Sabbath Rest

The table was set before we left for church, as guests were coming for Sunday supper.

"God's Word was written to be read,
to be our life and daily bread,
to guide our thoughts throughout the night,
and lead us forth by morning's light.
So let us read, mark, learn, digest
God's Word which gives us heaven's best."

-from God's Amazing Word
James Montgomery Boice (2000)

Off to the Market

All week long Colette bakes to get ready for the farmers' market.  These beauties are going with us be bought by some fortunate, bread-loving soul.


A good sale at the grocery store today made it possible to buy a quantity of cherries...sweet and tart!

The sweet cherries were washed, pitted, frozen on trays, and then transferred to Ziploc freezer bags.  Future fruit smoothie material!

Every year on George Washington's birthday I want a cherry pie.  But where to get cherries in February?  So, I made the tart cherries into pie filling!  So easy.  Mix 2 1/2 cups sugar with 5 T. cornstarch in a large pot. Add the washed and drained tart cherries (8 cups) and stir well. Let sit for about 30 mins., until juices start forming. Then put on stovetop on medium heat until thickened a bit. Cool. Transfer to a ziploc freezer bag and seal. This will make enough pie filling for one pie.  Scrumptious!  I can't wait until Washington's birthday!

I loved how some of them came in little clusters! They look so poetic like that! Good enough to decorate a hat!

The Week's Menus

I love it when there's something from the garden to eat all the time!

Part of last night's dinner
Thursday - rotisserie chicken, rice, zucchini (from the garden)

Friday - Chard Enchiladas (new recipe; chard from the garden), chips/homemade salsa (from last year's the freezer), salads from the garden

Saturday - scrambled eggs (from a local farm) with garlic-cheese pork sausage (from a local farm), fruit, homemade zucchini bread (zucchini from the garden)

Sunday - (having guests for dinner) - grilled cheeseburgers, fruit salad, vegetable platter with dip, potato chips, homemade waffle cones with assorted ice creams

Monday - pasta with grilled chicken and pesto (from last summer's the freezer), salads from the garden

Tuesday - chicken stir-fry (using leftover vegetables from vegetable platter), rice, fruit

Wednesday - spaghetti, garlic bread, salads from the garden

Magnum Opus

"Templeton vanished into the shadows while Charlotte went back to work. As it grew dark, fireworks appeared in the night sky, as Charlotte worked and worked creating her new HUMBLE web for Wilbur. the next morning, Wilbur saw the new web and a curious object next to Charlotte. It was a sort of sac or cocoon. It was peach-coloured and looked as though it were made of cotton candy.
Wilbur: Are you awake, Charlotte?
Charlotte: Yes.
Wilbur: What's that?.
Charlotte: This is my egg sac, my magnum opus, my great work..."

Although it's certainly not as personal to me as the egg sac was to Charlotte, I have a magnum opus growing in the garden this summer!  Everytime I go out to check on it, the size seems to have increased by a third!  It's magnificient! 

It's a Boston Marrow squash!  I was prompted to grow them, after hearing in a gardening seminar, that most of the canned pumpkin you buy at the grocery stores is actually Boston Marrow squash.  This one is about 15" long and as big around as a large dinner plate!  Here it is in relation to my 2" wide camera lens cap.

it's a beauty!

Sewing Roll

Germs attacked our home.  Summertime germs.  The worst type.  Chicken soup (yes, even in this heat), lots of glasses of water with crushed ice, large doses of period movies, and four days later the germs departed.  The quieter schedule meant plenty of time for soothingly repetitive hand-stitching.

Now the projects are complete, and the first of the reproduction sewing rolls is in the shop.

A decidedly useful item!

The Garden's Growing

It's been hot here, so today I got an early start in the garden.  It was pleasant and shady and not too warm nor to cool.  The bees were buzzing all over the garden...a pleasant, busy hum.  And everything is growing so beautifully!

The Jack-Be-Little pumpkins are clinging to the trellis nicely and are just the color of a pale, harvest moon.

The sugar snap peas are nearly done.  They are so delicious sauteed with a bit of garlic and red pepper flakes and finished off with a teaspoon each of soy sauce and sesame oil.  Mmm.  And Sunday, I removed the peas and stuffed the pods with garden vegetable cream cheese for an appetizer.

I planted five cucumber plants.  One survives.  I'm suspecting porcupines were the culprit.  It seems like I should be upset about that, but they are just so adorable. It's hard to be angry with any creature that cute!   But the one remaining plant has some cucumbers, all about 1-inch long, growing on it.

Onions, glorious onions!

The peppers I started from seed just did not grow this spring...too cool.  So I resorted to buying bell peppers and jalapeno peppers.  I think the bell peppers were mislabled, because they look like this.  Who knows what I have?

The jalapenos are thriving.  Jalapeno jelly, anyone?

This morning's harvest:

Summer Sewing

It's Christmas in July at our house.  I've been focusing on sewing some items for the shop with Christmas in mind.  Here's a sneak peak at the fabrics...sooo delicious!

Have I mentioned how much I love fabric?

Sabbath Rest

"He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young."
- Isaiah 40:11

The Beautiful and the Useful

I passed a very pleasant day at Old Sturbridge Village today.  I hadn't been there for months, so I wandered about to my favorite spots in the village.  Here are my favorite images...with the theme of "household items from past times".

Summer Morning Smoothies

A little yogurt, a little orange juice, some frozen fruit, a fresh banana.  A great start to a summer morning!

New Knitting Project

Summer means a little more time for knitting.  Time to tackle a new project.  In the sewing room is a large basket of yarn I hand dyed last summer.  I chose this yarn, dyed with black walnut, and this project for fingerless gloves (the one without the cable).

I'm already wondering if I'm out of my league here.  As though this wasn't already a huge stretch for my (very novice) knitting skills, to get the correct gauge I have to use size 2 needles.  I may go blind this summer.  Then the pattern called for knitting them on two circular needles, a novelty unknown to all the experienced knitters in my knitting group.

Just this far into it, it does seems as though it's actually possible to knit on two circular needles.  Still wondering if I can do it though.

Cooking Attempt

As a transplanted Californian living in New England, I can tell you that it's really difficult to find good Mexican food in New England.  So, I attempt to make it myself.  Salsa?  Can do!  Enchiladas?  Getting better.  But then Walter requested burritos for his birthday dinner.  Oh no.  I don't really do burritos.  To make it worse, we took Walter to our favorite little hole-in-the-wall Mexican burrito place in California once, so he's tasted the best of the best.  No pressure, or anything.  Going only on my taste memory, I attempted to replicate those burritos.  This is what I did:

I purchased two pork tenderloins (not center cut, but not the really big ones either).  (One shown.)  I rinsed the tenderloins and rubbed them with a generous quantity of ground cumin.  I sliced 1 1/2 white onions and one green bell pepper.

I heated about 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat and seared the meat on all sides to seal in the meat's juices.  Then I placed the seared meat in a large casserole pan.  In retrospect, I should've place them on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.

Then I smothered the tenderloins in the sliced onions and bell pepper.

I placed a meat thermometer into the thickest part of one tenderloin.  Into the oven it all went to slow roast, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 15 mins.  Then I dropped the temperature to 250 and continued to cook until the meat thermometer registered done for pork (actually I over-cooked it just a bit to make sure it was done).  Slow roasting such a dense piece of meat took a long time...maybe four hours?...maybe longer.  Then I removed the meat from the pan; let it sit to cool slightly; and shredded the meat.

The next day, I placed the shredded meat in a large skillet.

To the meat I added: about 1 1/4 c. chicken broth, one can diced green chilies, and 1 jar of salsa verde.  I put the skillet over a medium-high flame until the sauce began to boil, then dropped to a simmer until the liquid was reduced a bit.

Since I didn't want the burritos to be too drippy with juices, I pulled meat out of the skillet with tongs and placed in the middle of a warmed, burrito-size tortilla.  I used a pre-shredded 4-cheese Meixcan blend of cheeses to top it all, because it melts really well and tastes nicely authentic.  Then I wrapped it all up.  The heat from the meat was sufficient to melt the cheese, and the burrito needed no further heating.

Yum!  Walter was pleased!

The taste was pretty authentic and accurate to what I remember.  They definitely needed to be spicier though.  Next time I will search harder to find "hot" chilies and salsa verde and add a jalapeno (or two).  But if you like medium- to mild-Mexican food, this recipe will be quite the pleaser!

Morning in the Garden

I absolutely love watering the garden in the mornings! It’s all freshness and surprises and blue skies!

The onions have come up nicely. I’ve planted about 150 yellow onions (shown here) and about 50 red onions. Onions are so easy to grow and they kept perfectly nicely in the basement until we used the last one last March.

 The pumpkin plants are blooming.

The lettuces are thriving.

Tomatoes in waiting.

While I was tending to the tomato plants, a dragonfly was flitting around me. Eventually it landed right on the tomato stake I was wrapping twine around. Isn’t she a beauty? I even watched her chew up a bug!

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