Sunday, June 27, 2010

2nd post for Sunday: HOT, herbs, fruit, recipes, squash, sewing, yard, hearingaids, you name it....

It's hot. Very hot. Unbelievably hot. Jacques is just about wilting every time I make him stay inside - the favorite place is on a chair in the kitchen under the ceiling fan. And I just found him locked in the shed. Apparently after I was finished doing the yard around noon he snuck in there and I locked him in. How dreadful! Poor guy. I heard him meowing pitifully, barely, and decided to check the shed. Silly kitty. It must have been so hot in there today. Poor baby.
I had a kind of crazy weekend. Shorter than usual. Don Rash is coming on Monday and Tuesday to give a leather restoration workshop at work. I'm pretty excited about that. But I had to go in on Friday and get a bit of a head's up on next week. I've got too much to do, not enough time ... same ol' song and dance....
But yesterday and today were great. I didn't/don't really have any obligations at the moment. I probably should be working on my lesson plans for September, but it's still June for cryin' out loud! Last Wednesday we had a book fair for the Rare Book and Manuscript Librarians conference which was held in Philadelphia this year. It was pretty good, I say that because I sold two books. :) And for now the pressure is off at the moment in that arena.
So with no pressing obligations I dove into the search for my patterns. I knew I had packed some of my favorite patterns when I moved out of my house. I realize now that I didn't keep all of them. Silly me. But I did finally find the good ones, and then I went through fabric like a mad-crazy person trying to match up what should go with what. It brought back tons of memories of all of the things I've sewn before. Dresses I used to have, fabrics, patterns, etc. I know I dumped a bunch of things at the thrift store. Too bad. But I had no one else to give them too, and I wouldn't fit into them now, that's for sure. Oh well.
In my quest for new patterns I went to Chestnut Hill yesterday because it's the closest shop that has patterns in stock. But they only had one brand. And it's terrible when you can see on the models that the pattern just isn't all that. So I decided I would go to Jo Ann's Fabrics on Sunday.
But as fate would have it, I parked outside of an antique shop in Chestnut Hill. Look what I found:
Six champagne, um, schalen, what the heck are they called in English? Well, they are perfect for that, or a desert cup, or my new favorite summer cocktail:
Barefoot Zinfandel
a handful of fresh raspberries (from one's own vines)
a dousing of the lime flavored soda water from Trader Joe's

I really didn't need to buy them, but they were so beautiful and then because we talked she said, 10% off and I said, OK. I love them.
On my way home from Chestnut Hill I stopped by my Amish Farmer. he had some squash that was quite something: they were supposed to be picked quite a while ago, but ahem, "the wife and daughter let them go too long." So it was one dollar and I thought, well, I can experiment. Maybe I'll grill it or something.
My raspberries are still going strong, if you can believe it!
I'm still getting about a cup per week. Today when I was working outside, I pulled them all up and moved some and gave some to a friend - shoots that is. The rest of these will go into Zinfandel cocktails - or ice cream - haven't decided yet. Speaking of raspberries I called my great aunt this morning to see how things were going. Apparently Germany had just beaten England(?) in the World Cup so we're fine with that. However - I had to listen to an earful about the bloody hearing aide. Ugh. And she still couldn't hear me on the phone. I tried to tell her about my raspberries, Himbeeren, and she understood bears, Bären. The funny thing is you all can understand this because it's a cognate in English. Berrys, - you know, and it does sound a lot like Bears (the animal). Same in German. So she thought I had a bear in my yard. And I couldn't understand why she was so worried about what Jacques thought about that. Finally after the third time I shouted into the phone she figured it out. Who's fault? Mine - because I didn't pronounce things correctly. And somehow those two have gotten it into their heads that my aunt needed the hearing aide because I couldn't understand her. !!! I could not convince them that I had no problem understanding her, she couldn't understand me. HA! what a cruel irony.
I also made Apricot Sauce this week. Yum. Recipe:
very ripe apricots
a little bit of water to get them boiling
cinnamon stick
cardamom pods
light brown sugar
Melissa leaves
And of course I fooled around with this recipe the first night and got it perfect. Didn't get it right the second night when I had more apricots. The problem with seasonal fruit is that you'll just have to wait for a more accurate recipe until next year. But if you're brave you can try this one, just taste as you go along. It's really really good. But seriously, do not use dark brown sugar. It's the wrong flavor.
What are Melissa leaves? They are my new favorite herb.
My grandmother always used to use a Melissa oil for her bath and it smelled divine. Then one of my former students emailed to say she had made tea with fresh leaves. They are lemony but not sour. Perfect in all kinds of things. In addition to the apricot sauce, I put them into my rice tonight:
sesame oil
5 green onions chopped
3 slices fresh ginger
1 cup rice
1 ripe tomato
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
one sprig Melissa leaves
a bit of salt.
2 cups of water.
saute the first 3 ingredients. Add the water and everything else. Bring to a boil. Cook as normal for rice. Enjoy.

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