there.  Very small sprouts.


Very, very small sprouts.  The three large ones were at the top of the

plants and perhaps should not even have gotten into the mix.

But I wanted Brussels sprouts that I had grown- so I picked all the tiny ones.


And cooked them with onions and garlic in butter.


Then mixed them with Basmati rice.


They were very mild.  This is the first time Frank has ever liked Brussels

sprouts-  I was kind of disappointed- but – I DID grow them and he DID

eat them- so that was a success?  Right?

Baby Brussels sprouts with Basmati rice- another try for a meatless meal.

Gardening– or maybe just the garden contained.

I do not have good soil- I’ve been putting in bags of peat and loads

of manure for years now and I STILL don’t have good soil.  I should

have dug up the entire garden and filled it with compost and peat

and top soil- but we (as in my husband) decided that would be overkill

and so we have a heavy clay soil that is dominant and patches of peat

enhanced heavy clay soil.  It is not good for growing.

So most of the time I put plants in containers.


Containers are good for flowers- especially geraniums.

And they are pretty good for lettuce…




Last week… it is growing pretty well- I thinned it out some

yesterday and made a great fresh lettuce salad for dinner.


And tomatoes seem to do pretty well in containers, too.

This tomato shows a weeks growth- and the other plants

are putting on buds and small little tomatoes.



The peppers are doing all right in the containers, too.


Even the cheddar cauliflower is growing in its pot.


Which is very good, since the rabbits have eaten all the leaves

off of the ones I planted in the ground.

I think I am more of a container-pot gardener than a bounteous

bed gardener.  Maybe  I just don’t have green fingers- but with

the pots doing so well- I’m blaming the soil.



So- How does your garden grow?

Up close and personal





Have you ever noticed how things get blown out of shape when you mess with them too much?

I tend to keep going at a project or a subject until someone says- “enough!”.

I’ve always been a fan of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Nothing succeeds like excess.”

There always seems to be one more morsel, one more tweak, one more item that will make the

package, product, gift, dish –whatever- complete.

But I’m starting to grow more fond of simplicity.  Of stepping back and taking a look at the big

picture instead of going in for a closer shot at the detail.

My oldest son and his wife let me do a lot of the detail in their wedding (almost 13 years ago- May 22)

I helped decorate the wedding cake, made favors, arranged the flowers and the bridal bouquets, made

bread and soup and salad for the reception,catered the rehearsal dinner, helped make the invitations-

I participated in a foot washing ceremony at the wedding and well- I could go on- but you get the idea.

I loved helping- and these were all areas of strength in my abilities.  But at one point, Willow said- “stop”.

And it was good- it was a relief.  I love my daughter in law- she is a loving, talented, wonderful woman-

and I appreciate her boundaries and her understanding of my nature.  I think back to that “stop.” a lot.

It is a blessing- to have someone say enough- no more- this is done.

And so, after a week or cleaning, digging, planting, polishing , refurbishing, fixing and scrubbing it is nice

to say done.  My husband and I spent an entire week getting the house in  Chincoteague  ready for

guests this season.  We literally worked all week just on the house and grounds.  We never even got to the

beach- did not go into any of the local shops- did not stop until we left on Sunday morning.

I went up onto the 3rd floor deck to take some pictures the morning we left.  I try to take lots of pictures

of what we are doing to send to my niece in Australia.  It is her house- and I like to keep her up to date on

the changes.  So as I looked at these pictures this morning I realized how close to the subject, how very focused

we had become on our tasks for the week.  Like the bee on the lavender in that first picture.  All we could see

was the job in front of us- and then the next job and then the next.

We got a lot done.

And finally, our time ran out, we needed to come home.

But my husband was not done.  He still had plans- details to finish up- ideas to fix one more area-

and I found myself in the position to say, ENOUGH!

He wanted to paint one more ceiling, change one more handle.put up one more towel rack.

But we had done enough.

And he didn’t say it, but I think he was relieved.





And quite frankly, so was I!

Super Moon


Saturday night the meteorologist said there was going

to be a supermoon!  Something like 14% closer than usual

and at its zenith.


So I ran into the front yard and took some pictures.


I’m not a good photographer- but if you take enough pictures…


you can get some decent shots.  I loved the quietness of my neighbourhood at midnight,

and the cold clear shots of the moon- although there were considerable clouds drifting by.


I used a telescopic lens that I had forgotten I had for these last two shots.  I could hardly

hold the camera still with the extension and the extra weight.


But the clouds added atmosphere (hah) and I’m quite happy that

I even got a recognizable moon.  Usually I just get a white globular

looking white spot in the middle of a black background.

So- did you see the moon on Saturday night?