Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lunchtime

Oh goodness me oh my. First, before I forget – and yes, I know this blog is all about chickens lately, but surely that won’t last forever – I recently spent some time bugging some other chicken bloggers about what they feed their girls because I was really unhappy with the long and unpronounceable list of ingredients on our bag of chicken feed from the feed store. Turns out that a lot of folks have this same problem but no easy answers surfaced, so next I did a bunch of research about what making my own chicken feed would entail. The best thing I read on this can be found here, and as you can see feeding chickens, at least according to this guy, requires some ingredients that might not immediately spring to mind. And some of them require grinding. And some of them you would probably have to mail order. And, and, and… But to make a long story, er, not quite as long, I ended up on the phone with a local guy who keeps 300 organic chickens, and he bulk buys ready to go organic feed. Jackpot! Yes, it’s more expensive than the other feed, but honestly the other feed was eerily cheap. The girls are foraging and we keep them in a steady supply of greens and scraps and such, so hopefully this will make the feed stretch some. Compared to grinding my own feed and ordering micronutrients, I am happy to go this route. So all to say: if anyone else out there is looking for ways to feed your chickens organically, talk to the people who do so on a big scale. My guy brings it to the farmer’s market and I pick up there.

In other really exciting news, we have been experiencing some serious lunch fatigue around here. Meeting B. had a major impact on my eating of the first two meals of the day. My entire adult life I have been terrible about eating breakfast and lunch. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at the clock and realized that it’s 3:30 and I have eaten nothing but a handful of rice cakes or something. True story. I would like to think that this means I will be very uncomplaining if food ever grows scarce, but I know better. Anyway. Now I eat breakfast every morning and I almost always have a packed lunch. Unless it’s leftovers from dinner, lunch is probably a sandwich made by B. How awesome is that? Anyway, we are really tired of the sandwiches we used to be really excited about. Think here of variations of turkey and ham with avocados and fresh garden greens and exciting cheese. Don’t forget the fresh ground pepper. I mean, our sandwiches are awesome. We’re just sick of them. So this weekend, I did the unthinkable: I made hummus.

Other than a slight hippie association (sorry hippies!) I mostly avoid it because I’ve just had so much bad hummus in my life at so many potlucks and picnics and whatever that I don’t touch the stuff unless I am in a Mediterranean restaurant. You know it tastes different there. All creamy and fluffy and shimmering with its glug of olive oil on top. Not at all like the deli case paste. But sandwich fatigue combined with the delivery of the new Cook’s Illustrated issue in the mailbox featuring, you guessed it: hummus, was enough to make me give it a try. Plus, I have been itching to use my pressure cooker that my mother gave me years ago (both because dried beans are cheaper and because of this article). It’s vintage and beautiful and I have kind of lived in terror of it, what with certain people in my family blowing chickens through the ceiling and such. Ahem. Anyway, my Granny and my mom talked me through it and it went swimmingly. My beans were beautifully cooked through, it took less than an hour (not including soaking time), and the gentle hissing noise of the pressure cooker was a lovely nostalgic trip for me, as my mum used hers constantly when I was growing up. And the ceiling is fine. Anyhoo, whether you bust out the can opener or brave your version of cooking dried beans, I am here to tell you that this hummus recipe is amazing. It’s all about the texture; I think you could fine tune the ingredients in whatever direction you want to and it would still rock. The secret is in the emulsification action, according to the Cook’s Illustrated geeks.


Hummus Wrap with three kinds of lettuces, strips of fresh peas, red pepper, and avocado.

Super Fluffy Creamy Hummus
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water (cooking water if you’ve used cooked dried beans)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dried chickpeas, cooked however you do it (or 1 14oz can, rinsed and drained)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin or to taste
cayenne to taste

Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl.

Whisk together tahini and olive oil.

Put drained chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne in the food processor and pulse until blended.

Scrape down sides, and slowly, slowly pout in the lemon juice and water mixture while the processor is running; just like a drizzle.

Scrape down sides, then repeat with the tahini and oil, drizzle, drizzle.

Season to taste. If you can help yourself, it really does taste better after sitting for at least a half an hour. I also think it’s way better at room temperature. Note that my version has less tahini and more garlic than the CI version. Tinker as you will!

Hey, and what do you eat for lunch? Something sandwich-y is good for us, because B. can’t heat things up where he is. Other spready things would be very exciting, lay ‘em on me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just Seven Chickens


So busy, so beautiful here. You can see from the photo above that even B. couldn’t bear to prune every single blueberry blossom off of our bushes. Last weekend we had our first Sunday breakfast without Mount Mitchell blueberries since we picked like crazy in September.

Can you believe that I had to work yesterday? Sniff. But not until the afternoon, so we knocked out some garden tasks, including stuff to climb on for our lovely Painted Lady Runner Beans (round two, as regular readers already know) and frames for blanching our leeks, shown below. I now know firsthand why leeks often have so much dirt in between the layers; a freak of nature could probably keep this from happening with extremely careful packing of the soil, but I didn’t even have the patience to be careful with just my 75 leeks. We will keep adding several inches of soil every few weeks.


In very, very sad news, we lost a chicken this weekend. And I don’t mean that she wandered off. One of our Barred Plymouth Rocks was beheaded by a neighbor’s cat, right through the side of the coop. I couldn’t believe it and after I was really sad I was really, really mad. Mad at myself for not seeing the flaw in the coop design and mad at myself for underestimating the cats (there are two suspects right now), and mad at myself for not taking better care of our girls. As I understand it this is not something we will have to worry about once they are bigger, but clearly it’s an issue until then. So we framed in the bottom sides of the coop and B. fabricated another layer of chicken wire around the bottom so that the cat (hopefully) can’t reach through and the chickens can’t poke their beaks out in search of new greens and bugs. Which is almost certainly what she was doing – she was one of the girls I talked about here being so crazy for bugs. We had two of them, named Gonzo and Camilla and they were both the most amazing bug hunters (they were also virtually indistinguishable from one another so we usually called them the Muppets). They were also the two loners of the pack, kind of keeping to themselves a lot but usually as a duo. I was worried about Gonzo getting picked on now that she lost her partner in crime, but actually she seems to have inserted herself into the middle of the pecking order (the two Rhode Island Reds are so dopey, they just get pushed around by everyone). Anyway. We buried Camilla under the lilac bush and I remembered that having an animal family isn’t always heartbreakingly cute and funny but also just heartbreaking.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Moving Day

It’s Wednesday already. How did that happen? Yeesh.

Much excitement around here lately. First: the girls moved into their coop. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to say goodbye to the box in the basement. I hope we haven’t jumped the gun: no one out there seems to agree on when to put chicks outside. We opted for the younger end though as it was just too hard to have spring going on outside while our kids were stuck in the basement, you know? They seem pretty happy out there (although we discovered that they were kind of afraid of the dark on their first night, since they’ve always had a heat lamp on the dark is a new thing – we thought at first that they were cold, but nope, just afraid of the boogeyman, hilarious), and much like when they first arrived in the basement we are eating our meals out there and giggling over their antics. Right now we are only letting them in the top part of the coop, so they get their bearings. After the cold snap tonight, we’ll let them in the bottom part, and then after they get a little bigger we’ll put up our nylon fencing that we got and they’ll have a huge hunk of the backyard to roam in! We added some old windows to the front of the coop so that it would be less drafty. Someday soon we are going to paint the coop. Yellow? With green windows? Yeah.


Although I love all of the chicks, I have to say that there is a very clear snuggler in the group, and that is the Buff Orpington, who we named Reepicheep. She is such a chicken babe, and comes right up to us when we are around. She also seems to be making a play to be the Boss Chicken, but she’s got some stiff competition from both of the Silver Laced Wyandottes, which we named Big Dot and Little Dot. Now that they are not under a red light bulb they are way more photogenic, and there will be proper introductions shortly.


In other additions to the family: rain barrels!! We picked these lovely barrels up for $15 a pop, thanks to a tip from some friends. Prefab rain barrels of this size sell for about $100 here, which I find to be very irksome. Collecting rainwater should be easy peasy. Anyway, it’s true that now we have to poke some holes and fashion some spigots (Patrick! Do I get to use pipe tape????) but we feel pretty can-do about the whole thing. A roof our size should kick down about 600 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall. How crazy is that?


Lastly, does everyone have a stock bag in their freezer? Is this a silly thing to post here? Too bad. So – I am really into making stocks. I didn’t used to be; I found the whole process to be really messy and greasy and since I didn’t really know how to make stock I would just boil the carcass or bones or whatever with water and maybe an onion if I was feeling ambitious and end up with stock that did not have anything special going on. Anyway, I can’t remember where I read about making stock. Maybe the Zuni cookbook? A Cook’s Illustrated? I don’t think either of those is right. But anyway, find a good cookbook that talks about roasting and caramelizing your meats and veggies and you will be on the right track. A lot of folks tell you to put things in the oven and give ‘em a roast, and I have to say that I do not do that because it kind of seems like a waste of energy, although I am sure it does make great stock. I just throw everything into the pot and brown it that way. No liquid yet, just stuff (more on stuff in a minute). Brown it all to the bottom (don’t be scared!), and once you have a fair amount of stuff caramelized, pour in a tiny little bit of water (or wine is even better) and use it to wash everything off of the bottom of the pan. Repeat for as long as you have the patience. All that browning and slight burning does something to the proteins in the meat and bones and veggies such that you get that complex rich stock flavor rather than the watery stuff you get when you just boil bones. Anyway, on stuff: ideally you will have onion scraps, carrot scraps, leek scraps, and celery stuffs. Who the heck has all of this on hand when you randomly have a chicken for dinner? Not me. So, we keep a big plastic bag in the freezer and whenever we have scraps of this type, we throw them in there. Oh, also the rinds of cheeses like parmesan – throw those in too (this is also a great way to give veggie broth an added richness). A bay leaf if you have it, some pepper, etc. You can cook it as long as you have patience for, but ideally at least a few hours. Once it’s cooled on the stove I freeze it in old yogurt containers; don't be putting in something while it's piping hot. Anyway. That is my deal about the stock bag. Just say no to those damn boxes of weak stock from the grocery store.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spring Eats


My that lettuce looks tasty, no? We picked our first huge salad of the year on Thursday; everything is so tender and sweet right now. We also picked our entire baby bok choy crop last night for a huge veggie dinner, here's most of the harvest:


I have to say, I am into the veggies that holler: "Eat me right now 'cause I'm about to bolt and taste nasty!" It's true that sometimes I get a little hordy in the garden; picking things lightly so as to keep them around, not wanting to pull the beets up because I love their greens so, etc. But bok choy does not wait around, those gals were throwing up flower spikes in no time. So we ate them up and I planted a new kind of slow bolt lettuce in its spot. Next year I will definitely plant more bok choy, because it cooks waaaaaay down so you need a lot, and it gives up its spot in the garden in no time.

I am still so into feeding the chicks garden leftovers; they had their own little bok choy feast last night. They are growing, growing, growing. Soon they move out to the coop, which will be way more fun for everyone, as I think they are tired of The Box. We are taking them on adventures outside:




Thanks for all the bread advice out there. I will definitely try a bread with a normal rise time so that I can use my oven for a little heat. Stay tuned.

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend out there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We Might Need to Knead


Borage Plants and Summer Sandals

So we get this gardening magazine now that has this section that tells you about national food days, and thus I am oddly informed with the infobit that today is National Apple Pie Day. I can also tell you that April 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day and that December 6th is National Gazpacho Day. Can I just interject a WFT here? I am all for food celebration, but what is with the totally out of season themes? Who the hell wants to have anything to do with a bunch of chilled tomatoes in the middle of December?

Anyway.

It has been windy here. Like hang on to your purse kind of windy. The poor peas, newly trellised by B. this weekend, could barely keep their grip on the lowest rung, and the garden is fairly well windswept at this point, after almost four days of being blown to bits. When we picked up the chicks and took them for an outdoor adventure, they would squint their tiny little eyes, ruffle their feathers, and hunker down – chickens, like myself, are no lovers of the gust, the gale, the squall. Speaking of chickens, here is one who scrambled its way up to B’s shoulder. Appallingly cute I tell you. She even gave him a few nips and nuzzles behind the ear.


In leftover weekend excitement: I tried baking bread again. The first time was such a total disaster that I didn’t even mention it. As it turns out, I didn’t have the right kind of yeast. Actually, yeast aside, the truth is that so far I suck at baking bread. Like many, I thought the idea of a no-knead bread sounded pretty fabulous, so both my first disaster this winter and the loaf below are versions of that idea. For those of you new to this, part of the way this bread works is that you let it rise for an eternity, like 18 hours if you’ve got it. But damn, our house inevitably gets pretty chilly in any 18-hour cycle, and those yeastie beasties want some heat (or at least something more inviting than a 60 degree kitchen) to do their thing. So this last loaf was just tasty enough to keep me trying. Really, the flavor on this loaf is great, but it’s too dense. So I am going to try a regular bread recipe with a less than eternal rise time and see what happens. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Tacos


Cucumber Sprouts

Monday Monday. My Friday frettiness was totally banished by a fantastic weekend of relaxation, puttering, and around town adventuring. B. is between exams right now, and we intentionally didn’t make a single commitment except for one date to play tunes with one of our favorite guitar players, and goodness, I feel right as rain. We finally made it to the Arboretum, and although we missed most of the flowering trees, we were right on time for the Native Azalea garden. Native Azaleas bear but a small resemblance to the front yard version you usually see; the color spectrum is incredible – none of this tacky bright fuchsia baloney (we are the grumpy owners of a gargantuan one just this color, right next to some enormous crepe myrtles that are also bright pink, gak), but rather delicate peaches and dusty pinks, and my, they have the longest stamens and their shape is much more like a very spare tree, airy and fragile. Lovely.


Native Azalea

In other exciting news, I have to report that the leek starts I planted have just gone bananas. When you get these, they look like the tiniest little green onion slip – about four inches long and skinnier than a pencil. You can plant them in various ways, but I used a chopstick and poked a four-inch hole in the ground and popped them in so that just the tiniest bit was poking out of the ground. Within two days I had to ask B. if I was seeing things, because they were growing so fast. Now the idea is to continue to mound soil up around the growing green parts so as to end up with a longer white part of the leek. I need to figure out how to do this without making a big mud pile in the middle of the garden. Perhaps by wedging some 12 x 1 boards into the sides? Like a raised bed in the middle of our slightly raised beds? Hmm. Anyway, the seed started leeks are on a much slower program, but are definitely puttering along.


So yeah, we played a lot of music and hung out with the chickens and generally put ourselves back together. We called our Mums and our Grans and ate fabulous food. Here was my favorite thing we ate this weekend, our third taco variation since I posted our last taco fun, due to the fact that around here you have to buy a package of 50 tortillas and I’ll be damned if we don’t eat all of them:

Fish Tacos with Cabbage and White Stuff

For the Fish:
White fish
1 cup flour
1 cup beer
Pinch of salt
High heat frying oil

Heat oil up to the temperature where a drop of water bounces off the surface. If it’s smoking, it’s too hot. Cut the white fish into pieces, we like them about one inch by two or three inches. Whisk together beer, flour, and salt, dredge fish in batter. Fry ‘em up, being careful to not put all your fish in at once; this cools the oil down and you will have soggy oily fish bits. After your first round, make sure you like how much batter is sticking to the fish – if it’s too much, thin batter down, if it’s not enough, add more flour. This is enough batter for two generous cuts of fish (circa a pound), but for two people a half-pound of fish will be plenty, so you could halve the batter part too.

For the Cabbage:
Thinly sliced green and/or red cabbage
One tiny red onion, red cipollini if you can find it, also sliced paper thin
Olive oil
Vinegar (ume vinegar if you can find it)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne

For the White Stuff (ok, I think the world calls this Baja Sauce, but I hate that name…)
½ cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon milk
½ cup of chopped cilantro, and any other green things, like kale thinnings or other random early garden flotsam
1 finely diced jalapeno (you can put some of this in the cabbage too)
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)

The sauce is all about throwing everything in together and then tasting it and adjusting. You should also have an avocado to throw on top of your tacos if you can, and when tomatoes come on, those too. I have to confess that I am not the fry cook in the family. I don’t know what it is, I really hate frying things. I think it’s the flying oil bits and dealing with the leftover oil. Fortunately, B. is the Guy Who Fries Things around here.

Anyhoo, I hope everyone else had a great weekend…

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Fret


Red Veined Sorrel

Oh man. Lately I have been really grumpy about having to go to work. I am sooooooo tired of looking at a computer. Seriously. I just want to be outside making a mess in the dirt or eating ice cream on the porch or playing tunes as it grows dark. Fortunately, we are taking three weeks off to get married, and hello, that is gonna be soon. Don’t anybody freak out now.

In the meantime. The garden is 100% planted. I am actually kind of sad about it. Now I’m just supposed to water and weed and look for bad bugs. And eat! We have some lettuce aphids already, but we had those last year and they didn’t really do any damage. Am I being a dork if I don’t take them seriously? We need some ladybugs or whatever, but no one sells them locally and that seems like one of those lame things to have sent across the country. Our garden stores here are so lousy, I can never find any of the organic stuff I read about. Oh well. B. is going to build me another bed which I will let myself plant with a ton of flowers and soon all the good insects will party at my house all summer long.


Silver Thyme

Anyway, after going on and on about how we were not going to grow any tomatoes, we did anyway. Tomatoes are a lot of work around here, because we get blight and we get it bad. Plus I find the whole process of wrangling them off the ground to be very taxing. I am very interested in this whole growing of tomatoes upside down in buckets or growing them around a rope or whatever, but so far building those kinds of contraptions has not been high on the construction list. (Meaning, B’s list of course. Oh how I love my guy. Just yesterday I came home and he had dug up this enormous privet and multiflora rose stump thingy. I cannot emphasize the huge part enough. The people who built this house were totally privet happy, and we will not rest until they are all eradicated, even if it will take us 900 years. Anyway. So, the stump situation was so big that we had a professional tell us that the best way to get it out was with a big truck and a chain. So every now and then I’d be like “Honey, when is your friend with the big truck and the chain gonna get that stump out?” Because, of course, we planted a baby peach tree practically right next to the stump thinking that we would of course get the stump out before the peach tree grew any roots. Riiiiiight. Anyway, I just came home and the stump was gone. Evidently he was tired of waiting on the big truck too, so he just got out there with a pickaxe and a shovel and went to town. See how exciting my life is? Seriously, this stuff makes me insanely happy and makes me fall 900 times more in love with him when just yesterday I was sure that if I loved him any more I would just not be able to deal.) ANYWAY. We are talking about tomatoes here Heather, get with it. A few weeks ago I read this, which was just so invitingly written that I immediately decided that we were going to plant our tomatoes this way. For those of you who do not have time to read it, she tells you to dig a huge freakin’ hole for your tiny seedlings, and to put all kinds of exciting things in the hole (worm castings, egg shells, aspirin, etc.) so as to know that you are sticking your little tomato baby into one awesomely prepared soil zone. I love this! Plus, if you move your tomatoes around every year like you are supposed to, you will eventually dig and fertilize the hell out of your whole garden. I planted a Black Krim (I love that name), and a Cherokee Purple, and a Rutgers. They just looked the best in the seedling department, I feel no great need to get all freaky on what kinds we grow. Yet.

In other excitement, I ordered seed garlic for the fall from here. Yes, already. I have been reading about garlic growing, and two things kept popping up: order your garlic from a place that just does garlic, and order early because orders are packed in the order they get them so if you order late you get little bulbs, and little mama bulbs tend to make little baby bulbs, etc. I ordered this variety pack, because I was so excited about all the kinds that I just couldn’t handle making a decision. They sent me a sweet little email from a real human and I will let you know how our garlic turns out. I absolutely love that you really don’t ever need to buy seed garlic after you have done it once (providing that you have an ok crop and can keep yourself from eating it all). Letting all your other plants go to seed in order to not have to buy seeds again is not really practical for a four-season gardener. Oh well, buying seeds is crazy fun.


Some Red Russian Kale thinnings and some Baby Bok Choy for dinner. Man, Baby Bok Choy is what you should grow if you are an impatient gardener. The seeds beat even the arugula in the germination department, and they are begging to be eaten right now (spring crops of this tend to bolt, you can get more time out of them in the fall).

Anyhoo. I hope everyone is just great out there.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend Tacos

Monday Monday Monday! What fun weekend around here, and the weather just could not be beat. The dance performance was fun, despite some truly embarrassing choreography, and the gig was full of incredibly gracious old geezers in suits who practically ate us up with a spoon. Plus, then I got to go spend all my gig money on plants and not feel one bit guilty. I didn’t have time to take pictures, but I will – I am especially excited about some Red Veined Sorrel and an enormous Silver Thyme plant. The garden is a happy place right now, save my total basil failure. Is basil hard to direct seed? Does everyone know this but me? I think I planted them too early maybe, it’s still under 50 here at night. Fortunately I found some tiny little starts at the plant sale (I hate planting huge starts, they are almost always stretchy or floppy or something) so we can still have insane amounts of pesto this summer. Lessee, the cucumbers just popped up, and they are a lovely pale green. Cukes are new for me, and I only got interested in growing them after someone gave me a homegrown cucumber last year and I was stunned into silence upon realizing that I had not eaten a decent cucumber in decades. Seriously, wow. I had planned to do some pickling cucumbers, but I think we might be out of room…

Ok, so this blog is supposed to be about cooking and eating too, but lately I have been way too overloaded to cook or bake anything that don’t know how to make in my sleep. Crazy. But yesterday I made something new and yummy and if you like peppers like we do, you should try it too. Plus, I love roasting peppers on a gas stove, it’s so fun to be allowed to burn things. Sorry about the lack of pictures, I just kind of forgot about my camera this weekend.

Tacos with Corn, Poblano Peppers, and Potatoes
From the New York Times

3 large poblano chilies (I would up this to 4 next time)
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
2 large baking potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed (I used Yukon Golds and did not peel them. Also, I think you should cube them to be fairly small cubes.)
1 cup cooked corn kernels (or fresh, see recipe)
1 cup crema (or crème fraîche or sour cream)

Red or green salsa, more crema or crumbled cotija for garnish.

1. Over a flame, in a broiler, on a grill or in a cast iron skillet on high heat, char skins of chilies until completely black on all sides. Put in a paper or plastic bag to steam for 15 minutes. Remove, then peel away skin; remove seeds and veins and slice into strips 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long (note: the original recipe says that you can rinse the skins off, but I have read that this rinses a lot of the yummy roasted pepper flavor away, so I just peel and have a small bowl of water to dip my fingers in- don’t worry if they still have tiny charred bits still on them, it tastes good, I swear).

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat lard or oil and cook onions, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until translucent and tender (if you are using fresh corn, add it in here). Add chili strips and salt, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, another 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add potatoes and cooked corn if that’s what you are using, and continue cooking for a few minutes, until potatoes are heated through. Check seasonings; stir in crema or sour cream at the last minute or so of cooking. Place in warm tortillas and add condiments as you wish.

Oh man, these were soooo good. We just used plain sour cream, and I love adding it into all the ingredients while it’s still on the heat because then you get the lovely sour cream flavor without cooling down your taco. Also, it is really worth tracking down Cotija cheese for this – you can find it at most Latino grocery stores, and if you don’t see something labeled Cotija, look for something that says Queso Duro (hard cheese), it will be very close. It’s kind of like a very dry salty feta, and it is the perfect topping, along with chopped avocado, for this dish.

The only other thing about this dish is that it is not spicy – next time I would roast a Serrano or Jalapeno along with the Poblanos to give it a little more kick.

Have a great week out there everyone.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Color Week: Blues


Oh golly, I have loved this color week fun. Walking around with a camera and an eye tuned for a particular shade makes the world a little more interesting. Many other lovely photos out there on all the other homes listed with Curious Birdy Leya. Thanks ladyfriend, for the fun.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. B. and I have plans on top of plans, but they include an Ethiopian dinner, this performance, a gig, a concert, and a date with the shovel and the rest of our new garden beds. Sounds pretty sweet to me, not too blue...

The butterfly above was sitting on the trail up on Mount Mitchell when my mum and John and I went blueberry picking last summer.


Golly, we two kids about to get hitched have been the recipients of so many sweet cards and phone calls and gifts. My Gran sent these incredible silver napkin rings to us a few weeks ago. They were given to her when she married my Gramps, but she never got them engraved (they would have had a W and a G on them if she had). So she polished them up and ran around town getting them engraved, one with a lovely H and the other with a lovely B. I never really thought I was a napkin ring girl, but as it turns out I am and since they arrived they are always on the table with a vintage napkin tucked in. Thanks Gran, we think of you so often and love you oodles.


One of the two bowls we have that were made by the amazing Diana Fayt. Peek through her gallery, she will knock your socks off.


My lovely girl in Mexico, probably feeling the exact opposite of blue right then...


Blue blankets, the lighter was my mother's when she was a girl...


Blueberry blossoms that have yet to be blue, next to the ring that started all this getting hitched business. It was B's Gran's...


A blue bowl I made a few months ago.

Be well out there.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Color Week: Red and Pinks


Thursday, friends. Reds and pinks... Above, the lovely Rachel, just before her wedding, practicing how to dance with her sweetie...


Succulent.


I know, a lot of colors, but I like the red in there. I have a tiny sock problem.

Tomorrow, blues. See you then.