Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Anneliese's Low Fat Blueberry Scones

Today I'm hosting a non blogger recipe from Anneliese. She sent me this blueberry scone which after trying I can wholeheartedly endorse. I made them up yesterday and they really are quite scrumptious . . .and easy too . . .
As I said in the invitation to send in a recipe, please send me a photo so that we can imagine your face, and Anneliese was kind enough to give us a bonus shot of her good husband. This picture is evidence that a good marriage is good for the soul. Anneliese how many years have you been married?
I have just recently added Anneliese's daughters blogs to my sidebar. Her oldest daughters blog is called Notes of my Symphony and she with her husband and children live in a far away land. Her younger daughters blog is called sawyer saga and she and her husband have a sweet baby girl that in itself is worth running over to take a peek.
They also have a son that was married last year and my daughter in law Bea was in the wedding party so it has given us one more reason to feel connected.

So about the blueberry scones, it says that you can use lemon or orange rind, as you can see I used lemon. It also says buttermilk or plain yogurt and I chose to try yogurt.


Blueberry Scones
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 Tablespoon grated orange or lemon rind
  7. 1/4 cup butter
  8. 3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  9. 1 (farm fresh) egg
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  11. 1 - 2 cups blueberries (I used fresh since they are in season)

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, until fine.

Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl then add to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork until all the mixture has been moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. ( My dough was a bit drier I think because I used yogurt and so I shaped mine very lightly into balls and flattened them with my hand. Be gentle with this kind of dough)
Bake at 400 F for 18 minutes.




Make a glaze by mixing in a small bowl . . .3/4 cup icing sugar 1 tsp of the peel from the citrus you chose earlier. 3 Tbsp of lemon or orange juice that you earlier chose. Mix and drizzle over scones while still warm.


Terry tested them out and declared them fit to be on my blog. He is thinking that this guest recipe blog will work out really well for him.
Well, I must run and put a pot of coffee on, I can hear footsteps and I think its time for breakfast.
Have a delightful day, what ever you do my friends.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Brenda

There is nothing like a picture of a child to see a picture of God's love.
Brenda is Terry's little sister. As I look at Brenda's baby picture I can easily see how darling a baby she was. A few years ago Terry's mom gave me a copy of Brenda's baby picture and at the time, though I was happy to have a copy I never dreamt I would have cause to display it in this way.
A few weeks ago, Brenda called Terry's mom to tell her that she once again had received difficult news at the doctors office. Several years ago Brenda successfully battled Hodgkin's Disease which in itself was difficult.
I know that every single person reading this post will relate to the shudder that you feel when you hear of someone close that has been directly affected by the word cancer. Perhaps you have become somewhat desensitized to yet another person receiving this diagnosis, that would be almost understandable, since we hear of it nearly every day.
This post however is directed to those who would be willing to stand by our family as we hold Brenda before the Lord. She will be facing a double mastectomy within the next month. The date that has been set is August 21.
As with most surgeries of this nature, you can imagine that Brenda together with her husband Rik will have difficult days ahead of them.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 1 Peter 5:7

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

If you would, please join our family in praying that our Heavenly Father will reveal his vast and unfailing love to Rik and Brenda during these troublesome days. The wait seems to go on and on when you are waiting for test results, and surgeries and then of course treatments, if that is what is decided.

It is our hearts cry that the Lord who is our great physician, touch her body and give her complete healing. That is our desire. We trust Him to care for her in ways that we could never imagine. We have an amazing God, and we know that He is able to do more than we could ever imagine.

We are thankful for Rik and his love for his wife. He will continue to stand beside Brenda and love her and support her during this time. If you would, pray also for Rik, that God will give him the courage and strength and the right words to care for Brenda. As you can well imagine, it is hard to watch someone you love walk through this.

We are thankful that this was found early.

We are thankful for the doctors and nurses who will again care for her.

They have agreed to share their story and I thank them both for their willingness to be open in their need of prayer.

Terry and I have found ourselves a few times in the place where we find we must humble ourselves and ask our friends and family to pray for us, and we have always been amazed at how enveloped in love we have felt.

As the Lord brings Brenda to mind, please lift her up before the Lord however you feel led.

Thank you. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

last nights star gazer

We sleep with our window wide open at night and are serenaded by our Columbia spotted pond frog.

I love the sounds of the night, when the busy road becomes quiet and there is silence except for Otis taking long swigs of water in the middle of the night. I would say he's worse than a kid, but he actually seems quite thirsty so what are we going to do, yell out the window . .Go back to bed? Poor old kook. Sometimes the next morning Terry will comment that Otis must have had a five minute drink in the middle of the night. He's not exactly light on his feet weighing well over 100 pounds, and he sleeps right outside our kitchen door on the porch. On occasion I've woken with a start to think that someone is coming to visit, but then I here the loud swigs and I realize it's just the hound.


A few weeks ago I was taking pictures of the flowers in the front yard when I saw this little green Pacific Tree frog sitting ever so still, hoping I wouldn't notice him. I did.


He sat remarkably still while I had him pose for a few ultra green shots. Isn't he just he cutest?



The frog below croaks his little heart out at night. Yesterday Jill posted her frog in her back yard and she was clever enough to put her hand by the frog to demonstrate its length. You'll just have to take my word for it, this spotted fellow was at least 3 inches not stretched out.




Perhaps we could do a frog show and tell, or at the very least, animal on your yard that isn't tame. Hmm?
Anything hanging out at your water hole?



The bonus shot today is our goldfish. They just kept swimming around, hoping for treats while I was doing my frog photography.


That's it, folks,
This morning we're heading out for a coffee just the two of us and then we'll come home to do the farm chores and I'll do some house work.
Have a delightful day.

Friday, July 27, 2007

what are you doing?

What is purple and yellow and tender . . . .besides the plums on our plum tree right now?


I thought I would take you with me out to the shop to see what Terry is up to today. He has the tractor hooked up to his quad. This seems a bit of an unusual combination for farming.


The answer to the question is bruising. Terry has some dandy ones. When Terry and Terrence came home from quading in the back country a few days ago they looked mighty sheepish as they pulled onto the yard and came straight to the house.



This is highly unusual. First the quads are unloaded and given a wash and then put away before I see hide or hair of the men folk.



The second thing that tipped me off was the tilt with which my husband walked. Hmm . ..I've seen that before.


They were both very quick to explain that Terry was indeed fine, sort of. Now most men would have stopped off at the Emergency to see how many ribs were bruised or broken, but Terry has spent enough time in that area to be a little put off by the goings on there. He prefers to self medicate and hope for better days.



The way the story goes, . "we were coming down the mountain . . .there was a log in the path, . . .the front tire went over it and hooked and the back wheels still in four wheel drive gave it an extra kick and started to pitch Terry off the quad as it started to roll over.



He is extremely fortunate to have not broken his neck. Terrence went into First Aid mode and made sure he was OK to be moved. He continued to ride his quad down the mountain after it was righted. This also is not terribly unusual since one time he rode his motorcycle home from a baseball game after breaking his leg from a bad slide into home plate. He wasn't keen on someone else riding his bike.



I asked him if he would be so kind to explain himself. Click here to see him try to do this. He gave me the thumbs up this afternoon as he was perched on top of his quad . . ..straightening the rack. . ..and the handle bars.

To all of you who encouraged the use of helmets. . .you were so right. The dirt indicates how he landed first. The bruises are unable to be documented since the majority of them are in his nether regions shaped strangely similar to the rack that was recently straightened. Woo hoo.


That's my man . .gotta love him.
Thank you Lord for bringing them home safely . . one more time.
He was muttering something about Wild at Heart . .when I saw him last.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

with the tie? or without?



As promised, a week ago or so when I showed you the B49 pattern and the fabric, here is the dress. The pattern says it is easy which it actually was.
I didn't really have any significant problems and I had a chance to try out my new invisible zipper foot. I'd show you the zipper and how well the attachment worked, but well, there is nothing to see, which is the whole point to the invisible zipper foot.

Now the pattern showed the dress in two ways, the first way was with the big tie in the front. The pattern said to attach this in two pieces on either side of the zipper. I opted to leave it loose, so that I could wear it either way.


With or without?
The bow is quite big, but I quite liked it. It made it a bit different than something off a rack.
If you know me well, you will have already guessed that I will turn up at an event with it tied around my waist, and then half way through it will become a wrap.
How handy is that?
Do you sew?
It suddenly occurred to me that I was being thrifty by sewing fabric that was half price. Oddly, I was thinking about these things as I was passing by the shoe store in the mall. Small coincidence? Perhaps.
I haven't worn anything patent in quite some time and these pumps . .well, I liked them before I even tried them on. I decided to give my toes a break from the pointy toe heels that I've been purchasing in the last few years.



It was a bit of fun, being a model for a fashion shoot . . .especially since I have such a thing for the photographer . . . I offered to make dinner for him later. Such fun.
Have a wonderful day everyone.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Napolean Torte

Today I'm featuring my first non blogger recipe from my Auntie Betty. This is my favorite dessert from my "going to Auntie Betty's for family gathering years". I can recall wondering a day ahead of the gathering if she would be making this. I would quickly scan the table for this torte that my mom never made. I don't recall her ever even trying to make it, there was no need when the best was regularly served at least twice a year.
A few years ago, I asked her for the recipe. She gave me this card which I love since it also has her handwriting which has always been a source of wonder for me in itself. She is left handed and all her printing and writing has always been so neat and tidy. This is something that didn't quite make it down my family line.

Since she is my "non blogger guest" recipe feature today I'd like to say a few words about her. She is the most wonderful aunt . . .ever. I spent many weekends at her home when I was small. She is the same aunt that brought me back my hula skirt. She is generous and kind and I've truly never heard her say unkind things of another person.
Her name is actually Lorena Betty. Her Dad called her by her second name and it stuck during her growing up years. Somewhere during that time I was born and my mom called me Betty for "one" of my middle names. Yes I have several. I've been proud to have her name attached to mine for she is a person that is well respected and loved by so much by many. When she got married, her husband declared Lorena to be her proper name but somehow my mom just never switched it over. All the other aunts and their family's call her Lorena and we call her Betty and we all know who we all are referring to.
Auntie Betty is my mom's youngest sister. My mom had four sisters and two brothers. I was my Auntie Betty's flower girl. One of these days I'll show you a picture of that . .


So, back to the recipe. The only thing that is missing is the amount of flour, and I was going to specifically measure it to add to the recipe but I got lost in my counting . .so if anyone out there that makes this knows approximately the amount of flour your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Napolean Torte (some call it Blatter torte)
Cake . .
3/4 cup cream
4 tbsp. soft butter
1/2 sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
2 farm fresh eggs
Cream together the butter and the sugar until light. Add the cream and mix until blended. Add the two eggs and beat them in. Add the baking soda and the baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Now for the tricky part. Add 1 cup of flour, mix this in with a wooden spoon, Continue to add a bit of flour at a time until you have a soft dough, similar to sugar cookies. You should be able to put it onto a floured counter and give it a bit of a knead. Cover it up and put it in the fridge for a few hours. This will help to roll the balls out.
Take out the dough and divide it into 6 round balls, Roll them out quite thin, again like sugar cookies. Use a luncheon plate as a template to cut them circles into shapes, put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake them at 400 for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Let them cool on the sheet before trying to move them.
Meanwhile, you will make custard . .
4 cups of whole milk (you could use 2 percent)
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tablespoons of soft butter
Mix the sugar and cornstarch together and add the milk and egg yolks.
Gradually add the milk and cook it in the microwave until it comes to a boil. Stir it every few minutes to be sure it doesn't get lumpy.
When it has come to a boil, add the vanilla and soft butter.
Put plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard.
Let this cool in the fridge until chilled.
Put all the layers on the counter and divide the custard between the layers and then put them one on top of the other until you have 6 layers.
Take the remaining bits that you baked, and crush them with a rolling pin and sprinkle them on the very top.
Let is sit 24 hours so that the layers soften and absorb some of the custard.
She has written at the bottom . ..Good luck and I agree.


Well, I'm off to work in my flower beds. Every thing is looking lush and green from all the rain, but the flowers have taken a really beating. I'll be spending the day cutting back the old blooms, in hopes that new ones will spring up for mid August when I have a house guest coming.
I'm sure you may be a tad curious who that might be. I'll let you ponder that for a while.
Have a wonderful day . .

Monday, July 23, 2007

49

For years and years Terry talked about getting an older truck and turning it into a rod. As you saw earlier this year we picked up the '50 Merc and by next year when Terry turns 50, we hope it will be ready for the reveal.

I'm not entirely sure where the fascination comes with an old truck when really, the brand new trucks can be rolled right out of the lot with not a blemish or scuff. However, I do know that I'm not wanting to trade in my 49 model of a husband. You already know why I love him as much as I do. I've told you stories and allowed you a window in our life here on the farm, and perhaps for today that is enough.


Yesterday we had the kids over for dinner along with Terry's mom. He went out into the rain to barbecue and did a fantastic job of the steaks and chicken satay. For dessert I made him a Napoleon torte . .I'll post that later this week.

The cards are always fun. These pretty terrific grown up kids of ours think they are pretty funny. If you enlarge the picture you can see Terry is wearing a special button for his birthday. It came from a card that he got from Terrence and Bea . .it said . .
On your Birthday Dad,
wear this button to show your position
of authority in the family!
But don't forget to give it back to Mom tomorrow!
The kids reminded me that his birthday is actually today and so he can wear it one more day. Woo hoo.
Enjoy . .

I'm not sure when the tradition began but somewhere along the lines, Dog Pile on Dad was instituted. I generally stand there and holler . ..get off of him, you're going to hurt him. I was yelling that this year as I ran for the camera.
What more can I say than I am just so incredibly thankful that the Lord brought this wonderful man into my life.
I'm off to put a pot of coffee on and waken the "boss for the day".
I hope your day will be a delight . . .



Sunday, July 22, 2007

. .hold them close

In the last week there has been such a need to call upon the Lord in prayer.
Calls and emails, one after another with news that brings us to our knees.
Family and friends and their friends and it goes on and on.
This morning I opened my bible to these verses . . .
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you . . .Oh Lord
have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.
Psalm 9 :9
Father you know each and every need that those we love hold in their heart.
Meet them right there . . . I lift them up to you.
You know each need . .draw them close.
I'm almost certain that if you are reading this, you also have concerns for yourself or someone you love, I'm thankful that while I don't know what is on your heart, I know someone who does.

Friday, July 20, 2007

the B 49er

This is what is called creating an interruption when you need a break. Not to be outdone by Jill with her summer frock, I thought I may as well take up the challenge of a summer frock of my own. She talked about being diligent and finding fabric that was inexpensive, trying out the pattern and if all was as hoped, the sewing with more costly fabric would begin. In the end, the project seemed to be a lot of fun times for her.
Mock ups has always crossed my mind and I have a friend who speaks regularly of sewing mock ups, but alas, I enjoy throwing caution to the wind and going for it. The last time I did that the outcome was sadly not post worthy. I'm hoping to give myself the accountability factor here and if I can finish this within the week, you'll see it, regardless of the outcome.

So, this is the pattern, B49 . .78. Bomber came to mind. Speaking of bombs. My computer screen died last night. I was about to check my email before retiring for the night and there was not a glimmer of life.


Of course, this morning a quick trip to Costco, solved the problem and I'm up and running again this afternoon.


So, this is the fabric. It is a rayon, now in retrospect, I think the dress would have hung nicer with chiffon, but I loathe sewing chiffon.


Well, I do hope you enjoy the rest of the day, I'll leave you be to consider your own summer project. Do you sew?
Oh and by the way, next week I plan to host a recipe blog for my non blogger friends. I'll need you to start thinking of your favorite summer recipe, I'd love to be able to post a picture of it as well as your picture. Won't that be fun? I'm particularly calling out to Anneliese, Charlotte, Kathy, Betty R. and all those that read and don't normally comment. It can all be emailed to me on my Gmail address that is found on my profile. How fun.


Monday, July 16, 2007

down at the farm

Yesterday we were invited to my brother and sister in law's farm . .Ken and Mary's. I grew up on the adjoining farm and it is always a treat to venture back. The first thing I always notice upon arriving is the gardens. They are perfectly groomed and always sunny with blooms, for every season. Mary has always loved gardening and the grounds are enjoyed by all who visit.
The second thing I always notice is the warmth of welcome. There are hugs all around and on this day my other brother and sister in law Gerry and Heidi were also visiting the farm. When we arrived a game of tennis was already under way between my brother Ken and Mary and Heidi. I have never sadly quite grasped the rudiments of tennis. I'm still waiting for my eye and hand coordination to fully mature.


I couldn't help but slip off my sandals to feel the velvet green grass of the court. I held a racket and picked up one or two more lessons on the basic skills. I'm sure by the time I'm 50 the coordination will have developed and the lessons will begin in earnest. Oh boy.


The two spectators at the end of the net enjoyed tossing in their opinion from time to time, while debating the merits of exercise. Heidi was poised to send the ball back with elegance and sheer determination.


It was a bit difficult for them to concentrate on the game with the paparazzi zipping back and forth on the court. My vivid imagination had me at Wimbledon.


That's my brother Ken. Is he saying . . .we're trying to play a game here, or . . . .come here and let me hug you, or . . . . .Okay, take the picture, I'll stand still? . .

The women learned that the game would be won by careful strategy. They plotted and schemed but in the end, I'm not sure who won.

I worked my way around the yard, enjoying the bursts of color and the careful design to ensure continual color throughout all the seasons. I always pick up a few new ideas for our own farm beds.
Later, we were treated to a wonderful dinner. The Barbeque master Ken, did up some steaks in a secret marinade and he also did some skewers of shrimp. Mary had baked some fresh local potatoes sliced and baked with onions and butter, she also served roasted asparagus with sliced almonds. It was fantastic.
Heidi had brought my favorite romaine, avacado, and papaya salad. It has a wonderful papaya dressing that I'll post for you soon. It is just scrumptious.


It was a wonderful afternoon, thankyou for having us and sharing your wonderful yard, excellent food and warm hospitality.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

cherries

This morning, I'm technically cleaning house, however I took a short sidetrack and ran down to the fruit stand, one country block from our house. I've been going there a lot lately. Fresh Cherries are in season, and we have already consumed our fair share.
Yesterday I was walking along the edge of our property where we planted a ornamental cherry tree that had attitude issues a few years ago.
Originally it had been planted along our driveway in Japanese Cherry Tree row, but it alone decided to neglect the flowers and sent out some wild branches. We uprooted the tree and planted it along side the ditch at the back with the other bushes and trees that have needed some time out from the general landscaped areas. This year I noticed that it must be feeling somewhat remorseful because it is sporting real cherries.
I tasted them and although they are scrawny and mostly pit, they provided a recent memory of the aforementioned fruit stand. I ran back to the house to get my camera to take a picture and gave the tree a cursory . ."well, that's an improvement over last year".
When I was little . .(I'm thinking I should have an abbreviation for that WIWL for as many times as you are forced to read that line) going to pick cherries was a regular part of our summer vacation. These two pictures are asking you to use your imagination, and yet I put them on because for me, they conjure up happy times of camping as a family.

I liked this photo. My dad is picking cherries and I think that might be my mom in the back side of the tree, but there are us kids, waiting for the cherries to be picked so the feasting can begin.
This morning I also stopped by my secret sour pie cherry house. I found it by accident last year. They have the most gorgeous dark red sour pie cherries. I was a week early. Good to know.
Last year I almost missed them. So, in a week or so, you will be treated to another one of my favorites. . . cherry perishky (pie by the yard). I could have convinced Terry to marry me on these morsels alone.
So, about the ice cream. Oh goodness, my mouth continually watered with the different suggestions. There are a few I want to try. We haven't finished our Rocky Road yet, but when we do, my ice cream machine will be churning up a storm. Hmm, where will I start?
Do you have a favorite cherry dessert?