A Seasonal Post

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It’s a rainy day and I love it!

I can’t help it!  I LOVE rainy days!

And if it is thundering and lightening and pouring down rain- I’m on my front porch just enjoying the show!

I’d rather watch a thunderstorm than fireworks.

But- it is just a quiet rainy day- I can hear the slick sound of the cars going by on my street and am surrounded by that slushy sound that rain has when you sit close to the window.

Today, I’m off to play with children.  I have crafts and books and yummy snacks for us to make and eat.  I’m happy.

Because if there is anything I love more than a rainy day- it is playing with kids on a rainy day!

Hope your day is filled with your own particular happiness-

AS long as it doesn’t interfere with my rainy day!

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Canned pumpkins and the Blustery Day

It really has been a blustery day here in NE Ohio.

I went for a walk with Cynthia and picked up fallen leaves.

I picked up leaves.

Cynthia just kept on walking so that I would have to scurry to catch up!

I felt like a squirrel by the time we got back!

But look at my leaves!


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Aren’t they beautiful!!!

I also decided to get rid of some cans I had about the house.

I started saving them about two weeks ago-  and I ended up with 13 cans!

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I took off all of the paper and washed them out.

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Then spray painted them with a terracotta spray paint.


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I had to wait to spray between gusts of wind on the deck!

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Then I put duct tape around the edge so it wasn’t so sharp,

and made a handle out of wire and a bead, made holes on the sides with

a nail and painted a happy pumpkin face!Blustery day canned pumpkins 021

I made canned pumpkins!

Blustery day canned pumpkins 023 And a couple loaves of french bread!

I like blustery days- the wind dries down the spray paint fast!

Jordan’s Pretzagle snack mix

Pre-agle Mix 005

I was sharing a bowl of soup and crackers with Jordan when he decided that his snack mix would go better than the crackers.  I started making this mix up when Meredith was here last, and Jordan asked me to keep making it.

It is really easy.

You go to a bulk foods store and buy Rye bagel chips, garlic bagel chips, and plain bagel chips, alphabet pretzels, sesame sticks, and flax seed corn chips.


Then you mix them all  together Pre-agle Mix 002

in a big container,


Pre-agle Mix 003 and close the lid.

You can also play around with the pretzels and spell out your name and then photograph it.

This is really good stuff- I just made this container on Friday and already it is showing lots of space at the top.

Sights, scents and plans

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First of all, my house smells delicious!

I am making a Chicken, Lentil and Garbanzo Bean Soup that I found here.

It is called Moroccan Spiced Lentil Soup.

The first time I smelled sesame oil cooking , I thought it was strong and overpowering.  Now, my taste buds have educated my nose and it makes my mouth water!  I substituted sesame oil for the olive oil in this recipe because I  like sesame oil with these ingredients better.

On a different subject, that still concerns scent;

I have found enough Lavender wands to share with everyone in last week’s contest.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds right now to send them all in the mail.  So, if you want one and can come get it or would pay for the postage and handling, you may certainly have one!

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These are available on a first come- first serve basis.

Cynthia already picked hers up.

Some of these are from last years harvest, so they are already quite dry- but since the lavender is tucked up inside the wand, if you roll them gently between your palms, the scent comes wafting out quite happily!

And- on a different subject altogether-

I started knitting again.

I have been so bad.

A friend of mine asked me to help her finish a purse project last year, and I just this week did it.  SHAME!!!

I really wanted to help, but I couldn’t even get my head into the idea of knitting at that time.  I am a binge knitter.  All or nothing.

One time I made 50 scarves in a 2 week period.  I just sat there knitting all day.

I had so much else to do, but I couldn’t STOP KNITTING!

Anyway- enough confessions.loaves-felted purses-wands-soup 009

But, as I said, I’m starting to knit again.

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What crafts are you addicted to?

And the winner is…


It was a random drawing.

Six names on identical cards.random choice 001 random choice 002 random choice 003

Folded and placed in a hat.  Jordan chose one, eyes closed – and it was Martha.

I have a couple I made last year and I made two additional ones this year.

So I’m going to try to send out a couple more.  Lavender wands 017

This was fun- I really like giving STUFF away!

Congratulations, Martha!

Update on Lavender wands

Lavender wands 008 So far, 4 people are eligible for the drawing- Elizabeth,Kim,Cynthia and Lilly-you are still welcome to comment (please continue- I like hearing from you!)- but you are all in the drawing as of today!

Martha and Jill need to comment once more to be eligible.  I am open until Friday, midnight.  Then I am going to pick a name out of a hat and let you know on Saturday who won! 

I’m still looking for anyone with lavender they aren’t going to harvest.  If I find some I’ll make more wands for all of you.  Anyway- just thought I’d let you know where you stand.

Bulk Food Stores= STUFF

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Or actually only one- The Oak Cupboard in Smithville.

This is where I buy my flour.

And a lot of other STUFF.

Sometimes it feels like my life consists of  STUFF, the getting and transporting and messing about with and putting away and ultimately disposing of STUFF.

This is some of the stuff I bought today.  Some will be sent to Meredith- some stuff will be used in the making of cookies- some stuff will be put together into a bagel and pretzel kind of snack for Jordan.  The rest is just stuff.

pumpkins 004 This is a commercial crust guard to keep your pie crusts from burning.  It is $4.95 and can be used several times.  It is basically more STUFF.pumpkins 006 This is a whole shelf of Halloween candy- colorful and rather inexpensive.  More stuff- but I didn’t buy any of this stuff.

pumpkins 002 And here, is yet another teapot.

Bought at The Oak Cupboard.  Placed on my tea table in the living room.

Yep- you guessed it!  More STUFF!

I’m a rather cluttered and confused individual.

And I collect STUFF.

What do you collect?

If Autumn is here-then why is it so HOT!??

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  The trees are turning,

and people are trimming off the dead and dried branches.

pumpkins 001Atnd leaving them at the side of the road.

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But just in a leisurely walk around my neighborhood, the air is so humid and the

temperature is in the 80’s- which is hot in my book.

I know it is hotter elsewhere- Portland, Oregon was 95 degrees, yesterday.

But I’m looking at pumpkins-

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These are so pretty and so were the flowers-

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and Cynthia ,of course!

But we just picked up some jack-o-lanterns and pie pumpkins

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and put them on the front porch.

Then I came inside and turned up the AC- and now I’m going to take a nap.

Yawn- this is hot and humid weather.  Yuchkkk!

Pie crust

Whoever  first said “easy as pie” was a liar.

And all of us who have repeated it over the years are just as bad.

Pie fairy 001Pie Ain’t Easy!!!

     Pie fairy 003Pie fairy 002  Sometimes, the pie fairy hovers over your shoulders and all goes quite well.

Most of the time, the fickle little guy is hurrying off somewhere else and your pie dough falls apart, or is too tacky you add too much flour and it becomes doughy.

However, I have finally found some small success in making pies and I’d like to pass it on.

First of all- if a recipe says knead gently, THROW it away!

I bake bread,  you cannot knead gently.  And you cannot knead pastry AT ALL!

In fact , don’t even use a spoon, use a fork.

Second, always use ice cold water.  As in –put ice cubes in your water.

Third- ask around for a recipe that is almost fool proof.

(Not that there is such a thing, but some recipes are better harder to mess up than others.)

Fourth- use pastry flour if you can find it.  It’s a softer flour and allows for a much flakier crust.

And lastly- pray.  I do not say this lightly.  I have been baking professionally, off and on for the last 30 years. and I very rarely bake anything that I don’t pray over.  (My niece’s son is just learning this verse- I Thessalonians 5:17- only he learned it – pray without seasick- LOL!)  But if you are praying without ceasing I find it easier to pray over whatever you are doing.  For me it has been a preponderance of baking.  So I think you SHOULD pray when you bake- don’t question- just do it!

Here are two recipes that are almost foolproof.   One is from a MS cookbook that Allyson always makes, and it contains lots of butter.

Double crust pie dough

2 1/2 cups flour     Pie crust tutorial 002

1 cup butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup ice cold water

Cut butter into flour and salt mixture with a pastry blender, until the butter is in very small pieces and incorporated with flour.  Add ice water and mix gently with fork.  Push together into 2 disks and refrigerate after wrapping in plastic wrap.

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Don’t worry if you don’t pick up all the flour.  DO NOT knead it to pick up the rest of the flour. 


The next recipe I got from a lady at church many years ago.

Funny thing- I forgot about it until I read the same recipe here in reference to church ladies!   But then I looked it up and use it when I’m making pot pies or quiche- I like it better with heavier ingredients.

Pie Crust- vinegar recipe

4 cups flour

1 3/4  cup shortening

1 TBS sugar

2 tsp salt

1 TBS vinegar

1 egg

1/2 cup ice cold water

Basically, you just do the same stuff you did for the first  recipe, except you add the egg and vinegar to the water and then  mix gently with fork.

( If you went to the link, you will have noticed by now that she says to knead it a little-  don’t listen to her- this is MY recipe from a lady at church, and you shouldn’t knead it.  Not even a little.)

Pie crust tutorial 007 After you have refrigerated it for about an hour.  Take out one piece and flour your surface like a blizzard.  Then rub flour all over your pin and roll the dough to the outside.  Never roll inwards- it is really confusing and will give your pie wrinkles.

Pie crust tutorial 008 Next make sure the dough is about 2 inches larger all around than your pie plate.  Then fold the dough- gently into fourths- and place it into the plate and unfold it to fit.Pie crust tutorial 010 If it tears, you can piece it back together-

PRAY that it doesn’t tear!

Pie crust tutorial 012 Crimp around the edges and fill.

Pie crust tutorial 013 I had some frozen quiche filling,

so I added egg and half and half and swiss cheese and made a quiche with the vinegar pie dough.

Here is a neat trick I just figured out with foil to keep the edges from getting too brown.  I had been making a crust guard with foil- fitting strips around the edges and slightly crimping them to keep the foil from falling off.

BUT, if you use just a square of foil-Pumpkin roll and sourdough 001

torn slightly in the center-Pumpkin roll and sourdough 002

and keep tearing the foil-Pumpkin roll and sourdough 003

from the center outwards, it is a lot easier and works just fine!

You already knew that, didn’t you?

Here is the quiche and a pumpkin pie I made with the butter dough.

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So- that’s my story about pie dough and the many trials and failures I’ve had.

And that, my friends, is the truth.

And it wasn’t easy either.