Monday, March 2, 2015

Poor Little Snowman

This little snowman came to live on my porch Christmas before last.  He was white and shiny with a glossy top hat and a red scarf.  Stars in his belly.  So pretty.

After last year he had lost half his gloss.  My porch faces south, doesn't have a cover, and the roof has a high slope.  When the snow melts, the gutters dam up and ice forms and drips.  I had plans to repaint him last year, then I saw someone else's snowman that looked like mine and it had a certain appeal, kind of shabby chic.  So he lived on without an update.

Now, he's looking kind of sad, and his snow and ice nest hasn't all melted yet.  This year he will surely need replacement or painting, depending on how much of his terra cotta chips off.  I think that the "new" one should live on the back porch, which is covered.  Poor little guy.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cranberry Orange Scones

It is a rainy/icy afternoon.  I'm out of my usual eating suspects.  I made spinach and artichoke mac and cheese with my leftover artichokes and some frozen spinach, and that was good.  I made a lot, freezing several little casseroles, so it's a good thing that it was good.

And then I tried these cranberry orange scones, from the King Arthur recipe here.   I did use frozen cranberries, half a bag left from the holidays.  I think that if I'd used the dried cranberries these would be sweeter, and sweeter is often good.  These are just a little bitter - I did use a LOT of cranberries.  But still, good.

My grandmother always made cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that was quite a departure from her usual cooking.  Her usual was very plain and quite frugal.  She would eat two kinds of cereal, Shredded Wheat and Corn Flakes, and would rotate the two of them.  She would rotate molasses and sugar cookies.  She would rotate pink mints and white mints.  I can remember only twice that she ate between meals.  Cold water and yellow cheese in the refrigerator, always.  She would dry corn and store it in mason jars and she would make noodles and spread them on unused beds to dry.  Those memories are precious.  I can't remember what she cooked for meals, other than smoked pork chops.  Those cranberries were really a special thing.  One year, cranberries were scarce or there were problems in the cranberry bogs.  I missed them.

I wish I could share grandmother memories with my sister, but she is ten years younger than I am and she mostly relies on me for those stories.

I hope that my grandchildren have good memories of me.  I hope that they remember that I rode the roller coasters with them, took them swimming and to lots of parks, went to the movies and to Orange Leaf and Sweet Frog.  To the Playscape at the Nature Center.  To the baseball games.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spinach and Artichoke

Spinach and artichoke pizza.  Totally, totally yummy.  Did I mention that I love my new pizza stone and pizza peel?

I know, where have I been, but I'm surprised that I can make enough dough for two pizzas and freeze half the dough after it's risen.  Thaw it out in the refrigerator and roll it out.

I'm a sucker for anything Private Selection, which I think is a Kroger brand.  And everything I've tried is really, really good.  Like the frozen artichokes I got for the pizza.  Much better than canned, and the same price.  And the little tub of herb finishing butter, which is so nice to spread around the edge of the pizza crust or to put on salmon just before serving.

There is also a Private Selection frozen corn and black bean mixture that is awesome on baked sweet potatoes.  And an oatmeal pancake mix and a really good marinara.

I think I have enough artichoke left for a spinach and artichoke dip, if I had any more spinach.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Baby Girl Quilt

This baby quilt is a little different from my usual in that it isn't a donation quilt but a gift quilt.  Still for a very special premmie but this time I've seen her pictures and watched her grow from 1 lb 2 oz to 2 lb 9 oz. now.  That little girl is amazing.

Above is the back.  No surprises there.  Pieced backing and binding.  Pink all over the place.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Modern Quilt

Sometimes I just have to clear off my sewing area and finish what's there.  Like this baby quilt, started probably two years ago and which has lived with its pieces in sandwich bags ever since.  It was from an Elizabeth Hartman Craftsy class.  Don't think my sewing space is now clear, there is also an orange version, although it isn't all cut out yet.  And a few other things.

And the thing is, it wasn't hard to do and was a lot of fun.  I guess it just wasn't time before now.

The above picture is from a week ago in Asheville.  It looks nothing like that here, and probably looks nothing like that there either today.  I looked outside around 4:00 a.m. and there wasn't any snow yet and I looked out around 8:00 and it still wasn't snowing.  And then I opened the front door.  It must have snowed really hard for a few hours.  Four or five inches.

It was heavy stuff since the temperature is warming.  I cleared off my porch and steps and walk but was glad when my neighbor said he'd do the rest with his snow blower.  I have really REALLY nice neighbors.

It's supposed to start snowing/raining in a couple of hours.  Then there may really be a mess.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Little Table

Kroger had a half off sale on furniture and I got a little table I'd been looking at. $20.  But when I looked at the instructions, I was pretty dismayed.

I had to give myself a talking to about transferrable skills.  Breaking things down into doable chunks.  Putting all those screws in plastic bags and labeling them.

I'm not saying that the table is perfect and I'm not saying that I didn't have to redo parts several times.  It's ok, I love it.

For the first time since I came home early Monday morning, I'm going out in a bit.  Temperature is up to 0.  More snow tomorrow.  It's February.

Grands have been out of school all week.  This afternoon we're going to see McFarland USA and then get some dinner.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Such Happy Pictures

On Sunday, the kids' first visit to the Biltmore House.  They were suitably impressed, the indoor swimming pool was the favorite.

A partly frozen waterfall on the Biltmore grounds.

Lunch at the Biltmore Stables restaurant.  Steph, me, and Winnie's dad.

After the visit, ice cream at the Biltmore Square McDonald's.  This is the ceiling.

And this is the grand player piano.  How many McDonald's have such a thing?