Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creativity derailed....

by the FLU!!!! x 4!!! We have all had the stomach flu in it's various forms starting last Saturday. The spouse is still getting through the aches, and I break a sweat folding laundry... let alone carrying it upstairs. So consequently there is a LOT of clean laundry in the basement right now. My apologies to anyone who is knocking on the front door and sees a partially dressed person streaking toward the basement in search of clean clothes.
Fortunately I had to get the Halloween costumes completed for Miss E's harvest festival last week... otherwise we would have to get creative with toilet paper and duct tape. I've been wanting to do a photo session with the offspring but in between the vomiting and other bodily fluids, I didn't want to risk permanently staining the costumes... so tomorrow I'll snap some shots of the little hobgoblins and post them.
For now, I'm holding down the couch and working ahead on some Christmas projects. We have several little dancers this year... (not telling exactly what is on these double points... but you knitters can probably figure it out)...

When I start to loose focus, I can always go to Second Life... there's a great pumpkin hunt going on in there right now with lots of free clothes and other goodies for your avatar... or maybe I'll just take a nap.
This is sleeping next to me right now...

for some reason I start to get sleepy when I watch her for too long.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baking Extravaganza

Mister e and I were at the farm all last week. My plan was to pick and process some fruit, but all I managed to get was a bucket of Italian prunes- half of which I dried...

I had two sheets like this and it only made one zip-lock back of prunes. They are very, very good and much sweeter than the dried prunes you get in the store.

I was having a discussion with a British friend of mine as to what, exactly, is a crumpet. I was told that it is not a scone, not an English muffin, sort of like a fat pancake but savory... and, oh yeah, it has dimples on top. So that led to making crumpets two of the mornings that I was there. You have to cook them in these rings so they keep their shape.


Then Mom was going through some really old cooking magazines from the early 70's and found a recipe for Fairy Cakes that was so unusual we had to try it. Like we needed any more baked goods after the crumpets. This recipe had you mix up the dough/batter, put it on the cookie sheet, and put it in the fridge overnight.

.. and then bake it the next morning. Mom sent most of these home with us, since Mister e was consuming them at an alarming rate. He has eaten most of them.

I think I will need to add this recipe to my recipe drawer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That time of year again....

Halloween is approaching and I'm getting a head start on costumes. I made it perfectly clear back in August that our princess/witch/Minnie Mouse had to choose a costume on Oct 1 and could not change her mind after that date. She thought long and hard and decided upon Snow White.... so last Thursday we trekked to JoAnn fabrics for assorted inexpensive taffetas to complete this costume transformation. Miss E is working on the background on another sewing project. Again with the attention span of a dust mite. She could hardly make it through the cutting of the 4 pieces. We only have one seam sewn.

Mister e will be Dopey since that is the only dwarf that does not wear a beard. I can't imagine getting a 2-year-old to wear a fake beard. So far so good... just the zipper and the cape to go.

Since I was sewing up a storm today, I tackled the pile of clothing repairs as well. I was fixing the frogs on this Asian dress when I noticed a copper wire poking out. The wire gives the frogs their elaborate shape, but there are no tips protecting the ends of the wires and they eventually work their way through. I wound up removing the wire and stitching the whole frog in place... which is the way they are traditionally attached, but it requires much more labor and is therefore more expensive.

So my point is... if the dress is less than $20 there is probably wire in the frogs... you get what you pay for... just be careful. I washed this in a net bag on gentle and hung it to dry, and the wire still poked through. We will not be purchasing these types of dresses as super cheap prices points anymore. I would rather pay the extra money and have the beautiful dress sans wire.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Both the kid's birthdays are at the end of summer... one on Aug 30 and the other on Sept 21. So there was a lot of cake baking and frosting licking happening in the last month. Some highlights from this time honored tradition that has been passed from generation to generation....

always made better by the addition of chocolate.

My tomato plants produced a fair amount this year.

I was so mad at the tomato prices during the early summer after the salmonella scare, that I went out and bought 4 more plants. Then we had a cool summer, so I still have tons of green tomatoes. This pile is now resting comfortably in pint jars in the cellar... courtesy of my handy spouse's canning abilities.

We finally moved our 5 year old apples trees out of their too small pots and into the ground. We did this while they were blooming. They managed to hold onto enough blossom to produce a good amount of apples...

which are destined for pie over the weekend...

They are a really pretty apple with the green and red. They are fairly sweet with a crisp crunch so they should be good for a lot of things. Maybe next year we will have enough for pies and butter! Maybe I should water them more next year.