Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tomato Jam

Finally, ripe tomatoes from the garden, hooray!

So, I decided to make a small batch of tomato jam, a very small batch.

I adapted a recipe from The New York Times

Tomato Jam
1 1/2 pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1 jalapeƱo or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste.

1 Tbs. Red wine vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients except vinegar in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.

2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes, add vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.

Yield: About 1 pint.

Use in place of ketchup on burgers, fantastic on breakfast sandwiches with eggs and caramelized onions!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Fine Mess

Because there is so much "No."

So many "Don'ts"

A lot of "Stop!"

A bunch of "Wait!"

And many a refrain of "No! Don't! Stop! Wait!"


Just sometimes...

A great big "Yes! Go For It!"

is truly the finest thing ever!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Still Kicking

Well, a little unintentional blog break kinda sneaked up on me. Life is all a busy blur at the moment. You know how it goes, everything seems to be happening at once. Every time I sit down at my desk some sort of urgent business needs my attention. There is a hungry child loudly moaning that starvation is about to end her, a Mr. with a button that needs sewing right this minute, a zombie fish that needs examination, a chicken in the bathtub...all the routine regular family maintenance issues.

For example, just as I finished that last sentence, a loud thud was heard followed by "Maaammaa!" Upon investigation, I discovered 3 pounds of watermelon guts covering the kitchen floor. So yeah...

I'm also having a hard time reconciling that Summer is coming to an end, it's a bit of a shock really. Apparently I do not need to throw my clock out of the window to see time fly. I am finding myself daydreaming about a trip like Kate's family adventure.

Well, I'm off to corral some runaway chooks, I can't make any promises but I will try to keep on keepin' on!

Apologies to the 2 artists who created the pieces pictured here, they are unsigned and I have forgotten your names.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The minutiae of now

My new lip balm tastes of Creamcicles, every time I apply it, I am pleasantly surprised.

Sparky the seal is my new constant companion. He is quiet and attentive and he seems to like my singing. The perfect friend. Made by the beautiful Jess of Teddy Bear's Wednesday, isn't he gorgeous.

Hot iron to lace doilies, what patience it must have took to make these delicate things.

Attempting the perfect marriage of vintage fabrics. Changing my mind, then changing it back.

Crossing supplies off the list, sharpening pencils, school is starting soon and we'll have a 1st grader in the house!

What small details are you attending to?

Friday, August 12, 2011

In Other News

So it turns out that I am in the latest issue of Mollie Makes! Funny, I had to find out from a friend in London. My crochet flower frames tutorial is in there, hooray! I'm not sure when this comes out in the US. I think we are a month behind the UK on distribution. All of Mollie's covers are so gorgeous and inviting.

In other news, I am working feverishly on a deadline. My festival weekend has left me a bit behind and so it may be a bit quiet 'round here until next week. I have so much I've been wanting to share, so many comments I have wanted to leave but, I must soldier on. I promise good things when I am back on track.

Have a gorgeous weekend all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It takes a day or so to re-enter the real world after 4 days of festival going. Cut off from the regular routines and the daily news; it is an environment removed though only 25 minutes from our home. Another great year with friends and much music.

Traversing 80 acres, 5 stages, 87 visits to see Lucky the horse, 4 hula hooping adventures (just to see if I still could), 6 time-outs in the beer garden, and 1 hour of trying not to panic when Pony Girl disappeared into the woods quick as a jack rabbit - search parties (friends) were sent out in all directions all of us saying, "Surely she hasn't gone that far," only to have her turn up at the exact location she had vanished from cool as a cucumber saying, "I just went for a walk."

We dubbed our camp "Li'l Holler" - a cozy compound where respite and comfort could be found along with amazing meals and and great company. Saturday night I laughed so hard for so long, I'm still sore.

Pony Girl fell in love with a little red haired boy camping across from us. Those wiley gingers are a charming lot, I know.

I also discovered, much to my dismay, that my old camera was giving up the ghost while we were there. So, I didn't manage all the photos I would have liked to take. There really is so much visual inspiration at Pickathon.

This year's event was by far the most sustainable festival I have ever been to. I could wax on about it but, you should let the people of Pickathon tell you all about it HERE! Truly remarkable.

As for the much. It all seems a bit of a blur, I caught much of it on the run, chasing after kidlets, on my way here and there, and I enjoyed it all. For a preview of many of the bands, here is a little playlist if you are so inclined.

All in all, another awesome family festival experience!

Now it's back to the real world.

Upon our return, we heard some of the news we had missed while away. I am wishing all of my friends in London and surrounding areas safety, you are in our thoughts.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's that time again!

We are just about to head out to the 2011 Pickathon music festival! Lots to do, much preparation, the weather is looking good and I can't wait.
You can click here to see past Pickathon pics if you like.
It is a long standing family tradition for us, shared by some really wonderful friends and a whole lot of amazing music. I'm off to pack and cross things off of my list.

Have a wonderful weekend all. See you on the flip side!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I got nothin'

In the throws of a bout of insomnia, whilst looking at the red glowy (mocking) numbers on my ancient Westclox digital for the umpteenth time, I started writing a new blog post titled, "Old and In the way." In which I discussed a certain doe-eyed shop girl with a bad attitude, a tragic cliche about becoming matronly, the perils of elastic waist trousers, and the fact that The Beastie Boys are now being played on the OLDIES station!

As I was rambling tangential, it occurred to me that my lack of sleep was making me sound at least 'a half a bubble off plumb,' so I thought it best to stop with the crazy and think of something else to write about.

So I thought...
...and thought...
Until I woke up in a panic at 7 am.

Now it's the next day, time has gotten away from me, and there's still a little bit of crazy lurking in the shadows under my eyes. I've left Pony Girl to devour an entire watermelon on her own while I attempt to get some work done and I realize I got nothin' in the way of a post.

I'll just leave you with a little "thanks for coming" new friends and old, and apologies for not getting 'round much these days by way of emails and comments. You are all so ace, really! I am wishing you all a week of good sleeps and happy dreams!