So stop in at Yarmouth Natural on Monday and pick up a treat for yourself!
The in-laws were here for a few days, and we had a great visit, including a Mille Bornes tournament of sorts. We got the game at Adam's grandmother's farmhouse several years ago, and I think it was made around 1971. There are still old score cards in it, which I love. Check out some of the cards:
I think the mechanic is kind of cute, but the flat tire card is my favourite.
And I'm in the process of sorting out the CSA thing with a local farm! They're accepting new subscriptions, even though it's part-way through the season, and I'm super excited. If you're in the area and interested, call Gilberte at 837-4181. Yipee! Happy Tuesday.
My in-laws are here for a few days, and my father-in-law has a thing for cherry pie. So I took it upon myself to make one for the very first time, and might I just say that it is perfect?
Did you know that you can use a complimentary pen to pit cherries? Works like a charm, if you don't have a cherry pitter. Using the non-writing end, of course. Or you can have a peek here and see some other ingenious tricks, like using a pastry bag tip or nail and board combo. There's a use for your empty beer bottles there, too.
The dough recipe I use is here. I used the stand mixer today, and the crust came out a bit better than it does when I blend with a pastry blender. For the filling, I used a pile of cherries, about 5 cups, pitted and halved, 3 tbsp cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar. Tuck a couple of pats of butter under the crust before baking, bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until really, gorgeously golden. Easy as pie! (I couldn't resist.)
Lastly, I felt like farmer Sherrie today in my bare feet, rolled-up jeans and red shirt. Especially when I was picking peas and beans in the garden. I couldn't have been more content.
1/3 cup buttermilk (milk with 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar added)
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced
The original recipe is here, as part of a BLT salad. Yum!
Thomas rolled over onto his belly for the first time tonight! And I was the only (very proud) witness. I have what feels like a zillion things lined up to post about, but this one will be short and sweet. And it will make your life 67% more pleasant. It's kind of along the same lines as rolling...
If you buy natural peanut butter, you know that there's always a pile of oil on top, and really dry peanutty butter at the bottom. And mixing them can be a pain. My mother-in-law gave me a tip that works like a charm - take your unopened new jar, and turn it upside down at room temperature for a day or so when you bring it home. The oil will reach for the top (well, bottom), self-mixing in the process. Kind of like magic.
And the placemat in the background...
I uploaded the pics and then noticed the green theme.
Wool puddle pad: Since Phillip has been getting through the vast majority of nights dry, I wanted to change his mattress protectors to a less intense assortment. When I took them off, I had three. And they were made of some sketchy materials. I wanted some kind of protection in case of an accident, so I was thinking about buying a wool puddle pad. And then clued in that I could easily make one with a wool blanket. I headed to three Frenchy's with no luck, and then remembered the one from my childhood bed. I dug it out of a closet at my parents' place, literally cut it in two, and now it is two puddle pads for his bed. Easy peasy.
Our house: Isn't it cute? Particularly the matching pink flowers. That's all.
Pasta: This is one of the most delicious pasta dishes I've ever had, and one of the easiest. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, and it only takes a minute to put together. Definitely worth trying tonight!
P.S. Try not to tear up.
How cute are these little squash curlicues? I'm so excited for some squash soup this fall. And speaking of cute, Phillip came to the door to show me something very special yesterday.
"I'm tickling his eyes, Mama. He likes that." (I assured him that the snail most likely did not like having his eyes tickled.)
And tonight, at P's request, we had a picnic. I made Everyday Food's Barbecued Chicken, and it looked exactly like their picture! (Maybe because I followed the recipe.) Better yet, it tasted incredible.
P, like every other kid on the planet, likes to dip. Here's the sauce recipe:
Everyday Food's Barbecue Sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
Seriously, this is the perfect sauce - not too sweet, not too vinegar-y - it's perfect. (And if you're worried about the hot sauce, you don't even taste the heat in the final sauce. But I wouldn't leave it out, unless I didn't have any on hand.) I piled it on as the chicken was cooking, and it's so delicious to dip pieces of chicken in. It would be fantastic with homemade chicken fingers, too.
Enjoy a picnic!
And those are the stairs. I love them bare, but the centre of each tread is completely bare, while there are edges to several layers of paint surrounding the bare part. Just in case it's lead paint (which I'm sure that some of it is) we're looking for something to cover it up. Ideally, I would like a plain sisal or jute runner, but I can't seem to find one anywhere around here. I'll keep looking, and enjoying the bare spots in the meantime. Every time I'm on my way up or down, I can't help but think of all of the people who have gone up and down these stairs before.
This is the competition for my mother-in-law's brown bread recipe. This one is from talented photographer Clifton Saulnier, a friend of ours, who brought it over when he and his sweet family came over for a meal a few weeks ago. He was gracious enough to share the recipe. He bakes his right in the bread machine, on the sweet bread setting. I chose to do the dough in the machine, let it rise in a regular pan (it fits so much better in the toaster), and bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes. It's heavenly with my favourite food - butter.
This loaf is a little bit sweeter and more moist than my mother-in-law's brown bread recipe, so choose what you will depending on your preference. Why I've been turning the oven on in this insane heat, I don't know. I had the crockpot on today and we had a delicious bean stew kind of thing. You would think that it's February. Enjoy!
Clifton's Brown Bread
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup boiling water mix w/ oatmeal and let cool
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast
The stars are aligning perfectly today. By 8:30 we had bread on the go, supper in the crockpot, a clean kitchen, happy boys, a load of laundry done, all adults showered, house generally tidy. And Thomas slept through the night - until after 6! (Yes, I think the two are connected.)
Happy, happy Thursday!
At the very top of my list of favourite blogs is habit. For the month of July, they've set up a flickr pool, which I am having an amazing time looking through. Seriously, if you need to relax a bit with a cup of tea (or a freezie or two, depending on if you're as warm as we are) it's your place to hang out. I've also posted a few pictures, and since it's so much fun, I think there will be more to come.
Incidentally, I'm posting this directly from flickr, which is a new way to post for me (and I'm working on figuring out the best image size). Happy Wednesday!
I'm one of those people who had a bread machine and uses it. If you have one, this recipe is definitely worth trying. My mother-in-law came up with it, and it really is almost as good as hand kneaded and all that. I tried my first batch the other night, but in a funny miscommunication between Adam and I, it was in a warm-but-not-on oven for a long time and ended up a gloopy mess. (That day was a trying day, too. This is not the norm in this house!) Today's attempt (pictured) turned out much better.
1 1/4 cups water
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cups old fashioned oats
generous 3 cups flour
2 tbsp skim milk powder
scant 2 tsp yeast
Place ingredients in bread machine on 'dough' setting. Empty dough into loaf pan and let rise until it's pleasantly plump. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes; it's done when it sound hollow when tapped. Slather it up with a blop of butter, and enjoy!
I've been trying to read a bit more lately, instead of getting swept up (har har!) in chores in the evenings. I'm well into The 100-Mile Diet, which is a good, quick, informative read. It kind of feels as though I've read it already, since I've read No Impact Man, Animal Vegetable, Miracle, The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and probably a bunch of other books along the same lines. What can I say? Food is so very, very important, and I just can't read enough about it.
I'm also reading She's Come Undone - a really heavy, dark read with a main character so compelling that I can't help but keep on, and so well written that I don't even notice that I'm reading. I love it when that happens.
Also piled up are a couple of Adria Vasal's books - Ecoholic (I think this is the third time I've borrowed it from the library) and the new-ish Ecoholic Home, which is also great. What I really, really appreciate about these books is that they're Canadian. If I remember correctly, I saw her on the now-defunct Gill Deacon Show right around the time that Phillip was born. She's quite stunning. And Ecoholic Body is going to be coming out next. You can participate by doing a survey of natural products you've tried. Yay!
As usual, I don't have a specific recipe. I just blended some watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, a wee bit of maple syrup and a glop of plain yogourt together in the blender and poured it into molds. Yum!