Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mountain Biking...

Let me just start by saying we have never been mountain biking, do not own mountain bikes and did not plan on going mountain biking... it just sort of happened.

What a wonderful adventure it was! We went to Cooper's Rock State Park and planned to bike the paved road for about three miles out and back and record the birds we saw, since the fall warbler migration is on. When we were driving in the truck, we kept seeing people on their bikes on the trails in the distance, and thought, "What the heck!"

So off we went on the roadside trail. Surely with a name like that, it can only be but so frightful. We followed the roadside trail for a little way to a pond. Then turned off onto another trail that was leading us down to a place we'd been before - we knew where we were going, no big deal. Two miles of straight downhill rocky path and we arrived at the Henry Clay Iron Furnace. I thought, "Even though we're all downhill and not getting much exercise, at least we are having fun." Whoa, I was wrong.

What we hadn't bargained for is that by going the two miles down hill the one way, we had to come back five miles up hill the other way... and then there was a torrential downpour. To top it all off, the park closed at sundown and we were miles away from the truck when the sky turned dark. So Julian raced ahead to get to the truck and come back and get me.

Its a good thing that it doesn't happen like in the movies - we didn't end up with pneumonia and had to stay and Pemberley for the week.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In the kitchen, deep fried

my male hummer at the kitchen window :: pasta in process :: the pasta maker :: angel hair :: tomatoes from the garden :: wide noodles with shrimp and garlic butter :: swedish rosettes :: plus sugar :: making donuts :: table ornament from the yard

So, I think this was the un-healthiest week on record here in my kitchen. We might has well have gnawed on sticks of butter all week. Thanks to some really productive yardsale-ing, we had a donut batter dropper ($.50), a rosette maker ($1.00) and a pasta maker ($2.00) to try out! What's even more crazy is that they all worked perfectly, once we got the hang of it.

We tried pasta both skinny and wide. When in doubt, add more flour. We ended up with a few trial noodles that didn't pass inspection and we didn't know what to do with them... so we deep fried them, too.

The donut recipe is here. I used both the orange and the old-fashioned. We agreed that the texture of the orange was perfect, but the flavor of the old-fashioned was best, so if you make them, use the orange recipe, add the old-fashioned spices, and sub out milk for the OJ.

For the record, that is the first time I've even come close to getting a hummingbird in a picture this summer. AND I abuse that dahlia every year by tossing it in the garage through winter and only bringing it out when it is fighting for life, and still it rewards me with the most perfect blooms year after year.

What's happening in your kitchen??

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

{Yarn Along} in Fabric

One of our local quilt shops is going out of business! Happy retirement to Jenny and happy stash bash for me! I picked up some of the prettiest prints today for $3 a yard. I've got my heart set on making a twin sized quilt with them, likely a periwinkle quilt or an album quilt with a periwinkle component.

In the same vein, I'm taking a break from the knitting needles for a short time so I can get a jump start on my quilting project, my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. The original quilt has 111 6-inch blocks and believe you me, I'm not a long-haul kind of girl. So after staring at the book for over two years, my aunt finally convinced me to pick my favorite twelve blocks and do them at 12 inches. Whew! Good thing there are people out there who are more in touch with creative liberty than me! {Why didn't I think of that before?}

So I've been trying to do one block a day and except for two bad days, I've stayed on that course. One block a day? Yes. Only one. That's because I also decided to stitch them all by hand. I want to piece the blocks, piece the top, quilt and bind it all by hand throughout the winter. I'm half way finished the blocks so by this time next week, I hope to be ready to get something back on the knitting needles. Here they are. (I'm using my instagram photos so some of the colors are not completely true.)

Which is your favorite?

As far as reading is concerned, I've got so many books in the queue that I don't know where to begin. I need to take the car to the shop on Thursday, so undoubtedly a book will go with me, likely Between, Georgia. I'm wrapping up the last little bit of Jayber Crow, and oh my, it is so complex and rich. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.

Joining Ginny and Frontier Dreams - what are you reading and crafting?

*Stay tuned for a fun post tomorrow about what's been going on in my kitchen this past week!*