Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Earliest Daffodil

With these recent cold days and nights, the sewing machine has been kept busy.  There are new eye pillows and therapy pillows.  Once I finish up the inner pillows, they'll be listed in the shop. I really loved what recent featured seller on etsy, Odelae,  had to say:

"The idea of hundreds of thousands of sellers from around the world participating in a single marketplace 24/7 is mind boggling, yet this is what is occurring on Etsy. For me, Etsy is a rare opportunity to connect with artisans and appreciators worldwide. It means I get to live where I do and do what I love with many others doing the same, yet different thing. Also, we all are part of a shift that is happening. We’re players in a movement that’s empowering people to follow their dreams. We’re rebuilding our skill set via the DIY movement, breaking the mold of the 20th century workplace and remembering how to function as a community. The artistic trends we are witnessing suggest a shift in our mass consciousness toward a very different, invigorating way of being."   To check out her beautiful shop, click on her shop name above.

I saw this early daffodil a few days ago, shortly before the ice and sleet arrived.  There's a new shop in Asheboro, called Brightside Gallery.  A few weeks ago, they asked if I would like to create a custom soap for their shop.  Keeping a "bright" theme in mind, it has local honey, calendula petals from my gardens, organic cornmeal and four essential oils creating a wonderful lemony-scented yellow bar.

The cold temperatures have also inspired me to bake.  Last night, it was crescent rolls.  This morning, it was my friend Teresa's Mom's Rock cookies.  I always make a full recipe, which makes a lot of cookies, and freeze some.  You could halve it if you'd like.

Rock Cookies

1 c butter                                                        1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 c brown sugar                                         1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs                                                              1 lb raisins
3 c flour                                                           1 lb pecans, chopped
2 tsp cinnamon                                                  1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cloves                                                       1/2 c additional flour

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, and mix well.  Sift the 3 cups of flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt together.  Add to egg mixture.  Add the 1/2 cup flour to the raisins and pecans.  Stir into other mixture.  Drop by teaspoonful on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will not look done.

Wishing you a cozy weekend, with lots of good things to eat!

Friday, January 18, 2013

No Snow Day

Well, the snow last night was a bust.  We did get to enjoy flurries for about an hour, but nothing really stuck, other than bits on cushions and steps.  If not a snow day, at least it's a gloriously sunny morning.

The pond continues to fill up.  It's about at the 9 ft. mark now.

The house has gotten some straightening and cleaning.  Plenty more to do there.  We're getting greens from the garden, so I've been looking for new recipes to try.  This is a collard recipe we've been enjoying.  A  friend shared a greens soup from The Splendid Table, which I'll be trying soon.

On these long, dark nights, I've watched the first two episodes of Edwardian Farm, and a movie I truly enjoyed, Brave.  If you've been following here, you may remember our cedar walkway from last winter.  Not much has been done in quite some time, with the pond and other projects taking priority, but the gorgeous weather last weekend had us working on it again.  J finished digging the path with the backhoe,  we gathered up cedars from far and wide, ones that had been cut for the pond or other small projects, and some that were obviously dying, then we got to work... me limbing them with the Sawzall while J cut them to length with the chainsaw.  Lots more to do, but progress is being made!

Wishing you a most wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Comforting Things

Happy New Year!  The last of Christmas was put away over the weekend.

Some decluttering was begun, and donations brought to a local Goodwill. I intend to do a lot more of that this year.

I've been wanting to make these pretzels, and did last week.  I can remember buying these big, soft pretzels from the street vendors on Long Island as a kid.  I loved them then, and still do.  They were wonderful still warm from the oven.  As suggested, I froze half of them to warm and enjoy on another day.

Apparently there's some pretty serious flu going around.  Luckily, we've remained healthy here.  This morning, I learned I'd been featured in this blog post, dedicated to things that comfort at those times.  Stay well, friends!