Strawberry Rich!


I learned the difference between having money and being rich when I was a little girl.

My mother had sent my little sister, Robin and I  with our older siblings to the Ohio State Fair.

She had given them the money to pay for our admission.  She had given us $2 each for spending

money.  Two dollars didn’t seem like much to spend at the fair even back then.

There was so much to look at- so much to consider- and Robin had been talking about the

food at the fair all the way to Columbus.  Many years later they made a movie out of “Charlotte’s

Web”, and Robin had sounded a lot like Templeton the rat in his rhapsody over fair food.

‘>Here it is on youtube!

But when we got to the fair- not far from the entrance was a wagon- a dainty Victorian wagon,

painted in lavender and white stripes and with lavender awnings- filled- absolutely FILLED with

lavender.  The fragrance was so potent that the air seemed to shimmer about the wagon-

and the sign on front said Lavender-$1.00 a cup.  I spent both of my dollars within the first ten

minutes as the fair.  I had two cups of lavender in my bag and I was rich beyond compare.

And – aside from the fact that it was unbearably hot and humid- that is all I remember about the

fair.  I’m sure someone took pity on me and got me a drink and maybe something to eat.  But I had that

bag- 2 whole cups of lavender for years afterward- and I knew that I had spent my money wisely.

I was RICH in lavender!

Richness for me means having plenty- enough to use and share.

So, when Allyson brought me a basket FULL of strawberries I became a rich woman!


I washed them, cleaned them and graded them.

Strawberries for pie.


Strawberries for jelly.


And strawberries for snacking.


Firm, ripe juicy, sweet Ohio strawberries- ready for whatever I wanted to do with them!


I made jelly- Freezer jam, actually.


and pie- enough to enjoy- and share!


I love being rich in strawberries, and family and friends and love- and lavender! Winking smile

Sourdough flapjacks with Blue berry syrup


I made breakfast this morning.

Usually my husband makes the coffee, tea and toast that we have each morning.


But yesterday, when I was feeding my sourdough starter, I realized

I had too much starter to fit into my container jar.

Much too much- and so I poured two cups into a

cup and determined to make sourdough pancakes this morning.

The recipe is quite simple.

Feed two cups of starter with one cup of bread or AP flour and one cup of water the night

before and cover.  The next morning add the following ingredients.

1 beaten egg

2 TBS oil

2 TBS sugar

1/2 tsp salt

And enough flour to make a batter

(I used about 3/4 cup)

Mix well together – until smooth- heat griddle until quite hot

(so that water sizzles when spattered into pan)

And at the last minute, mix 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1 TBS warm water

and stir into batter.  Do not stir again.  Pour batter onto griddle


and turn when many bubbles form on top.


The flapjacks are very light and delicious-


especially when you top them with homemade blueberry syrup and butter.


Taking good care of sourdough starter means that sometimes you have to sacrifice

and throw away some of the starter- OR- have sourdough flapjacks in the morning

instead of toast.  YUM- I like the second option!

My favorite food-

is finger food- especially tea time finger food.

I love preparing food for tea- love garnishing and presenting it-

and most of all I LOVE eating it.


We had an afternoon tea for my niece and her family today.

I used an ice cream scoop and made watermelon balls that I served in a water pitcher.


Then cleaned a pineapple and cut it into spears which I placed in the empty

melon – with the pineapple crown on top with coconut slices and mint leaves

to garnish.


Chocolate meringues,using Celia’s recipe!


Cranberry and almond Welsh scones-you can find the basic recipe here- just substitute craisins and sliced almonds for the lavender.


Apple spice babycakes (I was kind of in a French state of mind, hence the flags!)



Bacon and sundried tomato mini quiches- yum!


Basmati rice and pine nut and mint meatballs with Hawaiian barbeque sauce!


Served with hot Darjeeling tea and ginger and lemon iced tea- it was a great

menu- a wonderful visit- and we had a great time visiting and snacking.

I really wish I could sit down with all my blog friends and share a cup of tea

and a plateful of goodies.  My niece, Martha, blogs at The Weinhardts , and I

haven’t seen her in over a year, so it was like sitting down with a blogger

friend and sharing recipes (she brought me a pretzel roll that she promises

to put up the recipe for on her blog soon!)

So – I was thinking about all of you, my internet friends, as I was preparing this

food- and if we could I’d love to have you all over to tea!

(Although we actually met at my sister Cynthia’s house! LOL!  I was so tired and

my house is cluttered with all the stuff we brought back from Chincoteague last

week that I couldn’t clean my house and cook for the same event.  Cynthia did the

cleaning and I did the cooking/baking.  We make a good team! Open-mouthed smile

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!

Enhanced water

I’m passing on a tip that I think I got from Martha Stewart.

Note this- because it will probably never happen again.

I don’t like Martha, much. 

I think she does share some good things-

but I think she got them from someone else and doesn’t

give them credit for their ideas.

This one, however, I have been using for years, so Martha

is actually ancient history.

So here it is.

When you buy a whole pineapple-imagine picture here-

(I have picture but I just spent 40 minutes looking for it)


Clean off the rind, cut out the spots and slice the pineapple in half


Then cut out the center of the pineapple- the hard core- and put them

into a pitcher of water.



Leave for several hours – and the core will flavor the water with a very

light pineapple flavor and aroma.


The water is very refreshing on ice or will work well in making a punch for

the base flavor.

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?

In My Kitchen…May 2012


Aiden on May Day-2012

Waiting on the front porch- flowers in hand.

In my kitchen is a bouquet of May day flowers!

Aiden didn’t want me to take a picture of him- just the flowers.

So I gave him cookies and milk, sat him down at the table and we worked out a

compromise.  Smile  May flower bouquet and boy drinking milk.


In my kitchen…



is a digital kitchen scale with grams- so I can make bread and follow

recipes more accurately!

In my kitchen…


are measuring scoops- from 1/2 cup to 1/8 cup- Very Handy!

In my kitchen…


is a treasure trove of Australian honey-  thank you, Meredith!

In my kitchen…


is a batch of freshly made granola- I put butter rum flavoring in and it is so delish!

In my kitchen…


is this silicon mat for hot pans to sit upon!  I love it- it holds the pans quite

securely so I can dish out soups without worrying about anything spilling!

And – In my kitchen…


are even more silicon lily pad covers.  AND …



A give away!  These silicon lids fit perfectly over a mug and keep your coffee or tea warm

for a long time.  Leave a comment saying you would like one and I’ll pick two (2) of your

names out of a hat and I’ll send you one!

I’ll send these wherever- so don’t worry if you aren’t in the USA!

(I bought another lid- in a sunflower pattern as a give away for my niece’s facebook page.

016– it is a medium size lid and will fit on small and medium

size bowls and pots.  I bought a whole set for her rental house and if you comment here and go

to facebook  and like Sailors Rest Rental Resort– you will be in the running for this.  I’ll let this

give away run until the end of May and announce the winner(s) on the next In My Kitchen-June! )

If you are interested in seeing what is in other bloggers kitchens,  go to Celia’s blog, and have a look-

and if you are a blogger and would like to join in- then we could see what is going on in YOUR kitchen!

Thanks for visiting!