I picked this up from the beach on Long Island Sound.

The rocks are beautiful- the driftwood very pleasing in a tactile way and the

shells are delicate in color and shape.  Treasure indeed!



But look here- the real treasures of my life-




In the beginning and at the end- these are all the

treasure that a real full life can hold.

I’m very wealthy in loved ones!

Zucchini= TWO recipes-soup and cake



Big plants with plenty of blossoms- but no zucchini-


until now!  And it is such a huge one that I used it to make

creamed zucchini soup and chocolate zucchini cake.


They both turned out great!  I haven’t made anything out of

zucchini for years because I generally love it sauteed with onions-

but I don’t use the huge ones – I usually get to them when they are

still small and tender.

Here are the recipes

Zucchini Soup creamed



3 cups of zucchini chunks

1 large onion, chunked

1-2 TBS olive oil

4 cups chicken broth

1 generous pinch saffron

salt and pepper- to taste

1 cup half and half

garlic croutons



Sautee zucchini and onion in oil until tender.

Pour broth over top, sprinkle saffron on top, add salt and pepper

and cover with lid and allow to simmer for about 20- 25 minutes.

Uncover pan, stir and spear to make sure it is fork tender.


You can put in a processor or use a wand type blender at this point-

004– however you choose, reduce the contents

into a thick liquid, add the half and half006

and bring ALMOST to a boil.


Ladle into cup or bowl, add garlic croutons and enjoy!  This is the one

soup that Frank gives me the compliment of calling gourmet!  LOL!

It is really good, but very simple.


This cake makes my grandson’s eyes light up.  He wears it after eating it

AND it is healthier than most.  It is my daughter-in-law, Willow’s recipe

and so good!


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

!/2 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 9×13 pan.

Mix together flour, cocoa,soda and powder and salt in large bowl.

Cream sugars into butter , add eggs and mix together well.

Add vanilla, buttermilk and zucchini, then slowly mix in dry

ingredients. When batter is completely moistened, add chocolate

chips and pour batter into 9×13 pan.  Bake for 45 minutes and then

put on rack to cool. 

Slice into squares and either sprinkle with 10x powdered sugar OR



top off with marscapone cheese with raspberry preserves blended in

and whipped cream and raspberries!

Either way- this is delicious!


Psalm 46- a song of safety from the storms

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.A song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I don’t know about you- but between the earthquake

and the storm- I’m glad I have a safe place.

There really is NO safe place on earth- everywhere is

subject to storms and earthquakes, volcanoes and tornadoes.

Floods and flash floods, unstable neighbours, angry youth and

wars- let us not forget wars.  Life at best is a gamble.

So, I’m thankful I have a God who is Almighty.

Above all the limitations of this world and capable of

making wars cease-

He says , “Be still, and know that I am God;”

And that is exactly what I am doing this weekend.

Praying and being still before the Lord.

Spending time in the only safe place I know.

In my Kitchen

In my kitchen..


is this tomato that reminds me of a painting of a woman

combing her hair by Edgar Degas.  I was staking up the

plants and this one tomato fell into my

hand.  As I carried

it into the house- I saw this painting in my mind’s eye.

In my kitchen…



are these knitted fish filled with lavender – so fragrant-

I’m going to use them as sleep sachets.

In my kitchen…


are my new potholders that I knitted and then quilted.

I really don’t want to use them yet.  I’m just admiring them.

In my kitchen…


is a bag of  deeply aromatic coffee beans – ready to be ground!

In my kitchen…


is this wonderful stew my husband made!

He accidently defrosted stew meat and so

he found a recipe in an old Betty Crocker book

and made stew in a crock pot!  It was waiting

for me when I got back from my road trip-

what an absolute surprise!

In my kitchen…


is my new favorite snack-

dried vegetable chips.  The green beans are the best!

In my kitchen…


are many molds and crocks and grinders and corks.


After the yard sale, I have an eye on these things.

I am going to have to start downsizing my kitchen gadgets-

but it is SO hard!

Which would be the first to go?

I will think of that tomorrow.

What is in your kitchen?

(This is part of a series of “In my kitchen” blog posts initiated by

Celia on Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Go there to see a list of the other

bloggers sharing a peek into their kitchens!)

Still on an island- Long Island- Oyster Bay, New York

I’m sorry about the unavailability of this site earlier.

It is some problem with the carrier and quite frustrating.

But I couldn’t put up anything before this- and I still don’t have

any pictures to show- we have been VERY busy.


I wrote a book for my grandson about the pleasures and rules of video calling

via Skype.  It was fun and he likes it and Aiden likes it too!

And then we drove 7 hours to get here on Wednesday.

The kids went swimming in the Sound that night after a wonderful dinner

with vegetables and couscous , arugula salad and fresh tomatoes and some

really delicious bread.

Then today we went to TWO playgrounds, Luke’s church, lunch at a café- the meal

was just alright but the carrot cake for dessert was marvelous!  After lunch we

went to a Whaling Museum which we all enjoyed- it is amazing how small those

boats were next to the whales they were going after.


-then I made clam chowder and Willow made a macaroni and tofu casserole with

bread crumb topping and corn bread to go with the chowder.

We are having a great time- the Aidan/Aiden club is in full working order, these little

guys really love each other and play like they are best friends- even their spats are

rather companionable!


Not much more- – actually I have a lot more to say and show- but it is late and I haven’t

downloaded the pictures yet. 

Just wanted to say hi and that Long Island is truly beautiful.

…Today on the Island

The first day is always work.  Cleaning,

carrying, scrubbing, pulling weeds- finding

things that have been moved around.


Allyson found a new friend or two whilst working today!

I was working too, but she found mating snails- a preying mantis,

hiding behind the ivy on the fence and a green caterpillar.



037This is as close to a before and after

as I wanted to do.  Seriously, who leaves a pan filthy like this?

All the pans are burnt and sticky and greasy and gross.  So I’m

scrubbing and cleaning.

And  then- LOOK how nice the new wooden bench looks in the foyer!


And I put a fork and spoon and a knife and a fish chime pieces and decorated

the mantel piece with a different look.



And so- It is now 2:30 in the afternoon- we’ve had some food- done some

work and later- we are  going out to the beach!

Psalm 36– Because of the recent evil in our streets.

Psalm 36
A David Psalm

1-4 The God-rebel tunes in to sedition— all ears, eager to sin.
He has no regard for God,
he stands insolent before him.
He has smooth-talked himself
into believing
That his evil
will never be noticed.
Words gutter from his mouth,
dishwater dirty.
Can’t remember when he
did anything decent.
Every time he goes to bed,
he fathers another evil plot.
When he’s loose on the streets,
nobody’s safe.
He plays with fire
and doesn’t care who gets burned.
5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.
7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
and you open our eyes to light.
10-12 Keep on loving your friends;
do your work in welcoming hearts.
Don’t let the bullies kick me around,
the moral midgets slap me down.
Send the upstarts sprawling
flat on their faces in the mud.

There has been so much violence in our world.

OK- I know- there has ALWAYS been violence- but

what with the wars and the riots and the senseless

murders and mayhem that have been in our own

neighborhoods… in our face… it seems to have

escalated of late.

David wrote this of his times.

When he’s loose on the streets,
nobody’s safe.
He plays with fire
and doesn’t care who gets burned.

And if it was true then- well it is, if anything,

truer NOW!

Then we look at verses 6-10 and what comfort

there is in turning our vision from the rebels- the

God haters- and looking towards God, Himself.

I love the descriptions he offers of God’s love, loyalty,

purpose and verdicts: meteoric- astronomic-titanic and

oceanic.  Ginormous! 

And yet, so lovingly concerned with us, that not a man, not

even a mouse slips through the cracks of His attention.

And then after praising the Lord for His wonderful love,

David returns to his own problems; THE BULLIES!

And isn’t that the way we all are?

I am.  I want my problems to be remembered and taken

care of- and I’m so glad that I’m not alone in my

selfish concern.  I don’t know that God will cause my

enemies to go sprawling in the mud.

After all-

I’m supposed to pray for them .

But it is nice to know that I’m not the only one who

sometimes wishes they would get their own back.

Do you know what I mean?

Chickpeas and courgettes-AKA- yesterdays lunch


Yesterday I had day one of a Yard sale.

Why do I do these things?  I’m leaving for a week tomorrow- I really don’t need

the hassle of doing this right before!  But I promised to get rid of some of this

STUFF that has accumulated in my basement and around the house- and Cynthia

is trying to get rid of some of her stuff- and Jordan wanted to get rid of- well- you

can see how it goes….


And this is how it went- SLOWLY- very S L O W L Y!

But- I had seen this recipe over at Zeb Bakes- and I

wanted it for lunch.  OK- I changed it a little a lot

and ended up with something quite different- but it

was so good I thought I’d share with you!


2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, and then cooked

for about 90 minutes until tender and toothsome.

1 onion, diced

3-4 slices thick meaty bacon

2 big handfuls of spinach

1 lb of small courgettes

lemon oil or juice from 1 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

curry sauce


Chop up the bacon and fry it up in a shallow pan.

Add onions and sautee until soft.


I used a little green onion (scallions) for color..

Then add courgettes (zuchinni)003

and cover pan to let them cook- about 10 minutes


Add chickpeas,lemon oil ( about  TBS) or lemon juice, and stir in salt and pepper.

Taste, and then add spinach and cover to let the spinach cook down.




Serve with a drizzle of curry sauce ( I used a prepared sauce- Cynthia was out

watching over the yard sale and I wanted to get back to doing my share).

This was so very good- and filling- that it almost made up for having to sit

outside on a beautiful summer day and watch the cars drive by.

The sale continues today- I sure hope we sell a little bit more of this STUFF!

scone # 2–Maple syrup and vanilla w/ currants

I guess it is still scone week so I can post another recipe.

I converted the metric measurements from Misk’s recipe,

which was an adaptation of Claridge’s afternoon tea scones,

and I found I had a recipe very like my usual baked scones.

However, I got a comment from Brydie, of Cityhippyfarmgirl-

(look at my blog roll on the side to find her website) and she

had added vanilla and maple syrup to her scones. 


That sounded good to me- so I made that adjustment and baked up

these beauties this morning.

I changed up the recipe to my tastes- feel free to do the same for yours!

Misked- Match Scones w/ maple syrup, vanilla and currants.


2 2/3 cups of AP flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup (or less) of white sugar

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup cold milk

4 Tablespoons maple syrup

seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean

3/4 cup dried Zante currants

beaten egg for wash


Preheat oven to 425 F.  Bake for about 15 minutes or golden brown.

Mix together dry ingredients with a fork, add cold butter and using

hands or pastry blender break the butter up into the flour until it resemble

a coarse meal.  Add vanilla bean seeds and currants and stir to distribute them

evenly.  Make a well in center of flour/butter mixture and pour cream, milk, and

maple syrup and then using fork, mix gently, pulling the flour mix into the liquid

mixture until all of dough is wet.  It will be a little sticky.  Put into fridge for

about 10 minutes, then tip onto parchment paper, or into round shortbread

stone-003-that has been well oiled.

 I didn’t get a good definition of the flowers on my scones, but it helped me

to cut them evenly and with a strong edge.


Place on parchment paper on baking sheet and separate slightly so that they

have space to raise in the oven during baking.

Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes in my oven.


I added a little crème fraiche, and orange marmalade-



Scone Week


Last year I made some North Umberland singin’ hinnies or

Welsh scones –with lavender.  Celia and Joanna and some

others made scones this week, as well, and so we (Celia,

mainly) proclaimed it Scone week.

Celia has a VERY good memory and she has posted a

 savory cheddar and onion scone.

I decided to share my Slovak scones, begonya- a bacon

or scrappling  savory scone that my grandmother used to

make for my mother when she was a little girl.

My mother never gave me this recipe until I was messing about

with different ingredients to go into a scone for a tea I was preparing.

I’m not sure of the spelling- it is pronounced with all short vowels,

be-gon-ya.  I love these for just plain snacking- or joined with a creamy

soup and salad for lunch.  Or warm and slathered with butter…. any way

you like them- with tomato slices and basil and cheese would be good,too!

Here’s the recipe-


1/2 pound bacon fried and chopped

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tablespoons margarine or butter

2/3 cup cold milk



Mix together flour,salt, and baking powder.  Cut in margarine or butter

until it looks like oatmeal.


  Add bacon. Stir.  Add milk.


Mix with fork, gently knead to blend for 1-2 minutes.

Pat down or roll on floured board to 1/2 inch thick.


Cut on angle to make diamond shapes.

Place on ungreased baking sheet ( I use parchment paper)

and bake in preheated oven at 450 F for 12-14 minutes.