My Current Project

Here’s the story for this little piece.  Remember the little yellow cabinet that was supposed to hold my clothing but just didn’t work out for that purpose?   I found a replacement.  And it was free.

One Sunday night whilst out and about I came across this lonely and very disheveled piece on the curb awaiting a sympathetic soul before the Monday morning garbage truck arrived.  I drove by.  Drove by again and this time got out to investigate but thought it was too filthy to bring home, so I went home.  But that piece was in my brain so I asked my husband to go check it out (read “please bring it home”), and he did.

The top was covered in about seven inches of dust and general been-sitting-in-the-garage-for years-yuck but it was intact and had all the original hardware.  We stripped the paint which literally came off in sheets and now it is ready to be repainted, probably a crisp clean white, no gold details.  And I’ll line the drawers with a pretty, vintage wallpaper.

Just another few day’s work and it will be put back to use.


Published in: on September 14, 2009 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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German Lasagna

Does anyone have a recipe for this that they would share?  I had one from an old Taste of Home magazine but can not find it.  This particular recipe has sauerkraut and kielbasa sausage in a very rich white sauce.  Cheese and noodles too, it is lasagna after all.  Weighs about 17 pounds by the time you put it in the casserole dish to bake but it’s oh so good.

It’s a perfect once a year treat (if you can get past the amount of butter) and will nicely warm your home for an afternoon, with the added bonus of using lots of pots and pans.  But I think it is worth it. . .once a year.

Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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French Apple Tart

Just to make sure that the internet police don’t arrive, this is from “The Food Network”  by The Barefoot Contessa.

Barefoot Contessa French Apple Tart


For the pastry:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:


  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
  • 1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water


For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Published in: on September 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Art of Patience



Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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No more photos.  Time to eat theses !!!!

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 7:13 am  Comments (2)  
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The Old Fish Hole


Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 4:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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One bad apple

I am craving apples, Granny Smiths being my favorite.  So, you say, go to the store.  And yes that would and should be a logical course of action.   The last time I bought apples, perhaps in the spring, there was a true bad apple in the bunch, you know the kind, all mealy like I imagine styrofoam might be, and that just spoils my enthusiasm for apples for a while.  And thankfully a new season has arrived and there are new seasonal fruits to enjoy like peaches, (oh the peaches!), and blueberries.

But I am ready for the apples.

When our daughter was two we attended an early learning play group.  During one of our “lessons” the leader had plastic fruits and veggies out as a learning tool including a red apple and a green apple.  The teacher tried to engage Little P in naming the fruits, and when she held up the red apple and named the fruit, my daughter looked confused, reached for the green apple and simply said, ” apple”.  In her two year old mind, apples were only green.  Granny Smiths were the apples she first tried and still prefers.  Me too.

Bring on the apples.  (And apple cider,  and French Apple Tart)

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Apple Disaster !!

Last weekend after the Kaneville Fest Craft Show, we stopped at the in-laws AKA “The Farm”.  We sadly discovered that a large branch of an apple tree had broken off.  There was not a storm recently so perhaps just the weight on an old limb was too much.  Farm Pop Pop has a cider press that has been in his family for over 100 years and this tree supplied some of the apples for it.  There will be another post about the cider press when it comes time to make this fall’s cider!!

Damaged Apple Tree

Damaged Apple Tree

Published in: on September 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The air has changed

So did the calendar page.  I know it’s probably mostly a subconcious sort of thing now that school has started and it’s officially September, but the air smells like fall.  Suddenly the days are shorter, the mornings are dewey-er, and the trees are changing.  The squirrels have knocked off nearly every acorn from our tree in the front yard, (do they know something about the coming winter?), leaving so many of them on the ground that my husband actually had to shovel them off the sidewalk.  And the tomatoes I’ve so patiently waited for are just not turning red.  With the cold nights lately, I’ve decided to harvest all the basil before a surprise frost.  Yesterday I made pesto to freeze as well as plain pureed leaves to add to recipes.  I will not pay $4.00 for 12 basil leaves in December!

I am anxious to put up fall decorations though and, dare I say it, start planning the gifts I wish to make for Christmas this year.  Time also to find that recipe for pumpkin cookies.  Oooh, and Ina’s Roasted Butternut Squash.   Yes, a little heat from the oven to nicely warm the house a bit.

Published in: on September 3, 2009 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris

Published in: on September 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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