Saturday, May 28, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen!

 Sometimes when you are all set to visit your first granddaughter, and fate deals your daughter a blow in the form of storm damaged plumbing, you have to pacify yourselves with different behavior to distract your heart from disappointment.  Yesterday, Hubby and I hit the backyard and garden area with a vengeance, hacking away at the lush weedery, provided by the stormy month we are now preparing to file in the history books..
Today, we were able to visit the Farmer's Market,  We were able to score a pink gooseberry bush and two tiny pots of Eyelash Begonias.  I have had about every kind of begonia, angel wing, perennial, dark leaf, but never, ever have seen Eyelash Begonias.  Adorabley beautiful.
 A trip to our local Walmart in Paoli for basic gardening supplies, brought us to lunchtime and decisions to make.  Of course, I'm always ready for a trip to Lost River Coop and Deli, ; Hubby, not so much.  I was up for something different and Hubby suggested the new German Restaurant down a bit from Walmart's exit.  How very convenient for something different to be so near by!

  The German Cafe is remarkably different for this area.  In counties known for home cooking involving lots of Sysco Supplies, good eatin is generally thirty to forty five minutes away.

 Well.  At least it used to be that way...
.Finding fresh ingredients and personal service from the non chain eaterys, is akin to hen's teeth.  The vibe for this restaurant is a kitschy collection of personal memorabilia mixed in with German artifacts.  Each table is decorated differently and I got quite caught up in the eclectic style that the owner used for this wee little restaurant.
Our spontaneous luncheon in quest for something different, took us to the most amazing food that we have ever experienced....
Our sweet little server, fresh from Georgia, and the owners, authenticly German and highly talented, provided Hubby and I with a most enjoyable meal.  The Schnitzel was by far, the best we ever experienced, anywhere.  The tenderloin was tender (we could hear it being pounded in the kitchen from where we sat), the light breading, the pan fried skill that few can do well, was fighting over worthy.  I ordered a platter of salads of all kinds (and served in a wonderfully vintage sectioned tray!) and the plan was to share the HUGE tenderloin with my numerable salad sides.  Both Hubby and I were so involved in our own offerings, that we had to remind each other to share.  Even their tea was grand.  Hubby, eager to try a dark lager German beer, nearly forgot that gout frowns upon most alcohol. Well, one; and recovering from NoVivien-Disorder we thought he might as well indulge.

When Sweet Server offered their very famous Dream Cake or German Chocolate Cake or the Lemon Tart, we simply groaned and made a very prominent mental note for future visits....

If you are reading this in Southern Indiana and points nearby, do yourself a favor and contribute to small business and local owners and enjoy the best German food ever.

 (I do believe my Grandmother's Gutzweiller and VonKoenig would have felt right at home; I thought of them the whole time we were there....).

Okay.  We are still sad about missing Miss Viv, but it sure did help......

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Community Supported Agriculture Joys!

 Hello.  My name is Deb and I am a CSA Newbie.
My Eldest Daughter has preached organic for years and my Baby Girl and Her Hubby has shown me just how accessible good, fresh, pesticide free produce is.
Then, Running Mom posted a facebook status about her favorite CSA taking reservations.
Running Mom can just about say anything and because she is so amazing, I would sign on.
She is years younger than me, but I want to be her when I grow up.
So I did what all Running Mom Wannabes do; I signed up with her CSA for the growing season.
 And today came(delivered by her friend because RM is so responsible and she couldn't pick up so she arranged for mine to be picked up along with hers.  See? Amazing.)
Hear me when I say that I have never been so overwhelmed with the beauty, freshness and tastefulness of simple produce.  I had company when the delivery arrived and I wanted to stop the conversation just so I could photograph the loveliness.  But I didn't; I was polite and did so immediately after my visitor left.  Immediately.
 I had to go to school for my last day of tutoring otherwise I do believe I would have skipped school just so I could make a salad.
Two minutes upon returning home, I was able to put together a salad containing, are you ready for this:,
Tiny baby salad mix, spinach, green onions, radishes, Oska Purple mustard, Blue Scotch kale, peas shoots and 
 TA DA!  Fresh, fresh, beautiful strawberries!!  I have recently been using a most tasty salad dressing that I found in my Christies's cook book.  Light, fresh ingredients completely complimented the perfect first spring salad mixture. You need very little dressing; the salad truly stands alone.  Three helpings of this ambrosia.  Yep.
But I could not leave the strawbabies alone.
Recipe for instant strawberry shortcake?  Clean strawberries and several (ahem) shortbread cookies.  I did share with Hubby.  Some.
So, thank you RF for introducing me to the joy of CSA's and to my girlies for being such  good examples. And  to Heart Land Family Farms for bringing good, fresh things to this ol' lady.......!~

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Owly Occasion

If you were eleven years old and a huge fan of  The Owls of Ga'hoole, wouldn't you want an owl themed birthday?  Math Friend has let it be known to me on several(many) occasions, that she loves every aspect of these nocturnal birds of prey.  She has already earned quite a few owl figurines on the way to memorizing her times tables so I knew that I needed to get creative in my celebratory search for just the right birthday gift from me.

It appears I didn't have to look too far.  Trolling throughout fabric websites provides me with the endless possibilities of fabrics for nearly every occasion.  And since Math Friend loves spending time in my sewing room and, dare I say, directing some of my sewing attempts for her, what better gift for an owl lovin, fabric interested eleven year old, than an uniquely designed tote bag for all her Owl Book hauling, towel carrying to the pool, self?

 Big pocket inside with the reminder 'Jesus loves Math Friend' sewn inside...Just want her to always know that....

.Since last week when we made Math Cake, I informed her that she most certainly needed an owl cake for her Big Day.  She heartily agreed.  And thus it was so.
 After school, she came knocking at my front door; a quick 'hi' and a quicker, 'Did you make my Owl Cake?'
I think she was pleased with the results.  She is smile stingy so to get this happy little grin, did my heart good....

And here is my Math Friend, ready to move on to fifth grade, with the help of a very humorous God that thought it would be a good idea to bring on board Ms. Math Deficient to aid her.  
Only God would want her (and me) to know, that it is all about Him and how much He cares for this little owl crazed eleven year old..

Happy Birthday, Math Friend....Jesus loves you so much....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still Here!

Ah, the Merry Month of May! 

 It started out with hosting the Garden Exchange here, in the midst of the Monsoon of Mitchell.  Probably the first meeting to not even visit a garden.  We contented ourselves by the fireside as the temps dropped and the water was wade worthy around here.....A yummy dinner diverted our attention and a good visit with other rabid gardeners rounded out the evening...

 It was most important to visit Eldest Son and Lovely Wife, on this the first Mother's Day that she has the privilege of nourishing and nurturing their firstborn, due in August!
Unlike other expecting mamas, Lovely Wife has eschewed her usual sweet cravings for a much healthier diet. 

 After a full day of gardening and visiting and catching up with each other's lives, these two most hospitable of host/hostess, produced the most lovely of Mother's Day/Birthday Boy Supper: Grilled Salmon, Steamed Broccoli with Beau Monde sauce, Rice and a most hearty salad...Yummmm...

 After church that Sunday morning, we headed more north, to visit with BG/BG and Her Hubby/Daddy so that we could help them move....But before that pesky task(which didn't actually happen) we needed to check out their favorite Middle Eastern restaurant for some authentic Mideastern cuisine....Yummmmmm
Plans can change for grad students and we found ourselves driving home that evening so to prepare for BG's arrival at our home, for A TWO WEEK VISIT!
 Mimi Nirvana....

Peonies welcomed them home....The blooms began and continued during their visit, adding so much. My favorite cutting flowers; showy and fragrant, why can't they be more available than the quick weeks in May?
Math Friend came by during the first week of the visit for homework help.  Do you know that her math book contains a most pleasing Chocolate Cake recipe?  Well, we really needed that one made quickly!  Yummmmy and full of measures for us Math Seekers.  Wonderful to start the week....
Which turned out to be a highlight....A blight of the most tenacious kind, managed to attack all in the house and outer bounds...Days and nights of sneezing, hacking, coughing, sneezing.  Tissues became an accessory to everyone in the  house.....except moi.....BG, her BG, Her Hubby, My Hubby and Youngest Son, all fell victim to the late season plague.
Some days, it was all we could manage was good eats and a good fire, for the weather joined us in feeling icky.....
Little Lady managed some major growth rings while at Mimi's.....She played and played and bounced and sang...She found out that her little knees and strong arms can move her around quite well, thank you....Her sweet little dimpled smiles made all the phlegm being coughed up around the house, quite manageable......
While on the porch, in between seasonal changes from frigid to tropical, I chanced to study the most lovely pink center on this fading peony....Love the pinky/salmony shade.
Towards the end of the visit, BG felt well enough to work some magic in the kitchen.  The most Yummmmmmy pizza....Fresh dough, sauteed spinach, garlic, italian sausage...No sauce; just the vegetabley goodness...Wow!  Thank you BG!
One last food request from BG: mama's Homemade Eggrolls...!  Hadn't made them in a month of Sundays so it was indeed time!  Utilized Sunday Dinner's roast beef and veggies and some additional items to create some pretty Yummmy eggyrolls....
Frozen Novelties on the Porch always round out a summer supper around here...But not Sunday night! Bugs intent to drive us to lunacy, decided to add to our lists of  ourTwo Week Visitor Challenge...We did NOT want buggys in our 7-up sherbet floats!

And since I have kept you waiting ever so long and since this post is full of food centered reports, I figured you are probably hungry right now and need a basic egg roll recipe.  I fashioned mine from a recipe given to me  30 years ago from a bible study friend.  I have altered and adapted it for almost any meat or vegetable...Let's hope your version is just, well, dare I say it?.....YUMMY!!!!!  
Bon Appetit!!

Mama's Authentic Egg Rolls:
2 pkg of egg roll skins
1 1/2 cup of cooked meat; chicken, pork, beef (or leave it out and add more veggies)
2 cups of assorted vegetables; shredded cabbage, onions of all kinds, leftover steamed vegetables, shredded or cooked carrots, leftover rice, whatever can be minced and mixes well together...
1/4 cup of wheat germ
1 can water chestnuts or bamboo shoots
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 egg
2 tsp garlic powder

Add all your ingredients together in a food processor on shred, till fine consistency.
Add two tablespoons of mixture in the center of one egg roll skin.  Starting on the diagonal, flop one corner on the mixture, then the two opposite sides, tucked in, then with a small bowl of water and a bit of cornstarch, wet the last corner of the skin before the final roll.  Set aside while 1/4 cup of canola oil is heated in a heavy, high sided skillet.  Cook egg rolls till golden brown, turning them as needed...Drain on paper toweling. Serve with your favorite sauce: sweet and sour, hoisin, brown mustard, horseradish, soy sauce etc.....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's in the Bag!

An extraordinary amount of rain has permitted an extraordinary amount of time in the sewing room this spring.  Normally, the Call of the Garden would be indulging my senses and working the bod and the Sewing Room would be gathering cobwebs.  Not so this year.

But how delightful to be able to work on such lively and spring filled fabrics (mostly Amy Butler) while the rain replenishes the scorched soil of last summer...
New babies always bring out a particular creative side of me.  I want to welcome each one well and affirm the new mama; letting her know that what she is about to do is the most important thing in this world.....
I want her to know that the community of mamas support her in her endeavor to deliver and nurture her and her wee one and understanding ears are only a click, call or drive away....
I love to be involved in the preparation of the advent of the new life into each family....
If even on the most practical level, it does my heart good to know that a reminder of my support is being carried around on the new mamas (and papas) shoulder....
And in serving the practical needs, embellishing the mundane is right up my alley.  Gone are the days of plasticky diaper bags with insipid pink and blue animals frolicking across the front.  Gone are the standard issue bags that served mostly to embarrass the wearer.
No, diaper bags are a statement now.  They are an accessory of the  most important kind, revealing the individual style of each of the most important wearers.  The diaper bag, for the first few years, is the security blanket for most new moms, carrying inside, all that makes having a very portable baby realistickly feasible!
And if you can have fun with the mundane, you can have fun with anything!!
Thank you again, Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler and many others, for publishing wonderful New Mama books to add some very fashionable wearability to a new mama's life...

And I get to be a part of the process!  Love it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pretend Sunday Dinner

In my mythical quest for all things homey, cozy and haven-like, my heart's desire is to host all of my babies every Sunday at my home for a hearty, conversational dinner.   I know that there are some of you reading this, that really get to do this, but sadly, my 'little' ones are far away establishing patterns of their own.
 So in the meantime, while I wait in my fantasy land, I will revel in the times where some of my dream becomes real.  Like last Sunday, Easter Sunday.  Baby Girl, Her Hubby and Baby Girl were in town and we joined them at Her Hubby's parents church for worship.  We waited the weekend while they spent time with the other Most Lovely Parents, and we got them on their way back home, which included Easter Dinner, one of my favorite traditions.  This year, armed with a pretty new baby, new cookware and a commercial KitchenAid, I was set to do it up swell.
 The night before, I began the roll dough, the hard boiled eggs, the tea making and read up on all the new recipes I was set to launch for the celebration.  I always make sure that the table is set the night before, thus reducing the day to concentrating on guests and last minute cooking details.  It never ceases to amaze me how different the table looks in the morning and how many other ideas for the setting I can arrive at once I've let my pre cooking tired body rest.
 And so we worshipped together and headed home to indulge me in my ongoing fantasy, if just for one day.
 After sighing nicely in agreement of the new recipes and discussing all that families discuss, after passing the baby back and forth as she watched us partake of an extremely yummy dinner, we drifted off to the living room to find our little perches to absorb the goodness of a good meal and wonderful company.  Quiet music cued our quiet spirits and as everyone from puppy to baby, as if on cue, indulged in a blissful Sunday nap.
As Grammy surrounded Lil Lady with the tightest of hugs as she slept soundly, visions of many more family dinners with many more grandchildren, real and pretend, entertained her giddy brain.

If you are surrounded by your family on a regular basis, embrace the bond and celebrate your time together.
If your family is scattered to the hinterlands, adopt and embrace others to do the job.
Whatever your option, enjoy and share your Sunday Dinner and your Sabbath Rest...

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