Trillies and other Spring-like things.


When we moved here 30+  years ago, there were no flower beds or gardens.

I was pregnant and it was a particularly hot summer, but I wanted some flowers and so

I started digging and hoeing and planted some annuals in beds around the house.

And then I walked back to the furthest corner and designated it a fairy garden.

Wild flowers only – and I planted ferns and lily in the valley and cranesbill geraniums,

Virginia bluebells, butter and eggs, Solomon’s seal, bloodroot and trillium.

I added small hostas as the years went by- and this corner is my favorite Spring garden.

The trillium haven’t multiplied much- but they are faithful to bloom each year and I love

looking back and seeing their white flags blowing in the wind on blustery days.


When I was a little girl I always called them “Trillies” because they looked a bit like lilies and

I thought they should have a nickname that suits them.


We also have lots of dandelions and forsythia growing-

Kieran was intent on picking them in my niece, Allyson’s yard.


And the violets and oxalis  are in fine form as well.


Virginia Blue bells just starting to bloom on both sides of the fence.


I love the small drops of morning dew on the green leaves.


The mint is growing up next to the mill stone I put back there-



Because there is nothing that makes the bones of a fairy garden better than an

old mill stone. Smile


Although trillies sure add to the beauty!

Baking bread- always baking bread


I have been baking bread consistently for the past 40 years.  Every month for the last 40

years I have baked bread.  I should be pretty good at it by now.  I hardly follow a recipe any

more- when people ask me for one- I give it from memory- although I no longer measure out

cups and liquids.  I pour a half bag of flour, fill the well in the center with hot water, add a good

slosh of sourdough starter, a sprinkle of yeast, a palmful or two of salt and I’m ready to start

mixing.  I can’t imagine going without fresh bread.  I am always made happier just in the making

of it- and the eating is still pure bliss.  I make bread when I am down and depressed and it gives

me a stable place of joy.  I make bread when I am happy and my world just sings.  I make bread

when I am bored and I tremble as I add new ingredients and change up the shaping of the loaves.

Bread is not just a food- it is a barometer. 


If I am NOT making bread I am grumpy.  And you can tell how depressed I am by the amount

of bread in my kitchen.  Bread making is the road to recovery from the depths of depression

in my life.

So- I am presently doing fairly well.


My bread basket is full- I have extra loaves in the freezer.

And I have great beauty and bounty on my counter tops!




I baked this piece in a parchment pouch- it was perfect!


And the crumb was exactly what I was looking for.


I also made a sourdough marbled rye which turned out very toothsome and lovely.

My recipe for contentment?  BAKE BREAD!!!

Kitchen help

When my boys were young, I had them help in the kitchen.

They set and cleared the table, swept the floors, filled and emptied

the dishwasher, and helped prepare the meals. 

They liked spending time with me- and my time was mostly spent

doing chores and preparing meals- so that is where we accomplished

much of our work.  I wasn’t a photographer back then- I’m getting better

now- and my son and niece take so many pictures that I have a library of

images to go to.

But I have no pictures of those years of activity.  Of the learning and loving

and sharing that went on then.  So- in looking at my most recent photos,

I was so pleased to have pictures of my grandsons working along with us-

in the the kitchen.


Kieran putting away the crayons after an art session!


And sweeping the deck after a rainstorm brought down the crab

apple blossoms.


Aidan washing the dishes from breakfast.


Kieran sorting out my cupboard.

Luke used to get Jordan to help put away the dishes by calling out, “Hi Ho Silver(ware)!”

and Jordan would come running to put away the silverware. 

And after sweeping up the floor he’d call for the “dustpan man” and his little

brother would hurry to do his part of the task.

No pictures of my sons- just fond memories and an echo in my heart of helpful

and obedient children- who have grown up to be fine upright men.

I cherish the times spent with children- it can be tiring – but those moments are

like silver and gold- never losing their precious value.

A surprise soup made with avocados and sausage. Recipe




I’ve been so busy- grandchildren have come and gone- Spring is still here although disguised

in Summer garb and Winter snow part of the time.



Trying to catch a snowflake on his tongue and children of all ages rolling down hills!


I’ve also been making sourdough bread with its complex corridors of holes-


And I made Sausage and avocado soup with apples and peanut butter.

It may sound like a weird combination- but it is good.  And it has a story behind it.

I was working with a group of ladies several years ago on a weekend workshop.  I was supposed to speak AND

cater the luncheon on Sunday.  I planned the menu to be soup, salad, roll, and chocolate for dessert.

The soup I had planned was Apple,Fennel, and Almond – the salad was chicken garnished with slices of avocados and greens-

and I had gotten croissants and wonderful chocolate truffles .  Everything was prepared and packaged up to go. 

Except the base for the soup never went.  I had left it to put in the cooler last and instead it just got left.

So Sunday morning I started to get the preparation in hand and couldn’t find the soup base.  I had the broth and the cream

I had ground almonds.  I had everything but the base.  And without the base, I had no soup.

The hotel we stayed in offered breakfast with our rooms – and one of the offerings was sausage gravy and biscuits.

I don’t like sausage gravy- but thought it would work as a soup base.  I had a little cider and apples from a stop at a nearby

orchard ( We were out in Amish country, in Wilmot, Ohio) and one of the ladies had a jar of peanut butter.  Plus- I had my

avocados for garnishing.  I only had a slow cooker to work with, but I put it on high and starting with the cider and apples, slowly

put together a soup for 38 ladies.  I spoke about my topic- making beauty preparations from your kitchen– and then went back to my soup

– planning  to trash it if it didn’t turn out.

But it did turn out.  It was – in fact- a success!  I had many requests for the recipe- but I had no recipe to share- just a panicked memory

of what else can I add???!!

A little while before the grandkids and their parents came, I made guacamole for Jordan and myself.  It was really good, although I

added a zested jalapeno pepper and it was really spicy as well.  But I had a lot left over- and it was starting to go brown.

That is when I decided to recreate my luncheon soup and see if it was as good as I remembered.

I started off sauteeing a 1/2 pound of sausage.  To that I added 1/2 diced onion and one chopped and peeled medium apple.


Add a large cup of guacamole-(so avocado,lime juice,finely grated jalapeno and salt and pepper)


Add 2 small cans of chicken broth, and 1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter and

stir and heat until hot but not boiling.  Add salt and pepper to taste- maybe a little bit

of hot sauce – a dollop of cream- and enjoy!


We ate it with tortilla chips and it was just as good as I had remembered. 

(Jordan was VERY skeptical at first- but I think he really loved it by his third helping.)

HXB- Spicy and hot!


Good thing I only make these once a year!

Because warm and slathered with butter- they are addicting.

I  usually make these with a boiled potato base, like the ones pictured here.

But this year I followed a recipe my friend Joanna sent me.  Only I didn’t really.

I didn’t use citron or fruit peel, except for my own homemade orange peel.  And I added

currants.  Mainly I just added cinnamon, ginger and cloves to a sweet roll dough and then

put a cross on top.  005

I took some to a friend’s house last night and shared some with Cynthia.

And then we had some for breakfast-  so there aren’t many left.

That’s good- because they last a lot longer in the memory than they do in the mouth!


Here’s the recipe for the add 1 tsp of ginger and cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp

cloves, 1/4 cup fruit peel or zest from one lemon and one orange and 3/4 cup currants.

Roll recipe- makes about 3 dozen rolls.
6 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk ,scalded in microwave (about  2 min on high)
1 stick butter or margarine
2 eggs
1/2  cup sugar
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs yeast
1 cup warm water
scant tsp sugar
Put flour, sugar and salt into large bowl and whisk together- form well in center of flour.  Melt butter or margarine in the hot milk and set aside.  Proof yeast (mix  together yeast and sugar, stir in water and watch for growth reaction- it should start growing  almost immediately).  Beat eggs and pour into well, add milk mixture (butter should be completely melted) and stir until the flour and liquid are one mass.  Add proofed yeast-(  if the yeast didn’t raise ,proof another batch, either it is too old or your water was too hot) and mix the whole mess into a sticky dough!  Flour counter, dump dough onto flour , add some more on your hands and knead for at least 10 minutes.  This is a Big ball of dough so put your muscles into it.  Grease large bowl, form dough into a ball and allow to raise, covered, for at least an hour , until doubled in volume.



Faces and fish (totally unrelated.)

Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems somehow related

to everything else?  Where this event leads into the next one, a seemingly random

phone call summons up a visit with someone obscure and yet it all manages to

seem familiar, like there is theme music in the background of your life?

I seem to vaguely remember such days, but lately, my days are so random.

This happens, that happens, this person shows up, I make bread.

So, yesterday, without any theme music, without any fanfare,  a happy little

string of events occurred and amazingly, I had a camera at hand.

Nothing big, you understand, just heartwarming.

It all started with the cupcakes.

015Apple filled spice cakes.

017…with yellow butter cream icing.

I made them for Cynthia and Frank and Jordan.

Because, you know, they LIKE cupcakes.

But I ended up with 24- and cupcakes go stale quickly.

So we boxed them up and took some to-



She was surprised…


and delighted!

While we were there, we saw this boy…


happily playing in a pile of dirt.


His shirt says “I PLAY DIRTY!”

(He didn’t know about the cupcakes.  SHH! It was supposed to be

a secret!)

He was just so happy to have us stop over.  He thought we might like to

play in the dirt and mud with him.


Oh yes, there was mud.  The train needed a mud hole to fall into.

But when we politely refused, he tried another tack-


and got on his bike.


“Do you want to watch me ride my bike?”

And we did – for a while.

So- the cupcakes made for a happy afternoon.


They were very good, by the way, I filled them with apple pie filling.

The Fish?


I found a whole bag of ribbon origami fish at a thrift store.


They tickled my fancy – so I bought them!