Friday, June 29, 2012

June in a Jar


That's what I'll be thinking when I open these jars sometime next winter - this looks, smells and tastes like June in a jar!

Just cherries - Rainer and Bing nothing else - just right.

Linking to Farm Girl Friday at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Silent Bob

Remember these guys?

Well they've grown and grown and now they look like this. 

To my eye they seem full grown and should be giving us eggs already! But in reality they're only about 18 weeks just teenagers in chicken land and we still have a ways to go before we get omelets.

And here is the king of his domain - Silent Bob! Isn't he a beauty and doesn't he know it. Supposedly I purchased all sexed chicks but obviously a baby roo snuck into the mix and here he is in all his feathered glory. We call him Silent Bob because so far he has been a fairly polite and considerate rooster who only crows occasionally and only once the sun has risen. He doesn't like early mornings any more than I do! SO FAR. We all know that all this is subject to change once Bob is a little more mature. 

In the 14 years that I have kept chickens I've never had a rooster and I'm finding it fascinating all the new behaviors I'm seeing in the flock. At night when they go to roost all the girls want to get next to SB and he spreads his wings to try to shelter as many of them as possible. They make a great big ball on the perch with him in the center of his harem.

He doesn't like it when I wear a red shirt and got quite agitated one day when I showed up in red plaid! I'll keep you posted on other behaviors I notice. The egg count down is on. Care to take a guess as to when the first one will appear?

Until next time,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Design Wall Monday/Christmas Twist

Christmas Twist finished size 80x80.
 I have a finish this morning! This Christmas Twist was so much fun to make from beginning to end. I got it back from the long arm quilter a week ago and went to town sewing on the binding entirely by machine. This is going to be my new preferred method from now on for all but what I might consider heirloom quilts. It's fast, sturdy and gives a nice finish.

Turning the binding from back to front before machine sewing.
The quilting is just wonderful! All over snowflakes of many different sizes just as I requested. You can really appreciate the quilting from the back.


I just could not get a good picture of the quilt last night. I'll try to take a better one later on when I can go outside but I want to get this up to share on Judy's Patchwork Times. 
Linking to Sew Many Ways and Quilting By the River.

Until next time,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

You Scream, I scream ...

Oh my goodness!!

 We all scream for Ice Cream! It's been hot, dang hot! When it's hot I want ice cream, not just any old ice cream but rich, creamy home made ice cream and this fills the bill.

This is my ice cream maker. I love kitchen gadgets but that being said my gadgets have to be cost effective. This maker was pretty inexpensive, makes a quart at a time and I've had it about five years. (I don't have any affiliation with this product, I just use it.)

Easy As Can Be Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
serves 12
  • 4 cups half-and-half or whole milk or whatever milk you have
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk ( THIS IS THE KEY INGREDIENT)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract  
  • In your blender or a large bowl combine ingredients; mix well. Pour into ice cream freezer container. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. This will make 2 quarts for me so I have to make two batches. Freeze leftovers, as if!
 *You can change up the flavor by adding about 3/4 cup chocolate syrup to make chocolate ice cream. Oh yes! or add in fruit of your choice at the end.

Linking to Farm Girl Friday at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House.

Until next time,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Busy Days

From the garden this morning - fava beans, onions and strawberries. The growing season is just getting started here.
Lots going on here on Dogwood Lane most of it having to do with garden chores that just can't wait any longer. 

One day's harvest in May.
 Asparagus season is over and it was a good one. Now it's time to tidy up the beds so I tackled that chore on Saturday by covering with a layer of compost. Chris hauled several loads of pine needles for me to use as mulch, we have plenty of that free for the taking! Can you believe how big and tall those stalks are? We have two varieties of asparagus growing here, the regular green variety and an experimental type which I purchased at the county fair some time ago from the UC Davis Extension program. It's dark purple and thicker than my thumb but tender all the way down the stalk! I wish I had a dozen more roots of that one.

School is out and that means it's time to put up the pool. Ever since the grands were little we've had a pool so that they could go swimming whenever they want. Obviously they are too big to swim in it now but they still like to cool off in the pool and we love to have them come over. I keep popsicles in the freezer just for them as an added bribe.

Ready for kids!
Chris and I are still adjusting to the new normal as far as having him around all day, every day goes. He is working out a plan for his days and I'm happy to be able to see him during the day and have lunch with him but it does take some getting used to.

I almost forgot to tell you that I'm a winner! Kathleen at Rose Prairie Quilts and Farm  picked my comment as the winner of her blog prize celebrating her blog anniversary. Happy one year anniversary Kathleen and thanks for the gift certificate! Go on over and check out her neat blog everybody.

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake

I saw a variation of this recipe on Pinterest  called a cobbler posted in Kitchen Scoop. It seems more like a moist cake or clafouti to me than a cobbler, you be the judge. I changed the prep to make it even easier, added vanilla because vanilla is better and raw sugar for sparkle. I keep a small bag of raw sugar just for topping baked goods. It's better than regular sugar because the coarse texture doesn't melt away during baking.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 quarts strawberries, washed & capped, cut in half
4 oz. cream cheese, cut in small pieces (this seemed like too little so I used more but not the whole 8 oz. pkg.)
2 tbsp raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter & pour into a 9x13 baking dish. In a blender mix egg, milk, vanilla and sugar. Pulse just until blended. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to blender and pulse just to combine, don't go crazy use a light touch. Pour over the butter, but do not stir. Add the strawberries (I cut mine in half to get good coverage) and cream cheese pieces.  Sprinkle with raw sugar because I like the sparkle and crunch. 
Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden.

Notes: Some of the family did not like the cream cheese at all. I think you could leave that out, no problem. Any fruit you have on hand would work in this recipe as well. If you made this with unpitted cherries it really would be an easy, peasy clafouti.

Yummy with whipped cream or ice cream. We ate it for breakfast too, couldn't resist!

Until next time,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Design Wall Monday/ Leaves Table Runner

Finished this table runner as a gift for my friend Diane. The colors and theme were chosen to co-ordinate with her dinning room and I love the way it came out. The embroidery designs are from Hoop Sisters.

Leaves created with thread.

I love this one so much I want to make one for myself. Add another project to the finish list and another to the 'to do' list. sigh...

Linking to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday and Quilting by the River for Linky Tuesday. Have a wonderful creative week.

Until next time

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wedding Quilt

While at Josh and Megan's house in San Diego we slept under the wedding quilt I made for them in 2001. It made sleeping on the floor just a little bit easier. 

It's a queen size quilt and the border looks like a twisted ribbon if we could have held it up to show you.

I used my embroidery machine to monogram their initials in the center and each star is made from different blue shades. These blue fabrics show up again in the coin quilt I made this year and blogged about here. I think they're pretty much gone now.

I printed the label using my computer and a graphics program. The backing is a nod to Megan's year spent studying and working in Japan.

Linking to

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tourist Time

Visiting family is always fun and we love to help out when we are at the kids house's, we always bring work clothes. But we also planned some down time for just the two of us on the way back home. In his youth Chris attended school in Santa Barbara and has a soft spot for that beautiful place so that's where we headed after when we left San Diego. In six weeks or so we'll be back after all for the big first meet and greet with baby girl (can hardly wait)!

We treated ourselves to a fancy hotel room at the Santa Barbara Inn with an ocean view for two nights, it was a retirement celebration after all.

The view from our hotel balcony! This was one of the nicest places we have ever stayed and well worth the splurge. It was about a one mile walk along the ocean to the wharf for a wonderful seafood dinner at the Fish House. Divine.

Perfect weather, perfect views. The next day we visited the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens for some gardening inspiration. 


And of course we couldn't miss the Santa Barbara Mission, the jewel of the missions. Although since I grew up virtually next door to and attended San Gabriel Mission for most of my life I beg to differ.

Our interlude is over and we're back to Shadow and the chickens who have grown so much while we were gone. One of my hens turned into a rooster while I was away! Lots to do here and I'm itching to get started on a new quilt project.

Until next time.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Design Wall Monday/BOM

Taking a break from the travelogue to post a Design Wall Monday. Haven't put anything up on Monday in a couple of weeks and wanted to let you know that I really am on track with my Memories of Provence Block of the Month. Really, I am!

In fact I got this one done way ahead of time because I knew I was going to be gone for so long in May. I used my new flying geese ruler that I told you about here and it worked great.

Don't look too closely I may be having a wee bit of trouble with my seam allowance but a man on horse back can't tell the difference and by gum that motif is centered!

Check out Patchwork Times for more DWM and Quilting by the River on Tuesday for added inspiration. To see all my other Memories of Provence blocks check out the labels on the right hand sidebar.

Until next time,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Babies & Bees

After the Birthday Princess Party in Los Angeles we moved on to San Diego and more baby festivities this time in the form of finishing up on the new nursery for grand baby number six and attending a wonderful shower given by her ( yes it's a GIRL! ) many Aunties. 

Beautiful mother-to-be!
While we were visiting we assisted in the removal of a bee colony which had decided that our son's back yard steps was the perfect place take up residence. By assisted I mean we let Serge the bee man into the back yard and I took pictures! (Someone had to do it and the kids were at work.)

This is Serge, he's from Kazakhstan.
Suited up and ready for business.
The bees!
No bees were harmed, all were safely removed to a new and happier home.
The sweetness at the bottom of the hive!
Josh and Megan prepare a quiet Sunday breakfast. Pancakes with homegrown honey.

Until next time,