The farmers' market season is just around the corner! I can hardly wait!!! Fresh, local produce, delicious baked goods, cut flowers!!! I can almost taste the goodness! Just in case you're gearing up too, I'm listing cloth shopping bags in the shop starting tonight. For now, there's the Red Onion Shopping Bag.
Coming soon will be the Blueberry Shopping Bag...
...and the Pink French Bag.
Look for the other two in the shop in the days to come.
Putting to use some brown linen I bought in California, I made this gardening smock/house dress from a 1950's vintage pattern of Colette's. I always find something ripe in the garden that I want to bring in with me, and having enormous pockets like these would be so useful! Used as a housedress, it'd be perfect for picking up scattered Legos, toy soldiers,or building blocks. You'll find it in the shop.
It’s so much fun to make and to purchase baby gifts!!! Colette and I went baby clothes shopping the night of the day Theo was born. Jeans and short-alls and striped shirts and Oshkosh By Gosh denim overalls (every baby needs them!…especially for zooming through the house!), and more! Oh my! So fun!
And my fingers have been busy knitting for the baby! The angora for this bunny hat came from a giant, loaf-like bunny that I encounter on a wool arts tour each year. It was dreamy to work with!
And I made a moose-themed flannel quilt from fabrics I purchased in California last July. I love the manly baby boy look!
And I made this quick tote as an extra bag…perfect for baby toys, extra clothes, a quick diaper bag, anything!
I think know I'm going to spoil this baby!...and love every minute of it!
I love my kitchen cabinets. And one of the features I like most about them is their chunky crown mouldings. Some of the cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, leaving a nice spot upon which to set things. Unfortunately, the top surface is not level with the top of the crown moulding, but is sunk down to the top of the cabinet itself. So, if I set anything there, half of it would disappear into the “pit” on top of the cabinets. Technohubby to the rescue!
A Saturday was spent making some “risers” to set in the “pit”, and then they were put in place.
Huge improvement! And now items I don’t use often have a home.
And he made two smaller ones for the cupboards that house my red transferware collection.
This is our family's favorite recipe for banana nut bread, although I eliminate the nuts and I never make it in a loaf pan. I always make the recipe in muffin form. They are moist and delicious! Not sure what makes the difference, but this is not your average banana nut recipe. It's a cut above! It's definitely worth trying! A small army of them stood at attention, cooling on the counter today.
1/2 c. butter 3/4 c. sugar 2 eggs 1 c. mashed bananas 1 t. vanilla 1 1/2 c. flour 1/2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt 1/2 c. oatmeal 1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 pan, or a muffin tin (yields 12 muffins).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; then stir in the banana and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts (optional). Spoon into prepared pan or muffin tins.
Bake for 50-55 mins. (for loaf), or 25 mins. (for muffins).
*Recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. Freezes very well.
Menus are planned around here from Thursday to Thursday, which means that this is the last full week of winter menus for us. I asked Technohubby what comfort foods he wanted to indulge in one last time before shearing and frolicking begins. ("Shearing and frolicking" being a much more pleasant way to think of "dieting and exercising".) I added his ideas to Colette's and mine and this is what the feeding plan looks like for us:
Thursday – stuffed potatoes, tossed green salads
Friday – chili, green salads, and cornbread
Saturday – (possibly gone much of the day, so needed a quick and easy dinner) – canned soup, crackers, salads
Sunday – baked chicken breasts with marinara and topped with cheese, rice, broccoli
Monday – chocolate chips pancakes from the Littleton Grist Mill’s pancake mix, farm fresh scrambled eggs
Tuesday – baked potato soup, green salads
Wednesday – potato gratin with ham, green salads, french baguette
Colette had a most excellent time at a women's freestyle snowboarding camp last weekend. The camp included two days of instruction, fabulous food (including amazing hot cocoa with a bowl heaped high with whipped cream), a yoga warm-up, and a bevy of freebies: yoga mat, scarf, tote bag, sunglasses, and Oakley goggles (which each participant could design herself).
The ski resort built a terrain park just for this camp, which was fenced off from the rest of the slopes. It included this tent, with seating, drinks, and snacks.
Colette and I discovered, in the same town as the grist mill, there is the World's Longest Candy Counter! The Guiness Book of World Records says so!
Naturally, we had to go in and see just how long it is.
One hundred twelve feet! Three rows! Accounting for thousands of cavities, I'm sure.
Here's a close-up look at some of the most unusual and/or tempting confections.
Chocolate-covered Jelly Bellies!
Colette and I purchased a sampling of Chocolate Dipped Raspberry Jelly Bellies and Chocolate Dipped Coconut Jelly Bellies (like a bitty Mounds bar!), and a disgustingly large gummy snake to take home to Max. Definitely a must-stop destination any time we're far north in the state!
Since we were already headed to the northern part of our state for Colette's snowboarding camp, we decided to take a field trip to a grist mill near that same area, as she's currently studying bread making for her "homesteading skills" course.
A grist mill, in case they're unfamiliar to you, was a very familiar sight in most small towns of centuries past. This is where people would've brought the grain they grew to be ground into flour. This particular mill was built in 1798 and recently restored. It still stone grinds grain today, although not under the power of the water wheel anymore, but with electricity.
The water wheel would've turned the giant gears in the basement of the mill. The gears there today were reproduced from fragments of the original gears found in the mud of the excavated basement. I believe the video presentation we watched said that they were reproduced by the owner's 13-14 year old son who was "quite precocious with wood". I was impressed!
Upstairs was the hopper, into which the grain would be dropped to grind between the two heavy mill stones (contained in that wooden box on the floor).
They grind all sorts of different type of organically grown grain at the mill today.
Colette, studying the bags of flour and trying to decide what to purchase. In the end, whole wheat bread flour and a bag of chocolate chip pancake mix came home with us.
Then we walked to the Littleton Diner, which has been winning culinary awards for its pancakes. They make their pancakes from the mill's flour!
And I must say, that I thought it was the best pancake I've ever had!...soft and fluffy, yet hearty and gently chewy.
That bite missing from my pancake? It was Colette.