Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 30, 2010

Thirty years of marriage to one of the really good guys in the world

One perfect daughter
(and the best son-in-law)

Four great dogs

One manic cat

Ten (across state line) moves

Eight cities

Twelve homes

So many good friends (one who has been with me through it all)

To many hours of laughter to count

Not enough tears to matter

One great life!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I wonder what's planned for the next thirty years.
It begins today!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I love tomatoes! I am passionate about tomatoes! I anxiously await mid-summer when the sun has been blazing down, warming the earth and ripening all those delicious red globes of flavor. The really good tomatoes only start showing up mid to late June. If someone tries to tell you they have great homegrown tomatoes in April or May. Trust me they were not homegrown nearby, unless you live may be in Florida or California. I still might question it. I watched tomatoes being harvested in California. They were red. Trust me, once again, they were not ripe.

I grew up in Louisiana, in the country. My Dad always had a wonderful garden, and the star was almost always his tomatoes. I learned quite young, the best way to eat a tomato was over the sink with a salt shaker in one hand. I can remember standing there taking that first bite with the warm juices running down my chin. I would eat until I thought I might pop. He still grows tomatoes; I'm just not close enough to enjoy his bounty, but discuss his trials (to much rain - not enough rain) and successes (overloaded plants - I could help him with that problem) frequently.

There is nothing better than a simple tomato/cucumber salad, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich (probably nothing healthy about that one, especially if your loaded it down with mayo), tomato with mozzarella and pesto. So many wonderful concoctions. But probably of my favorite things to do with my farmer's market tomatoes is make gazpacho.

My Gazpacho
(makes about 4 soup bowl servings, but easily doubled or tripled and so on)

4 small garden tomatoes
3 to 4 pickling cucumbers (or 1 hothouse)
1 red bell pepper
1 roasted red pepper (chopped)
1/2 large purple onion
1 medium jalapeño pepper (minced)
2 large cloves garlic (finely minced)
23 oz. (about 1/2 bottle of tomato juice)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
a handful of fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
(amounts and measurements are sort of estimated)

In the food processor using the pulse speed I chop, separately, the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and onion. I like my gazpacho with a lot texture, so I don't puree' it. I leave lots of
chunky pieces. I toss them in a big mixing bowl and add the jalapeño and garlic (I was conservative in my amounts. I love jalapeños and garlic.)

Pour in the tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil. Add the cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Stir and refrigerate overnight. The longer it sets the better it gets.


Friday, July 23, 2010


Yes, I finished! Jumping up and down!

Edging (all 56 peaks) finished, and slip stitched (14 peaks on each side) around the central part of the blanket. Finished! Finished! Finished! I may actually get it in the mail before the baby makes his appearance.

Remember, in my very first blog entry, I mentioned I am a perfectionist; I do a lot of redoing (in knitting that is defined as a lot of ripping). Well, you guessed it -- I sewed the edging around three times before I was happy.

As I type, it is in the washing machine, on handwash, preparing to be blocked. With fingers crossed, I hoping all the little ends are woven in securely.

Oh my, three babies due in December. I will take advantage of the hot weather, stay inside and knit... may be just a little...

(future baby dress)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Woman on a Mission

Woman on a Mission or obsessed woman? Either way I am determined to finish the baby shawl.

It has been the traveling knitting project. I have taken it to Austin and numerous times to St. Louis.

I started it in April as soon as I found out Roger's niece was expecting her first baby, a boy. (please take into consideration my knitting time has been waylaid by the end of school, a month of compulsive gardening and a stint of reading everything I could get my hands on.)

I had my eye on this sweet project for sometime. Thinking it would be so much fun to knit. It looks a little more complicated than it really is, really. It is one of those things where you just have to take a leap of faith. And I did!

I finished five triangles and nine rectangles, thinking okay this will go smoothly. said repeat 3 more times. Twenty seven more rectangles and some triangles as well. Okay, I had some road trips planned. It would give me something to do in the car. And, how many more episodes of "The Tudors" are left? Well, those little rectangles, even though they are only 22 stitches across and 22 rows each, take a little bit of time.

This past weekend I finally finished the the central part of the blanket. I looked at Roger, "Finished! All I have left to do is the trim around it. Now when is the baby due"?

I immediately started the edging by casting on the initial seven stitches. It was a pretty simple pattern - increase one stitch every other row, creating an eyelet, up to 15 and cast off eight and begin again. Begin again, how many times? Fifty five times! Total peaks needed - fifty six.

Fifty four triangles -- two left.

I am going to finish this tonight!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer's Bounty

I love farmer's markets! I love getting up early Saturday morning and heading out to the local farmer's market. It is the one thing I absolutely love about summer.

I've always liked the idea of farmer's markets, but I really got hooked while living in northern California. The markets in that area are strictly controlled. They are certified local; many are certified organic. The selection is vast. We each would choose our favorites; even Tallie (our late sweet schnauzer) would get a bagel. So many flavors -- have you ever had a grape make you cry? Many of our selections never made it home before being consumed.

I love the idea of eating locally grown foods that are in season.

I love the idea of eating foods that were on a plant or in the ground twenty-four hours earlier.

I love talking to the vendors. I am very likely to ask if they are the farmers growing the food. I ask when and where the vegetables were picked. I pick up the fruits and vegetables; I squeeze and smell. I want my tomatoes to smell like the earth and sun; my peaches to be tender and smell like peaches.

I have been out of town for two weeks. I was so excited to get to The River Market this past weekend. Some of my favorites have disappeared, as it should be. Somethings are at their peak.
I can't wait to see what I find next weekend.

The blackberries are gone, but...

oh my, the blueberries are the best of the season. Roger thought some might make it to the freezer. What was he thinking!

This weeks bounty: peaches and cream corn (my very favorite sweet corn), pickling cucumbers, yellow and white peaches, blueberries, okra, lady peas (a favorite) and of course tomatoes.

Oh my, I can't forget the sunflowers!